Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Spring Is In the Air

Ok, well maybe not in Ottawa where it's currently 2 Celsius, but everywhere I look I see signs of baseball's return (again, not in Ottawa). The purpose of this post isn't to offer you my Blue Jays Season Forecast (I won't go so far as to call it a preview - calling it a forecast gives me as much leeway as a weatherman's predictions), but rather to plug a fantastic blog I've been reading the past couple weeks.

It's called Inside the Majors, and it's written by former Toronto Blue Jays Assistant General Manager Bart Given (that's a lot of CAPS). There's a tonne of great insight from a front office perspective - stuff you wouldn't see from beat reporters or other media sources.

I've added it to my Points of Interest for your to peruse, but a couple of posts that I particularly enjoyed were Second Guessing Managerial Decisions, which lifts the veil of secrecy on a Jim Fregosi "decision" from a few years ago, and You Be The GM - Travis Snider (pictured above). From the former:

After the game the media asked Fregosi about the move, and he replied with a statement along the line of “Sometimes the players make the decisions for you.”

No one presses him on it.

Well after the game, I found out the whole story.

It turns out Fregosi had no intention of hitting for Fullmer, but he never showed and none of the staff could find him in the clubhouse. I’m not sure exactly where he was, but knowing the ultra-intense Fullmer - he was likely waggling a bat somewhere working on his swing.

And from the latter:

A MLB player becomes eligible for free agency once he has amassed six full seasons of service time. If Snider breaks camp with the Blue Jays, he is on schedule to become a free agent after the 2014 season. If optioned until May 15, he wouldn’t have the ability to become a free agent until after the 2015 season. Isn’t six weeks of not having Snider in 2009 worth having him for six months in 2015?

It's rare to get such candor from a front-office type. As a fan, it's refreshing to get a look inside the nuts and bolts. Now that I've distracted you, I need to get to work on my "forecast".