Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jose Bautista and Tweeting Tuesdays

...which are unrelated.

On Jose Bautista: I was as thrilled as anyone else about #39 and #40 last night, especially considering the circumstances, but I don't know what to think of this whole kerfuffle.

Just a week ago, an article in The Toronto Star painted Bautista as being humble and quiet. Last night, we saw a different side of him.

I hate the fact that Bautista gave those with the Yankeefied Sense of Entitlement™ any reason to kvetch, but at the same time, it was refreshing to see some passion from Bautista. Yes, he lost his cool when Nova probably unintentionally threw at his head, but can you blame him? I imagine any guy getting a baseball toward the face might possibly lose his cool. The outrage from Yankees fans that I saw on TheScore's liveblog was over-the-top.

Bautista later provided the go-ahead run via the longball, and pimped it. There was hate in that swing, certainty in the bat flip, redemption in the slow jog around the bases, and pride in the curtain call.

On Tweeting Tuesdays: Here's why I hate them:
- This "promotion" replaces the value games. It targets a narrow group of already interested fans, and does nothing to get fence-sitter asses in seats.
- The promotional resource burden is shifted to the fans - they use their phones and air time to promote the Jays.
- Law of unintended consequences: it actually has the opposite effect of promotion. It's an extreme turn-off to be spammed with messages on Twitter that make no sense if you're not at the game.
- The "MVT" contest took it to a new low. If I wasn't listening to the radio broadcast and taking shelter at a liveblog, I would have wondered if there was even a baseball game going on.
- Why is there such a spike in Jays Care donations on Tweeting Tuesdays? Did the kids not deserve the donations until the Jays were giving away a suite?

Bottom line, Blue Jays: stick with short code contests. You're not promoting Blue Jays baseball by getting fans to slouch over their cell phones obsessed with the MVT nonsense.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Playing Raceball

So Ozzie Guillen has spoken out about the fact that Asian players are assigned interpreters, while Spanish-speaking players are left to try to learn English on their own. Perhaps it's simply because there are an awful lot more people walking around the US who can speak some Spanish than Korean or Japanese, but he has a point.

According to Buck Martinez, Adeiny Hechavarria was promoted to AA not because he was playing particularly well, but because no one at the Dunedin A club was fluent in Spanish.

The Ack speculates that part of the reason Jose Bautista is still a Jay is to try to establish the Jays as an organization where Latino players will want to play. I would have to guess that the main reason Bautista is still here is that no one blew the GM's socks off with a great offer, but it also wouldn't surprise me if his leadership/example potential raised the price in Anthopolous' mind.

If Guillen's opinion is widely shared among players, the Jays have a unique opportunity to exploit Toronto's reputation of being a terrific international, multicultural city. Even the GM speaks three languages. If the Jays are going to spend extra money and resources to scout Latino players, they'd be foolish not to do the little things to make it as attractive an organization as possible.