Friday, August 31, 2007

Homer Bush: Blue Jays Legend

This year's Flashback Fridays have truly been a mixed bag of Blue Jays legends, coupled with a handful of head-scratchers. For instance, we would never intentionally flashback to Paul Spoljaric, and if we ever did inadvertently, we would immediately stop taking whatever led to such a dreadful experience.

Tonight, Flashback Fridays brings you Homer Bush.

No, really.

When we heard this, we thought "Man, they're really reaching in August, aren't they?" Then again, maybe it's too easy to rip on Homer.

He was legendarily brittle, spending a good chunk of his time with Toronto on the DL, but in his first season with the team, he put up pretty decent numbers for a second baseman, including a .774 OPS, .320 AVG, 32 SBs, 5 HRs and 55 RsBI in 128 games. Those are numbers that are at least somewhat comparable to what everyone's favorite elf in the infield, Aaron Hill, has managed this year.

Of course, Homer had a lot of weight on his easily-separated shoulders when he came to Toronto. In four seasons, Gord Ash hadn't found a decent replacement for Roberto Alomar at second (Tomas Perez? Carlos Garcia? Craig Grebeck?) Moreover, Bush came over in the Clemens deal, and was bound to be scrutinized, given that the Jays had given up a legend to get Homer, some Dingo Baby, and a Fat Man.

(Those, of course, were the halcyon days, before anyone realized just how royally one Gord Ash trade could screw this franchise.)

And then there's the name: who could bear the weight of a name that features the two most important cultural and political figures of the past two decades: Homer Simpson and George W. Bush?

So, if you're headed out to the old ballyard tonight, give it up for Homer Bush. Shake the man's hand (gently!), and tell him the Tao of Stieb's got his back.

Blue Jays Fans Not Served Well By Toronto Media


Ok. So we have come to accept the fact that Toronto is a hockey town (although we think that it is not in line with the Leaf saturation in the media). But that is a poor excuse for providing subpar coverage of the only other major league sport in town (and possibly the only true major league sport in town). Here's a rundown of the players and how they rate in their coverage:

Newspapers (Online versions):


1. The Globe & Mail - The Globe does a pretty decent job of covering the Jays and baseball in general. Jeff Blair provides good analysis of the Jays and, when applicable, other major baseball stories. Blogs by Blair and MacLeod have rounded out the coverage nicely. Probably the best in this list.




2. The Toronto Sun - The Toronto Sun is probably a bit underrated. They do have unique angles in their stories on occasion but the columnists are not on par with Blair from the Globe.




3. The Toronto Star - Alan Ryan is adequate as a beat writer, but The Star is doing a disservice to its readers with Dick Griffin as their main baseball columnist. Griffin fancies himself a serious baseball writer so he often focuses on the "bigger" baseball stories such as the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry (God knows we need more articles on that subject). In the Internet Era we can read about any team we want to with the click of a mouse. So we're not sure why The Star would employ someone that has nothing but disdain for the local team as evidenced by his columns -- when he writes about them at all (5 of his last 6 columns are about teams other than the Jays). But his readers love him--- apparently.


Television:


1. Rogers Sportsnet - I suppose the channel owned by the company that also happens to own the Jays has more than a little self-interest in covering the team. To push the product, they broadcast 120 games, run Jays ads non-stop and produce a weekly kid oriented show where we see Greg Zaun eating breakfast or Aaron Hill playing guitar. Despite the favourable airtime, we don't get the kind of in depth analysis of the team and the game in general that we see for Hockey. If someone in a Leafs jersey gets a blister in July, there are 3-4-5 member panels assembled to analyze it and re-analyze it. We don't get more than a passing mention of what takes place with the Jays. This isn't covered off in the booth either by the broadcast team of Eagle Scout Jamie Campbell and whoever the dullest ex-Jay they can find to fill the other seat.


2. TSN - These guys only carry 20 games and offer no other coverage of the team apart from highlights on Sportscentre. Outdated onscreen graphics (what's up with those grey, faceless 3D figures occupying the field) and the team of Rod Black and Pat Tabler does not help their bleak situation. But the ratings are better than Sportsnet's for some reason.


3. CBC - Canada's public broadcaster signed on to carry 8 games this season with more in the works for next year. The team of former TSN and EA's Triple Play baseball's play by play guy Jim Highson, Jesse Barfield, and Rance "Mr. Excitement" Mullinks are the best of the three networks (not saying a lot). Ratings for Jays games on CBC have been the highest of all three networks. CBC doesn't carry any other Jays coverage other than these games.
Blogs:
Too many to name but it's clear that they are needed to fill the void for we, the baseball info starved fans in the Great White North.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Mickey Brantley's Mantra - "If we suck, it's because we're hurt"

J.P. Ricciardi finally dropped the dime on Vernon Wells' general suckiness this year, by confirming what Mickey (I'm SO Outta Here) Brantley let slip earlier this week (oops): V-Dub's got shoulder issues.
"It's not so much an injury -- there's just a little tightness in there," Ricciardi said. "He's been playing, and I don't think he would use it as an excuse. He's got a little soreness in his shoulder, but nothing that's stopped him from playing." (mlb.com)
Props go out to Vernon for not rising to the bait ( "No comment. There's no excuses.") But it seems to us that by dropping this info out there, Mickey B might be making a too-little too-late attempt to dog paddle his way out of the deep end. Maybe if he can convince the world that all of the Jays' ineptitude at the plate this year can be attributed to injuries ("Reed! Lyle! Vernon! Glaus! It weren't my fault!"), then he'll be back next year for another kick at the can.

But if we were him, we wouldn't be putting down any roots in T.O..

Question for Miss South Carolina

How many baserunners can the Blue Jays leave on base in extra innings, and still expect to win? Moreover, how can the Jays hammer Huston Street for a couple of bombs in the ninth, and then politely hand the home side a 5-4 victory?

Or, alternately, tell us what you know about maps, South Africa, "US America" and "The Iraq".

Other questions
-Quien es mas macho? Matt Stairs es mas macho!


-So, about Lyle Overbay's hand...does it only hurt when he grounds out? Because that was a pretty frickin' monstrous shot in the ninth.

-The Globe and Mail has two baseball beat reporters. Understanding that maybe the national fishwrap didn't want to send them out to the coast, after having blown their travel budget on Blair's Barry Bonds BonanzaTM, would it kill one of them to update their eight-days-stale blog?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wednesday! Mailbag!

In all the excitement of another week of drudgery fun!, we almost forgot that today was Wednesday - and time for Dick (Griffin) to empty his (mail)bag.

Dick shows some remarkable restraint this week by running just two sycophantic sloppy kisses to his greatness. This week's praise for Richard comes from Kevin Smith of Toronto, who says "I love your column" (don't we all), and Robert Hodges of Bangor, Maine, who says: "I love your columns and your mailbag". We've been to Bangor. Believe us when we tell you, they've got low standards.

Otherwise, here's your 60 Second Dick Griffin Mailbag Breakdown TM:
  • Jays next manager? Cito Gaston!
  • The solution to the Jays' SS problems? Mark Loretta! (Of course!)
  • Scott Downs? A dick to the media!
  • A.J. Burnett? A dick to everyone! But especially the media!
  • Who (if not Dick) should be the GM? Dave Dombrowski!
  • The Jays defense? Not the worst, but it sucks! Especially the pitchers! They're not Jim Kaat!
  • Sam Pollock? Dead!
That pretty much covers it. Life is simple in the minds of simple men, isn't it?

Just another day: Sun comes up, we've got Johnny Mac conjecture

The discussion of John McDonald and his future with the club has reached absurd proportions, as we Jays bloggers have spilled buckets of digital ink on the Jays' number nine hitter.

However, Neate at Out of Left Field has done some yeoman's work on this file, following up on some of Mike Wilner's recent late-into-the-overnight comments, which had pegged Johnny Mac as roughly the equivalent of Ozzie Smith in the field, and Cal Ripken at the plate.

We don't want to dump on Johnny Mac any more, but suffice to say, if the Jays don't get production from anywhere in their lineup, then all the sliding throws and basket catches in the world aren't going to make this team a playoff contender this year, or any year in the near future.

Late nights, sleepy mornings

Man, how long have the Jays been on the Left Coast? We don't think we can take many more late nights mashed up with early morning meetings.

Last night's 5-4 win over the A's was keyed by Lyle Overbay's two-run double in the eighth, and it's a damn good thing that Toronto's resident bouquet snatcher pulled this one out.

Overbay's two GIDPs earlier in the game, including one with the bases loaded where he allowed a 2-0 fastball down the middle to go by untouched, had us in conniption fits last night. Until his big hit, we were pretty certain that this morning's post was going to be a Lyle takedown, where we wrote of our profound disappointment in him, and made cheap comments about his teeth.

On the wire
With the Mark Redman experiment now over, the Jays have signed yet another marginal left-hander in Joe Kennedy. Kennedy's been assigned to Syracuse for now, but will likely get the call this weekend, when the Jays make their September callups.

Holy Shit!!!
September callups! Fuck!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Were we dreaming?

Or did the Jays hang a crooked number up in the 12th late last night?

This is the sort of game that the Jays have been losing this year, so imagine our joy when we woke up at 3:45 AM (with the TV still on Sportsnet), and found that the Jays had rallied in extra innings for a 6-2 win over the A's.

Of course, we don't really know what happened, since we had already embarked on the jet train to Sleepy Town at that point. But it seeped into our sub conscience, and we felt good about it.

Equal Time for Commenters
Cheers to the Great Lakes Knuckleballer (CEO of the Fire Gibbons blog) for his spirited defense of Johnny Mac in the comments yesterday. It's worth a read.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Not to be a killjoy at the Johnny Mac love-in, but...

Seeing as how the Drunk Jays Fans have made their case for the Prime Minister of Defense, allow us to take the other side. Just to be a bit of a prick.

We love watching John McDonald's defense as much as the next guy, and - as any caller to Jays Talk will tell you - the guy deserves a Gold Glove for his work this year. Of course, to paraphrase William Munny, when it comes to the Gold Glove, "deserves got nothin' to do with it."

But McDonald's excellent glove work and hot start to the season have papered over what has been a steady and steep decline in his offensive numbers since mid-June.

We've used June 15th as a midway point, since that's when most of his rate stats hit their apex. With a 2-4 day against the Nationals, McDonald pushed his average up to .302, and his OPS to a respectable .727. He had a homer and six RsBI in 106 ABs to that point.

Since then, his numbers have tumbled considerably. In 53 games and 144 ABs, he is hitting .229 since June 16, with a .538 OPS (albeit, with 19 RsBI).

Those aren't the numbers of a starter on a playoff team.

We'd love to see Johnny Mac back next year as a utility dude, but for an offense that has sputtered as mightly as the Jays' has this year, you just can't carry that sort of dead wood at the bottom of the lineup.

Requiem for a Fat Man

Yeah, yeah...we know that Boomer Wells had one more night of glory, going five innings for the 6-2 win against the Mets last night.

And we know that he legged out a bunt for a single and scored. Good for him.

We've made our feelings about Boomer pretty clear. His self-proclamation as a "scumbag" seems particularly apt to us.

So let's just see what Scummy can pull off in his next start, when he hasn't had three weeks rest, and doesn't have a national audience watching.

Zaun, re-reconsidered

We were listening to Sunday's game, only a few short hours after having praised Gregg Zaun, and praying that the goateed one didn't make a fool out of us.

So much for that.

Zaun popped up with runners in scoring position and a prime opportunity to put the Jays up, then fired a throw into left field, allowing the insurance run to score in the Angels 3-1 victory.

It's probably worth asking why Zaun was playing on a day game after a night game. Let's face it: he's an old man, and the Jays should be making use of Curtis Thigpen for more than just the occasional pinch running assignment.

Other lineup questions
Now that we've officially began our efforts to run Reed Johnson out of town, we have to wonder why Gibby (who's been monumentally sharper in the second half) decided to play the diminutive outfielder with the microscopic OPS versus righties (.521) against a tough right-hander like Kelvim Escobar. Matt Stairs (15 HRs, .924 OPS versus righties) shouldn't be used exclusively as a pinch-hitter, or to sit on the top step of the dugout to intimidate Alex Rodriguez. He's proved his worth.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Troy Glaus blasts one to Wonder Mountain

True story: The Missus has a bit of a thing for Troy Glaus. Occasionally, we'll call her over to the TV to tell her that her "boyfriend" is limping up to the plate, like an old man.

Of course, last night when we pulled this little gambit, he hammers his first homer in Lord-knows-how-long to cement the Jays 9-2 win. Glaus' shot was a pretty monumental blast, deep into what Mrs. Tao described as "the Canada's Wonderland mountain" beyond the center field fence in Anaheim.

Come to think of it, we'd like to see Glaus take batting practice at Wonderland, right about the same time that they send the high divers out to jump off the artificial falls. That'd be sweet.

Zaun, reconsidered
We've been slamming Gregg Zaun lately, if only because it pains us to watch his at bats. But last night's game reminded us of how valuable Zaun can be at times to this team. If his key hit and a sac fly, as well as a great head-first slide under a tag in the sixth were cake, then the icing was the heads up play to alert the home plate umpire that Howie Kendrick was thrown out at third before Maicer Izturis scored, saving the Jays a run in what was still a close game at that point.

All is forgiven, Zauner.

Frank Thomas gets worked over

video

Captured at a game earlier this season. We don't know who the other guy is, but he's sure giving the Big Hurt the once over.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

He's a Doctor, not a miracle worker

You've gotta feel for Roy Halladay. Last night's complete game 3-0 loss to the Angels was as gutsy as the Jays' offense was limpy. Doc got hit around, but bore down enough to snuff out several rallies, in the hopes that the bats would somehow come alive.

They obviously didn't.

It's too bad Halladay can't hit, given his 1.000 OPS and .500 AVG.

Mind you, the Jered Weaver to Justin Speier to Scott Shields to Francisco Rodriguez combo that the Angels ran out last night is ridiculously solid, and looks like a playoff pitching staff.

But the Jays offense, which was sleepy throughout this month, has gone colder than cold. There isn't a single hot bat in the lineup, and no one is picking anyone else up.

It's too bad the Jays don't have a dedicated member of their coaching staff who is focussed on improving the team's offense. That might help.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Let's push things forward

With the Jays' roll-over-Rover routine this week at the Rogers Centre pretty much ending their postseason hopes, sights are beginning to be turned towards next year's edition of the team.

We've heard J.P. say all year that he "likes this team", and that there likely isn't a lot that needs to happen to put this team into contention next year. As Jeff Blair noted in his column this week, we should expect the team to return pretty much intact, for better or for worse.

More over, the hue and cry from the fans (or at least the mental midgets who call in to espouse conspiracy theories on five-year plans to Mike Wilner) seems to be that the key to this team's future rests in the hands of John McDonald, Reed Johnson and Gregg Zaun.

(We won't even touch Dick Grffin's idiotic column on how the Jays are treating Reed poorly at this point, because others - OoLF and the DJF have already done an excellent job of taking him down.)

But here's the thing. As much as you can enjoy Johnny Mac's defense, or Gregg Zaun's grit, you just have to ask yourself: are we settling? Are we accepting a better than expected performance from mediocre players? Are we ready to go into next season with this same lineup, conscious of the fact that 75% of the other teams in the AL will be improved from last season?

And really, as much fun as it was watching Reed Johnson battle for a batting title (for whatever that's worth) and getting plunked a few dozen times per year, the guy runs like a girl and gets on base like our grandma these days. Have you noticed how far RJ stands away from the plate these days? Are we really willing to pay more than $3 million for a .320-something on base percentage just because we like his "grit" and "tenacity".

Seriously, given your choices between standing pat because Reed and Johnny Mac are gamers, wouldn't you rather see the Jays find a way to get an Adam Dunn in the lineup every day?

We can guarantee you this, if mashers like Dunn or Jose Guillen or (let's get fucking crazy here) A-Rod are available, then Boston, the Yankees, the Orioles, Cleveland, Anaheim(ish), Detroit and the White Sox will all be stumbling over one another to try and find a way to fit them into their lineup. If the Jays aren't amongst those off-season players, then they shouldn't be surprised to be looking upwards at them in the playoff race.

Let's hope that J.P.'s musings of complacency aren't indicative of his true intentions this winter. It's time to step on the goddamned gas and run some teams down.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Hacks and gasbags hack away at Jays

Now that the Jays' ever so slim playoff aspirations have gone up in a poof of green and gold smoke, thanks to Esteban Loaiza and his merry band of brigands, we fully expect the gang of hacks and gasbags in the Toronto/National media (is there a distinction?) to gleeful indulge in "I told you so" wankery for much of the next few weeks.

What fun.

We wouldn't mind, so much, if they were vaguely enlightening about the plight of the Jays season. For instance, Jeff Blair, in his triumphant return from the Barry Bonds beat, lays it out pretty effectively in today's column.
You're misguided if you think the Blue Jays postseason hopes are fading fast. They were extinguished long ago, when the club went 3-5 from July 12 to 19 in an eight-game road trip against the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.
You see, that's harsh, but it is true.

But what kills us are the goofballs like Sun Media columnist and TSN sabbath gasbag Steve Simmons, who dropped this erroneous knowledge in his Sunday column: "Not hard to figure why the Blue Jays are so middle-of-the- road. The club is 14th in batting, 17th in runs scored, 22nd in earned run average".

We checked those numbers, especially since the ERA number seemed so completely out of whack. The Jays sit fourth in ERA (4.01 going into yesterday, and 3.99 coming out). In 22nd in ERA are the Marlins with a 4.69, so it's doubtful that the Jays managed in the space of about four days to shave almost three-quarters of a run off their mark.

Neither of the other numbers made much sense when we checked them either, so Simmons basically made this shit up.

Sycophancy Update - Back to the mailbag
We were slow off the mark in our analysis of yesterday's Dick Griffin Mailbag Madness yesterday, but the Drunk Jays Fans pretty much said what we thinking.

We'll just point out that yet again, the mailbag was full of unnecessarily laudatory greetings for a writer who is already way too full of himself.

Yesterday's mailbag featured such exquisite brown-nosery as "I love your column and candor during the season" from some limey, "I look forward to every Wednesday just to read your column" from someone in Oshawa, and "Hi Richard, Love your column" from some misguided American Jays fan.

We get it, Dick. People love you. Then again, people love a lot of ridiculous shit, like The King of Queens and head cheese.

God Sets Difficulty To "Rookie". Rangers Beat O's 30-3

More runs than the Jays have scored in the past week.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A's up, Jays down

Wistful optimism is Reality's bitch.

And so ends another series.

There really isn't much sense in picking through the dustbin of another series gone wrong to find some sort of consolation.

We've kicked at the darkness all year, and it never bleeds daylight. It just oozes a dour grey.

Being There


I was at Monday night's game and while I felt the same way about the game as my compadre, I didn't have the option of changing the channel. So that Clockwork Orange type experience of facing the team unfiltered has lead us to some conclusions:


1. Despite our mediocre season we have had a horseshoe up our collective ass. Sean Marcum and Dustin McGowan were not part of the plan. They certainly weren't counted on to be as good as they have been. This has to be viewed as a bonus. Our projected rotation for '07 isn't on the DL. It's in the unemployment line. So to get upset about a rare meltdown by Marcum is foolish (hear that Robert MacLeod?). Without Marcum, McGowan, Janssen, and Accardo, we would have been looking up at Tampa Bay in the standings right now.


2. John Gibbons HAS to go. We've long thought that Gibbons was a poor motivator. We've also thought that he has some isues with handling pitchers. But until Monday night, we never thought that he was dangerous. Why, for the love of god, would you put Dustin McGowan into a game as a pinch runner?!! Why would you take your most scarce resource and the future of your team, and put him in an unfamiliar position in a high pressure situation?!!! If he had hurt himself, Gibbons may have never found a job in baseball again.


3. The Jays need a more varied attack. Home run hitters who can't find their stroke are pretty useless. This is magnified when you have more than one. A DH is typically a one dimensional masher (Paul Molitor aside) so we should be ok with Thomas for another year. The preference would be finding a 3rd baseman who has a little less pop and a few more tools in his kitbag.


4. The Jays need character. We have character pitchers. We're talking about position players. Matt Stairs has character but he's not an everday player. Greg Zaun is always worked up so his rants are not impactful. Reed Johnson has a lot of hustle, but is not nearly as effective as Dick Griffin would have us believe. We need a couple of guys in the big spots in the lineup who have the skills AND want to win at all costs. Not an easy thing to find.


5. The Philly Cheese Steaks at the Rogers Centre are filling but nasty.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Down with the sickness

We're not sure what we've got...maybe it's just a general malaise, or maybe it's a rockin' pneumonia, or maybe our will to get out of bed in the morning is just slip-sliding away. Whatever the case, we don't think we can pin all of our nausea and vertigo on the Jays' performance lately.

In our weakened state, we bailed on last night's 6-4 loss to the A's in the 5th. Generally speaking, if you're watching a game where Jason Frasor is on the mound, and Gas Can Towers is warming up in the bullpen, it's probably time to go through your mental list of household chores that you've been putting off for too long. (Or you can do as we did, and pull the covers over your head to really make the most of your fever dreams. Trippy!)

What we missed, though, was Dusty Lambchops coming into the game as a pinch runner in the eighth, and coming around to score. How cool is that?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Frank Thomas peers behind the grassy knoll

Give Frank Thomas some credit for breaking out his conspiracy theories about the baseballs being dead this year after he hit a tape-measure home run on Friday.
"It's been a strange season throughout baseball," Thomas said. "I don't want to say anything but I think something's going on with the baseballs. A lot of guys been hitting a lot of balls close to the wall and they're not flying." (Globe and Mail)
It might be tempting to write off Thomas' comments as sour grapes after a less than stellar power season, until you look around the Majors and see all of the other sluggers who are having down years.

Injuries might play a part for some of these guys, but seeing a number of players who will likely not 30 homers this season is definitely surprising.
  • Manny Ramirez - 19 HRs
  • Travis Hafner - 18 HRs
  • Richie Sexson - 19 HRs
  • Andruw Jones - 22 HRs
  • Matt Holliday - 21 HRs
  • Carlos Delgado - 18 HRs
  • Derek Lee - 13 HRs
  • Troy Glaus - 15 HRs
It seems a little odd to us to see this many sluggers all struggling simultaneously, and to see the power numbers decline across both leagues.

It could be (as we speculated over tasty beverages on Friday) that the quality of pitching has finally caught back up to the caliber of hitting, but to do so in the space of a single season?

Supposing that the balls are dead, there would be few teams that would be affected more by this change than the Blue Jays, a team whose offense was built around the big blast.

So, instead of blaming Gibby, Josh Towers, or Mickey Brantley for the Jays' offensive woes, perhaps we should be blaming Bud Selig?

And not to get reckless with our speculation, but do you suppose MLB might have ordered the balls to be deadened as a last resort to slow down Barry Bonds' chase of the home run record?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Somedays, just enough is good enough to get you by

Stop us if you've heard either of these stories before. The first one goes like this: Roy Halladay pitches lights out over nine innings, bearing down and stymieing the opposition after a couple of early runs. The other is the one about how the Jays offense barely scrapes more than a couple of runs together.

That was pretty much the story with this afternoon's 3-2 extra inning win over the Orioles. We probably don't even need to do game recaps at this point. The win keeps the Jays at 6.5 back in the Wild Card, if you're still tracking that sort of thing.

We'll take a win any day, but this seemed like the most passionless walkoff win we've ever seen. It just all seemed very "meh". (Then again, we weren't listening to Jamie Campbell, who might have been having kittens in the booth after Aaron Hill hit the lazy sac fly).

Milestones
Both Vernon Wells and Troy Glaus hit round numbers in RsBI this afternoon, with Wells driving in his 70th and Glaus driving himself in for his 50th with a fifth inning homer. With six weeks to go in the season, it would appear that neither player will get a sniff at 100 RsBI, a situation that is of obvious concern.

On the other hand, it is plausible that the Jays will end the season with three players driving in 90 or more. (Frank Thomas, 73; Wells; and Rios, 67.) We're not sure if you can fit faint praise like that onto an ice cream cake, but we'll look into it.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

One up, one down, and the weekend's pretty much gone

Today's 5-3 loss to the Orioles sucked, and not just because we were listening to Buck Martinez on the MASN broadcast for the first few innings.

A couple of defensive miscues (Lyle, babe: what is up with you this week?) and more weak-ass hitting, and the Jays barely muster much of a fight against the Orioles.

Although Matt Stairs' homer was pretty sweet.

Lil Litschy didn't pitch as well as his line, as he failed to bear down and get outs after the commission of the aforementioned errors. They might not show up on Litsch's book, but the at bats after the errors were crucial, and he just didn't get the job done. (Today was the first time in a while where we started to wonder whether if slotting Litsch in as your number five starter next year is such a good idea.)

While we were drinking
We watched the Jays' 5-2 win (along with three other games simultaneously) at a fine dining and drinking establishment last night, which perhaps explains why we are so delinquent in getting anything posted today. It's not so much that we didn't want to...it's just that our synapses are still a little soggy.

But seeing Frank Thomas go deep, it reminded us of what this team was supposed to be, which was one that would crank out enough homers to be in just about any game. It just doesn't seem to have worked out that way.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Your vlog sucks


Stop. You're not funny.

You make this guy look like Johnny Carson. Or at least Steve Allen.

The Return of the Russ, and other transactions


After last night's loss, the Jays recalled Russ Adams from Syracuse.

Please, try to contain your excitement.

Hector Luna, we barely knew you.

We wouldn't read too much into this
Jason Stark's ESPN column yesterday indicated that Troy Glaus had cleared waivers (scroll way down the page). We don't think it's terribly shocking that J.P. would run Glaus and the $24 million left on his contract through, at least just to see if he got a bite, nor do we think that it is surprising that no one made a claim. That's a pretty big nut to fit into just about any team's salary structure going forward. Our guess is that Troy is back in a Jays uniform next year, with further diminishing returns.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Too little, too late

A ninth inning rally - off Francisco Rodriguez, no less - wasn't enough to salvage a win out of another lackluster offensive game for the Blue Jays, who fell 4-3 to the Angels.

Dusty Lambchops pitched well, and as Alan Ashby pointed out on the radiocast, probably pitched better than his line (6 IP, 4 hits, 3 ERs, 7 Ks, 3 BBs) would indicate.

The entire Jays pitching staff has been rock solid in this series, including tonight's relievers Brian Wolfe (two innings, no runs) and Scott Downs (one inning, no runs). We really like what we've seen out of Wolfe, who has been way better than Jason Frasor and deserves the chance he has received late in the season, no matter what some tweaked out commenters at Drunk Jays Fans think.

Giving Jamie Campbell the night off
We don't hate on the Jays' TV voice as much as some others do (we think he's just a big nerd, in the best sense), but it has been nice listening to Jerry Howarth and Alan Ashby on the radio as we watch the game. The radio is a couple of seconds ahead of the TV image, but we've managed to get used to it. It's also been funny to realize that sometimes, when Jerry starts dropping knowledge on the radio, it's because he's reading the graphics off the Sportsnet broadcast. (And there's no sin in that.)

An eyeful behind the plate
As we grew weary of waiting on the Jays' offense, it sure was nice to be able to enjoy the lovely servers propped up behind home plate. At least they have the hot women in black there, and not some awkward phase teen with a Jays cap dug out at the goodwill, a recycled shirt and a button the size of his head pinned on, advertising some ridiculously overpriced ice cream bar. Because that would not enhance the viewing experience at all.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Another night, another nail biter

Our cuticles can't take much more of this. (Seriously, those aren't really our nails, because that's just sick. Yeesh.)

Tonight's 2-1 win over the Angels was yet another in a series of close games where the Jays should be burying teams, but fail to move runners over or drive them in. Gregg Zaun in particular seemed to leave the entire roster on the bases at one point or another tonight.

But at least he threw out a runner.

We won't look gift wins in the mouth anymore, though, especially since tonight's victory puts the Jays three games over for the first time since April, and allows them to pick up a full game on Seattle and the Yankees for the Wild Card.

No, really, we still think in terms of the playoff race. That's why they call us die hard fans.

Marcum es MUY macho
We'll admit that we've been waiting for Shaun Marcum to turn back into a pumpkin and day now, but we like his smarts on the mound more with every start. Marcum won his fifth straight tonight, running his record to 10-4, and dropping his ERA to 3.31, the eighth best mark in the AL. Can you dig it?

Dick Griffin, and the voices in his head

(We use the photo above with all due deference to the inebriated scoundrels at Drunk Jays Fans, and their weekly Gibbers and Griffins Awards. Because really, there is no photo that could represent how we feel about Richard Griffin more than this one.)

Trudging our way through today's Dick Griffin Wednesday Mailbag Happy Time!, it occurs to us: just who are these sycophantic Griffin fans? How did they get out of their straight jackets long enough to scrawl crayon notes of effusive praise to Toronto's laziest and most self-aggrandizing baseball writer?

Today's reader mail featured classic nuggets like "Love your column" from Phil Rossel of Barrie, and "Love the Column, can't wait for Wednesdays" from Ricky B of Markham, or "I enjoy your column; especially memories of your days with Les Expos" from J. Reaves of Toronto.

(BTW, did you know that Richard Griffin used to work in the Expos' PR department? Because he only mentions it a couple of hundred times per season.)

We don't want to insinuate that these Griffin acolytes are maybe a figment of someone's imagination (or the product of someone needing to fill electronic column inches once a week.) We'd never suggest he's faking his mail bag entries...that's for two-bit punks like Marty York.

But we would say that if those letters came from actual living breathing Jays fans, then maybe Dick could see fit to edit out the flattering puffery, and get directly into the softball questions. Unless, of course, he feels a burning need to demonstrate to his employer that readers really really really like him.

Reading these complements is like having a friend foist their kid's report card on you, to prove how smart their little ankle-biter is, even though you can see that the kid over in the corner mining for nose nuggets and wiping them on the wall. (Hey, in a few years, maybe that kid will write for the Star him/herself!)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Ho hum. Doc breezes through 9 innings in under 2 hours.

Here's something that we've learned from watching the Jays over the years -- don't show up late to a Roy Halladay start or you will miss it. In this sub-2 hour game, Halladay surrendered only 1 run, 5 hits, and 1 BB in getting his fifth complete game of the season and improving to 14-5. Freed us up to catch Bill Maher on Larry King. We're grateful.

Splitsville

So that's that. Another frustrating evening at the plate, topped with three Jays errors lead to a 6-2 loss and a split against the mighty mighty Royals.

Wilner, unleashed
We haven't had much of a chance this year to listen to Mike Wilner's postgame Jays Talk program this year, but decided in our frustration last night to tune in. Wilner was every bit as good as the fellas at Drunk Jays Fans describe, while the callers were just brutal. If you've never listened, just imagine a bunch of puckheads spewing the inanities that they use all year in their frustrations at the Leafs latest defeat, but trying to impose that axiomatic bunk onto baseball. "The Jays, they just don't got any heart." "They need some veteran leadership." We were half expecting someone to break out the idea that if the Jays were going to win, they need more Canadian players. (Maybe they can sign Gary Roberts.)

Oh, and one more thing
Odalis F'ing Perez? You've got to be kidding.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Gas Can on the block

Josh Towers

Josh Towers has cleared waivers, and Ken Rosenthal claims that the Colorado Rockies are looking to trade for him (here's the link, but you'll have to scroll down to find the reference. Trust us...it's there.)

We'll now pause for a moment, as you consider Josh Towers pitching in Coors Canaveral. The mind boggles.

Towers, a week removed from drilling A-Rod and throwing down verbally on Tony Pena, has already been demoted to the bullpen in favour of Lil' Litschy. We'll actually kinda miss him if he goes.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Welcome back, A.J. (and you too, Troy!)

A.J. Burnett was muy macho in his return to the lineup, giving up one run and two hits in 7.1 innings, leading the Jays to a 4-1 win over the Royals.

...and featuring Joey Gathright as the Homerburglar
We don't have that much love for Joey Gathright, a Giant Tiger version on Corey Patterson who can run like the wind, but likely wouldn't break in to any lineup other than the Devil Rays or Royals. But we have to bow in deference to the two -count 'em, two - home runs he stole from Aaron Hill this weekend.

The bats awaken
We won't get ahead of ourselves here, but seeing Troy Glaus get two hits in consecutive days helps to at least alleviate the affects of our Jays-induced ulcer. Moreover, the swing that Lyle Overbay put on his two-run double in the fourth was the best that we've seen from him since his return to the lineup.

Put out, 9-2
Well, colour us impressed. Not only by the throw that Alex Rios unleashed to throw out David DeJesus at the plate in the third, but also the great job that Gregg Zaun did field the throw and tag DeJesus in the backside. Rios' defense gets overlooked, what with the fine season he is having at the plate, but also with the Gold Glover to his right. Rios has eight baserunner kills this year, and deserves mention amongst the best defensive outfielders in the AL.

Four hits, one run


So, yeah, that's not really gonna get it done, now is it?

Pity poor Dusty Lambchops, who pitched well, but saw his defense fail him, and the offense go completely somnambulatory .

We've clearly entered into the Bizzaro world
The whole lineup goes silent in last night's 4-1 loss to the Royals, except for the struggling Troy Glaus, who had two of the Jays' hits. Go figure.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Somebody get Marcum some water

Shaun Marcum pitched himself into a fit of dehydration last night, giving up one hit and no runs in 6.2 innings, helping to lead the Jays to a 2-0 win over the Royals.

As great as Marcum pitched, would it have killed him to have gulped back a little agua before the game? It was painful to watch him hobbling around with leg cramps, especially on a play where he had to cover first.

It reminds of what Ichiro said about KC: "Kansas City in August is hotter than two rats fucking in a sock."

If it's a road game, they must have left the offense at home
Once again, the Jays manage just two runs on the road. Which for some reason reminds us all of those old tales about the Jays stealing signs at the Rogers Centre. Just sayin'.

Saturday Night Game Fever
Tonight, Dustin McGowan goes up against Leo Nunez, who has a 1.93 ERA this year. Which, given that these are the Royals, seems like a physical impossibility.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Regal ballparks and royal pains

Why is it that we love seeing Kauffman Stadium so much? By foregoing the ostentatious retro-wankery of some newer ballparks, the home of the Royals remains a classic, and the only remaining stadium of its generation (with the exception of the soon-to-be-mothballed Yankee Stadium, which was redone in 1976).

One of our favorite Blue Jays moments occurred at the then-Royals Stadium on Opening Day, 1988. George Bell was fresh off an MVP season and an eventful offseason that saw the Jays trying to nudge him into the DH role, leading to his now classic invitation for the team's brass to "kiss my purple butt". (Update! Actually, Neate has the timeframe for this quote correct in the comments. Still, we always prefer our memory of events to reality.)

The Jays pushed the issue, with Bell DHing that day, Lloyd Moseby in left field, and the eminently forgettable Sil Campusano in centre. Bell responded by cranking out three dingers in the Jays' 5-3 with over Kansas City.

In the end, Bell only DHed six more times that year, but his production took a nosedive, as he finished the season with 24 HRs and 97 RsBI, a far cry from his remarkable 1987 campaign.

Enough with the nostalgia...here's your series preview
Tonight, the Jays get their first chance to knock around Gil Meche, who bailed on the Jays for the much brighter horizons in KC. Opposing him is Shaun Marcum, who will make $386,100 this year, versus Meche's $7.4 million (in the first year of a stupid five-year, $55 million deal that J.P. Ricciardi would have been too happy to hand over as well). Marcum, it should be noted, has Meche beat statistically in every category except Ks (but not Ks/9, don't you know.)

The Jays have taken two of three games in the series so far this year, but the Royals have a knack of beating the Jays at inopportune times, as they did last July when the Jays were surging and within three games of the AL East lead. The 13-3 shellacking on July 7 was the one of the lowest points of 2006. It also marked the last game for Pete Walker, who gave up four hits and five unearned runs, and was promptly sent into hiding.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

So long, Fat Man

This morning, the San Diego Padres came to their senses, and gave David Wells his walking papers.

Before you go getting misty-eyed about Wells, let's remember that he is an obnoxious fat prick who liked to portray himself as a gamer, but who'd have to bow out of important games down the stretch because of his lifestyle-induced cases of gout.

Let's remember him as the guy who pissed and moaned about the fact that the Blue Jays monitored his weight, then bragged about rigging the scale to beat their weigh-ins.

Let's remember him as the guy who begrudged the fact that the Jays promoted Jimmy Key ahead of him, even though it took him more than a decade to actually put up numbers that remotely compared to Key's.

Let's remember him as the guy who took all the credit for any minor success he might have had, but quickly assessed blame elsewhere whenever his performance dipped.

Let's remember him as the guy who hated his time in Toronto, but would still drop the team's name into conversation when it came time to negotiate a new contract.

It's like Hank says to Falstaff in the second part of Henry IV:

I know thee not, old man: Fall to thy Prayers:
How ill white hairs become a Fool, and jester
I have long dream'd of such a kinde of man,
So surfeit-swell'd, so old, and so prophane:
But being awake, I do despise my dream.
Make less thy body (hence) and more thy Grace,
Leave gourmandizing; Know the Grave doth gape
For thee, thrice wider then for other men.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Of Doubles and Ws

The Jays went nutty-cuckoo with the doubles tonight, racking up nine off Yankees pitching en route to a 15-4 laugher. We have to admit that we were thoroughly impressed with the Jays' approach tonight, driving the ball gap-to-gap and keeping the line moving with patience and smart hitting. (It's enough to make us tear up, just a little.)

Once again, let us praise Frank Thomas
Thomas went three for five with three RsBI, two doubles and a run scored. The three driven in bring his total in that category to 14 in the six games since he sat in Tampa. Moreover, Thomas has now taken over the team lead from Alex Rios, a feat that would have seemed unlikely a week ago.

Once again, let us mourn Troy Glaus
Though he walked and scored twice, Glaus still looks lost at the plate. He struck out twice, and has not driven in a run since July 30. Since his two homer game on July 16 versus the Yankees, Glaus has seen his OPS sink from .952 to .805.

And really, is there anything Matt Stairs can't do?
Matt Stairs hit leadoff tonight, rocking not only the house, but also the boulevard. His two doubles off Chien-Ming Wang set the tone for the evening, and helped chase the starter in the third inning.

Next up
Three against the Royals. And before we get excited, let's remember what the Jays do against the punching bags of the AL, especially right after they knock the stuffing out of a contender. We don't want to be negative...We're just sayin'.

756*


No confetti here. We weren't excited about Sosa/McGwire back in the day (we were keenly aware of steroids since Ben Johnson) and we aren't excited about Bonds today. We would like to see Barry on the horse racing circuit with Ben though. That is something that we'd get excited about.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

We enjoyed that 9-2 loss a little too much

Matt Stairs would have given A-Rod a right good tunin', given half the chance. He's instantly become our pick to replace Gibby next year.

Of course, all that glaring from the third base dugout didn't do a lick of good on the scoreboard, as the Jays promptly went to sleep at the plate for the rest of the night. (Except for Frank Thomas, whose swing looks remarkably quicker over the past week.)

Throw a little more gas on that fire, Gas Can
We haven't seen the quotes printed yet, but in the post game interviews with Josh Towers, he called out Yankees first base coach Tony Pena as a "quitter" for his vaguely graceless exit from the Royals a few years back. Nice. Then again, Towers will also be looking at a graceless exit himself in a few weeks, if not days, given his five inning, five earned run outing tonight.

Rios is the Jays' biggest star, and he's about to cost them
We noted with interest that Clemens plunked Rios in the seventh, which we'll take as proof positive that other teams now consider him the biggest star on the Jays. (Okay, we admit that it's a little specious, but go with us here.) With today's signing of Eric Byrnes to a three-year, $30 million contract, the bar has been set for the deal that the Jays will need to cough up to keep Rios this offseason.

Hey A.J.! How's the arm?

That's what a drunken superfan yelled out at Jays' pitcher A.J. Burnett in the fifth inning of his rehab start for the Syracuse Chiefs in Ottawa versus the Lynx.

A.J., ever the yuckster, gave the heckler the thumbs up.

Burnett looked very good against a poor AAA lineup, giving up three hits and one run, while striking out seven in five innings in the Chiefs 5-4, 14 inning win. His curve ball was moving, and he seemed to have full velocity on the fastball.

Noticed this weekend
For one reason or another, Adam Lind stayed nailed to the bench all weekend. We haven't found his name on the minor league DL, although that info isn't always available. Lind hasn't played since July 29.

Meanwhile, with the Big Club
As we headed into the this week's Jays-Yankees series, our thoughts turned briefly to A-Rod and his "mine" or "ha!" tomfollies, perhaps because of Howie Clark's recent designation for assignment. We were wondering if it is way too late to throw at him, at least even just once? Wouldn't you know, Lil Litschy throws behind Rodriguez in the second inning of the Jays' 5-4 loss to the Evil Empire. Somehow, it all was way less than we would have hoped for.

An ongoing concern
Troy Glaus' season continues to spiral downward. Glaus's last homer was July 22 in Minny, and since then, the big guy has four hits (in 44 at bats). He also hasn't had multiple hits in a game since hitting two singles against Seattle.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Success success success...it doesn't matter

So much good news...and yet, what does it all mean?

With another fine performance by Dustin McGowan, the Jays roll to a 4-1 win over the Rangers to seal the series sweep, and now find themselves five games out of the Wild Card. Moreover, they have won eight in a row at home, two short of the club record.

But for all of the good news, the Jays now find themselves headed into a series with the surging Yankees with a Tuesday pitching matchup featuring the Gas Can versus Roger Clemens. We shudder to think. This afternoon, it's Lil' Litschy versus Andy Pettitte (we like our chances against the aging lefty), while Wednesday, it's Doc versus Chin Ming Wang.

Rainy Days and Mondays and A.J.
We'll be braving the elements to get a look at A.J. in his rehab start for Syracuse in Ottawa this afternoon. With the Jays luck with injuries, A.J. will probably get struck by lightning in the first inning.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Welcome back to our good graces, Frank

Maybe sitting through those games in Tampa stirred something in Frank Thomas, who with two homers and four RsBI today, has so far driven in six runs in this series.

Johnny Mac added three RsBI his own self in Toronto's 9-5 win.

We're complete ecstatic about this, but we'd still like to see some production on the road for the rest of the season.

Meanwhile, down on the farm
Veteran minor-leaguer Jeremy Cummings looked lights out for the Chiefs in their 7-3 win over the Ottawa Lynx. since opting out of his AAA contract with the Twins, Cummings is 2-1 with a 2.64 ERA and 27 Ks versus 12 BBs. Of course, there is very little chance that we'll see him with the big club anytime soon, since he's likely been labeled a "AAAA"-type player.

Also impressive were Robinson Diaz, who looks as though he'll push Curtis Thigpen for the back-up job next year. Sergio Santos drove in two, but also made an error. He looks to us like a guy who may be more suited to play third or even a Jeff Kent-like second, but maybe that's just his height that is crossing us up.

Is this sadly weird, or weirdly sad?
Howie Clark got the DFA routine on Friday to make room for Hector Luna. Luna's never struck us as much more than a National League bench guy, but he is versatile, and may be worth the flyer. Still, we're hoping that Clark slips through waivers and sticks in the Jays' system.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Just because we know you miss him


Here's Our Pal Sal, who seemed like a heckuva guy before the game, talking to any random yahoo who spoke to him.

Well, mash our 'taters

It's a win! With runs! And they're driven in by Frank Thomas!

And yet again, Doc gets a win in a game where he (at least from what we've zipped through on the DVR) didn't seem to have his absolute best stuff.

Meanwhile, in our Nation's Capital
Fortunately, we've become immune to lousy offensive performances, otherwise, the next-generation Jays from Syracuse would have driven us nuts with their 5-0 loss to the Lynx. The Chiefs managed just three hits (two in the ninth inning) off of, oh, let's call him random prospect number 21. (Okay, it was J.A. Happ. But we had to look it up.)

Speaking of the letters "J" and "A", A.J.'s appearance in Ottawa has been confirmed.

Working over time
Just a reminder that we'll be doing some extra work over at Neate Sager's Out of Left Field blog while he's off on vacation. We'll probably be "repurposing" some material from here, but with a whole fresh twist. Also, we keep threatening to talk about hockey, but then we remember that trying to have a reasoned discussion about hockey with puckheads is kinda like trying to have an honest discourse on sophistry in Plato's Gorgias with an attacking grizzly bear. It's probably just better to get outta there while you can.

Ballhype Bullshit - "Stop Mike Lupica" must be stopped

Ballhype's been getting lots of, well, hype, for their recent survey of sports bloggers. Deadspin was all over it, as were the bacchanalian badasses over at Drunk Jays Fans.

Which brings us to our major gripe about our Ballhype blog ranking.

We check it every day religiously, and on the odd days when we do get bumped up a few spots, we get a bit of a chubby.

But a look at the rankings of Blue Jays bloggers shows the top Jays blog as Stop Mike Lupica (and we refuse to link to them, because that'll just bump them higher!) Now, the joke of this is that these goofs decided that there weren't enough Blue Jays blogs out there, so they would fill the void, co-opting our team for their own twisted sense of magnanimity.

But in truth, they bored of the exercise immediately, and they haven't even posted a single thing about the Jays since April. So why are they still tagged as a Jays blog on Ballhype?

We call on the good folks at Ballhype to strip these guys of their designation as a Jays blog, so that these rankings (which me more to us than you can possibly know) are from here on a fair and accurate representation of the true state of Jays blogs, and so that they are beyond reproach.

Just like the MLB home run record.

Fun on the Farm...woo woo!

It's not that we're giving up on the big club's season. At least, not as much as some of the Jays players seem to have. (Zing!)

But with the Syracuse Chiefs pulling into the capital over this fine long weekend, we'll be taking in the full series. If only so that we can mercilessly heckle Russ Adams.

All kidding aside, this is (for once) an intriguing Chiefs club that will be coming to town, with several actual real live prospects in the lineup. With Royce Clayton's recent DFA (or is that PFO?), the Jays have promoted Sergio Santos to AAA just in time for the weekend series against the Lynx. Santos tore up the AA Eastern League this year (17 HRs, 55 RsBI, .814 OPS), so it will be intriguing to see what the future holds for the former first round pick of Arizona, who came to the Jays in the Troy Glaus deal.

Also, while we love Sal Fasano as much as the next dude, we're looking forward to seeing Robinson Diaz catch. Also a recent callup from AA, the 23 year-old Diaz is (excuse the trite phrase) the "catcher of the future" for the Jays, and has hit well for average thus far.

Finally, it is at least plausible that everybody's favorite chili racer, A.J. Burnett, will jet in on Monday for a rehab start. No word on if his wife will hop in a Town Car for one of her dozen or so contractually mandated limo rides to offer moral support.

Oh yeah: Halladay versus Millwood. Can we get a "woop woop".

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Smell you later - Clayton gets DFAed

The AP (via Globesports.com) reports that the Jays will designate Royce Clayton for assignment. Not today mind you...but tomorrow, just before the game against Texas.

So much for that experiment.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Join us in our antipathy, won't you


And now that we're done praising the opposition, allow us a moment to unload on our heroes.

You know what we can't handle?

We can't handle seeing another goddamned postgame interview with Gregg Zaun, where he spouts earnest platitudes about this team having to step up. That whole song and dance is especially galling to us because we never see Frank Thomas or Vernon Wells or Troy Glaus - you know, the guys who are supposed to be the heart of this offense - step up and be counted. Oh, sure, we hear Glaus swear and curse at the plate after popping up to the infield for the umpteenth time with runners on, which we suppose means that he's "intense" and that he's a gamer.

But you know what? We'd really like to see those guys eat some shit once in a while, when the Jays put up an execrable effort such as they have on this road trip. Maybe it'll motivate them to do, you know, not suck.

And you know what else? You can say what you will about A.J. Burnett being a wuss (and we have), but at least the dude has the balls to show up in front of the media and answer for himself.

We can't handle another game where the offense squeezes the bats so tight when there are men on base that the grounds crew has to sweep the sawdust from around the plate after each non-rally. On this 2-4 road trip against two of the lesser lights of the AL this season, the Jays looked positively awful at the plate, and completely removed from the team that put up big numbers in a modest five-game win streak.

We know that J.P. "likes this team", and so do we...as an idea. But there is something so fundamentally amiss here. This is a team that gets the yips every time there is someone in scoring position. By all rights, they should have BURIED the Rays on multiple occasions in every game of this series (and that 2-0 win was not exactly a salve for the Jays fan's soul). But they don't seem to have that ability that good teams do to step on the other guy's throat when they have the opportunity. (This is something that teams that make the playoffs like Boston or the Yankees do with impunity.)

Sadly, we can hear the echoes of the future, when the Vernons and Troys and Reeds start talking about "oh, we woulda been great if it weren't for the injuries..." It's getting to a point where we wish we could walk in and deliver a five minute speech to these guys, like a scene out of Glengarry Glen Ross:
The wins are out there, you pick it up, it's yours. You don't--We have no sympathy for you. You wanna go out on those games this week and win. Win, it's yours. If not you're going to be shining our shoes. And you know what you'll be: Bunch of losers sitting around in a bar. "Oh yeah, I played the Devil Rays and White Sox...it's a tough racket."

You know what it takes to make the playoffs? It takes brass balls to make the playoffs.

Go and do likewise, gents.

He's Carl Crawford. You are his bitch

Carl Crawford has eight home runs this year. Five of them have come against the Blue Jays.

If Carl Crawford played 162 games this year against the Blue Jays, he'd hit 67 homers, drive in 175 runs, and steal 108 bases. He'd have a 1.176 OPS, and 513 total bases.

Which is all to say, Carl Crawford would be the greatest player that ever lived.

And in case you thought you were waking up from this nightmare, know this: The Jays will face Carl Crawford seven more time this season.