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Saturday Bantering: Jays links

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MLB: Spring Training-Pittsburgh Pirates at Toronto Blue Jays Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Saturday. I’m looking forward to tonight’s game 7. It has been a very good series. The Astros disappointed me. Of course, I wonder what would have happened if the fan interference call went the other way.

Jon Lott has his second in a series of looking at ways the Blue Jays are trying to fix their deficiencies by working on them in the minor leagues. The other day he had a very interesting story on improving defense. Today is it is about improving baserunning. It is in the Athletic, so there is a subscription fee, but this series alone makes the fee a bargain.

John mentions that Lansing led all the minors with 203 stolen bases. But steals are only part part of the story. They are trying to emphasis putting pressure on the pitcher, moving up on balls in the dirt and going first to third.

“We took pride in Lansing in putting pressure on the defence and making them make plays and making them make errors trying to slow us down,” Kevin Smith said. “And credit to our manager, Cesar Martín. He would tell us every day that he wanted us to be aggressive, and if we got thrown out, we got thrown out.

They want the players to be aggressive, feeling that they will learn from being thrown out. Be aggressive and learn from the miss

Smith stole 29 bases this year. He talked about watching his faster teammates and noticing they took longer leads, and were willing to just barely make it back on pickoff attempts, while he always got back easily, often standing up. So he pushed his lead, to make it as close as it could getting back on pickoffs.

I’m glad the Jays are focusing more on this and on defense.

Also in the Athletic, not a Blue Jays story, but Marc Carig has a profile of Thomas Meindel, the man who came up with the Brewers logo. It’s a good story, but the part that got me:

“Somebody pointed it out to me in college. I was in college and somebody finally pointed out that it was an M and a B,” he said. “I was like ‘oh my god, that’s amazing!’ So it made you love it even more. It was always your favorite logo.”

It is an M and a B.....Things I never noticed.

And then this bit. The Brewers franchise started life as the Seattle Pilots. Bud Selig bought them out of bankruptcy and moved them to Milwaukee:

Selig intended to honor the original minor-league Milwaukee Brewers by changing the new team’s colors to navy and red. But the move had been so hastily arranged, there was no time to order new uniforms. He was forced to make due with the Pilots’ yellow and blue color scheme. As the club prepared its move to the Midwest, equipment managers simply ripped the old lettering off the jerseys and caps and sewed on replacements. To this day, jerseys from that first Brewers season are recognizable by the faint stitch outline of the word Pilots beneath the block letters that read Brewers. While it was too late to change colors, Selig honored the minor-league Brewers by incorporating the Beer Barrel Man logo, which dated back to the 1940s. The team’s caps featured a generic block M.

Ben Nicholson-Smith profiles Joe Espada, one of the finalists in the manager search.

None of the Blue Jays’ four known finalists have managed in the majors, but Espada does have relevant experience as a bench coach and winter league manager.

Plus, the Blue Jays openly admire the way the Astros and Rays provide players with useful in-game information. Those clubs are “a little bit ahead of the curve” in Ross Atkins’ view, and Espada’s contributions will only help his candidacy.

I do like that he has been a bench coach and he speaks Spanish, which doesn’t hurt.

If you missed it the Blue Jays have posted a job opening: Analyst, Baseball Research

If you wanted to get into baseball and you have strong computing and math skills, this would be a good place to start.

Design, test, implement and maintain advanced baseball metrics and predictive models using statistical techniques in order to contribute to strategy and decisions across all departments within Baseball Operations.

I’ll admit I enjoyed this more than I should have:

Couldn’t happen to a better guy.

Marcus Stroman (and Mike Trout) get an honor:

Marcus Stroman and Mike Trout were picked to be the best Dynamic Duo, combined by HS Class, out of the thousands of elite players who have participated in the PG WWBA World Championship. They are just two of the 14,659 alumnus to receive a scholarship offer, two out of the 4,912 players to be selected in the MLB Draft, and two out of the 719 players who have logged time in the MLB.