The Dog

If I was put into a situation in which I was in charge of a Major League team and I was assigned the task of rebuilding said squad, my first priority would be to flood the Caribbean islands that matter with scouts and sign up as many good players as I can. This is partly because I think it’s a much quicker route to building a team than relying totally on the draft and trades and partly because I have this preconception that, in addition to be being good players, Caribbeans are also ridiculously entertaining while making their good plays. (Apparently I’m not alone in this view.)

So that’s why I was pretty freaking excited when I heard that the Jays have signed — and yeah, I know it’s not official yet — Adeiny Hechavarria.

I had never heard the name before before, but that doesn’t matter. Dude’s got all the hallmarks of being a potentially great Caribbean player:

  • Played internationally for Cuba? Check.
  • Ages listed as somewhere between 19 and 21? Check.
  • Excellent nickname? Double check.

Yes, according to the Orange County Register’s Angels Blog, Hechavarria is also known as El Perro. My Spanish teacher tells me that means The Dog. Maybe it’s because I’m a dog guy, but I love that nickname. El Perro. Beautiful.

Or maybe I love the nickname because it means I won’t have to memorize all the different spellings of his name. According to that same Angels Blog, “you might occasionally see listed as Echevarria, or Hechavarria, or Hechevarria, or Adeiny Hechavarría Barrera.” That’s a bit much. El Perro it is.

Team El Perro up with Adam (Sleepy) Lind, Marc (Scrabble) Rzepczynski and V-Dub (yeah, I went there) and you’ve got the solid core of the all-nickname team. That’s important because, hey, if you’re not going to compete, you can at least be fun to talk about.

And for the link and the video that is on every single Blue Jays blog in the world right now

At the 4:58 mark of the above video, El Perro makes a pretty sweet defensive play. If you want more, a rough scouting report can be found here along with more video — including one of El Perro smacking a triple. I love that one because his helmet flies off before he rounds first and I’m a sucker for that kind of crap.

About these ads

Aroldis Chapman update: It’s not over!

Hola, amigos. I know it’s been a long time since I rapped at ya, but I ain’t really been in any kind of shape to do up a decent post for a couple weeks now. Turning off your brain and turning on your drink to unacceptable levels may not sound good normally, but over the holidays it’s a wonderful thing.

But the holidays are over, and now I’m back. And I see the Jays have some good things in store.

On New Year’s Day, The Star ran an interview Cathal Kelly did with a psychic. Kelly was looking for predictions for the upcoming year in sports and, being the good man that he seems to be, asked said psychic about the Blue Jays. Surprisingly, the lady psychic (who had the balls to say the men’s hockey team will not win gold in Vancouver) was not negative about the Jays, saying:

“Whether or not they accomplish anything, there will be renewed interest. It’s going to be a feel-good story … and people are going to be pretty forgiving.”

Now, I have no faith whatsoever in any of the hocus pocus peddled by psychics, but I can’t help but get a little excited by what this one said about the Jays. I know it’s because it’s what I want to believe, but I don’t care. This team has the potential to be an exciting one to watch.

Hill! Lind! Snider! Ruiz! Wells! (Yes, Wells.) Chapman!

Yes, Aroldis Chapman! Or, more accurately, maybe Chapman. But, even with it only being a maybe, this is a pretty exciting development for me. If you’ve been following this blog at all, you know that I’ve been pretty fascinated with this Chapman character. And I’m glad to see that after initially squashing ideas of being involved with the flame-throwing lefty, Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos had his people arrange a private workout with the Cuban defector.

Of course, the chances that the Jays sign this guy are pretty slim, but it is encouraging to know that the team is not scared off by the player’s price tag, which is expected to be in  the $20-25 million range. That’s a lot of money, but if it’s going toward talent like this — talent that could be dominant in 2-3 years — then it’s a good investment and it’s a good sign that this building process is not meant to be a long, drawn out one.

Whether he signs Chapman or not, just showing an interest in Chapman is a pretty great Christmas present from the Jays to their fans.

Aroldis Chapman update: It’s over

Aroldis Chapman

100 m.p.h.-fastball-throwing left-hander Aroldis Chapman will not be playing for the Toronto Blue Jays any time soon.

As roundtable participant Cole pointed out in the comment section of the previous post, Aroldis Chapman will not be coming to Toronto unless it’s in the uniform of a visiting team.

Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos explained the lack of interest in the pitcher thusly:

“We don’t have enough background and scouting looks to make a proper offer,” Anthopoulos wrote in an e-mail. “Going forward, these will be the types of things we will be more proactive with. I think the way the Red Sox pursued [Daisuke Matsuzaka] is a great model. They were doing homework on him for years.”

Which to me suggests two very positive things:

1. He’s not going to spend theoretical money just because he has it.
2. The scouts are going to be hitting up places from which players are considered free agents!