Friday, January 29, 2010

Delgado and Damon...again.

Last night's state of the franchise seems to have re-ignited the speculation around Carlos Delgado and Johnny Damon possibly coming to Toronto this year.

This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone, but I'm officially throwing myself into Johnny Damon's corner. In my last entry I outlined most of my reasons for liking Damon as a Blue Jay, so right now I'll focus on the reasons that I don't like the Delgado option.

Cito has gone on record as having lobbied for Delgado to return, but I don't fully understand why. Sure, the guy can probably still hit, and he's likely to add some more clout to the middle of the order, but I don't believe that there's any reason to be focusing on middle of the order talent at this point. Hill and Lind look great at three and four, and a bounce back year from either Wells, Encarnacion, or both, should give us everything we need in the heart of the order. And that's not even touching on the seemingly endless potential that Travis Snider could tap into at any moment now, or that Lyle Overbay is still floating around for some reason.

That being said, I am in no way against adding to the middle of the line-up, I just don't think that it should be a priority while we're still without a bonafide lead off type hitter. Especially since there's a very good one still on the market.

Now, I said in my last entry that stats were a secondary reason for my desire to have the Blue Jays land Damon. This is also true of my hesitation about the possibility of acquiring Delgado.

I never thought that Carlos was the leader we needed in Toronto the last time he was here, and although he doesn't necessarily have to fill as big a leadership role on the current incarnation of the Blue Jays I would still expect him to bring in a certain amount of veteran poise to the team, and to mentor some of the younger players. I simply don't think that he's got the character to do this with even half the effect that a player like Damon will accomplish. Although Delgado's accomplishments are nothing to scoff at, he isn't wearing two World Series rings, and he's only been to the post-season once.

Compare this with Damon's seven trips in the past nine seasons and his stellar reputation as a clubhouse superstar and Delgado suddenly seems like an alright second option at best. I still feel very strongly the culture of winning is extremely important, and severely lacking on a talented Blue Jays roster. Damon certainly seems like a better option if we expect to have this culture grow.

Also - I'll mention it again - Johnny could grow back his beard, of which I am a big fan.


  1. Overbay is still kicking around because all the contenders already have first basemen. I was hopeful for a little while with Seattle, but there were enough free agent first basemen that they didn't need to give up anyone to acquire. But while he's still on the team I'll certainly take his .370+ OBP and his line drive power, not even mentioning his defense.

    I'm hearing speculation that, even were the Jays to bring in Damon, Gaston still wants Bautista in right field full time. Which is crazy. Gaston also confuses Accardo with Janssen (which explains that 'Accardo as a starter' nonsense we heard last year), is unsure where he wants Brandon Morrow, and speculates batting Gonzalez's .280 OBP second behind Bautista. Conclusion? Cito is a senile old man. Why did they hire him again?

  2. I'd be happy to see Overbay traded for a bag of practice balls.

  3. Cito should not be allowed to speak at these events. He tries to instill a false hope in fans, and empty promises of signing guys like Carlos Delgado.

    He shouldn't rile fans up like that, when AA knows damn well that they aren't signing Carlos.

  4. @JMac - then you're crazy. Overbay is a good player and I would be happy to see him on the team the entire year. He's also within spitting distance of being a Type B free agent (only a few players between him and the distinction), which would net the Jays a supplemental pick in the 2011 draft, much better than a bag of balls. But then, we've had this conversation before and you're a tough man to convince.

    @Ian The problem is that the casual fan still has a lot of faith in Cito and cares more about his opinion than Alex or Paul's. When I mentioned to my parents than Cito would not be back after this year, they thought that was a horrible thing. He's still the hero in their eyes.

  5. Apparently baseball has been introduced to the Planet of the Apes. I now understand why JMac likes the-hair-and-beard version of Damon.

  6. I know that Overbay is capable of putting up good numbers, as he shows us in fits and starts every year. When it comes right down to it, though, he doesn't put the ball into play with enough consistency, or, I guess, reliability to hit anywhere higher in the order than he does. As a result of this he ended last year with a great OBP, but it didn't turn into either RBI's of runs scored.

    He ended up seventh on the team in RBI's per plate appearance. That just doesn't cut it for a guy in the middle of the batting order.

    More telling though, since OBP is supposed to be his saving grace, is his number of runs scored per plate appearance. Of Blue Jays who had more than 100 plate appearances last year only Chavez, Millar, Rios, and Barajas had lower runs scored per plate appearance averages.

    Granted, the run scoring average can be attributed to the idea that Overbay should be hitting higher in the order with the kind of OBP numbers that he puts up, but it's hard to do that when he's so unreliable putting the ball in play. Only Ruiz, Snider, and Bautista had a higher strike out per plate appearance ratio last season.

    I guess I'd be happy if he started hitting in the nine hole...then I won't expect RBI's for him and we can get a guy on base more often for the top of the order. Of course, Cito apparently wants to lead off with one of the only guys who strikes out more often, so who knows.