Monday Morning Links

Happy Thanksgiving. 

Alex Anthopoulos continues his revamping of the Jays front office by hiring Dana Brown to be his special assistant. Brown worked with Anthopoulos in Montreal and was the amateur scouting director for the Nationals. I guess, with all the changes he has made already, we don't have to worry that Alex is just filling the role until a new team president is named. He is not just in a holding pattern.

MLB Trade Rumors has an "Offseason Outlook" on the Blue Jays. If you are interested in who we have under contract and for how much, take a look there. They ask a question I've been wondering about:

I've been operating under the assumption the Blue Jays will attempt to compete in 2010 and will therefore keep Halladay.  If so, their rotation appears deep.  But is it crazy to think the Jays could trade Doc and put themselves in a better position for 2010?  Perhaps Anthopoulos could build the trade around a Major League-ready catcher or shortstop as well as a high-quality young starting pitcher.

Joe Posnanski liked Terry Francona's decision to walk Torii Hunter to pitch to Vlad Guerrero about as much as I did. He has 7 reasons why it was a bad move. My favorite bit: 

Here was Francona’s explanation for making the move: Torii Hunter was three for seven against Papelbon with a homer. Guerrero was one for 11.

Now, as tempting as it is to believe that certain hitters have advantages over certain pitchers — and vice versa — there is precious little data to actually back this up. Yes, there’s plenty of PAST data. We can look at previous numbers. We can know that Hunter has had more success against Papelbon than Guerrero, relatively speaking. But there are quite a few studies out there that show, pretty persuasively, that this tells us nothing about how those two will do against Papelbon in the future. Nothing.

The reason? Sample size. Sample size. Sample size. Sample size. I will readily admit, I need to remind myself about this all the time — like most baseball fans I have the nagging habit to try and find trends and truths in a few games, a few at-bats, a few things I happened to see. It’s human nature.

But even I know that 3-for-7 means LESS THAN NOTHING. One for 11 means LESS THAN NOTHING. 

But managers keep doing that, thinking that a handful of at bats really means something. Maybe it is because TV commentators keep telling us that.

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