12:05 PM Eastern

So Monday morning I hopped in the ol’ Vista Cruiser with the family for what was supposed to be a fun-filled afternoon hop across the border to Buffalo, the intent being to hit the brand-spanking-new P.F. Chang’s for lunch, pick up “Just Dance” for the Wii for the girlies and grab a couple of pairs of those neat new Skechers walking-on-a-fulcrum shoes at massive American-type discounts.

A great plan in theory, but not so much in execution.  As we drove up to the bumper-to-bumperness crossing the Peace Bridge on the way in to the U.S., it started to snow.  By the time we got up to the customs official a half-hour later, you couldn’t see three feet in front of your face.

We sat at Chang’s lunching it up while watching nature’s fury pound the parking lot outside.  The Mongol was spectacular, as always, though the Mandarin Chicken wasn’t nearly as good as I’d hoped.  The lesson?  Never order anything new.  Anyway, another notch in the Chang’s-across-America tour.  I’ve now hit them in Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Scottsdale, Nashville, Indianapolis, Vegas, Boston, Pittsburgh, Rochester and Buffalo.

The lake-effect snow beat the hell out of the Queen City at that rate for, oh, about six hours.  The Walden Galleria gradually got busier and busier with people pulling in to, as they said, “escape Armageddon”.

Eight to ten inches later, we realized that there was no way we were getting home, so I went down to the Apple Store, Pricelined a hotel room, and we hunkered down at the Buffalo Airport Holiday Inn for the night. Major props to Aaron K. at the Apple Store, by the way.  He walked me through the MacBook stuff, let me use the laptop even though I had absolutely no intent of buying one, and then printed out my hotel confirmation.  Thank you, sir.

The hotel was conveniently located next door to a Denny’s, so that worked for dinner AND breakfast (I don’t recommend the Pancake Puppies, unless you’re in the mood for a Tiny Tom’s/Timbit sort of combo thing, only greasier – they didn’t sit well, to say the least).  Tuesday morning, though, the sun was out, the roads were clear, and the drive home was completely uneventful, as though nothing had happened the day before.  By the time we crossed over into Queenston, it was as though there hadn’t even been a storm – probably because the wintry brimstone didn’t even reach there.

Damn lake effect.

So, why am I regaling you with the details of my trip?  So that it’s now tax-deductible?  Well, partially, but also because there’s really nothing happening in the world of baseball other than Jason Bay signing with the Mets and Mark DeRosa with the Giants.

Poor Jason Bay – he goes from what was a great situation for him in Boston to a far less great situation in Flushing and for just six million dollars (Aside – how sick is it that we can say “just six million dollars” as though it’s an insignificant amount of money, given that it’s more than most of us will make in our lives?).  Bay’s representatives seriously misread the market, and now he winds up in a place in which he doesn’t want to be, in a ballpark that doesn’t suit his game at all, and all because his agent led him to believe that he could do far better than the $60 million over four years that the Red Sox offered him both at the all-star break and again this winter.

On the Blue Jays front, don’t expect Alex Anthopoulos to stop trying to wheel and/or deal just because he’s getting married on Saturday and heading off to honeymoon in Hawaii for ten days.  He still has conversations going with free agents and with other G.M.’s on several fronts, and deals could very well be made over the next couple of weeks.

Those deals, however, will not involve Ramon Castro.  It turns out that the power-hitting back-up catcher who everyone reported that the Blue Jays had signed earlier this month is still a free agent.  The Jays never did sign him, despite getting involved in negotiations with him.  I’m not sure how or why it fell through, or if it even got close enough to reach the point where one can even accurately say that it “fell through”, but it didn’t happen.  Right now, John Buck is the Jays’ starting catcher, and Raul Chavez will be his back-up.

I have one more hosting gig before the New Year, it’ll be the New Year’s Eve Afternoon Spectacular (or some such) from 2:00 – 4:00 pm Eastern on the 31st.  My big brother, the famous film critic, will be in for the first hour to talk movies, and in the second hour we’ll have Brandon Morrow (unless his cell phone fails him – he’s on vacation) and probably some cheesy ’80s trivia as well.

Today and tomorrow are your last chances to vote for Tom Cheek.  The damn Facebook voting thing seems to reset itself every three days or so, so there’s no real way to know where Tom sits in the balloting, other than the fact that he’s definitely in first or second.  Regardless, it’s a close race with Jacques Doucet.  Yes, Tom will absolutely finish in the top three in the voting, and will be included on the final ballot for the Ford C. Frick Award for inclusion in the broadcasters’ wing of the Hall of Fame, but that wasn’t the point of this exercise.  The point was to have him finish first by such a huge margin that his candidacy wouldn’t be able to be ignored any longer.  I really do appreciate all those of you who have come out and voted, and I’m asking all of you again to really come out and blitz the voting over these last two days.  There is none more deserving of your time and effort.  Please go to www.facebook.com/baseballhall to cast your vote for Tom.

Rational, reasonable comments are always welcome.

54 Responses to “Snowed In”
  1. 1.

    Hi Mike,

    Just wondering if the Jays would be interested in Brett Myers? He appeared to have alot of potential and could be moved into a closer role if he is healthy. What do you think?

    MW: Myers did have a lot of potential once upon a time, but had a lot of trouble keeping the ball in the park last season. He might be a guy that winds up on the outside looking in when the music stops, and if that’s the case, maybe you take a shot. But the Jays seem to be going high on character, too, and he doesn’t fit there.

    - Jon
  2. 2.

    Be honest Mike… you were looking to improve your dance skills and the Just Dance game is really for you ;). Looking forward to hearing you on new year’s eve!

    MW: I haven’t Just Danced yet.

    - Chris B.
  3. 3.

    Does Jason Bay signing with the Mets somehow affect the pick the Jays get for losing Scutaro? I thought I heard that. If so, how?

    MW: Nope. It doesn’t, at all.

    - Jack O
  4. 4.

    Why didn’t the bluejays go after Juan Pierre. I know it would not go with the strategy but all they had to do was give up to minor league pitchers, and the guy can still average 52 steal per year and have a 3.00 average

    MW: Why would you want Juan Pierre on a team that’s building for two or three years down the road? Why you would want him at all is a separate question, but I’ll take an answer to the first one.

    - Robbie Goldman
  5. 5.

    Very happy with Anthopoulos’s moves so far, especially his willingness to make the high risk/reward trade for Morrow. I do have doubts about Cito’s ability to help the youth on the team thrive for his remaining year, and would like to see Overbay gone and Wallace in to begin the season.

    MW: It would be a mistake for Wallace to break camp with the Jays.

    - Will, Oshawa
  6. 6.

    I hate to do this but I’d appreciate your reaction to the idea I suggested in the post here:

    http://thesouthpawbaseball.blogspot.com/2009/12/makin-st-up-vol-1.html

    In short, Brian Tallet for Angel Pagan. Reasoning elaborated on in the post if you want to know why I think it works.

    MW: Like one of your commenters said, it’d have to be Omar Minaya making a bonehead trade. There’s no way that the Jays should be able to get back Pagan for Tallet.

    - WillRain
  7. 7.

    Hey Mike, I know this isn’t re your post but was that you doing some filler on espn on Monday night? If not you, then it was an excellent imitation.

    We were in Costa Rica and I knew I recognized the voice and it came to me. It was a very strange broadcast – it was on a spanish channel though everything was in english except the graphics, but whenever there was a spanish interview or commercial, you came on, which I thought was weird for a Spanish channel.

    MW: It wasn’t me.

    - Michael Cherney
  8. 8.

    Hey Mike,

    I think the Jays should have made a run at Duchscherer. At a base salary of 2mil + 3.5mil in incentives it doesn’t seem like a costly signing. His stats look good and he could have been our new ace. What are your thoughts on the signing and do you think he would be a fit for the Jays?

    Thanks for reading,

    Kevin

    MW: He would have been a fit if the Jays were going anywhere this season, but I wouldn’t bring anyone like that in on a one-year deal – what’s the use?

    - Kevin
  9. 9.

    Any idea of a veteran pitcher that the Jays have a chance at signing. I’m assuming that someone will be brought in that can throw 200 innings and help out. I would hope he is not a Victor Zambrano/ Tomo Okha caliber player. Can you comment on Joel Piniero, Erik Bedard, Jon Garland, Jason Marquis, Carl Pavano and Jarrod Washburn. I think Erik Bedard gets hurt too much and will want too much money. I think Carl Pavano stinks and would fit the Zambrano/Okha comparison to a tee. Joel Pineiro is too much of a risk as he may get overpaid for one good season. That leaves Jason Marquis, Jon Garland and Jarrod Washburn. All three of these guys have consistently taken the ball every fifth day and have been half decent. All three are capable of pitching 200 plus innings and haved proved durable. Anything more then a 3 year deal for Garland or Marquis may be too much. I would be hesitant to even offer a two year deal. I believe some team may step up and give those 2 guys a 3 or 4 year deal. That leaves Jarrod Washburn. His terrible 2nd half with Detroit may have been a blessing for Toronto as he may be inclined to accept a one year deal. I think he can be a good signing for Toronto to eat up innings. He may want to prove his time with Detroit was a fluke and re-establish himself as a solid 2 or 3 pitcher. The other benefit to signing a resurgent Washburn is that he may fetch a half decent prospect at the deadline for a contending team. What are your thoughts on Jon Garland, Jason Marquis and Jarrod Washburn? Would these three guys be of interest to Antoupolos if they were willing to accept one or two year deals? I would rather see Brian Tallet go every fifth day then a Carl Pavano type. I was the guy praising Tallet all of last year saying he was better then a mop up reliever. I know Tallet walks too many guys but he managed to pitch 160 innings injury free and he may be able to go 200 if given the chance. I know that his WHIP is uninspiring but this team is probably going to suck anyways and I find watching this guy entertaining.

    MW: There’s something to be said for adding a “veteran innings-eater” to the Jays’ rotation, which is going to be awfully young and inexperienced. But there’s no point in signing a guy like a Garland, Marquis or Washburn if they’re going to ask for anything more than a one-year deal worth between $2-3 million, and they all are. They’re better off picking up a scrap-heap Ohka/Zambrano/Clement type just to have a fallback in case some of the kids get hurt or need to take a step back. It’s not about winning in 2010, it’s about developing. So why throw away money on a guy who’s not going to really help you? Give those innings to David Purcey instead.

    - Domenick
  10. 10.

    Hi Mike,

    I am sorry to hear about your snow troubles south of the border. Luckily, none of that snow reached us in Toronto.

    I have a follow up question/concern from the Jays compensation for Scutaro being bumped from a first round draft pick (and a supplemental pick) to a second round pick because of the John Lackey signing.

    It does not seem fair that Boston had minimal interest in resigning both Jason Bay and Billy Wagner. However, I believe that they are able to retain both of those 2 first round picks (NYM/Atlanta) as compensation. Should the Jays not receive one of these 1st round picks? It does not seem fair. The rich get richer.

    MW: The rich lost free agents, so they get compensation. Same as the Blue Jays do.

    - Kevin
  11. 11.

    Hi Mike,

    Enjoy your work very much. Been doing my duty and voting for Tom on the facebook poll. Is this the only way the FCF ballot is decided? Could you point us to somewhere where the process is fully explained?

    Is there any truth to the ugly rumour I’ve heard that AA might be interested in Marcus Thames?

    MW: I have heard that, too. Doesn’t make much sense to me. They already have a few guys who can do what Thames does in Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Randy Ruiz. The Facebook poll determines three of the ten spots on the final Frick ballot. The other spots are determined by a committee.

    - Henry B
  12. 12.

    Mike,

    From what I’ve read if Johermyn Chavez was in the rule 5 draft it would have been in the minor league portion. A player signed at 18 years or younger must have been in the organization 5 years (he might not qualify). A player drafted from A ball or lower must play with the new team’s AA team.

    MW: That’s not what I believe to be true, but I’ll check.

    - scott
  13. 13.

    Cross boarding shopping is not helping the Canadian Economy Mr. W…

    If our economy was stronger we’d have more money to spend going to baseball games and buying BJ gear. The jays profits would sore and we’d be bringing in Bay and Lackey. We’d have kept halladay.

    Here I thought the Middle East War and struggling global markets were to blame. And now we see it was Mike Wilner’s Wii and dining preferences that have single-handedly crippled the Jays!

    Sound logic, yes? :)

    MW: No – and you need a spell checker. I spend WAY more money at home than I do across the border!

    - Eman
  14. 14.

    Mike,

    Got to love lake effect snow! Don’t miss it now that we are in the D.C. area and spend winters in Myrtle Beach, SC. And speaking of Myrtle Beach, you need to check out the P.F. Changs down there. You could tie it in with a trip to see the M.B. Pelicans (an Atlanta Farm Team) play.

    MW: Sign me up!

    - Bonnie
  15. 15.

    According to D. Smith, Jed Lowrie was at the Raptor’s game last night. Wha? Has to be coincidence, no?

    MW: Yep – it’s not like he’s a free agent or anything.

    - S. Charles
  16. 16.

    Come to think, though, perhaps cultivating a knowledgable connection inside the ACC could turn out to be a good source of leads, as per who’s in town. Guess that since Matt Stairs is out of the equation, Raps games would be a much bigger draw to MLBer’s than the Maple Laughs.

    MW: Except for Justin Morneau, Jason Bay and their ilk.

    - S. Charles
  17. 17.

    Hi Mike
    A question: As it appears the Jays rotation will be all young and apparently no veteran influence. How do you think the bullpen coach (I had a brain cramp and forgot the name of the new pitching coach) will do with the young guys? Are the Jays going to miss Arnsberg in that role?
    Do you see AA getting a veteran pitcher yet?
    BTW there is always more snow in B’lo than Toronto :-)
    Richard

    MW: Yes, there is. The new pitching coach is Bruce Walton, and I assume he’ll do just as well as Arnsberg did – they worked very closely together while Arnie was here. See above for the veteran pitcher thing.

    - Richard from AR
  18. 18.

    Hi Mike

    Do you think its a good idea to sign John Mcdonald to a two year 3 million dollar contact?

    MW: A contract? Sure, why not?

    - Robbie
  19. 19.

    Hey Mike,
    Are you on twitter?

    MW: Nope

    - Mike B
  20. 20.

    M-Dub,
    youre on the air right now, with you bro, and im stuck at work.
    PLEASE, nominate GYMKATA for “best sports movie ever”.
    You will make my day, year, and next year.
    All the best.

    MW: Sorry – I didn’t get to this in time. Didn’t we talk about Gymkata last year?

    - Slobberface
  21. 21.

    Mike…I remember back in the 80′s when my buddies were into old Cutlass Oldsmobiles and one of them bought an old Vista Cruiser station wagon just to take the 455 engine out so he could put it into his hot-rod Cutlass…Is this the same type of vehicle you’re talking fondly about?

    MW: No. I don’t really drive a Vista Cruiser.

    - chris m.
  22. 22.

    Your road trip stories are amazing.

    Nothing beats Chinese food over the holidays, eh?

    The best part of New Year’s baseballically is that the 1st major event is the Hall of Fame announcement. I’d be somewhat surprised (though not shocked) if R. Alomar doesn’t get 75%+. He wasn’t just the best 2B in baseball for the better part of the 90s, but arguably the best all-around MLB player during that time.

    As I recall, Peter Gammons once remarked, watching Alomar at spring training one year, “Roberto Alomar doesn’t need to get better, but he will.”

    MW: I would think that Alomar will be a first-ballot guy, but there are a lot of people who disagree. We’ll find out soon.

    - Adrian
  23. 23.

    Hey Mike,

    I have two very different questions I am hoping you can help me with. I say very different because they have absolutely nothing to do with the Toronto Blue Jays, or any other team, for that matter. They are just a couple of things about which I have always wondered.

    A) How does the ‘player to be named later’ trade work? For example, Toronto’s trade for Jose Bautista back in August of 2008. Was there a list of players, agreed upon by the Pirates and Jays, from which Pittsburgh could make their final choice? Or, was there another process by which Pittsburgh chose Robinzon Diaz? I am basically asking if you know how a team chooses the player whom they ultimately get back, at a later date. And;

    2) Can a starting pitcher NEVER be credited with a win if he does not pitch five complete innings? I believe that the official scorer makes the decision of which RELIEF pitcher, whom he deems most deserving, gets the win. But, (and I know this is the most far-fetched situation ever) the example I have always thought of was: what if the starting pitcher (who’s team happened to be leading 11-0 as he was throwing a perfect game) got hurt after recording the second strike, on the third batter, in the top of the fifth inning, and had to leave the game. And then each of the subsequent relief pitchers allowed at least a run with the final score ending up at 11-10? (Again, I know this is thoroughly improbable.) However, what would happen? Do you know if it is possible for that starter, who clearly was the best pitcher and who obviously had the biggest impact on the final score, to be credited with the win?

    Extremely random questions to which I have I always wanted to know the answers!

    Thanks for your help!

    MW: 1 – There are a lot of different ways to determine a PTBNL. Sometimes a team gets to choose a player off an agreed-upon list, sometimes the player is someone who a team will later choose in the Rule 5 draft, and then deal, sometimes it’s a player who is unprotected in the Rule 5, so they have to wait and see if he gets through, sometimes it’s a guy who was signed less than a year before the trade, so he can’t be moved until the year is up, sometimes the teams just can’t settle on a final piece to a trade they know is close. There’s no set rule. 2 – A starting pitcher can NEVER be credited with a win if he doesn’t go at least five innings.

    - Justin from Ardtrea
  24. 24.

    Was looking over at FanGraphs and according to that site, this is how the Jays starters are projecting for this year for AVG, HR, RBI (I know you don’t like 2 of those stats but I’m using them for the sake of simplicity):

    Bautista .241/13/48
    Hill .283/20/76
    Lind .305/31/113
    Wells .271/19/77
    Snider .275/26/90
    Encarnacion .259/21/69
    Wallace .278/17/57 or Ruiz .294/9/31 (projecting limited playing time)
    Buck .231/12/50
    Gonzalez .248/6/28

    I have assumed Overbay will be gone. I notice they’re predicting Hill’s power numbers to slide. Do you find any of these stats to be a stretch? Any pleasant surprises? I think 26 HR from Snider would be great.. and I’d be happy with 21 from Encarnacion… only 2 guys in the lineup with .280+ BAs is kind of scary, though.

    I have a question – any chance of the Jays trying out Wells in the 2 spot? That would allow them to flip him and Hill so that Hill could hit where he should be hitting, in the 5 spot (or perhaps the 4 spot at the start of the season when they’ll have Snider 9th I’m sure… sigh). Wells walks more than Hill and has more speed, as well.

    Also, what would you say the odds are of Wallace breaking camp with the Jays? Wouldn’t it kind of be a waste of a year of service time? I think they should let Ruiz have a shot.

    MW: The Fangraphs numbers don’t tell me much. I want OBP and SLG, but even then, they’re just projections. I think Wells would be awful in the 2 spot, carrying that .330 career on-base. He doesn’t walk more than Hill – Vernon’s isolated OBP is 49, Hill’s is 52, no significant difference. See above for the Wallace thing, I agree with you, there’s no need to waste a year of service time.

    - Ryan Hall
  25. 25.

    Mike, I’ve read some rumours that the Cubs are interested in Jason Fraser.

    I’m actually a fan of Fraser and would like to see him in a Jays uniform next year. I think he deserves a shot at the closers role. Didn’t he do a nice job at the end of last season? Or has he more value traded?

    MW: Frasor did a terrific job out of the bullpen last year, and I’d love to see him back. But if he can bring back a high-ceiling prospect in trade, he’s gotta go.

    - Scotty
  26. 26.

    Mike, that was an awesome show yesterday, as for the cheesy 80′s music trivia, I only knew the Billy Ocean tune. This isn’t consdiered cheesy, but see if you know these lyrics, I’m sure you do.

    I had a friend who was a big baseball player, back in high school. He could throw that speed ball by you, make you look like a fool, boy.

    Will you hosting any shows from now until spring training? Thanks Mike.

    Peter, St.Catharines

    MW: Please. Is there anyone reading this who doesn’t know that song? Come on, Peter. Make an effort! I don’t think I’m scheduled to do any hosting between now and The JaysTalk, no.

    - Peter
  27. 27.

    Hi Mike, the Phillies got Cliff Lee to make a run at it last season. If they went all in & traded all their top prospects & got Halladay, they most likely would have won the World Series again.. That opposes a question. Even though the goal is to be World Series champions every year, would organizations trade all their top prospects from their farm to try & win one or two World Series?..The draw back would be that they would have to go like 5 years in the bottom echelon of the league after they win…An example would be the Jays ’92 & ’93. I think that would be a bad trade off if they are looking at the business side since the 5 bad years would probably lead to sub par attendance as oppose to say 1 World Series, followed by 6 competitive years after which would lead to greater profits during those years…ur thoughts…Thanks Mike

    MW: Flags fly forever. Fans always remember their champions, and it’s worth anything to win a World Series. But the Jays didn’t fall off because they dealt all their top prospects to make those runs. Who did they lose out on? Jeff Kent, sure, and maybe Derek Bell, but beyond that – Steve Karsay? Ryan Thompson? Rob Ducey? Williams Suero? The Phillies should still have dealt for Halladay in July even after they’d traded for Lee, I think.

    - David f from Etobicoke
  28. 28.

    So…Chapman.

    Will this be the big-ticket item that the front office is signing to show neglected Jays’ fans that they have our best interests at heart? He’ll likely be pitching in the minors for at least a season and would make a nice pitching-mate for Drabek. There could be a major upside to him.

    Do you think the Jays have a chance of landing him? I don’t recall them taking part in the show ‘n’ tell a couple of weeks ago…

    MW: They did, and evidently they’ve had another private one. I think he’d be a fantastic sign for them. I’m gonna post about it.

    - isabella reyes
  29. 29.

    Does the TSN reported story of the Jays interest in Aroldis Chapman have any legs?

    MW: See above. I think ESPN had it first, though, and TSN grabbed it from them.

    - Domenick
  30. 30.

    Talking of pitching, here’s an interesting–if math-heavy–piece that suggests our Mark Rzepczynski could be a very, very good pitcher indeed. Apparently he gets a lot of ground-ball outs. Which sounds familiar. I hope he continues in this way.

    MW: And a lot of swings-and-misses, too. I’m a big fan.

    - isabella reyes
  31. 31.

    Interesting article by Baseball Prospectus suggesting that Aroldis Chapman may be one to stay away from.

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=9382

    MW: He’s 21 and has been playing for one of Cuba’s best teams for four years – that’s what I take from that.

    - Domenick
  32. 32.

    mike is it true the blue jays have a war chest of 16 million dollars to spend on the draft.r the jays in the running for Aroldis Chapman and do u think he is worth 20 to 25 million over 4 years. do u now the numbers he had in the cuban league, happy new year mike all the best this year.

    MW: No, it’s not. I think they are and I think he is. No, but I know them. Thanks.

    - jays fan from the start
  33. 33.

    hey mike hope you had a happy holidays and good new year.
    the jays have been a lot more involved in the off season thus far then in recent years which i something i like . now of coarse we lost the BEST PITCHER IN ALL OF BASEBALL but its ok sometimes you have to do what you have to do. i’m just glad we got something back for him then letting him go for free at the end of this season. also i’m actually pleased with some of the other moves we finally got rid of league which i’ve told you was something had to be done and i really like this guy morrow nice add to our pen or rotation. now i know its early in the off season but i think two names that haven’t been picked up yet that surprised me are orlando hudson the o dog who i think is a big catch and i think hed want to come back to the jays. and russel branyon who played unbelieveable last season. i think you pick him up and drop overbay try and get prospects for him . as for hudson i think he and hill can switch playing time or move hudson to short which i know were already overbooked at the position. now about the jays as a whole i really like our chances this year even without doc. the redsox lost bay and the yankees atleast to me seemed to have giving up a hell of a lot mroe then they received this off season. what do you think about that.

    as always thanks for replying and LET GO JAYS

    MW: I don’t see Orlando Hudson coming back, nor do I see Russ Branyan (who I love) making his way over here, either. Those positions are spoken for, whether Overbay stays or goes. The Red Sox lost Bay, but picked up John Lackey and Mike Cameron. The Yankees lost Hideki Matsui and Melky Cabrera and picked up Javier Vazquez, Curtis Granderson and Nick Johnson. How is that a net loss for the Yankees even a little bit? Please don’t really like the Jays’ chances for 2010.

    - joe from new jersey
  34. 34.

    great job mike,just love ur insider work and im really excited about our new gm,i cant wait to see our final roster

    MW: Thanks.

    - nando
  35. 35.

    Hey Mike,

    Happy News Years! Not sure if it’s been covered yet but why do the Jays want to move Brett Wallace from 3B to 1B. I know Edwin’s under contract at 3B for 2010 but surely Wallace won’t be ready till 2011, and isn’t it easier with Lind, Overbay and potentially Cooper at 1B to leave Wallace at 3B?

    MW: The Blue Jays think that Wallace will be just OK at third, if that, but above average at first.

    - James R
  36. 36.

    Hey Mike,
    Thought some hot rumours might melt some snow… Heard the jays had a private workout with a big stud lefty from cuba. What’s the story?

    MW: I don’t know.

    - ted
  37. 37.

    Mike,

    Will you be able to get Alex on the JaysTalk similar to Wednesday with J.P.?

    I don’t think Alex is as open as JP, but it would be a great opportunity to get a chance for fans to get some questions in every week (or bi-monthly, etc).

    Thanks

    MW: I hope he’d want to do it, but I’m not sure.

    - James from Mississauga
  38. 38.

    So the Jays are perusing Aroldis Chapman..Could the Vernon Wells contract foil the chances of this signing?..The Red Sox have offered 15.5 mil..The Jays would need to offer up at least 20 mil..Without Overbay and Halladay they may have the cash..But is he a wise investment?..Is he really that good?

    MW: There’s no way to know whether he is or isn’t. The Jays would need to offer up $20-$25 million OVER FOUR OR FIVE YEARS – clearing Rios, Rolen and Halladay take care of more than that entire amount in one season, so they can easily afford him and Wells’ contract doesn’t even enter into the discussion. I think it’d be a great investment.

    - ray b
  39. 39.

    Mike, Do you like the wii? I was thinking of getting wii fit to help me stay active in the winter.

    MW: I do like the wii, but I wouldn’t recommend the wii fit if you’re looking for it to move your lifestyle from sedentary to active. It’s fun, and you can break a sweat, but it’s not really that much of a workout unless you really try hard to make it so.

    - JW
  40. 40.

    Mike, re Post #13 — I don’t think a spell-checker is going to help, since as far as I know the check will only find/identify incorrect spelling, not the incorrect use of otherwise correct words. Both “boarding” and “sore” are existing words.

    MW: Fair enough.

    - Norm
  41. 41.

    Hey Mike,

    If the Jays are on a 4 to 5 year plan, then why sign Chapman. He’ll be a free agent by tat time. Also, do you think AA opted to rebuild b/c it bought him time as a GM. If he went “all in” and lost this summer, fans would have been calling for his head. Now, he has at least 3-4 years of bad baseball before criticism begins.

    MW: I don’t think fans would have been calling for AA’s head had he done that – they’d have been happy he tried. Chapman could conceivably be under the Jays’ control for eight or nine years.

    - Nick
  42. 42.

    Oh yea 4 or 5 years isn’t a problem…I was thinking more along the lines of one payment of 20+mill plus a contract on top of that..Much like the Dice K deal except less..

    I think the Jays would be a good destination for this kid..He could earn a spot this season..

    Not sure if the Sox and Yanks could offer that with all of the depth they have..

    Have you ever seen this guy pitch?..Can he top 100mph?..Some internet sites have said he hit 102..

    MW: I have never seen him pitch, but there’s no way he could earn a big-league spot with the Jays this season – nor should he with any team that signs him, if they’re smart.

    - ray b
  43. 43.

    On a related note, my wife and I had our first date at PF Changs in Bellevue, WA. (outside of Seattle). And we also dined at both of the one’s in Chicago. Now that there’s one in Buffalo, I’ll have to make the point of going on our meeting anniversary later this month. Hopefully we won’t get snowed in.

    And I just got an email inviting me to renew my piddly $98/year TorStar (which apparently are in very limited quantity) season pass. I am in baby!!!

    Happy New Year.

    MW: Thanks! Good story.

    - Tim
  44. 44.

    Comment #20
    No, last year I just caught the end of the segment and posted the trailor on your blog. This year I was stuck at work.
    Ah well maybe next year. Keep that tradition going, M-Dub, its awesome.

    MW: Thanks, I’ll try.

    - slobberface
  45. 45.

    A lot of people are suggesting we bring in an experienced SP for the rotation. An innings eater.

    I tend to agree but not from the standpoint that “they’d help us take a run at it” but having an example or guide or wisdom for the youngsters. Everyone talked about what a good example Roy made with his preparation and attitude. I realize this is the job the coaches. But it certainly could not hurt to have a bit of a leader at the right price?

    Also, I read a TSN article
    (www.tsn.ca/mlb/story/?id=304414)
    about the possibility of the Jays trading Snider b/c they now have two pure hitters who are weak on defence (lind/wallace) and don’t need a third. Obviously there was more to the theory but what’s your take on this? If I said we should trade Snider what would you say?

    One last thought: I would have considered not trading Taylor for Wallace. And done this:

    1B: Lind
    RF: Snider – perhaps LF
    LF: Taylor – perhaps RF
    DH: Ruis? – or other

    Unless Lind is pure crap on defence, which I have not seen evidence of, he’s too young to be a DH.

    Right now we have no left-feilder, Lind plays DH and never develops in a well-rounded player.

    MW: If Lind’s best position is bat, and the Jays have other players who are better defenders than he is, I have no problem with him being a DH. I do, however, think he can be an adequate big-league outfielder. I actually think Snider is a good (not great, not terribly above-average, but good) outfielder, and the Jays seem to think that Wallace can be an above-average defender at first. Those are the three bats around whom they’re going to build. As far as a veteran starter to share wisdom, you have to be careful who you select. Service time doesn’t always make on a good teacher.

    - David
  46. 46.

    Lyle Overbay
    Edwin Encarnacion
    Scott Downs
    Jason Frasor

    Your predictions mike: will all four of these guys stay in Jay’s Uniforms this year?

    MW: No.

    - Markus
  47. 47.

    Hi Mike,

    I miss Baseball Today. Can’t wait to have that back on the air.

    - Scotty D
  48. 48.

    Mike…Put on your thinking cap..If you banged into someone tomorrow who said to you: “Mike, I’ve never seen baseball ever, but please show me a video and tell me about one player that you considered the biggest treat to watch play.” (someone in your lifetime that you personally watch play)

    MW: Probably Roberto Alomar. Maybe Tony Fernandez.

    - chris m.
  49. 49.

    Mission accomplished – Tom Cheek was #1 in fan voting for the Frick. Fingers crossed hoping the committe will smell the coffee this year and induct Tom (along with Alomar).

    It pains me that I was out of town on New Years Eve day with no Internet access and missed your show. I saw the post referring to Billy Ocean; I called in a few years ago on your show and missed a Billy Ocean song! Did he play at your wedding or something ?

    Is there any chance you or Tom Young or Pat Schmoody can post the show on your blog ?

    In return I offer you an 80′s lyric challenge – one of my faves.

    “I bought a toothbrush, some toothpaste, a flannel for my face,
    Pajamas, a hairbrush, new shoes and a case.
    I said to my reflection, Let’s get out of this place.”

    MW: I don’t know about posting the New Year’s Eve show, but I’ll look into it. And Tempted, by Squeeze. Not difficult.

    - TouchemallJoe
  50. 50.

    Mike glad you survived the drive to Buffalo – ok Halladay is gone, don’t know what happened to our regular catcher? He had a great season.
    Alex Anthopoulous does sound very young on the radio, congrats to him getting married.

    So why do we not have Chavez or Rod Barajas? He worked very hard, and was fun to watch

    MW: The Jays do still have Chavez, and they kind of still have Barajas in that they signed John Buck, who is basically the same guy, but five years younger. And as much as I like The Captain, in no way did he have a great season. Barajas got out 74.2% of the time he came to the plate in 2009 – that’s awful.

    - Barb
  51. 51.

    michael,
    love your response to post 48 above here.
    great call there on tony fernandez.
    you really really do know your baseball my friend. indeed.
    in the field & at the plate, he was baseball poetry no doubt.
    absolutely my all time fave blue jay position player to watch day in day out. hands down for me anyway…..
    and still have to post my simon le bon/baseball story to you as i mentioned i would to you awhile back…
    back when they were on top of the world around 83′. seven & the ragged tiger days…..
    i know you’re a big fan of the group so i’ll give you the whole story sometime soon during this downtime coming up…
    later.

    - darrell bishop
  52. 52.

    Mike,

    What do you think about Buck Martinez doing play by play for the Jays in 2010? I think he is an exceptional analyst. Only time will tell if he’s a good play by play announcer. In a perfect world Jays fans would have a Wilner/Martinez combo…you do the play by play and Buck does the analysis!

    MW: I agree with you completely!

    - Mark
  53. 53.

    O.M.D. VS. Echo and the Bunny Men?

    MW: Do I have to choose? I wasn’t a fan of either.

    - jeremy
  54. 54.

    michael,
    saw the above post…omd vs. echo & the b-men.
    if we’re going to delve into that era.
    so how about the furs, simple minds, the smiths, depeche mode?
    that’s some quality there for that era no?
    rank those if you would for yourself….
    and maybe going out on a limb
    here abit but let’s not forget martin frye’s (nice voice there) abc. lexican of love. outstanding work at the time i think…….

    MW: I absolutely hated Depeche Mode. They’re fourth on that list, behind Simple Minds, The Furs of Psychedelia and The SMiths.

    - darrell bishop
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