Gambling for Success

There are a few things I am aware of in making this suggestion towards those in the Jays front office, whom I am sure read this blog on a daily basis, just waiting to read what exactly they should do next:

1) I am aware that there is no indication that the following free agent has any desire to come to Toronto, and in fact, would be willing to bet, if similar but less money was offered in a more desirable location for him, this free agent would be much more willing to go to that place (that place probably being New York)

2) I am also aware that the Blue Jays experiment of throwing a little bit of cash on what were considered "re-tread" pitchers last year yielded no favourable results from those low value acquisitions (though did result in very favourable results in the longhaul because of said failed experiment retread pitchers)

3) The media in Toronto does not like the idea of spending significant money on pitchers with long histories of arm troubles and questionable temperament (see: AJ Burnett), and would probably criticize the move from the get-go, not to mention if the money was eye opening...


The Jays should seriously blow the bankload on getting Mark Prior signed to a contract. Yes, there are plenty of reasons to suggest that Prior will give absolutely nothing in return. There is a laundry list of reasons: he hasn't pitched at all for a whole year, and a grand total of 9 games in the past two seasons. He hasn't pitched a full season really since his one great year in 2003. His fastball has also reportedly lost a significant amount of zip. He is a shell of a pitcher he was five years ago.


If the Jays really want to have a shot at overtaking the East over the next few years, they really need a lot of miracles to take place, and there's not a better player to encapsulate that idea than Prior. The chances of Prior reviving his once limitless career are almost nil. But with the Free Agent pool dried up, AJ Burnett seemingly on his way out after this year, and the Jays roster still lacking the punch of the Yanks/Sox, the move in integral. Ignore the medical records which seem to indicate Prior will return throwing at a velocity in the vicinity of yours truly, ignore that he won't be around until at least July recouperrating from serious shoulder surgery. Take the 1/1,000 shot and do the expensive gamble. There's nothing to lose, except .00004% of Ted Rogers' money.

Probable Results but Potential Results

The Eckstein Diversion

Meet your newest Toronto Blue Jay: David Eckstein. Spunky, little, hardnosed, Reed Johnsonesque. Sadly he is a very mediocre player, but his Craig Grebek stature, and balls out play should be fun to watch for the 2007 season as the Jays sail to another patented third place finish.

The infield actually looks pretty fun now, with the very underrated Marco Scutaro and the very overrated, but still entertaining Eckstein. And thank fucking goodness that John McDonald will now be a reserve. Yes, his defence was spectacular, but bearing with him in the 9th spot in the order would have just been devastating over 162 games.

Now Gibby has the big question infront of him: scrappy hardnosed Reeder in the leadoff spot, or scrappy hardnosed Eckstein? I'm going to go with the obvious choice of Reed, and assume Eck will be hitting in the nine spot.

Oh yeah, in other news, Gregg Zaun was outed as a juicer. This should really shock nobody.

Don't Do Drugs

So it appears all the talk eminating from the Winter Meetings are all for naught. No Paul LoDuca (verry nice!), but no Tim Lincecum either (too bad). Which leads me to believe that with no other top of the line young pitching available via trade that Rios could bring in, I wouldn't be surprised if Adam Lind's name starts making its way around the trading circles for the next few months.. as far as trading partners go... who knows.....

The Jays aren't really much of interest right now though, because the ridiculous investigation of past preformance enhancing baseball players finally is producing a document tomorrow! Yes, the amazing Mitchell Report, which for some reason feels necessary to publish all these findings of past players use of drugs.

Time to play a game. How many names can you guess who will be on the list before it comes out? Besides the obvious (Segui, Gibbons, Grimsley, Giambi, Bonds etc.) Here are mine:

Paul LoDuca, Brad Fullmer, Brian Roberts, Miguel Tejada, Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens, Mike Piazza, Mo Vaughn... and of course... Pat Strange

The Return of BJ

It's been pretty quiet the last few days which has allowed All Your Base's minds to drift, drift away to thinking about the return of the Beej. And how, in his return, he needs to be fresh, new, and exciting for the fans. The only way to do this, is to steal a page from the geniuses at the WWE, and return... with brand new music!!!

Now don't get us wrong... there wasn't anything necessarily awful about his old stuff.. the Slipknot tune with the flames burning through the JumboTron, but any Jay fan knows that before Beej was here, that tune always blared when Shitski came up to the plate, painful memories indeed.

So what could Beej come out to? Papelbon got the right idea in Beantown taking in the local flavour and picking a pretty kick ass tune from the Dropkick Murphys... Beej should follow cue and take a local Canadian joint to rock to... and after scanning the tunes... we submit this selection:

Baseball Writers Flame Warz

Let's set this flame war up. I first read the news story on Fire Joe Morgan. Apparently,

"Eighteen web writers were nominated for membership in the Baseball Writers Association of America... Sixteen of the eighteen writers got in. Not bad, huh? But wait: who were the two unluckies who didn't quite cut the baseball-flavored mustard? None other than Rob Neyer and Keith Law, two men of reason." - Fire Joe Morgan

"Sixteen of the 18 nominations were recommended for approval: Scott Miller from CBS Sportsline; Jim Caple, Jerry Crasnick, Peter Gammons, Tim Kurkjian, Amy Nelson, Buster Olney, and Jayson Stark from ESPN; Ken Rosenthal from FoxSports; John Donovan, Jon Heyman, and Tom Verducci from SI; and Tim Brown, Steve Henson, Jeff Passan, and Dan Wetzel from Yahoo." - The Baseball Analysts

So to summarize: Keith Law and Rob Neyer, two of the most sound baseball writers out there will not be able to vote for MLB Awards, nor be granted access to press boxes, etc.

The response is unsurprisingly against the BBWAA. Many have figured that this is just another example of the old boys club excluding the new faction of intelligent writers who actually use data to back up their analysis, and basically are equipped to write some scathing articles that sometimes, piss off the old folks who are part of the ol' fightin' regime.

According to the head of the BBWAA, Bob Dutton, the BBWAA contacted ESPN and were told that attending live games were not integral to Law's and Neyer's writing, and that neither hardly attend live games at all... because of this, and being a main reason to be a part of the BBWAA, Law and Neyer were excluded.

Keith Law has his own thoughts and put them up on his personal blog. And it's pretty good reading. Writes Law:

First and foremost is that yes, I do attend MLB games on a regular basis. I couldn’t do my playoff advance reports without actually going to see the teams play live; on the season’s final Saturday, I hopped in the car and drove from Boston to Philly because I hadn’t seen the Phillies play and wanted to get at least two games with them before writing them up. I’m not even sure why this was in question, since I mention being at games all the time. (Seriously, did they think that I sat at home and pointed the radar gun at the television?) I watch games from the scouts’ section, not the press box, because the view is better, and I usually eat before going to the park, not in the press dining room, because the food is better.

Second, Bob Dutton, the president of the BBWAA, has said this:

Some board members informally contacted folks at ESPN with this question and were told neither Rob nor Keith regularly attend big-league games and do not need to do so in order to do their jobs.

To the best of my knowledge, this isn’t accurate. Jack O’Connell, the secretary of the BBWAA, has my full contact info (including cell phone #), and he has the contact info for the baseball editor, who submitted the list of nine names. Neither Jack nor anyone else on the seven-member committee contacted me or the baseball editor to ask if I attended big-league games regularly. We were also both in Nashville in the hotel at the time of the meeting, but again, we weren’t contacted. In fact, we can’t figure out who the board members “informally contacted” at ESPN, because there was no one else with the authority to speak about Rob and myself. I have expressed this concern to Bob, although I won’t reprint any of his private responses to me here.

There are various statements out there on blogs and in blog comments (by the way, thank you all for your support) saying that ESPN somehow told the BBWAA that I didn’t need to be a member. This is false.

Third, the rank-and-file were presented with a binary choice on the motion to admit these Internet writers: Yay, which admitted the 16 who got in and rejected Rob and myself; or nay, which would have admitted no one. There was a little floor debate, but the names could not be unbundled, and I was told by more than one member that they felt there was “no room for discussion.” Given that scenario, I would have voted “yay” as well. Better to get Gammons and Stark and Verducci and Passan and the others in than to get none in at all.

I only know two members of the committee: Dutton, whom I just met for the first time after the vote and who seems for all the world like a great guy; and Bob Elliott, whom I’ve known since 2002 and whom I respect as a person and a writer. I do sort of know Tracy Ringolsby, who isn’t about to nominate me for the Spink Award, but I’d like to give him the credit to think that his personal feelings about me didn’t affect his professional judgment here. I’m told he also voted against the general proposal to admit the 16 who did get in, so this is probably as much about the Interwebs as is it about me. I’ve only exchanged emails with O’Connell and with Phil Rogers (the latter exchange coming years ago), and have never had any interaction with Paul Hoynes or David O’Brien. I’m not sure if any of them would recognize me if they saw me at a ballpark or at the winter meetings or anywhere. Would it have helped if anyone on the committee besides Bob Elliott was more familiar with how I go about doing my job? Perhaps.

This is when Tracy Ringolsby goes apeshit, he does a couple of posts on Law's comment board, then goes by the handle "ballfan" on Baseball Think Factory, and makes a complete 17 year old girl out of himself. He ends up quitting on the discussion, and is pretty much lambasted by the online community, and also guys like Dayn Perry come to bat for Law and Neyer as well. If you have an hour, the comments are pretty entertaining, here's a few retarded Ringolsby zingers:

"There also is the possiblity that Keith Law is not being honest in his post. Having been there and witnessed the events, I can assure you that there are several issues which Law alleges that are flat out lies, but if he didn't use the lies he wouldn't be able to make his point. "

"There are plenty of things to dislike about what I do and I don't usually argue with it, but to have someone like Law accuse me of being anti internet shows that he once again is spouting off about crap he doesn't know about. There have been several times during the year I have questioned him on his facts and accusations and he has explained the mistakes by saying he is young and inexperienced and makes mistakes but people need to be understanding. Boy that's great crediblity. If Law had questions about the vote or my vote, he had plenty of opprotunities to ask me in Nashville, but never once broached the subject. Yet, he didn't hesitate to make accusations against me."

Neyer & Law vs Ringoslby

Things Are Picking Up...

These winter meetings are 95% hot air, but with the dilution of the free agent market, it's really turning old school with trade rumors coming harsh and fierce, and now with the Internet at everyone's fingertips, the fun is non-stop 24-7.

We didn't expect to hear a peep out of Jays camp, but someone must've lit a fire up JP's ass, cause every national update has something going on with Toronto. A quick glance over the biggest news stories from the day from Jay land:

1) As mentioned previously, our boy Alex Rios may be heading out of town. Say it ain't so!! Unless, it's for Motherfucking Tim Lincecum!! There have been many variations, with other names dangled about in these San Fran/Toronto trade talks, but apparantly, it's now come to a one for one swap, take it or leave it deal, with would be Rios for Lincecum straight up. Which would be straight up sexy for the T-Dot.

2) Rumors circulated about Troy Glaus going to the Dodgers. Which would be quite ballsy if the Jays would ship out Rios and Glaus this offseason. Cause that's some serious power outage. It won't happen, but when reading the rumor, we read that the Jays covet Andy LaRoche, which is tight, because we love LaRoche too.

3) Jays are gonna sign Paul LoDuca for about 4 million bucks, on a one year deal. All Your Base hates fucking Paul Lo Duca, but are not against the signing out of necessity. In other words, despite his fucking doucheness, Lo Duca is a considerable upgrade over Sal Fasano.

In any event, let's say deal number one and deal number three happens, the Jays would certainly be the best team in the National League, and it wouldn't be even that close. Unfortunately, they play in a division with Boston and New York, and the American League also has the Tigers and Angels.


All Your Base Are Belong to Lincecum??

Holy Fuck. There are only a handful of players I would be happy to get in return for the best player on these Blue Jays. But if the Jays are able to get Tim Lincecum for Alex Rios, my balls will probably explode. A rotation of Roy Halladay, AJ Burnett, Lincecum, Dustin McGowan and Shaun Marcum would be fuckin' A. Add that to a stellar bullpen with the likes of Casey Janssen, Brandon League, Jeremy Accardo, Scott Downs and a returning BJ Ryan. That is some good shit right there.

There have been conflicting reports of whom the Jays prefer, the majority saying the Jays are more interested in Matt Cain, due to his durability and more advanced track record. But Lincecum has one year's less service time, and IMO is a vastly superior talent. Cain is the bee's knees to many in the baseball world, and the Giants are more reluctant to deal Cain as well. Which is fine by All Your Base, cause Lincecum is the shit!

Some quick Lincecum numbers from last year: at age 23, in the bigs, had 150 K's in 146 innings. Opponents hit .226 off him. 1.28 Whip. Nasty fuckin' stuff.

Do it Sabean! Rios is grande!!!

Red Sox vs Yankees, Again!

All Your Base's views on all the talk going on now....

Johan Santana for Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera and some mid tier prospect:

Our View: Melky is pretty shitty mediocre, and doesn't help a team at all if he's the lineup every day... but he doesn't hurt the lineup either. He seems very milquetoast. Which really should be his nickname: Milquetoast Cabrera. So this deal is essentially Johan for Phil Hughes. Hughes would be under control for a half a decade by the penny pinching Twinkies, and he's a top 5 pitching prospect. It makes total sense for the Twins to be all over this...

But some say the Twins might prefer:

Johan Santana for Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, and Justin Masterson

Our View: So the final two guys are basically at the level of Kason Gabbard who they dealt away for Eric Gagne. Basically, alright guys, maybe a bit higher ceilings. Obviously it's mostly just Ellsbury who is the highlite of the deal, and Ellsbury looks to be a good solid major leaguer. Johan is a top stud pitcher... worth way more than this deal. Twinkies are dumb as fuck if they prefer this over the Yanks offer.

So there's a lot of crazy talk going on now, but we haven't seen anything printed about some deal's we've heard from our sources, so we decided to put them out here, take a gander at these new rumors du jour:

All Your Bases' exclusive NEW RUMORS!!!:

  • The Blue Jays will be talking to the Giants to test the waters out for one of their young pitchers.

  • Mark Prior's days with the Cubs are numbered, with the Padres appearing to be his future destination. The San Diego native's stock is nearly at zero right now, but the Padres would be forced to give something of value for the still high ceiling but oft-injured talent. Former #1 overall pick Matt Bush is a possible exchange piece.

  • The San Francisco Giants are considering moving Tim Lincecum for Miguel Cabrera.