Saturday, September 27, 2008

Zen Dayley: Price is right for Rays, but will it be for A.J.?

(Rob has the playoff primers in the hopper, meantime, here's some bullet points on this, the potential second-last day of the season.)


  • The clamouring on the interwebs for the Rays to use David Price as a starter in the playoffs is just going to get louder. The schedule for Tampa Bay's series against the AL Central's sacrificial lamb champion mandates using a four-man rotation. Greater minds have already pointed out that the No. 5 starter, Andy Sonnanstine, had has the hit-lucky horseshow stashed someplace much of the season. The No. 4 man, Edwin Jackson, has a 7.82 ERA in September, although that includes a good start against the Twins.

    The Angels chose to play the longer series in the first round of the American League playoffs. It means they and the Red Sox could go with a 3-man rotation.
  • If someone asks, the picks here for the MVP awards are the Twins' Joe Mauer in the American League and the Mets' David Wright in the National.

    What's not to like with Wright (.302/.391/.536, 115 runs scored, 124 RBI and the smoothest third baseman in the NL)? He's hit .344/.400/.619 since Sept. 1, so the Mets blowing the playoffs (again) can't be pinned on him.

    Many would say Justin Morneau is the Twins' MVP candidate, of course. Well, what would harder for the Twins to replace: A solid defensive catcher such as Mauer who also has the offensive numbers of an old-school leadoff hitter (.415 on-base percentage, 82 walks, 97 runs scored) or a power-hitting first baseman? Justin Morneau's a fine player and he's not just riding the coattails of the talented tablesetters in front of him, but Mauer is the unique talent.
  • The Rays had an unusual clubhouse celebration -- the rain-soaked Red Sox loss dragged out so long that some Rays left the ballpark in Detroit, and came back for the party.
  • For anyone who's wondering about the NL Cy Young -- Brandon Webb in Arizona or Tim Lincecum in San Francisco. It should be taken into consideration that Webb was 4-0, 2-89 against the lousy-hitting Giants. If he played anywhere but San Fran, Lincecum might have gone unbeaten.
Damn, the Jays

  • The other, better sites will be all over the news that the Jays apparently have offered A.J. Burnett a two-year extension at $15M per season. The Yankee lovers really want to see him in pinstripes.

    There is nothing profound coming to mind. One point is that you shouldn't put too many eggs in the Burnett basket. The bottom line is the Jays' chances of seeing October baseball again rest with drafting and developing. Burnett is another franchise's gem that they plucked away as a free agent, so this whole "we have to keep him," is shortsighted.

    The best organizations are the ones who understand that talent is not in such short supply.
  • Please read Stephen Brunt in the Globe, "Jays allowed to slip." (The headline might be a bit off, depending on your interpretation.)

    It's a good read ... but please don't begrudge a little back-patting. A quick check shows that about eight months ago, this site applied Dan Rowe's phrase "uninterested ownership" to Rogers Communications' approach to running the Blue Jays. Brunt is picking it up and running with it as he only can:
    "And so except for the (perhaps forced) departure of team president Paul Godfrey, this is a business that is being allowed to fall into maintenance mode. Lose a little money on an operating basis, create a bit of television programming for Sportsnet, give the paying customers reason to hope, but without incurring substantial risk."
    That was more or less the point back in the winter:
    "Their revenues are what they are. Aside from the NFL, Canadians only watch sports the rest of the world barely plays, since we're sure to kick ass in those (that goes for hockey, curling and about a third of the Winter Olympics). Rogers, which in fairness, would have to do a lot worse to be as bad as Toronto's other corporate sports owner, will only increase payroll enough to make it look like they care about winning. Do you see what we're dealing with up here?"
    -- Some fat, dumb and bald guy, Deadspin, Feb. 22, 2008
    God love Stephen Brunt. He is brilliant.
  • Who was saying that "the Jays will lose Burnett and be better for it?"
  • The Royals shortstop Tony Pena will finish with the worst on-base percentage of any player who batted 200 times in a season in almost a century. The only player to do worse died 65 years ago.

    John Gibbons, about a month before his firing, ordered Tony Pena to be intentionally walked.


Andrew Bucholtz said...

And that intentional walk was enough for Joe Posnanski to call for Gibbons' instant firing... where would the Jays be now if they'd axed him then?

Tyler King said...

The same place.