Friday, June 26, 2009

A Farewell Note to This City

You may have noticed things moving a little slowly around here this week. I've packed up the Barbershop and moved out of Toronto. Lloyd the Dead-eyed Suburbanite at your service.

This doesn't mean too much as far as GROF is concerned, aside from my new mancave from which to issue my missives.

I'm going to miss the crap out of Toronto, the city I enjoy so much. But I move with zero regrets. I have other stuff to think about aside from my proximity to clover coffee machines and 4am nachos. Not that I won't long for those things, I'll make do like the rest of the slovenly croc wearing mouth-breathers universe outside the 416.

Moving sucks, I'm literally standing in my kitchen without a stick of furniture right now. Moving also sucks because I haven't seen Scott Rolen do anything awesome in two days! TWO! And I know he's been doing awesome stuff. Dammit.

So bring on the Phillies and new challenges and shit. I'll be back after a brief hiatus (two days tops, my blood starts to itch without regular exposure to blogger gamma rays) ready to do what must be done. Later hipster jackasses!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Albino Warlord Wields Awful Axe of Doom

Lots of Lyle Overbay love going around the blogosphere these days. Your boy Eyebeleaf crunches a few numbers in showing Lyle the Love for his excellent (yet unfortunately platooned) season thus far. The Ack came with more respect for Overbay's ability to get on base and remain under-appreciated.

Lyle's getting love for good reason. Overbay's .395 wOBA is among the best for first basemen, just below that of Justin Morneau and Miguel Cabrera. Most encouraging is the return of Lyle's powerstroke. His 16% Home Run/Fly Ball rate is a return to the Overbay Salad Days of 2005/06. Sure, he's patient and that's a good thing. But let's have a little fun here.
Lyle Overbay seems to hit nothing but no doubt bombs to right center field. Hit Tracker Online currently ranks Overbay 13th in average standard distance for his prodigious tater tots. Lyle's been dropping bombs like war monger with oil interests. Check out his Hit Tracker profile, there are links to video of each of his homers this year. I think this is my favorite. The atmosphere inside the Library on Bremner (aka the Rogers Crematorium) allows for the true, sickening crack of the bat to reverberate inside you skull, like Lyle's Viking ancestors laying waste to Newfoundland. Now that is something I can get behind.

Monday, June 22, 2009

My Mind Remains Blown

Pretty much every day, Scott Rolen has done something awesome. If it isn't a funky, clever slide around a tag (don't sleep on his deft one-handed plate tag seen above. Its slickness belied its degree of difficulty) to a charge-and-throw off balance, Scott Rolen's been everything I ever wanted. And more. It was nice to see him pick up a home run in Philadelphia but, let's be honest, that's not his game anymore. And that's okay.

The GBOAT cries are good fun and all, but let's seriously think for a second: is Scott Rolen the greatest Blue Jay of all time? In terms of his body of work, he's right up there in the conversation.

In terms of position players, he has to be close. Roger Clemens has the best numbers of anyone to don Blue Jays colours. That much is hard to dispute. Roy Halladay could well be the greatest Blue Jay of all time, being a home-grown product and all. Carlos Delgado is a class-act and slugger of some regard, but the only player that competes with Scott Rolen's career is Roberto Alomar.

In many ways, Alomar and Rolen's career's are quite similar. At their peaks they were very different players, though they followed equivalent arcs. Alomar had two more huge years than Rolen, though Scott's 2004 season was insane! 1.007 OPS, 31 home runs, and a whole lot of general awesomeness.

Nearly a 5 win offensive player coupled with his 2 win defense and his ability to play every day made him with 8.8 WAR in 2004!! Remember Albert Pujols was worth 8.9 last year. Rolen had 2 seasons worth more than 7 WAR with at least 2 more seasons with WAR of 5. So yeah, he's good. Just eyeballing and guessing, I'd say Roberto's best season was worth around 7 WAR. I'd say he had 5 or 6 seasons of 4.5-5.5 win ball. Certainly impressive.

Tell me lies, tell me sweet little liesWhen discussing two complete players - offensive numbers aren't enough. Thankfully Baseball Reference supplies advanced defense stats that, while not perfect, will at least fill in for now. Be forewarned: the results are mildly shocking.

It turns out, according to Baseball References Total Fielding Runs Above Average, that Roberto Alomar was Jeter before Jeter. For all the jumping, flipping, turning magic we remember, he wasn't that good. I'm floored. Alomar's best year with the glove was 1998 with the Orioles; worth 11.3 runs above average. For his career at second base, Alomar's value is -29.5 runs above(below?) average! These stats obviously aren't the be all or end all, and Robbie certainly had style. That's got to be worth something.

No matter the system, Scott Rolen's defense stands up. While UZR hasn't shown him the love this year, his past years have been off the charts. How does 130.3 career runs above average grab you? By the swollen balls, I can only assume. Rolen's 2004 season counted 26.5 runs above average, not to mention four other seasons in the teens and two more just under 12. Holy. Shit. The recent talk of best defensive third baseman ever is more than just talk (though Brooks Robinson benefits from playing forever, he had two seasons with more than 30 runs saved above average, though the were during the offensively depressed late sixties. Still, yikes.)

I don't think any of us knew what we were getting when Scott Rolen came to town. What we've got isn't even half of what he was, which really says a lot. What we do have is the consummate professional who altered his game as his body changed, allowing him to make positive contributions to wins and my style-inclined heart. Scott Rolen may have lost too many years to injury to classify as a sure-thing Hall of Famer, he's still a pleasure to watch. We're all very, very lucky. GBOAT!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Rhyming and Stealing

Marco Scutaro is bound and determined to make me love him. Holy Shit.

Fancypants Moving Image courtesy of the beloved Fightins and Tug Haines

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Everybody's Hurt

Halladay to the DL with a groin injury. Scott Downs to the DL with an inexcusable injury. Inexcusable in that HE SHOULD BE ABLE TO RUN TO FIRST BASE. I know I come off like a ranting Toronto Star commenter, but let's be serious. I have no sympathy. None. Casey Janssen's got something wrong with his surgically repaired shoulder aside from it's inability to throw a baseball past a Major League hitter. All this happens on (IRONY ALERT) the same day Jays trainer George Poullis is named to the All-star team.

Bring on the kids

With Brad Mills on the way to replace Janssen, should we expect to see Brett Cecil take Halladay's turn? Fabio Castro? A shitballer to be named later? Things just got mighty real. Extra real when you consider 8 days rest Frasor, one-trick pony all out of tricks Jesse Carlson and leverage-adverse Brandon League are now holding down the back of the bullpen.

Luckily it Won't Matter Tonight

I've come a long way on Scott Richmond. I love his slider, I love his ability to get right handed hitters out. But he is going to get DESTROYED tonight by the Phils left handed sticks. Chutley, Ryan Howard, Raul, Victorino, even the Ghost of J-Roll is going to feast on maple-glazed Canuck tonight.

Guess Who's Back with the S1W's

While Stoeten of DJF points to Richard Griffin getting it right on Alex Rios and Nick Leyva coming together and dry humping the Jays chances to win until it was bruised and tender, I'd like to give Professor Griff credit for something. EFFUSIVE SCOTT ROLEN PRAISE!!
Scott Rolen is the best defensive third baseman the Jays have ever had and may be one of the best ever in the majors. Brooks Robinson leads the way. Rolen prepares and is as focused as anyone on the team.
Church Dick, church.

Scott Rolen Eats Your Cheesesteak

Good evening Philadelphia. Scott Rolen sends his regards. He'll do it all damn night, too. He's just too damn classy to say it. He doesn't get involved in that sort of banter with the riffraff.

Better things like 2 hits and 2 walks in 6 trips, including the game-winning ribbie. Mmmmmmmm, that's damn fine. What's that? His single to win the game was a bleeder to right field? Son, the only thing bleeding around here is [REDACTED FOR DECENCY. THIS ISN'T SOUTH JERSEY, WE TRY TO KEEP IT ON THE UP AND UP AROUND HERE.]

Can you give us a second Philly? I need to talk to Toronto alone.

Pssst, Hogtown. Watch this series with the Phillies very, very carefully. Scott Rolen hasn't played for the Phillies in SEVEN years, and still they boo. Why?

Because they're sad, bitter, strange little people with odd accents and diabetes. They hate anyone and everyone despite winning the World Series last year. He's their Vince Carter. They just can't let it go.

Learn from their infinte sadness Toronto, don't let it haul you down too. We need to be better Toronto. It's a slippery slope, trust me. They love Matt Stairs too, the similarities are eerie!

So yeah my East Coast friends, congrats on winning the World Series last year. Do take the time to enjoy it. We here in Toronto enjoy the work of your former employees Scott Rolen and Rod Barajas.

I kid the good people of Philadelphia. Read the Fightins every day!

Monday, June 15, 2009

The 2009 Mancrush Allstars

Every team needs a one man booth.Off-day following an interleague sweep? What better time to distract myself from the Jays onfield struggles with my annual team of mancrushes and guilty pleasures. Take a look at last year's team to learn who lost that loving feeling, or if you'd prefer a macroscopic look at my ambiguous sexuality. I use my own arbitrary selection process when choosing the Mancrush Allstars, their ability to "move the needle" is pretty important. As always: were this team ever to take the field it would unequivocally go 162-0. 162 and OH people.

Catcher: Russell Martin. Though he's struggling this year, Russ Martin stays towards the top half of the middle of my heart. The silent, floating J is a nice if slightly bizarre tribute to his mother. Keeps it real in Montreal, regularly steals bases which--much to my delight--flies freely in the face of conventional wisdom. Bonus points for making 8 starts at third base last year.

First Base: Last year Albert Pujols took first base by default. While he's not a traditional mancrush candidate, his overwhelming brilliance destroys Lyle Overbay's vanilla persona, sadly hidden rifle arm, and recent proclivity for rockets to right center field.

Second Base: Aaron Hill. Let there be no doubt. One of only three players to appear in each and every iteration of the Mancrush Allstars, Hill's hot start might not get him on the real All Star team. Here at the Dude Ranch, we've always got love. His defense? Awesome. His line drives? Plentiful. Tater Tots? Endless. Aaron Hill will justify your love over and again.

Shortstop: Hmmm, the toughest choice on the diamond. I can't get behind Scutaro or Johnny Mac, Khalil Green is out with a frontal lobe, JJ Hardy can't hit and The Riot's a ginger. Despite my defensive leanings, I'm going to have to go with Hanley Ramirez. He's insane. Three straight seasons with wOBA's approaching .400? Shut the fuck up. I shudder to think what the Red Sox lineup would look like with him involved. He gets bonus points because of repeated "let's make Hanley a centerfielder" threats. That isn't a transition many people can make: Hanley could.

Third Base: Scott Rolen. The kids call this one a no-brainer. Go here; watch and appreciate. His barehanded grab and laserbeam to first Sunday versus the Marlins was the catalyst for my firing up the mancrush ship. P.S. Could someone tell me who leads ALL OF BASEBALL in line drive percentage? Whether or not you expect it to fall back to his career level, that's a recipe for good times.

The Mancrush Allstars needn't be too serious
Left Field: With Manny on the shelf with debilitating mental anguish, I'm at a loss as to who can fill the left field slot for the Mancrush Allstars. Well shit, I'll just go ahead and insert myself. Anyone to ever visit this site before knows I'm certainly my own biggest fan. And shit, I hit TWO home runs in hipster softball yesterday. TWO! Without a fence. I've got the pins to prove it!

Center Field: Rocco fucking Baldelli. There was ever a question? His comeback from The Itis is the stuff of legend. He's even starting to play well! The diving catch he made against the Yankees last week put me over the moon and Rocco in paroxysms of paralysis.

Right Field: Ichiro. Lest I be thrown off the Internet forever.

Starting Pitcher: Roy Halladay. Shocking, I know. If anything, he's actually improved over the last few years. The consummate pro, the pitcher's pitcher. The tireless philanthropist (with a small p.) The dogged workhorse. The awesomest awesomer to ever awesome. The Blue Jay (when he re-ups and retires a Canadian citizen.)

Closer: Mariano Rivera. Consider this a legacy vote. Just as Mo's worn down the umpire's resolve and ability to discern where the inside black begins and ends, Rivera's unending excellence has dissolved my ability to hate him solely because he's a Yankee. The grim, alien features. The comical association with Metallica. Congratulations Mariano, you've won me over.

Assorted Staff: The anthem will be performed once again by Zooey Deschanel while the Suicide Girls will lead us all through Ok! Blue Jays! The Hold Steady will play Take Me Out to the Ballgame and a team of snipers will scan the building in search of wave-starters. Oh, and the manager:

Heart not head.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Ongoing Leverage Aversion of Brandon League

Brandon League pitch f/x

On an 0-2 pitch, mind you. Right down Broadway, if you're new to Pitch f/x.

Brandon League wants you to want him, he really does.

Pitch f/x data courtesy of Brooks Baseball.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Brief Moment of Stylistic Outrage

I understand that David Dellucci used to hit home runs, but come on. His contact rates keep slip sliding away with age while his bad swings are up. In fact, the only time Dellucci did anything of substance were some very dubious years on the Texas Rangers. So let's call this what it is: a stab in the dark. Whatever, I guess left handed bats are good to have.

Which makes Mop Up Duty's post today all the more important. BRING UP BUCK DAMN COATS. He's doing PCL shaped things in Vegas, plays better defense than the existing carcasses and he's AWESOME. He's already amassed 17 steals!

Honestly, what's not to love about Buck Coats? FREE BUCK COATS!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Something isn't Quite the Same

Going over slot for top Canadian talent? Taking two straight—convincingly—in Texas? Who are these people and what have they done with my Toronto Blue Jays?

On the Pitching

Who knew? It's been great. Casey Janssen made me look quite the fool with his 6 strike outs and damage moderation. He wasn't stupendous, what with all the lines drives, but he was there. Oh those line drives will come back to haunt young Casey one day soon. He's sitting around 30% for the year, a slightly scary number. Just keep it in play Casey.

Brian Tallet is, however, a bat missin' machine. Lots of fly balls yesterday but only one line drive. I like it! The quality of his body of work can't be overstated. No matter how hard the Tao tries, he's still underselling Tallet's unexpected contributions.

Scott Rolen Gives me a Boner and Hit f/x Cometh

Indeed he does. Because, like so many of his Blue Jays friends and teammates, Scott Rolen is a damn line drive machine! 6 hits over the last two nights plus the unreal double play he started Monday night certainly silenced the doubters and engorged my manbits. Those that enjoy the line-driven arts will be excited to hear the Nerd Herd is releasing the first batch of Hit f/x data. The results will shock and/or titillate you. The Hardball Times shows that hitting the ball hard (speed off the bat) is good for business. Shocking. How about the Jays and their average speed of balls off the bat? League average for a non-pitcher is 75.1 mph. courtesy of The Hardball Times

HitterInitial Speed (mph)
Aaron Hill80.1
Adam Lind78.2
Rod Barajas77.7
Alex Rios77.6
Jose Bautista76.7
Travis Snider76.5
Scott Rolen76.4
Lyle Overbay75.3
Kevin Millar74.6
Marco Scutaro74.4
Vernon Wells72.2

So there you go. Aaron Hill is the ropiest of them all. Not surprising to see most Jays above league average. Equally unsurprising to see old 'rollover groundout/infield pop fly' Vernon bringing up the rear. He'll come around...

On the Draft

As I said during the Furious Five Podcast, I don't pretend to care too much about the draft. Professor Griff nailed my feelings over the forced nature of last night's broadcast (webcast in Canada, fuck you very much.) The evil air of signability hung over the entire proceedings with only passing mention to its control. The Jays drafted a kid from Newmarket, which is pretty fucking awesome. I hope the uniforms at Sacred Heart fuels as much of his deviant behaviour as it did mine. And I didn't even go there! PS. Keep Bud off my TV.

Unfortunate Circumstances

Times that aren't as good: our friend Roberto Suzuki aka /a aka his real name has boarded up his corner of the Jays blogosphere. It's really a shame, I quite enjoyed his intelligent take on all things Blue Jay at Bottom of the Order. He and the Tao are proof you don't have to be a stats-geek to rise above mundane rah rahing and predictable flag waving. Fair thee well, fake named blogging friend. We're worse off without you.

Newmarket What?!?

Northside 'til I die.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Over the Moon

Leave it to the Tao to take the ideas right out of my head and get them down much better than I ever could. The ever-popular Cito v. The Lineup debate rages on; with the Tao coming down on the side of "get Lyle Overbay more at bats." And with good reason. Look no further than the missile he struck to centerfield yesterday. Hit Tracker Online has the facts, and a link to the video: 451 feet to just right of centerfield, leaving the bat at a mindbending 108 mph. Look at the pretty picture:

Good thing that restaurant is always empty

Just in case you've been asleep: Lyle Overbay's been killing it of late. .572 weighted on base over the past two weeks (!), good for a 1.381 OPS. Wow. Unlike other Jays (Hill, Aaron) I wouldn't categorize Overbay as a streak hitter. Looking at Fangraph's day-by-day charting of his wOBA we see, outside his disastrous 2007, he's very consistent. Slowly building throughout the year. Compare those graphs to those of The Streak himself Aaron Hill. Wild swings like your mother during a hot flash. Double to left! Clean out the garage! 0-22! My exhausted ovaries invalidate me as a person!

Overbay won't consistently ricochet 108 mph bombs off dusty chicken parm factories; but there is nothing to suggest him falling off the planet. So let's get him some more at bats, no? Nothing crazy, just a few more trips to the dish a week.

Strength of Schedule - House of Cards

Well shit. The Yankees are first in the division and first in the world's hearts. Ole Griff moves them up to third in his inanity rankings and I'm sure they'll be slotted similarly in any number of listicles of this sort. One question: why don't we hear questions of their soft schedule and inability to win within their division? The Yanks are two games under .500 against the mighty East, feasting on the weaker sisters of the Central and West. Conveniently they're outperforming their Pythag by a cool 2/3 wins also. WORSHIP NOT THE FALSE IDOLS!

It Hardly Seems Fair

After my live blog of Friday night's game; I claimed the Jays only need to win on Saturday to secure a sweep of the Royals. A free-swinging team without much pop taking on Roy Halladay? No. Chance.

As unfair as sicking Halladay on the hapless Royals (read Joe Posnanski here breaking down the Royals inability to draw walks and the tears that inevitably follow) could be classified cruel and unusual punishment, sending Casey Janssen out against the first-place Rangers is tantamount to your average day in Guantanamo Bay.

The Rangers KILL finesse pitchers which Casey most certainly is (a finesse pitcher walks & Ks fewer than 24% of batters faced. Is 0% less than 24%?) and the Rangers also hit right handed pitching harder than left - especially at home in their wind swept bandbox.

So is that it, should the Jays not bother showing up tonight? Hells no. That Janssen is a ground ball pitcher serves him well. That the Rangers just made the same cross country flight as the Jays can't hurt.

Speaking of things that hardly seem fair but also seem hardly worth complaining about, how about Roy Halladay seeming to miss each Big Important Series thus far. Other than the Yankees, he missed the Red Sox twice and here missed a series against an offensive juggernaut. It's likely for the best, as the Rangers have his number in unusual ways. Not to mention the fact that this kind of stuff all comes out in the wash by October. It would be nice to see the Jays best take on the best of the American League. I, for one, don't want to see Halladay Cliff Lee his way to an impotent award.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Fingerpointing Blamegame

I come here not to bury Brandon League, but to praise him. Do you find yourself wondering why Brandon League was still on the mound to start the ninth? You shouldn't, he's awesome and had been that way for the past 30 days (how does an 2.00 ERA and a 2.60 FIP grab ya?) Obviously League's ninth wasn't fun to watch, and while he took the loss and bore the brunt of the WPA load, it was hardly his fault.

Leadoff batter Howie Kendrick laid down a perfect bunt for a base hit. Hardly League's fault, though the pitch was right down the middle. My thoughts on the bunt: IF GODDAMN JOSE BAUTISTA DOESN'T BUTCHER AN EASY BOUNCER AT THE END OF THE EIGHTH, KENDRICK DOESN'T LEAD OFF. What does this prove? Nothing. It's convenient and suits my anti-Jose, pro-League agenda. But still, leading off with slumping greasy catcher Mike Napoli? Ifs, buts, candy, so forth. PS Jose is hitting .212 over the last month, with 4 extra base hits and 21 strikeouts. PPS. Fuck him.

Next up was Chone Figgans, a bigger thorn in Blue Jay sides than the idiom "thorn in my side" is a thorn in my side. Anyway, Figgans golfed a 94 mile an hour fastball into right field. The pitch was down and in, where lefties love it, but it was out of the strike zone to an extent that I don't expect most hitters to do much with it. Of course the double play follows with Kendricks' late break for home. League eventually strikes out zombie Vlady but the damage is done.

The team scored a bunch of runs but not when they really needed one. Jose Bautista naturally ended the game with a strike out. The Mockingbird covers Rios's struggles in all their grandeur, no mention of Aaron Hill's very quite 0-20 jag. Good thing the Jays only have to face Zack Grienke tonight. Luckily for me, I'll be live blogging it over at the Score. Drop by and we'll heal together.

Real Quick Otherness

Thursday, June 4, 2009

By Hook or By Crook

I started a new job this week; a job that finds me at home more often than not. While that hardly makes me a businessperson, at least I'll be eligible to live blog today's Jays/Angels contest! Dirty Texan John Lackey against Hipster Doofus Brian Tallet. THE BATTLE FOR AUSTIN'S SOUL!!!! Be here at 12:37 peoples.

Pointless Update #1 Would I? WOULD I!! Are we giving tours of the Brandwagon's back seat already? He wuz a surferboi. H/T to Big League Stew, they've got video!

12:25: Lineups! Aren't we lucky, Vernon Wells gets the day off.
Your Blue Jays
  1. M. Scutaro ss
  2. A. Hill 2b
  3. A. Rios cf
  4. A. Lind lf
  5. K. Millar dh
  6. L. Overbay 1b
  7. J. Bautista 3b
  8. R. Chavez c
  9. J. Inglett rf
The Angels
  1. C. Figgins 3b
  2. E. Aybar ss
  3. V. Guerrero dh
  4. T. Hunter cf
  5. J. Rivera rf
  6. K. Morales 1b
  7. M. Napoli c
  8. R. Quinlan lf
  9. H. Kendrick 2b
Thoughts? BOOOO WE WANT ROLEN. More thoughts? The Jays send three consecutive hitters with the first initial 'A'. INCISIVE ANALYSIS BITCHES.

12:30: Starting for the Halos is John Lackey, a man wise enough to get thrown out of his first start of the year after two pitches.

12:35: More hard-hitting analysis: the Jays really don't want to lose this game. The Royals won't roll over for them, and then the Jays make their annual death march to Texas. A good month of June starts and ends this week.

12:37: The roof is open and they're ready to go! Brian Tallet faces Chone Figgans to start the game. Just throw strikes man.

12:40: Figgans works a work after falling behind 0-2. He fought off some good pitches but walks against this popless bunch of ninnies isn't a good plan.

12:43: Figgans does indeed suck. He needs to hear it early and often. Tallet gets ahead of Erick Aybar and repeatedly checks in on Chone at first.

12:46: Aybar grounded out with Figgans on the move. The Jays get the force at first but Figgans is on second for the Ghost of Vlady.

12:47: Fucking smallball horseshit. Figgans takes off for third prompting Bautista to break for the bag. Vlad drags one through the new-found hole and Chone trots in easily. FML 1-0 Halos. One on for Torii "Don't Call Me Vernon" Hunter

12:50: Goddamn Vlad steals goddamn second base. Chavez's throw goes into centerfield but Vlad's pooped and not going anywhere else.

12:51: What the fuck! Hunter lines the ball into left field, allowing Youppi's brother to score from second. 2-0 Angels for Juan Rivera with one down.

12:52: It would seem the entire Angels lineup is hustling shit bags. Hunter steals second, their third of the inning. Juan Rivera then bounces a double into the seats along the left field line. 3-0 Angels, Tallet's in trouble.

12:55: Hey, look at that! An out! Morales grounds out to short weakly for the second out. Rivera moves to third for some greasy catcher.

12:57: The greasy catcher in question strikes out to end the inning. Balls. The Jays are down 3 but I get to watch bail bond commercials from California so it's not all bad.

1:00: Scutaro works a full count before grounding one towards right field. Strugglebot Howie Kendrick sort of collects and and throws on to first for the first out. Scutaro hasn't been hitting it hard when I've been watching.

1:02: Aaron Hill grounded out faster than he learned to play Layla. Two down.

1:04: I can see this is going to be a productive afternoon. Rios is frozen by a fastball that looked 6 inches inside. Inning over, suffering's just begun!

1:07: Tallet starts well against hustling shitbag Robb Quinlan. He sure ran his white ass to first trying to combat the inevitable. Tallet responds by walking number 9 hitter who should be sent down Howie Kendrick. Fuck.

1:10: Hoo-ray. The Jays finally retire Figgans. Someone should tell him he sucks. Two down for Aybar.

1:11: Adam Lind, you magnificent bastard. Lind makes a meal out of a high fly ball to left field, but eventually makes an awkward catch. Whatever, inning over! 3-0 Devils

1:22: What I miss? Well, Adam Lind hit a ball to left center for a base hit, followed by a meager Millar pop out. Lyle Overbay hit a ball a tonne to centerfield which Torii Hunter eventually collected. Jose Bautista struck out and the inning was over just like that. Boo.

1:31: Stay single forever.

1:35: Soooo, Joe Inglett got a hit and Brian Tallet calmed down. Ignore Aaron Hill's double play. Didn't happen. Top of 4, 3-0 Halos

1:38: Calmed down like a fox! Tallet walks Morales to lead off the inning. The Angels color guy just stated "Facebook is awesome." I may be old...

1:40: Tallet strikes out the greasy catcher, his fourth of the afternoon. Against three walks. Ugh. One down in the fourth.

1:42: Robb Quinlan? Honestly?? Base hit to left field, a hard hit ball at that. Two on for Howie Kendrick. Now's the time Brian.

1:45: Weird. Scutaro goes into the hole to grab Kendrick's bouncer. His only play is to third, where Bautista should've been. He was in the area but still opted to tag out Morales during a force play. Whatever. Two down.

1:47: Goddammit Figgans. Base hit to centre field scores Quinlan and puts runners on the corners. 4-0

1:50: A shot of Dirk Hayhurst warming up is all it takes to get Tallet back on track. Aybar strikes out to end the inning. Playing with fire is over for now. Four zip.

1:55: Not enough candy for Alex this morning. He's down on strikes for the first out. Good thing Adam Lind is awesome! He drives the ball over Juan Rivera's head for a double that should have been an out. RISP!

1:57: Kevin Millar: born in California, lives in Texas, pines for Boston. He's a complex dude.

1:58: Well shit, if that isn't a run I don't know what is! Millar hits a grounder to third, deep enough to advance Lind. Lyle Overbay lines it right in front of the fumbling Rivera to plate the Jays first run!! Woo and hoo. 4-1 Angels.

2:00: The shine is off the Bautista rose. He sucks. Inning over. But one crossed.

2:02: Vlady leads off by squibbing one off the end of the bat to Hill at second. One out for Tallet, who's pitch count grows.

2:04: Tallet strikes out Hunter for the second out. His ability to miss bats should keep him in some team's rotation, if not the Jays. The Juan Rivera Fielding Experience steps in to justify his spot in the big leagues.

2:08: Maybe not a starter, as he clearly struggled during the first two innings. Bring in Camp or Frasor for the first two and bring Tallet in to close the door! A ground ball ends the inning.

2:10: Raul Chavez has done a backup catcher's work as the back up catcher. Actually he's done less cuz Barajas leads the league (or is right near the top) in innings. Chavez picks up a lead off single to bring up Doctor Joe Inglett.

2:11: Poor Inglett, he hasn't had much chance to succeed this season. From being hurt to being at the far end of the bench, there isn't much he can offer. He flies out here for the first out. Scoot Scoot Scutaro's bizarre bat steps in.

2:13: Torii Hunter is an idiot. Despite what the broadcast team says, he doesn't make it look easy, he makes it look hard. He turns a routine fly ball into an over-the-shoulder catch then spins and wings the ball back to the infield. I don't think catcher Raul Chavez was going to tag and go to second. Jackass. Two down for Hill.

2:15: Aaron Hill is the anit-PPA. He immediately grounds out to end the inning. Balls. 4-1 Angesl headed to the 6th.

2:17: Brian Tallet and his 100 pitches are still out there. Morales flies out for the first out. But Mike Napoli the greasy catcher gets the greenlight on a 3-0 pitch and drives it over the wall in left centerfield. That sucks. 5-1 Halos

2:20: The Halos unveil their new catcher:

2:21: Suckbag Howie Kendrick bounds out to Bautista to end the inning. The Jays really need to get into the grief-stricken Angels bullpen. They'll have another shot at Lackey in a few.

2:25: The Angels make a couple defensive moves; bringing in Gary "LOLswings" Mathews to play right field moving Rivera to right. Alex Rios strikes out for the third time to lead off the GD inning.

2:26: Adam Lind remains now and forever awesome. His third hit of the day is another double, this time to the right field corner. LEAVE HIM FOURTH CITO. But don't ever, ever, ever hit Millar fifth again. He boinks one off the first base bag for the easiest put out of Morales's career. Two down.

2:28: Overbay's 60 foot bouncer to Lackey ends the inning, yet my life continues on unabated. Something's wrong headed to the seventh. Balls.

2:30: Hey Hayhurst. He's smart, funny, and mop up-py. Good for him, I mean that. Apparently he's a real prince. Just about anything he does today will bring down his career big league WHIP of 2.22. That's just ugly.

2:32: Merry Christmas Dirk! Your first American League strikeout comes against Chone Figgans courtesy of the home plate umpire's flight out of town. A gift low and away for the first out. The second K comes right away off Erick Aybar is legit!! Two down for Vlad.

2:33: Welcome to the American League Dirk. Vlady nearly kills Hayhurst with a missile back up the box. He's on first for Torii Hunter, who singles right away.

2:34: Once again, fuck the Angels. They run themselves out of the inning again. Vlady tries to go first to third on Joe Inglett, who's accurate throw is cut off by Hill in an attempt to catch Torii Hunter. Hunter tried to sneak into second base on the throw but he's called out for being off the baseline during a brief rundown. Inning over, career WHIP falling! We're stretching! Your stretch music is Toronto's Fucked Up covering LA's Black Flag with Keith Morris providing the vocals. Enjoy.

2:38: Jose Bautista works a walk against the "cruising versus anybody but Lind" John Lackey. Raul Chavez stands in and hopes for the best.

2:40: Could this be a rally? Chavez spins one off the mound that Aybar just can't reach. Bautista scampers to third as the ball rolls into centerfield. Runners on the corners for Doctor Joe!

2:42: Some drop science, but I'm dropping INNNNGLETTT. He walks to load the bases and bring the pitching coach out to stall. Justin Speier is quickly warming in the pen, hopefully he'll flip out and fight his teammates again when he blows this.

2:43: Did Vernon Wells pinch hit and nobody tell me? Scutaro swings at the first pitch, an absolute hanger, but pops up an infield fly. He's out for Hill with one down. Snatching victory I say!

2:45: Hey, at least it's a run. Hill pounds the ball into the plate but Lackey deflects it slightly. Keeps the Jays out of the double play allowing one run to score. Two down with two on for Hat Trick Rios.

2:46: Make it the Golden Sombrero. FML and be careful whom you praise. Alex lives off fear and despises comfort. Inning over 5-2 Master Chiefs

2:49: Thank heavens for small victories: Brandon League is in to pitch!!! I'm officially excited, though I fear my site is slightly broken.

2:50: You're never gonna believe this: Brandon League induced a ground ball. One out in the Angels eighth.

2:52: A rare fly ball and a rare "nice" play by Adam Lind. I can't even really tell he makes them all look so adventurous. Either way, two down quickly by League.

2:53: Nice inning by League. Threw some nice slider-type pitches, always a good sign from him. As soon as I type this, JOSE FUCKING BAUTISTA THROWS AWAY THE MOST ROUTINE PLAY OF HIS LIFE. I want Rolen!

2:55: The sun makes the Angels helmets look almost translucent and slightly cheesy. As if they grabbed them from Dairy Queen on the way to the ballpark. Gary Matthews sucks and flies out to end the inning. Nice job getting getting four outs sir. START THE BRANDWAGON.

3:00: Not even LOOGY Darren Oliver can retire Adam Lind! Lindiana's finest is now 4-4 after going 3-5 yesterday. He's all man.

3:01: Ready for another cock tease inning? Millar strokes a base hit to left field putting two on with nobody out for Lyle Overbay. Dare he do something against a lefty? Cito's confidence is the wind beneath his wings.

3:02: Weeee wild pitch moves everybody up one base! I smell promise!

3:04: Gary Matthews is bad and not particularly bright, it seems. Your team is up three runs: WHY DIVE WITH NOBODY BEHIND YOU. Lil Sarge whiffs on Overbay's sinking liner plating two Jays! 5-4 Diddling Ministers! Overbay's on second with nobody out and ol'Radiation Poisoning is going to the pen! Boners finally!

3:06: Keep that boner greased - Justin Speier's in to pitch!!!! Bautitsta knows he sucks and is giving himself up via the bunt. Weak sauce.

3:09: Score one for not bunting. Bautista works a walk to bring up the catcher. Barajas will pinch hit so the Angels are having a slumber party on the mound. Uh, Cito, maybe bunt now? Nevermind.

3:12: Really? Pinch hitting to bunt? Could Chavez do that too? The first bunt rolls mercifully foul as it would have been night night for the lead runner. HOORAY, FUCK BUNTING. Barajas opts to deposit a looper into center for a base hit. Bases bloated for Doctor Joe!

3:15: Poor Joe. Inglett lashes a ball right into the drawn-in field. That may actually work to the Jays advantage, that was two had the infield been back. One down for Scutaro.

3:17: What's that crap on Speier's hat. Horseshit I say. Not horseshit? SCUTARO SAC FLY. The game's knotted at 5! Rebonered!

3:19: Speier's bouncing splitters trying to get Hill to chase. Eventually he does. C'est dommage! TIE GAME HEADED TO THE NINTH

3:20: I hope Brandon League's over his leverage aversion. He's on to start the ninth. Howie Kendrick greets him with a bunt single. Well poop.

3:22: Figgans shows bunt on the first pitch. I can't image bunting Brandon League's nastiness is very easy. Apparently slapping League's down and in sinker into right for a base hit IS easy. Balls. Runners on the corners with nobody out.

3:24: Well that sucked. Aybar hits a double play ball right to Hill, causing Kendrick to pause at third. The double play goes 4-6-3 but Kendrick breaks for the plate! Overbay's throw is late so the Angels take the lead 6-5. Motherbitch!

3:25: Brandon League, after striking out Vlad to end the inning, looks skyward and clearly says FUCK ME. One lucky hit on a tough pitch is all it takes for League to wear the goat horns. Luckily the heart of the Jays order is coming up in the bottom of the afjsldkfjasdklfjasdljfklj let's drink. Can Rios strike out 5 times? Can Adam Lind join Cito in choking his teammates? On Brian Fuentes knows for sure.

3:29: I dunno how much blame we can assign League here. One hard hit ball on a good pitch, a bunt and a double play? Happens I guess. That said ALEX RIOS JUST STRUCK OUT FOR THE FIFTH DAMN TIME. He looked terrible doing it, you'll be shocked to learn. One down for Lind.

3:30: ADAM LIND IS THE BIZARRO RIOS. Five for five son. Double down the right field line. Get his picture on the side of the Dome. Preferably in front of Trent Edwards.

3:32: Adam Lind has 8 straight hits. Recognize. Kevin Millar takes a close pitch in a 3-1 count that just misses. Two on for Overbay! Only one out. Wells will run for Millar and my boner is somewhere in my throat. THE TENSION

3:35: FYI - my boner's in my throat cause I'm really bendy and Lyle Overbay is 2 fer 4 today. Also worth noting: the crowd is fucking dead. The bottom of the ninth people, stand the crap up. I'm sure there's a wave going somewhere.

3:37: Overbay strikes out on a 3-2 pitch that missed up. Not ball four and not a pitch he can take there. It's all up to Bautista. KARMA!

3:40: Le sigh. Bautista tries to check his swing on a fastball on the inside half. Swing the bat brother. Also, a big fuck you to all the corpses in attendance today. Bang your fins together every now and then or stay the fuck home. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, I apologize if you had any technical problems. A nice comeback stops a little short, what can you do? Brandon League gets the loss because the universe hates me. Later kids!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Impossible to Follow

Poor, poor Casey Janssen. A serviceable enough arm, fun guy to watch but, to beat a recently deceased horse, if he has 14 swings and misses tonight it will be as big a shock as Halladay's 14 strikeouts. I wonder about Casey's potential for success against the free-swinging Punch and Judy's the Angels trot out in numbers. Casey Janssen must do as the International Noise Conspiracy: make no attempt to replicate the brilliance that preceded you. Figure something novel out and run it into the ground.

None of the Angels have any particular success against Janssen in the past, but 2009 Casey Janssen isn't quite the same as previous Casey Janssens. Perhaps he's still discovering his touch as his strikeouts are way, way down. Even for him. Fewer than 2 per 9? That's half his career number. His fly ball's are down (good for him, fewer dingers) but his line drives are up over his two starts. Hopefully the Angels forget how agile a fielder Janssen is and attempt a bunch of bunts. Heaven forbid Mike Scoscia go out of his way to give away outs.

Fun to watch as I said, more fun when you see him on the local news visiting an elementary school; preaching the merits of reading, or recycling the whales or some such team-mandated milquetoast do-goodery. Thankfully, he didn't outwardly appear deluded enough to believe a single kid at the school he visited knew who he was. You throw me in a Jays jersey and BOOM I'm big league pitcher. Don't do drugs you little motherfuckers.

C'mon Feel the Lulz

Put me down for a FAILRoy Halladay was so good last night, I was deprived the glorious LOLswings I hoped for. Just plain-old LOLz. Gary Mathews is a below-average major league baseball player, but against Halladay he looked reeeeee-diculous. By his third at bat he would have been better off simply brining a turkey drumstick to the plate. Might as well dig into that post-game spread early. Like getting drunk and making out with a distant cousin at a family reunion: you're just making the best of a bad situation.

The first six innings tonight were the best I've ever seen ANYBODY pitch. Hyperbole? You're damn right. Don't believe me? I'll let the Angels make my point for me.

Mike Scoscia starts us off (via the OC Register):
He just keeps getting better and better," Scioscia said of Halladay. "The first five or six innings, I don't know if we had a loud foul ball off him. He was as good as any pitcher we've seen with command of both sides of the plate.
Joe Saunders; emasculate yourself (via
I thought we played a little tentative and scared because of who was on the mound," Saunders said. "I think it was just our mind-set going in. No one says it, you just kind of get that feeling as a pitcher, like, 'OK, I'm facing Roy Halladay today. If I give up a run, I might lose.'
Not so fast Saunders, the LA Times wants to make you sound like a punk AND a vapid cheerleader. Like, fershure!
"We go into it thinking this guy is, like, the best pitcher in baseball, and we're going to score one run if we're lucky."
Torii Hunter, punch drunk love (again
"Doc Halladay has surgery," Hunter said. "He was a doctor today. You have got to give it to him. He had surgery on all of us.
Hunter must've ingested half a white valium, as he is more lucid a few moments later:
"He's the best there is in the game right now...He throws the ball in and out the zone, out and into the zone. He's one of the best at doing that. There are some pitchers I own, and some pitchers that own me -- he's definitely one of them."
The most telling thing for me watching from home was each Angel, almost to a man, would get to first base with a big goofy grin. They seemed shocked, amazed, amused, and generally excited just making contact! Forgone conclusion indeed.

Daylife knows Roy Halladay is the best

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Hacky Angel Pun

Holy shit do I hate the Angels. They're aging yet scrappy, playing horseshit scamperball all day and blowing leads all night.

The Angels versus Roy Halladay is an almost comical enterprise. Howie Kendrick and Mike Napoli have had success in very limited at bats, though Kendrick's been good for nothing this season on the whole. Bobby Abreu, Torii Hunter, Gary Mathews, Chone Figgans, and The Izturis to be Named Later all feature sub-.500 OPS numbers against the good Doctor. I predict a return of LOLswings.

The Angels don't score too many runs, they don't play very good defense, and their starting pitching is strong if not inconsistent. Just as the most Blue Jay thing to do was take 2 of 3 from the Sox, losing 2 of 3 at home would be another highly Blue Jayish mindfuck of epic proportions. Stupid and arbitrary as it is, this series could serve as an excellent barometer for the season. This is a team that the Jays should stomp all over at home. Tonight almost seems like a forgone conclusion, putting fake pressure on fake number two starters Casey Janssen and Brian Tallet. More importatnly, will we see a return of MELONGATE?

On the Yankees Errorless Streak

If you care, I don't know what to tell you. The Yankees are 13th in the league in defensive efficiency, a fancy way of saying Derek Jeter and Robby Cano make zero errors on balls already bounding into the outfield. Good show gents.

And good show to Mr. Iracane, whom I stole the Yankee infield thoughts from as he fought with the Walkoff Walk lunchroom vending machine.