11:15 PM Eastern

Before the game, who in his or her right mind wouldn’t have thought that the Blue Jays would have trouble scoring more than one or two runs tonight? Edinson Volquez rode in to town leading the majors in ERA, strikeouts and opponents’ batting average, with a WHIP of 1.17, and Lord knows the Jays have had a hard time putting together any offense against even mediocre pitchers. Not tonight, though.

It was an ominous beginning for Volquez – he walked Matt Stairs to lead off the second, and Scott Rolen followed by going deep, a laser beam into the 100 level in left field. It was the first homer that Volquez had given up to a right-handed hitter this season in 17 appearances (16 starts). The game would feature some other firsts (of the season) for the young righty: First time he failed to make it out of the 5th inning, first time he’d given up more than three runs (he gave up seven, five earned) and first time he didn’t strike anybody out. This was a terrific building-block game for the Blue Jays’ offense. Their fourth in a row, kind of.

The Jays scored three runs in the 3rd inning, with only one hit! They caught a break when Jerry Hairston, Jr. didn’t touch second thanks to Volquez’ high throw on a potential double-play ball by Rios, and second base ump Joe West actually noticed (good on him – most umps wouldn’t), but they took advantage of a couple of walks, a hit batsman, and a CLUTCH TWO-OUT SINGLE BY LYLE OVERBAY (sorry, I had to) to turn a 2-0 lead into a 5-0 lead. Overbay, it should be noted, has now come through with a big hit twice in the last three opportunities he’s had to do so.

How many innings have we seen this year wherein the Jays get multiple hits and walks, and even a home run and only score a run? This was good. So was the 5th, when they sent Volquez to the showers with three doubles in four hitters. Vernon Wells had the second one, driving in Alex Rios for his second RBI of the night and career 614th. Wells passed Tony Fernandez for 5th on the Jays’ all-time list.

Jesse Litsch pitched the way Volquez was supposed to, facing one batter over the minimum through five and going eight strong innings, allowing just three hits, walking only one and setting a career high with six strikeouts. Given the fact that the Reds’ line-up was loaded with good left-handed hitters like Ken Griffey, Jr., Adam Dunn, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce, and other left-handed hitters like Jerry Hairston, Jr., Corey Patterson and Paul Bako, this was certainly unexpected. Coming into the game, lefties were hitting .302 against that smooth son of a Litsch. Tonight? .143.

I feel bad for Votto, especially. He comes home for the first time in his big-league career, probably won’t be back for six years, and goes home pretty much empty-handed. He’s going to be a great hitter, and will serve our country well in future World Baseball Festivals, but in this series he was held to just one double in 11 at-bats, with two walks.

After the game, it was Wednesdays with J.P.; The Thursday Edition, and after we began the show by saying that what’s Dunn is Dunn, we got down to some baseball talk. Here it is, for your listening pleasure:

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Among some of the highlights, J.P. said that he has complete autonomy over all baseball decisions, and that after getting to know Cito realized that he was the guy to take over the club, better than other big names like Buck Showalter and Bobby Valentine, because Gaston was familiar with the players. Ricciardi likened Cito to the late Bobby Mattick, who he thought of as kind of a wizened sage in the time they got to spend together.

J.P. agreed with the opinion that I’ve put out here several times that a coach can’t have the kind of effect on a hitter that many seem to think Gary Denbo did here. Granted, he has a bias, since he hired Denbo, but he also hired all these hitters (yes, Wells and Rios beat him here, but they’re now operating under contracts to which he signed them). But like he said, these guys are all adults, they’re not high-schoolers who will jump when they’re told to.

Aaron Hill is going to Florida on Monday to begin light workouts if he stays OK through the weekend. That would put him a couple of days ahead of the two weeks of nothing prescribed by the University of Pittsburgh docs last week. J.P. said the fog is starting to clear, and he was bang-on when he talked about Hill being glassy-eyed and not looking right last week. It was painfully, and sadly, obvious. Hopefully he looks better now. He’s in town, but hasn’t been around the ballpark.

Lastly, Ricciardi didn’t sound sold on Joe Inglett, though he knows he can’t ever send him to the minors again. He said that Inglett, and players of his ilk, “will never get the benefit of the doubt” since he’s been long since labeled a back-up, or even a AAA lifer. Gaston loves what he’s seen out of him so far, though, and how could he not?

I’m seriously looking forward to seeing Cito and the gang in the baby blues tomorrow night. With Bobby Cox in town, as well. I hope someone remembers to fly the U.S. flag upside down!

Comments are encouraged, as always. I caught up today – thanks for your patience!

111 Responses to “Who Says The Edinson Kid Always Wins?”
  1. 1.

    Hi Mike,

    I am not sure many of us care about JPs opinion surrounding the coaches effect on hitting. We have eyes and we are seeing what has been happening since the coaching changes. I also continue to love the same order everyday. Gibbons had me going cross-eyed with the lineup flip flopping.

    I also refuse to believe Lind coming back up was a JP decision, if JP wanted him up so bad he would not have waited so long and put us through the pain of watching Mench for weeks on end.

    I do agree with you (as I was at the game last night) that there is a different feel about the club and down 5-0 for the first time as a fan I did not panic, I felt like they could come back.

    The one thing I loved is when Lind laid down the nice sac bunt, Cito jumped up clapped his hands, greeted him. This is what we missed from Gibby. He would only do that if someone rolled a doughnut in front of the dugout.

    Over and out.

    MW: You had to throw that line in at the end, huh? Just to make sure everyone would disregard your other points and think you’re an idiot.

    - Matthew
  2. 2.

    I didn’t think they’d have trouble scoring runs. I also believe I was, and still am, in my right mind. But, alas, I can prove neither…

    MW: You thought they’d beat up on Volquez?

    - Shmuel
  3. 3.

    Has Alex Rios changed his batting stance? Is he crouching down more?

    MW: He doesn’t seem to be.

    - Jason
  4. 4.

    Next time could you please come up with an Edison Twins pun instead? People really loved that show. Why, like so many other good things, did it have to end?? WHY MIKE!? WHYYYYYYY?

    MW: It was a play on the Edison Twins theme song.

    - Beau
  5. 5.

    I have to say that I’m kinda disappointed that Parrish and Inglett will soon be out of the Blue Jays organization – since both are out of options and we don’t really have space for them on the 25 man roster, I’d be seriously surprised if they clear waivers.

    MW: Inglett has already been optioned out twice this year, hasn’t he? He’s not out of options. Parrish is, though he’ll stick around at least until the all-star break.

    - Sam McLean
  6. 6.

    So I see that Parrish is out of options, and must clear waivers when he is eventually sent down. Do you think he clears, and does it even matter? I mean, he has been good so far this year in AAA, but has proven nothing in the Majors in his career.

    MW: Parrish had an out in his contract that said he could leave May 1st if anyone was interested in giving him a major-league job. No one was. He may not clear waivers when the Jays eventually send him down, but it’s not the end of the world if he doesn’t.

    - Brett
  7. 7.

    Mike,
    The sign of cracks in the Blue Jays team from top to bottom in my opion seem ominous in light of the rest of the American League East. Tampa’s talent is here with more on the way, Baltimore’s talent is not yet here…the yankees are the yankees (200+ payroll) and Red Sox have a lot of young talent as well. I do not see that in the Jays – they are average or below average at almost every position other than the promise of Rios and Hill in the field…they have Holiday…Marcum and McGowan who have yet to prove they can stay consistent and dominant an entire year. They have no depth in the pitching minors, nor do that have any position depth in the high minors. This is JP’s team and he’ll be let go at the end of the year because of it. I think they pass the O’s easily – but 4th is as high as they will go and as high as they will go for the next 5 years thanks to JP – or perhaps due to some bad breaks – but ultimately it is JP’s mess regardless.

    MW: You’re entitled to your opinion, but I don’t share it at all.

    - Gary
  8. 8.

    If the Jays are still around .500 at the trade deadline, and

    If several of the Rays (46-31!), A’s, Twins, White Sox, Yankees, and Tigers look more likely than the Jays to make the playoffs, and

    AJ Burnett starts pitching well on a consistent basis, thereby driving up his trade value,

    Do you trade AJ for young talent?

    I think JP will trade him if he can get the right player(s) in return, but this is unlikely to happen unless AJ gets his act together over the next month.

    And another question (which may affect the above analysis): what sort of season does AJ need to become a type A free agent? Based on his current stats, he would seem to miss the cutoff if the season were to end today.

    MW: If A.J.’s second half is in line with his career numbers, I don’t believe that he’ll have much problem being a Type A free agent. If the scenario that you outline above comes true, then I would have no problem at all trading him for young talent, but it’d have to be better than the potential draft haul.

    - Geoff
  9. 9.

    Mike off the record, pushing any respect or allegiance you have for JP aside: realistically do you see him back as GM next year? and if so why?
    Also it matters not if the flag was flown right-side up or upside down you still can never quite get rid of that liberal stench.

    MW: Liberal stench? Realistically, I think we have to wait and see what happens the rest of this year to be able to figure out if J.P. will be back next year.

    - Howard
  10. 10.

    Another good offensive game, and thanks tor the Thursday edition of Wednesdays w/ JP it was interesting and informative. I think JP can think whatever he wants of Inglett, the fact of the matter is that he can play the majority of the positions on the field at an average or above average level, not unlike Scutaro, and Cito seems enamored w/ him so I don’t see him going anywhere. Having a couple ‘super-subs’ like those two, at least in my opinion, is very beneficial, especially when you’re carrying 8 guys in the bullpen. Whenever Aaron is ready to come back, trade Eckstein and keep Mighty Joe on the roster.

    Please stop calling it the World Baseball Festival. It sounds even dumber than calling the very 1st one the World Baseball Classic. I would suggest maybe World Baseball Tournament, or Championship, anything but Festival, it drives me nuts when you call it that.

    - Sean Court
  11. 11.

    Hey Mike,

    I felt like I was on JaysTalk tonight as I got into a hour and half debate with some fans on the subway home….their comments were that the Jays SUCK…and that overbay stinks because he hasn’t hit for power in a “power position”….the ‘evidence’ they provided included kevin millar and Dmitri young (Ya…YA!)….i had about 6-7 fans on the subway who were throwing everyone on the jays under the bus…who weren’t under on the starting pitching staff….

    I got a glimpse of your job…and as much fun as it was…it takes a respectable amount of constraint to do it day in and day out. It’s a hard job when people hate when you present “facts” to back your argument…(like OBP being a more relevent stat than AVG) and call you everyday to try and stick it to you (like it seemed a majority of callers did wednesday…maybe a little displaced aggression over the emotional loss?). I took an hour and half of abuse, being called an idiot, for saying the same thing you say every night…YES the Jays bats have been disappointing up to this point in the season and YES they have had a bad 2 months…but when your pitching staff does exactly what jesse litsch did tonight, it’s not crazy to think the Jays can still turn this around! (and don’t simply SUCK)

    I’m glad you’re the one in the booth and I’m the one listening on the blog and radio! Keep on doing a great job, Mike.

    MW: Thanks

    - Ryan S.
  12. 12.

    What’s with calling it the World Baseball “Festival” instead of “Classic”? Is it the fact that it’s tough to call it classic after only one?

    MW: Tough? How about impossible! And they were calling it classic even BEFORE they had even played a game.

    - Nate
  13. 13.

    Tonights game (well really the last 4) is hopefully just what will start the jays back in the right direction and get this offense going. It’s great to see vets like scutaro and inglett producing at the top as well as the youth of lind and rios producing as well. Listch was solid as well and hopefully we get something out of parrish when he makes his start. BTW is there a chance league gets a start if parrish is unsuccesful?

    MW: Inglett is not a vet, he’s just old. I don’t think they’re thinking about League to start, though I’m stunned he didn’t pitch the 9th last night.

    - AK
  14. 14.

    Is it just me or does it seem odd that JP has offered Gary Denbo (who I assume he didn’t really know prior to this season) a position with the teams’ minor league club as a hitting co-ordinator but hasn’t offered a position to his long time buddy John Gibbons who did “the best managing job of his career” this season? I guess he assumes that Gibbons is so amazing as a manager that he’ll be back in the majors in no time at all. We’ll see how long that takes.

    MW: Managers who are let go are usually not offered other positions within the organization,unless they’re being bumped upstairs.

    - Peter B.
  15. 15.

    Hi Mike,

    MW: Hi.

    - Dave
  16. 16.

    Mike,

    Great segment as always.
    If Scott Campbell can polish his D, do you see him getting a call to AAA this year? Perhaps if he can show .300+ in AAA, a September callup?

    MW: He’s going to play in the Futures Game, which is a great sign. I don’t see him getting a September call-up.

    - Jason
  17. 17.

    damn it, why am I still interested? I can’t help it. Now I think they’re good again. Cruel, cruel, game.

    - Paul O
  18. 18.

    J.P. can say the Dunn incident is over all he wants but it has not gone away down here. The Reds radio announcers constantly referred to him as a “fool” and a “clown” the last few nights. They also claimed “higher ups” in the Reds organization were told that Riccardi got himself in Trouble with the Blue Jays upper level management and was told to offer apologies, otherwise he would not have. By “Upper level”, I can only assume Paul Godfrey. I am not saying this is true. I have no idea as I was not there. I am only repeating what the announcers on the Cincinnati broadcast said.

    About the game, it’s always nice to win a series and I think this was the first time the Jays had done so since the Oakland series about a month ago. Especially gratifying was the fact they beat a very good pitcher tonight. I hope Scott Rolen’s recent performance is a harbinger of things to come.

    Jason Bay is mentioned often on “Jays Talk” and on this blog. I was watching a Cleveland sports program in which Indians GM Mark Shapiro appears from time to time. Shapiro was asked if he had tried to make any trades to improve the Tribe. He admitted last winter he offered the Pirates Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco for Jason Bay straight up and obviously was turned down. Francisco is one of the Indians better players, having won batting crowns twice in the minor leagues, so he was considered a high level prospect. Francisco is now the Indians starting leftfielder. That should give some idea that if Pittsburgh were to ever move Jason Bay, it would take a considerable amount of talent to get them to deal. Speaking of the Indians, they currently have Blue Jay castoffs Jorge Velandia and Sal Fasano on their 25 man roster.

    - Jim Branscome
  19. 19.

    Hi Mike,

    In regards to JP’s interview:

    Why can’t you just eliminate, with the 9 second delay, the
    morons who take personal shots
    at(like the guy with the going to get someone a coffee
    crack) JP? It’s unfair that the caller gets to hide in anonymity at the other end of the phone and make comments he wouldn’t dare make face to face.

    I am very distressed at what
    appears to be JP’s negativity towards Joe Inglett. All the guy does is just about everything (even though he bats left) right, yet JP hinted that there’s no place for him in even this year’s Jays once Hill comes back.

    This is one of the reasons why(along with his brutal ego issues-that who decided on Cito Wednesday morning story is pure hogwash) JP’s days are numbered. He needs left hand hitting and either doesn’t recognize it or refuses to acknowledge it? Yes or No?

    Guys who produce should be rewarded and get to stay and the guys they replaced (who were not lighting it up anyway) should have to wait for their chance to earn their way back in the line-up.
    Yes or No?

    Are we going to have to put up with Hill coming back and working his way back to game shape and getting his swing timing while Inglett sits?

    All we know is that Scutaro and Inglett’s OBA is soaring right now and they should play
    (especially in the batting order) until they prove otherwise.

    MW: Hill will go down on a minor-league rehab assignment to work his way back into game shape and get his timing back, but he should be the everyday 2b when he’s healthy, because he’s better than Inglett. I think Inglett stays when Hill comes back, though, and Wilkerson will be the one to go – it doesn’t seem as though Cito has much use for him. As for the notion that Scutaro’s OBP is soaring right now and he should play, the truth is that Scutaro had a very good game on Tuesday night. If you throw that out, he’s hitting .211/.318/.211 since Cito took over. I don’t know how that’s “soaring”.

    - BRick in Oakville
  20. 20.

    Sorry, Mike, but one more thing.

    Did I actually hear JP say, in reference to a question about making a trade for another bat, that he, “really didn’t know what was out there and available” ?

    Now, that’s really scary.

    And I heard that part about not wanting to break up any of the pitching to get another bat. So, it would seem that Jays’ fans would need to start accepting the fact that it is what it is and JP might be neither a buyer or a seller before the deadline.

    MW: I don’t think any GM knows what’s out there and available yet, or at least has a firm idea of what things will cost. It’s too early.

    - BRick in Oakville
  21. 21.

    Inglett could work a Marco Scutaro-ish supersub gig for himself after this. He’s 30, I think, so has a few seasons left. I’d be thrilled for him if someone gives him a chance for that because he’s done very well here. If he’s not going back down, then I expect they will release Stewart when he comes off the dl. They don’t need him any more with the advent of Lind, and he hasn’t worked out well.

    If the Jays continue to hit like they are doing now, it would have to have something to do with Denbo leaving. It’s too much of a coincidence that a couple of games after the hitting coach leaves, the team dramatically improves.

    MW: Before we all get to crowning Joe Inglett, let’s remember the guy has had a total of less than half a season’s worth of at-bats in his entire major-league career, and he’s about to turn 30.

    - reyes
  22. 22.

    “F;ashback Fridays” is right!!

    Gaston vs. Cox? I even heard Devon White was going to be at the Skydo… er… Rogers Center…

    So great to see Rios really hitting the ball hard. Also looks like he isn’t chasing bad pitches, I don’t think he’s struck out much lately?

    Another quick question, who’s going to be there on the Flashback Friday for the upcoming Yankee series? I’m flying to TO and excited to know which player from the glory days I might get to meet!

    Thanks Mike!

    MW: I don’t know who the Flashback Friday Blue Jay will be for the July 11th Yankee game. Rios has struck out only three times in the last six games.

    - Luke
  23. 23.

    I really hope the DOME isnt a total sweatbox tonite. I hate that place, in the summer, with the roof closed.

    MW: You prefer rain delays or postponements?

    - slobberface
  24. 24.

    Forget voodoo Joe, I think we have voodoo Mike here. It seems like every time people on the blog or the phone take some shots at a player, that player comes out and does something that helps your case. (see: Joe Inglett can’t hit a 91 mph fastball, Wednesday’s beat down on Lyle Overbay)
    Hoping that’s true, I’m going to say Matt Stairs can’t hit home runs anymore. Now toss the chicken feet into the boiling cauldron and make something happen for the weekend series.

    - matt
  25. 25.

    That son of a Litsch can pitch!

    MW: I’ve heard that somewhere before.

    - Mark
  26. 26.

    Mike, I wrote yesterday on Lyle’s rankings among 1B. Yesterdays’ numbers came from sportsline.com and I used them in my fantasy baseball league. However, even by your numbers, it is clear that in 2008 Lyle Overvay is a below average player. I never said he sucks in his career because that’s not true (I’m sure 2006 was an excellent year for him). However, the numbers tell us that he is a subpar 1b in 2008, which is opposite to your statement in the radio show that he is above average.

    Here are more complete stats:
    Sample: ALL 1ST baseman in mlb.com that have more than 198 AB. The sample includes the following players: D. Lee, A. Gonzalez, J Morneau, R. Howard, M Teixeira, M Cabrera, J Loney, P Fielder, L Berkman, T Helton, C Kotchman, K Millar, K Youkilis, A LaRoche, Votto, Overbay, garko, Jackson, D Barton, M Jacobs, Konerko, Pujols, Sexon, Giambi, Pena, Aurilia) The are the 1b accorrding to MLB.COM

    The left number is the sample average, the right colum is overbay’s…

    AB: 262 vs 261 = Overbay’s AB is similar to the sample

    R: 38 vs 36 = Overbay’s slightly below average

    H: 71 vs. 70 = Overbay’s slightly below average

    2B: 14 vs 14 = Overvay is on the average

    3b: 1 vs 2 = Overbay above average

    HR: 11 vs 6 = Overbay well below average!

    RBI: 42 vs 32 = Overbay below average

    TB: 122 VS 106 = Overbay below average

    BB: 33 vs 45 = Well above average (as agreed yesterday)

    SO: 51 vs 56 = Overbay is above average number of strikeouts

    OBP: .354 vs .372 = This is the stat you like to use because he is way above the average, but I as said yesterday he is not a lead-off man

    SLG: .463 vs .406 = Overbay si well below average

    AVG: .270 vs. .268 = Overbay is batting below the average.

    What do this stats tell us? That up to date in the year 2008, Lyle Overbay is, at most, an average 1B. If you say he is above average, you are overrating him.

    I just don’t like when you use selective stats, like OBP, to make your points against callers, or consider that only your numbers are right (my numbers yesterday were not wrong, they only had a different sample). Let all the numbers speak for themselves…

    MW: All the numbers say that, in the middle of what most would say is an awful season for Overbay that should have him being run out of town, he’s putting up basically average numbers for a first baseman.

    - Axel
  27. 27.

    Hi Mike,

    I’d like to disagree with your (and JP’s) comment about coaching. I think that Denbo’s greatest detriment was not allowing the players to hit to their strengths, and You can see certain players (Alex Rios, especially) who just didn’t seem to fit under the Gary Denbob ‘hit to all fields’ mantra. Since Cito & Crew’s return, Rios is hitting .430 (with a home run!), on what appears to be mostly pulls. Matt Stairs even said as much in an interview with the National Post:

    “I honestly think that this team has forgotten how to pull baseballs,” Stairs said Sunday. “That’s why our home runs are down. You get into batting practice and you’re hitting balls to right-centre, left-centre, instead of working on the proper way of pulling baseballs, and elevating baseballs.”

    “As soon as Alex learns how to pull the ball again properly, he’ll be on fire,” Stairs said. “He’s got that swing now to hit the ball to right field and that’s not him. He should be a pull hitter. What was wrong with the year he had last year? Not a thing. So why change and make him go to right-centre? That’s just the way I see it.”

    Cito re-iterates this point in the same article:

    “The biggest thing in baseball, and anything in life, is to find out what you do best and do it,” Gaston said. “If you can’t hit the ball to right field, why in hell are you trying? If you’re a pull hitter, pull the ball. If you’re an opposite field hitter, you hit the ball to the opposite field. You don’t try to do something you can’t do.” (http://www.nationalpost.com/sports/story.html?id=606643)

    Now I’m not saying Denbo was out in the cages telling the guys “Don’t pull baseballs!”, but his job is to lend assistance when needed and advice to help struggling hitters and it doesn’t seem like he was helping at all (according to Stairs).

    4 games is too soon to look at the team and say “They’re fixed!” (I remember a string like this in May), but they’re looking more aggressive at the plate, and if nothing else look to be more entertaining.

    Thanks Mike.

    MW: I don’t think Denbo was telling guys not to pull the ball, either, but I remain mystified why a guy like Matt Stairs especially, who has been around so long and knows his swing better than anyone, wouldn’t just ignore Denbo and try to yank pitches into the right-field corner. Rios is indeed hitting .429 since the switch, and of his 12 hits, 10 have been to the left side or up the middle.

    - Kevin
  28. 28.

    After listening to J.P on your blog this morning I am actually satisfied on the job that he has done here in Toronto. Bringing back Cito was a great decision for the team and for the the city of Toronto. Some questions I have Mike is what becomes of the fired coaching staff? Does Gibby get a chance to speak or does he have some clause in his contract that forces him to keep quiet? Is it some sort of morale thing for the team?

    Also what is with all these callers complaining about not having Reed Johnson anymore? Have they not watched a single game at all? Joe Inglett? Hello, just put Johnson’s old jersey on him and switch his bat around and you have Reed back. I think Inglett is a great addition to this team and should be a regular for now and untill his time with the Jays is up. It is still early in the (Jays) playing days for guys like Inglett and Scutaro but they make a great pair out there and that play they made to end the inning during the first game against the Reds was amazing. This is what we need as a team… gamers and Reed, er… Joe Inglett is one of those guys. Who cares if we don’t make the playoffs this year. Keep the team together next year and include Cito and his crew and watch the magic happen.

    MW: Gibby has spoken, he had a conference call/news conference on the day he was fired.

    - Pete Gruening
  29. 29.

    Mike, I was at the game last night and noticed that some baserunners hold (not wear) their batting gloves when on the bases. What’s the deal with that?

    MW: That’s so they don’t reach for bases when they slide and wind up breaking a finger.

    - Shmuel Yitzchok
  30. 30.

    I think it was pretty weak that jp wouldnt talk about the Dunn fiasco. People want to know about that mysterious “phone call” and him not talking shows he was hiding the truth. Why else wouldnt he want to defend himself and clear his reputation of being a bold face liar to fans?

    MW: He wants it to go away because it’s a meaningless distraction from what’s actually going on on the field. People also want to know who Lindsay Lohan is sleeping with, it’s equally irrelevant.

    - pete
  31. 31.

    Mike, please see typo below in your very first sentence. I think you meant to say “in”. Sorry to be so picky, but you are big on grammar, so I thought I’d let you know.

    Before the game, who “is” his or her right mind wouldn’t have thought that the Blue Jays would have trouble scoring more than one or two runs tonight?

    MW: Yup, got me. But a typo is a typo, those happen. I’ll go fix it.

    - Bernard
  32. 32.

    Wow – never ceases to amaze me the amount of ignorant and rude people there are out there who are just waiting in the bushes to blind side someone.

    The caller to your show who aksed JP what he would do after the Jays job and made reference to “getting coffee for Billy Bean, going out and getting Wilkerson and Mench etc”. How rude and condescending is that – give it a rest!

    Kudos to JP for being a pro and answering the question – not sure if I would have given it a thought as to any response considering the context of it! Those types of comments and questions are embarrassing and clearly only reflect in a negative manner on the person stating/asking them.

    Further to that, Mike I am not sure why you would bother to respond on your blog to comments like those of the following….

    #25 – arragont comment about you “meeting a new friend” as to you mentioning your talk with KG-Jr – that was great and appreciated insight you shared with us and it obviously had a wonderful effect on you – it was not something you had to share with us and most certainly not worthy of the rudeness from #25 comments.

    #47 – Comment on Griffey as to speaking about his kids or you and he having a conversation about it – what’s wrong with speaking about your kids or grand kids – why something negative had to come out of that is beyond me.

    #55 – This guy “stealing comments” from other blogs to try and discredit you – why bother to respond to those who are trying to do just that?

    #65 – The rude comment as to referring to you as the “Guro of Baseball” – not worth the time to respond to Mike.

    I just don’t get the so called “human element” as to everyone being allowed to express “freedom of speech” – if you have nothing nice to say about anyone – then say nothing.

    Sure we have all gone down the road of saying things we should not have – however to take advantage of every opportunity to “take a shot” at someone – it only shows your own mis-directed anger and dis-satisfaction within ones self!

    It’s fun to read about those who disagree with you Mike or anyone else in your position – with well thought out comments – but reading the ignorance and just plain rudeness of some is no fun at all.

    I know this is not BB talk – and my apologies for going on a bit of a rant here – but just had to get it off my chest.

    Looking forward to seeing/hearing Bobby Cox and Cito go head to head again – should be a fun weekend.

    Thanks.

    MW: There are a lot of people with nothing better to do than to make themselves feel better by trying to make someone else feel worse. Most of those people feel emboldened by the anonymity of the internet or being on a radio phone-in show. I doubt they’d embarrass themselves like that if their identities were easily known.

    - Bob
  33. 33.

    Hello Mike, long time listener, first time writer. A great fan of yours as I think you have a great knowledge for the game especially when it comes to stats. I agree with you 95% of the time & disagree in some of your views on bunting & I do think sometimes change for the sake of change is good. I know you disagree on this but that’s just my opinion. I did catch your show after the game with J.P & of course he is not going to fault the ex-hitting coach Gary Denbo or Gibbons on air for the underperformance in their hitting this year. Not only is he bias because as you said he did hire them & would look bad, but he is not going to criticize people who he consider as friends & has just told them they lost their job. Matt Stairs has already kind of criticized Denbo & I predict more Jays will do the same as that get to know Tennace’s “old school” views on hitting & continue to hit(hopfully). It’s still early but the fact that the hitting is suddenly hitting now even with two outs & in RISP, as well as homeruns is not a coincidence with the coaching change. All the stats in these categories are up since the coaching change. I’m saying it’s not a coincidence because this hitting funk has lasted a year & a half until now. That’s no fluke or bad luck. Yes, with the exception of yesterday, the Jays are hitting against horrible pitchers but they weren’t even hitting against them before the coaching change. Weather it’s Gibbon’s/Denbo’s fault or that they were just not the right fit in the clubhouse. Something wasn’t right in the clubhouse. Maybe their attitude was not the right fit with these collection of players. No one but the players know exactly. So, I do think Chemistry matters. Ultimately, it does come down to the hitters hitting(since they are at the plate) but I think a manager especially one with a hitting back round & a hitting coach does have a bigger impact than you think on players. Of course it’s still early & let’s hope the Jays will continue to hit & hopefully get back in the race but it’s clear to me their philosophy at the plate has changed under Tennace/Cito. It’s going to be a long summer if they don’t. Question, do you think the Tampa Rays are for real or you think they still won’t be there in August??…For the fans & Jays sake, let hope your right & they’ll falter in the ‘dog days of summer’…Anyways, you are a great broadcaster & will continue to listen to you on Jays talk. Keep up the great work Mike.

    MW: Thanks! As you said several times, it’s still much too early to draw conclusions on the new regime, they’ve only been there a week (and the team is only 3-3) but things do look and feel different. I’ve answered the Tampa question dozens of times – I don’t think they’ll be there at the end.

    - David
  34. 34.

    That is an extremely convoluted opening sentence. There is also a typo. You wrote “who is his or mind” instead of “who IN his or her mind.” Your bloggageness is always of top quality so I hope you appreciate some minor critiques.

    MW: I didn’t think it was that convoluted.

    - Alex B
  35. 35.

    It sure is nice to see a guy like Rolen when he makes his home run trot – so professional – never tries to “rub it in or make anyone look bad” – all business!

    Also nice to hear him being honest after the game and giving credit to Denbo as to helping him get back his swing and feeling comfortable at the plate – rather than try to lay any blame on his own hitting woes at that time on someone else.

    Guys like Rolen define the word “pro-athlete” in more than one way.

    Thanks.

    - Bob
  36. 36.

    Mid-term report cards will be handed out after tonight’s (81st) game. Majority of players are having average seasons, some are having very good seasons(Litsch, Marcum), some have been disappointments (Rios, Eckstein). Who in your opinion has been a feel good story and who has been a major bust thus far?

    MW: Marcum, Litsch, Barajas, Inglett, Downs, Carlson, even Ryan have outperformed expectations by a whole bunch. I don’t think anyone has been a “bust”, but Rios, Hill, Stairs, Stewart, Accardo and Burnett have been disappointments. The overall power outage, and inability of the team to hit with RISP, is the biggest bust of the season.

    - Beburg
  37. 37.

    3:20 pm
    “With Cito coming in, he specifically asked for his own hitting guy. That’s why we made the move with Gary. It wasn’t because of anything Gary did. It was just that we wanted to honor Cito’s request to have his own guys here. It’s unfortunate for Gary, but he’s kind of a victim of circumstance.”

    J.P. Riccardi On Gary Denbo.

    Good to hear the man running our team was happy with the hitting insturctor so far this year.

    MW: He didn’t say that.

    J.P. did say that! did you honestly think I made that up for the good of my health? Or do you just have an impluse to defend J.P.

    http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080624&content_id=2995181&vkey=news_tor&fext=.jsp&c_id=tor

    MW: Oh, I get it now. Sorry – I wasn’t saying J.P. didn’t say what you quoted him as saying. He didn’t say that he was happy with the job Denbo did. You can infer that from what he said if you want, but you can also infer something from the fact that he didn’t say it directly.

    - dan M
  38. 38.

    Tampa Bay is still hanging around. At what point will you concede they are for real? The talk with JP was great as usual. I hope everyone realizes that his availability and especially his candor are not the norm in this business. Both of you have those two very positive things in common.

    MW: Thanks. As for the Tampa thing, at what point will people realize that the season is 162 games long?

    - The Chad
  39. 39.

    Hi Mike,

    I just started reading your blogs and listening to you recently. I got a link to your page from the “DrunkBlueJays” fans (http://drunkjaysfans.blogspot.com) and have been a fan for only a few days. It is nice to find a great place where people vent about the Jays.

    I have one request. If you don’t mind, the next time you talk to JP Riccardi, could you kindly suggest to him to consider bringing in Anthony Robbins to the clubhouse and give the Jays a motivational speech. There is still a lot of games left and they can still turn it around. I am sure that he can spark the light under them to get it going. Hopefully Ted Rogers will give him some money to do it.

    Thanks and best regards,

    Andrew Belgica
    Montreal, PQ

    MW: Thanks for coming aboard. But Tony Robbins? Really?

    - Andrew Belgica
  40. 40.

    Mike Wilner! We Love you! Hope we didn’t freak you out last night…or maybe you never heard us? It was a pleasure watching Litsch pitch and Lyle Overbay hit last night. I really hoped to have seen Ken Jr hit a homer. But I was glad to have at least seen him play a game. The Reds seem to have a speedy center fielder. However, his BA seems minor league. Do you know anything about him?

    Read a very interesting book (ok, only a chapter on statistics) last night after the ballgame called, “The thinking Fan’s Guide to Baseball” by L. Koppett. I don’t know if you’ve read this because I know u don’t have time to read :) But if you have or if any of your readers have, any thoughts??

    Happy Canada Day everyone!!!!

    KK

    MW: I didn’t hear you. There was a cheering section?

    - karim kanji
  41. 41.

    Mike can you give us the four teams you now think will make the playoff in the AL since you no longer think the jays will.

    My four would be. Red Sox, Rays, Angles and Indians.

    MW: I think the Red Sox and Angels are locks. The AL Central is very confusing to me right now – I liked the Indians, but without Victor Martinez for a while and with Travis Hafner still on the DL, I’m losing faith. Also, it’s interesting to me that you’d pick them but say the Jays are out when the Jays have a better record (and have been playing terribly). You’ll have to remind me where I said that I don’t think the Jays will make the playoffs. I said I don’t think it’s likely, and that it’ll be extraordinarily difficult, but I didn’t say it can’t be done. I’m going to reserve judgement on the AL Central for now, because I’m not sold on the White Sox or the Twins, and I believe the wild card is still very firmly up in the air.

    - dan M
  42. 42.

    Re: Comment #1 by Matthew:

    I had a feeling you were “out to lunch” with your “we don’t care about JP’s opinion on coaches effect on hitting.” However, your last comment about Gibby cleared up any doubt we had about you.

    A classless idiot.

    Glad Wilner called you out.

    KK

    - karim kanji
  43. 43.

    ONE NIGHT IN BANGKOK????

    No offence Mike, but let’s face it, your choice of unofficial Blue Jay anthem frankly sucks…..

    How about these for a couple of suggestions. Imagine if you will the Jays in a tight ballgame, or winning a laugher in either the middle of the 6th or 8th…..The ‘center of the Rogersverse’ rocking to the beat of…’Daydream Believer’ by the Monkees, or even ‘I’m a Believer’ (written by Sweet ‘Neil Diamond’ Caroline) The fans on their feet, dancing in the ailes (maybe not the 5th deck, too dangerous)

    What Blue Jay could fail to be inspired to go out and get a base hit, even perhaps with a runner in scoring position….

    Are there any other suggestions out there?

    MW: I’d love to see fans dancing in the aisles at Rogers Centre, it’s not something we’re used to seeing. I was kidding about One Night In Bangkok, of course. Imagine fans screaming out lyrics to a song about chess and transsexual hookers.

    - ukJay
  44. 44.

    Nice job by Litsch tonight. What the Jays need to avoid is a reversal of fortune that they’ve been cursed with in recent years: pitching up, hitting down; hitting up, pitching down. It’s not news that they need both to work well at the same time. Given JP’s previous comment earlier this season that they’d have to be within 5 games of a playoff spot for him to make any moves that would hopefully push them over the edge, how difficult will the next two weeks be? Or do you think that nothing is likely to happen anyway until the trade deadline draws near?

    MW: For the Jays? Nothing will happen until the end of July unless they drop 10 of 12 or something similar.

    - Vava
  45. 45.

    Cheering section? Yeah baby! Section 524b 1st row was loving you last night! LOL!

    Thanks for this forum Mike!

    kk

    p.s. I have a brilliant idea for you that will save u time replying to everyone and give u more time with your kids! email me if interested.

    MW: I didn’t hear any cheers, that would have been fun. What’s the brilliant idea, have the intern do it instead?

    - karim kanji
  46. 46.

    “That’s so they don’t reach for bases when they slide and wind up breaking a finger” So how do you touch a base on a head first slide?

    MW: You don’t slide head first.

    - Shmuel Yitzchok
  47. 47.

    Hi Mike,

    It doesn’t matter how many times J.P. insists that he was the one who decided to hire Cito (didn’t think his statements re this were terribly convincing on Jays Talk last night) I think it was definitely Godfrey’s decision. I mean, as long as J.P. is hanging around as GM what ELSE is anyone in authority going to say?

    Find this discussion of increased roles for Scutero and Inglett mildly depressing. Both can be valuable assets, but the former is a career back-up, and the latter a veteran minor leaguer. Starting such players does not point the way for post-season baseball.

    Read a recent e-mail on your blog which posited that, as Tampa Bay finally emerges as a competitive team – and the Bosox and Yanks continue to spend,that the Jays will sink into a realm where they will be battling with Baltimore for last place for the next three years or so. Know you disagree, but I believe that unless J.P.’s successor is a miracle worker that will be J.P.’s sad legacy – putting together a basically .500 team (including lots of guys on the downhill stage of their career)that was never a contender in seven years… and that is going to sink further for the immediate future, when he is but a memory.

    - Ken
  48. 48.

    hahahahah typo!! Mike you’re slaking good thing you haev use to corect you!

    I can’t beleive peopel actualy take time out to write too u, to correct you!! (Comment #31) I thougt I was “The Rat”, but this guy is ridculios

    (Correct that Bernard) hahaha

    - The Rat
  49. 49.

    For the love of baseball, please stop calling the WBC a festival!

    MW: Sorry, can’t do it.

    - Jim B
  50. 50.

    What I think has been accomplished with the hiring of Cito is the following:

    – The players feel more secure at their positions in the lineup and on the field. The lineup will likely stay this way for a while so there won’t be any nasty surprises.

    – Whatever spin is put on this, just about all the baseball comment I have read tallies with the fans’ supposition that Gaston is a Godfrey hire, not a JP hire. Lind’s call-up wasn’t effected by JP either. If he’d been that high on the kid he would have been here weeks ago. Given that, the players now know that they don’t have to worry about the (overly) hot hand of JP Ricciardi. I’ve thought for a while that his management style was chaotic and counter-productive. He made fast moves and when they didn’t work out he made more fast moves. The players will do much better if they feel there is a calm hand in the dugout and in the front office that won’t be quite so quick on the trigger. (Which is exactly what happened in the Adam Dunn mess-up. he was frustrated, he spoke and he didn’t think first. He created a rotten situation because he reacted too quickly.)

    MW: I don’t think the players were ever insecure about their positions before. Who was looking over his shoulder, worried about playing time when Gibbons was here?

    - reyes
  51. 51.

    Hey Mike,

    I have a question about a statement that you made about Vernon Wells BA when he swings at the first pitch. You mentioned that he hits .500 (correct me if im wrong) when he swings at the first pitch. Does this include foul balls and strikes? If not then i think this could be argued that this is a case of making statistics only telling half a story.

    Thanks for you time

    Sean

    MW: What I said was that at that time, he was hitting .500 (10-for-20) when he put the first pitch in play. It doesn’t count foul balls or swings and misses. He’s currently hitting .444 (12-for-27) when he puts the first pitch in play.

    - Sean
  52. 52.

    Sorry Mike I know you didn’t say that the jays “won’t make the playoffs” but you did say don’t think it’s likely, and that it’ll be extraordinarily difficult for them to make it.

    I picked the Indians because I don’t like the White Sox or Twins and there only seven and a half back. plus the Indian are have room to improve with better secound halfs from Ryan Garko Peralta they also have a positive run differential.

    Whats interesting about the Angles is they have scored 339 runs and allowed 321 +18
    While the A’s have scored 352 and allowed 285 + 67. but I guess that is what some luck and a good bullpen will do for you.

    MW: Mostly luck. I still think, as I said before the season, that the Angels will run away with the division.

    - Dan M
  53. 53.

    Mike:

    I know you’ve been saying all year that the Jays have had trouble scoring runs which has led to their current losing record but I was looking at a few things and something caught my eye.

    I looked at run differential and the Jays are currently at +27 (scored 334, allowed 307)and sporting a 38-42 record. Compare that to the LA Angels who are currently at +18 (scored 339, allowed 321) yet they have a 48-31 record.

    Their numbers are very similar but their records are vastly different which shows that it is indeed possible to win games even when not scoring tons of runs. Now before you just dismiss it as the weak competition of the AL West division which includes Texas and Seattle I checked that as well.

    LA has only played 21 games against their own division and have played 18 against the AL East. The Jays on the other hand have only played 23 games against the AL East and 20 against the AL West so that split is very close as well.

    I’m not sure what this shows other than the Jays lose a lot of close games I assume but it seems that other teams can actually win games with a low scoring offense.

    MW: That’s exactly what it shows, the Jays lose a lot of close games. A lot of that has to do with luck, which means it can change drastically.

    - Peter B.
  54. 54.

    Cant wait to see Dustin on the mound tonight against the Braves, hopefully he’ll be able to harness the power of the glasses and mow down some hitters.

    - Brandon
  55. 55.

    Rats!

    That’s twice in two days i’ve been caught out with my spelling, what are you, a Teachers sun or sommething?

    - ukJay
  56. 56.

    “If A.J.’s second half is in line with his career numbers, I don’t believe that he’ll have much problem being a Type A free agent”

    Mike, it’s really frustrating to hear you say things like this when you clearly haven’t done the research.

    I also hate how you say that player X is hitting xxx/xxx/xxx if you throw out a certain game or series. That just doesn’t make any sense to me. Depending on circumstance, a 4-4 in one game and an 0-4 the next might be of more value to the team than a 2-4 both nights. Every player has good series’, and bad series’, taking out some of their best work to argue that they’ve been ineffective is obviously going to work.

    #26 Axel, just to save you a lot of work, I suggest you look at the definition of OPS+ and then take a look at Overbay’s number. He is slightly above average offensively for first baseman.

    “People also want to know who Lindsay Lohan is sleeping with, it’s equally irrelevant.”

    Perhaps to me and you, but to each their own.

    To Bob in #32, it really does boggle my mind how you can speak like that about others while applauding Mike. I know you follow the blog a lot, and we probably interpret a lot of Mike’s responses to posters and callers differently, but there are a lot of comments that I just don’t see how people could view as “not rude”.

    I’m going to use the example of the poster who said he hoped Mike lost his job. Now, the poster was obviously a little ruder than necessary, but Mike’s response IMO was much worse. The caller had every right to say that he thought Mike should be fired. He’s one of the consumers of Mike’s product. He’s seen Mike do his job. Mike responded with(paraphrased) “I hope you get fired too and that you can’t feed your family.” Now, did the caller say he hoped Mike couldn’t support his family? No. Has Mike ever consumed a product that was as directly effected by the poster as Mike is directly responsible for the quality of the show? No. They were such different things, and yet Mike took the slight rudeness of the initial post and took it that much further.

    And Mike, I’m not sure if I was one of the ones included in your response, but I’d be more than happy to reveal myself or meet you if the opportunity came up. You know my name, hell, you even know where I work.

    Oh, and Bob, are you aware of Rolen’s past? The man has earned an ugly end with a team on more than one occasion before coming to Toronto. He probably does embody a lot of qualities of a “pro-athlete”, but I have a hard time believing he’s a saint.

    Classic: A creation of the highest excellence. I can see how it might make sense to call it the “World Baseball Classic” before a game had been played.

    MW: I don’t think that my response to the poster who called for my firing was unfair. I took it a step further because people seem not to be aware that there’s an actual human cost to someone losing a job. I don’t have a guaranteed contract, if I lose my job, I likely lose my house, etc. To some of the other stuff, if someone says that Marco Scutaro has been great since Cito took over, and the truth is that he’s been awful save for one game, I feel that should be pointed out. And please present us with the info about how A.J. Burnett won’t be a Class A free agent if he returns to his regular career numbers in the second half. I’ve heard that before, I’d like to see the info.

    - Dan W
  57. 57.

    Luke, the Flashback Friday guest will be David Cone on the 11th.

    I feel that Gary Denbo didn’t have as much affect on the hitters as everybody’s blaming him for, but I do believe that he was trying to push a new approach that the players weren’t connecting to.

    Matt Stairs came out and said that he felt Denbo was pressuring the hitters to go the other way too much, and that some hitters do well pulling the ball like himself and Alex Rios.

    I don’t think there’s any reason to worry about what Denbo will do to prospects in the minors.

    - Jason
  58. 58.

    M-Dub, comment 23
    The only time i appreciate the dome is in Apri when its freezing and in Octob…nevermind. So ya, I do prefer delays and postponements during the summer months.
    Also, my favourite postponement of the season was definitely the one that screwed you out of being at a historical event LOLOLOLOL. I know it wont make you feel any better, but my friends booked the day off work for that too…anyways in regards to comment #19 what does this guy mean “you wouldnt dare say that to JP’s face”? is he implying JP would punch me in the face if i told him he was beans Gopher? Because if so I’d do it in a heartbeat; maybe THAT would get him out of here.
    ONE MORE THING.
    the song issue.
    My friends and I figured this one out YEARS ago. Theres absolutely no way anyone in charge of the production at Rogers Center is smart enough to come up with it, but maybe you know who to suggest it to. Im serious about this, you have to do it man, it would be amazing. you ready?
    Surfin Bird – The Trashmen
    that would get people out of their seats, and the cameras would have a field day… i know it isnt as cool as Ryan Grier giving away nicorette gift packs but still.

    MW: The bird is the word?

    - slobberface
  59. 59.

    #45 – Have the intern go through the blog posts and post them (as long as they are not vulgar, etc.) then, when YOU have time (best to schedule it) you get to reply to all/some/none of the posts in a mass post or individually.

    This saves you time and will also cut down on people asking the same questions over and over again!

    you deserve more than Father’s Day off!

    Anyone else interested in creating a Mike Wilner Fan Club?

    kk

    - karim kanji
  60. 60.

    Hi Mike
    It has been a long time but here it goes GREAT WIN!!.I honestly thought we had no chance in winninig tonights game.I expected Litsh to pitch good but that had to be one of his best starts of the year.Also it was nice to see Rolen and Overbay come up with big hits.That 2 out single by Overbay gave us the room to coast to a truly unexpected win.About Overbay he is not having a good year at the plate so far it boggles my mind how nobody mentions his defensive play considering they are ready to give Mcdonald the everyday job at short.Also to the person that put Toronto in last place for the next 5 years because J.P. HAS RUINED US.Marcum, Litsh,Hill,Lind,Barahas,Scutaro,Rolenand many more with the team are players Ricciardi has brought in.In the minorsCambell Snider,Arencibia,Cecil,Tolisano,Polanco.Just a few names in the minors.I know they haven’t gotten to the big leagues yetneither have the Kids from the other teams.To conclude just because the team is going through a tough stretch now doesn’t mean it is going to be bad forever.Also Mike am I being a revisionist or is it true that J.p.’s first 3 years he was just trying to clear salary and trying to compete with a .60 cent dollar.It’s hard to imagine how that didn’t effect his first few years on the job.
    mario
    Go Jays!!!

    MW: You’re not being revisionist.

    - mario
  61. 61.

    do you think next year they give the ss job to mac and scoot?

    MW: I think that’s highly doubtful.

    - jeremy
  62. 62.

    I hate to be a downer after a win but we’re getting to the point where winning 2 out of 3 just isn’t going to cut it with respect to getting back in the race. The extra inning losses in this and the previous series are the types of losses that prevent the winning streaks required to get back in it. Unless they can pull out at least 10 or 11 wins before the All-Star break you really gotta start putting your AJ Burnett feelers out there. The general consensus in the baseball world right now is that Sabathia is the grand prize and Burnett (even with his miserable season thus far is the consolation). That is of course assuming the Indians are willing to move him.

    So my question to you is … hypothetically the Brewers have offered Matt Laporta straight up for AJ Burnett – O/U how many games out at the trade deadline would you pull the trigger on this deal?

    With the current outfield locked in long term, Snider and Laporta (or insert other top hitting prospect acquired in a trade) theoretically filling the 1B/DH roles and Arencibia putting a power bat behind the plate you are looking at one solid offensive core for the next 6-7 years.

    MW: If the Brewers are offering Matt LaPorta straight up for A.J. Burnett, I’m making the deal now, before they have a chance to reconsider.

    - Matt
  63. 63.

    yes
    m-dub
    bird is the word
    suggest it man

    - slobberface
  64. 64.

    Re: Post #22

    The July 11th Flashback Friday player will be David (Don’t call me ice cream) Cone…who, incidentally, will be in town with the YES Network to do the Yankees broadcast.

    - Bernard
  65. 65.

    do you know if there has ever been a “27 up, 27 down” game pitched that was not a not hitter?
    Marcum had a start, i think against Anaheim, where he was perfect through 5 or so then someone singled and was thrown out trying to go to 2nd. It got me thinking if that had ever happened.
    Was randy Johnson the last to throw a perfect game?

    MW: Yes, Randy Johnson was the last to throw a perfect game, and the only one to throw one in the 21st Century. As for another 27-up, 27-down non-perfecto, the only one I know of was in 1917, when Babe Ruth started and walked the lead-off man. Ruth was ejected, and Ernie Shore came in to relieve. The baserunner was caught stealing (picked off – legend has it) and Shore retired all 26 hitters he faced for the combined no-no.

    - jeremy
  66. 66.

    Hey Mike,

    I have a question about a statement that you made about Vernon Wells BA when he swings at the first pitch. You mentioned that he hits .500 (correct me if im wrong) when he swings at the first pitch. Does this include foul balls and strikes? If not then i think this could be argued that this is a case of making statistics only telling half a story.

    Thanks for you time

    Sean

    MW: What I said was that at that time, he was hitting .500 (10-for-20) when he put the first pitch in play. It doesn’t count foul balls or swings and misses. He’s currently hitting .444 (12-for-27) when he puts the first pitch in play.

    So with that in mind, what his avaerage with one strike? I think that would be a more realistic look at what happens when he swings at the first pitch.

    MW: Why would that be more realistic? It would remove all the hits that he gets when he puts the first pitch in play.

    - Sean
  67. 67.

    Your a bum Wilner. What are your thoughts on the Tampa Rays now after you ripped them in April?

    MW: Why would you expect me to answer your question after you start off by insulting me?

    - Jesse from Aurora
  68. 68.

    You never mention as to why you feel JP had done a good job while he has been here. You just say “I do not share your opinion” when somebody criticizes him for what he has done with this team over the years. Would you like to explain why because it appears you are the only person in his corner.

    MW: Actually, I’m not. I think J.P. has done a good job because every move he has made has been with an eye towards making the team better, whether it was shedding unnecessary salary at the beginning, or building the roster later on. Not all his moves have worked out, but no one has ever been perfect. However, he’s done more good than not, and has the team in much better shape than it was when he took over. If you look at his transactions move-by-move (and some bloggists have broken it down), he’s far more on the positive than the negative.

    - avi
  69. 69.

    Hey Mike,

    do the Jays actually have a player from New Zealand in their minor league system!?! Has there ever been a kiwi major leaguer before?

    Keep up the good work!

    Thanks

    MW: Yes, they do. Scott Campbell, a 2B in AA who will be playing in the Futures Game. I don’t believe there’s ever been a Kiwi in the bigs before, but I could be wrong.

    - Rory
  70. 70.

    Mike:

    There’s some talk above re: run differential and W-L records.

    One of my favorite articles regarding the 2005 Jays and their freakishly bad record considering their positive run differential:

    http://www.battersbox.ca/article.php?story=2005112315035768

    And the neatest thing is that the following year (2006) Cleveland not only outdid the 2005 Jays in weirdness but in fact they took over 1st place overall in the expected wins vs actual wins division, with a 78-84 record despite outscoring their opponents by 88 runs!

    I’d join the Wilner Fan Club but I’d want a Wilner bobblehead…

    MW: Geoff Baker had an action figure of himself, maybe I can get a bobblehead!

    - James (from the 'Shwa)
  71. 71.

    For the love of baseball, please stop calling the WBC a festival!

    MW: Sorry, can’t do it.

    That’s really a shame because you do so much otherwise to promote baseball in Toronto. This tournament shouldn’t be trivialized by media types whom baseball counts on. I expect this from American media who thought it was a shame that they couldn’t win the first one.
    For me, this is 1000 times bigger than the World Cup of Soccer. My own Country is actually playing!

    MW: I don’t think there’s a bigger baseball tournament in the world, I had a blast covering it last time and look forward to doing it again. I can’t call it the Classic, though I don’t think my failure to do so diminishes it in the least.

    - Jim B
  72. 72.

    Hey Mike,

    Wouldn’t it be great if the Jays could keep this up. Great pitching and offence, all at the same time! Just one question, how do you think the time is going to be split with Zaun and Barajas, what would you do?

    MW: I’d give more time to Zaun, as I had been saying, but I’d be giving The Captain more time than he has been getting lately.

    - sal
  73. 73.

    Mike, a couple of days ago in a post you mentioned that you don’t get stuff signed by players because it would be unprofessional. Do you think that’s a personal choice or do you feel that other media people shouldn’t do it either?

    MW: I don’t think may (if any) media people do it, except on very special occasions. If I were seen asking a player for an autograph, my pass could be revoked, never mind the fact that any respect that player had for me would go right out the window, I would think.

    - Alex
  74. 74.

    Dan W. I alwasy enjoy your posts. Mike I have to agree with im about you taking 1 or two games or awhole serious like you did in the Thomas case to show he’s been worse then he actually has been. You could take a game or two for any player and make his numbers look alot worse, especially when its a small sample size as it was in the case of Thomas and Marco.

    - Dan M
  75. 75.

    Just a reminder I love your work and thanks for your time Mike.

    - Dan M
  76. 76.

    I agree with you 100% the Angles will run away with the division thats why I found it so interesting that the A’s run differential was better.

    - Dan M
  77. 77.

    I know you don’t put a lot of stock in RBI’s as a stat, but Mr. Arencibia has more RBI’s than games played (a trend he has, thus far, continued in AA). There’s some good lookin’ kids in New Hampshire these days.

    MW: Yeah, but don’t forget that the Blue Jays have one of the worst farm systems in baseball, right?

    - pete
  78. 78.

    Hey Mike, excellent job with JP last night, as usual…quick question: When a Starting Pitcher’s run support is quoted, is that the “total” # of runs scored in that game, or, is it the total # of runs scored while the SP was in the game…e.g. Doc leaves after 6 ip (down 3-2) but the Jays go on to win 9-3…would Doc’s run support be 2 runs per game, or 9?Thanks again Mike,

    Tim
    Guelph

    MW: I think you can go either way with that, but I’m not sure.

    - Tim C
  79. 79.

    Just watching the Cubs visiting the White Sox. Cubs down 1-0 in the top of the third. Bases loaded, 1 out. Derek Lee grounds into his second 5-4-3 DP of the day (according to announcers, I wasn’t watching the first).

    Does anyone think that Lee caught the DP jinx from Lyle?

    And so far the Sox have picked up 3 runs in the bottom of the third. I’m guessing if Lee had singled (or better) that the bottom of the 3rd would have been different.

    Steve

    - SteveW
  80. 80.

    Point of reference for those people who don’t get your stance on the Rays: If the Jays and Rays were playing to their Pythagorean expected levels, the Rays would have 44 wins, the Jays would have 43.

    For the record, at -5, the Jays are tied with Cleveland and Philly for the worst Pythag records in baseball. So, clearly this team has no chance at anything.

    - Tony
  81. 81.

    By the way Mike, you keep calling it the world baseball festival; it’s called the world baseball classic.

    MW: It is?

    - Andrew
  82. 82.

    Mike,

    I too am becoming somewhat fatigued with people deciding that the playoffs are about to start, when in fact there’s still half a season left. Teams far better than the Rays at this point in the season have collapsed and finished out of the playoffs, and of course teams with close to the same deficit in the wild card that the Jays have now have managed to make it. I’m not going to tell people to bet their house that the Jays will make it, but please stop pretending it’s September 27 and not June 27.

    In 2007, the teams in the playoffs were Boston (96-66), the Yankees (94-68), Cleveland (96-66), and LA of Orange County (94-68). On June 27, 2007 the “playoff” teams were Boston (48-29), Detroit (45-31), LAA (49-30), and Cleveland (45-32). The Yankees were 36-39, a full 8.0 games back of the wild card spot that they eventually won by going 58-29 down the stretch. Detroit played .500 ball the rest of the way and finished 6.0 GB of the wildcard at 88-74.

    2006: the 4 playoff teams were NYY (97-65), MIN (96-66), OAK (93-69), and Detroit (95-67).
    June 27, 2006: the 4 “playoff” teams were BOS (46-28), DET (53-25), OAK (41-35), and CHW (50-26). DET again played .500 the rest of the way and were saved by the wild card as they lost the division to Minnesota on the last day. CHW were 40-46 the rest of the way and finished 5.0 GB of the wild card. As we all know in these parts, Boston staggered to a 40-48 record down the stretch to finish 3rd in the AL East 9.0 GB of the wild card. The Yankees were 43-32, 3.5 GB of Boston, and MIN was 41-35, 9.0 GB of the wild card. MIN wound up winning the Central, going 55-31 down the stretch.

    2003: The four teams that went to the playoffs were: NYY (101-61), MIN (90-72), OAK (96-66), and BOS (95-67).
    June 27, 2003: the four “playoff” teams: NYY (48-30), KCR (42-34), SEA (52-26), and BOS (46-32). Well, New York and Boston held up their end, but the other two sure didn’t. SEA finished up 41-43 and missed the wild card by 2.0 games. KCR finished up 41-45 and 7.0 GB of Minnesota, who finished up 49-35 after starting 41-37. The A’s overcame a 7.0 game deficit to the M’s to beat them out by 3.0 games.

    Then there’s your 1983 Blue Jays, to whom the Rays are compared quite often on this blog. At this point in that season they were 43-32, good enough for 1st place in the entire American League. They skidded to an 89-73 final record, good for fourth place in the AL East.

    As you can see, there is no way to predict what teams are going to go south in the 2nd half and what teams (including possibly the Jays) will get red hot and get all the way back into it. Those of you that know (or think you know) what is going to happen, please forward the 6 numbers for Saturday’s 6/49 draw to me. Maybe I’ll even share some of my winnings with you.

    Instead of bemoaning the Jays’ current record, look at the recent spike in offense and realize that this could be a fun team to watch down the stretch, and if the impossible happens there’s the icing on the cake. The impossible did happen in Colorado last year. I know it’s the National League blah blah blah. If there are no playoffs to be had, hopefully we’ll at least see a more entertaining brand of baseball. Stop calculating the permutations and combinations it will take for the Jays to make the playoffs and enjoy the freakin’ games. It doesn’t do any good for your health and then you take it out on Mike, who really doesn’t need it.

    - Tom the Intern
  83. 83.

    ” don’t think the players were ever insecure about their positions before. Who was looking over his shoulder, worried about playing time when Gibbons was here?”

    I imagine quite a few of them. That line-up changed from minute to minute. Back, forward, Rios bats 3rd then he leads, Thomas bats 4th, 5th, 6th. Stewart leads off. No. It’s Eckstein. No it’s Rios. It’s not the playing time, it’s the position on the line-up card. Now I don’t particularly blame Gibbons. He was just trying his best to see what would work. (Note to Gibby: nothing worked. It wasn’t your fault, You took the fall for a spooked and underachieving team. That having been said, you’re better off away from this.)

    MW: I don’t think that players get upset about being moved about in the line-up that much (some do, it’s true) so long as they’re in it.

    - reyes
  84. 84.

    Royals should sign Barry Bonds
    Nobody has signed Barry Bonds … his agent came out and said that Barry has offered his services to all 30 teams for the minimum salary. The minimum! Then he said he does not even want the minimum; he would donate his salary so kids could watch baseball games. Kids! And I started thinking: You know, the Royals should sign this guy. The circus? Hell, the Royals could USE a little circus. It’s been how long — Bo — since they’ve had a good circus. (Joe Posnanski)

    I just read that over at Sports Illustrated Mike can you believe no one has signed him.
    as a baseball fan who loves watching great players this makes me really angry.

    MW: It should make you angry.

    - Dan Moore
  85. 85.

    Well, I guess that depends on what you consider “beat up.” I certainly didn’t think they’d lose 2-0 or 3-1. This team looks very different now than it did just a week ago. It seems that the mental part of hitting/the hitters’ approach (individually and/or collectively) may have been the problem after all (I’ll give it a few more games before making any conclusions). These guys really can hit, they’ve been hitting lately, and every young pitcher gets roughed up sooner or later. And on the side, Jesse Litch seems to always beat the young “phenoms” that he pitches against, but nobody ever notices…

    MW: Doesn’t look much different tonight, sadly.

    - Shmuel
  86. 86.

    Yikes, Mike — you can expect an immediate revival of the “bring back Carlos Delgado” club.

    2 HRs (#11-12 for the year) and 9 RBI, with another game tonight — can he get to double figures (RBI for the day)?

    MW: Against Sir Sidney in Game 2? Why not?

    - Norm
  87. 87.

    MW: Before we all get to crowning Joe Inglett, let’s remember the guy has had a total of less than half a season’s worth of at-bats in his entire major-league career, and he’s about to turn 30.

    But Mike,

    Take a look at his stats everywhere he played. He’s hit .300 or above for his career, both in the minors and majors. Is it possible that was simply not given a shot, because he doesn’t look the part (like an Alex Rios)? Does he need to start sprinting to 1st base on a walk to get some recognition? I say leave him there until he proves he can’t hit with he big boys.

    MW: Going into this season, Inglett was a career .279 hitter in the minors and a .291 career hitter in the majors (in less than 300 ABs).

    - Rene
  88. 88.

    Hi Mike..

    Quick question: When is a good time to get autographs from the Jays?..This Sunday..

    You were right about Overbay..He has only hit into a measly 15 double plays this year..Good for #1 in the league..He had 12 all last year..He did get a big hit last night..

    Do you think Cito is here next year as well?..

    MW: Again – an insult surrounded by a couple of questions. I don’t get it.

    - Ray
  89. 89.

    But Mike,

    In the three games before Cito arrived, Scutaro was 1 for 12 with 2 walks. I believe that would be .083/.214!

    MW: Hmmm, so the on-base is soaring!

    - BRick in Oakville
  90. 90.

    Mike,

    According to Alan the performance by Jurrgens tonight was “superior”

    I think that when a pitcher only has 3 K’s in 8 IP and doesn’t give up many baserunners it’s more luck on BABIP than pitching so well.

    What do you think?

    MW: I don’t mean to jump on you, but it’s comments like these that make old-school people think that new-school stat-heads don’t care about anything but numbers, don’t really like baseball, parents’ basements, etc., etc. Jurrjens wasn’t overpowering, but used his sinker and change-up to tremendous effect tonight, and not many of the BIPs were hit hard enough to do any damage. Mark Teixeira made three nice plays on defense and Brandon Jones made a sensational catch in left, but that only took care of four of the 21 BIP outs. Weak grounders and pop-ups don’t get measured any differently than hard-hit liners that get caught (unless I miss my guess). This was a very well-pitched game, and there are pitchers who don’t strike out a ton of people and yet are able to repeat their success. If you look at this game from a BABIP perspective, it indeed gets a “meh”, because Jurrjens’ was a remarkably low .143 and I’m sure the DIPS wasn’t too impressive, because he only struck out three, but he pitched a very good game tonight.

    - GregJP
  91. 91.

    Mike,

    Why does Jerry keep referring to W-L record when talking about pitchers.

    Parrish was 10-0 in Syracuse. So what? How did he really pitch? What was his K/9?, WHIP, etc?

    Does he not realize that W-L is kind of a pointless stat, especially in the minors?

    - GregJP
  92. 92.

    Mike,

    Re: My age. We’ve discussed this before when talking about my “glory days” playing softball in Willowdale. Obviously, you read a gazillion posts a day so I don’t expect you to remember. In fact you thought we might have played together, as I’m also 38 years old. I was born in September, 1969. Not sure about yourself. I’m definitely not 17, those days are long gone, and I highly doubt I’ll reach 90.

    MW: I hope you do.

    - Tom the Intern
  93. 93.

    For the World Baseball Classic, who would be your Canadian shortstop, third baseman,2B,1B,C,LF,RF,CF,DH for the Canadian team?

    MW: Middle infield is tough. The main guys would be Peter Orr and, I guess, Danny Klassen unless there are some kids coming up who are ready for that level. Russ Martin is the catcher, Justin Morneau at first, Mark Teahen probably moves in at third, Jason Bay, Adam Stern, Joey Votto and Matt Stairs are the outfielders, with Votto and Stairs maybe shifting between the outfield and DH.

    - andrew
  94. 94.

    Mike, please please please start screening your calls, man your show is starting to get really tough to listen to. More then half the people make me ashamed of being a Toronto fan.

    - The Rat
  95. 95.

    Hi Mike,

    I was a bit surprised to hear you say that the perception of AJ around the league is different than here in Toronto. I’m not sure I have ever heard/read that before.

    I do like AJ as a pitcher, but I don’t feel he has ever come through for an entire season. A bit too inconsistent.

    I always thought that the league sees what we here in Toronto see – injury-prone and struggling to keep his head in the game at times. Though there is no doubting his talent.

    So, then, what is the perception of him? I can understand any team wanting him, because they all feel they could turn around the mental part, but I am curious as to what you hear about him from others in the industry.

    Thanks!

    MW: Most people I talk to, if not everyone, drools over A.J.’s stuff. There is a concern about the injuries and about the mental side, but every team wants him in its rotation.

    - Rory
  96. 96.

    Mike, what do you think of this little conspiracy theory? What if the league, without the players knowing switched to some type of “dead ball” to make it seem to the public that the steroid era has come or is coming to an end because of the Mitchell report.

    Seriously?

    MW: I’m not a big fan of conspiracy theories. The voices that I can hear from the listening devices in the walls of my bedroom tell me there’s no such thing.

    - The Rat
  97. 97.

    Mike, I listen all the time, and I have to ask you a question, and not about the Blue Jays. Why do you have to throw smart ass remarks out about the caller, after he or she is off the phone. Case in Point tonight, you called a caller an idiot after he defended he view point. This is the exact same thing that you do, you defend your point, and you call this guy an idiot. What are you five years old? You always made some remarks about another caller asking a question that made no sense or something along that line. It stands to reason that some of the callers to your show may not ask great questions, or make stupid comments that make no sense. But that is what your job is, to answer these calls, and yes, correct them if their numbers are off, but to make remarks about them or thier question is uncalled for. You might as well tell future callers that only questions that MIKE WILNER deems intelligent should be asked. It is easy to sit behind a desk, pushing a pencil or mouse or whatever you do and think everyone else is uninformed. Just give it some thought next time when a retorical question comes in or a crazy idea comes in that these callers help pay your salary. Without us idiots Mike, you wouldn’t have a job.

    MW: I don’t know, without the idiots the show wouldn’t be as much fun, for sure. But I tend not to take shots at people who are merely uninformed, it’s more the ones who believe that they know things that they legitimately have no way of knowing.

    - Jason
  98. 98.

    mike, since most people are arguing with you on this blog and you never will admit you are wrong, please explain this to us jays fans. you think gibby was doing a good job, the pitching is great, the offense is good, all the players are good and do not need to be replaced, JP is doing a good job, but somehow the jays have the second worst record in the AL. so if this is the case then what exactly do you propose needs to be done for next year to improve this team? and if you say keep the same players and hope they hit next year, then that’s not a reasonable plan. the only other solution is to get rid of the underperforming players which amounts to most of the lineup.

    MW: Right, so sell a bunch of players who are bound to improve for ten cents on the dollar and see how that makes you better. They need to bring in a bat or two, address shortstop and DH, and they should be just fine.

    - rocco
  99. 99.

    Mike,

    There’s a picture on the FAN 590 website of Jerry talking with Devo during tonight’s broadcast. Jerry’s shirt is a piece of art, or as the DJF would say: nails!

    - Tom the Intern
  100. 100.

    Do you think the braves would even consider moving Mark Teixeria outta town because he’s a free agent after this season and they probably won’t sign him to a extention because he has a agent named Scott Boras.

    MW: Yes, they would, if they can’t get back into the race.

    - andrew
  101. 101.

    “back into the race”

    Schwaa? They’re not in the race?

    MW: Of course not, they’re 11 games out of a playoff spot.

    - Dan W
  102. 102.

    Hey Mike

    Now Bonds will donate his salary to kids and still nobody will sign him? What an absolute disgrace. MLB should be ashamed. Barry is the best player of our generation and the 2nd best hitter of all-time. Yeah, he may be a jerk as well, but he puts asses in the seats, mine included. I hope he sues the league for collusion and wins.

    Regarding #77, how can you use Arencibia’s RBI totals to make a sarcastic remark about people who criticize the farm system? Every time I point out how lousy the numbers are for the guys in the minors, you respond by saying “i don’t care what they hit now, lets see were they are 6 years down the road”. Its a fact that the Jays minor system ranks near the bottom in total talent according to ever scouting source, so why not just acknowledge this ?

    Anyhow, love debating/talking ball on the blog and post game show, keep up the good work.

    Rick

    MW: I have acknowledged that the Jays’ minor-league system ranks among the lowest among most of the analysts (maybe even all), but that’s a very biased, very subjective ranking. Like I said, six years hence is the only way to know what a minor-league system is doing. I don’t recall using Arencibia’s RBI numbers, though.

    - rick
  103. 103.

    mike, bringing in a bat or two means replacing somebody in the lineup so who do you feel needs replacing? and who is bound to improve? all the players are having typical years, overbay has had 2 bad years in a row, hill is having another mediocre year, not sure about rolen, zaun is zaun, wells is same old .328 obp wells, only rios can improve some. you said the exact same thing last year. are we supposed to believe you?

    MW: Overbay had a bad year last year, with a broken hand. He is not having a bad year this year. Hill had a much better season last year than he was having up until he got hurt. Wells is the same .330 obp guy, but without a lot of the power he’s shown in the past. Rios, Hill, Overbay, Wells, Rolen and Lind can all be expected to improve. The new bats coming in, as I said, would slide in at DH and shortstop. Catcher, too.

    - rocco
  104. 104.

    if bonds and sosa were here we would have 2 players with over .1000 ops vs righties last year, but JP thinks they can’t hit. it’s quite funny that the media is no longer referring to if JP gets fired but when he gets fired. JP will go down as the worst GM in toronto history. JP makes me long for the days of gord ash.

    MW: Sosa had over a 1.000 (I assume that’s what you mean) OPS against righties last year? In what league? Because in the American one, his OPS against righties was .676. And J.P. doesn’t think that Barry Bonds can’t hit.

    - rocco
  105. 105.

    Regarding fans wanting Bonds and Sosa:

    I am not sure how extreme Bonds and his entourage would be these days but a lot of teams are likely turned off by the idea of a hotshot moving into a clubhouse and the morale effect.

    That being said though, from a strictly qualitative point of view (I haven’t looked up stats for this) Bonds seems to at least make contact. I spent many years watching the Cubs (I’m a big fan actually) and spent many years watching Sammy swing and miss, again and again and again. If you get upset with Overbay and double plays with the bases loaded than Sammy will put you over the edge with…yet another…strike out. Harry Caray once moaned on WGN: “What the hell is wrong with a base on balls”, after Sammy chased a 3-2 pitch one at eye level. For every three run home run on the highlight reel there were a whole bunch more times when Sandberg and Grace made the long walk from the basepaths to the dugout after another Sosa flailing.

    MW: From 1995-2003, Sosa averaged over a strikeout per game, but strikeouts don’t bother me that much.

    - Rob M
  106. 106.

    Rocco,

    Ah yes, the days of Gord Ash when we traded sure fire prospects like Michael Young for stunning mediocrities like Esteban Loaiza. Remember when Shawn Green held Gord Ash over a barrel, despite having ZERO leverage (1 year before free agency) and demanded to be traded to the Dodgers and we got Raul Mondesi? Those were the days. Green could’ve been traded to any of the other 29 teams for a boatload as he was coming off a .309/.384/.588 season with 45 2B, 42 HR, and 123 RBI and the home nine ended up with Raul Mondesi. Wow! How about when 3 years removed from his unbelievable 1993, everyone all of a sudden decided John Olerud should be a pull hitter, despite the fact that he had had great success as a spray hitter. Who’d we get for him again? Oh yeah, Robert Person, who stunk the joint out for 2+ years before being dealt for the second coming of… Paul Spoljaric. Good times!

    Where have you gone Willie Greene, Jacob Brumfield (twice), Dave Hollins, Jeff Frye, Alberto Castillo? Hurry back Tilson Brito, Domingo Cedeno, Felipe Crespo, Sandy Martinez, Tomas Perez: we miss you. Hope to see you at the next Flashback Friday Steve Trachsel, Joey Hamilton, Omar Daal, Luis Andujar, Jeff Ware. Make sure you leave room on that ole Level of Excellence for Steve Parris, Chris Michalak, Edwin Hurtado, Paul Menhart, Huck Flener, Marty Janzen (that reminds me: remember the David Cone trade? Wow that was a blockbuster wasn’t it?), Scott Brow.

    Mike, the memories are flooding back to me. I’m becoming very wistful, in fact I’m starting to feel quite verklempt. I’m gonna have to go now as I can no longer contain my emotions. 1995-2001: the glory days of this esteemed franchise. I will forever remember those years with great fondness.

    MW: Don’t forget, the Jays threw in $5 million with Olerud to get Robert Person.

    - Tom the Intern
  107. 107.

    An insult surrounded by a couple of questions?..Wow that was an insult?..You don’t seem to have a problem dishing it out.. But you do have a problem when someone can refute your opinions..

    MW: OK, it wasn’t a huge insult, but my point still stands, and it has nothing to do with dishing it out. Why would someone write in, insult me, then expect me to answer a question? Better still, why would they even want me to answer a question?

    - Ray
  108. 108.

    Naturally, they had to get shut out as soon as I said that. But even good teams get shut out, and now we got to see another first this season: the Jays were hitting well for a few games, then got shut out, and then actually rebounded immediately with a 9-run effort!

    MW: Yeah, that was definitely swell.

    - Shmuel
  109. 109.

    #101: I think you misread the question, as it was about what the Braves would do, not the Jays, and the Braves were only 3 games out at the time.

    #107: It’s possible for someone to respect your opinion on baseball but not respect how you deal with your callers. I could ask how you can insult your caller and then tell them you appreciate the call within the span of about 7 seconds.

    MW: 101 – unless the question was “schwaa?” How could I misread it? 107 – that’s fine, and I don’t disagree, but don’t tell me I’m an a** and then expect me to want to answer a question of yours.

    - Dan W
  110. 110.

    I meant you misread the question in #100, because the poster was talking solely about the Braves, who were 3 games out at the time.

    As for #107, fair enough.

    MW: The poster in #100 was indeed referring only to the Braves, but I didn’t know that’s what you were referring to.

    - Dan W
  111. 111.

    My post in #101 pulled the quote from your response in #100. Guess I should’ve been more clear on that.

    Oh, and “schwaaa?” is definitely a legitimate question lol.

    - Dan W
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