Another popular poster on John Sickels' site, Minor League Ball, named "King Billy Royal" is a friend of All Your Base Are Belong to Rios. Threw him a bunch of Jays/Baseball relations questions, and got these responses. Grab a hard drink and read:
What is the current view of next year's draft class. With the Jays having a boat load of picks in the first 3 rounds, will there be talent there for the Jays to build up the farm system? What names are popping out right now as potential stars?
King Billy: Personally I think it is too early to determine the talent level of next years draft class. Many of the names being tossed around right now for the 2010 first round class will move down the draft ranks by the time the draft commences [I’m looking at you Isaac Galloway]. However, there are some guys who look to be potential impact players. Obviously everyone knows about Bryce Harper, but who are the other potential impact prospects? Matt Harvey, a 2007 high school first round picks, returns to the draft after his college career. I could see him being a potential front line starter with a low 90s fastball and a good breaking ball and change. Bryce Brentz is another intriguing prospect. He has BIG TIME POWER to go with his amazing porn star name. Both are big plusses in my book. Will the talent be there for the Jays to build up its system? Sure. Will they actually accomplish this goal? That depends if JP remains in charge and whether ownership will give its general manager [Please No JP!!!!] the necessary financial resources.
If you could tear down the SkyDome and make a new stadium, which ballpark would you use as a blueprint?
King Billy: I would use AT&T Park in San Francisco. It has great sightlines, fantastic concessions, a unique look, lots of other attractions [gotta keep the wife happy] and a great view of the bay. Besides, what is more exciting then watching kayakers diving into the water after homerun balls?
Who should be Cito's successor? Are there any managerial candidates in the team's minor league system?
King Billy: Johnny ‘the Prime Minister of Defense’ MacDonald. Sure he can’t hit but who wouldn’t want to play for this scrappy guy!!!!
Yu Darvish -- When will he come to MLB. Any chance the Jays attempt to pay his posting fee?
King Billy: I expect him to come to MLB in 2013. I really doubt that his team is in any hurry to post him, especially when you consider that he has been quoted as saying that he has no desire to pitch in the major leagues. In regards to the second part of your question, no there is no chance that the Jays attempt to pay his posting fee under this ownership regime.
Are the Jays the worst franchise in the AL East? (Current state, future hopes). If they aren't, who is in worse shape?
King Billy: Sigh…. .it pains me to admit that the Jays are now the laughing stock of the AL East [go fuck yourself Baltimore]. The Jays have miraculously found a way to combine bad management, under performing key veterans [see Vernon Wells], with uncommitted ownership. Rogers has made it very clear that the Blue Jays are no longer in their future plans. Until they divest themselves of the team, I don’t expect the Jays to spend anything substantial on free agents, and they will be even less committed to the amateur draft [not signing 3 of their first 4 picks this year is not a good thing for a team that is rebuilding]. This is a team that will continue to get worse, before it gets better. Hopefully Paul Beeston can put a team together to purchase this team and get it back towards respectability.
Richard Griffin thinks the Jays should/will sign Chone Figgins? Should he be their #1 target?
King Billy: Hell No!!!!!!!!!!! I HATE when teams sign aging speedsters to long-term contracts. How many players, whose value is mainly due to their speed, age well into their mid/late 30’s? Not many. Teams are constantly let down by these players [see Rafael Furcal] as once their steals drop off, they are nowhere near the worth of their contract. If the Jays are looking for a third baseman they should try to ink Adrian Beltre to a contract. He would give them a decent bat and great glove for at least 3 productive seasons [not to mention that I love the fact that he will begin each at bat with one ball].