To show that I am a man of my word, I have changed the name of 500 Level Fan’s reader mailbag from mail to male. Please refer to the second ever mailbag (here) for clarification.
So, with that said…welcome to the third ever 500 Level Fan reader Male Bag. The inbox has begun to bulge with questions, meaning it’s time to make the fans happy and give them what they want.
All four of them…
Let’s start with first time question-poser, the alpha male himself @TweetsByRules:
Q: What are your thoughts on the Kelly Johnson trade?
A: I like it, because to me it is basically risk-free. I have heard many people criticize the deal, with comments like “Johnson is only hitting .209”, or “Johnson’s OBP is only .287”,or “I love Johnny Mac”. Yes friends – all of those things are true. I do love Johnny Mac. I will miss him. But let’s be honest: he wasn’t going to help the Jays win the World Series this year. And yes, Kelly Johnson is having an off year. But he is only one year removed from a .284 / .370 / .496 / .865 slash line, with 26 HR. Those numbers are pretty good.
The deal basically boils down to this:
Best case scenario, Johnson reverts back to his 2010 form and crushes the ball in Toronto. He likes the team and the city, and decides to re-sign here next year at what should be a fairly decent price seeing how much he has struggled. AA really likes this guy, and AA is rarely wrong.
Worst case scenario, Johnson still performs at a sub-par level, and we are left with a guy who has similar stats to Aaron Hill.
Who we would been left with anyways.
Besides, it sounds like both Hill and Johnny may return next year anyways….
Which leads us to this question from a man who loves to tip over golf carts and lick red hot chili flakes, Mr. @altrendy
Q: If (as is widely rumoured) Aaron Hill and/or Johnny Mac end up re-signing with the Jays in 2012, what was the point of the Kelly Johnson trade?
A: Yes, good question. You’d likely have to ask Anthopoulos this one. But, you asked me, so here is my opinion on the issue. As said before, AA likes Kelly Johnson. He tried to sign him in 2009 but lost out to Arizona. I’ve heard his name floated in rumours associated with the Jays for a while. So I guess the point of the trade is that he finally got his man. From the sounds of the farewell press conference, both Hill and Johnny do seem open to re-signing with Toronto. I would bet that Johnny will be back, as a bench player-slash-coach. As far as Hill, well…Johnson has a month and a bit to show us what he’s got.
More from Trendos!
Q: Was the call-up of Lawrie a good thing for Colby Rasmus (timing-wise)?
A: Interesting. Rasmus was definitely hyped in St. Louis, and then underperformed. When AA acquired him in July, suddenly he was being hyped all over again. Some called him the future saviour of the Jays. The blogger-sphere gushed about him. The Jays were widely regarded as having heavily won the deal. Then Rasmus arrived and promptly went 0 for 12 in his first three games. In his first seven games with the Jays he was scuffling along with a .167 AVG, .460 OPS, 0 HR, 3 RBI, and 7 K.
But before fans had time to start irrationally hating on Rasmus, up came Brett Lawrie to take away all the hype and all the spotlight. Since Lawrie’s arrival, Rasmus has been better (.241 AVG, .728 OPS, 3 HR, 9 RBI) – not fantastic, but better. So I think that yes, it was a good thing for Colby Rasmus that Lawrie was called up when he was.
Q: With the season nearing its conclusion, how many HR will Jose Bautista end up with?
A: The million dollar question Trendos…
The Jays have played 130 games and Bautista has 37 home runs. Going purely statistical, Bau has hit 0.28 HR a game, meaning in the last 32 games of the season it stands to reason he will hit 9 more and finish with 46.
But I don’t want to be statistical with Bautista. He can go for stretches were he goes cold, and then stretches where he gets hot. He hasn’t been red hot for a while. I think he will get red hot again, for two reasons: 1) in the last 32 games, Toronto plays 7 against Tampa, 6 against the Yankees, and 6 against Boston – rival teams. I thinks he gets jacked up to play those guys. 2) When Bautista gets mad, he explodes (ask Luke Hochevar). With the season winding down, there will be a lot of MVP debate. Most will choose Adrian Gonzalez, Dustin Pedroia, Curtis Granderson, or Justin Verlander because they are in the playoffs. This will make Bautista mad.
Jose finishes with 51 bombs.
Next, we hear from the Fireball-guzzling @dsharpdavis:
Q: What is a trait you’ve learned from a Jay that you’ve applied to your everyday life? (i.e. Rauch’s use of physical threats to achieve goals).
A: I definitely don’t use the Rauch very often. I don’t think I’d get much with my bulk. But I think I can say I have applied the following three items to everyday life:
1 – the Bautista angry stare. When I get mad, I quite enjoy staring down people. It works great for road rage. And in beer league softball.
2 – the Romero bench punch. When I’m frustrated or something doesn’t go my way, I often pull a Romero and punch something, just like the pitcher does when is pulled from a game. The best thing to punch is the cubicle wall at work, especially in the presence of senior management. They like that.
3 – the Fernandez golden smile. I try to be more and more like Tony every day.
Honourable Mention – I am a man who doesn’t swear or curse. But if I did, I would definitely apply the Rios to my everyday life. “Who gives a f**k!”
Finally, we move on to a man from the West, a man who loves the bud as much as the next guy, and man who has the biggest man crush on Alex Rodriguez in the history of Earth – @TheCraiger:
Q: Based on his current pace, where will A-Rod finish up relative to the games all-time greats (Ruth, Williams, Mays, Bonds, Ripken, Berra, etc..)? First ballot Hall of Famer? Home Run King? What effect will steroid era and his participation in it have on his hall of fame chances?
A: Oh Sauny, you and your A-Rod infatuation! But it is actually a good question. Until I really checked into the numbers, I didn’t realize just how good of a player A-Rod has been for his career.
In terms of Baseball Reference WAR, A-Rod is currently ranked 15th of all time for offensive players with a 107.2 WAR. The top-5 are Babe Ruth (164.6), Ty Cobb (156.0), Barry Bonds (151.4), Willie Mays (136.2), and Hank Aaron (130.1). Yes A-Rod is slowing down, and yes he is aging (currently 35 years old), but it’s not out of the realm of possibility that he plays another five seasons and puts up a WAR of 5-ish each year. That would propel him past Hank Aaron into 5th.
In terms of home runs, Rodriguez has 626, 6th all time, and only 136 behind Bonds for first. Again, he will need to play for five more season and average 28 HR a year to break the record – but that is entirely possible if he stays healthy (and out of the poker rooms…). He’s only finished a season with fewer than 30 HR once in the last 15, though this year due to injury he only has 13. I think he can do it.
The last parts of the question are tough to answer, and a lot will depend on what happens to Bonds and Clemens in the upcoming years. A-Rod was a steroid user – that is a confirmed fact. But he came out and amitted it (albeit with much prodding from Selena Roberts), which – like it or not – will give him bonus points with voters. To see Bonds and Clemens still denying the fact that they used steroids to this day, even though mounds and mounds of solid evidence say otherwise, is disgusting and embarrassing. So to see how voters treat them will give us more insight on what to expect with A-Rod.
But if you want my thoughts? Here they are:
1. Where will he finish among the greats? Among them.
2. First ballot hall of famer? Yes.
3. Home run king? Yes.
That’s it! Keep the questions coming for next time!