Friday, 29 July 2011

0-For-5? WTF?

Trade him back!

No but really, who gives a shit?

Anyways, I missed the game last night because I was seeing the Arcade Fucking Fire live.  And holy balls there were good.  Woo.

Umm, so yeah, baseball.  Uhh, let's see.  Carlos Beltran got traded too, and proceeded to suck equally as bad as Rasmus.  Using the sample size of one game, both AA and Brian Sabean should be fired (I'm not crazy about Wheeler-for-2 months of Beltran+cash, but if Beltran wants to resign in the offseason then it's fine.  I've also read that Wheeler might compare a little better to Zach Stewart in terms of still being in AA-ball despite being highly touted, so there's that too).

Last night's game saw Edwin Encarnacion continue to swing a good bat, going 3-for-4 with a homerun (which Eric Thames followed with a homer of his own).  EE's now hitting a halfway respectable .267/.308/.432 (.740), which at first glance isn't anything to tell mom about, but if we consider how poorly his season started, this is a decent little recovery.  Two months ago, his OPS was almost 200 points lower than it is now.

By the way, Corey Patterson went 1-for-3 with an RBI in his Cardinals debut, and Mark Rzepczynski  and Octavio Dotel combined to throw 3 innings of 1-hit ball in relief.  Edwin Jackson gets his first start tomorrow. The White Sox had a day off.

Next, John Farrell in his post-game presser, said that it was nice to be finished with JJ Hardy.  No kidding.  What an asshole that Hardy is.  There might not be any offense in that Baltimore lineup if it weren't for he and Matt Weiters, save for your short-term Derrek Lee babip spikes.

Both Jesse Litsch and Brad Mills have been called up to the MLB-team, and newly-acquired PJ Walters has been demoted to AAA, after throwing a scoreless inning in relief last night against Baltimore.  It looks like Brad Mills will get the start against the Rangers Saturday, while Jesse Litsch will be used as a bullpen dude.  John Farrell said of Mills "The fact that Brad has thrown the ball exceptionally well in Las Vegas, I think he's earned the spot. He's got the opportunity to take this start and run with it."  Mike Mccoy was also sent down to AAA.

Something else that's fun: Brett Lawrie went 3-for-4 with 2 homers last night.  Since coming back from hurtland, he's hitting .381 (16/42).

The Atlanta Braves have checked in on Jon Rauch, almost as if he might be useful.  Despite AA saying that he's pretty much done making moves for the deadline, some people still think that Francisco and Rauch could both be had.

Jose Bautista has apparently signed an endorsement contract with Booster Juice.  When I was in Toronto a month ago, my aunt bought me one of those, and I must say it was quite delicious.

According to Callum Hughson at, the Jays are on the verge of signing Roberto Osuna, nephew of former major leaguer Antonio Osuna, who, in Major League Baseball featuring Ken Griffey Jr. for N64, was the best non-closer relief pitcher in the game if I'm not mistaken.  Osuna is 16 years old and is playing in the Mexican league, which Hughson calls the equivalent of AAA.  That's impressive.

Alexi Ogando vs. Brett Cecil tonight.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

That trade made me Orgrasmus

Remember these guys?  No, me neither.  They're called "The Rasmus" though, so it's fitting. (I lie, I liked this song in highschool, bought the CD, hated it, now I dunno where it is).

Ok, first things first I suppose; Ricky Romero yesterday.  Thanks buddy.  Short bullpen?  Nah, no biggie.  Secondly, Alex Anthopoulos, also yesterday.  Another thanks buddy.  Third, Jason Frasor, last 5 years or whatever.  A final thanks buddy.  Here's me hoping that Chicago declines the option and he signs back with Toronto next year, but that just sounds kind of silly.  Zaunhead to each of you.

Rasmus stuff, plus other links

John Lott of the National Post with his little write-up about the doin's that transpired yesterday.

Joel Sherman from (I'll be honest, I don't remember who he writes for. NY Times, maybe?  Something in St. Louis?) says that Tampa offered Jeff Niemann and JP Howell for Rasmus, and that STL declined.  I can only assume that Tampa wouldn't take Miller/Tallet, which must have been a big selling point for STL.  This move really does strengthen their bullpen if Dotel and Scrabble are used properly in place of Tallet and Miller.  I dunno, I think if Tampa throws in some cash they can make this happen, especially if STL tried to leverage this in to a bidding war between Toronto and Tampa.  If a guy like Jackson was the selling point, I'm curious as to whether Niemann could have been flipped for someone just as useful with all that value (900k salary this year, all 3 arbitration years going forward).  Ken Rosenthal actually says that this rumor is false, but that there was probably an offer something along these lines.  Both pitchers have injury history as well, but Tampa is rich with prospects and young pitchers.

Here's another take from Fangraphs, this time a little more friendly to STL's perspective.  Basically, he views the production the Cards will get out of Jon Jay and the production that they would have gotten from Rasmus as pretty much a wash, while they improved their bullpen a bit, will acquire a pick of Jackson at the end of the year (presumably), and really, they had very little choice in dealing Rasmus somewhere; at least they got a controllable asset in Scrabble (more on him in a minute), a decent reliever in Dotel (against RHB).  I think a big aspect of this trade, however, is the cash that is potentially changing hands.  We don't know how much is going, but part of the trade was 3 PTBNL, cash, or some kind of combination of the two.  I assume STL worked this in as an option with the plan of locking up Albert Pujols in the offseason, as I'm sure will be the use for most of their available funds.

Sportsnet's Shi Davidi with really more of the same.

Richard Griffin says that AA is pretty much finished with trades for the deadline.  He also takes a little stab at Aaron Hill in those 140 characters.  Not bad, Griff.

Ken Rosenthal says that The Cardinals were looking in to acquiring Heath Bell from San Diego, and were using Colby Rasmus as bait.  A few excerpts from that one:
In the view of some, Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos nearly topped his trade of outfielder Vernon Wells to the Angels with this one.  "The only thing I am sure of is that Alex Anthopoulos is the smartest dude in the game — unreal trade for him," one exec said.

As for the relievers, right-handed hitters are batting only .159/.205/.232 against Dotel, and left-handed hitters are batting only .159/247/.203 against Rzepczynski.  The addition of Jackson enables the Cardinals to bump righty Kyle McClellan to the bullpen, and the team is still trying to acquire Padres closer Heath Bell — though Rasmus was a central part of those discussions, sources say.
The main idea I'm getting from Rosenthal's writing here is that Tony La Russa was the one in charge of this deal, and not John Mozeliak.  Obviously, I have no fucking clue how much control TLR has as it pertains to the front office, and I might just be reading between the lines when there's nothing there ("But if Rasmus develops into a star — and many in the industry suspect he still migh-t — then shame on La Russa for failing to draw more out of such a talented player.").

Anthopoulos' presser, in video form.  He's real high on Frasor, and says that Rzep was the deal-breaker.

Finally, a quick hit here about Zach Stewart.  I was kind of surprised, and thought that it might be a bit of an overpay to include him, but there are a couple things we have to consider here though: Stewart is 25 years old, and still in AA.  He's shown that he can be at least passable in the bigs, but maybe he doesn't project as well as we thought he might.  If he was really a potential #2 starter, he'd probably be up in the bigs somewhere.  Secondly, I think there needed to be some kind of semi-impact guy going the other way, whether it was a prospect or big leaguer, pitcher or position player, Frasor for Jackson just isn't enough.  There isn't a ton of value in a guy like Frasor, especially for 2 months of him.  People are a lot more likely to offer arbitration (and others sign them, in the case of Type-A's) to starters than to relievers.

Personally, I feel like Jackson may have fallen out of favor with Jays scouts.  Again, at 25 years old and still in the minors, there isn't really much primetime of Stewart available for Chicago.  The Jays have plenty of depth at starting pitcher (Stewart might become a reliever again, as he was in Cincinnati's system), and became expendable.  Other guys down there, such as Henderson Alvarez, Drew Hutchison, etc., may have simply passed Stewart on the usefulness factor.

Elsewhere, Hanley Ramirez isn't getting along very well with Jeff Conine.  Conine called out Hanley the other day, and now Hanley responded by calling Conine a chicken.  Looks like Hanley needs to be traded, possibly for Jon Rauch.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Sexual Ha-Rasmus!

I decided to make this whole thing it's own post.

Thanks to, it looks like the Jays may be close to sending Jason Frasor packing to Chicago.  Details are still a little out there, and the deal doesn't appear to be complete, but Edwin Jackson looks to be the centerpiece of what's coming back.  The Jays might even go ahead and flip him to St Louis in an attempt to pry Colby Rasmus away, which would shorten my pants significantly.  The Jays might have to take on Mark Teahen, the rest of his ~$4MM salary, and his 5 consecutive years (including this one) of -WAR in order to complete this.  If there's no Rasmus involved, I'm not incredibly interested, but with Rasmus, that should allow Corey Patterson to get the fuck off my team, and it really gives the Jays a myriad of lineup options.

I'll just stop here and write more when more becomes known, but as of right now, it looks like the Jackson-Frasor part is more or less official.  Jackson has been told that he's been traded, which I suppose means that Frasor and Teahen are moving too.  Seriously, if the Jays can lock up Rasmus... holy shit.

Update 1 (of many?)

The first trade is done.  Edwin Jackson and Mark Teahen (who, according to twitter has some ties to Canada!) for Jason Frasor and Zach Stewart.  Deep breath.  I trust AA whole-heartedly, but Stewart was not a name I was expecting, or hoping, to see involved here.  If it brings Rasmus, then by all means, let's do it.  I figure Rasmus is going to cost at least one more good prospect beyond Jackson.  Moises Sierra is not in the lineup for the Jays' AA club in New Hampshire tonight, but that may just be coincidence, but Mike Wilner's twitter (@wilnerness590) says that neither Sierra nor Eric Thames are involved in any trades going on today (though it is my personal belief that Wilner is an idiot, so take that for what it's worth).

Ken Rosenthal says that there is no cash involved in the Jays-CWS deal, which means that there probably is some cash changing hands in the Jays-STL deal (assuming that happens).

The word "Rasmus" is trending on twitter right now in Canada.

Update part 2--

A trade for Rasmus is "imminent".  HOLY SHIT!  Look at this. Link

Update 3- Not to be forgotten in all of this is that there is a decent shot that Corey Patterson is now really expendable, and could be DFA'ed if neither he or Rajai Davis are involved in any movement today.  A Rasmus/Snider/Thames outfield, with Davis as your 4th OF/platoon against LHP leaves Patterson slightly more useless as he already was before this deal.  Patterson might get the start tonight somewhere, which is typically what happens right before someone gets DFA'ed.  Sort of depends on when the Rasmus deal goes through and when he can get to Toronto.  Let's not forget about Bautista either, who prefers RF, and is kinda-sorta blocking Brett Lawrie considering Eric Thames is hitting well.

Rasmus is going to get AB's, as will Snider, as will Bautista.  I assume they wouldn't have Thames be up only to have him sit on the bench, which means if Lawrie does come up, Edwin Encarnacion would be a bench/DFA candidate himself.  Holy crap I'm excited.

I assume at least one of Jesse Litsch/Brad Mills/Kyle Drabek comes up tonight or tomorrow.  Luis Perez is almost certainly coming up to fill the bullpen void.  I wonder if AA was aware three days ago that this move was coming.  I would say that he wasn't, or he would have pulled some strings to keep Jojo Reyes on the active roster and just move him to the bullpen.

Finally, a big thank you to Jason Frasor.  He's the franchise leader in appearances for a pitcher, was the longest tenured Bluejay, he has never been on the DL as a member of the Jays (and maybe in his whole career?), and has been really solid the entire time he was in town.  Sure, he takes forever to throw the ball sometimes, but he comes in in high leverage situations and gets guys out.  He's nothing short of an elite reliever, however valuable that is, and frankly, I will miss the guy.  Of course, when you can turn him in to Colby Rasmus, you do it.  Parkes over at Getting Blanked wrote a little pre-trade tribute to Frasor last week, which can be found here, almost as if he knew this whole thing was going to happen.


Brian Tallet, among others, appears to be coming back to Toronto.  Trever Miller is apparently involved too, and will be shipped to the White Sox as a gift or something.  Going the other way... is... hold it.... Corey Patterson!

Update 5-

Coupla links, for other POV's--


Drunk Jays

Getting Blanked

MLBTR thread

6) It's official.  I'm in love.

Edwin stuff, plus a forgettable game.

I won't even comment on the nonsense that was the game last night.  Usually when I say that I won't comment on something, I comment a little bit on it right afterwards, but this time I'm actually super serial.  Not even a word about Derrek Lee's inability to make an out despite 3 AB's where he barely makes contact off the end of the bat, but all 3 fall in for hits (or did that only happen twice, now that I think about it?).  Or the Corey Patterson defensive showcase.  Or the line drives up the middle that turned in to easy outs.  Nope, not a word.

Actually, one quick word.  Jose Bautista got beaned in the head, and was removed from the game. Turns out that was just precaution, and he says he's ready to come back again tonight.  He'll probably be mad, so expect a homerun or two.  I would assume he'll be playing DH, since they've been letting him DH every other game, essentially, since he missed a couple games with ankle problems, though I've got a little theory on that one.  Check this out.

Edwin Encarnacion, who you may or may not remember being terrible at defense, has been getting a little bit of playing time as of late at third, in Bautista's absence.  Now, you may also remember, going back about 5 weeks ago, how he was a complete abortion zone in every part of the game when it came to being a valuable member if this ballclub, but since right around the start of interleague play, he's hit a little bit better (and I know I've missed a few games in this span, but has fielded at third pretty well for his standards).  So much so, that he's actually inched his way sort of close to Type-B status.

Here's the thing about that: Edwin is only close to Type-B (and has worse competition to leapfrog to actually get to Type-B) if he remains in the 2B-3B-SS category, as opposed to the 1B-OF-DH category.  If he remains in the lineup everyday, the only way he's going to get Type-B status (assuming he continues to kind of produce offensively) is if, by the end of the year, he has more games played at 3B than he does at DH/1B over the last two seasons.  If my math is right, he might not need anymore games at 3B to ensure that he's a 3B in the eyes of the Elias Rankings, but I'm not entirely sure if the numbers from this year are weighted differently from last year.  If they're weighted equally, then we can toss that theory right out the window pretty much, considering he played 96 games last year at third, and 1 at DH.  However, if position is relative only to this season, he has 47 played at 1B/DH, and only 36 at 3B (starts and full games might also matter, I don't fucking know.  The whole system is stupid and broken anyway).

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Day after offday

Just nothing to do here really.  Texas scored like 4 billion runs last night against Michael Cuddyer The Minnesota Twins, which is always entertaining, I suppose.

I guess the Jays appear to be hanging on to Jason Frasor, Jon Rauch, and so on and so forth... all those Type-B relievers that could turn in to draft picks.  That kind of makes me think that they're willing to offer Octavio Dotel arbitration at the end of the year, which frightens the balls offa me.  I thought he was going to be removed from the team via trade or DFA or whatever until Casey Janssen went down with arm pain a month or so ago.  And christ, he can't possibly reject arbitration, can he?! Unless the Jays have some handshake agreement that he'll reject at the end of the year.  Even then... who's going to sign him to a major league deal?  Heh, stranger things have happened I guess. (Sidenote-- read the comments under that link.  Some people actually think that the Yunel deal was good for the Braves.  Get fucking real Braves fans.)

Morrow tonight! The Jays have won each of his last 7 starts.  Baltimore tonight!  They're terrible!

Monday, 25 July 2011

Cecil is dynamite against Texas

Serious, how fucking clever is that?

Brett Cecil avoided the bullpen blowup last night by opting for the complete game, 4 hit shutout.  He walked 2 and struck out 7, and was straight up dominant.  Not necessarily a coincidence is the fact that Cecil had a mohawk.

This is good news, especially since Texas was, coming in to this matchup (and probably exiting it as well, technically) the hottest team in baseball, winning like 12 of 14 or something like that.  With the win, the Jays get back to the ever so important .500 mark that people seem to care so much about.

Over at Fangraphs, they're beginning a 3-article thingy about trade deadline happenings for each team, and they opted to feature the Jays, among others, in piece #1, rendering parts 2 and 3 entirely useless to me. Well played fangraphs.  And wouldn't you know it, I wish I didn't read part 1.  Here's what they say about the Jays:
By signing Jose Bautista and Yunel Escobar to team-friendly contracts and getting rid of Vernon Wells salary, Alex Anthopolous has set the Blue Jays up to make a strong push at Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols in the offseason. As for the current season, there really isn’t much the Jays can do. Their rotation is filled with youngsters who need some more seasoning, so a trade for a veteran starter for the back-end could be interesting, but it isn’t needed. Other than that, and seeing if there are any takers for Edwin Encarnacion as a bench bat and possible DH, there aren’t many deals to explore here right now.

First off, there is definitely room there to get a reliever traded if someone is willing to overpay.  Pittsburgh and  Arizona specifically. Given both teams' good farm systems, I can't say I'd be terribly surprised to see AA pull the trigger somewhere, especially with Pittsburgh, who, for some ungodly reason, have an interest in Octavio Dotel.  There's also that little thing about AA being a loose cannon when it comes to trading stuff.  Secondly, Prince Fielder?  Albert Pujols?  As if, man.  I haven't seen anything that suggests that the Jays are at all willing to go out and use any money they have to go out and fetch a $175MM free agent, let alone one that won't be going anywhere (Pujols), let alone fat DH-tpyes, let alone guys who probably have no interest in playing in Toronto.  The plan we've heard all along here is that AA is looking for young, controllable type guys, who, even signed long-term, won't be placed ahead of the success of the team or be albatrossy or whatever.  I'm sure this means, more than anything, "we won't sign guys to long-term deals in which they'll be crappy bench players making $20MM and have no value to us."  AA even said in the Bautista presser that the big part of the negotiations was that they didn't want to have a contract on their hands that they can't trade later on.  Don't hold your breath on seeing either of those two in Bluejay blue anytime soon.

The only thing I see happening on the free agent front this offseason for the Jays is more relievers to rebuild this rebuilt bullpen that will once again need a rebuilding, and probably a 2B/SS type (Kelly Johnson is my first choice), depending on what the score is with Yunel Escobar in the next couple years.  If there's a cheapish DH to replace Edwin Encarnacion, assuming he leaves, that could happen too, but guys like Thames, Lawrie, Cooper(?), possibly even D'Arnaud depending on what goes on between now and next season's opening... there are certainly some internal options that don't particularly necessitate going out and getting an expensive guy who doesn't really offer any value beyond a bat.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Curtains for Jojo, Who the fuck is Wilfredo Ledezma?

The Bluejays have finally done it, cutting Jojo Reyes.  And let me be the first to say (I'm sure a thousand people have said this already) good riddance to you sir.  Naturally, the roster spot created by Jojo's departure goes to Wilfredo Ledezma... no really.  The first thing I thought when I found out about this was a potential Brett Lawrie sighting, though that was just my irrational thoughts and desires creeping in, because there is a clear need for another pitcher, not another poor fielding 3B.  That thought was followed by Luis Perez' potential return, followed by Kyle Drabek, Zach Stewart, Brad Mills or Jesse Litsch getting called up.

But no, my friends, those guys will continue to toil away (at least for another 3 days), and we'll get a chance to see "Fettucine" Wilfredo Ledezma.  He'll presumably take the spot cleared by Luis Perez'(s?) departure as the other lefty vs. lefty specialist, though I'm not sure why.  He's got a reverse platoon split over his career (helped by a career .344 babip vs. LHB), and nothing that I see on his stats page suggests that he's ever had any degree of success against anybody at any level ever, but inflated PCL stats I guess.  Ledezma is about as likely to be on the 25-man roster come Thursday as I am though, as he probably gets the boot for whoever gets the start in place of Jojo.

Scott Richmond was DFA'ed this week too, which opens another spot on the 40-man... that might mean Brett Lawrie!  It might also mean someone not on the 40-man is on their way up to fill in the smelly void in the rotation left by Jojo Reyes, though I can't even fathom who that could be.

I'm left wondering why the Jays don't give Brad Mills a shot in the bigs.  For 2 straight years now, he's completely dummied batters in the PCL.  Curious if this might be a Jeremy Accardo thing, where he was apparently punished for banging Ted Rogers granddaughter or something, and sentenced to life imprisonment in AAA until getting his release last offseason.  He now sucks for the Orioles, which might actually be a demotion.  Anyway, back to Mills; I wonder if, with his good-for-the-PCL-but-not-all-that-good-anywhere-else stats, he could be called up and dangled as bait for somebody.  It seems pretty clear that he's not going to get much of a shot in the bigs with Toronto longterm, it wouldn't hurt to see him throw a couple times during this, our time of need of a 5th starter, and potentially move him for absolutely anything.

Here's a tweet from ESPN's Jon Morosi, breaking the Reyes DFA, but also saying that AA has been making more calls than any other GM.  That's our boy.

MLBTR claims that the Jays and Dbacks have been in talks about Jason Frasor, though nothing is/was all that close to coming together.  Not sure what Arizona has to offer in return. Justin Upton ought to do it.

Apparently there was a game last night?  Christ. At least it wasn't quite the stinkbomb as it was the night before, though Corey Patterson and Jon Rauch seemed to try awfully hard.  JP Arencibia is trying to solo-homer his batting average back up to a respectable level.  That, plus the heads-up defensive play he made in the 9th on that bunt is plenty to earn him a 2nd consecutive Zaunhead.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Jojo Reyes gets it done again

It might just be the hangover talking, but I may seem cranky with the upcoming post.

We've all gone on tangents about how fucking useless this guy Jojo is, and how he should be demoted/cut/burnt at the stake, so I'm not going to bother with that one (I actually am going to bother with that one).  And the way he's pitched the last 6 weeks or so, I'm honestly not entirely scared of trying to send him through waivers, because, save from 3 or 4 starts about a month in to the season, he's been so fucking awful that I'd be kind of half surprised if anyone snatched him up.  And you know what?  If someone does decide to take a chance and snatch him up, whoopty fuck, good luck you terrible piece of shit.  I'll be glad that I don't have to see your stupid fucking face with your little goatee thing and your pock-marked pimply fucking skin throwing BP and getting lit up like a goddamned 14 year old peewee reliever fuckup.  Remember that thing where he hadn't won a game in like 2 years or something?  Maybe if he didn't have an ERA over fucking 5 nobody would have felt bad.  It's fucking magic that he's won any games, let alone the 5 he has.

All this is going on, and Luis Perez is hanging out in AAA with Jesse Litsch.  Frankly, Litsch isn't a whole lot better, but at least we're used to him.  Ugh.  It's times like this that I curse for being so detailed, allowing me to count all the different ways that these two fuckers suck.  If it weren't so much work (read: typing and clicking), I'd give everybody on the fucking roster a Zaunhead except for those two.  Jesse didn't even do anything to make me this angry either.  LOOK WHAT YOU'RE DOING TO ME JOJO.  FUCK.

I really do love the Bluejays though.

In other news, Nelson Cruz is a pretty good hitter, and is criminally underrated, to the tune of Andrew Mccutchen and previous seasons Shin-soo Choo.  He's been in a little slump, but that's nothing that Jojo Reyes can't take care of.  It's not like Texas isn't good enough without Nelly getting meatballs.

At least Carlos Skillanueva throws tonight.  Dude's solid.

Update- It turns out, that in all that cursing and anger, I forgot to mention 2 pretty important things that I was going to say originally, before I started thinking about how fucking terrible Jojo Reyes is.

(1) Apparently today is the day where Roberto Alomar and Pat Gillick are inducted to the HOF.  There should be plenty of twitter musings for that one, and your best sources, from a Jays perspective, will likely be Shi Davidi (@shidavidi) or John Lott (@lottonbaseball), or maybe Richard Griffin (@Rgriffinstar), who will copy everything Shi writes from one seat over.*

(2) Brett Lawrie is back and killing it on a daily basis in AAA Las Vegas.  He's got 8 hits in his last 3 games, and that includes a dinger in there somewhere.  If Edwin Encarnacion weren't swinging such a decent bat lately, pushing him halfway close to Type-B status and some kind of value, I'd maybe claim that old Bretty boy might be close to a callup in the next couple of days.  Alex Anthopoulos has a little policy about having highly touted prospects debut on the road, which I guess makes sense if we're going to bring stuff like nerves in to the situation.  If that is going to happen, then we're maybe looking at August 2nd-ish, barring some kind of injury and emergency scenario.  After the current Texas series, the Jays return home for 3 against Baltimore, and then 3 more against Texas, before hitting the road to Tampa, and then Baltimore.

Perhaps if Edwin turns up the suck again, it will be easier to figure something out in terms of rosterbation.  Either way, I don't think they're going to sacrifice Lawrie's AB's for anybody else, so Eric Thames could end up back in AAA if Edwin remains not awful.  They're going to want his bat in the lineup everyday, either at 3B or DH.  By my calculations, Jose Bautista is the current 3B, and if Edwin remains passable, he is the DH of the present.  To get Lawrie in the lineup and keep EE, it would appear that Jose has to go back to RF, placing either EE or Lawrie at third.  Thames could obviously just move to LF, forcing the Corey Patterson/Rajai Davis show to be relegated elsewhere.

Wait a second.... Corey Patterson gets cut, Davis is your 4th OF, Lawrie and EE make up some weird 3B/DH hybrid, Jose back to RF, Snider is your everyday CF, trade for Kelly Johnson and ban Aaron Hill, call up Zach Stewart and Kyle Drabek and throw Jojo in a woodchipper!  Win 48 of the remaining 62 games, then win your next 16 straight; World Series!

*- Not necessarily factual.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Jays sweep the M's away

Seems like good news.  The Jays have now won 8 of their last 10 games, thanks in part to playing some decent baseball, and in part to having 6 of those games against the Mariners and Indians (let's not forget that the Indians are not very good, despite their record).

Can we look a bit closer at this though?  3 games against the Mariners for any decent team should equal 3 wins, especially when the Mariners are playing like a bad version of the Mariners lately.  Either way, the Jays allowed 16 runs over those 3 games against a really anemic offense (though there was some Octavio Dotel vs. LHB garbage time in there somewhere), which frankly scares me a bit.  I hate to be this stick in the mud, but this "8 of 10" thing should be taken with a grain of salt, especially when it comes to heading in to Texas, who have an identical 8-2 record in their last 10 games.  The difference here is twofold: The Rangers have lost their last 2 games, both by 1 run, after losing an Ace vs. Ace battle last night against Jered Weaver, but they had also won 12 games in a row before that.  Fact of the matter: neither team has really faced a good team over that span of 10 games, so hey.

Anyway, as mentioned, the Jays are in Texas this weekend for a 3 game set.  Funny thing about this: most weekend games happen in the afternoon (more so Sunday games than Saturday), but all 3 games this weekend will begin at 8:00ET.  A Sunday night Jays game?!?! Could that mean...?  Bluejays...?  ESPN Sunday nighter?!?!  National exposure in the states?!  No, don't be stupid.  That right goes to CIN vs. ATL.  Still, this is a very weird occurence, since ESPN has a say on the schedule so as to achieve maximum viewership to their nationally televised games.  Now all Rangers and Jays fans will not be tuning in to the Sunday nighter, thanks to this game/having better things to do.  Nice pipe dream though. I saw a graph not to long ago that showed that the Jays have like 4 appearances in American Primetime over the last like 13 years or something like that.

What else?  Oh yeah, Casey Janssen.  You're usually good.

I'm actually pretty sure I saw Miguel Olivo's right eye have an "OM" in it, and the left had a "G!" when he saw where that pitch was going.

Eric Thames left yesterday's game with a sore ankle (apparently?), being replaced with gamesaver, Rajai Davis.  I assume Davis is going to get himself back in the lineup with his recent heroism.  People are a lot harder on Davis than I am.  Yeah, he's got the worst OBP in history, but he's faster than Superman and plays half decent defense.  I think that as long as he's used properly (not the leadoff spot!), then he's fine.  He has a .758 career OPS against LHP (.821 this season), and that doesn't even take in to account all 'dem steals (the way wOBA would), so there's no reason a logical manager (fingers crossed) wouldn't have him platooning against lefties literally every chance he has, and uses him as a 4th OF otherwise.  That kind of speed can be an incredibly valuable asset.

Cecil vs. Ogando tonight.  Bautista is scheduled to be back at 3rd base, which should relegate Edwin either to the bench or to DH.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Something to be said about Snider

I feel like this is overdue, but I've hardly written at all since Travis Snider moved back up to the majors last week, so I suppose I can give myself a pass.  And I realize that it's only been what, 10 days (?) since he's been back, so it's tough to just say "holy crap Snider is finally broken out and is the player we all thought he was going to be!" because that would be jumping the gun.

In reality, I'm sure Snider is going to be a stud offensively throughout his career, though I'm not a talent evaluator by any stretch; it's more about what people who are smarter than I am say about him, not to mention the fact that he's still just 23 years old.  But that's not really what I'm writing about either.

Snider has pretty much dummied competition at every level he's played at throughout his whole life, until finally being average-ish or worse throughout his (brief) major league career.  For a guy who has been that good his entire life, only to have struggles and be sent down to AAA in back-to-back seasons... well, it takes some character, as intangible as that may be.

If we can remember back to the Jose Bautista contract signing presser, Alex Anthopoulos started waxing about on how they want character guys on their teams; "We believe in Jose Bautista the person, more than anything else..."  The Jays want their team to be made up of good leaders, smart guys, team players, etc., going forward in to the next few years in which they plan to contend.

As far as I can tell, Snider's head didn't get all big and important, and he didn't piss and moan about being demoted.  Instead, I think it's pretty clear that he went to Vegas with the plan of working hard and fixing what was wrong, and doing whatever the team wanted and needed him to do in order to be returned to the bigs.  That includes being willing and able to play center field the other night for the first time in his career.

I don't know if Travis Snider is finally set to break out and be the elite hitter that we've been waiting to see, but he's kicked some serious ass in every which way since returning from the minors.

Snider earns a Zaun head for his 5RBI performance last night, mostly because I don't really care for Edwin Encarnacion (despite what I wrote about yesterday about not killing myself if the Jays bring him back next year).  He answered that by doing a little twitterpating with the masses (@lunchboxhero45, if you're not following him).

In other news, it looks like trading season is upon us.  A couple of minor trades over the last couple days, plus an increase in rumors should have us fairly entertained over the next 10 days (which is when the deadline is).  I'm expecting the Jays to keep pretty quiet over the deadline, unless they can swing a deal for a guy like Corey Patterson or Edwin or whatever, and maybe move one of their relievers to kind of clear the logjam in the bullpen, maybe with the plan of acquiring some equivalent to a compensation pick, but one who's already been drafted and may be closer to the big leagues.  Then again, AA works his magic when you least expect it.

Having said that, there's an interesting piece of news that popped up on MLBTR this morning about the Jays having checked in on Padre relievers Mike Adams and Heath Bell.

The Jays have also been linked to Cardinals CF Colby Rasmus over the last 2 weeks, as well as during various times over the last year and a half where Rasmus has voiced displeasure in being in STL.  With a bunch of outfielders in the system already, plus Travis Snider getting a shot in CF, plus Rasmus' struggles at the plate, and finally, the Cards' lofty asking price (they'd want Romero or Morrow+), I don't see this ever happening unless there were maybe a third team involved.

As for all the other teams in baseball, I'm pretty pumped to see what everyone does.  I doubt Boston keeps quiet, which should mean that the Yankees will be doing something as well.  Carlos Beltran is almost guaranteed to be moved from NYM, and there's always the odd swap that nobody was all that ready for.  Then there's always the waiver-wire stuff that turns in to something useful, such as Cody Ross for the Giants last year.

Then there's the contending Brewers and D'Backs who lost valuable pieces last night in Stephen Drew and Carlos Gomez disrespectively.

It's an afternoon game today, as Ricky Romero headlines "Cool Down Day" or something like that, in which the roof is closed due to the 39 degree heat.  The Jays go for the series sweep against the suddenly once-again-fucking-awful Mariners.  I think it's Doug Fister pitching for the M's, but who cares really?  As long as it's not Felix or Pineda, there's a pretty good shot that the Jays are winning this one.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Another Walk-off Flocka Flame

So the Jays are good at extra innings.  Maybe they should just play extras in every game, and then they'd be like 82-17 this year or whatever that equates to.  If you missed it, Rajai Davis kind of stole the show and 3 bases, scoring the winning run on John Mcdonald's walk-off sac-fly.  Yunel Escobar collected 3 hits, walked once, and scored a Zaunny.  Jose Bautista went 1-for-6 in his return, while DH-ing.  I think he's supposed to play in the field tonight.

Props to Brett Cecil for getting his shit together after allowing a bunch of baserunners/runs through the first couple innings.  Seattle scored 4 in the 2nd on 2 HR's, which is essentially the equivalent of any other team scoring 10.  Cecil settled things down and only allowed 2 hits from the 3rd-7th inning, before getting bailed out by his bullpen, who went 7 scoreless innings, allowing 5 hits.  Casey Janssen returned to action after spending time on the DL with arm issues, and he threw a scoreless top of the 14th.  Marc Rzepczynski threw 2.1 innings of nearly perfect ball, allowing just the 1 hit while striking out 2.  Jason Frasor uncharacteristically allowed 3 hits and a walk over 1.1ip, somehow not allowing any runs.

The latest Elias rankings are out, with a special thanks to MLBTR.  They looked a little buggy yesterday when they first came out, which is why I didn't mention it, but they appear to have been fixed and are good to go.  From a Bluejays perspective, one change is Jose Molina, who has flip-flopped from type B to unranked and back a couple times this year.  He is back to a Type-B as of yesterday, which is mainly a moot point in my opinion.  I don't think Molina leaves at the end of this season if he's offered arbitration, but who knows?

Aaron Hill is now a type-B, and should remain that way for the rest of the year, which is good news if for the Jays, as someone will now be more likely to sign him and get a compensation pick for the Jays in next years draft.  Alberto Callaspo and Brandon Inge are ahead of Hill at this point by the slimmest of margins, but Hill sucks now.

Edwin Encarnacion has actually made up some ground with his recent increase in playing time, and, while still an unranked free agent (with a club option, by the way), he has made a pretty decent jump in the ranks.  I honestly thought that there was a chance of 0 that he would make his way up to type-B status, but here we are.  With Brett Lawrie waiting in the wings, and Jose Bautista likely heading back to the outfield, there may not be a ton of AB's available for Edwin, though they could just as easily make room for him if he keeps rising in the ranks.

And here's a thought: Edwin has a 1yr/3.5MM club option on his contract for the upcoming offseason.  If he's having a rough year this season, and is almost at a type-B, maybe it's worth a shot to platoon him next year against lefties and be a bench player otherwise.  He has a career 112OPS against LHP, which isn't really anything all that special.  I'm not trying to say that I'd have any problem with non-tendering him/trading him at the end of the season, but if there is any room at all for him on the team next year, then it's not really the end of the world.

As for relief pitchers, Octavio Dotel is somehow the highest ranked Jay, near the top of Type-B status.  Jason Frasor, Shawn Camp, Jon Rauch, and Frank Francisco all remain type-B's safely, and will need some extreme scenario to arise to change that.  Dotel is actually getting pretty close to Type-A, which goes to show just how flawed this system really is.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Michael Pinata again

Remember the time when that asshole, Michael the Pinata schooled the Jays earlier this year?  Yeah.  Expect a 2-0 game tonight.  Good time to have Brett Cecil up and tossing tonight.  No word as of right now as to whether or not Jose Bautista is expected back in the lineup, but I have a good feeling about this one.

In other news, Jesse Litsch is finished his rehab stint and has been optioned back to AAA Las Vegas.

And finally, Robbie Alomar will have his #12 retired by the BJ's on July 31.

Update- Holy Shit! Snider in CF tonight?  Could this really work?  Patterson and Thames will surround him with Jose DH'ing, Davis on the bench, and Edwin at 3rd.  What a mess.

Update 2- Secular Shit! Casey Janssen activated, Luis Perez returned to AAA LV.

Monday, 18 July 2011


So yeah, I'm back.  My sister got married this weekend, and we had a whole lotta family visiting (some still here), and then a nasty hangover and head cold or allergies or whatever...

And frankly, I haven't watched a game since before the all-star break, having to plan a bunch of stuff and see people and drink.  I should be back to normal over the next couple days, and if not, shut up.  And there's no game tonight anyway, so...

I hear Jose Bautista hurt himself.  Probably the derby curse.  He should be back tomorrow.

Brett Lawrie has been hit by pitches 3 times in his last 2 games on his rehab stint.  Should be okay I think, based on his twitterings.

Jose Bautista was ranked as the #2 player in terms of trade value by Fangraphs, behind only Evan Longoria.  Cool.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Well now...

Here I was thinking that there would be nothing to write about, on this, the day after the night that only had 1 game that I didn't bother to watch.  Well it turns out that there's plenty.

First off, I guess some guys played whatever the baseball version of shinny hockey is, with the National League winning the all-star game or something.  Don't ask me what happened, because I have no fucking clue.  And now we get another off-day, followed by some kind of halfsy schedule of games tomorrow; which at least features the Jays and Yankees.

And honestly, I figured that I'd basically have what's written above, except in a more pissy tone with more swearing, and that would be my entire post for the day.  That is until I found out about one cute little piece of news, and remembered about another.

We'll start with the one I remembered, since it happened first, and, more importantly, is about the Jays.  The once thought-to-be-unsignable draft selection, Tyler Beede, whom the Jays selected 21st overall in this year's draft, may be close to signing.  Beede has committed to pitch at Vanderbilt, and was supposed to report to summer school yesterday, but didn't.  It seemed as though Toronto would have to break the bank (as was their plan) to sign Beede, who was reportedly, before the draft, seeking a big-ass signing bonus in order to forgo his commitment to Vandy.  The deadline to sign is August 15th, and most picks won't sign until right around then.

The other piece of news regards the NY Mets, who have traded away Francisco Rodriguez, a.k.a. K-Rod, and $5MM cash (the remainder of his 2011 salary) to the Milwaukee Brewers, for 2 players to be named later.  The Mets really needed this to happen to avoid the $17.5MM option on K-Rod's contract from vesting, which would have happened if he had finished 21 more games, thanks to a clause in his contract.  The clause is still in place for the Brewers, but closer John Axford should be finishing out the lion's share of the games for Milwaukee (as opposed to NY, where Rodriguez was closing games).

Given the Brewers spot in the NL Central/wild card at the moment, that is certainly a worthwhile risk to take, since they expect to contend again next year, and having K-Rod on a bloated contract like that is certainly a better business move for a contending team, as opposed to the rebuilding Mets.  If Rodriguez's option doesn't vest (so basically, if John Axford doesn't get hurt really soon and for the rest of the season), the Brewers will be faced with a $3.5MM buyout, and Franky will become a Free Agent.  K-Rod projects as a Type-A free agent, but he made $11.5MM this season, and would probably get at least a slight raise in arbitration, which is a big big contract for a setup man, and therefore I'd be surprised if the Brewers offer him arbitration at the end of the year, making this a 3-month rental for a team who is right in the thick of things in the NL playoff race, and who need some bullpen help.  Having said that, K-Rod may still be looking for a multi-year deal as a 29-year old closer, who is still pretty decent, so it could happen.

A commenter on Fangraphs gives us this (I've fixed his math here, in square brackets... he had 12.8M):
To clarify some details on the contract:
To qualify for the option, K-Rod needs to finish (not close) 55 games this year, and be certified healthy at year’s end. He’s got 34 GF, so needs 21 more.
The Brewers owe [$17.8M] if the option does vest:
$4.97M for the remainder of this year (70 games)
$0.30M in bonuses
$17.5M in 2012
minus $5M from Mets

The Brewers owe $3.47M if the option doesn’t vest:
$4.97M for the remainder of this year (70 games)
$3.5M buyout
minus $5M from Mets
So basically, assuming this option doesn't vest, which it probably won't, the Brewers are paying $3.47MM and 2 minor leaguers for 3 months of service.  He's only been worth 0.7 fWAR to this point in the year (pace for about 1.3).  He'll be in a slightly weaker division in the NL Central (faces Phi, Atl less, Hou, CHC more), though there may not be enough games left for that to matter all that much.  My take on this deal is that this seems like a slight overpay on the part of the Brewers, but the marginal wins make it worthwhile, as long as they can guarantee themselves that the option doesn't vest.

I'd be surprised if Bob Melvin was entirely finished in terms of getting bullpen help, which sort of makes me worry about the future of this team, considering all of the minor leaguers he's going to have to give up, how mediocre this offense will be next year (and going forward) without Prince Fielder, and how hilarious they are defensively behind a pretty good rotation.  Even with Fielder's contract off the books, they have a lot of arbitration raises coming to guys like Marcum and Axford, plus raises to guys like Braun, Greinke, and Hart, and I don't really see them going out and getting a bat to replace Fielder without a big increase in payroll (which could happen with a playoff run this year).

The real question is about what the Mets plan to do with this extra money that they're saving(ish).  They are no longer at risk for being on the hook for that $17.5, and they may be looking at moving Carlos Beltran as well (The Giants are a rumored destination there, according to Brian Wilson), which would free up another ~$6MM (depending on how soon the trade happens).  A little Mets firesale to free up some room on that waterlogged payroll (plus a new co-owner) may be just enough to hang on to Jose Reyes, who is a free agent at the end of the season.

** I can update this: according to (I think) Keith Law, more money is moving to MIL than whatever was first thought.  NYM is responsible for the $3.5MM buyout if that happens, plus whatever is owed for the rest of this season.  Having said that... Kevin Goldstein of reports that only $2.23MM is changing hands. Might be some drama.

Tyler Beede has signed, according to a couple of sources who have been retweeted by some of my favourite sources, but there's nothing official yet.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

All-star break

You'll have to forgive me for not blogging yesterday.  I simply didn't care.  All-star weekend really is pretty boring, save for the pictures of Kate Upton and Jennie Finch at the celebrity softball game.  I seem to get kind of excited for the derby every year, only to remember how boring it gets after about 20 minutes.  This year, I was a little more jacked up to see Jose Bautista go, but he kind of disappointed.  Who gives a shit though, really?  I will admit that, despite not paying much attention to it, I did leave the derby on my computer in the background while playing video games, and by the time I started looking at it again, I did notice Robinson Cano really steal the show with a sick finish.

The best part of the all-star break is easily the endless highlight packages of the best plays of the first half of the year.  I've been watching any sports channel I could get my hands on this morning, since all they do is show these clips, and I've got to say, Brent Lillibridge can play some serious defense.  Which actually brings me to my next point.  The thing I hate most about the All-star festivities is this little stretch of like 4 days with only 1 game.  Beyond that, it's all offense in terms of position players, leaving guys like the aforementioned Lillibridge off my TV (though he sits in Chicago a lot too, so bad example).

Anyway, I typically nap my way right through the All-star game, and I can't imagine this year will be any different, if I even stay in to watch it.  The Jays don't play again until Thursday evening, so I'm fairly disinterested in until then.  And my sister is getting married this weekend, which means that a bunch of family and friends will be around over the next few days, so no baseball for a week, I guess.

The internet is at it again!  Dock Ellis, former pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, once pitched a no-hitter while under the influence of acid.  Please read that wikipedia entry.  Anyway, some guy has chosen to attempt to also throw a no-hitter, except using MLB2k11, and a create-a-player version of Dock Ellis, but still on acid.  This is a surreal read (there's also a video embedded in there).

Sunday, 10 July 2011

My head

Yes, friends.  This blog entry will focus mainly on my head.  I realize that, on a baseball blog, the head of he who writes upon said blog should rarely be the focus, especially on a morning in which we, as a Bluejays fanbase, should be regaling in a much more interesting topic, such as a 5-4 win in extra innings, or two taters from the bearded wonder, Jose Bautista, or even, for those of you who have been mad lately, a blown save from the bullpen.

No, my friends.  I refuse to talk about that.  We'll be talking about my head today, because last night was my brother-in-law's stag party.  I consumed right around 25 bottles of beer and a half dozen shots over the course of the day, which began with a fishing trip at about 6 in the morning.  Basically, I've got a terrible headache and feel like a box full of smashed assholes.  The last time I felt like this, I ended up being entirely numb and having the spins, but I was watching Superbad so it was ok until I puked, so that's probably happening today.

Things I saw yesterday:
 A guy pulled his pants down and stuck a tee in his bum, allowing another man to place a golf ball on it and hit a drive.  The tee was then placed directly in the mouth of the bumholder.

A guy took a previously caught fish, put a hook in it's mouth, tied the hook to a fishing line, tied the other end of the fishing line to his penis while nobody was looking, and then said "got one!", which made us all turn around and see this.

My pants got nice and dirty, but I don't know how.

A cake was shaped like 2 boobs.

Friday, 8 July 2011

That makes me Mad(men)

Hindsight here, but uhhh... Jason Frasor?  You know, the best reliever on the team?  Maybe that could have happened?

Magically, Jayson Nix cleared waivers and was assigned to AAA Las Vegas.  Well, magically is probably the wrong word to use there.

Dustin Mcgowan pitched 2 innings for class-A Dunedin yesterday, allowing no hits, no runs, walking 2 and striking out 1.  Not sure what the velocity was, which is really the main thing we all would like to know, but I'll work with what I've got.

I figured JP Arencibia would sit out yesterday's game, but he didn't, and actually got a coupla hits.  I'd still expect Jose Molina to play either tonight or tomorrow, given how banged up JP is.  And of course, he actually contributed yesterday, which almost always means bench time.

Farrell was asked about Kyle Drabek yesterday, and Farrell responded that there was no timetable for Drabek's return.  I wouldn't be surprised if he was back in September, but it would probably take something special to get him back before then.

Peter Bourjos, the Angels' CF, pulled a hammy or something the other day, and as result, 19-year-old super prospect Mike Trout has been called up.  You really wonder why they went and got Vernon Wells.  Oh right, Tony Reagins!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Romero= Superman, Boston=Kryptonite

And I'm just so over it.  Don't even fucking care.

For whatever reason, Ricky Romero can't pitch against the Red Sox like he can against most other teams. Buck and Tabler were suggesting that it may be because Romero tips off his pitches and the Red Sox are the only ones who have really picked anything up... kind of like the mythical steroids Jose Bautista is using that nobody else has access to.  I mean it would make sense, given that John Farrell was the pitching coach in Boston last year, and therefore would have nothing to do with the batting portion of the team.  Of course I'm being sarcastic, since that's retarded.

I think the more likely scenario is some combination of small sample size anomalies and the fact that Boston is just a really good team, and has been throughout Romero's career.  I'm sure the bad outfield defenses that the Jays have had, plus the awkwardness of the Fenway outfield could have something to do with it as well.

It's almost over people.  Anyway, on the bright side, Travis Snider went 2-4, and Yunel Escobar had 4 hits in his return to the lineup, earning a Zaun-head.

Check this out: Jose Bautista is up for a couple of ESPY's, and seems to be retweeting a lot of people who mention the fact.  Voting ends like tomorrow or the next day or something like that?  So get your votes in.  You can be like me and sift through all the football and basketball categories if you feel like, or you can vote for whoever the fuck you want in those ones.  But you HAVE TO VOTE JOSE.  No other options fellas, sorry.

Fangraphs has an article up about guys who have been effective and cheap this year, and could be turned in to something at the deadline.  Not necessarily an impact move, but some kind of final piece to a playoff team.  And apparently, the writer hasn't noticed that Corey Patterson has been terrible for the last month and has been relegated to mostly bench time, because he suggests someone might pick Patsy up.  Please please please please please...

Something else about Jose Bautista in the community research section of Fangraphs about Jose's HOF chances.

Umm, JP Arencibia got hit by a pitch yesterday and was removed from the game as result.  He's already got a shitty left thumb, and now a left wrist bean to boot.  Farrell said after the game (apparently) that JP was removed simply for precautionary purposes and that no preliminary tests suggested a break or anything.  I'm sure he's really excited for a couple days off during the all-star break to recharge everything and heal up and whatnot.

And finally, Reds SS prospect Zack Cozart may be getting called up this weekend.  The story is breaking thanks to some crack detective work that points out that the hotel the Reds are staying at this weekend has a room booked for a Zack Cozart, though this could, in theory, be a wild coincidence, thanks to the extreme commonness of the name Cozart.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Jays appear to tie it in the 9th, Varitek is Jeter.

When you're a Saux fan, the truth doesn't really mattah. (Click on the pic for actual truth)

Alright, I'll be honest.  I saw the play and immediately thought "Not even close, out by 10 feet", and frankly, I'd have been fine with the result since any competent catcher would have successfully blocked the whole plate and made a tag and we'd be ok.  I mean Varitek clearly had his ankle at an awkward angle, risking a broken ankle, or a "Posey", by outright assuming (correctly, mind you) that his leg could withstand the impact of a slide.

It is interesting though, that on second glance, we see that Varitek doesn't particularly tag Edwin until well after the little helicopter thing, which propelled Edwin in to being safe in real life, but out in the fantasy land that is a MLB umpire's mind, the very same fantasy land that coincides with the MLB's policy on video replay for important things like game-changing situations in the 9th inning with 2 out where the tying run appears to score on a high tag, if you wanna tie the game against the Red Sox in the 9th, it's a force play at the plate.

Craig Calcatera of NBC Sports has his own little view on the game:
Reds Sox 3, Blue Jays 2: [...] An assist on that to Jason Varitek, who blocked the plate in a way that we all sorta decided catchers shouldn’t do back when Buster Posey got injured, but which I’m guessing most folks will call a heads up play today.  But really, if you’re looking for intellectual consistency in sports, don’t come to baseball. We’re all about nuance and duality here.

Well said.

Jose Bautista continued to be the only Jay that really matters, hitting another 2 run tater.  He opted to go really high and not particularly far with this one, hitting his highest elevation (139ft) and shortest distance (336) dinger of the year.  Naturally, it was over the tallest fence in baseball, so I assume he did it on purpose.  According to the ESPN home run tracker, this should have been a home run in 0 ball parks around the MLB.

And hey, remember that time that Corey Patterson tried to steal third last night in the middle of a 2-out rally?  I assume that one was on Farrell, since Bautista was running on the play from first as well, but still.  What a fucking disappointment that was.  (Thanks to John Lott of the National Post for this:
Farrell called [Patterson's steal attempt] “a poor decision, to try to make something happen when we’ve got really the only rally … to that point in time in the game. Your four-hole hitter [is] up. That was a poor decision.”
Patterson has done the same thing on at least two other occasions this season.
So yeah... when it happened, I said to nobody in particular "Go drown yourself, Patterson" but then took it back when I thought it was a Farrell-induced double-steal.  So go drown yourself Patterson.  I realize that it's kind of jumping the gun to say this now, since having just read the John Lott article, I'm furious with Patterson, but isn't it about time to end this fucking experiment?  The dude played well enough through his first 50 games or whatever thanks to a babip through the roof, and probably a little bit of help in the Rogers Centre Skydome.  Well congrats man, any good that you may have done/luck that you've stumbled upon in the first half of the season has been pretty much undone in the last month.

There's really no reason that Eric Thames should have been sitting on the bench last night, given how well he's been swinging the bat lately.  Not that anyone really cares, but he had an 11-game hitting streak snapped thanks to Farrell pinch-hitting him in the 8th inning.

Wow there was a lot to get worked up about there.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Back to Normal

Ok, so now that I've mostly caught up on my last 5 days worth of internets, I guess I'm pretty well back to normal.  If you've somehow missed any of the following, you should probably brush up on your sources (Note: please don't brush up on sources.  I need the readership REALLY badly).

I dunno where to start here really... there's been a lot of stuff happen over the last week.

Let's start with Yunel Escobar.  He missed a couple days after getting beaned on the hand in the first game of the weekend set with the Phillies, and missed the rest of the series, plus last night's win against the Red Sox.  Good news though: Yunel is back in the lineup, batting 5th tonight.  It looks like the "Rajai Davis at leadoff" experiment is going to get another shot, which I'm pretty indifferent about.  He's been swinging a better bat lately, but I don't really know.  I like it better than Aaron Hill at the top of the order, that's for damn sure.  (Yunel was scratched during BP this evening, with Mike Mccoy taking his place.  Eric Thames is somehow on the bench, despite an 11-game hit streak)

What else?  Oh right.... Travis Snider is back up, and had 3 doubles yesterday.  Mike Mccoy used his airmiles to come back up too.  To make room for those moves, Jayson Nix and Juan Rivera have been DFA'ed.  Both players have been removed from the 40-man roster, and the Jays now have 10 days to trade or release them, or if they clear waivers, they can opt to accept an assignment to the minor leagues.  I would expect Rivera to accept his assignment to AAA(?) if he clears waivers, given his $5.25MM salary, minus roughly half of that since the season is half over.  If he doesn't accept it, he will forfeit ~$2.5MM, minus the prorated half of the $400k MLB minimum he'd make if some other team signs him to be a glorified pinch-hitter.  I would guess that some NL team will take the Jays up on that over the next couple days for a D-level prospect or 50 bucks or something.  Jayson Nix on the other hand, well he might find a taker on a minor league deal.

Keith Olney expects the Jays to move some bullpen help, and sees Texas as a suitor.  I can see someone giving up a decent haul for Jason Frasor, and I would guess that AA would take the first deal offered for Octavio Dotel, but don't really see him moving anyone else because.....

The newest Elias projections are out.  Jason Frasor, Jon Rauch, Octavio Dotel, Frank Frank and Shawn Camp rank as Type-B relief pitchers. Aaron Hill ranks as a Type-B 2B/3B/SS, which is good news for the Jays, assuming they don't accept his options, which, if we can be serious for a quick sec, has about the same chance of my dog going a week without shitting on the floor of happening.  Having said all that, I'm not even sure they offer him arbitration at the end of the year, since he'd probably accept it.  As bad as he's been the last 2 years, I'm fairly sure he'd be due for a raise in arbitration, but even if he wouldn't get a raise, I don't think he would get a paycut, and I doubt any other team would offer him more than the $5MM he made this year as a free agent.  There's not really anybody kicking at the door in Toronto's system as far as 2B goes, though Yunel Escobar could be moving over there depending on when/if Adeiny Hecchavarria is ready.  Then again, there's always depth in other positions (Catcher, young starters, young outfielders) that can be traded.  Speaking of depth...

The international free agent season opened the other day, and as expected, the Jays and their scouting department flexed their proverbial muscle, signing Dawel Lugo, a 16-year old shortstop, for a $1.3MM bonus, as well as Osman Guttierrez, a 16-year old 6'4'', 200lb right hander, for a $210k bonus.  This of course doesn't mean much in terms of spots for guys like Escobar, Lawrie, Hech, and so on, since a 16-year-old shortstop is unlikely to make much of an impact in the bigs until he's at least 21, and even that is optimistic.

By the way, Brett Lawrie swung the bat yesterday for the first time since breaking a bone in his hand a few weeks back, and did so again today.  He hit balls off a tee, and is set to do soft toss and live pitching later this week.  I assume he is still on track to be back sometime in early August.  With Edwin Encarnacion hitting 2 homeruns in a game on Thursday, and another Sunday, plus just a couple of better at-bats spread around over the last week or so, it looks like he's barely saved himself from getting cut.  In my estimation, Jayson Nix was always going to be the first guy to go, and Rivera and Encarnacion were always rotating places 2 and 2a (Scott Richmond too I suppose, if we're going to talk about 40-man spots).  I really feel like Rivera was always the guy who had the better chance of being traded and actually fetching something, and therefore, deserved more playing time to prove himself as potentially useful for someone, and that was probably still true up until about 10 days ago (who knows, he might still).  With EE swinging the bat a little better, and Snider ready to come up, disposing of Nix and Rivera has actually opened up enough room on the 25- and 40-man rosters to bring up Brett Lawrie when the time arrives without having to cut anybody, since Mike Mccoy will most likely just be optioned down (again) to the minor leagues.  Having said that, I doubt AA would hesitate to boot EE if he starts to suck again and it somehow steals AB's from any of the younger guys.

Dustin Mcgowan allowed 3 runs and 3 hits, striking out 1 in just 2/3IP in a rehab start in Class-A Dunedin the other day.  This was his first game action since 2008, so I wouldn't read too much in to it, but that doesn't sound incredibly encouraging.

With regard to Zaun-heads: I can't remember the last time I gave one out, and the games are kind of blending together at this point.  I do know two things: Jose Bautista and Eric Thames mashed, and no Jays pitcher was really all that special during the PHI series.  As result, I'm going to give Jose Bautista 2, and Eric Thames 1 for those.  Jose was really the best player on the Jays team for each of those three games, but Thames was second-best twice.  Rajai Davis stole 3 bases the other day too, but whatever.  Edwin for Tuesday, I guess?  Brandon Morrow was real good on Wednesday, and Yunel Escobar was the only passable Blue Jays in Thursday loss to the Pirates.

K so tonight's game is already in to the third inning.  Brett Cecil is pitching, and is elevating the ball pretty badly already from what I've seen, which I'm not all that fussy about.

And one more thing: Derek Jeter is getting close to 3000 MLB hits, getting up to 2996 last night.  The Yankees come to Toronto immediately after the All-star break, so let's home that he gets this whole thing done with before he comes to visit, huh?  Because that would seriously be the most insufferable thing to watch.  Worse than Red Sox games.

Canada Day Weekend Trip Report

So basically I've been away from my laptop since Thursday morning at about 5 AM.  I'm sure I could have updated from a phone or someone else's computer or something, but don't give me that shit.

Anyway, before this past Thursday, I had been on a plane once in my life, and it was when I was like 2.  Sheltered life.  The flight was pretty uneventful; the real fun began once we got to Pearson.  You see, I was last in Toronto at age 5, and haven't really done any major travelling, and anything I've done has been to smaller places than Toronto, and has been done with someone driving me there, not flying.  That airport is fucking huge for anyone (I assume), let alone a kid from little old PEI.  I didn't know where the hell I was supposed to be walking or anything.  Fortunately for us it was still like 8 in the morning, so it wasn't so incredibly busy that I had a panic attack or anything.

Our hotel was literally a block away from the dome, which is always convenient.  Unfortunately that's far away from the airport.  We had directions that we sort of followed, but we had hours to kill before our check-in time anyway, so the ensuing adventure of not taking the streetcar that would have led directly to our hotel wasn't really a huge deal.  I'll know better next time I suppose.

We pretty much spent the next day and a half wandering around downtown without really knowing anything about anything.  I mean you can walk around for hours and see a billion things, but I didn't really know what anything was in advance, and didn't really know how to get to a specific building or street or whatever.

Friday, we met up with a friend of mine at the game and ended up decently wasted. Seeing Roy Halladay bring the lineup card out was pretty cool, as was the ovation that he received.  It was nothing compared to seeing him pitch on Saturday though.  The Jose Bautista homer on Friday ended up in the section next to where we were sitting, and the ovations that he got for each of the taters he hit this weekend was a real highlight.

Anyway, during the Friday game right around the 4th inning, somewhere between beers and pees, we decided to stop by and see Gregg Zaun and Jamie Campbell at that little spot where they do their broadcasting thingy or whatever the shit that's called.  Jamie was just sitting at his table spitting sunflower seeds in to a cup, just as useless as he'd typically be.  Zaunny on the other hand, was signing autographs and taking pictures with kids.  He finally got around to me, so I asked if I could get a picture for my blog, which I explained gave out Zaun-heads as player of the game trophies.  His answer was "Oh yeah, I know you.  HA!"

That shirt.  By the end of the game, we along with the guys behind us, were nice and sauced, and took out our frustrations on the nearest Phillie, who happened to be Ben Francisco in LF.  We chirped at him for the better part of  the last 3 innings, much to the shagrin of everyone but us in the surrounding sections.

Anyway, we ended up pretty trashed by the end of the night, grabbed a shwarma, and passed out quickly at the hotel.

On Saturday we showed up nice and early for the game, taking in some batting practice and whatnot, while also complaining about the hangovers, the sun, and so on.  That was the Halladay game of course, which was great fun, and will forever be known as the Rauch Freakout game.  I've read somewhere (probably twitter) since then that John Farrell dislocated his jaw after that little scuffle, but I'll have to find somewhere to confirm that later.  There was also a guy in front of us with a huge huge head that severely impeded our view at various times.  If you were sitting in section 233 row 4 and have a huge head and are reading this, you need to go on a head diet.

We met up after the game with my girlfriend's cousin and his girlfriend, who had us to their apartment for food and drinks, and they also helped us negotiate our way both from and back to the downtown area for Sunday's game.  Major thanks to Nick and Adriana for that one.

Sunday was a damn scorcher.  There was approximately 0 wind, and a billion rays of sun beating directly down on my seat before the game.  I forgot to put sunscreen on my kneecaps and upper ears before we left, so those got beaten pretty badly in terms of burns.  Oh, and that was probably the most exciting end to a ballgame that I've ever seen.  I got the Bautista homer on tape, which is still on my girlfriend's blackberry that she's conveniently brought to work with her.

After this game, we caught up with my aunt and uncle, who chauffeured us around the city for a while pointing out things that we didn't know about buildings and stuff, and then brought us back to their place for beers and a barbecue with that whole crew, and got us back to the airport safely yesterday, where we watched the Jays beat the Red Sox.

On the flight home, we flew directly above/beside a lightning storm, which was really awesome.

I'll update this with videos of things that happened when the girl gets them on to the internet.

More later.  Probably.