Monday, June 30, 2008

Jays Face Off Against Mariners, Realize How Much Worse it Could Be

All Uncle Ted needs to do is up the payroll by $20 million. He too, could have a light-hitting catcher making $8 million a year, a first baseman sporting an OPS+ of 84 while being paid $14 million a year, and a bench guy named Willie without an extra-base hit all season. Perhaps the Jays could double what they paid Miguel Batista when he was a Jay to see an ERA+ of 60 up close an personal. How about a DH making $8 million with an on base percentage of .269! Not a misprint, simply a travesty.

This team is terrible. I pity the poor folks at USS Mariner, who run an outstanding operation yet are forced to focus on this mess. At least they have Brendan Morrow; he makes Joba look like Jarrod. JJ Putz isn't long for this world by the looks of this kid.

All Mariners contract information via Cot's Contracts, stats from Baseball Reference. Follow the links to have your spirit broken. No wonder everyone chases the dragon in the Northwest. Here, this will lift your spirits before the M's take 2 of 3 from the Jays.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Not Quite Enough Said

Credit Crunch

Not to step on the Reverend's toes, but to dismiss Jair Jurrjen's performance last night as another shitty outing by the Jays isn't fair. He was outstanding, mixing his pitches and changing speeds really, really well. The Jays hit a few balls hard, but they were generally in the direction of Mark Teixeira's Hoover-like glove. The Portuguese Prince kills the Jays more frequently than he pours chiment; amassing 16 home runs in only 40 games. He plays a mighty fine first base and enjoys sandwiches of his mother's creation. Looks like he hit another today. Bloody hell.

Ça va mal Frenchy?

I was pretty excited to see an old mancrush in the flesh yesterday. Jeff Francouer is an exciting player that is mired in a terrible season. He's been dropped all the way to 7th in the order, and just looks out of sorts at the plate. He did make an excellent catch in the right fielder corner, but wasn't given the opportunity to unleash the cannon. Hopefully on Sunday the Jays will string together a few hits. You go first-to-third over his dead body.

One thing he has in his favour is a fine beard of neglect, continuing a theme among players I "admire". I'm off next week, but I'm moving. So I too, will have the depression beard in no time.

Cito and his lineup = BFF

I'm all for some stability in the lineup, but Cito has resumed his WAMCO ways and set the lineup in stone. Rod Barajas was on fire, then sat 4 straight games. Eckstein was having a good month but clearly Cito and I share more than the feeling that Inglett should hit second. That feeling is a good one though, as Inglett has dropped science, english and all manner of academia since being installed as the #2 hitter. Including today, he's sporting a dead sexy .417/.481/.583 line since starting the game in the on deck circle. It's only a 5 game sample size, but that is insane improvement from that spot in the lineup.

And what of poor Brandon League? He hasn't thrown a pitch since his call up, yet Brian Tallet has pitched mop up in both drubbings of the Reds. Give the man an inning!

Cito shook things up a little today, slotting Barajas and Eckstein back into the lineup, with Barajas providing a home run. I'm sure Eckstein ran to first after drawing a walk. He's so special. He's also been hit by a pitch. That is satisfying on numerous levels.

Friday, June 27, 2008

2008 not 1992

The 1992 team could score.
The 2008 team cannot.

It was nice to jaunt down memory lane prior to the opener between the Jays and Braves tonight. How quickly I was reminded that this year's team is in no way, shape or form like the team from 1992. I was also reminded that Devon White's catch was one of the greatest things in the history of the entire universe.

Three fucking hits. Enough said.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Why Waste Time Learning When Ignorance Is Instantaneous

Ever feel like the world is an alright place? As though 99% of people aren't profoundly stupid and reactionary? Spend some time over at Mike Wilner's blog, where the dumbest guy in your office/ICU unit/fingerpainting monkey guild will tell a professional analyst, who watches EVERY SINGLE GAME up close and personally, that he is wrong.

Sometimes they come armed with misinformed stats, but usually it is the "he's overrated because I saw him hit into a double play tonight, and I'm mad so trade him right fucking now!" My favorite part of any comment involves the words "We are paying him X dollars." Sadly, you don't pay shit. You don't pay to watch the games, you don't pay for the radio broadcast, you don't pay to read the blog that you take the time to shit all over each and ever day. You buy a ticket once or twice a year and that is it. Take your free entertainment, have the grown up explain what is going on, and shut up. Have some fun with it, it's fucking baseball.

Wilner isn't a Joe Morgan or Steve Phillips type clueless figurehead, trotted out in front of the public because of their name value. He knows his shit, and the evidence he presents is logical. Yesterday, Overbay was the target of scorn. Wilner presented the argument as "he isn't nearly as bad as you people are suggesting." He isn't saying Overbay is Barry Bonds or David Ortiz, simply that his season, while not Hall of Fame-worthy, hasn't been terrible. Nor is he the cause of the Blue Jays struggles. But "fans" are frustrated and need someone to blame for their deadend job, mounting debt and ugly wife the struggles of their beloved baseball team.

Update - Untapped Resources of Moronic Behavior Discovered

Wilner's commenters are the Dystopian Fiction Book Club to the Severe Brain Injured Support Group found commenting on Sportsnet's blogs. While the posts are as bland and inoffensive as you'd imagine, the comments left alternate between blissfully unaware or horrifically unfunny. Not for the faint of heart. Jamie Campbell's latest entry is white enough to be see-through, but only in the comments can you see someone refer to Darren Fletcher as "Fetcher" only to add "yes misspelled on purpose for comic relief". I'm embarrassed to be a human right now. I bet ElCarnal really got a kick out of The Love Guru.

In other news
Rocco has a beard. It's awesome. Other Rays have grown beards to show support for Rocco. They are also awesome. If only they played in another division...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gene Tenace Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

In an unprecedented move, the Baseball Writers of America have voted unanimously to elect Fiore Gino Tennaci to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. The writers agreed to waive the five year waiting period because of Tenace's incredible contributions to both the game and the world at large. Induction ceremonies at to be held in between the fourth and fifth successive home runs the Blue Jays are due to hit against perennial Cy Young candidate Aaron Harang.

The vote went through during the second inning of last night's game.The carnage left behind after the offensive explosion (or eruption) totaled three home runs, 22 hits and 14 runs. All of this after the Jays bats savaged the Pirates like so much syphilis scurvy; adding 2 more home runs and 8 runs total.

Tenace took over as the hitting coach for one of the worst offensive teams in all of baseball. Literally ALL of baseball. The Toronto Blue Jays had fallen behind Gary Carter's Orange County Flyers in total bases, extra base hits and number of guys moonlighting at the local deli. Tenace's arrival signed a fresh start for the moribund Jays, and a two day transitional period was all it took for Tenace's revolutionary methods to take effect.

Tenace is being elected as both a builder and manager. His earth-shattering philosophy of "see ball, hit ball" has been the tipping point of the Blue Jays season. After only 4 games, the former catcher has not only undone the harmful effects of an unqualified, barely literate witch doctor but also set a potential triple crown winner's career back on course.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


No joke! The Jays pounded out 22 hits (7 for extra bases) in Cito Gaston's return to Toronto, making a complete mockery of Bronson Arroyo in the process. They sent the entire lineup to the plate in both the first and the second innings. Fuck'd if I know the last time that happened, but it wasn't this year.

Every starter had at least one hit, and A.J. Burnett "the good" showed up, throwing eight strong and striking out seven; while only allowing the one earned run. Maybe all the guy needs is a little run support? One can only hope. Don't expect the Jays to rack up 20 plus hits a game, but tonight's effort certainly has John Gibbons scratching his head somewhere.

In other news, it's likely Shaun Marcum is going to be out until the All-Star break. The schedule may allow the Jays to go with a four man rotation, or they could recall John Parrish from Syracuse to make a few spot starts. He's been lights the fuck out this season. Also, Aaron Hill is taking a two week leave from the club as his post-concussion struggles continue. It's not often a ball player is sidelined with a concussion but Hill seems to have gotten a raw deal here with the trouble he's had. I hope David Eckstein feels like shit.

Tomorrow Starts Today - Opening Day Redux

Today is the first day of the rest of your life Adam Lind

Cito Gaston, heeding the sage advice of every Jay-watcher this year, has pledged to play Adam Lind pretty much every day. After his 12 pitch battle-come-dinger into orbit, all signs point to him "getting it" this time around. And by signs, I of course mean hope. He isn't going to solve the punchless Jays problems alone, but getting league-average or better production out of left field is certainly a start.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life Joe Inglett

How does starting second baseman for a month sound? How does number 2 hitter sound? Joe Inglett reminds me a lot of Mark DeRosa, and I mean that in a complimentary way. His bat and versatility should keep him in the big leagues, but lack of a "true position" may hold him back. As I said before, he's earned himself some more playing time.

Cito has said he's going to hit Overbay either 2nd or 5th, so here's hoping both players make his mind up for him. If each man makes the contribution they are capable of (no small feat this year), I like Overbay 5th and the Doctor 2nd.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life Adam Dunn

Perhaps not. After responding to JP's comments in the calm and calculated manner of a man lacking passion, Adam Dunn makes his first visit to Twoonieland. The Tao send him a big, sloppy kiss with mending fences in mind. Sadly, I can't see Uncle Ted cutting a big enough check to Git'r Dunn. If only there was a sudden infusion of cash that Rogers could count on in the coming weeks...

Today is the first day of the rest of your life Joey Votto

Not really, today is simply the first day you will be bombarded by "hometown boy makes good" questions from local hacks desperate for a lazy angle this week. Joey Votto is clearly a stud, going off like a cannon to the tune of 7-12 with a home run at Yankee Stadium. Of course the Jays could use that kind of pop in their lineup. Of course he'd love to come home and play for the Jays. Of course it won't happen until 3 years too late.

Today is the first day of the rest of your life Cito Gaston

Jeff Blair said it on Sunday; but now that Cito and the Jays are at home, with a day off to collect themselves, we will get a real sense this club's direction. Looks like Inglett is hitting second once again! Scutaro is leading off, Lind ninth?!? If you insist Cito. Go on with your bad self. Eckstein now feels the same way about Cito as I do about Eckstein. No one could ever accuse him of not making his mark on the team. With a few weeks to go before the All Star break, Cito does still have time to rejuvenate this team. Is this what hope smells like?

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Denbo regression

Gene Tenace is back and Matt Stairs evidently isn't going to miss ex-hitting coach Gary Denbo that much. According to Stairs, Denbo didn't suit his style. Stairs goes on to mention he doesn't believe he's the only Jay who regressed during Denbo's tenure; adding Denbo's approach most likely contributed to the Jays home-run drought this season. Who fucking hired this guy? Who wouldn't want a hitting coach that sucks the life out of the teams bats? The Jays enter tonight's game with 51 home runs as a team, 43 less than they had at this point last season. Sounds like the Denbo approach was about being a pussy, whereas the Tenace approach is centered on aggressiveness. One only needs to look at the decline in output from someone such as Alex Rios to see that Stairs may very well have a point.

These guys have had success at the dish before and there is no reason they can't again. We've all seen it, and continue to scratch our heads as to why they just can't get it done. Maybe this is the first step in a progression back to confident and productive hitters.

More on this over at the Mockingbird and at baseball digest daily.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Four, Five & Six

Shut the fuck up. Six runs driven in by the four, five and six spot today? That's about the kind of production you'd almost EXPECT from the heart of the order. After managing just three runs in the first couple of games the bats came alive today in an 8-5 victory over the Pirates. Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay and Scott Rolen each drove in a pair of runs, while the OPS Express fresh up from the farm hit his first big fly of the season, a trend that hopefully continues.

Joe Inglett hitting out of the two hole was a solid 3 for 4 with a run scored. Somewhere Lloyd is overjoyed and will be ecstatic as soon as Brandon League sees some action in the days to come.

Cito Gaston finally got to enjoy his first win as Jays skipper since piloting the Jays to a 3-0 win over the Yankees September 19th 1997. The victory also ensured the Jays didn't come back home from a road trip that could have seen them go 0-6 without the win today. Something that's only happened twice in team history.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Talk about timing

In the midst of playing some pretty poor baseball the past few weeks, the bad news continued as Shaun Marcum has been placed on the 15 day DL.

The Jays are calling it an elbow strain after a visit with a specialist. Evidently Marcum had been receiving treatment however decided on the move after the discomfort continued. Marcum's 2.65 ERA is second in the American league and he's been one of the better stories for the team in 2008.

This made room for Adam Lind who was recalled. He's been great down in AAA but the exact opposite when playing with the big club. Let's hope he finally gets it right, though he really couldn't be much worse than the rest of the offense at this point.

Aaron Hill continues to be plagued by post-concussion symptoms which is expected to keep him away from the park for some time to come.

When shit is bad, it's just bad. At least it appears everything is okay with the Doc, because if it hadn't been they might has well of mailed it in.

And the villagers rejoice Jays DFA Kevin "oh THAT'S why he was unemployed" Mench and recall BRANDON LEAGUE. Holy shit. The future is now.

Cito's First Order of Business

Sloppy Joe, Seconds?Find someone to hit second.

The Jays can't score, this everyone knows. Alex Rios, Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay et al are having horrific years. This everyone assumes, but isn't exactly true. This team is victim if its own horrible, self-created circumstances.

The Toronto Blue Jays are 26th in runs out of 30 teams. But they are 17th in hits, 10th in On Base Percentage. So why the discrepancy? Where did all the runs go? Who or what is this black hole, absorbing all the base runners with its immense gravitational field? The number two spot in the order sucks up all the outs with the best hitters still on the edge of the event horizon.

How is this for a slash line for the number 2 hole: .224/.284/.312/.596? ATROCIOUS is how that is. A .596 OPS? How is that possible?? A .284 on base (following a .317 OBP of the lead off men) means the number three guy (Rios, Rolen, Wells on occasion) are coming up with 2 out nearly 70% of the time. Highly paid or not, that is a lot of pressure to put on a team not built for power. The Jays don't need to score a lot of runs to win, but if they are to fully adopt a small(er)ball style, the need for production from this spot is crucial.

Consider the Minnesota Twins. They have hit even fewer home runs than the Jays, yet have scored almost 60 more runs. Their #2 hitter? The world renowned Alex Casilla. Currently trucking along at a healthy .298/.350/.421/.771 clip, he's driven in only 24 runs. What he isn't doing, however, is compounding his teams flaws by making outs at an insane rate. While Rios/Wells/Rolen aren't Mauer/Morneau/Cuddyer, they are all good bats. Perhaps, as the Tao suggests, they are good 6, 7, 8th spot bats only. Production still shouldn't be THIS much of an issue.

Were I in Cito's cit; I'd do two things:
  1. Depressingly, lead off with Davey Eckstein. Only while the offense struggles, but right now he seems to be the only one able to get on base with any regularity.
  2. I'd play Joe Inglett every day until Aaron Hill returns. His splits are damn impressive, so long as he steers clear of lefties. I'd go ahead and hit Inglett second as well. Marco Scutaro has been exposed as a utility guy that can't do it every day.
After that, I'm almost ready to get wacky. Rios - Overbay - Wells - Rolen? Rios - Wells - Overbay - Rolen? Where does Lind figure in? I think he figures in prominently (as the number 7 hitter against righties), but I also believe some of the bloggy conjecture that he's stuck in AAA until he gets his attitude in check. Which sucks.

The Jays don't have a stud like Roccopolous or Chase Utley to hit second; so until Aaron Hill is healthy (soon please) and as consistent as his Beantown doppelgänger, this spot will be trouble. Paging Doctor Joe Inglett?

Jump Up and Down Update Jays Recall Adam Lind!!!

Jump Up and Down off a Bridge Update Because Shaun Marcum is on the DL and going to visit the ligament pimp of Birmingham

Friday, June 20, 2008

Yard Sale

Gibbons, out. Denbo, out. Pevey, out. Whitt, out. Apprently it's turn the fucking clock back day as Cito Gaston and a couple of other familiar characters return to the Jays coaching staff. Nick Leyva returns to coach third and Gene Tenace returns as the new hitting coach. Dwayne Murphy was hired to replace Ernie Whitt as the first base coach.

I have no fucking clue what prompted this bizarre change other than perhaps the Jays shitty performance in June. Oh I suppose you could say J.P. is reaching for something that just may turn this farce around. Who the fuck knows.

Maybe someone will win that v-tech million dollar cycle dealy tonight. I don't know what else to say. I wonder if Juan Guzman still pitches...

What the Hell is Ghostrunner on First?

Ghostrunner on First is, before anything else, a Toronto Blue Jays blog. We live by the Blue Jays, we die by the Blue Jays. We try to keep that love from getting in the way of the our true enjoyment of baseball. Wins and loses are important, but the action on the field is what keeps us coming to the park.

If you are looking for rearranged AP game recaps sprinkled with curse words; you've come to the wrong place chump. What the games mean, how they make us feel, and having a good time at the expense of the personae you think you know and love are what you'll get here.

We may hate the idea of the opposition, that won't stop us from appreciating awesomeness when we see it. No matter what jersey it comes dressed in.

We also love numbers. Far from sabermetricans, we do realize that the vast array of stats available to baseball fans help us differentiate between what we see and how things really shake down. That's important, because we tend to get a little riled up.

We love defense, we love pitching. We hate scrap, hustle, and heart. If I wanted to watch a bunch of guys "trying hard", I'd watch Men's league at Christie Pits. I want to see something special. And I want to have a good time doing it.

Pirates Announce Signing of Barry Bonds

Taking a cue from their weekend opponents; the Pirates have attempted to capture the spirit of their 1992 National League Eastern Division championship team by brining back a key member.

"We saw the Jays were making a calculated, grandstanding move with an eye towards gate receipts and thought, why not us?" GM Neal Huntington stated in during the crazed press conference. "Sure, we have a young and cost-effective team, but consumer confidence is at an all time low. We needed to ensure casual fans yelp with delight at a familiar name our dedicated fanbase sees that we are moving in a positive direction."

With the Detroit Tigers sputtering along, many pundits have wondered if Jim Leyland's job is in jeopardy. "We'd love to have Jim come back here. Obviously he's still under contract somewhere else. But if he became available, he's welcome to smoke up a storm in our beautiful new dugouts."

When asked about the Jays naming Cito Gaston their new manager, the Pirates headman stifled a laugh. "Really? He hasn't worked in a decade! Amazing."

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Where do you start?

John Gibbons? Probably not. Sure the Jays are playing like complete garbage and deserve to be ten and a half games behind Boston at the bottom of the American League East. They are indeed better than this as Lloyd has already indicated. It's been suggested and I tend to agree that the lack of offensive production can't be solely blamed on the Manager. Could he be doing something differently? It's easy to say yes, but when you think about it, I'm not sure he could.

J.P. Riccardi? Maybe. Hard to believe it's been six and a half years since Riccardi took over for Gord Ash November 14th, 2001. One of his first deals was to send Billy Koch over to his former team for Eric Hinske and Justin Miller. This wouldn't be the last time we saw J.P. swing deals with the Athletics. I remember the enthusiasm when he took over, but it has since waned after 7 seasons without a post-season appearance. I'm not sure you can blame Riccardi entirely either, as he has made moves that appeared solid but haven't really worked out.

The Burnett signing, although horseshit now, seemed to have potential upside. Lyle Overbay is better than his performance would indicate. Bengie Molina was a Gold Glove catcher, didn't work out. As much as he's tried to improve the team with deals & signings, he's failure to retain Jay talent and acquire players have cost the team. He failed to hang onto Ted Lilly and sign Gil Meche, so went with discount options Toma Ohka, John Thompson and Victor Zambrano. We all know how that worked out. The Frank Thomas signing...think what you want, but it was never a good deal no matter what anyone says. His five year plan, his interfering/input into lineup decisions...I could go on, but people will draw their own conclusions. How much can you really trust a guy who when ask about why he hid the true extent of the B.J. Ryan injury in 2007 responded, "They're not lies if we know the truth."

Paul Godfrey? I sure the fuck would. Paul Godfrey is a clown. Many may not remember, but when he was publisher and CEO of the Toronto Sun from 1984-1991 he stood up in front of the city and stated that the construction of the Skydome would not nor would it ever cost Toronto tax payers and money. A billion dollars later... He played an instrumental part in getting Art Eggleton and Mel Lastman elected Mayors of the big smoke. Eventually he CEO and president of the Jays, God knows why. I often wonder if he even has a clue what he's doing. Frankly, I'm quite sure he doesn't. From selling tickets to visiting fans to lying to the commissioner of baseball about being a Toronto city councilor it's clear to me that his reign needs to end now if not, soon. Don't even get me started on this NFL bullshit.

Does something need to change? Again, maybe? One this is true. The Jays are 35-39 on the season after a horrible loss today and are losing ground. The MLB season is a long one, and there is time left to right the ship, but if it doesn't start soon, it's going to be a seventh season without a post-season appearance. No one said getting to the post-season was supposed to be easy, but it might be time to give someone else a chance to take a shot at it. It couldn't hurt.

See You in Hell

The Toronto Blue Jays baseball club hates you. They hate me, they hate us all. They obviously hate themselves. Why else would they allow Dave fucking Bush to no hit them for 7 innings? Because they're a terrible offensive ball club, you might suggest. You'd be right, but the Toronto Blue Jays baseball club aren't so easy to pin down.

Instead of rolling over, the Blue Jays offer us a final fuck you in Milwaukee. They score 6 in the 9th by way of 2 home runs, only to strand the tying the run. Now that is Blue Jays baseball, circa 2008. Punch in the gut, kick in the junk.

That is the same treatment AJ Burnett gave to what little trade value he has left. The same treatment Russell "The Muscle You Could Have Acquired For A Song" Branyan gave JP and 28 other GM's by hitting as many home runs this series as Alex Rios has all season. That Alex Rios, the one that gave good sense and the rules of baseball a kick in the spine. The howls for JP/Gibby's headsjobs are deafening, and I'm running out of ways to defend them. This team isn't this bad, except that it is playing this bad. Only four guys that would only create 5 runs per game on their own? Sad. Today's blow out come one run loss is just another strange tick in their Pythagorean record.

Stuff that doesn't make your neck itch for the hempy goodness of a noose

ROCCO'S REHAB is going swimmingly. Two home runs! Three walks! It's all happening!

And here is a video dedicated to all citizens of Toronto, nay the world, that are not of Portuguese heritage.

Not Throwing in the Towel

Simply changing that which cleans the horrible mess from the Blue Jays sheets. But the question begs asking; who will be the first to go?

Changing the manager is pointless but inevitable. Changing the GM won't do too much in the short term. But the players, ah, the players may move around. The most likely Jay to move is Matt Stairs.

What potential contender wouldn't be in the market for a professional hitter? The Diamondbacks by chance? They could use a left handed power bat that is capable of playing/has been known to play/was once seen standing in either corner outfield position. The Indians current left handed DH is on the shelf indefinitely with shoulder trouble, if they turn things around (before the Jays) things could happen. I'm not prepared to accept the reality of Tampa Bay buying a left handed bat at the deadline.

Stairs is cheap, experienced and is a capable pinch hitter. He is a versatile Jay, but he isn't really helping at this point. Moving him would free up a spot for, of course, Adam Lind. As John Brattain detailed, the production out of the LF and DH spots is already terrible, he can come up and suck just the same. Lind being spelled by Wilkerson & Mench isn't the end of the world, with one of that duo DHing on a given day.

What would the Jays receive in return? Who fucking cares. Maybe a piece they could flip in a bigger deal for the sorely needed Hammer of Thor. A player like Stairs would fit nicely in such a Burnett blockbuster, however unlikely that scenario is.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Jays To Brewers - "Hey, That's Not Fair"

No fair guys! You kept hittin it over the wall, just cuz we can't. You think you're better than us? Well, you're not. Because I said so, that's why.

What a bunch of jerks.

We're good at stuff too, ya know. We're waaayyy better pitchers, and our mom loves us the most.

One day, we'll grow up and be stronger than you. We'll hit 100 home runs in one game, and you won't be able to hit any. Then that stupid guy on the slide will cry and cry and never ride his slide again.

You just wait until tomorrow. Shaun won't let you hit any more home runs, he'll show you that just cause you hit lotza home runs, you aren't so great. You'll see...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Overblown, once again

Just like everything else in this city, this horseshit with A.J. Burnett is getting way the fuck overblown. It's Tuesday and we're still hearing about it. Leave it to Toronto media to turn it into a circus and spin it as the end of the fucking world. Were there no interesting Leaf stories to blather on about the past few days? Is A.J. Burnett a jackass? Probably. Who fucking cares. Yes, it's true, he is overpaid. As are dozens and dozens of pitchers across the league.

A.J. Burnett was asked a question. He proceeded to answer the question honestly, as you'd hope any professional athlete would. He then, gets lambasted by the entire fucking city for telling the truth. I suppose you'd rather the guy lie. Listen, it isn't his fault he's overpaid. Who's going to turn down million and millions of dollars if it's being thrown in his face. I sure the shit wouldn't, and neither would you.

Kudos to Steve Simmons for writing a load of garbage ripping Burnett along with JP and pointing out how we're now stuck in "another season of Blue Jay hope but not glory." He's bright enough to point out Burnett is a .500 pitcher something Toronto fans have never ever heard before. He then goes on to point out how our best players (Halladay, Wells and Rios) are all players left behind by Gord Ash. Evidently Shaun Marcum, Dustin McGowan, Scott Rolen, Lyle Overbay, BJ Ryan, Matt Stairs and Johnny Fucking Mac don't count for shit. It appears I'm not the only one thinking Simmons has no fucking clue as he gets his over at DJF as well.

The timing of Burnett's comments weren't probably great given the way the Jays have been playing, but why the massive backlash? I'm quite sure JP will entertain any potential offers for Burnett given they desperately need another bat or more to have any sort of hope. I'm not convinced they'll be any offers, then again, teams are always looking for mediocre pitchers they believe have upside to aid in a drive to the postseason.

It should be noted that I think A.J. Burnett is a douchebag for a variety of other reasons.

Off Days Cause the Mind To Wander

Jays Sent to Milwaukee as Punishment for Inconsistent Play

Well that homestand certainly didn't go to plan. The Jays now must suffer a fate worse than being last in the AL East: three days in Milwaukee. The baseball pain shouldn't be too terrible, though I suppose the Brewers are a decent team. Ben Sheets will teach class on how to be a large budget, oft-injured heartbreaker on Wednesday, while Dave Bush hopes to be the latest ex Jay to stop sucking long enough to make people wonder why he got the boot in the first place. Propagandhi fan Prince Fielder is having a decent year with 11 home runs. TVP is the new HGH! Chosen One Ryan Braun moved to the outfield this year, where his robust offense is no longer offset by his decidedly shitty defense at third. David Eckstein's older brother is somehow the Brew Crew's starting shortstop and their starting right fielder just died in your arms tonight. It must have been something you said. Wait, what? No, fuck that, it's a Corey Hart song. Cutting Crew??? Who the fuck are they? Bullshit.

AJ Burnett Abides

Somehow, AJ Burnett has become a sympathetic figure in my eyes. He's the Dude, and everyone in Toronto is the Malibu Police Chief. They don't like his jerkoff name, they don't like his jerkoff face, they don't like his jerkoff behavior, and they don't like him; because he's a jerkoff. Garth Woosley encouraged AJ to get his goldbrickin' ass out of his beach community in today's Star. JP would have to make one hell of a Caucasian to get him out of town at the right price though.

Just Because Something is Stupid Doesn't Mean It's Wrong

I'm ambivalent about interleague play. The Jays lack a geographic rival so it's all pretty contrived from their standpoint. The same thing applies for the DH. It's weird when you think that one guy just gets to hit, he essential misses out on half the game. It's also weird that National League stats count the same when you get to face either the pitcher or a guy too shitty to play everyday at least three times a game. I like that each league uses their own rules, and in National League parks their rules apply.

As detailed on Big League Stew today, people complaining about pitchers having to run the bases is a travesty. It is only RUNNING. This isn't the AFC having a rule stating "All quarterbacks must play middle linebacker at least one down per series when the NFC teams come to town." Wang was injured RUNNING. He's a professional athlete! He should be able to run 180 feet without breaking his foot in a way often associated with falling into a hole. If he fucked his foot up in a serious way running from third to home yesterday, he was bound to break down from the incredibly violent act of heaving a ball 90 miles an hour from a standing position.

Speaking of Big League Stew, they are reviewing all 30 big league parks this summer, and Monday was the Skydome's turn. The man in charge sent out the call for some assistance from a few of us blogging-type nerds and he included a few of my tidbits of knowledge. Check it out, and use your 10 year old email address to leave a few comments. Bier Markt, I know, I know. I've embraced my inner banker. I was concerned that my true love isn't a ballpark touring, RVing midwesterner kind of place.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Grit Giveth; Grit Taketh Away

My immediate thought when Reed Johnson came to bat on Friday night was "aw gee, isn't that an nice sentiment." He scragritustled his way into Toronto's heart, and the loyal fans repaid him. My very next thought was "it is awesome that Reed Johnson is up in this situation because REED JOHNSON SUCKS." If Reed Johnson was worth keeping, he wouldn't have been quite so disposable in the spring. If he was a starting outfielder on a big league club, he would currently be a starting outfielder on a big league club. Were he the answer to the Cubs needs, they wouldn't have plucked a 40 year old Salt & Pepper outfield retread off the refuse pile.

Of course, during Saturday's game, Reed offered me an extra large helping of Blow Me Soup and provided the Cubs all the offense they would need behind Jason Marquis. Marquis, in the latest indictment of the Blue Jays offense, threw a stellar 7 innings of 4 hit ball. I would have loved to be within earshot of JP when the ball flew into the bullpen. If the first thing out of his mouth wasn't his ever present wad of gum, then the words "You've got to be fucking kidding me", I'd be shocked. Of course, Reed wouldn't have been provided that opportunity if David Eckstein hadn't done his best David Villa impersonation. It was either a David Villa impersonation, or the impersonation of a shortstop by a second baseman.

The Jays filled their scrap quotient with Li'l Davey, who I will begrudgingly admit (again) that he's been exactly as advertised. His is almost directly on all of his career numbers. So that means JP got this one right? Are people willing to concede this? I think I might be.

This club is flawed offensively. While Davey's defense may have cost his team the game yesterday, image how bad they'd be without his bat? My skin is trying to flee my body right now, repulsed by my brain's acceptance that Eckstein's presence on the team, while grotesque and incomprehensible to me, adds runs. Johnny Mac isn't going to rock an OPS+ of 94 even if you let him hit twice in a row. The true crime here is an OPS+ of 94 is still below average league average! I am quickly driving myself insane here. I can't even take solace in seeing Rainn Wilson on College Street last night. It was slightly odd to see him (with a security guard in tow) but I'm mostly disappointed that I didn't ask if he'd been party to any malfeasance.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Better than most

On a day where the Jays were handed a beating by the lovable losers from Chicago, Tiger Woods showed everyone why he is the King of the entire World. If you don't watch, play or even like golf I guarantee you'd be amazed with the show he put on at Torrey Pines today. Bascially playing on one good leg he again torched the back side of Torrey Pines putting the fear of God into all the other players near the top of the leaderboard. I'm sure they'll sleep like complete piss tonight.

Kirk Gibson ain't got nothing on Tiger Woods.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Jeff Blair Shows What Side of the Bread He's Buttered On

Intelligent Journalists and Bloggers Stand Side by Side Against IdiotsSeeing as the Drunks are likely, well, drunk; I'll step in and give a slow, Brubaker-styled ovation to Jeff Blair. Watching Prime Time Sports as I write this, Jeff Blair is serving Mike Toth a savage beatdown with the truth stick. He asked Toth if he was on crack when he suggested that Gary Carter become the next Jays manager. He then demanded that Toth stand behind his suggestion, and offer reasons that he'd make a better field general than John Gibbons. A clearly rattled Mike Toth, sensing Blair's disgust with his very existence, tried to go cheap when he informed Snarlin Jeff Blair that "Gary Carter has two things you'll never have, a World Series ring and a plaque in the baseball Hall of Fame." Good points, Mike.

You'd be a fool to suggest that Mike Toth knows anything about baseball. I'm sure he knows plenty about junior hockey, or the Calgary Stampede, but not baseball. Jeff Blair, knows a lot. Blair and Wilner are the kind of journalists I enjoy most. They don't suffer fools or take shit lightly. Anyone who would criticize Wilner as a "know-it-all bully" is a weak-minded idiot. Of course he's a know-it-all, he's an expert in the field! His job is to know lots of stuff, even ALL OF IT. You'd prefer to call in, offer your inane, wrongheaded blather and have him congratulate you? You prefer living a life of ignorance and uninformed opinions over "learning" or "informing yourself on the topics of the day?" Well good, Mike Toth will keep "making show business" and encouraging you to plow forth without having thought about anything beforehand.

Update: You can hear the whole thing here, on the Prime Time Sports Podcast.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Incomplete Thoughts to Complete the Week

The doom and gloom surrounding the Jays this week is nothing short of shocking. I think the most important thing for people to remember is, um, this is your entertainment. Try not to take all the fun out of it by freaking out over every win or loss. That is the point, isn't it? Fun? Good times? Playoffs and Meaningful Baseball in September would sure be nice, but do you really care that much? Be honest. I write about the Blue Jays because:
  • I love baseball.
  • I love writing cheap, crude jokes and offering my opinion on crucial issues like the height of the fences inside a baseball stadium.
Changing the world, I am not. This blog has certainly increased the enjoyment I get out of baseball, and as a creative outlet has kept me on my toes. It also keeps me from lurking in the bushes outside the house of the Japanese girl that works on the 28th floor of my building.

Baseball Players are Highly Paid Athletes Whom You'll Never Meet or Know

In their new roles as Kings of all Media, the DJF guys have embroiled themselves in a mini-rivalry with Bugs and Cranks writer Spencer Kyte. I'm sure young Spencer is a fine guy, and if branding is to believed he could be a nicer guy than the drunks, but I rarely agree with anything he writes. I'm not one to take sides, except that I'm going to side with Drunk Jays Fans.

His recent post regarding the behaviour and performance of AJ Burnett. The article itself was pretty standard "he doesn't win!" stuff, but in the comments it really fell apart. A commenter came out and stated that while on a rehab assignment, AJ was cordial and polite TO HIM, and he witnessed him interacting with the double-A guys and buying them dinner. Kyte shrugged it off, flatly stating "I think he's a dick." First hand evidence be damned, I don't like him based on the way he acts on TV and has performed relative to his seemingly large (yet now below market) contract. Aside from that, he also said the only thing that matters are Wins and Losses. True, but so little of that is in the pitcher's control blah blah stats geek blah blah context blah blah.

I may disagree with David Eckstein's inclusion in the Toronto Blue Jays baseball club, and find his approach tiresome and overrated, but I don't know a damn thing about the man. Nor do I care. Scott Rolen could drown kittens, bang my sister, and beat me in an auction for True Til Death on green and I'd still love him all the same. They're not real people as far as I'm concerned. To their wives and kids they are, but Scott Rolen=Michael Scott=Jack Sheppard=Mick Jagger.

Friday is Going to be a Great Day

Cubs in town, work is a distant memory, but more importantly ROCCO STARTS REHAB. Having completed his super extendo Spring Training, Rocco is likely to join the Vero Beach Devil Rays (A) for a rehab assignment. Could big league ball be far behind? The Rays are pretty set in the outfield, so let's grease the wheels of conjecture and make up some scenarios that will land him in Toronto. Simple put, I'd trade anyone outside of Rolen and Halladay. I certainly will not be realistic. Minor league contract?

Fun Rocco Facts!
  • Hit his first career home run off of Roy Halladay (you see! he's the chosen one!)
  • Has a highly unfortunate tattoo of the MLB logo on his calf.
  • Was nominated for the 2006 Tony Conigliaro Award given to the player who has overcome adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination and courage the most Italian name possible.
  • Will be the starting left fielder for the 2009 Toronto Blue Jays, giving them the greatest defensive outfield ever assembled. Zone rating robots would explode, hearts would fill.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Jays Blame Low Octane Offense on High Gas Prices

The Toronto Blue Jays are not immune to the crunch of high fuel prices. Much like working people from all over North America, the Jays have been forced to adjust their lifestyle by switching to a lower-octane, fuel conscious offense. After hitting two home runs the night before (totaling a whopping 3 runs), the Jays could only muster one run on five hits against M's ace Felix Hernandez. Numerous officials have stated that if the price of gas & oil continues to rise, the impact on the Jays offense could cripple their chances this year.

When asked if he worried about the Jays offense, having scored just 5 runs in three runs against one of the worst staffs in the league, manager John Gibbons optimistically stated "I don't think it's going much lower, and it could go higher." Gibbons was quickly reminded that his club's next opponent had one of the best pitching staffs in either league and were owners of the best record in baseball, Gibbons appeared shocked. “That’s interesting, I hadn’t heard that” was the wily Texan's only response.

The Jays brass have preached efficiency in their attack, displayed today with the ever-popular RBI groundout. The team acknowledged that the RBI groundout worked in this instance, the runner reached third base by error alone. "We must reduce our dependency on foreign influence to score runs" GM JP Riccardi decreed. The GM refused to take responsibility for the team's poor output, claiming that management's ability to affect the offense is minimal at best. Reporters suggested giving young hybrid Adam Lind another shot with the big club, which was quickly shot down by the GM. "We think that is a foolish and unnecessary policy being proposed by our opposition." The general manager quickly called the press conference to a close, piled his family into his oversized luxury SUV and sped to the airport. Riccardi was scheduled to make the 2 hour flight to his Massachusetts home for the third time in the past two weeks.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

An Open Letter to The Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club

I know what you are thinking: open letters are hacky blogger cliche 1a. But this is a copy of an actual email I sent to the Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club. Please excuse the ass-kissy tone, my attempts to grease the wheels of progress are awkward at best. If you think this is a sound idea, feel free to email the team and demand they listen to my inane ramblings.

As a Toronto Blue Jay fan, I'd like to praise the improvements made to the Rogers Centre over the last few years. It has certainly become a much better place to take in and enjoy a baseball game. The additional video boards throughout the building provide fans with more information, though additional information regarding opposing pitchers and relievers would be greatly appreciated. I recognize the amount of ad revenue these boards represent but hopefully an equilibrium could be reached to appease the dedicated fan base that drives you business.

The changes to the field of play have been the most pleasantly surprising. The contrast in appearance and performance of the new Fieldturf surface to Astroturf is quite shocking. Video footage featuring the the old neon-green surface can be quite harsh on the eyes, not to mention the incredible impact the old surface had on the game itself.

This brings me my main point, or request as it were. I propose that the outfield fences be lowered by two feet to create more excitement for both players and fans alike.

I can only assume (based on anecdotal evidence) that the fences at the Rogers Centre are so high (10 feet) because of the incredibly springy, bouncy Astroturf which was the playing surface for so many years. A constant stream of balls bounding over the walls, leading to endless ground-rule doubles and reducing the action and excitement of the game. The installation of Fieldturf has rendered this point moot. The new playing surface behaves much like grass, even as Torii Hunter said "slower than grass." The new surface has resulted in the Rogers Centre yielding the 6th most triples per game. This is strange for a ballpark of symmetrical design, and is ostensibly due to balls slowing on the turf and dying in the gaps.

This is no longer a facility which needs to protect against bouncing balls and game slow-downs. US Cellular Field features almost identical dimensions but has uniform 8 foot high fences. With two excellent defensive outfielders under long-term contracts, the subtle change to the home field is one that could benefit the club without being unfair to visiting teams. Lowering the fences would not impact potential advertising space, nor would it present any type of safety challenge or impact either bullpen in a profound way.

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my request, I hope that it is considered in time for the 2009 season.

I wonder how quiet it could get

Seriously. Wake the fuck up Toronto! Make some noise or do something other than sitting on your asses, staring vacantly at the field trying to comprehend what is unfolding in front of you. It's fucking embarrassing. Don't you give a shit?

Man Chops McGowan is on the hill tonight looking as manly as ever. He's pitching pretty well also, thought we are talking about the Seattle Mariners. However, Ichiro does continue to rule the world and my fantasy team continues to stomp all others.

Just when it looks like the Jays are back to full strength, Shannon Stewart goes down, and Aaron Hill needs to reel off seven consecutive asymptomatic days following his concussion before he'll be cleared to start a rehab assignment. Evidently, Stewart could be out until sometime in July with a pretty bad ankle sprain. I suppose it doesn't matter all that much when Yo-Yo Inglett can fill in.

Vernon Wells back in the lineup is better than most things, and I'm pretty sure it's only a matter of days before Alex Rios steps it up. Why? Why the fuck not?

Elsewhere - Ken Griffey Jr. was one of my favorite players growing up. I can't really even remember why. Probably because he was amazing. Kid could hit, run, field and even had a fucking candy bar named after him. If he hadn't been beset by injuries for several years, I'm quite sure he'd have 700 home runs. Nevertheless it was great to see him get to 600. Never been any steroid concerns with him, for what it's worth.

Also - If you were one of the people bent out of shape as the "Hockey Theme" was/is no longer going to be heard before Hockey Night in Canada. You're an idiot.

I Lead a Joyless Existence

Walking the bases loaded? Pinch hitting for the designated hitter with the sole purpose of bunting? The opposing team's designated hitter, who had been making outs in 74% of his plate appearances, pounding a two run home run in the first inning? Getting picked off in the bottom of the ninth? Cracking open the baseball bible in the 10th inning and reading the opening line: "In the big inning there was first and third - nobody out" but coming up empty handed? The Toronto Blue Heretics renounced said religion and worshiped the false idol of double play balls and bad fucking luck.

EVH predicts the Jays record after 101 gamesThe only salvation this game offered was Richie Sexson uncorking the worst throw I've ever seen a professional baseball player heave. As a professional baseball player, he is paid to play baseball. One would assume him to have played the game at a high level at some point in his life, high enough that he should expected to execute a 100 foot throw under presure. Yet there he was, corralling a wild throw from the right field corner and turning to relay to the plate. From his spot just beyond first base, his throw to the plate made it almost halfway there. Miraculously, there was still a play at the plate. Kevin Mench lugging the immense weight of his helmet 270 feet is the only reason the play was ever in doubt. The video is here, Mench looks as though he'll never be the same.

Vernon Wells brought some awesomeness back from Florida in his suitcase. Most Canadians bring Milkey Way bars and Marlboros, but home runs, running catches and designated pinch bunters are good too.

Why people in this city love Darcy Tucker but hate AJ Burnett will always be a mystery to me.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Fuck the I.T. guy

Why? Because he really doesn't have any idea what the shit he's doing, or how to fix the problem. Often he may make it worse, leading you to tackle him and punch him in the mouth.

With what now seems to be a functional computer I'm ready to return to the interwebs and specifically the ghostrunner corner of the blogosphere. More of my time will be wasted, and that of anyone else who may stumble onto the page.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Blue Jays Bullpen Inflicts Testiclular Torsion on Blogosphere

Regression to the Mean Streak

It is difficult (or at least it should be) to complain about the Jays bullpen, given how shutdown dominant they've been. Even goofy Pat Tabler could see the Jays pen labouring last night, repeatedly falling behind and missing spots over the plate. That is the nature of relief pitching though, mistakes are magnified. Shaum Marcum's line seemed better than he actually pitched. He threw a lot of pitches (for him) and always seemed to have guys on. But 7 innings and 1 run is still 7 innings and 1 run.

My question remains unanswered: why let Marcum start the 8th? Gibby is certainly a players manager, but LOOGYs exist to face tough lefties in late inning situations. Four run leads or otherwise. Brian Roberts is certainly a tough lefty. I'm going to go ahead and dub him a ballplayer. Guy whom I'd rather assault than praise Kevin Millar has beat up on the Jays this year, hitting two home runs including a second deck bomb last night. Nick Markakis is indeed the Greek Rocco, and encouraged all Jays pitchers to bite the pillow.

Roster Fallout

Armando Benitez was a low risk/high reward pick up from the start. The reward wasn't worth the risk any longer, given his calamitous outing yesterday and the Jays new-found health. Armando was DFA'd to make room for Brian Wolfe, Vernon Wells and Johnny fucking Mac. Joe Inglett will have to break out his flimsy, weather-beaten E-ZPass, as he's headed back to Da Cuse. I recommend he hit up Syra-juice for a sadness smoothie. Aaron Hill has something more serious than an ice cream headache, and he's frighteningly headed to the DL due to his concussion. Scary stuff, but if Ryan Church can be back and playing after this, Davey Eckstein's wing couldn't have done that much damage? I certainly hope not.

Today's Game

The less said the better. The O's are absolutely housing the Jays. Gibby has emptied the bench, even Salami and Cheese Thigpen is seeing action. Congrats Curtis, you're the new Hector Luna. Vernon Wells entered the game for Shannon Stewart in the second inning, which is good (bordering on shocking) to see. Stewart has struggled in June while Wilkerson has come back to life. Another thrust deep into Adam Lind's raw spot. Wilkerson is an obvious improvement defensively, and so long as JP keeps the car battery hooked up to his nipples, a serviceable left fielder at the bottom of the order.

Speaking of fielding, with almost identical sample sizes, Alex Rios has outperformed Vernon Wells as a center fielder in terms of Zone Rating and Range Factor. Interesting, no? Not a bad problem to have. Two plus outfielders sucking balls out of the poweralley at a rate unseen since my impovrished turn as a college student.

Pointless Update One: Vernon Wells hit a double, and even Curtis Thigpen picked up a single. No runs of course, but encouraging signs.

Pointless Update Two: Those hits came off Steve Trachsel, so they only count for half.

Pointless Update Three: Steve Trachsel is charged with a wild pitch, allowing two runners to move into scoring position. Wild is not a word usually associated with the Human Rain Delay. Even his wild pitches are boring and mundane. Kevin Mench passed out waiting for Trachsel to come set, but the pitch ricocheted off his bulbous skull into centre field allowing the Jays to score two. Trachsel has been pulled in favour of someone with a pulse and a soul.

Pointless Update Four: The Jays add two more with a Wells sac fly and a Scutaro fielder's choice. Cheap runs are all well and good, but those are valuable outs if one intends to make an 8 run comeback.

Final Pointless Update: The Jays had no intention of making an 8 run comeback. Thigpen strikes out looking with two out and a man on in a four run game. I think I need a Quaalude. Look for the Jays to emblazon their jerseys with in the coming weeks. I'm done trying to make sense of it.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Better Living Through Chemistry

Having mellowed slightly since yesterday's scrotum punch from The Great Grape Smuggler himself sent me off the deep end, I am pleased to note that the horseshit Orioles roll into town. Their descent back to Earth hasn't been as swift I as I thought, but they're certainly on their way. A quick peek at their record shows them beating on bad teams while struggling against the good ones.

They're a strangely built team, with a couple young studs but mostly older jobbers holding down positions. Their pitching staff is as faceless as it is ineffective. They aren't nearly as terrible as they projected in the pre-season, but there's still lots of time get to 100 loses.

Hopefully the Jays won't find themselves mired in another one-run heartbreaker, as I can't take too many more. With a 9-13 record in such games, neither can Gibby. Cruel and heartless Pythagoras has smitten the Jays again, as they're back down to a minus 2 for the season.


Will Leitch is leaving Deadspin to be a contributing editor for New York Magazine. Good for him, bad for Deadspin? I wonder where Gawker might try to take the site now that the template already exists.

As Joanna pointed out, Manny smacked Youkilis right in his goatee in a post-donnybrook melee. Manny is proving his spot on the Mancrush All Stars was no fluke. I wish the Red Sox weren't so damn good. This won't serve as a distraction nor will it knock them from first place. Their fragile pitching staff on the other hand....

The Euro starts tomorrow. England didn't qualify. I hope it ends with a minimum of horn-honking. If I could bring myself to it, I'd be supporting France. Luckily I can't and won't.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Jays Take Rubber Match, Head Home wi-What the Fuck Just Happened?

Mother of god. I can only imagine the type of pain I would feel had I actually seen the terrible act that stupid Yahoo gamechannel for jerks just simulated for me. Terrible things should happen to Giambi. Terrible, unspeakable things.

Ready for the Yankees to go 25-5 in June? Because it's going to happen. You know what else is going to happen? Death. We're all going to die one day, no matter how much soy you drink or how many spinning classes you attend. I just hope it happens sooner rather than later.

In other news

The amateur draft was today. The Jays took a guy that plays a position and hits either left or right. Perhaps both. He likely projects well, standing to amass stats and improve as he nears adulthood. Based on today's game, he is much more likely to be struck by a lightening-powered runaway freight train carrying a full load of buses than ever participate in post-season baseball in a Toronto Blue Jays uniform.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Starlight Foundation and New York Yankees Allow "Special Kid" To Make Start For Team

The New York Yankees made a powerful, community-based gesture last night by allowing a developmentally delayed youngster to fulfill his dream of starting a game at Yankee Stadium. The ordinarily gruff Stadium crowd greeted the brave youngster with cheers and well-wishes right from the first pitch of his start, which was predictably rough. Yankee manager Joe Girardi halted the charade after 62 pitches, prompting the tragically spastic youngster to throw his glove in the dugout and feces in the clubhouse.

Girardi noted that when the handlers brought the young man into the clubhouse, he didn't seem "quite as sharp" as a regular person. Girardi added that he found his ability to communicate with people in a nearly normal way to be "top notch". When asked if he thought Joba may one day drive a car or perhaps work at a grocery store, the Yankee skipper was upbeat and guessed that "eventually he will."

The Blue Jays were just as positive in their assessment of this special boy's gifts, though Roy Halladay said he couldn't help but be distracted by the strange behavior of his counterpart for the night. "You notice" when asked about heartbreaking shortcomings that may inhibit Joba from truly enjoying a full and satisfying life.

Noted humanitarian and philanthropist Hank Steinbrenner watched the game from his harem in Tampa and said this was just the beginning. Yankee brass said they are considering Chamberlain for either promotional opportunities or distributing chewing gum to the players before games.

The extent of li'l Joba's physical and mental deficiencies are said to be overpowering, but that didn't stop the goofy bastard from going out there and giving it his all. Those close to him know that his inability to control his wild outbursts and yelping after performing seemingly mundane tasks wouldn't prevent their hero from attempting a near-impossible task.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Battle of the Mancrush All Stars

Official Beatwriter of the Mancrush AllstarsWith the Jays enjoying a well-deserved day off after an excellent month of May, it is time for my annual All-Mancrush Team. We've reached a point of the season where I can really see what guys are made of, and if they are made of Grade A baseball playing manbeef, than I'll single them out for manlove. Some upheaval in this year's squad, but were they ever to take the field, they would unequivocally go 162-0.

Catcher - Russell Martin. Is there such a thing as a five tool catcher? His power numbers are a little down this year, but he's been getting on base and being awesome at an unprecedented rate. I understand he's Brazilian. That is unusual for a baseball player.

First Base - I'll stand by my assessment that first base is for people that can't really run or throw. I can't really say that I have a mancrush on any first basemen, so it will have to be Pujols by default. I look forward to he and Brad Lidge's turns in Ace Ventura III - Jim Carrey Needs a Job.

Second Base - Aaron Hill. I'm just going to put it out there Aaron Hill: many slumps have been busted over Sneaky Dee's nachos during the wee small hours of the night. Given the way you've been swinging the bat, it couldn't hurt. The walk of shame from the plate to the dugout is more laden with despair and self-hate than home from the dorm of a battered and chapped co-ed.

Shortstop - Hanley Ramirez Johnny fucking Mac. Homerism trumps win shares. The Johnny Mac love is well-established in these parts, no need to embellish. The man, the myth, the manlove.

Third Base - Scott Rolen. I didn't briefly change the name of this flea circus to Rolenrunner on First by accident. The best third basemen I've ever seen. Period. That is all. That is an almost all Blue Jay infield. And why? Fuck everyone else, that's why.

The Manager of the Mancrush Team takes some BP
Left Field - Manny Ramirez. A surprise addition, even to me. I ordinarily hold out for defensive stalwarts, but Manny's won me over with his antic-based attack. I'm a sucker for it. He also happens to be one of the best right-handed hitters of his generation. Wacky, too!

Center Field - Ichiro. The most famous singles hitter not named Gwynn. The best outfielder not named Devon. A super-stylish quote machine. He almost missed out this year, but had I left him off, I wouldn't have slept. My Ichiro sheets only would have caused me more insomnia.

Right Field - Rick Ankiel. The thought of Dustin McGowan suddenly solidifying the Jays lineup as a power hitting corner outfielder (turned centerfielder!) is so preposterous that I can do nothing but laugh. Adding some PCP to that insanity is the fact that Rick Ankiel was a better pitching prospect. I am ready to heap praise upon The Natural in way that would make Will Leitch blush.

Starting Pitcher - Roy Halladay. There was never any doubt. The fact that he'd hate being on a mancrush team and would likely beat my ass is certainly the reason he's on in the first place.

Relief Pitcher - Brandon League. I decided to be a contrarian scumbag and not pick a closer. BJ Ryan makes me slightly uneasy anyway. Brandon League gets by on potential alone, and being goofy enough to be endearing. I've fallen under the same spell as numerous scouts before, and will bet heavily that he "figures it out."

Disabled List - Rocco Baldelli. Manny better not get to comfortable, because once Rocco rises again, Manny well be stuck in his mansion with his millions of dollars, his 500 home runs and his deeply discounted grills. Rocco will ride again, and my boner will soar like eagle.

That is it. Don't worry Frenchy, I'm sure you'll bounce back. Stop being so damn patient at the plate. I'll also add that I would invite Zooey Deschanel to sing the anthems, and do other stuff that re-asserts my straightness. 162-0 people, 162-0.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Oh Beej

Well I suppose that no one is perfect. Not even Blue Jay closer B.J. Ryan, who today blew his first save of the season. He allowed a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth and the Jays fell to the Angels 4-3. A.J. Burnett had a stellar outing throwing eight strong allowing only three hits and two runs while striking out eight.

It was the second day in a row the Jays were on the wrong end of a walk off loss, and they now travel to NYC to face the scumbags for three. Rod Barajas continued to baffle fans, hitting his second home run in as many days and raising his average to .298 while picking up his 17th RBI in the process. As the Jays head East, 31-28 doesn't feel that bad, especially with the lack of offense most of the season.

Tuesday = Doc vs. Joba

I believe it necessary for someone, anyone, Johnny Mac, Marco Scutaro whoever, to explain to David Eckstein he doesn't have to ensure every single throw he makes is 100% fundamentally correct and that he comes directly & 100% over the top on each throw. Clown.

Elsewhere - For the first time in a century (A century is 100 fucking years for those who for whatever reason are idiots) the Chicago Cubs are at the top of the MLB standings on June 1st. You what that shit is, fucked up. Ty Cobb was a fresh-faced 22 year old bigot playing his 4th season with the Tigers. Babe Ruth was only 13 years old, and Henry Ford produced the very first Model T automobile. As we are aware, the Cubs went on to win the World Series in 1908, the last time they accomplished the feat. The poor bastards.