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Re: Big Hurt Released

Postby The Jury » Mon Apr 21, 2008 6:44 pm

kimchi_chigae wrote:I fail to understand how releasing Frank Thomas improves the team. Using Rod Barajas as a DH is hardly an improvement. Instead of telling Thomas that he's going to be benched for an undetermined amount of time and therefore making Thomas raise questions about the legitimacy of move through the media, the Jays could have given him a day off or two, maybe platoon him with Matt Stairs and not release the guy this early in the season. Thomas got off to a slow start last season, he also got off to a slow start in 06, and still put up good numbers. I don't doubt Frank Thomas is done, but not giving him a chance to turn his season around is not the best move IMO. If the organization is worried about winning now, $10M for Thomas next year, shouldn't be an issue. Instead of paying him $10M next year, they are paying him $6.5M this year for him not to play.

Using Matt Stairs as the full-time DH isn't improving the offense because of the ridiculous situation Ricciardi has created in the LF. Shannon Stewart can't play everyday because his body just won't hold up anymore, not to mention he isn't even an ideal platoon player because he hits righties and lefties equally. Because Stewart can't play everyday and Stairs is DH'ing, the Jays have to use Scutaro and Inglett in the LF, which is far from ideal. Now, they could call up Adam Lind and have him platoon with Stewart, but that has nothing to do with releasing Thomas. Frank could still platoon with Stairs at DH and if they felt they should have give Stairs more ABs, play him at 1B instead of Lyle Overbay every once in a while, Overbay isn't doing much either.

Releasing Thomas means more playing time for guys like Marco Scutaro and Joe Inglett until Adam Lind gets called up, he is currently nursing a sore neck in Syracuse. Suddenly the Jays offense is looking a lot weaker than in the beginning of the season, which is pretty bad considering the lineup wasn't very strong to begin with.


Methinks this move was as much about the clubhouse as it was Frankie's performance.
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Re: Big Hurt Released

Postby mweir145 » Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:21 pm

bdrotoronto wrote:I think he was only including the ones who have been overwhelming busts. :-b Could've added the choice of Shannon Stewart over Reed Johnson this year if you want to include more.

The jury is out on that one, but it seems to make more sense now that they have gotten rid of Thomas (which I believe was their plan all along this year).

In the end, Mookie's conclusion (i.e. JP's whole tenure has been a failure and he has no clue how to manage this organization) is sound, I've been saying the same thing since at least 2005.

I don't think JP Ricciardi has been a great GM, but he also isn't the absolute failure you paint him as. That said, I wouldn't be agaisnt a change.


NB: the Star today ranked their 5 worst FA signings in Jays history.. three of them from the JP era.. :-t http://www.thestar.com/Sports/Baseball/article/416532

You can't seriously have just cited Richard Griffin? 8-o

Did you even read the article??

An excerpt:
With yesterday's release of Thomas, the Jays effectively gave him $18.12 million (all figures U.S.) for 696 plate appearances that produced 157 hits, 29 homers and 106 RBIs, with a .266 average. Yes, he reached base 100 times on walks and hit-by-pitch, but most times that was just clogging the basepaths.

He even refers to clogging the bases a few paragraphs later as well. He's taken shots at stats guys before, but wow. It was certainly no accident that he used that term.

Erik Hanson is definitely their worst signing (at least in my memory of the team, there could have been worse in the '80s, I wasn't alive then). Frank Thomas did produce pretty much as expected last year, and actually was the team's best hitter in terms of OPS. It's not exactly his fault the team released him after a 10 day slump.

Oh, and AJ Burnett definitely doesn't deserve to be on that list, either.
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Re: Big Hurt Released

Postby mweir145 » Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:22 pm

The Jury wrote:
kimchi_chigae wrote:I fail to understand how releasing Frank Thomas improves the team. Using Rod Barajas as a DH is hardly an improvement. Instead of telling Thomas that he's going to be benched for an undetermined amount of time and therefore making Thomas raise questions about the legitimacy of move through the media, the Jays could have given him a day off or two, maybe platoon him with Matt Stairs and not release the guy this early in the season. Thomas got off to a slow start last season, he also got off to a slow start in 06, and still put up good numbers. I don't doubt Frank Thomas is done, but not giving him a chance to turn his season around is not the best move IMO. If the organization is worried about winning now, $10M for Thomas next year, shouldn't be an issue. Instead of paying him $10M next year, they are paying him $6.5M this year for him not to play.

Using Matt Stairs as the full-time DH isn't improving the offense because of the ridiculous situation Ricciardi has created in the LF. Shannon Stewart can't play everyday because his body just won't hold up anymore, not to mention he isn't even an ideal platoon player because he hits righties and lefties equally. Because Stewart can't play everyday and Stairs is DH'ing, the Jays have to use Scutaro and Inglett in the LF, which is far from ideal. Now, they could call up Adam Lind and have him platoon with Stewart, but that has nothing to do with releasing Thomas. Frank could still platoon with Stairs at DH and if they felt they should have give Stairs more ABs, play him at 1B instead of Lyle Overbay every once in a while, Overbay isn't doing much either.

Releasing Thomas means more playing time for guys like Marco Scutaro and Joe Inglett until Adam Lind gets called up, he is currently nursing a sore neck in Syracuse. Suddenly the Jays offense is looking a lot weaker than in the beginning of the season, which is pretty bad considering the lineup wasn't very strong to begin with.


Methinks this move was as much about the clubhouse as it was Frankie's performance.

Suddenly Frank Thomas has been painted as a clubhouse cancer, and I'm not too sure why.
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Re: Big Hurt Released

Postby hwiggen » Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:29 pm

As much as I like Frank, he does have a bit of a reputation as a malcontent. Ozzie Guillen and Ken Williams had a lot of negative things to say about Frank after he left for Oakland.
I think Thomas has had some money problems, too (at least that's the impression I get from the Chicago sports media) so I'm thinking he's a little over sensitive about money issues.
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Re: Big Hurt Released

Postby bdrotoronto » Mon Apr 21, 2008 11:33 pm

mweir145 wrote:
bdrotoronto wrote:I think he was only including the ones who have been overwhelming busts. :-b Could've added the choice of Shannon Stewart over Reed Johnson this year if you want to include more.

The jury is out on that one, but it seems to make more sense now that they have gotten rid of Thomas (which I believe was their plan all along this year).

In the end, Mookie's conclusion (i.e. JP's whole tenure has been a failure and he has no clue how to manage this organization) is sound, I've been saying the same thing since at least 2005.

I don't think JP Ricciardi has been a great GM, but he also isn't the absolute failure you paint him as. That said, I wouldn't be agaisnt a change.


NB: the Star today ranked their 5 worst FA signings in Jays history.. three of them from the JP era.. :-t http://www.thestar.com/Sports/Baseball/article/416532

You can't seriously have just cited Richard Griffin? 8-o

Did you even read the article??

An excerpt:
With yesterday's release of Thomas, the Jays effectively gave him $18.12 million (all figures U.S.) for 696 plate appearances that produced 157 hits, 29 homers and 106 RBIs, with a .266 average. Yes, he reached base 100 times on walks and hit-by-pitch, but most times that was just clogging the basepaths.

He even refers to clogging the bases a few paragraphs later as well. He's taken shots at stats guys before, but wow. It was certainly no accident that he used that term.

Erik Hanson is definitely their worst signing (at least in my memory of the team, there could have been worse in the '80s, I wasn't alive then). Frank Thomas did produce pretty much as expected last year, and actually was the team's best hitter in terms of OPS. It's not exactly his fault the team released him after a 10 day slump.

Oh, and AJ Burnett definitely doesn't deserve to be on that list, either.


I dunno, I think Griffin is a fine source, he's been following the team regularly for years and often has some interesting opinions about what they're doing. Actually, a lot of what he said about Thomas in that article is the same sort of stuff I had said about him here a day before. :-D

At the end of the day, Thomas brought a lot of negatives to the team (e.g. the position inflexibility) that don't get captured in the stats. And the stats do not reflect that the Jays' season was lost for good last year in April and May, during which Thomas was brutal. His immobility and inability to play defence hindered the team. Yes we all knew that was going to be the case from the beginning.. but the blame for belongs with JP for signing the guy to a contract that a lot of people never thought could be justified from the beginning. The $10M player option just makes the contract infinitely worse, since it is likely the primary reason they released him now rather than giving him more AB's to snap out of things. A good GM wouldn't give his flexibility away just to sign a guy in the first place.. it is so much like the way JFJ gave all those no-trade clauses to overpriced Leafs past their expiry dates, that crippled that team too.

Mookie started a good list of moves JP's done that haven't panned out.. I think he's totally correct that the negatives outweigh the positives. Even moves that look good on paper are questionably timed.. like signing Molina last minute for big $ after suggeting Zaun had the starting job.. then trying to give Barajas the starting job last winter before getting turned down and having to go gack to Zaun. Then giving McDonald a nice contract this year (suggesting he had a F-T role) and then going out and signing Eckstein and Scutaro. How can you get respect from the players doing that. The revolving door at 3B has been humorous (big contract to Hinske, then big contract to Koskie, then Hillenbrand, etc.) And the whole fiasco with BJ Ryan last year, you can't trust a word that comes out of his mouth. For years the big excuse was that they didn't have enough $ for salary to compete.. now that the payroll is significantly larger, it still makes no difference the way he spends it indiscriminately. Then there are just his whole 'theories' of never stealing bases or bunting and waiting for HR's, which I think for a long time (until this year thank god) made the team less exciting and more predictable and offensively challenged. And there were also the Hillenbrand and Lilly incidents, where the team looked like a joke; even if Gibbons was the one on the front lines, JP was still the guy in charge during all of that and he explicitly endorsed it.

Bottom line is this is JP's 7th year, this has been completely his team for a few years, the Jays have not made the playoffs, heck they haven't even been in a September playoff race for that matter, many of their big-$ moves have been failures, they have not drafted well (as noted their farm system is regarded among the worst), and on top of that on a number of occasions now they have looked like absolute clueless morons. When this team was winning they never had an organizational culture like that; heck, even in the Gord Ash years they lost a lot but they were still generally respected for the way they conducted their business. This current group can't even seem able to achieve that much. By any standard that one would use to evaluate the quality of how an individual runs an organization, I don't see how JP's tenure can be considered anything less than a failure at this point. What has the organization done well since he's been around?.. I honestly have difficulty pinpointing it.
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Re: Big Hurt Released

Postby mweir145 » Tue Apr 22, 2008 5:58 am

bdrotoronto wrote:I dunno, I think Griffin is a fine source, he's been following the team regularly for years and often has some interesting opinions about what they're doing. Actually, a lot of what he said about Thomas in that article is the same sort of stuff I had said about him here a day before. :-D

So you would say walks are a bad thing for someone like Frank Thomas? Who are you, really? Dusty Baker? :-b

At the end of the day, Thomas brought a lot of negatives to the team (e.g. the position inflexibility) that don't get captured in the stats. And the stats do not reflect that the Jays' season was lost for good last year in April and May, during which Thomas was brutal.

The Jays lost their season last year early because of injuries and terrible pitching, not because of Frank Thomas.

His immobility and inability to play defence hindered the team. Yes we all knew that was going to be the case from the beginning.. but the blame for belongs with JP for signing the guy to a contract that a lot of people never thought could be justified from the beginning. The $10M player option just makes the contract infinitely worse, since it is likely the primary reason they released him now rather than giving him more AB's to snap out of things. A good GM wouldn't give his flexibility away just to sign a guy in the first place.. it is so much like the way JFJ gave all those no-trade clauses to overpriced Leafs past their expiry dates, that crippled that team too.

Fair enough. But Frank Thomas still was basically what the Jays expected him to be last year. He did pretty much exactly what they were paying him for.

Mookie started a good list of moves JP's done that haven't panned out..

Actually, it looks like Mookie just listed practically every move he's ever made, without much regard as to whether it ended well for the team. If I remember correctly, both Fullmer and Mondesi were salary dumps. The Felipe Lopez trade looked pretty bad a few years ago, but he isn't even an adequate starter at the major league level anymore. The Shannon Stewart was basically a salary dump, where we got Bobby Kielty, who we moved to get Ted Lilly, an obvious success. We came out WAY ahead on Mark Hendrickson for Justin Speier. Then, it's not like either Josh Phelps or Eric Crozier panned out. Chad Gaudin for Dustin Majewski...yeah I'm still not sure why they let him go for nothing, but he isn't anywhere near as good as his stats indicated last year. He's more of a future reliever, in my opinion. As for Miguel Batista and Orlando Hudson for Troy Glaus, who we turned into Scott Rolen....well the jury is still clearly out there. We now have a 2B who is a better player overall than Hudson, and younger as well, someone who JP drafted.

I think he's totally correct that the negatives outweigh the positives. Even moves that look good on paper are questionably timed.. like signing Molina last minute for big $ after suggeting Zaun had the starting job.. then trying to give Barajas the starting job last winter before getting turned down and having to go gack to Zaun. Then giving McDonald a nice contract this year (suggesting he had a F-T role) and then going out and signing Eckstein and Scutaro. How can you get respect from the players doing that. The revolving door at 3B has been humorous (big contract to Hinske, then big contract to Koskie, then Hillenbrand, etc.)

The signing Molina at the last minute was one of the best moves he's made as a GM so far. That helped us immensely that season. I still don't get why he tried to give Barajas the starting job, but it all worked out eventually, we have Zaun AND Barajas for cheaper than we would have gotten them otherwise. The Eckstein signing is pretty much an exact copy of the Molina one, and the jury is still out there. If only they played JMac in the late innings, then it would make a lot of sense to me what they did.

And I can't understand why people criticize the signing of Eric Hinske...he was the AL ROY, and looked like he was in for a very good future. We signed Vernon Wells at the same time for basically the same amount, and that turned into an amazing deal.

And JP got Hillenbrand for Adam Peterson...likely the best trade he'd made as a GM...until he traded Hillenbrand for Accardo.

And the whole fiasco with BJ Ryan last year, you can't trust a word that comes out of his mouth.

As I've said before, that isn't anything unusual. All GM's do this, he just got caught in a massive lie because the situation didn't work itself out as expected.

For years the big excuse was that they didn't have enough $ for salary to compete.. now that the payroll is significantly larger, it still makes no difference the way he spends it indiscriminately.

We're still only average in the league in payroll, it's simply not good enough to win.

Then there are just his whole 'theories' of never stealing bases or bunting and waiting for HR's, which I think for a long time (until this year thank god) made the team less exciting and more predictable and offensively challenged. And there were also the Hillenbrand and Lilly incidents, where the team looked like a joke; even if Gibbons was the one on the front lines, JP was still the guy in charge during all of that and he explicitly endorsed it.

Bunting is one of the most worthless things a team can do to score runs, and if they started stealing with a bunch of slow players, that would hurt even worse. If we'd have been doing that over the years, I cant imagine how bad the Jays would have been.

The Hillenbrand and Lilly incidents were on Gibbons, but I actually maintain that John did the right thing in those situations. And again...we got Jeremy Accardo out of the Shea Hillenbrand situation. Hardly a bad thing.

Bottom line is this is JP's 7th year, this has been completely his team for a few years, the Jays have not made the playoffs, heck they haven't even been in a September playoff race for that matter, many of their big-$ moves have been failures, they have not drafted well (as noted their farm system is regarded among the worst), and on top of that on a number of occasions now they have looked like absolute clueless morons. When this team was winning they never had an organizational culture like that; heck, even in the Gord Ash years they lost a lot but they were still generally respected for the way they conducted their business. This current group can't even seem able to achieve that much. By any standard that one would use to evaluate the quality of how an individual runs an organization, I don't see how JP's tenure can be considered anything less than a failure at this point. What has the organization done well since he's been around?.. I honestly have difficulty pinpointing it.

His drafting hasn't been nearly as bad as people say it has. Marcum, Hill, and Litsch are major contributors on this year's team, and Lind will soon be starting in LF, probably by the end of this week. They've also used his draftees to make trades, such as Dave Bush and Zach Jackson.

So yes, while I agree with you (it's been a while now, and I wouldn't be agaisnt change), JP Ricciardi isn't nearly as bad a GM as some of you say he is. He's been merely mediocre, just like this organization has been for 15 years now.
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Re: Big Hurt Released

Postby bdrotoronto » Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:34 am

I haven't got much time today to respond, most of those points are fair, but wanted to get some quick points in..

1. Griffin probably shouldn't have used a phrase like "clogging the bases with walks", it hurts his credibility. That said, his fundamental point is sound, i.e. that Thomas' net value to the team was far less than his offensive statistics, as he hurt the team in other ways. Also, from a value perspective, paying $18 million for what he provided was probably legitimately the worst deal in Jays history in terms of results for dollars paid. Even if Thomas provided "about what was expected of him".. that doesn't make the deal any better. If anything, it just makes the deal look even worse in retrospect, since if JP 'knew' this is what he was going to do, he never should have signed the deal. It's not really second-guessing either, a lot of people didn't like that deal from the day it was made.

2. If we accept your conclusion that JP’s performance is simply ‘mediocre’, which is probably fair.. wouldn’t this still constitute a failure?? What was he brought in to do? He was brought in in 2001 to return the team to winning ways and get it into the playoffs. This has not been done, and he has had more than ample time to do so. In addition, his ways of conducting business have embarrassed the franchise on a few occasions now, and several times he has frittered away large amounts of money on poor deals. His excuses wear thin.. at least when Ash was around he had a more legitimate excuse (i.e. the Belgian owners really couldn’t have cared less about the team and hamstrung him with low payrolls.) JP can’t claim that, Rogers has supported him a lot, and even stuck with him publicly through all the failures. I just don’t see how JP’s performance is better than what just about any random GM put in that position could have done, even though he was basically presented as the “saviour” when he was hired.
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Re: Big Hurt Released

Postby deerayfan072 » Wed Apr 23, 2008 8:05 pm

Going to Oakland?

A source told Yahoo! Sports' Tim Brown that Frank Thomas is set to sign with the A's.
As long as Mike Sweeney is the one to go, it's the right move. Sweeney is hardly completely hopeless at the plate, but his power is gone, making him well below as a designated hitter. Thomas should step in as the starter there, with Jack Cust playing left field most of the time. Emil Brown would still start versus lefties. Apr. 23 - 6:33 pm et
Source: Yahoo! Sports
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Re: Big Hurt Released

Postby Old_Style » Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:41 pm

deerayfan072 wrote:Going to Oakland?

A source told Yahoo! Sports' Tim Brown that Frank Thomas is set to sign with the A's.
As long as Mike Sweeney is the one to go, it's the right move. Sweeney is hardly completely hopeless at the plate, but his power is gone, making him well below as a designated hitter. Thomas should step in as the starter there, with Jack Cust playing left field most of the time. Emil Brown would still start versus lefties. Apr. 23 - 6:33 pm et
Source: Yahoo! Sports


Oh boy...a mystery team has jumped into the ring.

Frank Thomas was close to signing with the A’s on Wednesday until another team made an offer at the last minute, a baseball source told Yahoo! Sports' Tim Brown.
Brown previously wrote Wednesday that a deal was set to be finalized, but the article was then yanked and has now been revised. The mystery team could be the Mariners or Rangers. Brown's article provides no clue. Apr. 23 - 9:34 pm et
Source: Yahoo! Sports
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Re: Big Hurt Released

Postby KCollins1304 » Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:45 pm

Old_Style wrote:
deerayfan072 wrote:Going to Oakland?

A source told Yahoo! Sports' Tim Brown that Frank Thomas is set to sign with the A's.
As long as Mike Sweeney is the one to go, it's the right move. Sweeney is hardly completely hopeless at the plate, but his power is gone, making him well below as a designated hitter. Thomas should step in as the starter there, with Jack Cust playing left field most of the time. Emil Brown would still start versus lefties. Apr. 23 - 6:33 pm et
Source: Yahoo! Sports


Oh boy...a mystery team has jumped into the ring.

Frank Thomas was close to signing with the A’s on Wednesday until another team made an offer at the last minute, a baseball source told Yahoo! Sports' Tim Brown.
Brown previously wrote Wednesday that a deal was set to be finalized, but the article was then yanked and has now been revised. The mystery team could be the Mariners or Rangers. Brown's article provides no clue. Apr. 23 - 9:34 pm et
Source: Yahoo! Sports


I thought that was solely a Boras tactic. :-D
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