11:25 PM Eastern

What are these things, when the guy in the Blue Jays uniform hits the ball with the bat and no one catches it? I mean, I’ve seen it a bunch of times this year, but there usually aren’t other people in Blue Jays uniforms scattered about the field when it happens. And these strange, crooked lines that get put up on the scoreboard when they do it. Weird.

For over two weeks now, there has been a big, fat “0″ in the Blue Jays’ first-inning runs column. Over two weeks! On June 7th, Alex Rios singled in Marco Scutaro’s first-inning double to tie the score 1-1 in the now-famous “A.J. Burnett wasn’t prepared mentally” game against Baltimore. Remember all that way back? They didn’t score in the first inning again until today. You have to go all the way back to May 24th to find the last time the Jays had scored more than once in the first inning – two days shy of a month! Brad Wilkerson hit a Grand Slam with two out against Luke Hochevar and the Royals. I usually don’t yell, but THIS WAS ONLY THE SECOND GAME ALL SEASON IN WHICH TWO DIFFERENT BLUE JAYS DROVE IN A RUN IN THE FIRST INNING!!!!!!!!! That’s just sick-making. The other time was April 9th against Oakland, by the way.

They got two runs today, from two different guys, and probably could have had more had Rios not gotten himself picked off third with one out and Lyle Overbay at the plate. Still, even with that blunder, the Jays managed to put up a total of eight runs and snapped the losing streak at seven, picking up their 5th win in June and their first for Cito Gaston v.2.0.

Vernon Wells contributed a couple of sacrifice flies – one to deepest left-centre (a homer in any other ballpark save Fenway Park and old Yankee Stadium) and another to right field. Both of them came on the first pitch. That’s not a surprise, Vernon’s M.O. has never been to get deep into counts, but dig this – Overbay’s 6th inning double, the two-out two-run blast off the centre-field wall that broke the 4-4 tie, also came on the first pitch. Stop and digest that for a second.

That one hit, more than anything else that has happened all season, lends a bit of credence to the idea that the hitters might just have screwed themselves into the ground trying to follow Gary Denbo’s lead.

I’m still not buying it completely – I can’t imagine that a group that has had so much collective success in the past wouldn’t realize that what they’re doing isn’t helping and go back to doing things the way they always used to. Too eager to please? Too smart? That’s what people used to say about John Olerud and Shawn Green when they were here under Cito Gaston v.1.0. I’m not convinced.

The argument could be made as well that the changes to the coaching staff may have caused a virtual team-wide exhalation, releasing the tension by figuratively wiping the slate clean. That wouldn’t explain the three runs in the first 21 innings thing, though. Still, it was fun to watch.

Also fun to watch was Adam Lind blasting a home run to almost straight-away centre, hitting a hard grounder through the 3-4 hole for a single and drawing a walk in four plate appearances. Welcome back. Twice as many hits today for the kid as he had in his entire first call-up this year. He’ll be in left pretty close to full-time, and hopefully will improve drastically on the .278 obp of a year ago. At least he can hit the ball out of the park.

It should be noted, before everyone gets too excited, that the Jays’ 8-run outburst came off two pitchers who are having spectacularly bad seasons in Ian Snell (165 baserunners in 85.2 IP) and Franquelis Osoria (81 baserunners in 50.1 IP) – ok, maybe Osoria hasn’t been SPECTACULARLY bad, but still awfully rough. Still, the Jays have faced crappy pitchers having awful years before, and haven’t hit them.

Confusing, like I said. Good thing we get another 85 games to watch!

I like the idea of using Scott Downs as a two-inning reliever, and so too does Cito, it seems. Of course, it means that he likely can’t be used on back-to-back days for that kind of work, which means more late-inning stints for Brian Wolfe or maybe Brandon League, who blew Gaston away with his stuff a couple of years back. Although, maybe Cito knew that with an off-day coming up, he could get away with using Downs for two. Crazy like a fox, that guy.

Dustin McGowan was unbespectacled (despectacled?) today, which leads me to believe that he feels he only needs the glasses to aid him with night vision as his diabetes affects his system. The lack of artificial vision aid didn’t help him in the 4th inning, when he gave up five straight singles to lead it off, allowing Pittsburgh to tie the game. Of course, he looked pretty bloody good the rest of the time, and looked great making that diving try on the Freddy Sanchez bunt in the 4th. Speaking of which – why the hell would you pinch-hit for your pitcher in the 4th inning and send the replacement up to bunt? Especially when that replacement is Freddy Sanchez, a year and a half removed from a batting title? Sanchez may be hurt, but if that’s the case, send a hitter up and wait until a better time when you need to get that bunt down, although he did pop up two bunts in that at-bat. Confusing.

Here’s today’s edition of The JaysTalk, by the way:

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I’ll close by saying that I’m really not impressed with some of the commenters taking my saying that I’m not allowed to criticize Ernie Whitt to mean that I’m admitting that I’m a corporate shill. Do you really think that if they were going to tell me not to take shots at someone, that Ernie would be the guy? Again – NO ONE tells me what I can and can’t say on the air. I’m not going to tell the whole story, because I’m going to have to try to deal with Ernie at the World Baseball Festival in March, but last month there was a now-famous edition of The JaysTalk when someone actually suggested in all seriousness that Whitt should take over as the General Manager. There were about a dozen calls saying he should take over as the field manager (at least it felt like it), and I was pretty dismissive, but without getting personal or stating any of my reasons other than Ernie’s lack of experience as a manager. Whitt decided to confront me about it the next day, and based on the manner in which he spoke to me and the language that he used, I decided it wasn’t worth the headache to discuss him on the air anymore. I believe he again revealed himself in today’s Toronto Sun, with his quote that he believes he’s the best manager the Blue Jays have never hired. This is a guy who has never had a full-time gig managing professionals, at any level other than the odd week-long tournament.

Comments are encouraged, as always. The 24/7 JaysTalk includes off-days!

171 Responses to “I’m Confused”
  1. 1.

    “What are these things, when the guy in the Blue Jays uniform hits the ball with the bat and no one catches it?”

    Foul balls at the Rogers Centre?

    Double zing!

    - Tyler
  2. 2.

    Mike, I’m sorry for freaking out on you and telling you off….Can’t we kiss and make up?

    MW: I don’t get why people do this.

    - Ernie Whitt
  3. 3.

    Hard to believe that many people couldn’t catch the sarcasm when you wrote you weren’t allowed to discuss Mr. Whitt, I mean you were laying it on pretty thick. It’s almost like they’ve never listened to your show or read the blog.

    I think that Ernie could make a good big league manager, but I do agree he should probably get some more experience.

    With all that being said, I was very happy to see Lind in the lineup today and cheered extra loud at my TV when he went yard. I’m not sure why he was yanked after the infamous 19 ABs before, but hopefully he’s finally over the hump this time.

    Any thoughts as to who will take the 5th starters spot when they actually need one besides Percy? People keep saying Parrish, but who would they take off the 40-man roster?

    MW: They’d take Mench off the 40.

    - Sean Court
  4. 4.

    I am really worried about this nonsense that the Jays went too deep into counts. Go watch the Yankees (where Denbo spent time), Red Sox, and A’s. They go deep into counts and still pound the ball and win ballgames.

    Going deep into counts wear out the starters by raising pitch counts. Taking a strike that is borderline is a good strategy because most hitters can’t hit them anyways. Besides, it could be called a ball.

    I just hope that we don’t start seeing the Blue Jays swing at pitcher’s pitches instead of waiting for mistakes and stop taking walks.

    MW: You and me both. There’s nothing wrong with working a count to wait for your pitch. Thing is, a lot of them were getting their pitch with the first one and either weren’t ready or let it go.

    - Jim B
  5. 5.

    Mike, since that is how Whitt acted when he confronted you, I agree with you in not discussing him any further. Two thumbs up!

    - SkipK
  6. 6.

    Mike, hypothetically if Billy Beane was the GM of the Jays or any team in the AL EAST for that matter how do you think he does?

    I ask because I’m curious to know if you think J.P. is partially a victim of circumstance by being in the toughest division in baseball, or if you think the expectations of JP being Beane-esque were wrong.

    BTW – I don’t think the “moneyball” style of baseball has anything to do with OBP per say and I wish the Richard Griffin’s of the world would take the time to read it before dismissing it as such. It’s about value; actual versus perceived.

    MW: Yes it is. I think J.P. is mostly a victim of circumstance. A lot of people use the point that the Jays are one of only seven teams that haven’t made the playoffs in the last five years (or something like that) – is it pure coincidence that three of those teams are in the A.L. East?

    - Jason
  7. 7.

    Mike

    Do you think Brandon Phillips would be a better fit for the Jays then Aaron Hill. He has more power, is more of a base stealing threat. What do you think it would take to acquirre him & do you think it would be worth it.

    Also with the mets performing horribly do you think some players will become available. If so what players & should the Jays be interested in anyone no matter the price.

    MW: From the Mets, the Jays should be interested in Jose Reyes and David Wright, but they won’t be available. They should also be interested in Johan Santana. As for Phillips vs. Hill, Brandon definitely has more power, but he doesn’t hit right-handed pitching well at all. In fact, he’s never had an obp over .315 against righties. He fattens up against the southpaws, which the Jays could use right about now, but I don’t love him as an everyday guy.

    - D Mills
  8. 8.

    Why didn’t the Jays call me about the coaching vacancy?

    After all I have produced the best winning record since the World Series years…

    MW: But to hear you tell it, you’ve probably won three or four World Series since.

    One of your funnier lines.

    People didn’t like Gibbons because he was a George Bush supporter, IMO, which is ridiculous.

    An off topic question for you. What team do you think had the worst uniforms in the history of baseball, in any era? I think Houston in the 70s or 80s would be my choice.

    MW: I don’t know, those were kind of cool. The mustard-and-brown Padres get-ups were pretty ugly, and don’t forget that the Indians used to go red head-to-toe and the Pirates did the same with yellow.

    - Brett
  9. 9.

    Count me amoung those happy to see Denbo go. Preaching patience an OBP is great (and admittedly has produced a good team OBP), but a lot of these guys – Rios especially – haven’t looked comfortable in 2-strike counts. Let aggressive hitters be aggressive, and the walks will come once they start getting respect. A lot of them haven’t earned that yet.

    Glad to see Lind back. Watching his development might be the most interesting part of the rest of the season.

    - paulf
  10. 10.

    Hey Mike,

    I noticed a caller mentioned Rance Mulliniks’ comments about the hitting coach, and I knew right away what your response would be. However, I think there may actually be something to it. Houghson basically was thinking aloud “How do all these guys have such terrible years” and Rance replied “they were all listening to the same guy.” it takes alot for 6 or 7 guys with proven track records, to just go cold for this long, maybe it was Denbo. This has definetly never happend before. Also, Mulliniks played in the majors, and knows the effect of a hitting coach (if there is any at all), and I think that should give the statement more credibility. Furthermore, you mention him with the Yankees in 01, but didn’t he get fired after just one season, correct me if I’m wrong.

    MW: He did indeed get fired after one season. Someone had to go when the Yankees lost Game 7 of the World series because Mariano Rivera blew the save.

    - Terry
  11. 11.

    I understand the firings of three of the four who were let go on Friday, but Ernie Whitt’s firng still puzzles me. It appears J.P. wanted him out for a while.

    It was nice to see the Jays win on Sunday, I hope they can salvage the season and finish with a winning record. I am not thinking about the post season because I think the mess has gotten too big. If Marcum is out for any length of time that will seal their fate. It also means that Halladay will be the only player on the club who deserves to be an All-Star.

    Keep in mind, I live in Ohio. While the whole Adam Dunn thing may have blown over up there, it hasn’t down here. Mr Dunn will have something to prove to someone this week. The least J.P. could have done was waited until the Jays were through with the Reds before he dissed Dunn. I know what Adam can do, so I’m not looking forward to this.

    - Jim Branscome
  12. 12.

    I’m either up very early or been up all night. (make a guess Mike :) ) First, I was the guy a long while ago that suggested Larry Bowa for manager…Sheesh, I had forgotten his issues with Rolen and for that I apologize.

    Anyways I hope to comment more regularly here. I usually have my Jays conversation with another guy on a message board but i’ll try to leave messages here more often.

    Now onto my post. The hiring of Cito and his staff = Good IMO. Cito’s a calming influence and I really like approach that Cito and his staff brings to the table hitting wise.

    As for the future of the Jays organization I think the Jays need to bring in an experienced guy who doesn’t totally buy into the SABR stuff. It’s all well and good but like the Dodgers, Cardinals, Twins and to a lesser extent Rays the cultural heritage and history of the franchise is more geared toward the concept of 5 tool players.

    I truly believe the Jays need to bring in an experienced GM who has a good track record with the minor leagues but also shares the “toolsy” approach to building an organization. If he was still out of the GM ranks I would’ve inquired about Walt Jocketty. (BTW I felt he should’ve been hired when JP was) Since he’s taken, i’d like to see the Jays try to lure Terry Ryan back into the game. Heck, at least he’d have far more money to play around with in T.O. then he did in Minny and i’ve always respected what he’s done there.

    Sorry for length of post

    MW: There’s been way longer. I don’t buy the “cultural heritage and history” argument. You try to win, it doesn’t matter how, and each winning team in a franchise creates its own history.

    - Chris F.
  13. 13.

    I’ll believe it when i see it 80 more times.
    like you said: I. Snell was starting.
    He might as well change the N to an M, this season.
    dont forget, everyone, i’ve got paperbags for tuesday

    - slobberface
  14. 14.

    Mike,

    A question for you. It has to do with a hitter’s approach at the plate when he is the last out of the inning with two strikes. I had seen Troy Glauss and Rios do it quite often where they got caught looking at a strike instead of swinging.

    My question is – why wouldn’t a hitter swing at such a pitch. I imagine that if it is called a strike, the pitch is rather close to the plate. Even if it wasn’t exactly the type of pitch to hit, wouldn’t you need to swing regardless?

    Thanks

    Francis

    MW: Yes, you would. Obviously they don’t think it’ll be called a strike, or they get fooled. Or, and this is a major consideration, the pitcher is really good.

    - francis
  15. 15.

    It wasn’t hard to see a difference to the approach of the Jays hitters at the plate yesterday or rather hear the difference being spoken (radio). Guys working the count into their favour for a change! I know it’s early but “winds of change” are in the air for sure!

    Just having the 4 new faces with what – about 9 or 10 WS rings between them creates a huge “presence” in the clubhouse that I am sure must be taken seriously by the players.

    Tennace alone has made it pretty clear how he doesn’t like what he has been seeing now (up close). Saying, he wants em to forget everything his predecessor has been teaching them. Nice to hear a hitting coach go right at it.

    Ernie Whitt should have reserved his comments on his firing for a much later date if any at all. He has hurt himself only with the comments made with regard to the organization. “Best manager the Jays never had” – yikes! With all due respect that is likely a good thing. Ernie is a bit “full of himself” to be taken too seriously. Wish him well anyway.

    Toronto fans (as usual) tend to put “favorites” on a pedestal and confuse talent and experience with likeness and popularity!

    You may not even see Whitt in March Mike, as I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him replaced at the World Baseball Classic/Festival as manager with Terry Puhl at the helm for the Canadian team.

    Puhl, would in my book be the #1 choice for that position. Just look at what he is doing and done with coaching the Canadian Senior National Team.

    Another day off – seems like a lot of days off lately – can only help with the “new crew” getting in some one on one time with the players!

    Thanks.

    MW: I don’t think Ernie will be replaced by Team Canada for the Festival.

    - Bob
  16. 16.

    In regards to your Whitt comments at the end…well said Mr. Wilner.

    I like Ernie Whitt, but it seems that all too many times here in Toronto alot of people latch on to “the underdog” type of guy. Or better yet the “lunch box” kinda personality.

    U know the Junk Yard Dog (the guy who on any of the other 29 NBA teams would not be starting. Or Matt Bonner, Tie Domi (who turned an enforcer role and a diminishing one at that into a HUGE public outcry when he wasn’t resigned. And lastly dare i bring his name up in fear of the backlash, but our very own ex-jay Reed Johnson.

    It seems that people just get transfixed on that fact that when Whitt was a player with the Jays all those years back he seemed like a true stand up guy. A gamer if you will. At to the fact that he had a good WBC tournament (a tourny in which starters could barely show their stuff, but whatever) and now because of that he has people drinking his cool aid saying as you already stated “that he believes he’s the best manager the Blue Jays have never hired”. I mean come on…

    Anyway Mike continued success with this blog and the on air stuff…until next post

    MW: Actually, the truth is that Team Canada didn’t have a good WBC tournament. From the moment the groups were decided, we knew that there was only one game Canada had to win in order to advance, and that was the one game they lost.

    - slomo76
  17. 17.

    So Ernie Whitt had guts to confront you about that whole manager story and use bad language(that right there showed his lack of class).

    Guess he didn’t have enough guts to confront Riccardi when he demoted him to first base coach and then finally kicked him out.

    I hate the way some athletes/ex atheltes treat the media people. GOOD BYE ERNIE WHITT!

    - Beburg
  18. 18.

    Hi, Mike:

    I’ve just read where David Price (highly touted pitching prospect of the Rays) has been promoted to AA, and that leads me to the following question:

    When a minor leaguer is promoted, does someone else get sent down or released? In other words, do each of the Minor Leagues have fixed roster limits as well, or it strictly up to the sponsoring club? I would assume they must, if for no other reason than competitive balance, but somehow I never read about the “other side” of the transaction, the guy who goes down or out.

    MW: You never read about the other side, because you’ll never hear about the guy who got demoted. Of course, there are many times when a player is promoted to AA because another player has been promoted out of AA. Mostly, though, no one cares about minor league transactions unless they involve big names. Yes, they have roster limits.

    - Norm
  19. 19.

    Mike this Whitt fiasco is more exciting than anything else going on with the Jays right now. Just spill the beans already! Someone else from the Fan can cover the World Baseball (or at least dealing with Ernie, part).
    “based on the manner in which he spoke to me and the language that he used, I decided it wasn’t worth the headache to discuss him on the air anymore” – its worth it Mike – or at least discuss it on the blog.

    MW: It’s not worth it.

    - Shmuel Yitzchok
  20. 20.

    Mike,
    in addition to 8 runs I thought a lot more balls were hit deep into the outfield to produce outs. Although they produced outs, it sure was nice to see that the Jays hitters can indeed drive the ball!

    Now for Denbo, you have said that Denbo “didn’t screw the Yankee’s up”…but for some reason he left after 1 yr to become a scout for Cleveland…not a ring endorsement. Then he spent 3 years in Japan….must have been because every thought he was too good for MLB. So while Mr. Denbo has been a hitting coach for a long time, he has less than 2 yrs as a major league hitting coach on his resume. His been a coach for over 20yrs but that career path sets of warning bells to me.

    MW: Again, I find it extraordinarily unlikely that one man can exert so much influence on a group of hitters so as to drive them, collectively, into a huge slump – and only with RISP.

    - JW
  21. 21.

    Interesting to read your comments about Whitt and his confronting you, and it brings a question to mind: Who are your favourite Jays to talk to (not necessarily baseball, just as people) and get quotes from, and who are the least accomodating? I’m not asking you to air dirty laundry, just wondering if you can give insight into some personalities.

    MW: My favourites to talk to include McDonald, Stairs, Hill, Overbay, Eckstein, Frasor, Zaun, Barajas, Lind, McGowan, Marcum (though I wish he’d open up and show his sense of humour to the media more). I’m trying not to forget anyone. The least accommodating? I don’t know what purpose revealing that would serve.

    - Wojtek
  22. 22.

    Post-firing thoughts: Gibby’s come across as classy, thoughtful, and grateful for the opportunity. Ernie Whitt sounds bitter, paranoid, and delusional. How much of this is media filter, and how much is an accurate reflection of the men?

    MW: I’m a huge fan of John Gibbons, the man.

    - Doug Manning
  23. 23.

    Maybe this is the game they break out of the shell. Win the next 6 at home and salvage the month.

    Do you think Wilkerson lasts the season? Or will he be used as a platoon with Lind?

    MW: I think he sticks around on the bench, but I’m not sure what Cito thinks of him.

    - Aaron Ker
  24. 24.

    Boy oh boy, Ernie…..I’m going to have to try pretty hard to block out Ernie Whitt v 2.0, and instead fondly recall the big Ern who use to go down to a knee when mashing a ball out of the park.

    Mr. W, do you think that Lind is indeed here to prove he is the future at LF (or DH), or is there a chance he’s simply showcasing his skills for a possible deal? League too, for that matter.

    I used to be on the “package Purcey and Lind for a bat” train, but with the team slipping so far back, I think I’ve switched tracks to the “let’s build for 2009 and beyond” rail and move some of the spare part vets, if anything….but not TGBJOAT, Scott Rolen.

    Thoughts, sir?

    MW: Lind is probably here to stay, but you never know what could happen if things get turned around. It’s too early to say let’s build for ’09 and beyond, but it’s getting late fast.

    - JC, Winnipeg
  25. 25.

    Mike, 2 questions:
    1. It seems I keep telling my self taht the Jays have now hit rock bottom. Do you think the Jays have hit rock bottom? If so, when?
    2. Most people are saying that Cito was Godfrey’s guy….do you think Lind and League are Cito’s guys?
    Thanks.

    MW: I think that the Jays have hit rock bottom twice now, if that’s possible. That Monday night in Cleveland and Thursday afternoon in Milwaukee. I don’t think Cito knows either Lind or League well enough to have them be his guys, but he likes them both a lot.

    - Sandy
  26. 26.

    YES MIKE IT’S ME JAY STENHOUSE’S FAVOURITE REPORTER.
    THOUGHT YOU WANT TO SEE YOUR BOY J.P. WAS THE DWEEB OF THE WEEK IN NEW YORK DAILY NEWS SPORTS TV/RADIO CRITC BOB RASSMAN’S SUNDAY COLUMN.

    Dweeb of the Week: J.P. Ricciardi
    For ripping Adam Dunn saying, among other things, the Reds outfielder “doesn’t like baseball that much.” The Jays GM put his elbow in his mouth during his weekly radio show on Toronto’s The Fan 590. Considering his team was in last place, more than 10 games out in the AL East at the end of last week, he might want to confine his critiques to the bunch of losers he assembled. Perhaps there is something behind Ricciardi’s decision to lash out at Dunn. If the Jays continue to tank, Ricciardi could be out of a job. Maybe he’s just auditioning for a future as a talk-radio gasbag.
    TAKE CARE
    FRANK MCLEAN

    - FRANK MCLEAN
  27. 27.

    Hey Mike,

    When you play softball do you wear a ball cap? If so, it the bill flat like how Listch wears his cap or do you prefer the bill curved?

    Do you wear your hat centered or is it tilted slightly off-centre?

    Have you tried wearing those power necklaces?

    Ok, back to Rogers Toronto Blue Jays…

    If you could cover any other team in any other sport anywhere in the world (aside from the Jays) who would it be?

    Aneez
    PS – You da’ man!

    MW: I wear a cap, curved brim, no power necklace. I’m quite happy covering the Jays. Toronto is home, I would like to go to a ton of other places around the world, but I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

    - Aneez
  28. 28.

    What Whitt says is really unimportant. He’s a blowhard and a bully. I’m no fan of Ricciardi’s but I am a fan of keeping your big mouth shut in order that you might find another job somewhere.

    I’m not sure about the hitters. Overbay did go after the first pitch at that at-bat, which is unusual. But I think it’s going to take some time before the hitters get back on track. However, like you, I was somewhat sceptical about Dembo being the cause of the problems, and now, like you, I’m beginning to think he might be. They took an awful lot of first pitches when he was their batting coach. I guess it’s one way to work into a hitter’s count, but not if the other team knows and throws fastballs straight down the line to go strike 1 with depressing regularity.

    Oh well, he gone…

    Rios still not paying attention on the basepaths. Someone has gotta have a major word with him. He’s being paid a freaking fortune and I think, for that kind of money, he could keep his head in the game.

    And lovely to see Cito get a win.

    MW: With Cito’s reputation, you would think that if anyone could get Rios’ head in the game, it’d be him.

    - isabella reyes
  29. 29.

    It’s nice to see Cito back, brings back memories and makes me feel old given the fact that the last time he managed the jays I was 15. Anyway I can see firing the coaches, change of pace and all that, and I guess when you do that Gibby has to go. It’s a shame though, he seemed like a good guy who cared about his players. Sure he made mistakes but no one is perfect, and he might not have been a genius but he wasn’t running the team into the ground either. Anyway Cito is back and it can only be up from here…it can’t get worse can it? Oh wait it can, the Mariners. Anyway with Lind up are there any other guys that might be getting the call up soon, and who do you think Cito goes with at SS the bulk of the time?

    MW: I don’t think anyone else gets called up soon, except for whoever is going to pitch on Saturday. I have a feeling Eckstein will get most of the work at shortstop.

    - Nick
  30. 30.

    Mike,
    Well stated regarding Ernie. Having seen his work ethic, it’s not suprising that he was never promoted.

    With Dwayne Murphy now with the big club, who do you think will take over as the Minor League Roving Hitting Instructor?

    MW: No clue. Where did you see Ernie’s work ethic?

    - JM
  31. 31.

    Mike

    It’s water under the bridge, but I felt that Denbo was the problem with this team all along. When the only significant change is the hitting coach, then the team doesn’t hit, it shouldn’t take any genius deductive powers to figure out the problem. It is apparent in many of the media pieces I’ve read in the past few days that his “work the count” and “go the other way” philosophy was not working. Do you know if Gibbons protected Denbo, thus losing his job too, or was Denbo JP’s “guy”?

    MW: Denbo was very definitely J.P.’s guy. Gibby never wanted Mickey Brantley fired.

    - Dan
  32. 32.

    That Whitt story proves he isn’t cut out to be a big league manager. Does he not realize how often he’d be criticized (rightly or wrongly) if he managed the Jays. I can also think of about 500 guys that are better managers that the Jays have never hired.

    - Nick
  33. 33.

    The Jays have made some pretty bad pitchers look pretty good this year, so making a bad pitcher look normally bad is good start for this team.

    Go Jays!!

    - michael s
  34. 34.

    I’m with you Mike. As much as I like Ernie Whitt (qualified by the fact that I’ve never actually met him) I think his long tenure with the Jays is clouding most people’s judgement. This team, with it’s payroll and expecation of winning to match, needs experience at the managerial position, and clearly Ernie does not have that yet. Loyalty is one thing, but reading his comments in that Sun article strikes me as more than a little sour grapes. “I’ve been a Jay for so long I should have been handed the job. Booo hoooo.” I bet there are ushers or security personnell that have been part of the organization for a long time too. Do they expect a promotion to the managerial ranks (on or off field, whatever) simply because they put in the time? Give me a break. This is not how the world works, not in baseball or any other business. Fans deserve better, and so do the Jays. I am not actually a fan of the Cito move, but at least it’s someone with a track record of winning. Lind sure seems to have taken to it (for the moment)!

    - Vava
  35. 35.

    Mike,
    Does the Manager have any say in who is brought up or sent down? Seems to me it was Cito’s idea to bring up League and Lind (smart considering both have alot of potential not being developed in AAA.) I thought it was just the GM job to say who is going where?

    MW: The manager can definitely (and often does) ask the G.M. to bring up certain players.

    - Denny
  36. 36.

    Hey Mike,

    I am not sure why everyone believes Whitt would be such a great manager. As you’ve said countless times he is very inexperienced to say the least.

    I, also, was not impressed with his tirade about getting fired. Those who have to tell others how great they are usually aren’t that great at all. I don’t know the man AT ALL but he’s not coming across as someone who’d I like to see manage the Jays.

    Anyway, good win and it was actually fun to see them swing the bat aggressively and score some runs.

    Do you plan on getting Adam Dunn on any of your pre-game shows? I wonder if he is still steamed at J.P?

    MW: I’m sure he is. I’ll try my best to talk to him.

    - Cameron
  37. 37.

    Mike:

    Let’s face it, it is time to rebuild as TB is where we thought we would be this year. They are a few veterans away from a title (or at least they probably think so). How about this trade that will never happen but is fun to talk about nonetheless.
    Halladay and Rolen for David Price and Evan Longoria. How about that for a blockbuster? As much as it would break my heart, I would do it for the future of the franchaise. That’s where we need to be looking now.

    MW: I don’t think there’s anyone in Toronto who wouldn’t do that, and I don’t think there’s anyone in Tampa who would.

    - Jim B
  38. 38.

    I’ve said this to you before and I will say it again: the team, for whatever reason, was not responding to John Gibbons and the rest of the coaching staff.

    The Jays have arguably the best pitching staff in the majors, despite Accardo and Jansen out for the season.

    I hope Cito Gaston can bring some stability to a Jays lineup that we have not seen since “WAMCO”.

    I like Lind in left.. I always have. But what the Jays need (other than the obvious — which is to hit to their potential) is stability in their lineup.

    I’m interested to see what Cito can do. 9 games out of the wildcard with 85 games to go… hey, anything can happen. But I doubt that they’ll make a late season surge.. but hey.. “never say never”.

    MW: I don’t think stability in the line-up has anything to do with anything, but Cito will definitely bring that, so we’ll see.

    - Angelo
  39. 39.

    Mike I’m glad the Jays won yesterday and they finally put up some crooked numbers!! Having said that there are a couple of plays that left me shaking my head. The first one obviously is Rios getting picked off of third. There is NO WAY he should be getting picked off in that situation. That must drive Cito crazy!! I’m sorry but if I’m managing the Blue Jays (calm down Mike I know I’m not) I pull Rios and sit him for the rest of the day, to let him think about how stupid that play was. For a guy who is struggling at the plate, you would think he’d be trying to contribute in other ways?? This is the second stupid play in less than a week (remember him playing umpire in Milwaukee). Where is this guy’s head at???? To quote a line from “Bull Durham” (I love that movie) It makes you wonder what these boys are thinkin about..cause it suuuure ain’t baseball!! The other play was Wells in centre field. Now I know he’s a gold glover, and one of the best centre fielders in the game…but you have GOT to come up with the that rolling baseball cleanly. Then after he boots it he fires to third base???? Why they had no chance to get the runner and then he took the double play away by allowing the runner from first to move to second. These type of plays CANNOT happen anymore. The Jays can’t afford to throw games away by making stupid decisions, there far enough back as it is, no sense helping the other teams in front of them along the way. Anyway, I’m glad they won but we need a 8 out of 10 or 12 out of 15 streak in a real hurry to get back in this thing. By the way loved seeing Lind back in left field good young player, hope he does well. They also shipped your buddy Mench out to Syracuse…that move sure worked out hey Mike??? Anyway that’s all for now Thanks for taking my e-mail

    MW: It wasn’t e-mail, but you’re welcome. Yeah, the Mench move didn’t work out at all, but it didn’t cost them anything but a month of crappy production against lefties.

    - Blair Martin
  40. 40.

    I enjoy your Jays talk, but do have some constructive criticism. Please cut some of these long winded callers off sooner. I am sure there is a line up on your board. More callers, more interesting.

    MW: It’s not always more callers, more interesting, but you’re right – I have been letting people go on too long lately.

    - sandy
  41. 41.

    Heu mike
    my bnai softball team is short a guy we need a ringer tonight
    i heard your great defensively wanna play
    its in the d-1 division msg back for details if you can play

    MW: Sorry, can’t do it tonight.

    - josh
  42. 42.

    Hey Mike…

    Would you be able to post the audio file for Blue Jays This Week?

    Thanks :)

    MW: I wouldn’t, I don’t have that kind of power. The Reed Johnson interview is in the hot audio section of the website, at least.

    - Ashley
  43. 43.

    Hey Mike,
    Do you think the Jays should consider putting Aaron Hill back at SS in the off season? This revolving door at SS would seemingly stabilize for the next three years or so with Hill. On top of that, we could put a platoon of Scutaro/Inglett at 2B next year and then in ’10 we could go with the hot hitting Scott Campbell (who bats left too!).

    The defense at 2B would suffer but Hill is probably a better SS than Eckstein is. This would also save us some cash to pursue a big bat in the off season. Of course this is all contingent on the fact that Aaron Hill recovers from his concussion by next year which I think he should. Thanks, Mike!

    MW: I think moving Hill back could be a consideration (assuming he’s back healthy and all that), if there was no obvious answer at shortstop for the next little while.

    - Matt S
  44. 44.

    Michael,

    Listened to the podcast of JaysTalk from Sunday and was struck again, by the naiveté of your response to the interesting call about the change of manager being done to help Riccardi and his players achieve their potential. On some level, Michael, I imagine you know that there’s a huge literature on the role of leadership — psychological and emotional. Now maybe you think that leadership literature is all crap, but, if so, you should make an argument as to why. But really, I get the impression that you just choose to ignore all that learning and discussion on the topic. You always come back to the fact that Gibbons hadn’t done anything to lose his job, but never consider that he hadn’t done enough to keep his job. There are subtle dimensions to leadership — communications, trust-building, confidence empowering — that are partially a factor of aptitude, partially of experience. Even if Gibbons knew what needed to be done from a psychological perspective (which I’m not sure he did), it doesn’t mean he had the make-up or skills to do it.

    Yes, he managed the pitching staff well, yes he called a good game offensively, yes he was right (according to Jeff Blair, right from spring training) in wanting to get rid of Frank Thomas, yes he tried everything he could strategically and technically. But you seem to be strangely resistant to the fact that managing, in any walk of life, is about more than technique and strategy.

    Well, leadership is the one thing for which Gaston is famously gifted (even if his strategic and technical skills were regularly questioned), so the rest of this season should be an interesting laboratory to test some of this stuff out.

    As always Michael you remain the worthy adversary. Have fun. Play ball.

    MW: I try, thanks. My response, I guess, is that John Gibbons could effectively lead the offense to reach its potential in 2006, but the team didn’t pitch well. The last two seasons, he was able to effectively lead the pitching staff, but the team didn’t hit. I’m not sure how that works into the entire argument. Are you saying that there’s something inherently lacking in Gibbons that prevents the team from having all facets working together at the same time? That I don’t believe. I don’t think there was any player who was confused as to where he stood with Gibby, nor was there any player who believed that he didn’t have his back. Can the (relative) disappearance of Alex Rios be blamed on Gibbons? If so, how do you explain the last two years? There seem to be more than a few contradictions to the leadership issue as it describes John Gibbons, which is why I dont put a lot of stock in it. If the Jays just hit .260 with RISP like they did the rest of the time over the first 74 games of the season, John Gibbons would be a great leader of men.

    - Mikie
  45. 45.

    Sorry to hear about Ernie Whitt’s lack of professionalism or maybe it’s his intense competitiveness. Regardless, I appreciate the fact that because you have to deal with him at the WBF you are trying to keep the lines of communication open with him. By doing this you are better able to report and comment to your listeners and readers. Great thinking Mike!

    Btw, I must say that when I heard that Cito was coming back with “his World Series crew” I immediately began to giggle like a little girl! Also, I thought only Danny Ocean was allowed to hire his own crew! Way to go Cito!

    KK

    MW: Intense competitiveness is often used as a euphemism for immaturity.

    - karim kanji
  46. 46.

    What do you think will happen if you do tell the whole Ernie Whitt story?

    MW: He’ll never talk to me again, but more importantly, what do I have to gain by it? If I tell the whole story, I lower myself to that level, do I not?

    - Shmuel Yitzchok
  47. 47.

    What is the number of wins, in your opinion, that it will take to make the Wild Card this year?

    For argument’s sake, let’s say it’s 88. Do you believe the Jays can go 52 and 33 in their last 85 games to make it? Curious for your honest opinion. And yes, I plan to keep watching and listening to see if they’ll do it, because it’s fun and I love the team.

    MW: I think 88 or 89 will get it, and yes, I think the Jays can do that. Do I think that there’s a very good chance that they will? No.

    - Cam
  48. 48.

    Hi Mike
    Finnally I can say nice win.It has been a while.After thinking about it I think Gaston is the perfect fit for the team because it will allow the team to take a breath.Also I feel that what Denbo did was confuse everyone.What I mean is that the team went into a funk trying to implement a new hittting stategy when it didn’t work and they tried to go back to what they were acustomed to they began thinking to much which only made things worse.You work the count but you also have to have a stategy.You can’t let a fastball down the middle go just because it is strike one.I have seen that go on all year.J.p. even suggested that the word going around the league was that we weren’t agressive early in counts.Perhaps it wasn’t all Denbo’s fault but sometimes things begin to snowball and there is nothing you can do about it.I honestly can’t believe what world Whitt lives on.Be upset about losing your job but to make yourself out to be something your not is ridiculous.Gaston didn’t want you on his staff get over it.But after hearing about your chat with him I guess he is a real jerk.If the Jays do get into the trade market what types of player should they go after,prospects or major leaguers?
    mario
    Go Jays!!!

    MW: I think the Jays wait to get into the trade market for at least another three weeks, and what they look for depends on how the team is playing.

    - mario
  49. 49.

    Oh cruel world! The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat! Mike, I think I need to sulk for alittle bit today. As for Whitt, I really don’t give a whitt!

    MW: I appreciate the comments, but you don’t need to link to music videos.

    - Vito From Hamilton
  50. 50.

    Mike,
    No need to give Denbo all the credit for the lack of hitting. Simply the idea that he has done more harm than good would be enough. Three hits per 100 ABs and the Jays are hitting .230 with RISP. Can a hitting coach make that much of a difference?

    MW: .230 is still pretty horrendous.

    - JW
  51. 51.

    You know, I think I just figured out Rios. When there’s a play in the outfield, he focusses. Because, after all, he might get a chance to show off his mad defending and throwing skillz and the camera will dwell on him. But when he’s on the basepaths it’s the other guy’s moment in the spotlight. So nothing to do with him. He can think about his next helicopter trip or whatever because whatever happens, he won’t be the focus of it.

    An exaggeration, I know. But he don’t half stop concentrating when someone else is the major person in the play. Stuff like this goes to character and isn’t eradicated easily.

    MW: I don’t think that’s the case at all.

    - isabella reyes
  52. 52.

    Jesse Barfield – 2009 Hitting Coach

    What do you think Mike?

    MW: I haven’t been privy to his words of wisdom on the broadcast. I’d like him to do some coaching first.

    - The Rat
  53. 53.

    Mike, I think you must be in a slump with BISP (Bloggers in scoring position)

    It’s been almost a week (June 18) since you broke 200, and 4 straight now with less than 100. What gives?

    MW: I don’t know, but as long as people are still reading, that’s fine with me. Might be because the last few days I’ve been slow in responding to/posting the comments.

    - Norm
  54. 54.

    OK Mike, I know you don’t believe in my line of thinking but you didn’t address my main point that the franchise needs to go in a different direction. There’s one guy on said message board I mentioned earlier who wants to keep the SABR aspect and would like to bring in people like Jed Hoyer, Login White and Kim Ng. I, on the other hand think this team needs an older and more experienced guy who puts more emphasis on scouting and a little less on the whole OBP/SABR aspect.

    I mean that’s all well and good but as I heard Gene Tenace say when interviewed by Jerry on the radio is that sometimes there’s TOO much information and reliance on those stats when it should be about trying to be aggressive and key in on a certain pitch.

    Last but not least, my feeling is this, I’d rather see a lot of kids drafted who have raw potential that can be shaped into becoming a very good MLB pitcher/position player.

    As for Ernie Whitt (since everyone is talking about him) That’s real disappointing what he said in the Sun. I had a lot of respect for the guy and while I didn’t think he was the best coach around I did think that at some point he’d manage this team at least on an interim basis. It’s such a shame that he’d lash out in such an immature way.

    MW: I do think that a happy medium has to be found between the scouting and the sabermetric approach, but I don’t think Ricciardi is a pure-numbers as most people seem to think he is. I think the next GM, whenever he arrives, will be one that comes with a bucketload of experience, rightly or wrongly. And I’d rather see kids who can play baseball drafted.

    - Chris F.
  55. 55.

    Yay for first pitch swinging.

    I love Overbay, but was getting really tired of him trying to work himself out of an 0-2 hole. It seemed like the scouting report on him read that he simply won’t swing until there are two strikes.

    Maybe there really was a Denbo effect.

    - Ryan
  56. 56.

    Mike,

    An interesting article (at least from the 5th to last paragraph) that I thought I would pass along. I’m not a JP hater but I found the stats in here disconcerting. http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8269198/Why-do-GMs-get-free-pass-while-managers-get-axed?

    - Sean Court
  57. 57.

    I am sad about losing gibbons but, if he was going to be fired, I think they did the right thing by firing all four.
    Butterfield, from what i hear, is very good and if arnsberg is in any way responsible for the pitching then you can’t fire him. So, those two aside, if you want to change the culture the team you can’t change the manager and leave all the supporting pieces. Firing gibbons alone would be ridiculous.
    The more i think about it the more i believe baseball has to do something about the draft. This “over slot” thing is stupid. The draft is supposed to be a way for low budget teams to even the playing field. If yankees can overpay there too how is anyone supposed to compete? Do you know of any movement to do something about this. IE standardized entry level contracts.

    MW: I think allowing draft picks to be traded would do more than standardized entry-level contracts. That is to say, I don’t think the union would ever agree to the latter.

    - jeremy
  58. 58.

    Mike, two quick things:

    1 – My apologies for using the ‘RI(s)P Gibby’ line the other day – when I saw your subsequent comment re “can’t believe people using these terms”, I immediately did a forehead-slap.

    2 – Have you heard whether the recent shakeup has provoked a ticket sales bump? One would think it would have…new story-lines, drama, etc.

    Harang vs Halladay on Wednesday – I like the look of that!

    -TJ

    MW: 1 – Big of you. 2 – I haven’t heard anything, but I’m interested to see how the ballpark looks tomorrow.

    - TJ
  59. 59.

    Mike: I am a die-hard Jays fan and always will be. That is part of the reason I hated to see them treat Ernie Whitt like they did. I believe Ernie deserved better and should have been offered a post somewhere in the Organization. He may even have deserved a shot as Manager i.e. Buck Martinez. Buck got his shot and failed but it does not mean Ernie would have as well. I was a huge J.P booster for many years but I know think it is time for someone else to figure this out because J.P certainly has not. His handling of many situations and his comments about Adam Dunn show me that he either wants out of town or he is totally unaware of what he is saying or doing.

    - David R
  60. 60.

    Mike you say:

    MW: I don’t think stability in the line-up has anything to do with anything, but Cito will definitely bring that, so we’ll see.

    Why do you think this?..These players are not baseball cards, they are actual players

    What is the highest level of baseball you ever played or managed – and please dont reference your current softball beer league..the answer to this question will help me understand how serious I should take you when you make comments that MLB players and managers disagree with

    MW: I have never played baseball at an elite or professional level. Never made any secret of that. I didn’t know players weren’t baseball cards, though, so you’ve got me there.

    - Matthew
  61. 61.

    With a few more outings Scott Downs could enter bizarre territory with an ERA lower than his WHIP.

    In 2007 only 3 AL pitchers did that, all in very limited innings – Chamberlain, Lance Broadway, and sweet Joey Devine.

    Talk about getting the big out right when you need it, over and over…

    By the way please accept my apologies for my brain cramp when I asked why Stewart didn’t pinch run for Stairs. Too long out in the sun at my son’s softball tourney I guess…

    MW: No problem.

    - James (from the 'Shwa)
  62. 62.

    Is there anyone on the mets who is or will be on trading block that the Jays have a chance of getting maybe Beltran…??? What about Delgado do you he could regain the power & would he would be a good fit on this team, he was the leader of the team years ago.

    MW: The Mets have a better record than the Blue Jays.

    - DMills
  63. 63.

    “Yeah, the Mench move didn’t work out at all, but it didn’t cost them anything but a month of crappy production against lefties.”

    Actually Mike, it costed exactly what I told you over a month ago it would cost. I complained that bringing in Wilkerson & Mench gave JP a certain comfort feeling he should never have had, so much so that he sent Lind back to AAA and never acquired another bat for LF and DH. Just because a move doesn’t cost you any $ DOES NOT mean it’s a low risk pick-up. The cost of grabbing Mench & Wilkerson is that they both provided sub .700 OPSs, taking time from other, more deserving players (even Joe Inglett). It’s one thing to try and calm everyone down who is going nuts by saying these guys are talented and are underperforming ; it’s another to look at basically every single decision that has turned out badly and say you agreed with it at the time it was made. These moves, along with releasing Thomas and Reed, are real, tangible mistakes that JP has made this season, and yet you consistently shrug them off as moves you would have made too at the time. Well frankly, Mike, I’m glad you are just the radio host, because you would be a terrible GM. At least you are clearly working on your people skills though, something JP may want to take note of and try it out himself.

    MW: There was nothing wrong with the move to pick up Kevin Mench. The Jays needed a DH against lefties, and he was a guy who had proven he could do that effectively. He just didn’t. Congratulations on being a clairvoyant.

    - Ari
  64. 64.

    I would suggest that Kevin from Avonlea should no longer be allowed to post on this blog. That rant a couple of days ago was unacceptable.

    Just so you know, this blog, sadly perhaps, is a big part of my day. I check it several times a day to read the musings of both you and fellow Jays fans. Great work Mike, and thanks for taking the time to answer all of our — in some cases — ridiculous thoughts, opinions and questions.

    Now let’s get some runs!!

    MW: And yet, the commenter above insinuated that the rant was justified.

    - Cam
  65. 65.

    #1: Awesome.

    #2: Because it can be funny.
    “is it pure coincidence that three of those teams are in the A.L. East?”

    I’ve shown you the details before, but there has been ONE SEASON in which the Jays, Rays, or Orioles could have reasonably been expected to even have a chance at the playoffs if they were in another division. You can hang on the fact that the Jays pitching staff takes a beating against the Sox/Yanks, but I doubt any truly sharp baseball mind would agree with you on the fact that that would make up the difference you’re implying it would.(Obviously that statement is just opinion and I can’t back it up, so take it with a grain of salt. Or rather, discount it completely if you wish.)

    As for the hitting coaches effect, check out The Mockingbird(bjays.wordpress.com) if you haven’t already for a couple of good points/links on the subject. I’m not saying it proves anything substantial, but it is interesting and gives some solid information. The Mockingbird has slowly become my favourite Jays blog because there is truly a lot of unqieu analysis there.

    - Dan W
  66. 66.

    Michael of the Ballyard:

    John Lott wrote a piece yesterday on Stairs’ delight in Denbo’s firing (or implied delight, anyways). He said very clearly that he and several other hitters had severely regressed from what Denbo was telling them then. Does this change your mind on the size of the impact Denbo possibly could have had?

    Funny that I’m the one bashing coaches now, heh. At least I’m not being childish about it and am using major leaguers’ opinions to defend my own :)

    MW: What I still continue to not understand is why the hitters, if they felt Denbo was ruining them, didn’t simply stop listening to him? It’s not as though there would be any repercussions. If they started hitting well all of a sudden, they wouldn’t be benched. I’ll find out more Tuesday when I actually get to talk to a lot of the hitters.

    - JCL
  67. 67.

    Mike, how long do you think before the Jays announce the new President/GM is Pat Gillick?

    MW: I don’t think he’d get both jobs, but his contract with the Phils is up after this season.

    - Ian
  68. 68.

    WBC — Is it a tournament or a festival? I am trying to sell this to my non-baseball friends, and it won’t help if they call it a festival. Festival sounds pretty campy to me.

    I thought it was a world tournament featuring the best representing their country. I am really looking forward to it in Toronto next year.

    MW: I’ll always call it the Festival. I found it quite humourous that the first-ever one was called a “Classic” before a pitch had even been thrown.

    - Jim B
  69. 69.

    Mike,
    After watching the CBC broadcast on TV I came to the realization that I enjoyed listening to certain commentators much more than the Rogers broadcast. Now I know your in radio (and I personally love the radio brodcast), but I was wondering if there was anywhere a viewer can send suggestions or comments to Rogers Media help improve the TV broadcasts?
    Thanks

    MW: I’m sure there are lots of places, I just don’t know where to send you.

    - Denny
  70. 70.

    Hey Mike,

    I don’t know if you’ve seen this article yet http://www.nationalpost.com/sports/story.html?id=606643

    I don’t know what your take on Matt Stairs is, but from what I’ve seen he tells it like it is, and if he says Denbo screwed up the players’ swings, I’ll take his word for it. There are some naturally aggressive hitters and some natural pull hitters (Stairs is probably in both camps) on this team. Mr. Stairs seems to feel that these types of hitters were most affected by Denbo’s instruction. The article also implies that there was a one size fits all approach to hitting, which from my observations (obviously not expert or “coach” level) would work against the uniqueness of each player’s swing and could be one cause of the type of team-wide ineptitude that has occurred so far.

    As for Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada’s high praise of Denbo and the general success the Yankees enjoyed offensively, remember there were a lot of patient hitters already there when he got there. I’m not sure if they also went the other way with the pitch, although I know that Jeter is a master at it. I think he always was, so Denbo might’ve fit his approach like a glove (even if his glove sucks – couldn’t resist). As for Posada, I can’t recall if he’s an opposite field hitter or not, but obviously Denbo’s approach would work with some guys, while alienating others.

    On this team, I would think guys like Stairs, Rios, Wells, and Hill would be the most negatively affected by this my way or the highway approach. You’ve repeatedly questioned why they wouldn’t go back to what they were successful with before. That depends on Denbo’s personality. I heard your interview with him earlier in the year and it seemed to me that he was extremely concerned with the guys using the right (his) approach and that the results would take care of themselves. I wonder (and we’ll never know) what happened between Denbo and player x, if player x had a successful outcome in an at bat, despite straying from the almighty method, what the dynamic was between Denbo and player x? Oh, to have been a fly in the dugout.

    Speaking of the “new” approach, has Cito mellowed over the years? He’s now saying do what you’re best at. If you’re a pull hitter, pull the ball, if your an opposite field hitter, go the other way. Either he has changed his stance or Gord Ash was the one who wanted Olerud to become a pull hitter, when Olerud was run out of town on a rail in return for the “great” Robert Person.

    If Cito has mellowed, I think it can only help the embattled hitters, but of course time will tell. It seemed like they hit more balls hard yesterday than they had in the entire month of June prior to that. That could just be my GIDP-feeble swinging strike 3-feeble popout-take strike 3-addled brain talking, or it could be the start of something new and worth watching. I’m not asking for playoffs anymore. I’m just asking for baseball I can watch without breaking the TV and other valuable items, and if by some miracle playoffs come, that’s the icing on the cake. I’m definitely not holding my breath though. Nice to hear you on Prime Time Sports. Sorry for the lengthiness, will try for less Joyceness in the future, but can’t promise anything.

    MW: No problem. I did see John Lott’s fine article, and referenced it on PTS. I’m looking forward to talking to some of the guys to find out the real story.

    - Tom the Intern
  71. 71.

    Mike,

    I guess The Jays can play spoiler again this year like they do every year under John Paul. Keep defending everything under the sun Blue Jay OK. It makes you look very objective. How come you bailed out of the Bullpen Show?

    MW: I didn’t bail, I just completely forgot about it. The fine producer (Dave Cadeau) had asked me to do it on Friday, and we didn’t have any communication since until he called me at about 10:50 this morning to ask where I was. A lot of stuff has happened since Friday morning.

    - bruno
  72. 72.

    Hey Mike,

    Any chance you are going to be in contention for Chucks spot in the afternoon?

    MW: And give up baseball?

    - Stevie H
  73. 73.

    Ye Gods. I’m not sure it would be possible to butcher “unique” any worse than I did. My bad.

    MW: I enjoyed that.

    - Dan W
  74. 74.

    It appears jesse litch is coming back down to earth. I love the kid’s attitude – seams like a scrappy young buc. BUT, I have been calling him Josh Towers version 2.0 for quite some time, do you think he will have a better career W/L, ERA, than Towers? About the same? If history is any indication, he is due for a big raise from the current regime and will be waive within a year.

    Part two, why doesn’t JP ever admit to his mistakes? IMO, he hasn’t been brutal, I like the Rolen and Overbay deals. BUT, I would just love to hear him say, “I shouldn’t have signed an over-the-hill DH for the $ I did”, or “I shouldn’t have signed the injury prone SP for the $/yrs I did”. Maybe in his biography in about 20 years when he is lobbying for hall of fame votes he will. I’m not holding my breath though.

    MW: Hall of fame votes? That’s not going to happen. He has admitted that releasing Chad Gaudin was a mistake, along with signing Corey Koskie.

    - Adam K
  75. 75.

    Hey Mike..Gotta sat I luv your blog..I enjoy the opportunity to talk baseball with someone as knowledgeable as yourself..Maybe I could find myself an “intern” too..However, in 2001 Halladay had an era of 3.16 and Billy Koch saved 36 games..But I do agree, to a certain extent that only time will tell just how well J.P has drafed..Baseball America is one of the best when it comes to assessing talent..We’ll see..Hopefully your blog will still be here in a decade or two..

    I read in the Sun today that the Jays new hitting coach Gene Tenace wants the Jays to “grip it and rip it” and that there were some issues with the approach that Denbo had..How much can a hitting coach really do?..One would think Denbo, who had some good success in New York, didn’t become a dummy overnight..

    MW: I have trouble believing that Denbo had as much influence as some are now suggesting. Halladay was still in the minors at this point in 2001, but you’re right on Koch.

    - Ray
  76. 76.

    It’s not clairvoyance Mike. At some point, even if EVERYTHING a GM does is right, he has to be fired if the results aren’t the right ones. Because you can say all you want that hindsight is 20-20, but if over an extended period of time all these “correct” decisions aren’t producing anything on the field there needs to be some serious evaluation as to if they were correct to begin with.

    Good work on the roundtable today. I don’t think either of Schilling or Mussina belong in the HOF, to me they seem to fall in Jack Morris territory. Ace pitchers, but not the elite that should be in the Hall.

    MW: You’re correct that, if even all the right moves wind up going wrong, the GM will be fired. But if they were the right moves at the time, it’s very difficult to say that GM deserves to be fired.

    - Ari
  77. 77.

    Nice to hear you on with the Bobcat this evening Mike. You did a fine job as usual.

    Bob kinda droned on about this so I may have missed your opinion but what do you think of the possible John Tory for CEO idea? Personally I think that would be a great move and he’s been in sports and politics so he’d know how to handle everything from a business and sports side.

    Oh and I have to agree with Denny (post #69) The CBC broadcast from the commentary perspective is a lot better then Jamie Campbell. I actually like the chemistry between Rance and Jesse. I would love to see Rogers try to bring Jesse on board for a 3 man booth. It’d make Jamie a lot more bearable. I’d also love to see Ashby given a shot TV colour but I doubt that’d happen either.

    MW: Why do people have to take shots at Jamie here? He has his own blog where he can answer any complaints. If Godfrey has to go, Tory would make a fine successor, I think.

    - Chris F.
  78. 78.

    Hey Mike I’m with you 100% that there is no way Denbo Screwed up 7 players. but he could of screwed up one or two no?? I mean Alexis Rios has looked awful this year. I read this morning that the new hitting coach has told him to start pulling the ball. Something I suggested a couple weeks ago.

    MW: You should OF have your resume in there, Dan!

    - dan M
  79. 79.

    I am hearing that the mariners are blowing the team up. Sounds like everyone except Ichiro can be had. Silva, Washburn and Bedard might be interesting replacements for Burnett. I like their catcher, I presume the asking price would be high on him. Do you like the Jays going after anyone on the Mariners?

    MW: Silva and Washburn have been awful ever since they signed with Seattle, and in a pitchers’ park yet. Bedard I don’t know, he seems to be the left-handed Burnett, though not as bi-polar (wrong pole, unfortunately).

    - jason
  80. 80.

    my name is Brock Ryan i am 8 years old
    im a big fan of Alex Rios

    MW: Welcome aboard, Brock!

    - brock ryan
  81. 81.

    Mike,

    Would you be interested in a play-by-play TV broadcasting role, if it was available or would you rather stay in T.O. and not have to travel? Maybe once the family has grown up?

    Just curious.

    MW: If the right job came along, I’d be very interested, but no one has knocked on my door yet.

    - DJJAY
  82. 82.

    Thanks Mike. I feel alot better now.

    - Vito From Hamilton
  83. 83.

    Stairs happy to see end of old hitting coach:

    http://www.nationalpost.com/sports/story.html?id=606643

    MW: So referenced above.

    - Flaming Moe
  84. 84.

    Mike, just something I happened to think of today and I was curious to get your opinion on it.

    I’ve noticed that the Jays have gone 6-15 since Aaron Hill went down with his concussion. Now, I know that you’re not one to put too much influence on a player’s effect on a team, or whom the leaders are in a locker room, but, just from my own judgmenet based on the way he carries himself in the media, it seems to me that Aaron may be a presence in the clubhouse that is being missed right now.

    Any thoughts on this?

    MW: Aaron hasn’t left the team, he’s been with them every step of the way, so his presence is still very much a factor in the clubhouse.

    - Chris
  85. 85.

    re: post #52
    I’m not so sure about Jesse Barfield as hitting coach and btw, he was hitting coach for the Mariners in 1998 and 1999 (below .500 both years).
    Love the new coaching staff now and I’m wondering if you have any idea what Tenace and Leyva were doing when they got the call from Cito? I’m not saying it matters, just curious. Were they in baseball at all?

    MW: They have both in baseball recently. Tenace was working with St. Louis this year, and Leyva was the third-base coach in Milwaukee last year.

    - Richard
  86. 86.

    Hey Mike,

    Are we to assume that Whitt listened (and, perhaps, continues to listen) to the Jays Talk each and every night, or did someone else tell him about what you said?

    Has anyone else in the organization told you that they listen to the show?

    MW: Lots of people listen to the show. I don’t know if Ernie listened or not, though.

    - Jason
  87. 87.

    Mike, the issue of coaches seems to have been a turbulent one with the Jays.

    Certainly, it’s a tad disconcerting to learn that John Gibbons didn’t want to turf Mickey Brantley, only to then see his friend J.P. Ricciardi do exactly that and bring in Gary Denbo. Then, when Gibbons and Denbo were fired, so too was Ernie Whitt, apparently as some sort of staff tradeoff between Ricciardi and Paul Godfrey – Ricciardi agrees to bring in Cito and his guys, but in return Godfrey agrees that Whitt can be sent packing.

    Gut reaction: Yikes!

    But is that a fair reaction, Mike? Or are these occurrences common among MLB teams?

    MW: A lot more common than we think. I’m sure. I know that I don’t keep track of the comings and goings of the coaching staff of other major-league ballclubs.

    - mike a
  88. 88.

    Mike,

    This is a follow-up to my previous post, which was mainly theoretical and suppositional. Warning: this post may contain data that is particularly damning to JP Ricciardi.

    Gary Denbo was the hitting coach of the Yankees in 2001. I decided to look at the Yankees offensive production for the 5 years pre-Denbo and the 5 years post-Denbo. The data will show that there’s a reason Denbo’s tenure as hitting coach lasted one year: the Yankees offensive production declined that year and then rebounded after he left. I’m no statistician so I have no idea whether the numbers are statistically significant or not, but they are damning nonetheless. Without further ado, the numbers:

    1996: .288/.360/.436 5.38 R/G 100 OPS+
    1997: .287/.362/.436 5.50 R/G 108 OPS+
    1998: .288/.362/.460 5.96 R/G 117 OPS+
    1999: .282/.364/.453 5.56 R/G 110 OPS+
    2000: .277/.354/.450 5.41 R/G 104 OPS+
    2001: .267/.334/.435 4.99 R/G 100 OPS+
    2002: .275/.354/.455 5.57 R/G 114 OPS+
    2003: .271/.356/.453 5.38 R/G 115 OPS+
    2004: .268/.353/.458 5.54 R/G 112 OPS+
    2005: .276/.355/.450 5.47 R/G 115 OPS+
    2006: .285/.363/.461 5.74 R/G 112 OPS+

    As you can see Mike, Gary Denbo’s year (2001) featured the lowest batting average, by far the lowest on-base percentage, the lowest slugging average, the lowest runs per game, and tied for the lowest OPS+ that the Yankees and their legendary, expensive offense had between 1996 and 2006. Pick your metric Mike, he was a disaster. It was the only time in those years that they failed to score 5 runs a game, yeah it was 4.99, but the next lowest was 5.38. 0.39 R/G over 162 games is 63 runs. Ponder that, let it sink in. The difference between Denbo’s season and the 2nd (and 3rd) worst of the 11 seasons is 63 runs. What could we have done with some extra runs (say 25-30) during the first 74 games? How many wins would that have been worth? Would John Gibbons and all the other coaches still have their jobs if Denbo had never been hired? We’ll never know the answers, but those results are as you like to say “not good”.

    I have often heard J.P. say that his favourite player in the game is Derek Jeter. Please tell me he didn’t put Jeter’s praise for Denbo above the objective evidence which a 10 minute search on the web could’ve dug up. I like a lot of the moves he has made, but this one is a categorical disaster, particularly in a season so important to his continued employment here.

    For all those of you whining about how the next GM better not be a sabermetric number-cruncher, I put forth that this organization has yet to employ one. His comments about Adam Dunn, the uber-sabermetric god of power, his hiring of Gary Denbo, and his signing of Royce Clayton point to a guy who is not numbers based. He is first and foremost a scout, who I’m starting to believe places intangibles and character above numbers when making his decisions. There’s nothing wrong with being a scout who values intangibles, just don’t pretend to be a sabermetric number-cruncher. Obviously, the ideal GM would have a grasp for both the subjective and the objective as well as the business side of the game and that is what I hope the Blue Jays will seek out whenever J.P.’s term comes to an end.

    MW: Very interesting numbers, though I’d take a 100 OPS+ from the Jays right now. I wonder if there’s more to it, though.

    - Tom the Intern
  89. 89.

    Who do you think will be at first base in the All Star Game?

    MW: For the American League? I don’t know, it’s really close. Kevin Youkilis and Justin Morneau are only 27,000 votes apart.

    - SunkendPr0
  90. 90.

    Mike,

    Has anyone ever seen you and JP in the same room?

    Its remarkable how lockstep you are with him on everything but Derek Jeter.

    I remember there was a talk show on 640 where the host would impersonate his guests and sometimes I wonder if you are just an alter ego of JP.

    Now you are only going by your initials on here. Interesting.

    MW: NOW I’m only going by my initials here?

    - Chris
  91. 91.

    Heya Mike, If I was taking shots at Jamie i’d do so. I didn’t even say anything particularly bad about the guy. I just don’t like his style per se.

    Anyways I can’t wait to see the crowd’s reaction tomorrow to Cito back in the RC dugout.

    I’ll also be interested to see what the other players have to say about Denbo and his influence on the hitters.

    Keep up the good work Mike.

    - Chris F.
  92. 92.

    Mike,

    A 100 OPS+ from the Yankees of this century is kind of like a 90 OPS+ for any other team except maybe the Red Sox. It’s terrible that a team that skilled and expensive could be league average. A .334 OBP from the New York Yankees? Ick!! I don’t know what the injury situation was that year, but they were good enough to lose in the last inning of the season. I guess the pitching must’ve carried them that year.

    What’s done is done, but I maintain he should never have been hired. When I started to look at the numbers, I figured he’d probably be middle of the pack, given the fact that Jeter and Posada liked him so much, but dead last or tied for last in everything? Yuck!!

    MW: Those numbers really were shocking.

    - Tom the Intern
  93. 93.

    Hey Mike

    JP is not a victim of circumstance. He is a victim of believing the misconception that Wells and Rios are elite hitters. Vernon is a good ballplayer, but not an 18 million/year franchise type guy. A top GM would not have given Wells that ridiculous contact, regardless of market value. It would have also been a good idea for JP to acquire a legit leadoff hitter in a year he expected to contend.

    If AJ does opt out of his deal, and with the money we saved on the Thomas debacle, will we have enough cash to sign a legit cleanup hitter in 2009? Who are the best free agents available next season?

    Thanks Mike

    MW: I’m pretty sure that Wells contract was being pushed on J.P. from above, much like Paul Godfrey had a major hand in the big Carlos Delgado contract. A legit leadoff hitter would have been a fine idea, which is why I was pushing for Kenny Lofton in the off-season. The best free agent big boppers? Mark Teixeira and Pat Burrell.

    - rick
  94. 94.

    Tom the intern’s stats are pretty persuasive. But the Yankees still got to the World Series in 2001, and a whisker of winning it in 7 games. That’s the sort of offensive dip I’d like to see in Toronto.

    If you take the stats at face value it therefore suggests that a hitting coach can have an effect, but good hitters will still hit. It doesn’t take 95% of the responsibility for the abject performance of the team out of of the hitters’ hands.

    Re Whitt. Without knowing the man, clearly few people can judge this one. All I’ll say is that Gibbons deserves as much credit for the way he took being fired as he should receive for his behaviour throughout his time as manager. You may or may not think he was a good manager, but his behaviour could be held up as an example of being ‘a good sport’. Whitt chose a different route, which is his prerogative.

    MW: The Yankees did have the lead going into the bottom of the 9th of Game 7, but they did it with a league-average offense. I agree with you, most of the responsibility is with the hitters themselves, but again, I look forward to getting the chance to talk to a few of them tonight.

    - ben
  95. 95.

    Message to Ernie Whitt

    “There is no crying in baseball” Tom Hanks

    - A Gard
  96. 96.

    Full marks to Lind for returning with a bang. Half marks to the Jays for breaking a bad loosing skid. No marks to you Mike for stating that you will not discuss Whitt just before slipping in your two cents on why you don’t like the man.

    MW: Sorry.

    - Jeff
  97. 97.

    Just a few comments

    “Intangibles” has to be the most over used word in sports.

    It was good to see some smiles on the faces of the Jays especially Adam Lind.

    So cool that #80 Brock posted.

    John Gibbons will land on his feet somewhere in the game. The class he exhibited won’t go unnoticed.

    Good segment on the round table P.T. Pity it was so short.

    - Larry Sipos
  98. 98.

    Hey Mike, What is the history between Bobcat and Cito? I heard Bobcat say tonight that he and Cito have had it in for one another in the past?

    Do you know anything about this?

    MW: Cito took some shots on the way out the first time, inferring that racism was an issue in the way some of the media covered him. He named three people specifically, one of whom was Bob.

    - Jerry Smith
  99. 99.

    mike, saw you on mccowan show and that guy with grey hair don’t know his name called roy “holliday” and you just sat there. If you don’t have the balls to correct him then don’t attack the listeners when they call in and screw up names

    MW: I don’t remember that. Kelley often says “HALL”aday – close enough, kind of.

    - rocco
  100. 100.

    Mike do you ever go to bjays.wordpress.com

    There is a great article on how much lower the blue jays OPS is this year on balls that are pulled

    - Chris
  101. 101.

    Hi Mike, maybe I missed something regarding Whitt’s firing,but it seems that everyone is upset at what Whitt said. I read the article in the Sun and the only thing that Whitt said that seemed inappropriate was “I was the best manager that the Blue Jays never hired”. This isn’t that bad and in ways it’s kind of true. How was this behaviour immature?, was there something that I missed? Please inform me, I’ve been on night shift all week and have missed the news.

    MW: You’ll have to explain to me in what ways that comment is kind of true. I think people are upset that Whitt separated himself from the rest of the coaching staff, saying that he understood Gibbons and Denbo should go, but not him. He said that he thought upper management had been oot to get him for a while.

    - Mark
  102. 102.

    Mike,

    I read on board after board in the offseason that the Jays should have made a run at signing Dallas McPhereson..

    He is killing the ball right now, and has almost as many homeruns in AAA as the entire Jays have combined…

    He seemed like a logical fit.. A left-handed bat, and worked as insurance to both Rolen and Thomas… He would have cost next to nothing, and had huge potential…

    Why didnt the Jays make a run at him?

    MW: McPherson was coming off an awful year after a poor year and had back problems. He is killing the ball right now for the Marlins’ AAA team – .288/.405/.621, but he’s missed 20 games. Personally, I’d have gone after Carlos Quentin.

    - Stevie H
  103. 103.

    “they were all listening to the same guy.”

    It doesn’t matter how good the teacher is – there’s always someone in the classroom that he or she can’t reach. Even with the best will and the best intentions in the world.

    Baseball teams only carry one hitting coach, and as a rule they always prefer that the hitter listen to just the one voice. There are many good reasons for that, but the slumping hitter is going to listen to anybody anyway, including cabdrivers and movie ushers. So you might as well have some options for them. Larry Hisle was the hitting coach in 1992-93, but there were two other guys in the dugout who had worked as hitting coaches for the same team and many of the same hitters. I think it helped. When Gaston himself had the job, he was happy to have George Bell work with the young Latino hitters. George and Cito had a good relationship, he would keep Cito abreast of what he was working on with them, and George spoke better Spanish anyway. (Bell lamented that Junior Felix was “uncoachable,” by the way.)

    Anyway, Gaston seems pretty clear that he wants to take advantage of having three guys in the dugout with some experience working with hitters.

    MW: There’s no question about that.

    - Daniel McIlroy
  104. 104.

    Mike, what was this lineup card issue last year and was ernie responsible for it?

    MW: There were two last year. Once the Jays hit out of turn, because the line-up handed to the umps wasn’t the same as the one in the clubhouse. The other was a game in which John McDonald was the starting shortstop on the line-up card but Royce Clayton went out to shortstop to start the game, meaning McDonald was out of the game. The line-ups weren’t Ernie’s direct responsibility, from what I was told, but part of the bench coach’s overall responsibility is to keep track of things like that – make sure the right guys are on the field, make sure the right guys are going up to bat, just act as kind of a failsafe back-up for the manager.

    - harold
  105. 105.

    Mike I want you to promise all the faithful bloggers and listeners, that if the Jays have two solid weeks of hitting, that you will blame Gary Denbo for the year that has been thus far. Promise?

    MW: Nope.

    - Dave
  106. 106.

    I”m travelling. I’ve been at late-night meetings. I’m groggy and tired and I’ve had too much coffee, so this suggestion is dumb.

    But Ichiro? Could he be had? How much would we need to give up?

    And interesting that the comments are now not ‘if JP goes…’ but ‘when JP goes…’

    MW: One of the first commenters (I think) on Friday suggested that with Gibby gone and Cito back, everyone would now calm down and be able to enjoy some baseball, and I countered with something like “nah, now everyone will try to get J.P. fired.” And it has come to pass. Ichiro could be had, but he’s 35 years old with a lot of mileage on him and is having his worst-ever season. I might still take a flier, depending on what it would cost.

    - isabella reyes
  107. 107.

    Rance Mulliniks!!! thats all for now.

    MW: Ooooooooooooooooook.

    - The Rat
  108. 108.

    Hello Mike,

    Who do you believe the Jays will bring up in Marcum’s absence? Purcey, Parrish or Kane Davis?

    MW: Probably Parrish.

    - T.Scholczy
  109. 109.

    “I have trouble believing that Denbo had as much influence as some are now suggesting”

    The Jays have swung at fewer pitches and watched more strikes go by than any team in baseball. That’s, at the very least, the start of a good argument.

    MW: Where did you get the “strikes taken” stat?

    - Dan W
  110. 110.

    Great news about Shaun Marcum not needing TJ Surgery. However, the finding was “strained ligaments”. TJ surgery is ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction. I would think one can’t be too far away from the other. I’ve commented to you before on your call in show on how I have become sceptical on how the Blue Jays management handle their pitchers. So, I guess my comment is; I don’t think (and I’m not a doctor) Marcum is out of trouble yet by any means with respect to TJ surgery, especially if they rush him back, or try to make him “pitch his was through it” like BJ Ryan last spring. And I guess my question to you is; what do you think? On a “concerned” scale of 1-10, where are you?
    Thanks.

    MW: I’m not willing to make the leap that you are. A strain of a ligament doesn’t mean that said ligament is about to rupture. They didn’t make Ryan pitch his way through it last year, they shut him down for nearly four weeks in the spring, and allowed him to try again when I think they pretty much knew he was going to need the TJ anyway. I’ll take the word of Dr. James Andrews over your guess that he’s not out of trouble.

    - Ryan
  111. 111.

    Mike,
    How long you gonna stick up for Gary Denbo? I knew from the beginning he was the problem for lack of hitting. You don’t have to be a rocket Scientist to figure that out. I can understand if 2 or 3 players having a bad year but all of them??? Like in School if you have a bad teacher the students will fail.
    This another Riccardi screw up for hiring the wrong people. I admire Rance Mulliniks and his comments everything he said makes a lot of sense.

    MW: I’m not sticking up for Gary Denbo. Not once have I said that I think he did a good job or that or he was the right choice. What I have said is that I don’t believe he could possibly have nearly as much influence as everyone seems to think. It’s funny that the comments (since Denbo’s departure) have gone from “this was a crappy, overrated bunch of hitters who weren’t ever all that good” to “Denbo ruined them”.

    - Angel galang
  112. 112.

    Mike,

    I was wondering if the pitching decisions were taken away from Gibbons. I’ve always felt that this was an area that he had real trouble with. after the series in BOSTON where he had Doc lose it in the 9th with NO ONE ready to go in if needed and the same the next night when he brought in Downs who just didn’t have it that night but again Gibbons left himself no options. It seemed to me that after that series that pitching changes came much more logically and relievers were warming up when starters were showing signs of needing relief. I know no one would have admitted to it before now and you have said how well Gibbons had coached this year I wonder if that might be the reason.

    MW: I don’t believe that there’s even a hint of truth in that.

    - darren in halifax
  113. 113.

    Mike, who would your all star team look like for AL at the all star game?

    MW: I haven’t even looked at that yet.

    - andrew
  114. 114.

    Breaking News:

    Fantasy Baseball Owner Rips Team In Media

    http://www.theonion.com/content/news/fantasy_baseball_owner_rips_team

    - Jim B
  115. 115.

    Mike,

    I really hope you get a chance to read Richard Griffin’s column on how Cito should be the new General Manager. It’s a riot.

    - Ryan K

    MW: I did.

    - Ryan
  116. 116.

    Do you think you can write a blog entry about who should be on the AL all star team at Yankees stadium once you thought about it? Also, why isnt Scott Campbell not being moved up to Triple A? He’s ripping it up in double A.

    MW: I don’t know if I’ll do that, I don’t know that I’ll stray too much from the non-Jaysic bloggage. Campbell is going to spend the whole year in AA, we’ve been told.

    - andrew
  117. 117.

    Not a Jays question, but a baseball question:

    With the Mariners-Mets game, Felx Hernandez hit a grand slam in the second inning and the Mets scored two runs, and even then, not until the fifth inning.

    Why didn’t Felix Hernandez get the win?

    MW: He left with an ankle injury with two out in the fifth. A starting pitcher must complete at least five innings in order to qualify for the win.

    - Marc
  118. 118.

    mike my bnai team needs a ringer wednsday and monday
    845 both games, msg me back if you wanna play

    this message is actually serious and we wont bug you about the jays i promise
    its in the d-1 division, the team is called ps i love you
    check out the schedule for details
    we realy want you to play let me know

    MW: Anytime the Jays are playing, I can’t play. And chances are I’m going to save my back injuries for the games that my actual team plays, but you never know if it keeps feeling good.

    - josh
  119. 119.

    Mike,

    For the article on the Jays abysmal OPS on balls pulled this year, check out:
    http://blog.baseballdigestdaily.com/blog/_archives/2008/6/23/3759154.html

    I think it’s still at the top of the page, but if it isn’t you can find it under the headline: “Stairs Glad To See Hitting Coach Go”. It’s further objective evidence that Denbo’s approach was probably not the best thing for this particular team. When you put that with Stairs’ opinions it’s starting to pile up against Mr. Denbo.

    For the article talking about the Jays swinging at the fewest pitches in the Major Leagues and allowing the most strikes to go by, check out:
    http://bjays.wordpress.com/

    Scroll down to the mock story titled “Fire Cito” written on June 21st, 2008 by Jonathan Hale after the 12-inning plus ca change affair on Friday night. Within that story is the heading “Credit where credit is due”. It references an ESPN Insider article that you can go to if you have the package (which I don’t). In said story, Inside Edge, a very reputable scouting/statsy outfit places the Blue Jays last in both categories, according to Hale, who didn’t divulge any further parts of the article and suggested readers buy their own ESPN Insider packages if they wanted to read it.

    The combination of the lack of aggressiveness and pull hitting of the Jays is very well documented by these two articles. I was shocked to see how much pull hitting can affect a players OPS, when compared to opposite field or up the middle hitting, but then again pull hitting probably produces more line drives, which is a “good thing”. Of course the Jays overall line drive percentage is very good, but I wonder if that holds true for their line drive percentage with RISP. My painful RISP memories from the first 74+1 games tell me that it doesn’t, but I could be wrong.

    - Tom the Intern
  120. 120.

    M-Dub,
    why do the orioles love left handed closers so much(BJ, C-Ray, Sherrill) and why do they love blowing their arms out even more???
    how many more innings do you think sherrill has in him this year until A. his arm explodes B. He stinks it up.

    also
    where the hell is Baez? Nevermind, i just looked it up…ouch

    MW: Chris Ray isn’t left-handed.

    - slobberface
  121. 121.

    Mike, explain to me how Richard Griffin has managed to place a bug in Jp’s phone?

    This is what he wrote in his article today.

    “The fact is Ricciardi’s frustrated call last week to Jays president Paul Godfrey to fire Gibbons may well have been the first step to his own demise.”

    and last week he somehow knew first hand that Godfrey was “furious” about Jp’s Adam Dunn comments.

    My question..can we get Richard Griffin do work for the military and place him in a counter espionage role where he will wire tap all our enemies and report back their devisive and evil schemes?

    - sammy jalazai
  122. 122.

    In 2006 BJ Ryan blew that save in Oakland and the Jays fell out of the race.

    In 2008 BJ Ryan blew that save in New York and the Jays fell out of the race.

    BJ Ryan is the real problem on this team. I will never forgive him for ruining two Jays seasons.

    Thoughts?

    MW: Please tell me how it’s B.J.’s fault that the Jays have gone 4-11 since that game in New York.

    - Gary
  123. 123.

    Mike,
    If you believe that a hitting coach doesn’t influence success or failure for hitters, why would a team waste money on them?

    MW: You need a guy to pull video, to facilitate things (hitting in the cage, batting practice, etc.) and a guy to whom players can go if they want to work on something or try to fix something.

    - JW
  124. 124.

    Adam Dunn is on his way to the big city of Toronto and you guys up there are going to get to see him up close and personal. Seeing that I watch him everyday and provided he’s not slotted to play the DH role, here’s what you will see:

    The Good

    Devestating left handed bat who hits tape measure blast to right field. Tends to run hot and cold, but when he’s hot he carries a team. I argue with my friends who like the Reds down here in Ohio about his throwing arm, they think it’s marginal, but I’ve seen him gun baserunners down on the basepaths with relative ease. The guy walked away from a full ride scholarship to the University of Texas as a running and throwing quarterback, so you know that arm is good for something. Imagine a 6 foot 6 inch 275 pound quarterback. It would take a lot of tacklers to bring him down.

    The bad

    Strikes out a ton. Probably once a game on average. Struggles to get to routine fly balls in the outfield, especially balls hit down the left field line that he has to make a long run for. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen a fly ball down the line he can’t get to that dropped and went all the way to the wall while the Reds pitchers watched the baserunners get two or three bases. It happens way too often with this guy. He’ll also clog up the bases, like former Jays Frank Thomas. He tends to get only one base on a single, regardless of where it’s hit. Going back to my previous point about him being a running and throwing quarterback, he wasn’t successful at that position because he was fleet of foot. He was successful at qb because you could not tackle him one on one.

    In the end, if I had a choice, I wish Dunn played for the Jays in spite of any shortcomings he may possess. Dunn and David Ortiz are the only two players that have 40 home runs, 100 rbi’s and scored 100 runs the last three years. Just because you have him it does not mean he has to play leftfield. I figure next year he’s either a dh or a firstbaseman somewhere.

    MW: I’d have him here to DH, too.

    - Jim Branscome
  125. 125.

    Hi Mike,

    Hope you are doing well.

    Just wanted to get your opinion on the following things related to the Jays;

    President: Pat Gillick
    GM: Tony LaCava
    Manager: TBD (Not sure who I’d like. Love the Gaston move but need to see how we perform the rest of the way – who do you like?)
    Play-by-Play Color guy SNET: Mike Wilner

    I’d love to hear a blog about what some of the Jays think/thought of Denbo. Will that be posted tonight after the game? I think that you mentioned you’d try to speak with some of them?

    Keep up the great work!

    P.S. If Jimmy Key was able to stay healthy and continued producing, would you have him in the HOF?

    MW: It would depend on how long he was able to keep producing. If Ricciardi has to go, I think Tony would be a great replacement, and who could argue with Pat Gillick in the top job? I didn’t get a chance to talk to anyone about Denbo today, as I had planned. I was corralled by a front-office type for an interesting off-the-record chat at the end of BP.

    - Lee
  126. 126.

    Yo Mike. We need a lot of Canadian players on this team. I’m thinking Justin Morneau, Joey Votto, Jason Bay, Russell Martin, Erik Bedard, Jeff Francis, Rich Harden, Mark Teahen, Matt Stairs. If our whole team was filled up with Canadians, we would win a lot more games then we are with these guys that have no passion for Canada.

    MW: I don’t think that’s the case at all. They’d win a lot more games because that team would be really good. Do you think that the Red Sox’ players have a passion for Boston?

    - anton
  127. 127.

    Hi Mike,

    I would imagine someone in a position like yours would have virtually unlimited access to player autographs, photographs, and most importantly stuff branded with ROGERS MEDIA.

    Somewhere stashed in my shed I have some dirt from 2nd base from the SKYDOME the night the Jays won the World Series in 1992. The dome was open to watch the game on the JUMBOTRON, most people stormed the field to celebrate!

    However, I also have a Tony Fernandez Cooper bat I won on the old segment ‘ IDA Stump The Expert’ that Tom and Jerry used to do on the radio.

    What is your favourite piece of Jays or baseball memorabilia that you have?

    Aneez

    MW: I actually don’t have access to a whole lot of memorabilia – and my wife won’t let me keep much. I have a baseball signed by the 1989 Welland Pirates and another signed by the 1997 Watertown Indians, those are pretty cool. But I think my favourite is my 2002 Blue Jays Media Guide, signed by Tom Cheek and Jerry Howarth.

    - Aneez
  128. 128.

    Mike,

    Do you think I should approach Adam Dunn at the batting cage and apologize to him for my remarks last week? I’m afraid he’s gonna hit me with his bat…Please advise.

    MW: Again, does this make people feel good?

    - JP
  129. 129.

    Further to comment 93. Do you reckon there is any value to considering trying to get rid of Vernon Wells at some point in the relatively near future? I’m not wanting to encourage some knee-jerk ‘dump Vernon’ thing, but he now has a decade long .281 batting average with an average of 60 RBIs per year (see, I can look up stats!!). So even if he begins hitting for average (which, as you often say, would solve most team problems), his record is not outstanding enough for him to be called ‘The Franchise’ on ‘The Season’ so often. If he’s The Franchise, we’re in deep do-do. Compares very poorly with Delgados 30/100 record for 9 straight years (barring one run in 2004).

    In other words should the Jays stick with him, or dump him and presumably suck up a huge wad of salary for what will now be a bargain basement hitter?

    MW: I think that the worst thing a team can do is sell low on a player, and that’s what they’d be doing with Vernon now.

    - ben
  130. 130.

    Mike buddy I miss ya buddy…I’m just sitting here on my deck in San Antonio sipping on a Corona and reminiscing about all the good times we had…I think Cito should have more luck with Denbo gone…the bats should start to heat up in July..I also think Dwayne Murphy will make a huge impact over Ernie…..talk to ya soon!

    MW: This is becoming epidemic.

    - Gibby
  131. 131.

    Ugh. One of my stats is rubbish on reflection. Namely the 60 RBIs per year is totally misleading because of partial years. Should be more like 94.5 RBIs in years with over 100 ABs, which puts him far closer to Delgado territory. Apologies. But still, what do you think?

    MW: I knew there was something wrong with that, but I didn’t say anything because RBIs don’t mean much to me. But he’s not close to the hitter Delgado was.

    - Ben
  132. 132.

    So Ricciardi was raised to tell the truth, and believes in telling the truth…they why on earth did he not tell the truth about the Beej last year?!?! I hope someone asks him this on Wednesday’s with JP, because I have my own ball game and won’t be able to do it myself!

    - Marls
  133. 133.

    Just wondered if Wilky was considered a sure bet by Cito, or if he went by Gibby’s notes? I thought that with Stairsy,a (more)solid left-handed bat on the bench, he should have gone with him. As it was,Wilky just stood there, got called out, then looked daggers at the ump. The pitches were there.

    MW: Wilky? Gibby? Stairsy?

    - Jack
  134. 134.

    Mike:

    When’s everyone going to figure out that I’m not a natural born leader, and that I just want to play Baseball, period. It’s not my fault the Jays opened the vault for me, although I realize that if they didn’t, someone else would have.

    Also, I plan on ripping the cover off the ball in the second half, so stay tuned, because it’s going to be a clinic.

    MW: Please stop this. It works for Jim Rome, send him these comments.

    - Vernon Wells
  135. 135.

    Mike

    If you were a betting man, what odds would you give on Toronto fans giving Adam Dunn a standing ovation on his first at bat?

    If i get there I’m doing it.

    MW: It didn’t happen. There was a small group down the third-base line that cheered, but that was it.

    - Prokopec
  136. 136.

    Do you think the Jays are getting their money’s worth out of Scott Rolen?

    MW: Close, but not quite.

    - Cam
  137. 137.

    We should lure shawn green out of retirement and sign him. It is brilliant.

    MW: I think they should go after Joe Carter first.

    - sean m.m
  138. 138.

    Hey Mike, since the Burnett is going to opt out if he has a good year and stay if he has a bad one. Would it be worth it to trade him and a bunch of other players to CLE for Sabathia and then try to resign him. This way they get rid of Burnetts contract and can spend like crazy on Sabathia or some other big name free agent.

    MW: Why would you trade the bunch of others?

    - DMills
  139. 139.

    Mike, Great move to call up Adam Lind, just let him play now. Remember Alex Rios when he came up, took him a while to get comfortable! I would like to see Robinson Diaz get the call up as well to DH/C, this way he could get some experince under his belt! I mean they cant go wrong from here on out.

    MW: Sure they can. The season’s not over.

    - Hardeep
  140. 140.

    Mike, the other shoe hasn’t fallen yet. When it does you will see peace and tranquillity in Jaysland. Even if they continue to lose, the fans will feel that the right people got the chop and will regroup for next year. It’s like we’ve cleared up all but one blot on the landscape and when that one’s gone everything will be lovely again.

    Well maybe not lovely. But liveable.

    MW: For some.

    - reyes
  141. 141.

    Where do you ulitimately see Lind hitting in the lineup once he is settled?

    MW: Maybe even second, but I think eventually he’ll slide in to 5-6, not likely this year, though.

    - Brett
  142. 142.

    Who are these guys? Rios(!), Rolen and Zaun have homered. And Scutaro and Inglett just made a highlight-reel double play. It’s probable that Arroyo is having a really bad night. But so far this is a fun game to watch…

    - reyes
  143. 143.

    Of course the Red Sox players have a passion for baseball. They just won two world series in the last 4 years.

    MW: That’s not what I asked.

    - anton
  144. 144.

    CITO and his boys are AWESOME!!!!!!!

    - Peter
  145. 145.

    Mike, can you explain Richard Griffin column on Gaston should be the Jays Next GM?

    MW: Nope.

    - andrew
  146. 146.

    Mike, I hope that the Jays didn’t just run into a struggling pitcher. If it is so be it. I hope that Arroyo helped wake the bat of Rios up, and stays awake for a long while.

    MW: It’s two struggling pitchers in a row – but they had made a whole lot of bad pitchers look good earlier in the year.

    - Allen
  147. 147.

    I dare you to say that the new Cito regime has nothing to do with this 20 hit attack tonight.

    The approach is noticably different, and a heck of a lot better.

    MW: I won’t say the new regime has nothing to do with it, it’s obvious that something is up, but it defies logic that one guy could get this whole team so turned around.

    - Rick
  148. 148.

    Hey Mike.
    I’m not one who thinks this offence is fixed I still think the offence isn’t good enough, but I could see Denbo screwing up Rios watching him this year it looked as though he was trying to go the other way sometimes.

    and everyone who’s talking about Richard Griffin (don’t get me started) but you missed his best comment of the year. In one of his mailbags a couple weeks ago he said Reed Johnson and Orlando Hudson were traded/released because J.P. doesn’t want anyone in Toronto more popular then he is lol.

    The Cito for GM probally does top that comment though.

    MW: I have always thought this offense was good enough.

    - dan M
  149. 149.

    Ok how about instead a bunch of others just Burnett, League & Accardo for Sabathia

    MW: So you would trade League and Accardo for the improvement between three months of Burnett and three months of Sabathia?

    - DMills
  150. 150.

    Mike,

    If the Jays are .500 at the All-Star break do you think they still have a realistic shot at the wild card?

    MW: It depends on your definition of realistic.

    - Zachary
  151. 151.

    You mentioned a few times you were looking forward to talking to the hitters about the changes.

    What did you find out from them?

    MW: I couldn’t, because of that off-the-record chat.

    - Cam
  152. 152.

    Hey Mike,

    What would the Jays have to give up to get Joey Votto?
    Would the Jays have to give up pitching prospects in the minors and or Marcum and McGowan? Or would it take something like Lyle Overbay and pitching prospects?
    Do you think this would be a good trade for the Jays if it somehow did happen?

    Thanks

    MW: Joey Votto isn’t available. I mean, if the Jays want to offer up Marcum and McGowan, or McGowan and Cecil, then maybe. But why would the Jays do that?

    - James R.
  153. 153.

    Yep and I’d trade Overbay, Hill, Eckstien, Wilkerson & prospect for CIN Votto & Phillips. Maybe even Rios, Lind & Zaun for TB Crawford & Upton. That is if either team would make the deal.(Would they)

    But the reason I’d trade for Sabathia is you get exclusive rights for the season & a short time after right(right?). Even if Sabthia leaves you definitly don’t have to to pay the rest of Burnetts contract so you have extra money for free agency.

    Isn’t that better than possibly having Burnetts contract on the books?

    MW: You definitely don’t have to pay the rest of Burnett’s contract anyway, but yes, you get an exclusive negotiating window until the end of the World Series. That’s not worth League and Accardo to me. The Reds would never ever even consider that deal, T-Bay might.

    - DMills
  154. 154.

    Where did all those runs come from? I wish we could lop a dozen off the top and distribute them in other games. We would be well over .500…

    On another note: T-Bay (45-31) is clearly about to fold. Well, next week, maybe. The week after? How about the week after that? The truth is that they’re a good team. How good? No one really knows yet. They don’t quite have the starting pitching star power of Halladay/Burnett/McGowan/Marcum but they’re an all-around competitive team. IMHO, of course.

    MW: Of course. I still think they’ll fade. And the fact that they’re playing well deep into June doesn’t change that. On June 24, 2005 the Orioles were 42-31, half a game out of first and sitting in the wild card spot. They finished 21 games out.

    - Geoff
  155. 155.

    What did you learn during your off the record chat with a front office type after BP today?

    MW: Lots of off the record stuff.

    - Cam
  156. 156.

    Mike:
    I have been listening to your show for the last 1 1/2 years.

    I thoroughly enjoy the way you handle yourself during Jays Talk.

    Your knowledge of the game is terrific. Your answers to some of the fruit cakes, as well as knowledgeable are very common sense as well as informative. Your command of players behaviour, reactions etc is fun to listen too.

    Thank you for the fantastic job that you do. It is very much appreciated. Keep up the good work.

    John

    MW: Thank you very much!

    - John Bebbington
  157. 157.

    Mike, Do you know if either of Jerry or Alan are jewish?

    MW: Yes, I do. They’re not. Why?

    - Jerry Smith
  158. 158.

    hey MW i know c-ray isnt left handed i just thought your statistical genius would let you know that 2/3 of LHP = a preference…im way smarter than you
    …k answer the question

    MW: I don’t have a crystal ball, I don’t know if or when Sherrill’s arm is going to explode.

    - slobberface
  159. 159.

    Mike, I was down in Pittsburgh this weekend, and I have to tell you that it was the best baseball experience of my life. The ball park and the view is incredible. Needless to say I love real grass, the look and smell compares to nothing else. The food at PNC is so diverse and good. You want a BBQ’d burger, you got it, you want pulled pork, you got it, you want a regular hot dog, it is there as well. Not to mention, chicken wings, sandwiches, and philly cheesesteak. But it is not only the food, but the way that the team and sponsors try and get the kids and fans involved. The street next to the stadium is closed, and there are many family oriented things to do. They have statues of the greats of Pittsburgh. Where are our statues, the Dome is not a great park, the food is awful. Give me a statue of Joe Carter jumping in the air, lets have a statue of Tom Cheek, George Bell on his knees. There is enough space around the ballpark to have some great things. It will be hard to go back to the Dome after being in such a beautiful park. Come on Ted and Paul, let’s make this stadium and surroundings great.

    MW: It all sounds good to me.

    - Jason
  160. 160.

    “…but it defies logic…”

    But this is sport, and it’s not logical. If it was, it would be a lot more boring. That’s where a lot of the fun is. The last bizarre illogical week has been a lot of fun and caught everyone of guard.

    “RBIs don’t mean much to me”. You’ve got to love a game where a player’s ability achieve the entire objective of the game is not viewed as important! Jeez – and you guys think cricket is weird. (Just teasing).

    MW: RBIs mean a lot to me when they happen, but what I meant (and I think you know this) is that the guy who drives in the run in tends not to do most of the legwork involved in scoring the run.

    - Ben
  161. 161.

    Mike,

    Your simply amazing. I congradulate you for knowing everything. Fans call in, you question them to show proof in there statement. Can you show me yours? Have you talked to Stairs? Your saying he’s lying to the fans and media with his statement of Denbo. Your just assume Mike, like all of us. Problem is your assumption are more wrong then right. The Jays must be so proud of J.P. He’s in front of practicaly every sport news outlet in all of north America calling him names. How can every writer, broadcaster, sport channel in Toronto be wrong but your right Mike?

    MW: My right what?

    - bruno
  162. 162.

    In the second AJ almost had another meltdown. One bad call hes yelling and all I thought was here we go again. Thank goodness for one of the best doubleplays of the year and the rest is history. AJs composure is becoming a liabilty, if the guy wasnt a headcase he would be a great pitcher. I hope Parrish impresses so AJ looks expendable, and marcum returns in time to deal Burnett. What could we see in return in dealing AJ?

    MW: The guy pitches eight innings of four-hitter and you’re ripping him? Is there anything he could do that you’d be happy with?

    - jason
  163. 163.

    You only get exclusive negotiating rights until the world series? I thought free agency didn’t start till Febuary? I never hear of anyone signing before that on sportscentre

    Hmm and I thought I knew baseball pretty well, but what do I know.

    Would you make that deal with Tampa?

    MW: Players can file for free agency starting 24 hours after the end of the World Series, the overwhelming majority of free agent signings happen well before February. Would I deal Rios, Lind and Zaun for Crawford and Upton? It’s a moot point, because it would never happen, but it’s interesting. Crawford has two under-market years left and Upton will more than likely be arbitration-eligible for the first time this year. Rios is locked up through at least 2014, and Lind will be under control until 2013. It’s really the two-for-two, Zaun is a reasonable piece, but wouldn’t make or break it. Crawford’s drop-off to a .324 obp this year is concerning, and Lind and Rios are the two best power-hitters in the trade. It’s close, definitely.

    - DMills
  164. 164.

    Hey Mike

    just reading a few comments. in regards to PNC park, i go there every year and it is my favourite park to visit. the pirates suck, but the park is worth the drive.

    regarding comment 129, there is no way you will find a team to absorb the Wells contract, and i wouldn’t pay for a portion of it and have Vernon play elsewhere. he is a gold glove calibre defender, and i guess jays fans will just have to accept that Vernon will not become a franchise player. .260 – .270 batting average, 20-30 homers and an onbase of around .340 is what we can expect, i just would like to see him moved down in the batting order, especially vs righties.

    nice to see the club bust out tonight, even if it was just an aberration.

    MW: Wells is a career .281 hitter, even with that awful year last year, so I’m surprised you’re resigned to having him hit .260-.270. If he gets back to his ’06 numbers, the contract is tradeable, but I’m with you, I’d like to see him moved down in the order against righties.

    - rick
  165. 165.

    Hey Mike,

    Can you tell us about off the record conversations as long as you don’t reveal who you were conversing with?

    I certainly understand your dilemma, which is that there is a fine line between keeping the fans informed and maintaining a trustworthy relationship with the players. But isn’t it ridiculous that such a dilemma even exists?

    Shouldn’t I, as a fan, be entitled to know everything that goes on with my team that relates to baseball. I am not asking to know which guys hit up the strip club after the game, or which guys are experiencing marital problems. That stuff is none of my business.

    However, when you are in a profession whose success depends on the leisure interest of thousands of people, everything that you do within that profession becomes the business of those thousands of people. Therefore, I have a right to know exactly how Alex Rios felt about Gary Denbo’s work with the team, or what Lyle Overbay thought of Marty Pevey’s approach to coaching first base.

    Matt Stairs gets it, but he is certainly an exception. One prime example of a guy who does not get it? Scott Downs. Shouldn’t there be some kind of rule that dictates that each and every player and coach on a team must make themselves available to the media and must answer each and every question that members of the media have (as long as it relates specifically to baseball) for a period of 30 minutes after each game?

    Certainly, such a rule would not prevent players from outright lying to the media, but at least it would get rid of the aforementioned dilemma, thus allowing the fans to get answers to some of the more interesting questions regarding the team.

    Can you empathize with me, Mike? If you cannot, then, as I wrote in my first paragraph, can you just tell us what you found out without mentioning any names?

    MW: I can definitely empathize with you, but I don’t agree that any of us has a right to know the things you mention above. We’re dealing with human beings, and there are levels to any relationships, some of which should be kept private sometimes. I would love to have that 30-minute rule – in fact, it would only have to be 10-15. It would make everyone’s job so much easier, both the reporters’ and the players’ (in reference to their “job” of dealing with us). As for the off-the-record conversation, I can’t fill you in because it would be obvious to whom I was talking. What I can promise you is, just like with every off-the-record conversation I have, the information revealed will better inform my opinions of what goes on, which in turn will help me to better inform you.

    - Jason
  166. 166.

    There is nothing more hilarious than a post with no grammatical correctness that rips you (bruno). Learn third grade english before you criticize.

    - Brett
  167. 167.

    In asking you my last question,I referred to players by their nicknames. You obviously, in an effort to put me down for that, have chosen to play dumb, not understanding(or answering) my question. Makes one rather fearful of asking a legitimate question. The sport should be baseball, not putdowns.

    MW: You shouldn’t ever be fearful of asking a legitimate question.

    - Jack
  168. 168.

    Mike, I missed the ‘off the record’ thing. Did it come up on Jay’s Talk? If it did, I won’t be able to hear it because I am on a Mac operating system :(

    In what context did this come up?

    MW: It’s in the comments section, I believe.

    - reyes
  169. 169.

    fine
    i’ll ask ken rosenthal then
    i bet he’ll know

    MW: Huh?

    - slobberface
  170. 170.

    “The Jays have swung at fewer pitches and watched more strikes go by than any team in baseball. That’s, at the very least, the start of a good argument.”

    You’re right, this was a pretty poor effort on my part in the way I phrased it, since that statement is simply not true. Presumably, a team like the Giants have swung at fewer pitches(low PA’s, low P/PA) and a team like the Texas Rangers have watched more strikes go by(high PA’s, high P/PA). Obviously a lot more goes into it than that and a lot of the information needed to make a statement like that is unavailable to the public as far as I know. Unacceptable carelessness on my part.

    Anyways, as you probably figured out, I was referring to the ESPN Three Things article which you’ve probably seen, and should’ve just stated it as “The Jays have swung at a lower percentage of strikes than any other team in baseball.

    MW: Better. Facts are always good.

    - Dan W
  171. 171.

    “Maybe even Rios, Lind & Zaun for TB Crawford & Upton.”

    MW: “T-Bay might.”

    Mike,

    While I respect your opinion a lot, if you seriously think the Rays would consider this offer you are seriously deluded.

    MW: I don’t know about that, and I gave my reasons.

    - GregJP
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