Thursday, July 31, 2008

Zen Dayley: From Pittsburgh to Back Bay

It's doubtful Manny Ramirez is going to survive with the Dodgers -- Los Angeles has never cared much for flaky, self-absorbed celebrities who go by one name.

It probably had to end this way -- Ramirez sent to La-La land. It's almost too perfect. Meantime, of course, Jason Bay in a Red Sox uniform brings to mind the thought of the right-handed power hitter popping fly balls over the Green Monster in left field. Even in a lousy season last year, Bay didn't struggle to get the ball in the air -- he just lost distance and trajectory.

In the long run, he's probably just a filler for the Red Sox -- they'll probably go looking for another outfielder after the 2009 season. As for the deal to Tampa that fell apart, it seems ike the Pirates got greedy.

It's a wicked burn on the Jays that J.P. Ricciardi was interested in the player who went to the Red Sox. It's like the awkward teenager who plots to steal the popular guy's girlfriend. Perhaps J.P. was just doing it so he could pull a Duckie and turn down Bay at the last minute.

Speaking of dumb moves, the White Sox traded for Ken Griffey Jr. The Bay/Ramirez trade renders everything else academic, but a chronicle of the rest of the day is after the jump.

(Seriously, Did Chicago GM Kenny Williams come up with the idea to trade for Ken Griffey Jr. by reading the stats on the backs of baseball cards and, if so, what year were they from?)

3:40 p.m.: Speaking as someone who's on the Rays bandwagon (consider it a badge of baseball savvy), Bay in Tampa made too much sense not to work.

The Rays, with their fecund farm system, could weather the loss of Jeff Niemann and Reid Brignac. There's a lukewarm feeling toward Brignac. Niemann might be the Todd Van Poppel for the early 21st century -- people seems to overrate Texas pitching phenoms. Brignac will probably be a souped-up version of the Reds' Brandon Phillips -- no great shakes in the field, but he's got some pop in his bat. The Rays' future left side of the infield is going to be Evan Longoria and the No. 1 overall pick, Tim Beckham, anyways.

Meantime, one Rays fan on's live chat just slammed the Jays for having a "myopic outlook" for their pursuit of Raúl Ibáñez, a 36-year-old DH (don't be fooled by the Mariners playing him in left field). That sounds about right. Praise Allah, praise Buddha that the Mariners had a sober second thought.

2:30 p.m.: J-Bay a B-Jay? Shut up and walk away

From Jayson Stark, via MLB Trade Rumors comes words that are bound to make jamiecampbell cry: The Jays are/were in the hunt for B.C.'s own Jason Bay, the Pittsburgh Pirates leftfielder.
"The latest team to make a run is Toronto. It seems doubtful that the Blue Jays would give up the three-prospect package Pittsburgh is looking for, almost certainly starting with outfield phenom Travis Snider. But Toronto and Pittsburgh were still talking as of Thursday afternoon." -- Stark
No, no, no, no. Shaun Marcum and Travis Snider (that's one rumour) in a deal for a 30-year-old outfielder? Let's hope this is a little sop for the fans. The Jays, 54 up and 54 down, are what they are. Giving up six years of pre-free agency Snider for eight months of Bay and 10-1 shot at the wild card makes about as much sense as burning down your house to get rid of the mildew in the bathroom.

The Jays are probably set at the corner outfield spots with Snider and Adam Lind. Bay and Lind lose value if they move to first base or DH. This is the one of those great trades that's best left unmade. Bay's a better fit in Tampa, which is desperate for someone who can left-handed pitching.

(Update: Manny Ramirez deal is DOA ... not much else is going on ... when do these baseball insiders get any sleep?)

(More, after the jump.)

12:30 p.m.: I pick... Ken Griffey Jr.?

(OK, so the picture is more than a little obvious.)

First Shouldergate, now this: Chicago White Sox GM Kenny Williams is guilty of forcible confinement. Every baseball nut has to stay indoors all day and wait for the other spiked shoe to drop.

Somewhere in this fabled land, the sun is shining bright and someone can shed some light on the logic behind the Chisox trading for Ken Griffey Jr., whom you might remember from such baseball eras as the 1990s.

To quote RosenBlog, "If Ken Griffey Jr. is the answer for the White Sox, then I'm not sure what the question is."


  • Geoff Baker, the one-time Toronto Star baseball scribe, nailed it with Ricciardi: "To realists, like most of you, and me, a snowball has a greater chance of lasting the afternoon in this Texas heat as the Jays do of making the playoffs. But in Toronto, the Jays could acquire Ibanez, then tell their fans they still have a chance and that they're going for it.
    It's worked before. In that city, the team has told fans it's in contention if it begins September single digits behind the playoff leaders. Drives up the television ratings. And that's very important to Toronto baseball."

    The only thing the Jays are in contention for is a good rate on a golfing vacation in October.
  • The U.S. economy could sink the Oakland A's proposed ballpark in Fremont, California. ShysterBall has more. Everyone knows the attitude you're supposed to take toward public funding for arenas and stadiums -- you're against taxpayers in some other city being stuck with the bill, but if it's in your city, you're all for it, because it means the team won't be going anywhere.
  • It's a week old, but check out Minor League Ball's review of the Jays' Top 20 prospects.


Greg said...

A while back I thought the Jays should have traded one of their starters (Marcum, AJ or McGowan), Shannon Stewart and a prospect to the Pirates in exchange for Bay.

Now, Stewart's hurt. The prospects aren't playing as well and Marcum's back from injury.

I still think the Jays have the parts to swing this.

And, I believe Bay has stated before he wants to play in Toronto.

sager said...

The Pirates want a ton for Bay, so Marcum and Stewart wouldn't be enough.

I'm lukewarm on Marcum, but giving up a power-hitting lefty for Bay is a bad, bad move.

The other story is the Jays are targeting Raul Ibanez from the Mariners.

Duane Rollins said...

It was a 1995 Topps, I believe. Beckett's has it listed at $1.75 mint.