Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sputtering, Punchless Jays Replaced By Unstoppable Baseball Juggernaut

My other favorite Juggernaut.

The previously-redhot-but-now-cursed Jays continue to beat anyone put before them like a gypsy prize fighter, but are in tough today against part-time chef John Lackey. Lackey's the first legit top-line starter they've seen since they faced, uh, John Lackey eleven days ago. And no, Rich Harden doesn't count yet. The Toronto Blue Juggernaut has scored more runs in the last two days than they did between April 21 and April 30th. That doesn't mean anything, but they do have 5 guys OPSing over 800 in the last month. Even David Eckstein has been impossible to get out this month, though I still hate him all the same. Last night's game was so much of a laugher that I turned it off and read Lawrence Ritter played Halo. I saw Armando Benitez strike out the side, and knew I was safe to frag into the night.

Am I alone in fearing the Benitez Era? He's been effective thus far, only giving up 2 runs and walking just 2 in his 4 innings since the joining the team. Effective doesn't mean trustworthy though, and I want nothing to do with that round man pitching in high leverage situations. Shawn Camp and Jason Frasor don't make me feel any better, but that is all the right handed help there is for now. Oh Brandon League, why can't you put down that sippy cup and realize your destiny. 4.8-1 groundout/flyout ratios are DESTINY. 2 walks in May is DESTINY. Promise Gibby you'll behave and he may let you play with his ball again one day.

More Fun The World Over
Adam Lind hasn't played in a week, Russ Adams has 7 home runs and has been starting in the outfield. SuperMegaHypeMachineFuel Jay Bruce is 8-14 with an OPS of 1.47 in his big league career thus far, and is 2 for 3 today. Update!! Why the fuck not? Jay Bruce decided to hit a game-winning home run in the bottom of the 10th inning. Jesus. Insert piling on Ricky Romero comment here. (A piling on comment such as Jay Bruce's signing bonus was $1 million less than Romero's. I promise, I'll leave him alone now.) David Beckham has been named England's captain for tomorrow's friendly against T&T, an act of kindness that should repay 100 years of colonial rule. More importantly, Dean Ashton may earn his first cap. Oh, and Lost is awesome.

Update - I should really read Wilner before I post stuff, as he too refers to the Jays as a juggernaut, and even references Advil. It would seem that I'm a thieving hack.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Winning ways to continue on the Left Coast

The nine game road trip continues tonight as the Jays stroll into Anaheim looking for their third straight victory. After losing the opener bayside, the Jays picked up the last two against Oakland with the last seeing Jesse Litsch follow up his shutout performance with another gem. Yes, Jesse fucking Litsch is 7-1. The naysayers have all shut their mouths and have started a lineup hoping to get their very own shot at swinging from his nuts.

The 12-0 thrashing of the A's saw a few rarities that even made me wonder what the hell was going on. Rod Barajas hit three doubles, which must tie or only leave him one shy of his career total. Kevin Mench recorded three hits, which is the first time since September of last season he's done so. Shannon Stewart actually put a ball over the fence, something I didn't think I'd see for the remainder of his career.

Dustin McGowan takes the hill tonight and is 0-3 vs. the Angels is his young career sporting a decent 3.27 ERA in five games (three starts). Clearly he's going to pick up his first victory tonight. Jared Weaver counters for the Halos and has beaten the Jays the only two times he's faced them. It ends tonight, as the Jays will no doubt thrash him.

It's only a matter of time before the bubble bursts down in Florida when the Rays coming crashing back to the reality of competing in the American League East. I suppose there is the slight possibility that won't happen, but I consider myself a realist.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Jays Lefty Mashers Mash A's Lefty

As I stated during DJF's jovial live blog: Jesse Litsch has a 16 inning scoreless streak, the Blue Jays scored a dozen AND totaled 7 extra base hits, with a home run among them! I'll begin hoarding canned goods and bottled water. Note: The Jays moved to an absurd 14-1 in day games, meaning the team and I will be allies during the zombie apocalypse. Together we will take back the night and feast on the molting flesh of the undead.

Aaron Hill had a Gary Carter hat trick with a hit, a walk and a teammate's elbow to the face. The Hustling Weasel David Eckstein grittily ran over Hill in dogged pursuit of a lazy popup in a 10-0 game. Perhaps Davey is sensing that he is slipping into the Mariana Trench end of the SS depth chart. Lefty Masher Kevin Mench added a cool 60 points to his average and hit is first extra base hit of the year. Lefty Month of May Masher Rod Barajas contributed three doubles(!) while catching both ends of the dreaded "night game before a day game" kneecap softener. Scott Rolen came out after the 7th inning to bask in his own magnificence. I encourage you to do the same.

A quick note to those considering giving the Jays up for dead. This is the type of team the Blue Jays can be. In fact, this is the kind of team the Jays are. Jesse Litsch will give up runs, and eventually, (gasp) lose games. But their pitching staff from top to bottom is the TRUTH. They won't score 12 every night, or knock 7 extra-base hits, but they can expect production and offense from 1-9 on any given night. They managed all this with one of their "best" hitters going 0-6 and the other playing WiiFit with his hyperactive kids. This is a team that NOBODY will want to play. One with a great deal of meaningful baseball in the not-so-distant future.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Return of the Reverend

Fuck Muskoka. If you ever hear me talking about purchasing a cottage or something up that way, smack me upside the head and remind me that it fucking sucks.

Evidently the Canadian shield is the perfect breeding ground (which we already knew) for ignorant ass black flies that won't leave you the fuck alone no matter how much bug spray you lather onto yourself. Any company that sells bug spray can go to hell, because their shit doesn't work. It's all a scam and they should all be shot, fuckers.

In any case, it was good to see the Jays pick up a few victories in my absence. Sure, it was against the pitiful Kansas City Royals, who going into tonight have lost nine in a row, but those are games you have to win. I'm sure with the Doc on the mound tonight (he's K'd the first two batters of the game) they'll be able to actually win a game against the jackass A's.

As Ghostrunner mancrush Scott Rolen comes to the plate, I'm going to reacquaint myself with live baseball. I'm sure more will follow.

Jays Continue to Struggle Against 1961 Yankees

Greg "Whitey Ford" Smith stymied the Jays once again, running the Oakland juggernaut's record to a perfect 4-0 versus the Jays this season. "They're just a special bunch." JP Riccardi said in reference to his former employers. "Beaner has really assembled a murderers row here. Jack Cust could be a Roger Maris stunt double."

Daric "Moose" Barton was back in the lineup after missing almost a week with tonsillitis. When asked if he ever missed time with tonsillitis, Moose Skowron said in his day they were either too drunk or high on greenies to know if they were sick, but "if a guy asked for a day off because he had a cold, the rest of the fellas would have thought he was a pansy."

Reporters crowded around Frank Thomas' locker after the game, the only player to have played for both the 1961 Yankees and the current edition of the A's. "We did some things differently back then, but the comparison is valid." Thomas offered when asked to compare the two. Thomas added that he thinks "Bobby Crosby drinks more than the Mick ever did" and his real motivation for signing with the A's this year was the opportunity to wear white shoes and sansabelt slacks "with dignity."

The Jays, in a cruel twist of irony, played more like the 1961 Kansas City A's than the '61 Yankees. More stranded runners, more unearned runs. AJ Burnett did his best to perform like an olde-tyme pitcher, throwing 108 pitches in 5 2/3 innings. Things look up for the local nine, as actual throwback Roy Halladay goes against the Paper Mache Kid in what will be a great pitchers duel until the entire entire right side of Rich Harden's body spontaneously combusts.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Much like the Dubai skyline, the Jays winning streak is built on the backs of underpaid foreign workers. Fortunately for them, workers in Dubai don't have to suffer the indignity of toiling beneath the world's second tallest free-standing structure.

The Royals would have to improve to be classed as shitty.

I like winning streaks just fine, but as I said the other day, let's wait and see what the Jays do against a real team. Or maybe it is the Blue Jays pitching staff is so good, it reduces all opponents to double A caliber roster-filler. I like the sound of that much better. A fresh bullpen (6.2 innings pitched by 4 relievers in 5 games) heading into a long road trip is a great thing.

The Earth's Yellow Sun Burns Skin, Shortens Patience

An enjoyable day at the Skydome (the Nicorette girl's words, not mine) was almost marred by more wave-related ugliness. I took up the cause with a line of heckling along the "go back to the county fair, it isn't 1984" lines before settling on a resounding "You suck" to the one moron that unsuccessfully (and repeatedly) attempted to start the wave. My loud, dersive laughter that followed his final, futile attempt sent him scurrying to another section for validation. On a more positive note, my West Ham United jersey received a nice shout-out from some equally awesome Hammer. May he blow bubbles all summer long.

Toronto Star attempts to confuse Leafs fans into following baseball

That is the only excuse for this brutal typo. How many copy editors etc did this get past? Add the four week old pictures of "Mats Sundin takes BP" on the main baseball page, and my head falls in shame. This paper has three dedicated baseball writers, one of whom is generally awesome. I should just face facts, people just don't like baseball that much. Sigh.


Rocco took BP a few weeks back, and reported that he was feeling good. He was sporting a beard, no doubt to court all the hipster trim that gravitates towards flashes in the pan like Justice, Vampire Weekend and the Tampa Bay Rays. One of the dudes at Rays Index hedges terribly over Rocco's comments, saying they sound like doctors trying to keep their patient optimistic. Any man that refuses to acknowledge that the Rays are this year's Milwaukee Brewers obviously has a distorted view of reality. Rocco is coming back, and now that the Rays have bought out his option for next year, will be a free agent at season's end. Gee, too bad I can't think of a team that could use a low risk, high reward left fielder to perhaps platoon with their left hand hitting LF of the future. Hmmm, can any one think of a team in that situation next year?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Smoke and Mirrors Continue to Yield Surprising Results

Somehow, someway, Jesse Litsch is 6-1. He pinkly and efficiently did his best Roy Halladay impression today, entering the ninth inning having only thrown 81 pitches. Apparently, he broke Jimmy Key's team record for innings without a walk. I think I just broke my own personal record for incredulity. That and words posted without a dick joke.

I'm not afraid to admit that I was wrong about Jesse Litsch. It would also seem that everyone's favorite whipping boy Lenny and Holly Gibbons was right. 23 years old without any real time at AAA, he seems to be figuring this out. His splits and peripherals from this year look similar to Shaun Marcum's last year. Few walks, prone to the long ball but very solid for the back of the rotation. I sense that facing the Royals is good for what ails you, and is a great way to earn your first career shutout. Their offense is even more inept than the Blue Jays, giving the Jays bullpen the weekend off and generally behaving in a KC Royals-ish fashion.

The Jays offense put up 13 runs in the last two games, but my glee is tempered by the manner they've scored them. Friday night seemed like slap-singles that came in bunches, with only one extra base hit all night. Today, they were buoyed by 8 walks and Brad Wilkerson striking a blow for a free Acholiland with a grand slam in the first. Lyle Overbay picked up three walks and an RBI, while issuing a stern fuck you to any remaining doubters. Scott Rolen defiantly stared at the sun, waiting for a demonstration of who and what runs the show on this or any planet. It blinked and bowed.

I don't want to dismiss this offensive "outburst", but I'll wait until they put up some runs against a real team. This streaky bunch will drive us all mad this year, waiting for the hits to come in bunches, leaning heavily on the out of this world pitching staff. The dreaded West Coast road trip looms after this weekend jaunt to Windsor Castle. The Yankees should have reeled off about 12 straight wins by the time the Jays roll into the world's most famous garbage dump.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Jays Glad to Have Wilkerson, Uganda Glad to Have Civil War

In an article posted on the official website, John Gibbons expressed his delight with Brad Wilkerson's contribution to the team. The Jays head man was quoted as saying "I like everything about him" and that they team had "been winning with him here." Reporter David Singh withheld Gibbons complete statement, omitting the words "in spite of" and "his overcooked fusilli bat makes Rios look like Stan Musial" from the surprisingly breezy chat the two had over tea. Gibbons noted that his teams offensive failure has completely obscured his continued mismanagement of the bullpen from the public eye. "When most fans look up and see that Brad isn't even hitting weight, they boo him. They don't even consider the guy that puts him in the position to get the most plate appearances on the team." When reminded that Wilkerson is, in fact, not even SLUGGING his weight, Gibbons spit his cup of West Texas Cough Medicine all over his desk. Laughing out loud, Gibbons clucked his tongue and noted that Wilkerson picked up some winter weight after his reintroduction to the Canadian climate, making slugging his weight a much greater accomplishment.

Ugandan political officials noted Gibbons tactics seemed sound. They admitted that the ongoing civil war and instability in the southern regions often distracted the international community from continued civil rights atrocities and famine that have racked the country for years. John Gibbons offered no comment on the Ugandan situation, saying he didn't really know anything about it and thought it best to reserve comment. He grew increasingly uncomfortable with the line of questioning, saying that comparing a war-torn country to a baseball team is offensive bordering on disgusting.

Permission not to care granted

Letter to the editor of Harper's Magazine, printed in the current June issue.

The Unnatural
As a lifelong baseball addict, I admired Lewis H. Lapham's satirical morality play ["Mudville," Notebook, March], wherein he used the steroids mess as a broadaxe with which to hack away at American mores [lol, natch! What else would that old boy do? -ed.]; in particular, I was pleased to see Lapham take on the arbitrariness of cultural distinctions between natural and not. What makes Lapham's argument about the hypocrisies of the crusade against steroids even more persuasive than he may realize is that a number of the reductio ad absurdum scenarios he presents are no longer merely hypothetical. Consider that the medical science supporting player performance and longevity has evolved to the point where distinctions between treatment and enhancement, maintenance and modification, blur to meaninglessness.

Right now, in the same sports sections where writers damn steroids and hail the sanctity of baseball's records, one will also find upbeat features on pitchers who have extended their careers via ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, more familiar to fans as "Tommy John surgery," whereby a player's body parts are rearranged and sewn back together in what might be described as an entirely "artificial" manner. After the operation, the player spends a year rehabilitating and then presto! - an extra decade of useful elbow life. It bears noting that the man behind the eponym, Tommy John, recorded 164 of his 288 career wins after his revolutionary 1974 procedure. John isn't the only pitcher to throw better post-operatively. During one spring training game following his surgery, reliever Billy Koch, whose "original equipment" arm topped out in the upper 90s, clocked in at an astonishing 108 mph. Koch subsequently joked of the surgery, "I recommend it to everybody ... regardless what your ligament looks like."

Among the dozens of current major leaguers whose careers might have ended years ago but for this single procedure is the man who may well go down as the greatest closer in baseball history: Mariano Rivera. In fact, "Mo" probably would never have even had a career without the surgery, which he underwent three years before he joined the Yankees and began breaking opposing players' bats with his hellacious "cut fastball."

Similarly, Lasik and other vision enhancements afford almost any contemporary athlete the visual acuity that helped make Ted Williams a nonpareil hitter and judge of the strike zone. This is not a case of athletes with subpar vision trying to achieve normal vision; it's a case of athletes with normal vision trying to achieve exceptional vision. Even in sports where vision isn't as crucial as it is in baseball, players swear by laser eye surgery. Retired NFL running back Tiki Barber once credited Lasik with contributing to his best season ever.

Now let's add molecular-level improvements in Sports nutrition, workout technology, and miscellaneous gear, and we'll find that today's ballplayers, with their guards, braces, and other aids affixed to various limbs, don't just look like cyborgs as they stride to the plate but have actually become them.
Steve Salerno
Macungie, Pa.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

D-Train to pitch out of the pen

The Tigers activated Dontrelle Willis today and Jim Leyland indicated he wouldn't be headed right back to the starting rotation but rather the bullpen. His replacement Armando Galarraga, hasn't exactly been sucking.

I predict Dontrelle will continue getting lit up in the bullpen, just as he would have had he not been placed on the DL and stayed in the rotation. All adding up to him ending up in the bullpen anyway.

Chone Figgins activated

I am 100% sure the Angels did this just to give me the opportunity to shout "You suck Figgins!!"

Guerrero just hit his second dinger of the game. Will the real Shaun Marcum please stand up.

"You suck Figgins!!"

Toronto Blue Jays Announce Signing Of Cristiano Ronaldo

Who Are Ya?
Noted scumbag and prancing weenie Cristiano Ronaldo has been signed by the Toronto Blue Jays to piss me off and generally be a pain in the ass. General Manager JP Riccardi noted that "even the best players have a hard time scoring! Look at him, he was only standing 12 yards from a giant net and still he couldn't get one across." JP remained confident that the flamboyant nancyboy will smoothly transition from choking during penalty kicks to watching third strikes with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth.

John Gibbons was unavailable for comment, storming out of his office after the GM told him the news. Several reporters overheard him shouting "how many homos can one team have" to the GM before saying he preferred players who used "more eyeblack than hair gel."

The Jays have shutdown discussions with potential all star shortstop John Terry, as he has been placed on the disabled list with a broken heart. He's expect to be out for the next 40 to 50 years.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Can't cash'em in

I'm quite sure I couldn't have been screaming my face off anymore than I was during the 8th and 9th innings tonight down at Rogers centre while the Jays did battle with the Angels. I was quite convinced that with the bases loaded, and none out in the 8th at the very least a couple of runs would cross the plate to make things interesting. Didn't happen. However, I was quite jubilant when again, the Jays loaded the bases with only one out in the bottom of the ninth courtesy of a wild K-rod. Aaron Hill was at the dish, and I was 99.97% sure that good things were going to happen. Didn't happen.

What happened? They shit all over themselves. It actually couldn't have been much worse really. For the love of god Alex, you just can't strike out looking in the bottom of the ninth with the tying run on second, and the winning run on first. Swing the fucking bat. Jump in front of the fucking ball or something, I don't care. Don't sit there like a chump though. You're better than that.

Again, the pitching was solid. Didn't look like McGowan had his best stuff, however he made the most of what he did have, and gave the Jays the chance to win the game. All told the Jays left 23 runners on base while scoring just one run on 9 hits. What can you do. One thing that Toronto fans are getting to realize on the off chance they weren't already aware is that Scott Rolen is a fucking beast at third base. It really is a pleasure to watch him swallow up everything hit in his vicinity. Gold fucking gloves son.

Junior Hockey Is Child Pornography

I heard a whisper blowing through the Hale Force Winds today, that exactly zero Blue Jays games will grace the domestic airways this week. The Memorial Cup has taken over Sportsnet, going so far as forcing former clubbie and shaving cream bukkake enthusiast Sam Consentino to break down the talents of 18 year old future alcoholics.

Junior hockey in Canada makes college football look like a Sunday church league. There isn't even the illusion of education, just straight up exploitation. The London Knights area seats 10 000 people. The players make in the neighhbourhood of $400 a week. Unless you are 13 years old, there is no good reason to watch, follow, or support junior hockey. There is certainly no reason to watch it on TV.

So our Jays are marginalized once again. And who's to blame? Gary Bettman, of course! Were the 2004 season not canceled, Sportsnet wouldn't have promoted the Memorial Cup so heavily. Our hockey-mad compatriots turned up in record numbers, and a cash cow grew to national network level. Apparently MLB.TV is a washout as well, so game channel or Jerry and Alan will see you through the night.

Note: Apologies to Neate and everyone at Out of Left Field, who do an excellent job covering the CHL. By no means are they peddlers of child pornography or smut of any kind. Aside from CIS sports. That just leaves me feeling dirty.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Re-Opening Day! Boners Re-Abound!

With an even record and a quarter of the season complete, the Jays essentially have a blank slate. They are four back in the division, three in the wildcard. Things could be much, much worse. They've started to get some bounces (their Pythag has come around to a plus 1). They've even been winning one-run games.

The streaky guys have already had slumps, the doubles guy seems to be pulling the ball and doing the doubles thing again. The highly paid guy is hurt, but the highly paid closer guy is nine for nine in save attempts. The highly paid rotation guys have BOTH made relief appearances, while some of the best work out of the bullpen has come courtesy of the unheralded guys.

Things are looking good, in other words. The summer will eventually start, and anything could happen. Some AL East rivals are already coming back to earth, while the team with the payroll greater than the GDP of Portugal will inevitably get hot. The grim certainly of a long Yankee winning streak makes my chest ache, so I'll have to delight in their current struggles. It would be just fine by me if they took it upon themselves to continue sucking dearly. It looks good on them, and great on me.

In honor of the summer and things that are generally awesome, I slapped together a video using some idiot-proof program. It took skill, effort and precision. Or about 5 minutes of dragging and dropping. Reminded me of the last time I quickly disposed of a body....anyway, it features images of some of the greatest things on Earth that I happen to have jpegs for. The music is Trapped Under Ice. Check them out in Toronto on June 1st.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

...and some days, it rains

Oh Bull Durham. No matter what, that movie never gets old.

The unstoppable Shaun Marcum took the mound today to show the Phillies why the whole of Toronto has a massive size man crush on the man. The rain came and delayed the game however, effectively ending Marcum's day after just an inning of work. He threw only 22 pitches and allowed a two run homer to Ryan Howard.

The game resumed when Shawn Camp took the hill in Marcum's place and threw three solid innings, allowing only one run. Lyle Overbay pinch hit in the fifth and went yard with a three run jack that at the time tied the game. Shannon Stewart has since doubled in a couple and the Jays go to bat in the seventh leading 6-4. A win today would bring the club back to the .500 mark as they continue to try and claw up the standings in the East.

Long rain delays can always mess up a team's lineup and force them to use more pitching then they'd like to. Case in point today, where Roy Halladay came out of the bullpen to finish off the sixth inning. Shit, I can't remember the last I saw Halladay come out of the pen to work. I'm sure it hasn't been as long as I think, nonetheless it's strange to see. I'd take the time to actually look it up, but someone else will before the day is done which means I don't have to.

Update - Hallaway came out and threw a scoreless 7th, what a great bullpen.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

What has actually happened...

Rod Barajas has hit a grand slam.

Ryan Howard is hitting a buck eighty eight.

Alex Rios continues to struggle mightily.

Chase Utley could be the next MVP from the Phillies infield.

My computer is now virus-free and less basically all previously stored files.

Fuck yeah, more to come.

Ghostrunner Curse - The Evolution

It seems as though the "Ghostrunner Curse" has given way to something more heinous. The "Ghostruuner on First Guys Are Full of Shit, Anything They Say Will Result in the Opposite of the Desired Outcome, With Only the Gravest of Consequences" curse is less a curse and more of a burden. As any basement-dwelling ne'erdowell knows, you make enough predictions, some are bound to be right. Of course, many are bound to be oh so terribly wrong.

In our brief history, we've seen strange things happen after insulting or praising players or teams. Kevin Millar breaks out of slump, hits game-winning home run. Scott Rolen is hailed as the saviour, only to have our throbbing manboner break his finger. High-end profile writer Ben McGrath is praised for outstanding work in the field of Baseball Eccentrics, he leaves the New Yorker to write for Note: This is entirely untrue. The most shocking of all came just yesterday. Jayson fucking Werth shattered my belief system to the core.

I tried to appease the angry gods of fate. I even gave him credit! I said he's put together a decent season! My grave error was referring to him as a shitstick. Oh, the karmic power of the shitstick is not to be trifled with. 3 home runs and club-record 8 RBI later, I'm afraid to leave the house. Who knows what awful damage my next utterance may bring? I've already ruined my favorite player's career, how much more blood can I possibly get on my hands??

I'm not sure what to do. Is the universe angry with me? Is it because I haven't seen Iron Man? Are the heavens displeased with my choice of putting down Atlas Shrugged in favour of The Dark Knight Returns? I'm sorry, I swear. I'll stop using the future tense, the present tense AND the passive voice. Oh shit, wait.

The Jays continue their series with the Phils tonight. Fucked if I know what will happen. AJ Burnett may or may not pitch, the Jays will either win or lose. The game will be decided by whichever team manages to score the most runs. At this point, all I hope for is an orderly game that will eliminate the need for a violent bloodbath.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

New Wonderland Coaster Dubbed "The Blue Jay"

Extra innings on getaway day is a slap in the face. Using 7 relievers in a game before you get to the Citizen's Bank Homerdome is never a good thing.

Dustin McGowan - Has Wildness, Will Travel

It's hard to complain about 5 innings of 2 hit ball. But 5 walks and a HBP do not a great start make. When does gritting it out turn into sloppiness?

Scott Rolen - Has Immense Balls, Tremendous Mass Makes It Difficult to Travel

Holy fucking Shit. Rocco Who? Is there anything he can't do? I hope the boos this weekend in Philadelphia fire him up even further. The are right to boo in a way. Should the sad day ever present itself and Scott Rolen ceases to be a Blue Jay, I will feel downright ROBBED. As if something valuable has been stolen right out from under my nose. And he's only played 18 games.

Manny Ramirez - Has Charisma, Will Convert

I'm sorry, I just can't do it. I can't hate the goofy bastard. I don't care that he's lazy, or that he kills the Jays. He brings an infectious level of joie-de-vivre to the ballpark. He HIGH-FIVED A FAN in the middle of making a great catch and doubling off a runner. He proceeded to the dugout with a huge grin on his face, and regaled the rest of the team with tales of his hijinks. Amazing. Video courtesy of BallHype.

Alex Rios - Has Loopy Swing, Will Whiff

Is it time to be officially worried that Alex Rios is tied for 6th in the league in strikeouts? That his OPS is barely above .700? What is going on? I can only wonder. Tabliniks said his swing is looking long, but is he just not picking the ball up? He is usually a quick starter, so this rough start doesn't bode well. He did have an RBI today. Conventional Thinking 101 dictates he should "let the ball travel" and "really think about going the other way". Emotionally invested, short-sighted blogger thinking dictates that he should "stop sucking" and "get the dick outta his ass". Hopefully he'll go with the former.

Philadelphia Phillies - Have Lefties, Will Tater

The Jays move on to a weekend set against the Phillies in their super-shrinky ballpark. Their lineup is pretty scary from top-to-bottom, including former Jay shitstick (and nephew of DISCO DICK SCHOFIELD!) Jayson Werth. He's actually putting together a reasonable season, with better numbers away from home. This team full of lefties could give the Jays fits. Enter David Purcey. He'll start tomorrow, bringing his big ol'curveball with him. He struggled to throw strikes in his first start, just getting it near the plate will be enough to entice Ryan Howard to swing.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Boof, Breakouts & Burnout

A trimmed down Boof Bonser took the mound tonight and immediately continued his trend of brutal first innings by surrendering a grand slam to Matt Stairs. I actually missed it, and was completely shocked when I flipped back to the game and saw a 4-0 Blue Jay lead in the top of the first. How Bonser picked up the moniker Boof as a youngster, I have no idea. Why he legally changed his name to said moniker in 2001 baffles me even more. Still, it landed him at the top of the list for best nicknames in MLB, so he's got that going for him.

Anytime the Jays can put up four runs in the first with Roy Halladay on the mound, you've got to be thinking good things. Even against the best hitting teams, you've got to like your chances. Well, after a Justin Morneau big fly and Jason Kubel double, the four run lead was down to one. The Twins then tied it up after a couple of singles and fielder's choice in the third. I felt like I was watching some type of bizarro game. Tonight was Halladay's ninth start and he comes in having pitched 63 innings (almost 8 per start) not to mention 4 complete games. We all know he's a workhorse and can throw a zillion innings if need be, it'd just be a piss off if he was burnt-out from this heavy workload early in the season.

I sense the bats are coming out of their horrendous, season long funk. True, it wouldn't take anything substantial to be declared breakout at this point. The ugliness of the early season wouldn't/couldn't continue for much longer. Even the legendary 2003 Detroit Tigers and their 43-119 record hit better with runners in scoring position, and we're not anywhere near that bad.

5-4 Jays in the bottom of the sixth...should be good enough

Happy Boofday to You

As DJF outlined, today is Roy Halladay's birthday. Thankfully, he is older than us so we can still look up him without feeling like a weirdo. The Twins have gifted Halladay a start against Boof Bonser. We should all be so lucky.

I hope Sportsnet has decided to give him the gift of no longer running his promo bumper. I feel as though it is an insult to the mild-mannered ace. Forcing him to shill for a network that continues to employ Jamie Campbell just isn't fair. Let Litsch do another one, he seemed to be tickled pinker during his 5 second line reading.

The anniversary of the good Doctor's birth dovetails nicely into some thoughts I've been kicking around for a little while. Aside from daydreaming about a Rolen-Halladay lovechild of manliness, my thoughts have turned to Roy Halladay's ultimate legacy. Perhaps it is too early, but I'm afraid he'll never truly be appreciated for the kind of player he is. The greatest culprits of Roy Halladay's due recognition: Fantasy Gurus.

The Blue Jays are far from a small market team. One of the largest population centers in North America, a media contingent made up of 2 local papers, 2 national papers, 3 national sports networks as well as the various and sundry local TV stations/free transit rags all follow the team closely. The Jays don't get much press attention south of the border, but the same could be said of most non-YankSox teams. If you are an average baseball fan in Texas, Washington or Florida, you probably won't know too much about Roy Halladay. And why not? Because his fantasy value is relatively low.

At the start of the season Halladay was the 99th ranked player in Yahoo fantasy leagues. So far this season, he is ranked 88th overall, presumably on the back of his 4 complete games. His strikeout numbers are up slightly over the last few seasons, but still well below traditional power pitchers. While there are certainly some players I will concede are better fantasy options than Halladay, are there really 87? If you were starting a baseball team, can you think of 8 players you'd take ahead of Halladay?

A quick look at Roy Halladay's baseball reference page reveals some shocking truths. He's never lost more than 8 games in a season. He's never had a full season with an ERA under 3. The most shocking are the variety of names that appear on his most similar players list. Mark Buehrle sure, I've made that point before. Roy Oswalt? Yeah, he's a fine player. Chris Carpenter? Uh, okay. I guess numbers don't lie. Matt Morris? I think a small part of me just died. John Smiley??? Gross. Pat Hentgen?? Wow, that makes we wonder.

Baseball Reference goes on to rate Halladay's likelihood of being elected to the Hall of Fame as slim. He's about halfway to a number of Bill James' creation that equates to Hall of Fame credentials. I can see Halladay continuing to be effective even as he ages and loses some zip on his fastball. His injuries have been of a freakish nature but even if he remained healthy for the remainder of his career he would likely fall well short of Big Important Numbers such as 300 or even 250 wins.

It is a shame that these landmarks and milestones are often how a player is measured once his playing days are done. He has his Cy Young, and would likely have another were it not for now-teammate Kevin Mench. He doesn't even have Dave Stieb's constant flirtation with/eventual raw-dogging of a no-hitter. But these aren't the ways I'll remember Roy Halladay. His focus on being efficient and pitching to contact is a pleasure to watch and a credit to his position. Too many gunslinging strikeout artists fall by the wayside early, their preening and bad habits sideline their career before it begins. Halladay's mechanics and attention to efficiency should keep him going for quite a while yet.

All Blue Jays fans will remember Roy Halladay long after he's hung them up, but my original point was about fans and media in other cities. More knowledgeable fans of AL East rivals know and hate Halladay for his ability to handcuff and beat down their teams. Yankee fans probably don't know much about Roy Halladay because they generally know jack shit. They tend to observe a Yankee loss as an act of god, not a product of quality opponents. But do Angels fans acknowledge and respect the unique approach that Halladay took to turn his career around? Would the BBWAA recognize this? Is the world we live in so upside-down that the only man to start his team with Roy Halladay as his pitcher is the one regarded as the worst president in the history of the United States???

The only thing I know for sure is that Roy Halladay is the pitcher who's work I've most enjoyed. His quick working style coupled with his fiery yet reserved demeanor make him a model ballplayer. Despite the humourless approach he brings to his own work, another enjoyable Halladay trait is his ability to yuck it up with the lads and appreciate his teammates performance. It humanizes him and endears him to us more. That and his similarity to the Man With No Name. But maybe that's just me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I'm Confused, What Does "W" Stand For?

Pity poor Jamey Carrol, he's still recovering from his run-in with a rumbling train.

Shaun Marcum - Consumer of Batting Orders and Superlatives

What is left to say? Each start is better than the last. He's bound to have a bad start soon, but he doesn't strike me as the type of pitcher to just have a terrible bed shitting. Perhaps some Towers-esque wildness in the strike zone? He changes speeds so well that even that seems avoidable.

Asdrubal Cabrera Shuns Other Infielders, Vowels

Asdrubal Cabrera joined Mickey Morandini and Troy Tulowitzki in the exclusive "Middle Infielders with Goofy Names" club. Another member of the unassisted triple play club was in attendance as well. Randy Velarde has been a confectioner at Progressive Field for the past 4 years. When reached for a comment, Velarde simply said "people don't tip when they are giving standing ovations. Sit down and feed my family, I beg of you."

Exciting and Dynamic Graph Makes Learning Fun

This site (via Shysterball) graphs a team's performance versus total salary. Interesting yet pointless. That is how we get down around here. The graph is updated daily so you can track the progress of...fuck it. So you can watch the pretty lines move. That is the only reason to update it daily. Oh no, my team's graph has an relatively large slope! The Tigers and Yankees are competing to see who's most mentioned in both economics and calculus classes.

Scoring Runs is Integral to Winning

As Wilner details, many squared-up balls ended up in leathery graves tonight. I just hope nothing panicky and hare-brained goes down in the name of shaking things up. Some misguided people have suggested "selling high" on a guy like Marcum with a "big bat" coming in return. Lunacy. Insanity. Overwhelmingly braindead retardedity.

The Blue Jays are not a fantasy team. The American Leauge is not a keeper league with the really, really high stakes. They are trying to run a business and win baseball games. IN THAT ORDER. Pitching is baseball's greatest commodity. Cheap pitching is what every team craves.

Look at Billy Beane. What did he trade Mark Mulder (effective pitcher due a big payday) for? CHEAP PITCHING. When that cheap pitching came of age, he flipped it for MORE CHEAP PITCHING. If you can't hit (like the Blue Jays) but you can pitch, you'll be in almost every game. The wins will come if you keep getting people out. If you can't pitch, you have no shot. None. Zero.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Jays Brass Look to Doubleheader As Opportunity To Increase Lie Output Twofold

Sunday's rainout lead to a paucity of official misdirection from the Jays front office, but they've outlined Monday's traditional doubleheader as a chance to make significant gains. "It's simple math" Jays GM JP Spicoli Riccardi explained. "If we tell twice as many half-truths, they have to add up to one whole truth, don't they?" JP managed a self-satisfied smirk when asked about the condition of Injured Player Y. He then presented the press corps with a monkey trained in sign language, the newest addition to the Jays public relations team. "We call him the Swirsk, and he's going to handle the bulk of my PR work from now." the GM announced. The monkey promptly took the podium and informed the puzzled scribes of Vernon Wells' injury status, the challenges with Jeremy Accardo's arm and an excellent recipe for Eggs Benedict.

Manager John Gibbons looked frustrated and annoyed with the prospect of using twice as many clichés and making twice as many excuses for his teams offensive failures. "Managing the bullpen becomes the real challenge." Gibbons confessed. The Jays manager's annoyance only grew when he was informed that managing the bullpen during regularly scheduled games was technically still his responsibility. When hitting coach Gary Denbo was asked about the prospect of the team's average with runners in scoring position sinking twice as much in only one calender day, the coach dashed from the room, shouting "they'd have to get on first!" before hiding in the trainer's room. Denbo was later found in the fetal position under a massage chair, reading up on careers training monkeys in sign language.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Adding to the infirmary and so on

Fuck everything.

Working on weekends is shit no matter what you do. On top of that I have to come home and learn that Vernon Wells may be out of action for a while. Normally such an injury, although shitty, wouldn't bother me except for the fact the Jays can't score any God damn all. What's next? Shaun Marcum needs Thomas John surgery and is lost for a thousand years? Like I said, fuck everything.

The Jays are down 3-0 in the first, and fuck'em if they score that many tonight.

I'm totally over reacting, but as I said: working on weekends sucks.

UPDATE - 12-0 final Indians. Worst.

Wrist Injury Pun

Ho Hum another right handed bat
He won't be any worse at the dish than most Jays.

Brad Wilkerson - bargain basement lefty option has suddenly transformed into Brad Wilkerson - starting right fielder. Vernon Wells won't be in the lineup today, and Wilner reports he could be out for the rest of this series. I think we picked the wrong season to start blogging about the Jays. Anytime Roy Halladay can't throw a strike to Consonants Cabrera in a bunt situation, something is up. And by up, I mean down. My hope is they've hit the lowest point now, when the impact is "lessened". As we've all said a million times, there is plenty of baseball left to play.

I definitely recommend checking out L'Homme Du Sports' podcast this week, featuring Joe Sheehan of Baseball Prospectus. 40 odd minutes of baseball nerditry. If you weren't sold on Sabrmetrics or Moneyball or whatever before, Sheehan holds Simmons's hand and make it seem even more logical and essential than before.

Later, the pair discuss the growing trend in baseball moving towards more athletic, five tool players at all positions around the diamond. With cornerstone pieces such as Alex Rios, Aaron Hill, Vernon Wells, Shaun Marcum and Dustin McGowan, the Jays seem to be a study in this movement. Former shortstops, pitchers who are used as pinch runners, each one a multi-talented player. Alex Rios may never hit 40 home runs but he does a wide variety of things well. Strike out, for instance. I kid, I kid.

Simmons and Sheehan also discuss the increased value on health and the ability to keep players on the field. I wonder about the links between the athleticism and injury. Are more athletic players more prone to nagging injuries, having asked so much more of themselves physically? Or are players with better bodies and increased fitness more likely to ensure a greater ROI for those that sign the checks? I know one thing for sure, some five tool athletes are victims of a cruel, cruel god.

As an aside, I can't believe I hadn't read this article about Rocco making the most of his time on the DL. Rocco Baldelli - Renaissance Man.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Jeff Spicoli Named Blue Jays GM

I'm America's Most Respected Actor
All he needs are some tasty waves, a cool buzz and he's fine. And a right hand hitting left fielder with some pop. When presented with a list of fine prospective employees (Thanks to the Southpaw for doing the heavy lifting here) including Jason Botts, Milton Bradley, Josh Phelps and Kevin Mench, GM Spicoli brushed the names aside. His advanced scouting team has decided that the aforementioned lefty mashers wouldn't be joining the team, mostly because "Those guys are fags" and the team would be signing Brad Wilkerson instead. Sources have revealed that Mr. Hand has been serving as a special consultant to the new GM, providing inside information pertaining to prospective outfielders indeed being on dope.

Spicoli will be ordering his pizza to the opposing dugout for the next 10 days, as his Blue Jays are heading out for long road trip. Roy Halladay will take on C.C. Sabathia tonight, the Tribe's ace still boiling over the Jays headman's destruction of his prized Firebird. The Clevelanders are very much a Blue Jay doppelgänger, matching their anemic offensive with equally impressive pitching. Sabathia has struggled for much of the year, though he had a good start against the Yankees recently. Halladay has always fared well against the Spiders, and the Jays are surely going to need a good start to make up for the non-Rolen offense.

Update: GM Spicoli has removed the bagel from his shorts and made a move. The Jays have actually gone ahead and acquired Kevin Mench. Gus Chacin has been informed that while he doesn't have to go home, he does have to get the hell out of here.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Shortstops Go Down, Rolen Steps Up

David Eckstein and John McDonald were both placed on the 15 day DL this afternoon, leaving the team without a starting shortstop. The team has called up utility man Joe "Some drop science well I'm droppin" Inglett to serve in a variety of roles.

The team is considering a radical new defensive strategy, as Scott Rolen has volunteered to play the entire left side of the infield. "I'm just trying to help the team win" offered the best option at both positions. Numerous baseball statheads and number-geeks were sent scurrying back to their parents basement, divided on the potential impact to his zone rating. The erudite Rolen mentioned in passing that his range factor may take a hit, but the team is what is really important.

Manager John Gibbons, who until recently was hesitant to use gloveman/savant John McDonald as a defensive caddy for the diminutive Eckstein, now sees Scott Rolen as the answer at short. And Third. "This is a team that struggles to generate offence at times, so we need as many bats as possible" Gibbons remarked, adding that he has petitioned the league to allow Rolen two spots in the batting order.

Another option for the Blue Jays is to play both Inglett and Shannon Stewart in leftfield simultaneously. Gibbons believes that Inglett's inexperience coupled with Stewart's weak throwing arm could combine to form a great concurrent platoon. "Stew's got good range, but his noodle isn't the strongest" Gibbons continued: "If we use Joey as a built-in cutoff man, we can have the best of both worlds!" Gibbons added that with a right hander on the mound, we could see the concurrent platoon of Stairs and Stewart, who's combined range factor could match that of Carl Crawford.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Awesomeness the World Over

Let's Hope Atlas Doesn't ShrugScott Rolen - As Good As We Expected, Except Better

The Scott Rolen bonerwagon picked up a few more members as the Manmountain hit an insurance home run, made a mind-bending play at third and generally did awesome stuff all day. Rance made the point that after his jack, the entire team seemed to relax, as though each guy realized he didn't have to do it all himself. I think they all realized that Scott Rolen is in fact Jesus, and will teach them to fish and lead them through to desert to Valhalla. Or something.

Shaun Marcum - Where is the ceiling?

Rance Mulliniks fell all over himself tonight offering effusive praise for Shaun Marcum's recent performance. He stated that while some pitchers may have better arms, nobody in the big leagues is a better "pitcher" than the shell-necklaced greaseball. It is hard to argue with the results.

Rick Ankiel to Resume Pitching, Requests Rubber Be Moved to Deep Center

He is an absolute animal. MLB's ironfisted approach to video prevents me from embedding it here, but you can see the freak of nature in action here. He also added a home run, giving him 6 on the year. More than any Blue Jay I will add for no real reason. Update - I cannot stress enough how great these throws are. I just watched them again, and I cannot believe the second throw occurred on our earth with its prevailing gravity.

Getaway Day - What the Starland Vocal Band was really singing about

Despite having the first inning or so preempted by Paul Maurice's scapegoating, Vin Scully came into my house and made my "sick" day much better. An 80 year old man calling a baseball game with NO COLOUR GUY! Simply amazing. He's been working for the Dodgers since 1950, when they were still in Brooklyn! 59 years is too long to live, let alone work for the same company. Wikipedia tells us that he makes in the neighbourhood of $3 million a year, which means that even if he wanted to, he couldn't afford to move back to Brooklyn. He still does an admirable job, and hopefully Jamie Campbell can steal something from his repertoire.

Brad Penny is gigantic, but took labouring to an entire new level this afternoon. I think David Wright is the loneliest guy in the league, for reasons that are my own. The guy that the Mets traded for Johna Santana hit for the cycle today. And that ain't not bad.

Fun with movies that were better when you were in high school

Chasing Amy is on in the background, a movie I thoroughly enjoyed in the halcyon days of my youth. Turns out, it sort of sucks! I say sort of sucks, because even back then, the second half was a dreadful bore of a love story. Sort of like Wedding Crashers, funny first act set pieces give way to mushy time wasting. A fun game to play when watching movies featuring actors who have gone on to much bigger things: "Who's had their teeth fixed?" The answer is "all of them".

How can we free Johnny Mac now?


It's likely John McDonald is heading to the DL after suffering what is being called a "high ankle sprain" last night. I suppose you could call that a good thing given how bad the injury actually looked at the time. The timing of this injury is the worst as David Eckstein was sucking just about long enough to ensure Johnny Mac of some more playing time, especially in the field. Now with Eckstein hampered by a hip flexor, the Jays may called up Jorge Velandia or Pedro Lopez from Triple-A.

Cheers to David Chalk over at bugs and cranks for pointing out my incorrect preseason assessment of Eric Hinske. It saddens me to see him tear apart Jay pitching night after night, and I long for the day he returns to being horrendous. I'm sure that isn't too far down the road.

UPDATE - Stoeten over at DJF posted an update via Wilner at the Fan that if so, is the best thing I've heard tonight.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

All good things

Yes, I'm a nerd

Unfortunately, winning streaks inevitably end. Although A.J. Burnett struck out 10, he still let Eric Hinske get the better of him. Hinske led the Rays to a 5-4 win going 2-4 with a double and solo home run. These shocking and unsettling actions caused me to vomit and want to fight my television. The Jays weren't going to go undefeated in May or anything like that, but losing to the Rays with Hinske being one of the catalysts just pisses me off.

On the bright side, the Jays did manage 10 hits and the bullpen once again was solid with Brian Tallet and Shawn Camp combining for three scoreless innings in relief of Burnett. Shockingly, David Eckstein actually hit a ball OVER the head of B.J. Upton in centerfield cashing in a run. So what if Upton was basically standing just north of second base when the ball was hit? Eckstein was one of three, yes three Jays to play shortstop on this night. Unfortunately injuries to Eckstein and McDonald were the reason. McDonald needed to be carted off the turf after injuring his right leg in the sixth on a ball hit to his right while Eckstein had to leave the game with groin trouble in the fifth.

All winning streaks come to an end, and I'm sure Shaun Marcum and his 23 pitch arsenal will do all he can to start a new one.

NOTE - Chuck Swirsky announced he's leaving Toronto to become the radio play by play voice for the Chicago Bulls beginning next season. I could get all ignorant and rant about why this kicks ass in so many ways, but am quite positive you all share the same sentiment in that regard. If not, I don't give a shit as I'm tired of listening to him blather on cluelessly about almost everything as I drive home from work.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Profiles in Courage

The tear-jerking story of a great Canadian, as read by the Frenchest guy who ever lived. "ockey fever has return to da fan"

Also, David Eckstein hit 9th! Johnny Mac came in for defense! Praise be to Allah!

Of course you can play the trap in baseball

Take a look at the scores. It's quite obvious the Toronto Blue Jays have mastered the art of the trap. There's just no other rational explanation.

What is with this B.J. Ryan balk shit? Did he or didn't he balk? Ryan's been playing since 1999 and has balked a grand total of twice. So why is his delivery just now becoming a topic of conversation? Because some umpire in Boston decided he'd mess around and call one on him at a crucial point of the game? Enough already. There are a number of things that can happen to constitute a balk, one of them being that a pitcher throwing from the stretch fails to make a complete stop with both of his hands together before throwing the pitch. If you watch B.J. Ryan he raises his hand to about eye level and stops, albeit briefly, then delivers the ball. End of story. It isn't a balk now, it wasn't 10 years ago, and it won't be unless the fucking rules change. Yapping about it from the dugout in a lame attempt to throw off the pitcher is lame, and you're an idiot for trying.

5-0 to start May is far better than the 0-9 they went last year. Hey, even Shannon Stewart had 3 hits tonight. There must be better things to come still.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Numbers Game

Hey, Lyle. How are things? Yeah, you're right, things aren't looking too hot for you or the team offensively these days. The team is winning, true. And you play the hell out of the lukewarm corner. You even had an RBI today. Which is good. But other than that Lyle, you're kind of blowing it.

Oh Lyle, things started out so well for you. You were everything the Jays hoped for and more in your first season. Then last season, you started out poorly. Then broke your hand. So last year was a write-off. This year though, Lyle, hopes were high. But you've started out the season rather rolling low. But why?

Well, quite frankly, you strike out too damn much. The most on the team. Your BABIP is exactly the same this year as during your excellent 2006 campaign, you just aren't putting it into play enough. And when you are, you seem to be going the other way almost exclusively. Which isn't a bad thing per se, but could explain why you aren't racking up the doubles as you've been know to do.

It's your fault for fucking up the kidsWhy aren't you pulling the ball Lyle? Is this a conscious choice? Is Denbo all up in your shit, trying to turn you into Ichiro? Remember when Eric Neel gave you a big shout out? I do, he said you hit doubles falling out bed! Go back to falling out of bed Lyle! (Ed. Note: I really, really miss those Eric Neel On Baseball columns)

Maybe that's it. Maybe this is a precipitous drop off thanks to being on the wrong side of 30? Maybe you're thinking more about getting into bed than doubling to the power alley? Maybe you've lost some bat speed? I can't tell, the view from my parents basement isn't good enough. (Ed. Note: I also really miss Botch. I don't think Eric Neel likes Botch, but I sure do.)

There is one more number that you should crunch along with me Lyle. 17. Now that Frank is gone, why not take your old number back? It won't make a lick of difference, but you're a ball player. You believe in this crap. Do it. It'll feel good. Real good. 35 is a ballplayer's number. 17 is for overrated never-wases. If wearing 35 will help you regain your power stroke and find you driving the ball, by all means don it once again.

Just do something. Your inherent genetic flaw (left handedness) is actually a good thing in this game, and in this lineup specifically. Just think back to the view from second base. You can see it all from there. The signs, the girls serving in the expensive seats. And you're almost home. Come on Lyle, come home.

Not to be denied

Roy Halladay wasn't going to go out and throw another gem and come away with the loss. I was pretty sure of that. David Eckstein did his best to try and saddle Roy with the loss. His brutal throw after an Orlando Cabrera grounder pulled Lyle Overbay off the bag at first and paved the way for a three run third for the Sox. We all know how that shit could have been avoided.

That was all the Sox could muster, and the Jays ran their winning streak to four behind the continued brilliance of their pitching staff. Jesse Carlson came in and continued to baffle opposing hitters, while Jeremy Accardo and Scott downs came in and shut the door in the ninth.

One more thing I'm sure of: the OPS express will get his bat going soon and make everyone finally shut the hell up about Reed Johnson. I will add, and am unhappy to do so, that Shannon Stewart has been a huge disappointment, but not all calculated moves always work out.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Is a corner being turned?

Or is the pitching staff going to return to a level of performance that isn't beyond ridiculous? Honestly, I couldn't care less, so long as they keep putting up the W's. Oddly enough, the guy who was battling for the 5th spot in the rotation this spring is the first Jay pitcher to 4 wins. Just imagine if Casey Janssen hadn't been injured.

The bats seem to come alive (for the Jays) today and baby steps are being taken to right the offensive ship. 3 for 13 with runners in scoring position, believe it or not, is an improvement for the Jays and it's only a matter of time before they bust out of this funk. Vernon Wells came up big today which is great to see, because like or not, he's a big key to the success of this team. Sure the Jays left 21 runners on base, but at least they had those 21 players on to do so.

Julio Franco announced his retirement from professional baseball Wednesday at the ripe old age of 49. He'd long say he wanted to play into his 50's but father time seemed to have caught up with the oldest player to ever hit a home run in Major League Baseball. Franco was currently playing in the Mexican league for the Quintana Roo Tigers. Franco played his first pro game for the Escogido Tigers in the Dominican winter league in 1980, when I was two fucking years old! He made his Major League debut in 1982 with the Phillies. For as long as I can remember Julio Franco has been playing baseball in some capacity, mostly as a bona fide major leaguer. Although it doesn't make me all that sad he's retired, it does make me feel somewhat old. Franco retires with a career .298 average, 2,586 hits and 173 home runs in 23 seasons in the majors with eight teams. He also used one of the heaviest bats in the league...figure that shit out.

Parkes over at DJF has an oh so fucking true post on Nick Swisher that all should read. If you disagree, you're an idiot.

NOTE - The Reverend feels for Lloyd as his Habs have been ousted by the scumbags from Philly.

Extraneous Thoughts from The Ballpark

Jays Win = You're Moshing
I think I'm running out of ways to describe the dominance of this pitching staff.

Mark Buehrle is a left handed homeless man's Roy Halladay
Not a homeless left handed man like Jesse Orosco, Arthur Rhodes or Mike Stanton, I mean he does a reasonable Roy Halladay impression. Works quick, throws strikes.

Orlando Cabrera is swarthy man's John McDonald
They each made jaw-dropping plays during the game. I'll give Johnny Mac the edge because I want to. Seeing him in the lineup made me all warm and tingly. Again, not that it means anything, but the Jays are now 4-1 when he starts at short. David Eckstein, though he didn't play, still managed to piss me off. At the end of the game as the Jays walked out to exchange pleasantries, the Weasel made a big production of HUSTLING TO BE FIRST IN THE HANDSHAKE LINE. I don't know why, but it made my want to rush the field and rain blows down upon him.

Shawn Marcum will throw you any pitch in any count
He just doesn't care. One thing I worry about is the whole "I was really sick" story that seems to appear every time he has a great outing. We already love you Stieb-lite, you don't have to force the issue.

Closer by Commitee - Heart attack on Demand
Me - Awesome, top of nine. Somebody make the scoreboard explode, it's Bo Junior o'clock. Oh wait, he pitched yesterday. Wait, who the fuck is that on the mound? Shawn Camp? Mother of god. Now they're bringing in Shutter Downs? Isn't his arm broken or something? Give me strength. I will concur with the Reverend and say that Jesse Carlson is straight-up boner fodder. In my mind he's becoming Andrew WK. Hey you, let's party. Carlson's going to have a party tonight.

The Rogers Center reminds me of a cemetery for librarians
No fanfare preceeded the top of the 9th. You'd think that this team leading a game in the late innings was commonplace. The Rogers Center was dead last night. The stupid wave appeared in a 2-0 game in the top of the eighth inning. I'm going to start a fire. Though the fat dudes who spent 8 innings yelling variations of "You suck Cox" to the Sox third base coach deserve some credit. No, they actually deserve public flogging. Hey fat people, stop being fat. It's gross.

Fun in Real Time (Saturday's Game from my desk at work)
Who knew? Another Jay start, another outstanding performance. Jesse Litsch used his phone to take a picture of his red rocket. He then sent that picture to David Purcey. You won't steal his job that easily Dave. Jays scored runs, even hit a home run. Alex Rios just stole third off of a very expensive reliever. Aaron Hill is the streakiest hitter on the team, and maybe in the world. BO JUNIOR! SLIPKNOT! FIRE! JIM THOME IS BIGGER THAN THE BATTERS BOX! Rehabbing BJ Ryan is officially a top-stepper. WINNING STREAK! QUALITY STARTS! SUPERLATIVES!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Offense is overrated

Just ask him.

I'm going to continue to tell myself that so long as the Jays staff continues to shut opposing teams the hell out. Sure the Jays went 1-7 on their most recent road trip and managed a comedic .093 average with runners in scoring position.

The entire staff has been lights the fuck out recently, and there is no reason to believe that this won't continue. I'm not sure there are many left handed hitters in the league that could get a hit off Jesse Carlson outside of it being an accident.

Sure, there are still no bats and they are still relatively inept in the clutch but even when opposing teams put the ball in play, there are no guarantees. Scott Rolen is a brick wall at third, and I'm quite positive John McDonald gave many fans boners this evening with that play late in the game on the diving miss from Rolen.

A win is a win, whether it's 2-0 or 15-11. I could care less how they get them, and I think we may see more of the former, but as the cliche goes: "Great pitching wins championships." Am I getting ahead of myself? Absolutely, but isn't everyone?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Please Return Your Boners To Their Upright and Engorged Position

Gibby politely informs Bruce Dreckman that he will NOT go gently into that good night. Neither will his scrapgritastic team.

Looking Ahead

The Jays return to the sanitary confines of the Rogers Hornsby Memorial Center today, where they will take on the first place Chicago White Sox. The good people at The 35th Street Review (a White Sox blog) were kind enough to ask me to preview this legendary weekend tilt for them. I encourage, nay implore, you to check it out. I'd just like to thank them for the opportunity, and encourage them to keep up the good work.

Some Good That Has Come of What Just Transpired

Win or lose, the Jays starting rotation has been nothing short of sensational. The losing is tiresome, but no team that pitches this well will ever be too far from .500. The last time through the rotation has been other worldly. Five straight quality starts, one win. Whatever. I'm not ready to give up hope quite yet.

Buzz Bissenger is Currently Drafting a Soft-Focus Feature on the Much Maligned Will Leitch

The Tao nailed it a way I only wish I could, but there are a few things about the lunacy on HBO the other night that I refuse to let go.
  1. Buzz and douchebag emeritus Bob Costas cherrypick some of the greatest reporters of the 20th Century when asking Leitch about quality on the internet. Will said the same thing anyone with a brain would: those people are wonderful writers. It is hardly fair to pick out the worst of what blogs have to offer while ignoring the laziness and incompetence that spawned them.

    What about Deadline Danny of the Polookaville Post? Sitting in the press box, his story already written by the 6th inning, dying for the game to end so he can hit the postgame spread and be home in time for CSI?

  2. Reporters have long favored the few players who are willing to give honest answers and not speak in the bland, rehearsed platitudes that athletes are known for. One of my favorite blogs (and often linked here) is The Mockingbird. Why does General Hale need to ask AJ Burnett about his start, when he can analyze the data? I guess we should dispose of the Pitch F/X machines and simply ask AJ if he was "battling" or "had his best stuff tonight."

  3. A few months back, Big Daddy Drew wrote an amazing and dickjoke laden post about what a blog really was: a blank website. It can be anything you'd like, and the Blue Jay blogosphere showcases it perfectly. You can get a wide variety of analysis, opinion, comedy, and most importantly, discussion. The depth of discussion is what brings people to blogs, depth you're unlikely to find in any newspaper or on any hockey-mad television station. They don't have the time or the resources to dedicate to the minutiae of Johnny Mac's role with the team.
I'm not a journalist. I have no journalistic training (shocking I'm sure) and don't really aspire to be one. I enjoy doing this as a creative outlet, as a way to get more out of a game and team I love, and just do something outside from sitting around growing more and more obese. Micromanagement, media training and larger than life persona's have changed the fan's perception and attitude towards athletes. Surely, someone will understand when we fans have a little fun at the expense of these carefully shaped public images.

Bullpen Free Drifter

Roy Halladay slowly saunters off the mound, facing his third loss in a row. Halladay has pitched complete games in each of these outings. He just don't get no support. He is a stranger in his own town, a drifter born to walk alone. None of his teammates can offer any consolation, nobody knows the trouble he's seen. Halladay slumps down in front of his locker while the entire team gathers around, unsure of what to do or say.

Long Arm of the Arnsberg: [after Halladay blows up the Red Sox and but suffers the loss] What the hell happened?

Roy Halladay: Somebody left the door open but not a single damn dog came home.

Mayor Rolen: Be careful. You're a man who makes people afraid, and that's dangerous.

Halladay: It's what people know about themselves inside that makes 'em afraid. [The Starter exhales deeply, looks forlorn] I don't know if I can do this anymore.

High Plains Gibby: See here, you can't turn all these people out into the AL East alone! It is inhuman, brother. Inhuman!

Halladay: I'm not your brother.

High Plains Gibby: We're a team, we're all brothers in the eyes of JP.

Halladay: All these people are your brothers and sons?

Gibby: They most certainly are.

Halladay: ...Then you won't mind if they jump on your back, will ya? You can carry this team without receiving any run support.

Bench Coachin Butterfield: Well, I been needin' to talk with you; now's as good a time as any. About Vernon Wells.

Halladay: Don't know the man.

Butterfield: Well, you missed your chance. You shot him so full of cut eye yesterday; he shriveled right up into a ball and died.

High Plains Gibby: We need you to go out there again Roy, in just a few days.

Halladay: I'd love to oblige you. But a man's got to get his rest sometime.

Gibby: Oblige me?

Halladay: But I tell you what, if you'd come back in about 3 days, I'll see what I can do, all right?

Little Jesse Litsch: What happens after Roy? What happens after we pitch and pitch and we still lose? What do we do when the game is over, we haven't come out and we pitched our guts out? What do we do when it's over?

Halladay: Then you live with it.