Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Four Letter Madness

I'm such a sucker. Anytime ESPN (or any big media conglomerate) forms a list, they do it with the intention of generating controversy and page views. Any omission, any oversight sends a basement dweller such as myself scrambling to cheese-stained laptop to spew my venom over the latest travesty.

So I realize I'm just feeding the beast, but I can't (can not!) let Karl Ravech get away with saying Nick Markakis is the best right fielder in baseball. ESPN's Web Gem video based on PECOTA projections selects Nick Markakis as their best RF in baseball. I love Nick Markakis, as you well know, but defense is Alex Rios's whole deal! Without defense, Alex Rios is just another chump swinging at sliders in the dirt. Dewan's plus/minus, UZR, Probabilistic Model of Range, they all favor Rios. The Hardball Times's outfield arm tools show Markakis generated more outs in 2008 from right, but when Alex's time in center factors in, forget it.

I'm not saying Rios is a better player than Markakis, though I've basically said as much in the past, and I realize that ESPN's in-house stat source BP rated Roccopolous higher, but Alex Rios is CERTAINLY a better right fielder. Than everyone with two names, anyway.

Other Things

  • Round 2 of the Mop Up Duty Superduper Blogger Feedbag went up today. Nowhere else can you get insight like mine, when asked what I would do were I in JP's shoes: I have no idea.
  • Parkes wonders aloud if Cito's maybe a little crazy. I like Cito, but I agree that he's said some crazy stuff this spring. While it's hardly a popular position, Cito certainly got an undue amount of praise last year. Hopefully he doesn't WAMCO this years lineup, considering how up in the air the batting order must be. I just wish Parkes would let Scott Rolen's contract go. He doesn't make that much, my friend.
  • Say it Ain't Joe. Just like with Accardo, player options trump options on the bench.
  • Since you have nothing better to do on a Tuesday night, I'll give you two great ways to kill some time. First, hit the Blue Jay Hunter's live chat at 9pm. I can never make it because of my weekly basketball run/profuse perspiration outing, but I try to follow on my phone when I'm en route. Then, at 11pm Eastern Standard Time, tune into the very first Walkoff Walk Furious Five Podcast. 15 minutes in heaven with the dulcet tones of Kris, Rob, and MAYBE somebody else. Just sayin.

Monday, March 30, 2009

I Knew I Hated Jose Bautista for a Reason

I knew I like Burnett for a reasonThe good men at Bluebird Banter are bringing us the goods more often this spring than a coke dealer to a strip club. After single-handedly trying to submarine Ricky Romaro's start yesterday, the BB boys clearly demonstrate with their around-the-diamond look at the Jays defense that Jose Bautista is good for nothing. Everywhere he plays. Corner infield? Sucks. Left field? Sieve-ish. I don't even want to think about Jose bumbling around at short stop. Speaking of SS, if Scutaro comes near his across-the-board excellent 2008, I'll be shocked. Shocked I say.

Speaking of defense, banned in Canada J from 3:10 to Joba uses our Toronto Blue Jays as a shining beacon of FIP and run prevention, an example he hopes his Jankees follow. I think he's on to something, the Yankees offense won't be much better in 2009, but even without the initialed wonders their rotation couldn't be worse. Only two starters made 25 starts? How did we finish behind them again? My shame grows.

Mop Up Duty hosted something of a blogger round table with an eye towards 2009 and beyond. There are even some of my answers peppered in there, do check it out. Good to see The Blue Jay Hunter join me on the J.J. Hardy train.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday Kickabout

It's only a matter of time now. Very, very soon the fake games held in a fake place are no more, and the real stuff rolls. How about some lazy news delivered lazily on a lazy weekend?
  • Most of the hard-charging prospective employees of the Toronto Blue Jays were given a Vegas vacation consolation prize for all their hard work and tater-totting this spring. Some say Joe Inglett and his options are on the outside looking in. Shoulda been you Bautista.
  • God Bless the Bottom of the Order. The artist formerly known as /a takes down a tweedy professor's dismissive downward glances at sports fans. The author of the piece believes we shouldn't waste our time watching sports when we can consume great art and literature, like his new book! How convenient.
  • Also linked in the BotO post is an amazing article regarding Ichiro and the idea of leadership. Roy Halladay improves the careers, nay, lives of those around him just by being who he is. These guys are pros, save the rah rah stuff for Friday Night Lights. Which has been renewed, much to the delight of cougar-enthusiasts and the chagrin of people who like crap. I don't watch the show often but I recognize it's survival is integral to the betterment of mankind.
  • Yup, Manny's awesome
Of course, because I'm a glutton for punishment, self-loathing, and complaint, I must point Fangraphs organizational rankings wrapped up this week. I know it's just one man's opinion, and complaining about things beyond our control does nothing, but the top three teams were as follows:
  1. Boston
  2. Tampa Bay
  3. New York
Well fuck. As they say on the aforementioned Friday Night Lights:

Clear eyes, full hearts, LET'S BOOZE

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dustin McGowan -- Total Recall

One of the most tiresome questions of spring has become: Who will replace the innings of Marcum, McGowan, and the other guy? I continually come back to something ever-present commenter and Jays superfan Torgen said months ago: McGowan will replace his own innings. All 111 that he pitched last year. Even if he doesn't start until June, he'll have three months to make up that lost time. The question the three-boobed hooker demands answered is a simple one: when McGowan returns, will he be a mild-mannered Quaid or criminal mastermind Hauser?

Dustin McGowan, we've all seen, has a dazzling repertoire of pitches yet hasn't registered the results we should expect. His plus fastball averages over 94 mph for his career, his slider/curve/changeup combination should miss many bats, but he's been a 4.00 FIP pitcher during his starting career. (A 4.00 FIP isn't awful by any stretch, I'd say it equates nicely to a 2/3 level starter.) He's never quite been able to put it all together, aside from the second half of 2007. Even then, a few interesting things stick out:What does this tell us? For one, wins are horseshit and ERA paints a tiny corner of a giant picture. Secondly, it tells us what we knew already: Dustin McGowan cruises, cruises, cruises...explodes. That was always the rap on him before 2007, and it seemed to hold true in 2008.

The other problem McGowan had is similar to the challenges facing David Purcey, wildness in and out of the strike zone. Too many walks some days, but he can battle with his excellent stuff. Few walks other days, but a couple misplaced breaking pitches leave the yard and his day is done quickly.

So what was the point of this whole thing in the first place? Ah yes, Dustin McGowan wasn't that great in 2008, not quite irreplaceable anyway. David Purcey and McGowan are very similar pitchers, and The M-Bird pointed out last year. Same age, similar K numbers, similar fly ball tendencies, sadly familiar walk rates. Eventually they project around two thirds of a run differently, the edge going to McGowan.

So we can bemoan the loss of McGowan for most of the first half, but let's remember he missed just as much of 2008, and when he stuck around he didn't dominate as we'd like. A guy like Purcey can stand in nicely for McGowan's heartbreaking ways.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Tour of the Penthouse

With the season nearly upon us and the moans of Blue Jays fans everyone growing louder by the day, I thought I'd seek out the opinion of a Yankee fan. What are they thinking heading into the season? What do they think of the Jays? Do they think of the Jays? Below you'll find the hard work of J from 3:10 to Joba. Enjoy

(stumbles in out of a Rolls Royce)

Well, hello there Jays fans and Canadians alike. It appears I have left my usually friendly confines and wound up in the wrong corner of the Internet again. Damn this Garmin to hell.

(eats Almas caviar and crackers, wipes mouth with funny-looking Canadian money)

Lloyd graciously asked me to help him preview the Yankees season and let me tell you, after I finished playing squash in the indoor court in my house, I was all too glad to do it. You see folks, my excessive behavior before you today is actually a result of the team I love as much as my own family. Simply being a fan of the Yankees supplements your income... it's like being on welfare, except without the stigma. Or the lack of being white.

All kidding aside, with the way the Yankees front office conducts its business, the fans seemingly are only one step away from demanding that the Yankees start paying them for their loyalty too. Fans (and this includes me obviously) were all undoubtedly spoiled by the 1996 - 2000 dynasty, and as such we enter every season with ludicrously high expectations for success. Couple those four World Series titles with the fact that the brass has no qualms with outspending every other team on the face of the planet and it's hard to blame the fan base for expecting a championship every year. Spending that much money demands results and in an offseason where the team spent almost half a billion dollars on free agent talent, the expectations for 2009 have officially reached ludicrous proportions. CC Sabathia loses his first two starts? Booed. Mark Teixeira only hits .260 in April? Booed. A lot of outsiders seem to think the harsh treatment of the fans was solely directed at Alex Rodriguez in recent years, but we're talking about the same group of people that have willingly booed Derek Jeter as well. As a realist (who thought A- Rod was getting a terrible rap up until the revelation that he is liar and a cheater), this behavior is fucking absurd. You simply do not boo Derek Jeter. Ever. That would be like Lloyd heckling Roy Halladay. Both Derek and Roy have done too much for their respective franchises to have earned even a moment of ire from the fanbases, yet in NY it's a whole different ballgame. The "what the fuck do we pay you for?" mentality permeates every aspect of the organization from management down to the guy sitting in the bleachers. Sure it can be funny when a member of the Steinbrenner family threatens to have a pitcher deported for coming up short in the quest to reach 200 IP and 25 wins, but it makes any lack of performance by the team all the more brutal to witness. The amount of money that the Yankees spend on a yearly basis insists on the concept that nobody within the organization is safe and if a player or coach isn't comfortable walking on eggshells, he had had better get used to it. You know the saying, "Mo money mo problems"? You're looking at its physical manifestation on earth, people.

Having said that, it's a lot of freaking fun to see my favorite team outspend everyone. It makes the offseason a bit more meaningful and fun to watch when the checkbooks are opened and the team could have a new face added at a moment's notice. For all the complaining about the Yankees free-spending ways, people don't realize something: they almost have to do it this way if they want to succeed. Their success in recent years doomed them to having poor draft position so they couldn't necessarily develop a Mark Teixeira from the inside, but rather had to buy his services from teams that could no longer afford them. Heck even the players that we have drafted are generally flameouts to begin with anyway. Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes mark the first time in years I've been excited about home-grown prospects and they still are not even fully on the radar within the organization's plans. I'm not looking for you to "feel bad for us" because we have to spend loads of money, I'm just pointing out that some teams just can't or won't play the Moneyball-style game.

No team in Major League Baseball gets extra wins or a World Series ring for being an idealist, you simply have to do the best you can with what you have. The Yankees have money (a lot of it, to be exact) and they do the best they can with it, and as a result are subject to an entire fanbase's excessive expectations. Yet in recent years, the absence of a championship has had the somewhat unintended effect of detracting from intensity. Both the team and the fanbase seems to be caught up in thinking that because of the Yankees bottomless coffers that the team can simply reload during every offseason. I don't have to share in the mentality of Jays fans that the year 2010 is a sort of a last ditch effort for the team to get into the big dance before they lose all of their stars because the Yankees can always reload with the "get 'em next year" mentality. Well next year has come and gone more than a few times now and with nothing to show for it except a lot of cash changing hands, the Yankees have to be a bit concerned about apathy growing within a perennially fickle fanbase. While this would never apply to me personally, the extended absence of A-Rod deals a huge blow to the lineup and no doubt there are some fans (read: insane people) already considering 2009 (or at least the first 2 months or so) a wash. Such is life when you expect a title every year. In a way, I almost wish the organization and fanbase shared the "now or never" mentality of the Blue Jays because really the only things that separate the two of us is a pile of money and a willingness to spend it.

Read J here 8 days a week. Thanks J!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Inconvenient Truths and the Shape of Things to Come

Baseball's version of the New Deal is nearly upon us. The good men at Mop Up Duty lay the awful truth on the table, exposing the Jays sudden interest in Ricky Romero as a cynical way to keep from starting the clocks of Messers Cecil and Mills. The money quote from Kman:
In-fact, I’d say that Mills would have made the team if he was LESS impressive. Brad upped his stock so much this spring that the Jays want another year of control.
Ugh. You pitched well, congrats. We're sending you to Vegas for two months to get knocked around in the hot, thin air when you're hung over and haven't slept for three days. PS. Don't get robbed. (h/t Iracane Sir)

The ever-informative Bart Given posed this question with regard to Travis Snider as well. While I agree that maintaining that extra year of control is a good idea, I think that ship has sailed. Why wouldn't they have called him in September, rather than on August 29th? That started his clock, while waiting three days would have spared the Jays those 30 days of service time.

While he seems like a pre-arb Sizemore/Longoria deal candidate, some think this isn't a sure thing. With these extra years of control being so valuable, agents recognize everyone is trying to weasel a below market deal. Sometimes they work out, like Sizemore. Sometimes they end up like Manny Corpas or Troy Tulowitzki, good ideas at the time that beging to look less attractive as the injuries mount. Attractiveness is of course relative; and an $18 million bust is certainly preferable to a $60 million dollar one.

Sad and Unfortunate Update: Best regards, Mr. Brattain. You'll be missed.

Baseball 101

Play Excellent Defense

Hit for Power

Throw Strikes


All photos stolen from the good people at Daylife

Monday, March 23, 2009

Score One for Access

From Bart Given's blog today comes the story of Jim Fregosi (probably my least-favorite Jays manager ever. Bringing in his boy Dave Hollins right after he took the helm summarized everything I hate about closed societies and nepotism. Fuck them both) Late in a game against Seattle; wise sage Fregosi pinch hits for career year-having Brad Fulmer. Fregrosi takes credit after the game for making a prescient managerial decision. The truth is now revealed:
It turns out Fregosi had no intention of hitting for Fullmer, but he never showed and none of the staff could find him in the clubhouse. I’m not sure exactly where he was, but knowing the ultra-intense Fullmer - he was likely waggling a bat somewhere working on his swing.

Fullmer felt terrible and Fregosi didn’t want to embarrass him so he covered with the media.
Well shit. We armchair warriors piss and moan all day about
shitty decisions that are or aren't made in the heat of battle, but it turns out we know nothing.

That actually isn't true. There are many people much smarter than me that know the mathematically or baseball-sensibly sound thing to do at any moment, and that is all we have to go on.

I'm sure Ernie Whitt read this and thought "yeah, that's what I was doing against Italy. I was covering for my no-account scums on the bench. I'm a stand-up guy." I'm positive Ernie Whitt will never read this, nor will he have read Bart Given's blog. Who's taking bets on his ability to send and receive email?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Weekends are for Timewasting

A few quick things for a Saturday. My bracket is busted, though it was never really intact. I spent all of thirty seconds clicking through it, and my interest is at an all time low. My poor affection is being cut into bigger slices and given to fewer sources, I suppose.

Defense will get you laid

Joe Posnanski is the king. He filters some information from the Fielding Bible II in almost the exact way I would, were I wealthy enough for such indulgences. A sampling:
I still love baseball defense but I have grudgingly come to accept that it’s probably not nearly as important as I would like to believe. And now, here’s John Dewan throwing out a formula –defense is worth roughly 50 percent of offense — that, honestly, fits my logical brain perfectly.
You and I both Joe, you and I both. This joker too.

Brain injuries will get you laid-up

Sadly but predictably, Corey Koskie called off his comeback. The poor bastard made a diving play, got up and didn't feel right. Worse yet, his 6 year-old son was hospitalized with a concussion at the same time. Note to Koskie family: avoid vigorous activities of any kind!! I'm sure Anola, Manitoba needs a new librarian or lighthouse keeping family. Take any job that won't expose your genetic shortcoming in the spinal fluid department.

Soju will lay you out

The World Baseball Classic finals should be a good time. I like Korea's chances to win the tournament and give me a boner. Their defense and the incredible soju commercial above should handle that task without challenge. Drinking soju and yelling is as much fun as I know how to have, a Korean victory will give me the chance to do both.

Hopefully Team America will get by Japan for some extra drama and, sadly, some much needed positive publicity for the whole tournament. Japan/Korea is a better rivalry, but they've already faced off FOUR TIMES this tournament. Sorry increasingly awesome Ichiro, I'll make up for it soonly.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sympathy for the White Devil

Larry Jones is the kind of American that makes a great deal of Canadians very, very uncomfortable. He says things that urban liberal Torontoians would never say, enjoys morally dubious activities we've all decided are barbaric and cruel. We get to pat ourselves on the back for being so cosmopolitan cool and cultured. His comments were short sighted of course, and I get my back up quickly to defend my city's honor.

Cathal Kelly's comedy piece in the Star was funny and all, because Ol'Chip is about as wide a target as you can draw. But there is something about a humour piece like that running in a widely circulated newspaper that makes me a little uncomfortable.

Consider if you will: Dave Connolly of the Baltimore Sun catches up with former O Erik Bedard, asks him about his experience in Bodymore. Erik replies:
I didn't really feel safe there, not for one minute. The people are rude, somewhat ignorant, the downtown's a dump, the traffic sucks, and there isn't much to do outside of Best Buy and the Googoplex.
Baltimore denizens unite in anger, mocking Erik's snooty attitude and loudly express their civic pride.

A few days later BaltSun reporter Jeff Zrebiec writes a piece detailing a "Jour Dans La Vie" of Erik Bedard. It's full of HILARIOUS jokes about cheese, not showering, being better than everybody else in the world, and comedically-sized coins that don't fit in any of the soda machines.

Would this in any way be acceptable? Would it be funny? Would a crude stereotype of a French Canadian (or any Canadian), a Colombian player (he kidnapped the scout's family, they HAD to sign him!), or a black southern player (BJ Upton hates that he can't ghostride his whip down Yonge Street) be fit for print in a large newspaper? No, it wouldn't. But Chipper's white, and Southern, and chooses to live his life as he does. So it's OPEN SEASON, usually Chipper's favorite time of year.

As Canadians, we get to have it both ways. We get to lampoon Chipper for being the toothless rube he obviously is, and we would look down our noses at the ignorant Americans if they gall to string ass-backwards sentences together in such a boorish manner.

So fuck Chipper, but fuck ghettoizing an entire quadrant of their country. Jesus Christ, have you ever BEEN to Alberta?

Sports Math

A quick study of the general sporting landscaping reveals one ultimate truth: there is a direct correlation between casual gambling and general interest. Hardly earth-shattering, but vest people's interest and you've got their attention. March Madness is fun, but I've been so immersed in fantasy drafts I haven't really given more than a passing thought. Maybe baseball should develop a more cheek-to-cheek relationship with bookies to increase it's TV exposure? That went so well last time, right? On the most basic, fundamental level betting on baseball is pure insanity. You get what you deserve if that's how you get your pulse racing.

Regarding fantasy drafts; twenty people in a pool with twenty roster spots will take years off your life.

Sporadic Information Relayed Quickly

  • 3:10 to Joba's Better Know a Prospect series keeps rolling on, and I was lucky enough to contribute! Everyone's 2010 mancrush Brett Cecil was my subject, check it out and make sure those Yankee fans keep their slimy digits off Cecil until at least 2018.
  • Rocco plays the bass? Who knew? I'm sure he's a straight up U2 guy, though a small part of me thinks about him playing the intro to Impact in front of his locker.
  • I don't think not pitching for Canada will cost Scott Richmond his shot in the rotation, I think Scott Richmond's inexperience, lack of stuff, and the presence of better options will keep him out of the rotation.
  • Too bad for Cuba. Couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of guys who rely on distraction and mindgames to win. Fuck. Them.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hail to the King

I know he's not a Jay anymore, and he's unlikely to ever be one again, but how fucking awesome is Carlos Delgado? I've stated before they should straight up retire his number, none of that Level of Excellence shit. He's awesome to watch, swings a slick stick when the weather is nice, and he keeps his head much farther from his ass than most ballplayers.

His awesomeness rich but pitching poor Puerto Rican team's ouster from the WBC is a real shame, specifically because it was Carlos's team. He asked to wear Roberto Clemente's number 21 in 2006, some PR suits said no. This time around they asked him to wear it! Awesome.

Carlos Delgado's offensive projections for 2009 are pretty consistent, offering between 28 and 36 home runs, wOBA's from .343 to .372, and offensive wins above average from 0.5 to 2.5. Aside from wrist injury hampered 2007 (Overgado!), Carlos has provided about 3 wins a season since 2004. Depending on the economic climate next winter, he could make any team needing a classy motherfucker to DH happy.

Alex Rios in his element

Not content to let Delgado steal all my love, Alex Rios did all the Riosian things we should expect of him in 2009. Stolen base, massive home run, strong (but hopelessly late) throw to the plate, and my favorite: the incredulous look he shot Carlos Betran after the Met stole a home run from Brian McCann. It's as if Rios didn't know to react, like he wasn't allowed to be happy that they were in a good position to win the game. Oh Alex, you're my sketchpad.

Korean Baseball - Small but Powerful

I love American broadcasters using "Asian" interchangeably with "girly-armed sissyball", but the Koreans have pop. They've hit more home runs at Petco than the cartoonishly flashy Cubans. I don't know what it is, but I don't want Cuba to succeed. Must be the skinny baseball pants and the indentured servitude. One of the two.

Bleed Maple Syrup

I don't see many Canadian movies, but seeing One Week today more than made up for that. It is easily THE MOST CANADIAN MOVIE OF ALL TIME. Not that it wasn't enjoyable, despite being a saccharine hybrid cancer/road movie. If Joel Plaskett busking and Gord Downie puffing are your thing, check it out soon. You know you love Pacey, don't try and deny it.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Ranking Up the Joint

Good old Fangraphs, the fertilizer that helps little ghostrunners grow, has been running down and ranking each front office based on several subjective categories. Your Toronto Blue Jays landed in 20th place, the bottom end of the middle! The grades break down thusly:
  • Ownership: C+
  • Front Office: C
  • Major League Talent: C+
  • Minor League Talent: B
  • Overall: C+
Somewhat disappointing, but hardly unexpected. Dave Cameron credits JP with building a top tier bullpen with castaways and misfits, though he warns the continuing brain drain from Toronto is a sign people are dying to get away from JP. He summarizes the Jays chances and other things you already know in a terrifying, succinct manner:
However, from a macro perspective, the team has enough flaws to make them significant longshots to keep up with the New York/Boston/Tampa triumvirate in 2009, and another year of middling success might not save Ricciardi’s job. The Jays are in a tough division, but as the Rays have shown, a well run organization can overcome competition. The Jays don’t qualify as a well run organization right now.
Sigh. I'm not too worried about it. I will be shocked if the Red Sox aren't number 1 with the Rays in the top 5 in the this ranking. Who cares, you may ask? Scott Rolen, Roy Halladay and Travis fucking Snider sure as shit don't, they're too busy being awesome.

The Canadian Disease

My boy eyebeleaf is nothing if not determined. His straight up posi-vibe reminds me of a Time Flies show I didn't attend. But just as flagrantly ripping off Gorilla Biscuits and Chain of Strength seems like a good idea, pining for Jason Bay is not a good thing.

Jason Bay is on the wrong side of thirty (aren't we all?) staring at a contract year in a hitter's ballpark. Not one single element of that sentence excites me in the slightest. He's pretty poor defensively, and with all the young talent coming up, there isn't room for Vernon Wells's shittier, whiter brother. Sorry I-B-Leave, I love ya, but let's get together and stretch our boners for somebody young and awesome like Russ Martin or JOEY VOTTO. That I can get behind. Or in front of, I'm not to fussy on control, man.

Bob Elliot.  Doesn't like.  Pictures.

Grumble Grumble Elliot Grumble

Bob Elliot is a true solider for Canadian baseball, working hard for 30 years to bring Canadian baseball stories to the light of day. The fine gentlemen of Bluebird Banter got him to answer some questions recently and it makes for a fine read. I must comment that this conversation obviously took place over email as nobody talks like Hemingway writes. Stac-ca-to Elliot. The Bluebird Banter guys are all professional and stuff, and have been bringing the goods all spring long.

Other things

  • The Baseball Analysts have been, uh, analyzing baseball and come up with some pretty interesting pitch location information. And the graphs are really pretty. The latest examines home run rate by pitch location. Down and in to a lefty isn't a good idea. Low and away to anyone is always a good idea.
  • Yankee season ticket holder climbs atop soapbox, tells world new stadiums aren't always a parade of greatness. Is promptly raped by wallaby and mouth-breathing commenters.
  • Patton Oswalt is king of the geeks, orders his subjects to shape up.
  • Alex Rodriquez in the second round? Felix Hernandez in the fourth? Ubaldo Jimenez in the fifteenth??? My fantasy team is pretty great.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Study in Robotics: Watching Halladay Prepare

Good news, cubicle bound lifeforms! Roy Halladay plans on teaching the Red Sox numerous lessons on live TV today. Having pulled the chute on today's scheduled toil; I'll gladly dickjoke and youtube my way through today's game, the Halladay parts anyway. Be here at 1 for all the Jamie Campbell hijinks!!

Pregame Update: Though Sportsnet promoted the hell out of this broadcast during the three WBC games I watched yesterday, I don't see any mention of it anywhere. Not their online interactive guide nor on my actual Rogers cablebox. I may let Mikey Wilner and the FAN team guide us through the day, though making dick jokes based on radio broadcast may not go so smoothly.

Lineup Update: No Rocco, making this entire exercise utterly futile. But I'll soldier on. Of course Halladay starts for the Jays, Justin Masterson's live arm starts for the Sox.
  1. J. Ellsbury, CF

  2. J. Lowrie, SS

  3. J.D. Drew, RF

  4. C. Carter, 1B

  5. J. Bard, DH

  6. J. Bailey, LF

  7. A. Chavez, 3B

  8. N. Green, 2B

  9. D. Brown, C
  1. J. Inglett, LF

  2. A. Hill, 2B

  3. A. Lind, DH

  4. L. Overbay, 1B

  5. J. Bautista, 3B

  6. J. Lane, CF

  7. T. Snider, RF

  8. R. Chavez, C

  9. J. McDonald, SS
My lineup observations? Lots of guys have J as their first initial. There you go.

Another pointless update: Looks like it's strictly MLB.com. Fuck sportsnet and their false-ass advertising.

12:51: I picked up Pride of Baghdad yesterday. It was great. Hardly subtle, but certainly enjoyable. Brian K. Vaughn is the king.

1:00: Sick babies are no fun.

Boston picked up two quick hits to score a run, Halladay then made quick work of the scrubs. The Jays made two quick outs, got two hits before succumbing to the versatile Justin Masterson. 1-0 Red Sox, 1-0 babies in the other game of our doubleheader.

1:22: Some clown just hit a home run. Something is off kilter in the universe. Johnny Mac just helped temper my ire.

1:27: A quick K, a groundball single and a ground out and the inning is over. Halladay contemplates seppoku as its 2-0 Sox.

1:30: Jason Lane doubles to left as Jerry & Alan discuss his options and merits. His merits are few, his flash pan is many.

1:32: TRAVIS SNIDER IS MADE OF MAGIC. Dude hit a massive bomb to right to tie the game. Alan wants him hitting in the middle of the order. There is a bulge in the middle of my pants. 2-2!

1:35: The bottom feeders at the bottom of the order go quickly to end the inning. I agree with Ashby, why hide Snider in the 7th or 8th spot? Sorry Lyle, your left handed bat's moving south in the lineup. 2-2

1:40: Top of three already? Jed Lowrie leads off, an effective fill in middle infielder. I belittled someone for drafting him yesterday, mostly because I'm jealous. No sooner do I praise him does fucking Lowrie hit an opposite field home run off the foul pole. Sounds like Doc is experimenting with his changeup a lot today, and having trouble keeping it down. IT'S ALL A PROCESS DAMMIT. 3-2 Red Leggings.

1:42: Alan and Jerry are making excuses for Brad Mills and all Jays pitchers yesterday, saying "the balls weren't rubbed up properly." Whatever dudes. Two quick Halladay styled outs before Josh fucking Bard hits a long fly ball off the right field wall. breathe.....breathe......he's experimenting....breathe....

1:45: Snider ends the inning with (what I assume to be) a nice running catch. Diaper break! If you can't relate to that, I encourage a vasectomy. Maybe two.

1:50: Jays go 1-2-3 with 2ks. Jerry and Alan were praising Halladay's steely demeanor. I think they were the ones sporting steel. I'll reiterate my point about Masterson's valuable arm. Imagine if Brandon League or Jeremy Accardo could spot start, outside of Cito's delusions. Theo knows what he's doing. 3-2 Sox

1:55: Angel Chavez leads off the fourth with a single to left. That must be the Chavez that Magglio came out in favor of. Eliminating term limits? Screw you Hugo. Alan Ashby digs into the bag of cliches and comes up with SOLID. Jason Lane is a SOLID center fielder. Or boring, ineffective but white. PS Ashby, I don't want to sit in a wine bar and watch a baseball game. Stop shilling bro!

Booth guffaws are my favorite kind of guffaws. Jerry and Alan are interrupted by actual game action as they try to name guys with coloured names from the Vida Blue-era A's. I may be old, but there are limits to my entertainment. Meanwhile, Halladay put the deathglare on "brown note" and struck out two in that half inning. 3-2 headed to the bottom of 4.

2:05: I've officially got it out for Jose Bautista. He bounces a basehit over or near the third baseman but I remain unmoved. He's got one extra base hit all spring. Square it up or it means nothing.

2:10: Jason Lane continues to excel at squaring it up. A double down the line puts Jays at second and third with Sniderman on his way to the plate. Tito got the hook for Masterson, bringing in Daniel Bard. Alan remains dubious of his credentials. Wearing number 72 says what must be said.

2:11: Travis Snider is the king of all creation. Wilner confesses Snider told him yesterday "you've got to get your money's worth up there" yet Travis Snider sounds to be having a great at bat. Fouling off fastballs, curveballs, taking pitches. His ceiling has now reached Carlos Delgado levels. Congrats Travis, hope you like pressure. He finally strikes out on a nice curve, good at bat in my mind.

Ground out scores a run, Johnny Mac pooch punts one to second to end the inning. 3-3, with Wilner stepping to the mic.

2:15: This is likely Halladay's last inning, so he's not wasting any time exacting revenge on Jed Lowrie with a quick out. J.D. Drew's struck out twice already today, likely due to the VERY LOUD footsteps of a certain right fielder waiting in the wings to steal his job. Wilner tells me Halladay allowed the lead off man each inning before this one, I refuse to believe. Drew's out, Carter's up. He gets traded a lot, mostly because he's terrible. For all his struggles today, Halladay's struck out 5 in 4.2 innings.

2:20: Chris Carter sends this game to X-Files levels by hitting a massive, wind-blown home run off of Roy Halladay. 4-3 Sox, all while my belief system crumbles. Hallady's now getting squeezed, walking Bard after getting ahead 0-2. If anyone needs me, I'll be rending my garments. Luckily a pop up ends the inning before I'm naked in front of my young child. Headed to the bottom of 5, its 4-3 Sox.

2:25: I like Doctor Joe Inglett just fine, but if he even approaches his 2008 numbers, I'll be shocked. That said, I don't like the thought of Millar making the team over him. Joe Inglett gets throw out trying to stretch a double into a triple, a shame. Mikey Wilner gets more excited than Jerry's been cumulatively in the month of March. Aaron Hill responds with a double, a run they'll regret never as nobody fucking cares about Spring Training. Hill's day is done as Eamus is in to run. I hope someone throws him an Eephus pitch in his first at bat.

2:30: As Wilner speculates on the potential lineup, I can't help but think Snider in between Rios and Wells is a good bit of business. FUCK YES. Lyle Overbay changed his number back to 35, something I called for the day after Thomas left town. Wilner slides in a Seinfeld joke, too subtle for Alan to follow up. C'mon Ashby, it's all about timing. Baustista strikes out after Overbay walks to end the inning. Sixth inning already? 4-3 Red Sox.

2:35: SEND IN THE CLOWNS! Pretty much wholesale changes I won't even attempt to recap here, more importantly Bo Junior has taken to the hill. A long fly ball is the first out of the inning.

2:40: Another fly ball for the second out, but more importantly: THE BEER GUY IN DUNIDEN CHANGED HIS NAME TO THE BEER GUY. BJ gets a K to end the inning, and I'm going to shut this mother down. Halladay didn't look great, but he was trying to work a new pitch into his arsenal. He'll be fine, as he always is. Thanks for stopping by, I'll do this again soon. Live blogs are great fun. Oh and GO ON YOU IRONS!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

In the 25th round...

Lloyd the Barber selects ROCCO FUCKING BALDELLI.

In other, more surprising news: Brett Cecil won't break camp with the Jays. Brad Mills is still in the running along with Matt Clement and Casey Janssen. As per The Last Bastian of Truth:
Matt Clement is behind Casey Janssen, Scott Richmond and Mills for one of the starting jobs, according to Ricciardi. He added that Janssen doesn't necessarily need to open in the Minors because he is slightly behind the rest of the pitchers. He's very much in the running for a spot.
Interesting. Cecil's ceiling is higher thanks to his better stuff and abundant youth. Mills is much cheaper than Clement, something we shouldn't discount.

Photo stealing fool

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Cult of Roy Halladay

Everyone here could do much, much, much worse than replicate every last thing they see Halladay do. On the mound or otherwise.

Not for nothing

Photo courtesy of Daylife

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Let the Right One In

Seems like every vein of the vast Blue Jays deposits have been stripmined by writers and bloggers alike. First we had Brett Cecil Day and recently we all lined up for the Million Mills March. Johnny Mac, Matt Clement, Aaron Hill, Scott Rolen, and of course Vernon Wells have spit quotes and positivity for the coming year.

Somewhat frighteningly, aside from the occasional slip of chauvinism, we haven't heard much about Alex Rios. How can that be? Is there another player who's output controls the entire team's fortunes more directly? Which Alex Rios will we get?

For each of the past three season, Alex Rios has been two different players. Strong first half is interrupted by full blown itis leading to a weak second half. Strong first half gives way to home run derbyitis and a weak second half. Middling first half before an infusion of Citocity leading to a strong finish to the season. What gives?

Alex Rios is nothing if not frustrating, and we've all watched him throw at bats away. Last year Professor Hale uncovered some troubling posture issues that may have interfered with his power stroke. I've decided to go full nerd and examine his contact rate and out of zone swing numbers. Exciting stuff, I know.

Thanks to Fangraphs, I can look at Rios's monthly plate discipline splits. I decided to compare his monthly contract rate, starting with April 2006 with his monthly OPS splits over the same time frame. His OPS remains pretty steady over his career, with some huge months and a few real dogs mixed in. Mind my terrible Excel skills, but here we go:

The pink dot represents his career marks, with the one outlier being July 2006, a month in which he made only 14 plate appearances. What does this mean? Shockingly enough, the more Alex puts the bat on the ball, the better he does! How's your mind? Mine is pretty fucking blown right now. The R squared number indicates the relationship between contact rate and OPS in this instance. 61% of OPS is contact rate? Not likely. These sample sizes are pretty small and I have no fucking clue what I'm doing.

My next thought was "what will make his contract rate go up, since that is obviously the desired outcome?" Walp, let's so how Alex stacks up. Is swinging at out of the zone junk bad for his health?

This relationship is much weaker, but definitely shows a connection between swing at crap and putting the ball into play. July 2006 is off the reservation once again, were I credible in any way I'd have discounted it long ago. The Pink Dot again represents his career numbers; not to mention a tremendous scene in my favorite movie of all time.

So what can we expect from not-so-young Alex in 2009? Hopefully a disciplined yet aggressive approach. Both he and Vernon are free swingers, but need to ensure they're swinging at strikes to maximize their talents. I'm new to this "graphing and trying to figure shit out" business, so if any smart people have any feedback or if you'd like to see the raw numbers I stole, please help me out in the comments.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Ichiro: Cooler and Nerdier all at the Same Time

She's dressed up like a character from the game, it's RELATED

Ichiro, also known as the King of All Media, recently referenced Dragon Quest when answering a question about the relative pump-upedness of his Japanese team during the WBC.
After the game, when a reporter said that the entire Japanese team got pumped up, right fielder Ichiro Suzuki replied, "In Dragon Quest, tension increases, and you get stronger, right? It was like that."
Of fucking course it was like that. Dragon Quest, for those of you that don't know (myself included) is a video game about dragons and shit. Here on Earth it was called Dragon Warrior, a game I played the shit out of when I was 15. There are apparently 70 different versions, each one exceedingly more Japanese than the last. Meaning it is more incomprehensible to white people than the lack of whiskey in vending machines must be to the Japanese.

Can you imagine Roy Halladay making a similar analogy? "Last night's game was a real let down, just like the final third of Grand Theft Auto 4. The further you progress in the game, the more Niko loses his humanity. Which is a shame, as it is the grounding point that gives the game it's depth while pushing the narrative." Not likely. Just so we're clear: Dragon Quest references > half-baked athlete cliches.

Hat Tip to Kotaku and flickr user Enchanted Collection

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Now Where's My Tab?

Now that the World Baseball Classic is over, it's time to shift our focus back to the Blue Jays. Unless of course you're a compulsive gambler or fantasy junkie and you're interested in how the international Jays are faring in the festival of heartbreak.
Alex Rios - 7 AB, 2 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K. Slash: .000/.222/.222

Jose Bautista - 2 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 0 K. Slash: .500/.500/.500

Marco Scutaro - 3 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 0 K. Slash: .333/.500/.333

Rod Barajas - 2 AB, 0 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 0 K. Slash: 1.000/1.000/1.000

Scott Richmond - -0 IP, 1 VPR (violent prison rape). Slash: wrists.
Holy Shit! Rod Barajas is sporting an OPS of 2!!! Dare I say it? PLAYOFFS!

Back on Earth, Travis Snider continues to knock the cover off the ball, Salami and Cheese Thigpen hit a tater tot, Dustin McGowan suffered some "McGowan-like symptoms" in his throwing arm, and Brian Wolfe heard something pop in his shoulder. When does the season start again?

Team Building 1999

Business hours are over, bay-beeehh-heyyyy

I know the corpse is still warm, and I understand the number of available, competent bodies that are both willing AND able bodies was pretty low. But any team that knows it has pitching problems; knows that getting outs is going to be more difficult than creating runs must put a little bit of thought into fielding a better defensive club.

Sure, this is a short tournament in which anything can happen. But the little Italian club that could put the value of defensive on display. No team that trots Matt Stairs out in right field and Jason Bay out in center has defense in mind. The alternatives might have been few, but did Matt Stairs's bat really bring that much to the table?

The whole "we'll out slug them and win every game 11-10" went out in, oh, 1999 didn't it? One need only look at the 2006 US squad in this very tournament to realize building a "team" is paramount to lining sluggers from post to post. This year's edition of Team America featured Shane Victorino in right and Curtis Granderson in center at the close of the opening game. Sluggers they are not, but (all together now) speed doesn't slump. Hell, consider the lengths "dream teams" like USA Basketball and Hockey Canada have gone to ensure a balanced team (hello Tyson Chandler, Bruce Bowen, and Chris fucking Draper.)

Obviously I'm taking this a little far. Most of tonight's hits fell into holes that no fielder could close up. Never the less, the contrast between the two teams was too great to go unnoticed. Second guessing Ernie Whitt is easy because he looks go desperately overmatched, hopefully Baseball Canada will take a more complete approach to building their team next time rather than filling the roster with enough recognizable names to facilitate ticket sales. The sea of blue seats told me that didn't work long before the scoreboard did.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Ends. Odds.

I understand these photos aren't loading properly. Stupid blogger and their stupid undersized pictures. I'll try to fix it
I'd love to add a few more notes on Saturday's game, alas I made none. As you can see by the photograph below I took a very bloggy approach to reporting on The Tilt In T.O. Rather than "make notes or observations during the game" I "heckled Chipper Jones, drank beer and ate nachos." Rather than "use a professional camera to preserve the moment for posterity", I chose to "snap a couple pix with my camera phone in the last inning, more to test my sobriety than capture the images." Here's my view from the swanky seats the Reverend scored us.


Look at all those people standing. Can you believe it? I sure as shit can't. Both Stoeten and Parkes went over this today, but where the fuck are these people all summer long? In my experience people treat Jays games in one of three ways:
  1. A non-event that happens to take place in a giant, overpriced bar with a huge cover. The kind of people that would visit the Government in search of an authentic Toronto club experience.
  2. A visit made out of duty, generally without much joy. This encompasses both die-hard fans hanging on to their sanity by a thread and day-trippers taking the office seats out for a spin.
  3. Personal guests of the Jamie Campbell Octogenarian Society
The scale of this event is pretty grand, grand enough to bring true baseball fans to Toronto from all over the province. This isn't likely to happen again, no matter how good the Jays get. If they're in first place in September this year, is the Tao going to emerge from his 613 monastery for mid-week games against the White Sox? Not likely. His seat will be filled by an empty suit from Bay Street, spending more time on his Blackberry waiting for the game to end so he can get to Blowfish. Those of us in attendance Saturday should revel in that atmosphere as long as we can. It won't be repeated any time soon, or ever again.

Blue Jays stuff. They're still playing?

Indeed they are, some very well. Lyle Overbay not so much, but Scott Rolen happens to be swinging the bat like a motherfucking riot. I know it's only Spring Training, but that is the beauty of Spring Training! The cherries are still ripening, so you can pick the fresh ones (Brad Mills only gave up two hits!!!11!!) while leaving the rest on the vine to age (two were home runs, Brett Gardner's second of the spring off Cecil the Jays youthful up-and-comers). Jason Lane may just Gabe Gross his way onto this team you say? I'm going to order a blank jersey to be sure he doesn't change numbers when he makes the 25 man roster.

Update: I'm an idiot. Brett Cecil didn't pitch today. Whatever. CHERRIES AND GRAPEFRUITS GO HAND IN HAND

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Phil of the Mount

That was way too much fun. JOEY VOTTO! PHILLIPPE AUMONT pulling a Jesse Carlson! (of his own creation.) Adam Dunn destroying Pete Orr and a hanger in the same day wasn't so much fun, more painful to the soul. If Canada had any pitching at all, or if Justin Morneau hadn't turned in kind of a horseshit at bat against JJ "I can't throw anything offspeed for strikes" Putz, things would have been quite different. The energy in the building was intense, the best baseball crowd I've ever seen at the Rogers Centre. Cheering and standing at the right time? Standing for the entire ninth inning? WHERE WAS I? Which reminds me, what the fuck was with the hockey jerseys? Oh hosers, you're a peculiar bunch.

Seriously though, Phillipe Aumont was off his ASS. I certainly didn't think I'd get to see him pitch, and he was as good as advertised. Clearly shook when he first entered the game, dude calmed down and made exceptional hitters look ordinary. Fangraphs did the first pitchFXing of the year, pointing out Aumont's high velocity and excellent movement were pretty fucking good (my words, not theirs. They're classier than I.) As the immortal Jonah Keri tweeted:


I know wish I could go to more than one game. The US/Venezuela game tonight will be awesome. I didn't really how many amazing players were Venezuelan. They're stacked, meaning Canada has a tall order ahead of them if they want to advance. Whatever. PLAYOFFS! Baseball in March! Beer! Hoo-fucking-ray.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Holy Shit, I'm Going to a Baseball Game!

Celebrations are in order!Yup, I sure am. And I couldn't be more excited. Excited enough to go against my own "no scattered ass" rule? You bet your divine ass, Megan Fox. She agrees that rule is horseshit, and rules are made to be broken. Just like the rules of common decency I would break were we to share an elevator.

As it turns out, Alex Rios is about as frustrating to write about as he is to watch, so that post will have to wait for another day. Instead, let's revel in the knowledge that the Reverend and I will be imbibing ales and shouting jingoist slurs tomorrow afternoon. Despite our efforts to acquire tickets to Italy v Venezuela (I wonder how many of the Woodbridge brigade will be there decked out in Bargnani Jerseys? None? I wonder if "their team" having no shot of winning will cut down on the amount of Viva Italia-ing?), we're going to settle for Canada versus Team America. I'm hoping for a Phillipe Aumont sighting, though I worry for his chances. Apparently the kid is raw, but with nutty stuff. Russell Martin is so awesome that I may just run down on the field to give him a kiss. On the US side, I look forward to asking many questions of Shane "No Questions Asked" Victorino and booing Adam Dunn lustily.

While it's not the Jays, it is something. I wish there were more Jays playing. (sorry Ian, Scott Richmond doesn't count.) It's nice to hear Scott Downs was at least offered a chance to play (h/t Drunk Jays Fans) after I stumped for him not long ago. So if you're in the neighbourhood, come on by and buy me a beer. Maybe even two. We'll be in section I have no fucking clue, proudly sitting down during the national anthem. I like baseball more than nationstates.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Instant Access

More good stuff from the Canadian ambassador to Twitteronia, Jeff Blair. His latest blog post questions how long reporters will have access to clubhouses before and after games for unfiltered contact with athletes. He notes that a few scoops can be had in the locker room, it's mostly cat and mouse:
Everybody totes a tape recorder now to post-game interviews, and a savvy player knows that if drones on and strings out a few clich├ęs he can see eyes glazing, follow-ups evaporating. No attention is paid to nuance.
Blair adds that the lack of easy quotes leads to better writing and more wit. In other words: blogging.

At the same time, I'm seeing the value of access nearly firsthand. Walkoff Walk's Kris CTC Liakos continues touring Floridian complexes and continues to deliver great stuff. Maybe it just seems crazy to me because I don't have regular Gmail Chats Conversations with beat writers; but having someone with a similar sensibility interviewing players and offering his perspective seems hilarious yet awesomely fresh at the same time. Having him say stuff like "BJ Ryan is like a bull standing on two legs" speaks to me more than most journoporn ever could.

He INTERVIEWED ROCCO, FOR GOD'S SAKE. Among the more expected revelations (Rocco is a nice guy that was doing the NY Times crossword when Kris approached him) was Rocco giving the Blue Jays the one thing I really wish they'd get: credit. Regarding the American League East's status as the best division in baseball (emphasis obviously mine):
Well yeah, last year we had 4 teams that were playoff caliber teams. 4 teams that if the right scenario happened could have been World Series caliber. So you take 4 teams like that and you have them play each other 19 times a year, you beat up on each other. But there's no use complaining about it. I learned that a long time ago in Tampa. We weren't very good and we'd get beat up on by this division. It made it difficult, but that's the reality. Complaining isn't the way to go about it. You just grit your teeth and deal with it.
Sweet, glorious props. Rocco knows, Rocco knows.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Payroll Efficiency and Suicide Invoices

Plenty of All?  None for MePositivity and happiness are a fleeting whorish mistress. No sooner was I basking in the glory of Cabrera stealing someone else's money, keeping my summer unruined and Cecil's good outing, the next I was considering slitting my wrists. The geniuses at Baseball Analysts examined payroll data for the past three years against each team's average wins in the same time frame. Exciting news! The Jays 85.33 wins is the eighth best total in all of baseball, while their average salary sits right in the middle at 15th in baseball. Not a bad relationship, one might think.

As the piece rolls on, so do the cringe-worthy Blue Jays mentions. All stuff we all know, moral victory type shit that generally points to JP doing a reasonable job and the task at hand being daunting as fuck. A sampling, from the post and an excellent comment:
Six clubs have averaged more than 81 wins with payrolls under the league mean of $89.86M. The best of the best was Minnesota (winner of the "doing the most with the least" award), followed by Cleveland, Toronto, Arizona, Milwaukee, and Oakland. All but the Blue Jays made the playoffs once, which probably says as much about Toronto's competition as anything else.

(comment) I'd argue that almost every team in baseball has an innate advantage every year over the Blue Jays, so they need an handicap.
The Jays do as good as job of spending their money wisely as any team in baseball, with nothing to show for it. The Red Sox and their massive payroll are credited by Lederer and gang as the most efficient team in baseball by virtue of their huge payroll and division they call home. The Rays, who's success last year shouldn't obscure their true crappiness for the better part of a decade, are below the regression line too, indicating the shrewdness that should cause you to hate baseball owners for being the autocratic pricks they are.

Great. The Jays are in with the two biggest spenders, one of which spends money better than any other team in baseball. And you wonder why I pine for the simple pleasures of Scott Rolen's defense every day. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK????

Life After Death

Any day Orlando Cabrera signs with someone other than the Blue Jays is a good day. If Brett Cecil pitches 2+ innings of one hit ball on the same day, it's reason to celebrate. I'll take a joyful quick spin around the dial before Billy Beane and JP engineer the trade part of "sign-n-trade" that will make me take my own life.

Walkoff Stalk

I got peoples on the inside! Kris from Walkoff Walk is touring around Florida, poking his head into all the press boxes that will have him. He was in Dunedin today, yucking it up with the Jays beat crew that isn't following Team Canada. Some tidbits from his post:
  • Having interviewed Kevin Millar twice before, the Friendly Cowboy called Kris "Big Dog", ironic as Kris surely had a cat on his t-shirt.
  • He interview Overbay, Millar and CITO! I'm quite jealous, though if I wanted to talk to Cito I could just put on some dark sunglasses and talk to my dad. Halladay appears to have blown him off, but neither he nor I will hold it against Roy.
  • The collected Jays writers are a chatty, jovial bunch. Kris was quite disappointed that Griffin wasn't on hand because he wanted "tips on the best kind of hooch to drink while writing a column" Griff's reputation precedes him.
As you may know, Adam Lind hit a tater tot and Brett Cecil looked downright Cecil-esque. Kris observed Roy Halladay limping around the clubhouse, struggling under the strain of his tremendous balls. Maybe Kris didn't say that, perhaps I just dreamed it. Anyway, on to links!

Waste that Time!