On this weeks show Reid and Nick discuss the Blue Jays Winter Tour, this weeks Blue Jay of the Week and recap a couple of fan submitted blogs.
Co-Creator/Producer of Back in Blue
VIDEO: Back in Blue Video Podcast – Episode 4
February 1, 2012 8:02 pm
Back in Blue Video Podcast – Episode 25
June 27, 2012 8:54 am
Back in Blue Video Podcast – Episode 19
May 15, 2012 12:37 pm
Nice job guys.
Had me howling.
Awesome second effort guys. I was laughing out loud for sure! TrailMix? I was wiping tears away. Keep ‘em coming? Lets get Rance on here to hear all the props he’s getting! I doubt anyone ever used Rance and BeastMode in a podcast together before!
Well, the Yankees became the favorite to win the division over the weekend. I expect Boston will pick up another vetran starting pitcher if they can find payroll; that would safely establish them as the second place favorites. On paper, the Rays have arguably the best rotation in all of baseball (phillies might not agree). If Matt Moore performs anywhere near the level we saw from him at the end of last year, us Jays fans could be in trouble. We might be looking at another 4th place finish. I think 2012 is the year where AA sits back and evaluates the club, seeing which players can put it all together and which players don’t. If it turns out there’s a couple holes in the lineup, Alex will address that at the trade deadline in preparation for the 2013 World Series run the Jays are going to make. Let’s be honest with ourselves here, if AA was confident the Jays would be in contention this year, he would have picked up some rotation help (Latos, Gonzalez, Pineda).
WOW! If you guys are going to have a swear jar for saying “Rogers Centre”, you should have a swear-garbage DUMPSTER for posting that “the Yankees are the faviorite to win the division” on a Jays fan site? Really? Hustle and Heart might count for more than you think? Yankees players AND owners are more interested in making a buck than winning the WS. Otherwise they’d have 10 rings for the last 12 years. Every ball fan knows the team is worth more than the sum of it’s parts! Blasphemy! (thanks for giving me an idea for my next blog though)
Thanks for the response everyone… RM, sorry I missed the first post. Being a Jays fan I don’t need to say they are going to win the division if I don’t see it happening this year. They will compete every game with heart and hustle but I don’t see that getting them the division this year. Dan did a great job of pointing out different reasons, thanks again for the feedback. We are working to improve!
RM, again thanks for the second post, great feedback. Glad to hear Reid had you wiping tears lol
If heart and hustle counted for much, GM’s would construct a team full of Johnny Mac’s. Unfortunately, “intangibles” like heart, hustle, and leadership, are overrated by the average fan. Any influence these factors have would show up in the stats somehow. For example, if a player’s heart and hustle do have an impact, it would be reflected in his slugging percentage/OBP/UZR/WAR/etc… The fact is that the Yankees players have better stats even if it were true that they play with less heart. So, you could conclude that despite the Jays heart, it’s not enough to overcome the talent the Yankees have.
Dan, I respect your opinion, however I have to disagree. The Jays have played nearly .500 basbeall vs. the Yanks for the past 2 years. On paper they should never be able to pull out a win. How did the Marlins win the WS in ’97 or ’03. Twins in ’87, Mets in ’69. Even the Giants a couple of years ago. Their stats paled in compairison to their competition. Since the wild card came into existance 16 years ago, wild card teams have made it all the way to the SHOW 10 times…and won 5 times. I’ll argue that it’s the intangibles that make baseball great! The biggest, badest and best can still be beat by a WS MVP Pat Borders. The whole game of baseball is based around the underdog doing something amazing. If it were all about stats, why would the statistically “weaker” team even show up? Nothing works better than a group who mesh together and lay it all out there. But then again, what does an average fan like me know?
Like any sport, a single baseball game has an element of “luck” or chance. Therefore, statistically speaking, an inferior team should absolutely be able to pull out a win. If you roll a die, it might land on 5 three times in a row. However, over a long period of time, the odds will play out and number 5 will only account for 1/6th of the outcomes. Sports are a little more complicated than that because there are multiple factors that can affect the outcome of a game. Over the long run, the superior team is more likely to prevail. Injuries and pitching matchups are two obvious reasons that could influence a season series. However, an 18 game sample size is still too small to determine which is the superior team.
How did the Giants and Marlins win the World Series? Well, initially, over the 162 game schedule they were statistically superior to the teams they had to beat out to get in to the playoffs. Once in the playoffs it’s a totally different scenario. The worse team still has a reasonably good chance of winning a 5 or 7 game series. The odds of an inferior team outperforming their competition over a 162 games schedule, however, is much less likely.
Since historical data can be used to predict future outcomes, it is fair to say the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays all have a better shot to make the playoffs than the Jays. Bluebirdbanter.com had a nice piece comparing the cumulative WAR for each team in the AL East. The Jays were about 15 wins behind Boston and New York and 12 wins behind the Rays. Even with the additions AA made over the final months of the season, the Sergio Santos deal, and the emergence of players like Lawrie and JPA, it’s hard to believe the Jays could make up a 15 WAR difference. Especially when you consider the Yankees made significant additions themselves with Pineda and Kuroda. That isn’t to say that it isn’t possible for the Jays to win the division. Heck, it’s possible the Orioles win the division. However, from an objective view, it’s clear the Jays aren’t the favorite to win the AL East.
I should also point out that a wild card team could be the second best team in their league over the course of the regular season. When Boston won the WS as a wild card, most would argue that they were the second best team in baseball over the course of the regular season.
I’m not arguing that ‘intangibles’ don’t exist. Sure a team could “mesh together” and play great baseball. But guess what, that will be reflected in their statistics. If they’re playing better baseball, their stats will be better. Like I said in my last post, if hustle and leadership were as important as they are often made out to be, you could play a team full of Reed Johnson’s & Johnny Mac’s and expect to win the world series. Unfortunately, effort doesn’t translate into results very well when playing against superior talent. Additionally, a very likely scenario is that teams mesh together because they’re playing better baseball not the other way around.
Well Dan, I guess we’ll just have to agree to dissagree then. Our definitions don’t match, when you see a “fluke” I see heart, you think 18 games in a season is too small of a sample size? I think that’s all that matters. You say any team has a good chance of winning a series? I say you’ve just finally agreed with me. We just have different perspectives, and baseball allows for that. You see stat sheets, and sabermetrics, I see kids dreams coming true, green grass and pure peacefulness. Either way, if I see you at the SkyDome, I’ll buy you a beer…actually I’ll buy you a beer 4 times in a 7 game series…
Absolutely…. Differing opinions are what stimulates conversation on here! It would get pretty boring if I agreed with every opinion I read.
Having said that, I still think I’m right! hahahaha just kidding.
Here’s is the article I was referring to.
It just hurts as a Jays fan to face the cold reality of cash. Past success include opening the purse strings eventually. Winfield, Molitor, Morris etcetera were difference makers.
If the young guys play with ‘heart and hustle’ success will follow. Jays championships started with a homegrown core. It looks like the Jays might have that core.
AA seems to be working on developing depth. Ultimately that is one of the things that decides a season’s success, it is rare for a team’s stars to stay healthy all year.
Speaking of organizational depth; here’s a good little article that breaks down the contract status of all of the Jays’ players including the minor league teams. As you can see, all of the core players are controllable for several years. The only two starters not controllable for after 2012 are Kelly Johnson and Edwin Encarnacion. We’ve definitely have the core in place; we just need that core to continue to develop and supplement it with a couple more pieces.
I love the back and forth between you guys, you both have great different points of views and as said that is what is great about baseball. You guys want to turn this debate into a fan blog? lol
Dan, growing up with you as my double play partner, I knew you were a smart baseball player but the knowledge you have displayed with these posts blow me away. You know a few more things then you did when we were 12!
Hahaha that’s because I still haven’t given up the dream of making the bigs bro… except instead of making it as a player, I’ll have to settle for Strength and Conditioning Coach. I figured I had better continue to increase my baseball IQ on player development and baseball operations so that I can seemlessly integrate the strength training aspect into the system as a whole. Previously, statistical analysis was used to exploit market inefficiencies. Not a lot of GM’s understood simple concepts like the fact that RBI’s and batting average are a poor way to evaluate a hitter’s contribution offensively. Rather, OBP and SLG are a better indication of what a player contributes offensively. At that time, the GM’s that did use statistical analysis and advanced metrics had a huge advantage over those that didn’t. However, now the cat is out of the bag and most GM’s know the statistical side of things. So how does a GM get an advantage over the rest of his peers; where is the next market inefficiency??? Many suggest that it is in the strength, conditioning and medical treatment of the athletes (actually it was only Billy Beane who said that and I’m assuming others agree with him). Imagine a team that consistently loses less time to injury than any other team, not only in the big leagues but all thought the farm system. Imagine if they also had superior athletic conditioning and therefore improved performance. At the major league level, that means the starters are in the lineup more often and they’re consistently in better shape than their counterparts. At the minor league level, that means less time lost due to injury, which equals greater speed of development. How many minor league pitchers end up needing surgery and either miss significant time or have to end their career? Imagine you could cut the amount of injuries in half. Think of how many more prospects would be fed to the big league team each year if that were the case. You’d at least have one or two more players graduating to the big leagues each year. It may not sound like much but it’s actually a HUGE difference. It would allow a GM to turn over his roster more frequently, trading expensive veterans for up and coming, cost controlled players or prospects. When a veteran leaves, there’s a stud prospect ready to take his place for 1/10th of the cost. Ahhhhhhhh I get way to into this don’t I???? hahaha