Good morning, y'all. I'm celebrating the fact that we still have power with a Thursday early morning post.
The Star's Richard Griffin has a great interview with Jays third-base coach and infield guru Brian Butterfield. Butters talks about the Jays' lack of speed on the basepaths, the changing of the front-office guard, and the Jays' potential leadoff and #2 hitters (without mentioning any names):
"Cito is real concerned with guys being comfortable," Butterfield said. "It's important. If a guy doesn't feel comfortable in leadoff or the two-hole, you have to take that into consideration. All we're trying to do is put guys in positions where they can have the most success."
The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of batting Encarnacion #2 against lefties and Overbay #2 against righties. Of course, this doesn't solve the leadoff hitter problem. But I remember Gibbons hitting Overbay #2 for a while and Overbay not taking to it. Likely that is some of what Butterfield is talking about here. What I know is that I don't want to "waste" Overbay's abiility to reach base by batting him 7th against righties like we did last season, in front of a couple of out machines.
Anyway, Butterfield also talks to Griffin about whether he has interest in filling the managerial vacancy that will be left by Gaston's move to consultant after 2010:
"Things change," the 52-year-old Butterfield explained. "You mature. It intrigues me to think about the possibilities of one day handling the full group. I think I could have fun with it. I know I am prepared, but I don't spend a lot of time thinking about it. I'm immersed in my responsibility. You try to let your body of work be your agent, and the thing I've always hoped for is that a certain set of eyes would appreciate that body of work and it might lead to something at the next level."
Certainly sounds like he is throwing his hat in the ring.
I also really enjoyed this Jordan Bastian piece on Ricky Romero:
Midway through December, though, Romero and a large group of his friends met up for lunch at a restaurant near his home in California. While they swapped stories and dined, the TVs in the bar began airing a news conference from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
Roy Halladay -- the longtime ace of the Blue Jays -- had been traded to the Phillies. Romero and his buddies watched Halladay hold up his new white home jersey with red pinstripes. They saw Doc smiling as he tried on a bright red hat and listened as Romero's former teammate talked about his new opportunity with Philadelphia.
It did not take long for Romero's friends to connect the dots.
"They all kind of looked at me and said, 'Well, it looks like you're going to be the new ace,'" Romero recalled. "I just started laughing."
"Do I consider myself an ace?" Romero said during a phone conversation this week. "Obviously not."
Bastian uses the example to talk about the open question that is the Jays' 2010 rotation, as well as the young talent that came back in the Halladay trade and who will serve as a mentor for them the way that Doc mentored young Jays' pitchers for years. Romero also relayed this funny story about Doc:
Thinking back to Toronto's final days of the 2009 season, Romero chuckles.
"I remember after his last start, Doc said, 'That's it. I'm not working out. I'm done,'" Romero said. "The next day, he's in the weight room and I was like, 'What are you doing? You're not pitching anymore.' He said, 'I got bored.'"
Some other tidbits:
- Mike Wilner clarified what has been a source of confusion on his site and on this site as well - David Purcey is not out of options.
- The Drunks fret about the G20 summit throwing a wrench in Roy Halladay's return to T-dot. I love me some Doc, fellas, but the world economy is sort of a big deal right now, too.
- Jeff Blair doesn't truck with people criticizing the Kevin Gregg signing:
he’s value shopping, adding a serviceable arm with some track record at a low price. Gregg will not be anywhere near the ninth inning when the Blue Jays are playing meaningful games.
I agree with the last sentence, but I'm not really seeing the "value" here. At best, you're paying about market value for a relief pitcher, which isn't typically a great idea. More importantly, Gregg may be taking late-inning opportunities from guys like Josh Roenicke who could be near the ninth inning when the Blue Jays are playing meaningful games.
- As Tom mentioned in the comments yesterday, Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports reports that the Jays are interested in Endy Chavez. Chavez is historically a fantastic defender at all three outfield positions, but he is coming off ACL surgery and is 32 so whether he can continue to be such a strong defender is in question. And the Jays already have two younger left-handed, all-glove, no-bat options in Jeremy Reed and Joey Gathright.
What say you, fellow banterers?