Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Daily Hot Stove Wrap Up 11/20

Quote of the Day

"We had a great club before this, but now we have an elite club." 

~ Jose Bautista, who may want to remind himself that he still plays in the AL East.  

Hey guys and gals, I'm back for Tuesday's Hot Stove update and just finished drinking my third cup of coffee.  

Did you know it takes about a day to thaw out a frozen turkey?  Better grab them today and set them in the fridge because Thanksgiving is two days away.  

In today's hot stove we have a new manager for the Blue Jays (hint: it wasn't anyone that we mentioned), a new team for Jeremy Guthrie, and some guys named Fujikawa and Nakajima are looking for MLB employment.

Also, the latest news on Josh Hamilton, Bud Black gets a raise(?) or something, some players you've probably never heard of sign with teams you don't follow and we finally find out what Tommy is thankful for (it's not Starlin Castro's defense, if you're wondering).  

Everyone, enjoy the November 20th Hot Stove Update and be thankful for baseball this week. 

Is it just me or is Black Friday getting waaay too commercialized?

  • It's John Gibbons, not anyone else we talked about (of course), who was hired last night as the new manager of the Toronto Blue Jays.  It's redemption for John Gibbons who was exactly 305-305 in his first go-around with the club from 2004-2008.
  • Gibbons had a rocky tenure with the Jays but a solid relationship with current GM Alex Anthopoulos which was probably a factor into his hire.  What apparently did not factor into his hire is his reputation for being a manager who fights players.  Gibbons twice had run-ins with this players, first getting into a fracas with SP Ted Lilly and publicly challenging Shea Hillenbrand.
  • I said a few days ago that the Blue Jays would be one of the most exciting teams in baseball to watch and with Gibbons, now they are going to officially be the most exciting team in baseball to watch.   Imagine Jose Reyes scoring on a Emilio Bonifacio suicide-squeeze while John Gibbons, Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista all get into a fist fight over who bats cleanup.  Meanwhile Josh Johnson throws a beanball...at his own dugout to break up the fight?  The bench clears and we have the first same-team brawl on the field while the Orioles or some opponent sit in the dugout watching in disbelief.  Oh my God, can you imagine it!?!?!  They might as well get Carlos Zambrano to be the closer, Ozzie Guillen to be the bench coach and The Undertaker to be the DH to top it off.  This is gonna be a fun Blue Jays team to watch, with a bunch of exciting, colorful players both on and off the field.
  • Other candidates in consideration were Jim Tracy, Mike Hargrove, Manny Acta, and Don Wakamatsu to name a few.  The Jays had also contacted Bobby Cox but the long-time Braves skipper chose to remain retired.  
  • Has any team had a crazier off-season.  In less than a week, the Blue Jays went from the worst team the the AL East not-named-Boston (suck on that Red Sox) to...
  1.    Gained five new players on the roster, three of them All-Stars
  2.    Signed a suspended, steroid-using outfielder
  3.    Hired a player-fighting manager
  • Congrats Blue Jays, you win this weeks: "Ozzie Guillen Award" for the most 'colorful' week.  
  • Jeremy Guthrie is off the market as the right-hander agreed in principle to a three-year contract with the Royals.  By re-signing a pitcher with a 6.35 ERA and 21 home runs allowed in 90 2/3 innings (though most of his season was at Coors Field), expect this to be the biggest single thing that happens to the Royals this off-season.  
Get familiar with this name: Kyuji Fujikawa.  Japan's best closer has already met with five teams.  The Dodgers, Angels, Orioles, Cubs and D-Backs are all teams that have expressed interest.  A quick Wikipedia search, shows that Fujikawa has been pretty dang good.  He is looking for a multi-year deal and since he's a free agent, he won't have to go through the normal posting process.  
  • The other hot Japanese dude on the market (there I go with innuendo again) is SS Hiroyuki Nakajima.  The 30-year-old would be a great fit in Arizona to replace the departed Stephen Drew and apparently is already in talks with GM Kevin Towers.  Nakajima actually went through the posting process when the Yankees won his bid in 2011, but he chose to stay in Japan.  Yes everyone, Japan > New York.  Good career move. 
  • Padres manager Bud Black gets a sort of extension as San Diego picks up their club option for 2014 and 2015.  Black won Manager of the Year in 2010 and despite a 464-509 record in six years, most of those losses came in years where the Padres had the roster-equivalent of a Double A club.  Hopefully the Padres can improve under Black's leadership a few more years.  
  • Josh Hamilton = nothing new.  I'll raise my caffeinated drink to toast that.
  • Nick Evans to the Dodgers, Felix Pie to the Pirates, Matt Carson and Cedric Hunter to the Indians, and Bobby Korecky to the Blue Jays.  If you care about these players, you're probably family and already know.  If you still care about these players you are officially addicted to baseball and beyond saving.  Still, here's Google to help you find out more.  
 Ryan Raburn has been released by the Tigers.  Raburn started the year at 2B for Detroit where he managed to become literally the worst statistical second baseman and took over the crown as Detroit's Favorite Whipping Boy, once held by Brandon Inge, currently held by Papa Grande.  

Hopefully he lands a spot somewhere in the minors, really nice guy but not the best major league player.  
  • Utility player Robert Andino has been acquired by the Mariners in a trade with Baltimore for OF Trayvon Robinson.  While both are approximate Mendoza Line hitters, Andino may have more value because he can play practically anywhere.  Probably a salary-related move.  Moving on...

And you've been waiting for it....

Thanksgiving Week What I'm Thankful For (in baseball) 


"As a die-hard Cubs fan, there isn’t really much to be thankful for, but luckily I was able to pick out a few things.  I’m thankful for Jedstein.  Maybe these baseball “geniuses” can finally bring a World Series to Chicago.  I’m thankful for the year 2015.  The Cubs have to be good by then, right?  

I’m thankful that Starlin Castro was never officially charged with raping that girl.  Seriously, could you imagine this team without Castro?  I’m thankful that dreamboat Anthony Rizzo got traded to the Cubs.  Not only will he be the Cubs’ first baseman for years to come, but he also has the same number that I wore in college.  

I’m thankful for Matt Garza’s dugout antics.  I’ve personally seen him yell at opposing players and do the YMCA, all from the top step of the dugout.  I’m thankful for Jeff Samardzija’s hair, mostly because it takes a lot of the attention away from his face.  I’m thankful for David Dejesus signing with the Cubs, not just because he played pretty well last year, but also because his wife is REALLY hot.  

And last but not least I’m thankful for Ron Santo finally getting into the Hall of Fame.  It’s about damn time, it’s just a shame that it took so long and that he wasn’t around to enjoy it."  

True words Tommy, someone I think every Cubs fan and baseball fan misses dearly.  No Kate Upton today, just take time today to remember Ronnie, until tomorrow baseball fans: