Search This Blog

Monday, November 29, 2010


Just some thoughts I've had as Blue Jays fan over the last 30 years or so...

- The biggest hit in Blue Jays history was Ed Sprague's hr in Game 2 of the '92 series. Joe Carter's was more dramatic, certainly...but Toronto would have been down 2 games to 0 without Sprague's hr, and tied 3 games to 3 without Carter's (assuming Toronto didn't have a two-out rally against Mitch Williams which seems possible....I wonder if Darnell Coles feels slightly cheated that he didn't get the chance to be a pinch-hit hero).

- Speaking of Carter, there may never have been a better guy to wear a Blue Jays uniform. Class act from Day One. Of course, he's also the most overrated Blue Jay ever. Not to jump on the anti-rbi bandwagon, but clearly Carter was the beneficiary of batting behind great on-base guys his entire career. I will hop on the OBP bandwagon for long enough to point out that Carter's career number in that category is exactly one point higher than Manny Lee's. Great guy, productive middle of the order hitter for us for seven seasons, but remembered with a fondness that has greatly exaggerated his on-field prowess.

- The Brandon Morrow for Brandon League trade is going to go down as one of the greatest trades in Jays' history. I think Morrow is going to be a monster.

- Cito Gaston gets a lot of justified credit for the development of Toronto's young hitters...but I can't help thinking that John Olerud would have been much better off without him, just like Lyle Overbay would have been much better off without Gaston/Murphy. It really seems to bother Toronto's coaching staff to have a first baseman who doesn't hit 30 home runs a year. I honestly believe Olerud could have been a borderline hall of famer if these guys hadn't messed around with his swing and his approach. It didn't help Overbay either.

- Toronto's infatuation with Russ Adams (2005, 2006) and delusions of contention (2007, 2008) probably cost Johnny Mac at least two gold gloves for his mantlepiece.

- Fuck Bill Madlock.

- The World Series victories aside, my favorite Jays memory was the game where they came back from a 10-0 seventh inning deficit to beat the Red Sox at Fenway. Ernie Whitt's grand slam off the Pesky Pole (from one knee, no less) gave Toronto a one run lead in the ninth. Henke blows the lead. Junior Felix hits a two run homer in the 11th off of old friend Dennis Lamp. I grew up in southeastern Connecticut so I watched the whole game on TV38 and just listening to the disgust in Bob Montgomery's voice after Whitt's slam was wonderful.

- This really has nothing to do with Toronto, but man did Bob Stanley suck.

- Rajai Davis is going to surprise some people next season. I hope John Farrell gives him a chance to play everyday.

- I think Raul Mondesi may have been the most amazing player ever to play for Toronto. The guy had a cannon arm and could run...but was still a lousy on defense. He had good power and could steal bases,..but was still a lousy on offense. Plus he was a douche. He was a douche on every team he ever played for, and wherever he is now, I'm sure he's doing something douchy. Also, I never once saw him get a runner in from third with less than two outs. Not once. I'm sure it must have happened, but I never saw it.

- I like to think of Gregg Zaun as the anti-Mondesi. No speed, not much of a throwing arm, not a lot of power...but he was a great situational hitter, underrated as a catcher despite a poor cs %, and he was well liked by his teammates.

- I generally don't like legacy moves, but if Toronto hasn't solved the 1B/DH issue by the start of spring training...and Delgado says he's healthy....I wouldn't mind seeing him come to Dunedin as a non-roster invitee. Even if he doesn't stick with us, if he shows he still has something left I'd like to see him catch on somewhere else and get a shot at the 500 club.

- I hope Robbie makes the HOF this year. The first plaque with a Jays cap on it has been a long time coming. I think our next best chance will be Doc. I'd love it to be Delgado, but if he's all done I think he falls short ala Fred McGriff.

Enough for now.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Off the wall rumor

As in every offseason, the lockers have barely been cleaned out when the rumors and wishlists appear from everyone with a keyboard. Most of these can be summarily dismissed as the well meaning hopes of a ten year old who really really hopes his Jays can get Albert Pujols this winter. Or maybe sign Mariano Rivera. Or Crawford. Or Beltre. None of these, of course, will happen but it does make for interesting debate. One name that I've seen on a couple of Blue Jay blogs, with varying degrees of incredulousness, is Prince Fielder.
Let me say this right now. If Manny Ramirez is a bad idea, Prince Fielder is New Coke. The cost in salary alone should end the conversation. Fielder is a Scott Boras client and is said to be asking for $200 million. Hopefully this is the point where Anthropoulos chuckled to himself and changed the channel. And that's just what Boras and Fielder would want. The Brewers would want at least one of our young starters and two premium prospects. No way this happens. Not even if Fielder's numbers hadn't fallen off the table in 2010 (rbi's down 58, slugging percentage down 131 points, batting average down 38 points). Not even if we had some sort of guarantee that Fielder's knees could support his already substantial and rapidly increasing girth on artificial turf. Not even if we wouldn't be locked into this contract for the better part of a decade. There is no way a deal like this makes any sense. Not for a mid-budget team building itself on young pitching. Let Boston or the White Sox make this deal.
This of course is all speculation on speculation. I have seen nothing indicating that the Jays front office has discussed this, or even that they could entertain this notion without convulsing with laughter. That's probable the appropriate response anyway.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Thoughts on John Farrell...and the Manny rumors

I don't really know that much about him. I do know from being forced to listen to Red Sox games on my drive home from work that he has a good reputation in Boston. Players seem to enjoy playing for him and he was held in high regard for his work with the developing pitchers on the Boston staff. That being said, Manny Ramirez said he would like to play for a manager like Farrell and that scares me a bit. I'm not sure Manny being in your corner is something you would put on your resume. Otherwise I'm happy with the move. Toronto's one chance to be competitive in the near future is to develop our young pitching and Farrell can help with that. I like that he brought back Walton and Butterfield, I like that he indicated that he might even consider a bunt once in awhile, and I like that Toronto didn't overspend to get a big name creep like Bobby Valentine.
Now, back to Manny. Manny has gone on record saying he likes John Farrell, would like to play for a manager like him, and had liked Toronto since the 80's when the franchise heavily tapped the Dominican Republic for players. Now these were just offhand comments which will undoubtedly translate into nothing, but it's fun to consider. I'm sure, like everyone else, my initial reaction was "Oh God, please NO". But after thinking about it, I don't know......IF Manny is healthy, IF Toronto doesn't need to break the bank to sign him, IF he agreed to a one year contract.....Manny sure would look good in the middle of our lineup. The A.L. East is heavy with quality lefthanded starters. Lester, Price, Sabathia, Pettite, and (let's just face it) Cliff Lee. A 3-4-5 of Bautista, Ramirez, and Wells would even the playing field quite a bit. Granted, this is assuming Manny has something left and isn't completely washed up which I don't think he is. Besides, I can't imagine even a washed up Manny Ramirez not bettering the offensive numbers of Lyle Overbay. Yeah he's a headache, yeah Adam Lind will never be Overbay at first base, yeah at some point Manny will decide he's done enough and want to go home....but a one year, incentive-heavy contract? I think I'd do it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

My two cents on Doc-tober...

I'm surprised there's even a debate about this. How can one not be happy for Halladay? Yeah, he's wearing Phillies red instead of Jays teal/black/baby blue/white/silver/etc but so what? We won 85 games this year, we have Drabek waiting in the wings, and frankly I feel a lot better about the future of this franchise than I did at this time two years ago. And yet, I see this bitterness, this resentment, this entitlement towards Doc and his 2010 success. Why? We're not talking about Alex Rios, who pulled an Alex-being-Manny and quit on us. We're not talking about A.J. Burnett who opted out of his contract to sign with the one team that would hurt our chances the most. He's not David Wells, Shea Hillenbrand, or Raul Mondesi who whined, complained, and otherwise pouted their way out of town. Halladay gave this franchise everything he had for over a decade. He could have left before this season, but he didn't. He didn't leave until it was clear that Toronto wasn't going to be able to pay him anywhere near market-value. He wanted to play in October, something that didn't seem to be in the Jays immediate future. And when he finally was dealt, he was gracious about it. It was bittersweet to be sure, but he wished us well and we, for the most part, wished him well. I think most Jays fans still feel this way, but clearly the bitter has overtaken the sweet, at least for some. I think a lot of it has to do with Toronto's unexpected success this season. If we had just kept Halladay, could we have been in contention? The fact is, we probably would have. Doc, Romero, Marcum, Cecil, and Morrow would have been among the best rotations in baseball. But, at the risk of cliche-ing myself to death, hindsight never needs contact lenses. A lot of things went right for Toronto this year. Jose Bautista, for instance. He hit a few more home runs than one might have thought, you might have read about that. Vernon Wells, surprisingly, looked like Vernon Wells. The Braves agreed to give us Yunel Escobar in return for an older, not as talented, version of Yunel Escobar. The back three of that aforementioned rotation gave us seasons we had no right to expect. John Buck did his best Bengie Molina impersonation and gave us one very solid season at the plate before (most likely) moving on. John McDonald finished with the same slugging % as Jorge Posada (it's true, look it up). Even Kevin Gregg finished with good numbers, which was a shock to all of us who watched him pitch into trouble seemingly every game. Even disappointing seasons from Hill, Lind, and Tallet were absorbed by good pitching and 257 home runs. it turns out...if we had held on to Halladay for this one last year of his contract, we might be getting ready for a Texas - Toronto game five tonight. But, of course, all of this is speculation. No one expected 85 wins from this roster. The Phillies offered one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. A.A. was able to wrangle two more top prospects out of the deal. Halladay wouldn't be back in 2011. It was a deal that had to be made. For all the Jays fans who cringe everytime they see Halladay make a batter look foolish and wonder what might have been...relax. As I said before, the future is bright. Now is the time to look forward. Look forward to Drabek and Arencibia, look forward to the resurgance of Lind and Hill, look forward to Tallet being waived, look forward to Burnett giving up 5 runs in 3+ innings in Game 4 of the ALCS, and look forward to Doc finally having his day. He deserves it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Just what everyone has been waiting for....

The thoughts, the ramblings, the whinings, and the hopes of that rarest of species... the Blue Jays fan born, raised, and currently residing in the lower 48. Please excuse my spelling of color, center, and Canadian. In turn, I promise to not be distracted by hockey season. I don't even like football all that much, north or south of Niagara Falls. I am a Blue Jays fan 365 days a year. I've never done a blog before, but I do like to rant. I figured by starting after all the lockers at Rogers Centre have been cleaned out and there's no one left for Kevin Gregg to walk, I would at least have time to get the hang of this before anything meaningful happens. In the meantime I will be the last to congratulate Doc on his no-hitter, and I will turn my immediate attention to cheering loudly for whoever goes to the Bronx for Game 3 of the ALCS.