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The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Hitters: Part 3 Of A 7 Part Article Series

Friday, Nov.16/2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history.  2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5.The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of  my archived articles section here.

 

Tony Fernandez leads the Blue Jays Franchise for Hits and Games Played ALL-Time. At the age of 37, he flirted with a .400 average for half of the season in 1999. In his first go around with Toronto, he was part of the BlockBuster Trade that saw he and Fred McGriff go to San Diego for Joe Carter and Robbie Alomar at the GM’s Meetings in Dec of 1990. -Photo Courtesy of Sports Illustrated.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

I like that this franchise series is right dab smack in the middle of the biggest Franchise trade since Tony Fernandez and Fred McGriff went to San Diego for Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter in 1990.  A Toronto Blue Jays fan can only hope for the same result that came down afterwards to repeat itself in the next few year.  The early days of the Jays hitters (late 1970’s provided some long-term reliable guys,) however it wasn’t until Jesse Barfield won a HR Title and George Bell came home with the 1987 AL MVP, that the rest of the MLB started to take notice on the hitters of this Canadian Team.  As soon as the club moved into SKYDOME, the hitters had a field day.  Not to say that Exhibition Stadium didn’t aid some homeruns and nice averages in its day, it is just that SKYDOME is a hitter friendly park.

From George Bell and the outstanding other 80’s OF trio of Barfield and Lloyd “The Shaker” Moseby, to Tony Fernandez and Ernie Whitt, these guys all played a huge chunk of their careers with this Canadian Club.  Fred McGriff routinely hit towering shots off of the Windows Restaurant and led the AL in HRs during the 1989 Pennant Winning Season.  In 1991, when Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar arrived onto the scene, the offense just clicked on all cylinders.  Devon White was gracefully stealing bases and striding into runs with those gigantic high knee kicks of his.  John Olerud walked right out of College and added one of the best ‘natural’ swings that any of us have ever seen.  Veterans Dave Winfield and Paul Molitor bashed their way into Jays hearts with their limited time with the organization en route to back to back World Series Titles in 1992 and 1993.  After the Strike/Lockout, the team then saw Shawn Green and Carlos Delgado routinely destroy pitchers and be amongst the league lead in several power categories.

There is a ton more on this article just past these links or by clicking the READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY ICON. 

Here are the links for the article series.

The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise 1977-1993 Part 1 Of A 7 Part Series Click Here:

Franchise History Part 2 1994-2012: http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/28/jay/

The Hitters:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Hitters: Part 3 Of A 7 Part Article Series: 

The Pitchers:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Pitchers Part 4 Of A 7 Part Series

Skydome:  An Interview with ‘Rogers Centre Expert’ and “MLB reports Founder” Jonathan Hacohen Part 5 of 7

For Part 6 of the 7 Part Series:  Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll Click here

For Part 7 of the 7 Part Series:  Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll:  A Readers Thoughts, Click Here: 

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The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise 1977-1993 Part 1 Of A 7 Part Series

Friday, Nov.09/2012

Note from Chuck Booth:  I am attempting to bring the history for each of the 30 MLB Franchises into a 5 part series that will focus on 1. The teams history.  2. The hitters 3. The pitchers. 4. The Teams Payroll going into 2013 and 5.The Ball Park that they play in. (The stadium articles will all be done next summer when I go to all of the parks in under a month again.)  Be sure to check my author page with a list of all of  my archived articles section here.

The Blue Jays have not qualified for the Playoffs since they won Back to Back World Series in 1992 and 1993. Only Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Toronto have not made a playoffs appearance since the 1994 strike. At the time they were around the top of the MLB Payroll for all teams.

Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Writer):

In sifting through 35 years of history with the Toronto Blue Jays as a franchise, it is sad that since 1994, only Pittsburgh, Toronto and Kansas City have not made a playoff appearance in the Major Leagues.  They have been battling the Red Sox and Yankees powerhouse clubs since the 1994 player strike/1995 Lock-out.  This baseball interruption of play was also a  deciding factor on the Montreal Expos losing their franchise, however one could say that this has had a profound effect on the other only team North of The Border.  The Jays were a model franchise all the way through the 80’s.  From 1983-1993, the team carried out 11 straight winning seasons, 5 Pennants and back to back World Series Wins in 1992 and 1993.

Pat Gillick had been with the baseball club from the get go, and after finishing in dead-last for the first 5 years of existence, the Jays rode the backs of several budding stars that were drafted by the man.  From the early pitching stars of Jim Clancy and Dave Stieb, to the young outfield that flourished as a core for years in: Lloyd Moseby, George Bell and Jesse Barfield, the team showed that drafting and trading for young players was the way to build an organization.  It took until 1985 for the teams first Pennant, barely edging the Yankees by 2 games for the AL East.  Playoff disappointment followed from 1985-1991.  The team soon would find the promised land as the top team in 1992 and 1993.

Franchise History Part 2 1994-2012: http://mlbreports.com/2012/11/28/jay/

The Hitters:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Hitters: Part 3 Of A 7 Part Article Series

The Pitchers:  The Toronto Blue Jays Franchise Pitchers Part 4 Of A 7 Part Series

Skydome:  An Interview with ‘Rogers Centre Expert’ and “MLB reports Founder” Jonathan Hacohen

For Part 6 of the 7 Part Series:  Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll Click here

For Part 7 of the 7 Part Series:  Blue Jays 2013 Team Payroll:  A Readers Thoughts, Click Here: 

Read the rest of this entry

Having Long Term Managers Produces Results

Monday February 20, 2012

Douglas ‘Chuck’ Booth:  Let’s face it, we live in a right here, right now world.  With this motto, baseball manager have great expectations for instant results.  This rule even applies to managers who have a great track record.  The template from yesteryear was simple, hire a manager that had been coaching in your organization for years.  This way, it would be an easy transition into the Manager role.  When the managers were hired, they were given years to shape the team.  It wasn’t unheard of for managers to be with a Major League Team for 20-30 years, when you factored in coaching and Manager positions of elevation.  Today we take a look at four skippers who personify this philosophy: Tommy Lasorda, Tony La Russa, Cito Gaston and Sparky Anderson. Read the rest of this entry

Preview of the 2011 MLB Rule 5 Draft: December 8th

Friday December 2, 2011

Rob Bland (Baseball Writer – MLB reports):  With the MLB Winter Meetings just around the corner, we can all get excited about the draft that takes place there.  The Rule 5 draft is a very important draft for teams, as they can find their diamond in the rough that may be undervalued by his current team.  The Rule 5 Draft was created as a way for more players to have a chance at the big leagues, rather than spending more years in the minors.  It forces a team to “protect” its minor leaguers by placing them on the 40-man roster.

The Rule 5 Draft is not simply for any minor leaguer, the players who are eligible must fall under certain criteria.  The criteria are as follows:

If a player was signed at age 19 or older, and has been in the same organization for four years.

If a player was signed at age 18 or younger, and has been in the same organization for five years.

What this means that if an 18-year-old signs with a team, plays in the minor leagues for five years, and is not added to the 40-man roster, he will be put in a pool of eligible players for the Rule 5 draft.  This forces teams to make a decision on their prospect and if he is ready to be added to the 40-man roster.  The order of the draft is the same as the Amateur Draft that takes place in June, in reverse order of standings from the season prior. 

Since many international players sign at the age of 16, they are eligible for the Rule 5 draft after their age-20 season.  If not picked up on the team’s 40-man roster, an opposing team can take a big chance on a player in selecting him. 

The draft is different from any other in that it costs the team $50,000 to select a player, which is paid to the team losing said player.  Also, this player must be on the 25-man roster for the entirety of the season.  If he is taken off the 25-man roster, he must then be offered back to his original club at half the price ($25,000). 

There are two other phases of the Rule 5 Draft: AAA and AA.  In the AAA phase, teams can select eligible players from AA and lower who fit the same criteria, and pay $12,000 for the selection.  In the AA phase, players from A and lower are chosen at a cost of $4,000. 

While it is pretty rare for a Rule 5 draftee to become a superstar, it does happen- and there are plenty of players who become useful with their new teams.  Some of the most notable players chose in the Rule 5 draft are Hall of Famer Roberto Clemente (the Rule 5 draft was drastically different in 1954), Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista, Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton, and, in my opinion, the best Rule 5 selection of all, Johan Santana

The Rule 5 Draft can take some interesting turns, and players are often offered back to their original team.  Trades are made for other Rule 5 selections or money can be exchanged.  Johan Santana was left off the Houston Astros 40-man roster before the 1999 Rule 5 Draft, and was selected by the Florida Marlins.  The Marlins then trade Santana to the Minnesota Twins for cash and Jared Camp.  After a lacklustre 2000 season, he went on to have a great career with the Twins, and has won 2 Cy Young Awards. 

Bautista also represents an interesting case, as he was selected in the 2003 Rule 5 draft, and became the only Major League player in history to be on 5 ML rosters in one season.  The Baltimore Orioles selected him in the Rule 5, was claimed off waivers by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 2 months into the season, and then traded to the Kansas City Royals less than a month later.  A month after that, he was traded to the New York Mets, who then flipped him to the Pittsburgh Pirates, who were his original team.  He has since gone on to blossom into one of the finest hitters in all of baseball, leading the MLB in home runs in 2010 and 2011. 

Josh Hamilton was selected in the 2006 Rule 5 draft by the Chicago Cubs, but was returned to the Cincinnati Reds before the season began.  He was traded to the Texas Rangers after the 2007 seasons and won the 2010 American League MVP. 

Other notable players taken in the Rule 5 Draft:

Bobby Bonilla, Jeff Nelson, Joakim Soria, Dan Uggla, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth, Kelly Gruber and George Bell.

Most teams have between 15 and 30 eligible players, meaning that there are hundreds of players available.  However, the Rue 5 draft has lasted no more than 21 picks in the last 9 years.  Over this time, 40 or so players are selected in the AA and AAA phase combined per year. 

Will a team strike gold and find the next MVP or CY Young in this year’s Rule 5 Draft? Probably not. But some teams may find some useful bullpen arms, or even a utility player or two that may stick around for a full season. 

 

***Today’s feature was prepared by our Baseball Writer, Rob Bland.  We highly encourage you to leave your comments and feedback at the bottom of the page and share in the discussion with our readers.  You can also follow Rob on Twitter.***

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