Before the first game of a Jays/Yankees series this week, the Blue Jays announced that they accepted the wavier on Alex Rios from the Chicago White Sox. Tomorrow the Jays will likely call up rookie prospect Travis Snider to take Rios place in right field.
I feel like like a ‘BIG’ weight has just been lifted off the Jays shoulders. Some might be skeptical of the move letting Alex go for nothing, but the fact is that Alex Rios has been vastly underachieving in the outfield after the Jays inked him to a 7 year deal that will see Rios make around 60 million until 2014. With the numbers Rios has been putting up over the last two seasons, he finds himself in a class mid-level outfielders not too much different than the Marlon Byrd’s, Jeff Francoeur’s, or Melky Cabrera’s of the world. The only difference is Rios makes much more money than those guys. At one time Rios looked to be a phenomenal young player with a very bright future. I can’t fault J.P. too badly for giving him the deal, but to J.P.’s shigrin, it didn’t work out!!!
Out with the old and in with the new! Exactly what this team needs! The main reason why I like this so much is not mostly that I think Rios wasn’t a valuable player. It has more to do with this guy and financial flexibility!
The very young man was just named Pacific Coast League ‘player of the week’ with these numbers.538 (14-26), 11 R, 7 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 15 RBI, 7 BB, 5 SO, 1 SB, 1.231 SLG. He seems to have found his swing again, and I for one, am a believer in Snider! I think the kid will be a great addition to the lineup for years to come. Mark my words on that!
The other important thing is monetarily this move frees the Jays up to do a lot more things in the future. Like aquiring another outfielder and shifting Lind to first base? Resigning Scutaro (granted I wouldn’t throw a lot of money at him)? Finding a starter? Catcher? Anyone to mix it up a bit?
Snider might be a little too far away to make a big impact for the Jays in 2010, but I do like him as a staple in the outfield. His outfield play may be a bit of a concern for me moving forward. For right now, he has a decent arm and can fill in adequately of Rios. I just want to see how much of a difference he will make with the bat?? Being a lefthanded hitter, it will be a good fit for him to be thrusted rigth into the ‘lefthanding hitter heaven‘ that is the new Yankee Stadium.
Too much school right now! I’ve been writing essays about boring stuff, instead of blogging lately! It is actually hard for me to determine what is more productive? If I write this essay, I can get a degree? If I post on this blog, I will be happy? I wish baseball blogging, or writing, was a University program, lol!! Here is a taste of what I’ve been doing. CAUTION: You might burst into a deep sleep upon reading!
This paper will examine the explanations put forth for the overall lack of unionism and lack of workplace human rights in East Asia. The lack of unionism in the region, with regard to degradation of human rights in the workplace, draws on one distinct explanation. This explanation focuses on the organized tactics of spatial labour control that seeks to manipulate organizing threats of migrant workers in East Asia. The topics that will be studied, pertaining to this explanation, include migration, labour’s lack of political inclusion, the structural spatial control of labour, and the physical space that is manipulated by East Asian corporate elites. The idea of organized spatial control presented by Philip Kelly includes the following to explain crucial labour topics that contribute to the overall manipulation of human security in the workforce:
constructing the individual as an autonomous unit of negotiation; constructing the workplace as a container for dispute resolution; establishing the industrial estate as a denationalized and desocialized space; constructing spaces of national sovereignty and imagined national/ethnic community; and, the distancing of homeplace from workplace through the use of migrant workforces.
Enough of that!!!! Back to baseball!!
In this post, I wanted to dissect every MLB teams ‘staples,’ briefly since 2003. A ‘staple’, as known by many who take global political economy, is a single product that defines the economic standing of a region/country of the world. For instance, the ‘old south’ of the United States had ‘cotton’ as their staple, the Maritimes of Canada has ‘fish’, and Japan has ‘electronics’. I compare this to players on current MLB teams.
Many teams have the same type of ‘staples,’ as players in their organzation. Although in past years, these players might not be the best players on their teams. In my opinion, many of them can be percieved to be accountable for a club’s success or failure.
So lets take it back, and look at the players that have stuck with their clubs since 2003 until recently!
Starting with … surprise! surprise!
Toronto Blue Jays 2003 – Roy Halladay, Alex Rios and Vernon Wells
Almost no other team is as relevant to the 2003 ‘staple’ theory than the Blue Jays. The success of the Jays hinges on these players. The BIG word regarding them however is … INJURIES!!! It is hard to argue that these three players are NOT a strong nucleus to build a team around. Many will argee that these past years have seen the Jays go through a lot of bad luck with injuries, specifically regarding these staples! In 2005, Halladay was anchoring the Jays to a serious wild card run when Kevin (flippin) Mench smacked a ball of Halladay’s ankle ruining that year. Halladay has also had some arm trouble in past years. As far as Vernon Wells, I ask what year hasn’t he cause instability in the Jays lineup because of injury? He simply is our only legitimate threat in the lineup, and he is often either on the DL, or playing not because of injury. The Alex Rios project has seen it’s share of inconsistancies. The talent is there, but for some reason, you get the feeling we haven’t seen fully what he can do in a year. He can look like he is going to hit 40 HR’s then not hit one for 2 months? So case and point, the Jays have gone as these staples have gone. Very inconsistant, because of injury and what have you. Characteristics of a slightly better than mediocre team, which is what they have shown since 2003. Too much rambling on the Jays, sorry I couldn’t help it they are my team.
Boston Red Sox 2003 – Jason Varitek, Manny Ramirez and Tim Wakefield
Ortiz did not start the 2003 season with Boston, but he was definately an early turning point for the team that won in 2004. Manny and Ortiz are what made Boston so strong! They are staples in themselves, instilling fear in the middle of that order. Without them, no 2 World Series would have been won. I would argue that life without Manny will be different for Boston, however, they are in the process creating their own ‘staples’ now with Pedoria and Youkilus. Varitek and Wakefield have been steady contributors. They give the team an identity. Varitek has arguably been the best catcher in baseball from a leadership perspective, and Wakefield might not get amazing numbers, but having him in the rotation is always something that teams and hitters have to prepare for. These staples have made Boston achieve great success since 2003. Tek and Wakefield will continue to do this, as Boston transitions out of the Manny/Ortiz (might be showing decline with injury) years.
Chicago White Sox 2003 – Paul Konerko, Joe Crede and Mark Buehrle
I’ll try to make this shorter. CWS won the World Series in 2005. They did it with great pitching that year (particularly from Buehrle). They also did it with hitting the long ball! Konerko and Crede definately exemplify that philosophy! Those players produced a ‘staple’ of success for Chicago in that year, and also last year making the playoffs. The AL Central is a tightly competitive division, so it is hard for any team to see constant prolonged success in that race.
Cleveland Indians 2003 – C.C. Sabathia, Travis Hafner and Cliff Lee
2003 was the year that these young players in Cleveland started to develop, and they did develop to guide the Indians into a 2007 playoff run (stopped by the Red Sox). Hafner has been hurt and inconsistant replacing Ellis Burks (old name) as the cleanup hitter in 2003, and Lee wasn’t that great until this year. These were strong and young ‘staples’ that helped Cleveland to a lot of success in 2007, and 2006 when they came close the playoffs. Losing Sabathia will hurt, however!
Detroit Tigers 2003 – Fernando Rodney, Brandon Inge and Nate Robertson
All these players were backups, or in the bullpen in 2003. Detroit had to reinvent themselves, and that led them to the World Series in 2006. Like I said before, in many cases these ‘staples’ may not be a team’s ‘best players’. These players all had ‘career years’ in 2006, and were great for Detroit in the playoffs. Proving my point once again, as the ‘staples’ go, so does the success of the team.
New York Yankees 2003 – Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Mariano Rivera, Hideki Matsui, Jason Giambi, Andy Pettitte, Mike Mussina
A lot of them, huh. Arguably, what has made the Yankees so successful over these years is the fact that they have these steady guys (staples) on the club! Before this season, 13 straight playoff appearances, but have fallen victim to other hot American League/National League clubs. However they do it, in 2003 they did it with Robin Ventura, Raul Mondesi and Nick Johnson also in the lineup, they do it! The look of the Yankees become quite different without the presence of many of these players.
Oakland Athletics 2003 – Mark Ellis and Eric Chavez
Hard to have a staple on a team that reinvents itself that much! In 2003, Mulder, Hudson and Zito were the strength of that team! Mark Ellis is a steady player at second base, but Chavez has been a big dissappointment for the A’s. They signed him, which is amazing for the A’s just in that fact, but it backfired as injuries have plagued him. I thought Chavez was going to be a very promising player for years to come, it looked that way. He fell off, the A’s fell off! Maybe Beane will never sign anyone to a big deal ever again!
Seattle Mariners 2003 – Ichiro Suzuki
A great ‘staple’ to begin with, although he hasn’t been as amazing as he was in some years, Ichiro is the face of the Mariners. The point here is that it is only Ichiro! He needs the support of other ‘staple’ players, to help. Edgar Martinez was there in 2003, but he was far too old already. Brett Boone looked promising, but that was all drug induced. They haven’t had solid players that they could fill positions with and call ‘staples’ in years! ‘Staples’ are what characterize the Mariners lack of success in this case.
Tampa Bay Devil Rays 2003 – Carl Crawford and Rocco Baldelli
They were the Devil Rays in 2003, so I can call them that. Crawford is an absolutely electric player on the field! Signing him to a big deal was definately the right call, and as soon as the Rays got a better supporting cast around him, they succeed. Baldelli’s injury plagued career has set the Rays back in past years. The Rays drafting with the 1st pick, has made them able to develop new ‘staples’ that they NEED to hold onto in order to succeed further. Crawford was, by far, a standout player for years before 2009.
Texas Rangers 2003 – Michael Young, Hank Blalock and Joaquin Benoit
Pretty difficult when the only solid staple on your pitching staff, is not solid or a staple at all. The Rangers can always hit and score runs, Michael Young has definately been a big part of that, but the pitching is terrible. Chan Ho Park was their ACE in 2003. Blalock looked promising, but injuries have kept him from doing anything great. The Rangers were very troubled in the years leading up to now, their ‘staples’ were not sufficent and lacking in talent, especially in the pitching staff.
Minnesota Twins 2003 – Justin Morneau
2003 was Morneau’s first year, and while he, Tori Hunter and Johan Santana were the ‘staples’ of some Twins’ playoff teams, they find themselves in the situation of having to be more cost efficient. Morneau will keep the Twins competitive in the AL Central, as they have been, but the Central is usually a toss up every year, as to who will win? Can’t argue with the Twins, they usually play great baseball every year and are in the hunt, too bad the playoffs haven’t been kind to them! “At least they make the playoffs,” says a disgruntled Blue Jay fan!
Kansas City Royals 2003 – Absolutely Nobody!
I really feel for the Royals, always having to reinvent themselves. In 2003, the Royals had Carlos Beltran, key word HAD. But even if they resigned him to be a staple, would they be any good? Probably not, is the sad answer. This is their rotation in 2003!
1. Runelvys Hernandez 2. Darrell May 3. Miguel Ascencio 4. Shawn Sedlacek 5. Chris George
Haven’t even heard, or remember, the last two guys. Sadly, those type of players have become their ‘staples’.
Baltimore Orioles 2003 – Brian Roberts, Melvin Mora and Daniel Cabrera
All these players were not in the O’s starting lineup/rotation in 2003, they were just developing. Roberts is a fine player, but the others are simply mediocre. Again, their problem exist with the pitching staff, which is very inconsistant and does not have a significant ‘staple’. They’ve been a very mediocre club and so have their ‘staples’. You can’t tell too much looking into their ‘staples’. Sidenote: ex-Blue Jays Cy Young Pat Hentgen was on the Orioles in 2003, along with other ex-Jays David Segui and Tony Batista.
Anaheim Angels 2003 – Garret Anderson, Scott Shields, Francisco Rodriguez and John Lackey
After the year the Angels won the World Series, they only have four players remaining from that era today. An excellent vetern hitter, two guys that have anchored what is arguably the best bullpen in baseball year in and year out and a very solid starting pitcher. Since 2003, the Angels have done a lot of tinkering around these guys, like adding Vlad and getting rid of Eckstien, Glaus and Erstad. However, the strength of the Angels has always been their bullpen, and you can’t think of a more solid hitter for the team, than Garret Anderson! All these guys were staples of some very good Angel clubs, that often were featured in the playoffs.
Agree? Disagree with the 2003 staple theory? The NL next post!
 Phillip Kelly, “Spaces of Labour Control: Comparative Perspectives from Southeast Asia,” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 27 no. 4 (2002): 398.
Going with the ‘Anchorman‘ theme of the last couple posts. “I’m Ron Burgandy?”. “I’m telling you Burgandy will read anything you put on that teleprompter!” Still cracks me up.
I too have a strange desire to believe and recite everything I read! A piece of news just popped up about the Manny Ramirez contract dispute with the Dodgers. This blog is not really mean’t to report the news (I’m pretty sure Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated beats me there), so here is a link and a small exerpt from the piece.
DANA POINT, Calif. — The Dodgers’ two year-offer to Manny Ramirez — believed to be for about $45 million — is very unlikely to lead to a quick deal between the sides, or perhaps any deal.
The sides are so far apart that the Blue Jays, Orioles and perhaps the Yankees and other teams likely have moved ahead of the Dodgers in terms of their chances to win the services of the mercurial superstar. Those outside teams aren’t eligible to make offers until Nov. 14, but the Dodgers have thus far failed to get a jump start on the others with a proposal so far below Ramirez’s asking price that Manny is likely thinking more seriously about outside options now.
It looks like ‘Panda Watch‘ is starting to heat up around here! Manny wants the years, and the Dodgers look unwilling to give it to him. Scott Boras, ‘the Manster’s’ agent, will get what his client wants. You can count on that. If Manny is not signed by November 14th, it looks
like my prediction of him being back with the Dodgers is in trouble.
Depending on the market, I think the Jays are in a good position to make a serious play for Manny post-Nov. 14th. The Jays desparately needed hitting last year. This might be our window of opporitunity to get some.
As far as the clubhouse and ‘on field’ ‘shenanigans’ that come with Manny, they didn’t seem to effect the Dodgers on their late push for the NL West last season. The Jays have had to suffer with the likes of a disgruntled Shea Hillenbrand, Ted Lilly, and Frank Thomas in the past. I’m sure that Cito Gaston, a great student of the baseball swing, would respect and welcome the presence of a pure vetern hitter like Manny Ramirez in the clubhouse, especially if he is hitting behind Alex Rios.
THE ‘PANDA WATCH!’ CONTINUES
An absolute heartbreaking season, so far. Other teams just feel bad for us now. The Marlins guy that reads my blog, http://marlinsin62003.mlblogs.com/, talks about ‘the poor Blue Jays’. Always so much potential, but always behind the Sox and the Yanks, except 2006 we were ahead of the Red Sox, on an off year, but we were nowhere near a playoff spot. Since the end of the 1994 Strike season, we have been kicked around and no where near in contention for a playoff spot. I’ve wasted the better part of my teenage youth dreaming about the playoffs, (I even made this in my graphic design class).
Since 1994, only these teams have not made the playoffs.
Tampa Rays (might come to an end this year)
Kansas City Royals (would hate to be them, but they are still proud)
Washington Nationals (they were the Expos)
Texas Rangers (you can’t win without pitching, they won’t understand it, even if you beat it into their head. Really great hitters THIS SEASON, probably better than they’ve ever had, which is saying something)
Milwaukee Brewers (at least they are contending this year)
The Jays should not be in the same catergory as these teams, especially with our success pre-1994.
So, now for my mid-season disappointments. Wow, okay, where do I start?
Here is an easy one. Alex Rios – signed to a big contract in the offseason and generally thought of, to be an emerging Fantasy Baseball Stud. Rios has hit only 4 homeruns and drivin in only 39 runs, in a year where we desperately need RBI’s guys. Disappointing for Blue Jays and very disappointing for the fantasy baseball people that have him. The only nice upside to Rios, this season, is that he is on pace to shatter his season high in stolen bases. He has become a ‘bigtime’ stolen base threat, something the Jays haven’t had in a while.
Lyle Overbay – It shows how bad the Blue Jays are hitting when Lyle Overbay is almost leading the team in RBIs, yet only hitting .203 with runners in scoring position and .167 with RISP and two out. Great defensively, but his numbers are definately a downgrade, especially for a first baseman. There are many much better bats out there, at that position. Eric Hinske is making Jays fans beat their head against a wall and it is disappointing, actually more like excruciating.
Vernon Wells – He has been hitting very well lately, and you can always count on him to pick it up mid-season. However, you are too injured all time. Just stop being so injured, okay. lol. That is his only disappointment.
The Closer Role – I thought that we had this locked up with B.J. Ryan, but he hasn’t been sensational and when he was injured to start the year, Accardo and company were terrible. I’m looking for a big second half from B.J, he just needs to sharpen his control and stop giving up so many walks. It is a solvable problem and I’m he can do it.
More disappointments, no there could not possibly be any more? Well there are.
John Gibbons – Not able to make this team better than a .500 ball club. Rotating relievers to see which one will lose the game for us, and messing up a lot of our hitter’s approach at the plate. Blue Jay hitters seem to be free swinging, under Cito, and it is starting to have some benefits right now.
Scott Rolen and David Eckstein – These were the two, that were suppose to come in and give us that winning mentality. That edge, if you will. They were going to get us over the .500 hump. Not the case, both are performing below their career numbers in batting average, homeruns and just about everything. Didn’t see this coming, I loved it when the Jays got these guys. Glaus has outperformed Rolen, and Eckstein is being out perform by Scutaro and even Johnny Mac right now. Eckstein is way better player than those guys, I just don’t know what has happend to him??
Kevin Mench and Brad Wilkerson – What have these guys done?? Do they make any difference to our club whatsoever? Play Mench against lefties, is all I can say (did a great job against Andy Pettite the other nite). Desparate moves by J.P. that hurt us and set back guys like Lind.
J.P. Ricciardi – He knows that he is a disappointment because he takes full blame for the teams performance. That is a good thing. I rate him as an average G.M., taking too many risks on vetern players, is probably his greatest downfall. He has made some good moves and he has also made some bad ones, he has put together good teams (there is something to be said for that) but not great ones. Shame, because he will probably be gone before he gets to see the guys he drafted in recent years. The Jays have apparently drafted very well the last couple of years. Call up Brett Cecil now!!!
I’m ending the disappointment section now, because it is starting to make me depressed. Let me just name a bunch of guys, and Jays fans will know what I am talking about. Aaron Hill, Shawn Camp, David Purcey (for his one start, lol, kinda unfair), Frank Thomas (for his time), Shannon Stewart (bad Ricciardi move).
‘Mighty’ Joe Inglett – Great pick-up, like we already have enough middle infielders. I am appointing Inglett to a back-up role and definately a spot on the squad for some years to come. Maybe he will start down the road, who knows? Hill was also a early season disappointment, so Inglett could make a case for that position, who knows?
Adam Lind – The absolute best thing Cito has done, is giving this guy full-time starts. He was killing the International League, and someone doing that, deserves to be in the majors. He had a 0 for 19 start, just bad luck for John Gibbons? Or bad coaching? Who knows? All I know is that Adam Lind can hit and he is definately an upgrade from Shannon Stewart and even Reed Johnson. I’m willing to bet that he hits over .300 in the second half.
Roy Halladay – You are the best pitcher in the American League. If you could get some more run support this season, you would be starting the All-Star game and easily on your way to being the Cy Young in 2008. When Halladay is on his game, he is very fun to watch. I would not give, a guy like that, up for anything. He still has many good years in him and I say the Jays ride it out. You just can’t make a good trade for a player like Halladay, whoever you get in return, would just not be good enough. I know his value is high, but I would not be willing to take the risk of trading him. If it weren’t for Kevin Mench in 2004, he would have taken us to the playoffs. He is a huge asset for a team that wants to be a winner, no way we could get rid of him and watch him succeed elsewhere. Anyone but him, period. Makes me mad. Sorry, to all you that want to trade him while his value is high.
The AMAZING Pitching Rotation (I still question) – Marcum is the real deal, he can really frustrate hitters. McGowan has great stuff and will be a solid pitcher, but I don’t expect All Star numbers from him. A.J. Burnett is A.J. Burnett, a 16-14, 15-15 pitcher, streaky but no team wants to catch him on a hot streak. Jesse Litsch, sorry to say but I thing he is pitching a little over his head right now. Hitters are starting to catch onto him and he has to be careful. How bout John Parish? “Comeback player of the year”, was also killing the International League, a good fallback for injuries and Jesse Litsch.