12:10 AM Eastern

Cito Gaston said it after the game – as good as Jesse Litsch was last night, Jair Jurrjens was tonight.  He had the Jays looking like their old selves, off-balance, no clue, unable to hit the ball hard, and going down seemingly without a fight.

The kid is good, and might even be able to get the Dutch a win at the World Baseball Festival in the spring.  Heck, if you look in the archives you’ll see he was my pick for NL Rookie of the Year and as we all know, my predictions are never wrong.

Dustin McGowan didn’t look great, and came out spec-less after the second inning, but really only Mark Teixeira did any damage.  He’s really good, too, and the way he hit tonight almost made me think it’s a good idea to offer him the 8 year-$260 million deal that a commenter wanted to give him earlier this month.  Almost.  Texy would fix a lot of the Blue Jays’ problems, though, that’s for sure, and he will be available on the open market after the season.

So I’m guessing those of you who thought the Jays’ problems were fixed now that Cito and his gang are here and Gibby, Denbo and Pevey are gone are having second thoughts now, huh?  Not even the fearsome twosome of Marco Scutaro and Joe Inglett could get the offense cooking tonight.  I know some people have had issues with me throwing out Tuesday night’s scorefest in assessing the job that Scoot has done as the leadoff man, but one great game can skew all kinds of numbers.  If you do throw that game out, Scutaro has been horrible out of the leadoff spot under Gaston, and I’m hoping that experiment ends tomorrow afternoon.

It’s amazing, isn’t it?  The Mariners come in with the worst record in baseball and take two of three, the Braves come in with the worst road record in the game and make it look easy in the opener.  The Blue Jays are SIX GAMES UNDER their pythagorean win-loss record, making them the unluckiest team in baseball this season.  Amazingly, if the teams were ranked by how many games their run production for and against says they should have won, the Jays would be three games behind the wild card Oakland A’s and 3 1/2 back of the Red Sox for first in the East.  The question has to be asked – what did the Blue Jays do to get karma so brutally turned against them?  Have they had any breaks go their way the last five years?  It certainly doesn’t seem they have.

Here’s tonight’s episode of The JaysTalk – it begins cordially enough, at least, but things went downhill as the show progressed.  I don’t know, I just have a hard time thinking that someone who talks to his buddies has a better idea of the pulse of big-league baseball than someone who is actually at the ballpark every day talking to players, coaches, scouts and executives and other people who talk to such people everyday.  Maybe it’s just me.

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Remember, we have the extendo-pre-game show on Saturday and Sunday, starting at noon Eastern on the FAN590 and here on the website.  I’m hoping to have an in-depth interview with new first-base coach Dwayne Murphy Saturday, I already have a good chat with umpire Joe West in the can for Sunday.  The plan is for me to be outside the Dome at Gate 6A (southeast tip of the ballpark), but if the weather is as bad as it’s supposed to be, we might not want to expose our delicate radio equipment.

Comments are always welcome – and the banned Anton has asked for forgiveness (I’m not sure, let me know what you think) – I doubt I’ll be able to answer any before the game tomorrow, though.

88 Responses to “Jair Straits”
  1. 1.

    When you did the Scutaro thing, you threw away 22% of his PA’s. I started the research at work today, but I’ll show you what I came up with later. Basically, if you throw away any players best 22% worth of PA’s(games based), you’ll come up with a similar drop in production, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of previous performance.

    You also got the numbers wrong(I think), as I had his OBP at .333, not .318. Excuse me if I’m actually wrong on that, but I triple checked.

    MW: Since Cito took over (not including tonight), Scutaro had gone 8-for-25 with three walks and a hit-by-pitch. All eight hits were singles, so he was hitting .320/.414/.320 in six games. Tuesday night, he went 4-for-6, so I’m eliminating 20%of his plate appearances (he had a sac bunt on Friday, those don’t count against your OBP). Without that game, he was hitting .211/.348/.211. I don’t think it’s unfair to eliminate one good game when it skews the numbers so severely. After tonight, by the way, Scoot is hitting .174/.296/.194 as Cito’s leadoff man outside that one good game. I don’t understand why it’s unfair to point that out – he had a great game on Tuesday, just like everybody else, but he’s been awful the rest of the time.

    I can’t find the entry that I had about it, but I’ll take your word for it that I put .318. I must have switched the 4 to a 1. Sorry about that.

    - Dan W
  2. 2.

    Following up on something you said on JaysTalk this evening. If I heard you right, you said something along the lines of ‘Mark McGuire would be in the Hall of Fame if he had not admitted to doing steroids before Congress?’. You also seemed to imply you have sympathy with the idea that players shouldn’t be held accountable for what they’ve done ‘until proven guilty’ in a court, including even Barry Bonds.

    There’s three responses I’d have to that.

    1. (Quoting http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A43422-2005Mar17.html word for word) ‘While McGuire acknowledged [before Congress that] “there has been a problem with steroid use in baseball,” he responded to questions about his own involvement by saying, “I’m not here to discuss the past,” or, “I’m here to be positive about this subject.”‘ He also hung out to dry the family of Taylor Hooton who comitted suicide as a result of steroid abuse, to whom he had given the impression that he was about to be far more open about his past (from memory I believe he had spoken to them earlier that day and given the impression that he was going to give them much more of what they wanted). They expected and appealed for truth and reconciliation so that “our children’s lives were not lost in vain” (http://www.cnn.com/2005/ALLPOLITICS/03/17/steroids.baseball/). Instead they got deliberate and cowardly obfuscation.

    What is incredible is that McGuire managed to set his own agenda in Congress without being severely reprimanded for his contempt. You don’t say to CONGRESS “I’m not here to discuss the past”. Of COURSE he was, what the heck else was he there to do? That was why he was summoned! He had no right to refuse to speak about anything when standing before that tribunal – ‘take the 5th’ if you want, but don’t be a weasel and a coward.

    2. The Hall of Fame is not a court, and so ‘innocent until proven guilty’ does not apply. It’s perfectly acceptable to take on board evidence that a court may never hear. If you have read ‘Game of Shadows’, and I’m sure you have, then you have to accept there is a mountain of convincing evidence piled against Bonds, McGuire and a lot of other people (or otherwise convince yourself it is one of the most outstanding pieces of fiction of all time). Law being the way it is, much of the contents may never appear before court. That’s fine – a court has to have the highest standards of evidence. I think we can accept a lower one when judging whether someone should get given a slap on the back by their peers. If someone gets fired for being bad at their job, or embezzling, or promoted in a regular job, you don’t need to bring the full weight of the law to bear. You have circumstantial and substantial evidence that the person is good or bad at what they do, or stealing from the petty cash, and that is good enough. The same with these players. If they think they’re being unfairly treated, then let THEM go to court so that they can get into the bronze-face club.

    What good can come from Mark McGuire trying to defend his tarnished reputation at this stage? There is no logical reason someone would say ‘I’m not here to discuss the past’ unless there was something very serious that they did not want to discuss. The same with Giambi – what makes me mad is not so much that they took steroids, it is the pathetic cowardly way they try to say ‘yes we took them’ without actually saying ‘yes we took them’. Giambi made ‘mistakes’. Come off it. We all know what was going on, but there will never be the resolution that would come if they were genuinely open. Think of the GOOD they could do if they came out and said ‘yes, I took them. This is what I took; this is when I took it; this is why I took it’. THEN, say ‘It was a mistake, I regret it, let’s use this to move on and do something better’. I actually think people would have a lot of respect for that – or more respect than they currently have.

    There are actually large mitigating factors when judging the players that juiced. Peer pressure, the threat of losing a career, the feeling that everyone else took them, and the feeling, justified or not, of tacit League approval. There are mitigating factors for a lot of second string players like Jay Gibbons, who probably felt they had a ticket to triple A unless they juiced, especially after he got injured. Those players get a harder deal. Gibbons has at least made a genuine confession now – albeit brought on by desperation to get back to the major leagues (he’s hitting .259 in 9 games for the Long Island Ducks by the way. Does JP know?). Why not be honest, and in doing so bring out some of the aspects of the steroid era that are still under-reported. In a lot of ways I think it would favour the juicers, in revealing the complicated reasons why they chose to cheat, and perhaps enable a fair amount of blame to be put on Bud Selig and MLB for their complicity by silence.

    3. I wasn’t too keen on the deafeatist attitude you took to the subject of steroids either, and I don’t think saying ‘what’s the point – look at track and field’ is fair. The fact is, a large number of prominent American and British atheletes of the Balco era were caught and/or disgraced – the people who could afford the good stuff from Balco as well. It took time, but many did get caught. The next generation will think a little bit harder. But yes, some will take steroids, and some will be caught. Isn’t that arguably the system *working* not failing? Don’t we also now know a lot more about the effects on the body of steroids – the tell-tale signs that suggest something is up. Baseball players always have and always will cheat, but you can create a culture where the risks are so high that the number limits itself, and where the players are part of the system of checks and balances, and not trying to subvert it. Removing the statistics (not asterisking) up to that day of the test of any player who tests positive would be one good incentive.

    MW: I do believe that McGwire would be enshrined right now if he had simply lied to Congress, and maybe if he’d told the truth as well. His pathetic performance killed him. I didn’t mean to imply that a person needs to be proven guilty in a court of law in order to for there to be consequences, even severe, for his actions, but I’m not going to call someone guilty on the air without proof. That’s just a lawsuit waiting to happen. Callers can do it all they want, though.

    - ben
  3. 3.

    mike, I don’t think there are any offensive shortstops or catchers that are available. if so please name them. so that leaves just dh and they already have stairs so somebody else would have to be better than stairs. and if you recall with frank thomas and his 90 rbis last year they weren’t the best offensively either. the big flaw in your argument is that you just assume that every player always improves. sometimes they regress as overbay has shown. look at robinson cano, whoda thunk. some players like hill were average to begin with. when’s the last time the jays had no players with over 15 homers?

    MW: You never know who might be available in trade, but on the free agent market it’s weak – with Rafael Furcal, the newly-LASIKed Cristian Guzman and Orlando Cabrera the best choices at short and Jason Varitek, Javier Valentin and maybe Ivan Rodriguez the best options behind the plate. Potential DH-type bats include Jason Giambi, Jim Thome, Mark Teixeira, Carlos Delgado, Daryle Ward, (Frank Thomas), Jeff Kent, Moises Alou, Pat Burrell, (Adam Dunn), Cliff Floyd, Juan Rivera and Rondell White.

    - rocco
  4. 4.

    Ok Mike – it is easy to be an apologist – ofcourse the Jays record is not Gibby’s fault, Denbo’ fault or Peavey’s fault. It is certainly not Ernie’s fault. To say the player’s are not performing up to expectations is a cop out. To muse about karma is absurd. Specifically what personnal are to blame. Who is failing the team? Obviously any player that you name could light it up the next game or have a great second half. That’s baseball. I’m reading Baseball Prospectus – will Travis Snider be here in 2009 or will he be a September call up and what can we expect?

    MW: To say the players (note the lack of apostrophe) are not performing up to expectations is a cop out? Why is that? Why does everyone want to place blame everywhere but for where it belongs?

    - Daniel
  5. 5.

    “The question has to be asked – what did the Blue Jays do to get karma so brutally turned against them?”

    ANSWER: HIRED JP RICCIARDI

    “and as we all know, my predictions are never wrong.”

    for the love of god, I will bet my farm that oil will go back to 30 before I will believe a nostradamus mike prediction.

    MW: Do I really have to explain the meaning of “tongue in cheek”?

    - rocco
  6. 6.

    why does cito have the hate on for eckstein and mcdonald? didn’t he say everyone was going to play?

    MW: Again – an insult followed by a question.

    - rocco
  7. 7.

    Wasn’t the last caller the same guy who wanted someone to break Roy Halladay’s ankle because he was being selfish for wanting to complete games? How did he get back on the show?

    MW: Was it the same guy?

    - John
  8. 8.

    Ni Hao Mike,

    Just listened to your show on the net from here in China….a great way to start the day. I am very disappointed that a couple of callers called in to question Roy Halidays character/ability/trade value. The guy just took a line drive off the head!

    Nothing would please me more than to see the Jays extend his contract to insure that he stays with this team for the duration of his career…not unlike Dave Steib.

    Doc is a player that is not replaceable and he deserves the respect of the fans. Cheap shots at a class act like him are uneducated at best…but stupid regardless.

    Brad

    MW: I’ll grant you that you just listened to the call, but I don’t seem to remember the caller questioning Halladay’s character or trade value. I don’t remember any cheap shots, either. No one is irreplaceable, but Halladay is as close as there is. Stieb didn’t play his entire career with the Blue Jays, he had a short stint with the White Sox. It’s awesome that you’re listening all the way in China!

    - Brad
  9. 9.

    You call your caller an “idiot”

    you have some nerve Mike. What do you think he thinks of you? He didn’t call you anything. You are so unprofessional and it’s funny because I read somewhere that you like Dan Shulman and one of the reasons you do is because “he never talks down to his audience” something that you do almost every night.

    I think it’s your culture or your religion that makes you act the way you do.

    MW: You think it’s my culture or my religion? What an abhorrent thing to say. Interesting that you would say that and reference Shulman, as well.

    - Andy S.
  10. 10.

    Mike,

    I’d really like for you to pull Derek Jeter aside for a half an hour or so when the Yankees are in town so you can have a heart to heart like you did with Griffey Jr. He’s probably a really terrific guy!!

    MW: I don’t get that impression. The Yankees are different when they come into town, and for good reason.

    - Bernard
  11. 11.

    Mike,

    I wonder about McGowan…he’s not nearly as dominant as he was at times last year. It might just be me – but he seems to get hit hard by the lefties? Tall pitchers sometimes take years to get their mechanics right (see Randy Johnson)…but I am wondering about the ace of the staff potential in McGowan – what do you think???

    MW: It’s not just you, lefties have hit close to .300 against McGowan this season. McGowan’s only 6’3″, so the comparisons to Randy Johnson are a little off. He has great stuff, and hasn’t been able to harness it yet but don’t forget – he’s in his first full season in the major leagues.

    - Gary
  12. 12.

    I was at the game tonight and the Jays just didn’t have the right stuff.

    Few thoughts:

    #1 – I’m curious to know what you think will happen to the lineup when Aaron Hill returns (if ever).

    #2 – With 81 games under their belt, the Jays are 38-43. For them to hit 95 wins (and a shot at the wildcard), they need to go 57-24 (basically 2 for every 3) the rest of the way. Chances are slim and some changes will probably need to be made. What sort of trade value (if any) do the following guys have at the deadline: Eckstein, Stewart, MacDonald, Inglett, Scutaro, Lind, League, Frasor. And big names do you think might be available come trade deadline?

    #3 – Interesting how the guys Gibby rarely used (or used in blow outs) are guys Cito is turning to. Frasor, League, (to name a couple) must have a renewed hope now that Cito is back in charge since it’s a fresh start. Either that, or it’s a ploy to give them a false sense of hope and package them at the trade deadline. Thoughts on any strategy, or does Cito just see something (right or wrong) that Gibby didn’t?

    Yeah, I know it’s long, but we’re at the mid-way and after sitting through a boring 4-0 loss where the jays managed only 3 hits, your mind does start to wander.

    Thanks Mike!

    Angelo.

    MW: When Hill comes back, he’s the everyday second baseman, and either Joe Inglett or Brad Wilkerson will head out, assuming everyone else is healthy. Cito seems to have a lot more use for Inglett than he does Wilkerson at this point. Stewart, McDonald, Inglett, Scutaro and Frasor don’t have any real trade value. Why would you deal Lind or League, though, unless someone wanted to overpay? And to say that Cito is turning to League when Gibby didn’t is more than a bit of a stretch – League has yet to appear in a game under Gaston.

    - Angelo
  13. 13.

    I don’t know how you restrain yourself after calls like the last one. Very admirable Mike, very admirable.

    Is there any chance the Jays pony up the money for a guy like Teixera? I saw he and Boras would demand 8/$160M. I don’t see how they could afford that seeing as how Wells will make over 21M in the last few years of his deal.

    MW: Just look what I have to deal with here on the blerg! I don’t know that the Jays would be willing to pony up that kind of dough for Teixeira, but they will have at least $26.5 million coming off the payroll next season without Burnett, Thomas and Eckstein.

    - Brett
  14. 14.

    you are right mike, it’s not unfair to eliminate a player’s best game, so let’s do the same for superstar overbay. he got on base 17 times last 53 pa = .320 obp but let’s take out that one game jun 24 and his obp drops to .271 (13/48). his ba would drop from .250 to .205. but that doesn’t mean overbay sucks of course.

    MW: Is everyone out there so dense that they actually believe that I think Lyle Overbay is a superstar? Seriously, what’s wrong with you?

    - rahim
  15. 15.

    Mike & Tom the Intern:

    Looks like your intern did some research yesterday that helped state the case that the Jays don’t have a chance at the wild card although I think he was trying to show how there is a real chance that they can.

    FIRST – I like how 2004 and 2005 were strategically ommitted from the case (a nice Wilner-esque touch actually) because I assume (and haven’t even looked) that the teams that were ahead in those years at the end of June went on to make the playoffs and wouldn’t help your argument.

    SECOND – When someone overtakes another team to win a division other than the AL East, that’s not a position that the Jays could ever get unless there is some rule that you know that I’m unaware of.

    THIRD – There was no team in that assessment that was more than 9 games behind at this point in the season and the Jays currently sit 11 games behind the wild card so the turnaround of the Jays accompanied by the slide for the other teams has to be even greater than any of those mentioned. Also, there have been more games played so far this season than in your scenario which makes the case even worse for the Jays.

    FOURTH – Looking at 2007, the Yankees won the wild card with 94 wins and the Jays would need to go 56-25 (.691) for the second half of the season in order to get to that level. The Yankees as you noted finished the season 58-29 (.666) in order to get to that mark so the Jays need better than that. In 2006 and 2003 the Tigers and Red Sox respectively won the wild card with 95 wins and the Jays would need to go 57-24 (.700) for the second half of the season to achieve that level. Now, just in case you haven’t noticed no one is anywhere close to that total for the first 81 games of this season. Boston got to 50 wins in 82 games and the Cubs have a shot to get there in 81 games. Also, while the Blue Jays had everything going for them in May and had an amazing month (as most people will atest) going 20-10 (.666) … that would not be a good enough pace to get to 94 wins

    Therefore assuming the Jays can duplicate their May streak for the rest of the year and finish with 92 wins they must hope that Tampa finishes worse than 43-40 in their remaining games in order to overtake them. However on top of that they also need teams like Oakland, Minnesota (who are currently riding a 10 game win streak), White Sox, and the Yankees to also hover around the .500 mark and not make a run. It would be an unprecedented run for sure and I’ll be the first to admit that I was wrong about the Jays if they pull it off but let’s just say I’m not holding my breath.

    Finally, I did like how you pointed out all that information to get people excited about the Jays’ chances and then ended with “this could be a fun team to watch down the stretch, and if the impossible happens there’s the icing on the cake.” At least you’re able to recognize that it’s virtually impossible.

    Sorry for the long post but I just like to be realistic and not live in the dreamworld where the Jays are only a 15 game wins treak away from getting back into this thing. That hasn’t happened in this city in a very long time. I can’t remember even seeing a 7 game win streak actually.

    MW: One of these days, I’m going to figure out why the vast majority of the fanbase in this city seems to really want the negative result to happen. There is no one who has said that the Jays are front-runners, favourites to make the playoffs, likely to make the playoffs, and yet all these negative blasts out here seem to be disputing that idea.

    - Peter B.
  16. 16.

    That last caller was a JA.

    Since it’s looking like we’re not going to be a playoff team and will likely ride it out with the current roster until we can’t argue that we’re “in it” any longer; what do you think the plan should be for starting to shape this roster for next season? Shedding Eckstein’s 4 Million and with Burnett hopefully coming off the books, that should give some cash to go after an upper class FA. I think we will likely only be able to afford one of two things: 1) A good leadoff hitter like Crawford or 2) a “thumper bat” to stick in the middle of the lineup. Personally I would lean towards the leadoff hitter. You thoughts?

    BTW, I just noticed this blog with all the postgame shows in it the other day. I listened to the last 5 or 6 today at work…it was awesome!

    Jeff

    MW: Glad to have you along! I hope to keep your productivity levels low for a long time. I think the Jays need the big bat way more than they need the leadoff man.

    - Jeff
  17. 17.

    Hey Mike

    There doesn’t seem to be an abundance of power hitters on the market for 2009. Heres what i’m thinking : Milwaukee is in the playoff mix and could very much use some pitching. As much as I love BJ Ryan, maybe you send AJ and BJ to Milwaukee in exchange for Laporta and Brett Lawrie, or even take a run at Gallardo, who is useless to the brew crew this year. Take the money you save on AJ and BJ, then invest in another elite closer, assuming there may be a few available in 09. Any good free agent closers on the market in next year?

    MW: The Brewers wouldn’t trade LaPorta and Lawrie for Burnett and Ryan. I would love to dangle A.J. to try to take a run at Gallardo, though, but if Doug Melvin is smart he wouldn’t do that, either. Brad Lidge and Francisco Rodriguez will be free agents this off-season.

    - rick
  18. 18.

    Mike:

    You said that it doesn’t bother you at all that a majority of scouts and analysts seem to rate the Jays’ farm system near the bottom of the league because we’ll find out how good it actually is in 5-6 years when those players make it to the majors.

    I think a lot of fans look at the analysts’ rankings and have concerns because when JP arrived in Toronto he said that he was going to build this team through the draft because he couldn’t compete with the payrolls of New York and Boston but he could draft the players that would get the job done for much less and younger. In fact at the time he said he could do it on a $50 million payroll, which then changed to $60 million and has steadily grown to close to $100 million this season. However, as you say the team needs a big bat (possibly out of the shortstop position) and there is no one available in the minors after 7 years of JP drafts that can be looked at to fill the position. You said they might also address the DH position and from all the talk I haven’t heard a name from the farm system mentioned for that either. Did he not draft any hitters/ position players (besides Hill and Lind) in his early years?

    You’ve also said before when people talk about Gord Ash that he left the team in a sad state and that JP had to clean up the giant mess it was in. However, people have written that the farm system was rated much higher when JP took over than it is currently. It has been well documented on Jays Talk and here on the blog that Wells, Halladay, Rios, McGowan etc. were all drafted by Ash and are now important pieces of this team. Now, assuming your 5-6 year window to determine how good the farm system is, Ash’s last few years of drafting should somehow be representd in the past few years of this Jays team. You have been a HUGE believer in this team for the past couple of years and if it wasn’t for a few bad injuries etc. would have been contenders in your opinion. Therefore does it not make sense that the farm system that was left to JP wasn’t as bad as you have portrayed it to be since some of those players must have been used to get current roster players. Did no one from Ash’s last few years of drafting turn into anything?

    MW: At the time, Ricciardi did say he could do it on a $50 million payroll, but at the time the Yankees were spending around $95-100 million (I think), which they’ve since more than doubled, and the Red Sox were around $70, which they’ve doubled, too. It’s a very good point you make about Ash, though I don’t like the move of naming the four guys who are still here and then putting an “etc.” there to make it seem as though there are more. At the moment, all that’s left from the last few years of Ash’s drafting is a little piece of Lyle Overbay (Gabe Gross added to the two pitchers Ricciardi drafted to make that deal) and a small bit of Jeremy Accardo (Vinnie Chulk was dealt along with Shea Hillenbrand).

    - Peter B.
  19. 19.

    This game was pretty much over in the first inning. Here is my problem with the way things went. The Braves lineup is pretty much TERRIBLE without Chipper in there. They have ONE guy who can beat you in Tex, and what did the jays do? they let him beat them. thats just not acceptable. in the first inning, with two out and first base open..u DONT give him anything to hit..i dont care if its the first (cause it might as well be the last). then again with two outs..they pitched to him again and he burned them. i dont understand how u let the ONE guy that can beat you on the other team do JUST that.

    MW: So………..they should fire Cito?

    - sammy jalalzai
  20. 20.

    Someone’s probably mentioned it by now, but sac bunts do count against your OBP, as do sac flies. It’s AVG and SLG that they don’t count against.

    MW: I hate to tell you, but no one has mentioned it because sacrifice hits do not count against OBP.

    - Torgen
  21. 21.

    Hi Mike, another great show,
    except for the actual game part!

    Now don’t go dumping of
    Scutaro and Inglett, it
    was surely a team loss
    and a Jurrijens win.

    Hey, the team LOB was only 2!

    Meanwhile,surely, JP knows that Texeira is a free agent next year and might be available at the deadline.

    That is why his comment on Thursday night about “not really sure what’s out there” was so scary.

    What I didn’t hear was the standard,” we’re always looking for opportunities to improve the ball club and if there’s something out there we would be prepared to make a deal” or,

    “We have our eyes on a few ball players who we think
    could help us for now and/or for the long term and we’ll just have to see how it plays out”

    So, let’s say he does nothing.

    Will it be because:

    He already knows he’s gone by year end; or
    He’s been told not to spend (waste) any more of Ted’s money, no matter what; or
    He doesn’t agree with you
    and I (and it seems most of the Jays fans that care) that more LH bats are required; or
    he’s given up on the season and is just going to wait until next year and hope he’ll still be around; ???

    Lastly, the Jays magic number to elimination is… 70
    (third lowest in the majors
    after Seattle and Cincinnati)

    MW: I don’t think he’ll do nothing, but in order for him to make a move to improve the team for now, they’d have to get back in the race. It’s a huge leap, and really shows something, to say that Ricciardi’s not aware that Teixeira is one of the guys who may be available at the deadline. But the Braves are only three games out of a playoff spot, so why would they deal him? That’s what J.P. meant, who knows who might actually be dangled in July?

    - BRick in Oakville
  22. 22.

    I don’t think this is an unlucky team, rather a team with good pitching and terrible offence. No one seems to hit in pressure situations, being a good team means the ability to perform in pressure situations. Maybe Scutaro isn’t a great leadoff guy, but our 3 and 4 hitters have done much either. Once the Jays fallout of the playoffs then we will see a winning streak, no pressure then.

    MW: How is there pressure now? They’re 11 games out.

    - jason
  23. 23.

    Hi Mike,
    Totally off topic comment here. Although I LOVE baseball and grew up on it, I’ve been in Australia long enough to grudgingly admit that cricket is a more skillful sport (but not a better one). Put simpley, the batters are phenomenal.

    Not only do they have to deal with balls coming at the same speed as the fastest pitches in baseball, but they have to negotiate hitting the ball after it bounces on a sometimes uneven surface only meters in front of them. There are also about 10 time the variety of “pitches” to contend with, not to mention the fact they can get “out” on any pitch.

    Some of these guys can belt the crap out of the ball and their hand-eye co-ordination is ridiculous. Most of them also have a baseball background.

    My question is this: has anyone in the major leagues ever given any thought to trialling some cricketers as DH’s??? Sort of like the NFL gets punters from the Aussie Rules?

    You never know, it could be the next coming of the Dominican Republic or Japanese players.

    MW: I’m not sure that the skills are as directly transferable as they may look. Don’t cricketers get to hit the ball all the way around in a 360-degree space? A ball that a baseball player fouls straight back is in play in a cricket game, is it not? The bats are incredibly different, as well. I’m not saying one or the other has it easier, but heck, why not give a cricketer a baseball bat and see what he can do? You never know what you might find.

    - Oz Rob
  24. 24.

    38-43. End of Part 1. D Grade

    It’s not a guarantee but in order to make the playoffs, Jays have to be around 91 wins which means they have to go 53-28 from here on or play around .655 baseball.

    Logic says it’s highly improbabe, Math. says Jays need couple of ridiculous winning streaks, I say I’ve a better chance of winning the $32m 6/49 Jackpot tonight than Jays making the playoffs. What does Mike Wilner say?

    MW: You give them a D? You’re being kind. I don’t think they need a couple of ridiculous winning streaks to get back in it, but that would help. Seeing how the odds against you winning the 6/49 Jackpot are about 14,000,000:1, I’ll give the Jays the better chance.

    - Beburg
  25. 25.

    Hi Mike,

    I have to back you up on your disagreement witht the caller who said the Jays and Vernon Wells show no emotion. People who say there is no emotion haven’t been paying attention. I beleive it was Wednesday’s game – TSN had a microphone a little too close to the field. I heard some singing in the key of F sharp. Also, when Wells popped up he yelled out Great Day Isn’t it – or some other phrase starting with the letters G D and I. A major league batter can not spend the whole game angry or they’ll have nothing but pop-ups and strike outs for the game. Any more emotion out of this team would be creeping into Chacon territory, and no one wants to see that (I hope).

    Love the blog and podcast Mike, keep up the good work.

    MW: Thanks!

    - matt
  26. 26.

    M-Dub,
    THE ROOF WAS OPEN!!
    there is a god.
    mark teieieieieixieieieixieieixira is a freaking vaccum at 1B…he was fun to watch tonite on D nevermind the rest. Uhhh why did the rangers trade him again? i know jarrod is supposed to be good, but did they get some serious minor league pitching prospects too? I forget
    Also Littlebridges has huge ears.
    that is all.

    - slobberface
  27. 27.

    Also, I never realized how much of a freak M Gonzalez is out there on the mound. you notice that? He looks like he jumped out of a video game.

    - slobberface
  28. 28.

    Mike, I can think of at least one reason why the Jays should not go after Teixeira — it would result in an exponential increase in spelling errors in this blog!

    If the majority of the posters can’t even get Gene Tenace’s name spelled right, the mind bottles as to what would happen with Tex (Teix?)– see, it’s started already!

    As to Anton, my vote would be to let him back in, but on strict “probation” for at least 30 days — if he “behaves”, good; if not, what have we lost?

    - Norm
  29. 29.

    Further to Teixeira, I recently posted re: Overbay, and finished by saying “I’d be hard-pressed to come up with an upgrade”. Well, I take it back — Teixeira would definitely be one who would fit in that “upgrade” category — at least in performance, if not in “cost per ….”

    - Norm
  30. 30.

    re: Arencibia and the Jay’s ‘horrible system’

    If we don’t place a lot higher on BA’s prospects list next year, it’s fixed.

    In a couple of years, our AA catching tandem should be our big league tandem for a very long time. (No offense to Mr. Diaz, who should be the starter next year.)

    - pete
  31. 31.

    Mike, just a quick question concerning the roster — I realize that Wolfe was optioned out to make room for Parrish, but what about the 40-man roster? Was Parrish already on their 40-man? If not, what move was made there?

    Thanks, Mike

    MW: They had a space available on the 40-man.

    - Norm
  32. 32.

    Mike, I don’t think too many of us thought Cito would come in and all of a sudden the offense would start belting homers and we’d win every game. You keep talking about small sample sizes when we rave about Inglett etc. Well Cito’s reign so far is a small sample size.

    As for Texeira, I cannot think of one good reason why he’d come here, which makes me sad because we sure could use him. He can command any price and everyone will be after him. He’ll go somewhere where he thinks he has a legitimate chance to go to the playoffs. That won’t be Toronto. We need to get this season squared away decently and get a seasoned and circumspect GM in who will settle the whole club down and bring back some respect. And after that, and only after that, will we be able to sign the really big free agents that we want to get.

    We’ve been through a very long and turbulent time what with all those owners and 2 GMs and 5 managers and a bunch of underperforming versions of the team. When we were winning the division titles and World Series titles, we were the classiest act in baseball and I’m not just talking about the payroll. We don’t have that reputation anymore. Ricciardi’s not the only reason for that, but he will be the predicate reason for Texeira and all the others like him to tell their agents not to take our calls.

    Is this another Get Rid Of Ricciardi rant? Oh hell, yes.

    MW: I don’t think there’s a single agent out there who won’t take J.P. Ricciardi’s calls, or more than a single player (Adam Dunn) who has scratched Toronto off his list. The Jays’ money is just as green as everyone else’s, and that’s what really matters.

    - reyes
  33. 33.

    Yo sersiously, I won’t say those thing ever again

    MW: Sersiously?

    - anton
  34. 34.

    Hey Mike, tough call to end the show with last night, but don’t let that guy get you down…you give those types of callers a pretty long leash, and I don’t think they’re calling to talk with you, but rather, to talk at you…most listeners know the difference, and appreciate the respectful tone that you maintain, even in the face of rudeness…nice to hear you mention St. Mary’s; can’t help but smile when remembering what it was like watching Tony Fernandez play! Looking forward to the extendo-ness of the pre-game show’s this weekend, Thanks again Mike,

    Tim C
    Guelph

    - Tim C
  35. 35.

    Huh? You and Joe West had a good conversation in the bathroom?

    MW: Very funny.

    - Jay Money
  36. 36.

    The question has to be asked – what did the Blue Jays do to get karma so brutally turned against them? Have they had any breaks go their way the last five years? It certainly doesn’t seem they have.
    comon mike stop bringing luck into this, luck causes you to lose one game, maybe two games
    not a whole season and certainly not five seasons
    its on the players
    and the guy who brought in these unerachieving players
    and please mike please
    stop saying burnett has only given up more than three runs twice or three times or however many times it is
    i can look at his bad era and see how hes pitchingk, i dont care when the runs were given up
    it is not up for debate that aj is having a bad year and ive heard you admit that so stop making that flawed argument
    love you and your show

    MW: Luck can cost a whole lot more than a game or two. Luck is often the overriding thing that determines championships, though I know that’s not what you want to hear.

    - josh
  37. 37.

    A 4-zip loss – no biggie in reality. However every loss right now looms even larger since everyone who expects the “new regime” to work miracles jumps all over every loss or win for that matter.

    We will bounce back nicley.

    Mike – my apologies in advance here as I know this is “your blog” – however I have to respond to a comment left by Dan yesterday (#56) as he made reference toward myself and my comment #37 in it.

    Dan – Well written comment by the way – but a bit out of context. I don’t know how you find it “mind boggling” as to what I said about rude or condescending comments – I was stating mere facts. When it comes to people being rude either in print or via conversation – there is no other perception or interpretation as you put it – it is what it is.

    “Applauding Mike” – I don’t think I mentioned that either – however I do give credit to those who deserve it and will defend those who in my mind are being unfailry treated. Some comments are just not fair towards Mike and in fact are absolutley “cutting”! All I mentioned was they are not worth a response – however kudos to him, as for the most part he does respond. Applauding Mike this time is intentional.

    As to Scott Rolen, why is it that when someone takes a liking or mentions something good about another – there is often someone there to offer up what they feel is the “negative side” of that person – I don’t get it!

    Yip, I am well aware of Rolens’ past with LaRussa etc – but what is your point when mentioning this – only to discredit someone or what? I was mentioning his on-field professional conduct only as that is all I know or see about the man. I don’t see anywhere in my comment that I menioned him being a “saint” as you put it.

    Speaking of that (Saint) – are you aware Dan that Rolen about 8 or 9 years ago started a foundation for children and families who suffer from any illness and/or require any kind of needs – the object of his foundation is quite simple – “to make kids smile”!

    Maybe I should have mentioned Rolen being a “saint” or something close to that. Sure makes what ever dis-content he may or may not have had with other people or organizations look pretty small now doesn’t it! He is a “class guy” in my book!

    Thanks.

    - Bob
  38. 38.

    Joe West must be one of, if not the senior umpire in baseball now with Froemming retiring last year. Did you get Joe to sing one his country classics for the show?

    Umpire careers are interesting (well to me anyway) when you consider how many different players (many legends) someone like Froemming saw over his thirty plus years as an umpire, not to mention all the different ballparks over the years.

    I do miss Ken Kaiser and Richie Garcia and their meltdowns though. It seems like the umpire union breakdown in 1999 eliminated a lot of the perceived hotheads, or maybe it was just coincidence that some of the more volatile guys were let go. It seems too that a new era of “aggressive” umpires could be developing, given the Milton Bradley episode last year and the Mets/Jerry Manuel one this week…

    MW: I didn’t get Joe to sing.

    - Rob M
  39. 39.

    What’s to prevent Anton posting under a different name?….I say he serves his sentence like a man.

    I can’t see J.P. making a trade of significance, certainly not anyone who he can’t keep under contractural control. Giving up part of the future for 3 months of a ‘rent a bat’ would not be right under the circumstances.

    There is just no way one player repairs the damage sustained during the first half of the season.

    MW: Unless they post under a different IP address, I can catch ‘em.

    - ukJay
  40. 40.

    38 and 43 at the halfway point and only 11 games behind the wild card. Itis time for next year for this team. Hopefully J.P. will bring up any other prospects/suspects and give them some big league exposure instead of playing all out in September to pad the record and fool the fans into thinking that they were a lot closer to being a contender than they really were.
    I don’t know or care who was better between Ash and J.P. All I know is that both of them were unsuccessful as GM’s.

    - Brian
  41. 41.

    I don’t understand you saying “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”. That is what every GM in pro sports is supposed to do. Some do it better than others. Plus, JP has not done more good than bad. He has done the opposite. Look at where the team is now. Important pieces like Wells, Rios, Burnett, and Overbay are underachieving. Particularly Burnett and Overbay since they were brought here by JP. Many moves have not worked out and that is why his team is in this position. He has had seven years to make this team competitive and he has not been able to do so. That is more than enough time to rebuild a team. I hope he will be fired at the end of the season if the team keeps going like this.

    MW: Burnett and Overbay are underachieving more than Wells and Rios because they were brought in by J.P.?

    - avi
  42. 42.

    Hi Mike
    The jays were a bit unlucky tonight but you have to give credit to that pitcher(can’t spell his name)he was fantastic.I once asked you how you hold your composure on the radio show, you said it wasn’t really that tough.On last nights show someone called saying Doc has been on a steady decline over the past few years.While trying to educate this person he still believed he was right.That is what I meant when I spoke to you,some people are real idiots but yet you didn’t try to humiliate the person even though if anyone ever deserved to be humiliated it was that person.He called Holliday a very hittable pitcher.I am amased that he doesn’t give up more hits because he is always around the plate.Again I ask how do you do it?.
    Go Jays!!!

    MW: I actually didn’t mind that guy, he wasn’t being malicious or hard-headed.

    - mario
  43. 43.

    Fairly new to the blog (been posting for about 2 weeks) and have no idea what the issue with Anton is. Is he just a guy who likes to insult and hide behind a computer screen?

    MW: If so, he has company.

    - Dave
  44. 44.

    These guys couldn’t hit sand if they fell off a camel.

    MW: Oh, Vito. There are some things I can always count on.

    - Vito From Hamilton
  45. 45.

    John Parrish replaces Burnett in ’09?

    MW: Please note – this was posted after THE TOP OF THE FIRST!

    - Gary
  46. 46.

    Why were you so defensive when the fan called in to state that perhaps the fans aren’t showing up since they are a last placed team? There is difference between “taking a shot at the Jays” and pointing out the obvious. JP has helped run this team into the ground in the public’s opinion regardless whether it is deserved or not. Fans will not spend their money on a bad product and that is what they are being provided right now.

    You also stated that fans don’t target their discontent towards players and instead focus it on management. If you look at the Leafs (Blake, McCabe, Kubina, Raycroft) and Jays (Burnett, Overbay, Wells, Rios) I would have to respectfully disagree. The reason sports fans usually focus their venom at the GM or Manager is because everyone knows you can’t fire 25 players. JP put this team that is underachieving together and has still not achieved a 90 win season. What is worse, if you look at our minor league system aside from a few good players (Snider, Cecil, Aehrens, etc) it is largely void of talent and lacking behind the majority of franchises. Teams like Tampa have built their team through the draft and still have top notch talent in the minors (Mcgee, Price, Davis, Brignac, Jennings, Beckham, Hellickson). The Jays need to refocus their attention and financial resources on the draft and not overdraft for cost reasons as they did this season with David Cooper who was ranked as a possible suplemental first round pick and should not have cracked the top 20.

    MW: I don’t remember that call. I remember a fan stating something about Reds’ fans being willing to make the trip and my reply pointed out that the Reds were in last place. Regardless, the Jays’ attendance this year will be higher than it was last year, which was higher than it was the year before, which was higher than it was the year before that.
    Yes, the Blue Jays’ farm system is largely void of talent save for a few good players (Snider, Cecil, Ahrens, Arencibia, Diaz, Jackson, Tolisano, Campbell, Ginley, Parrish, Purcey, etc.). The Rays are a great team to bring up in comparison, so long as you’re cool with the Jays playing 10 straight seasons of 90+ loss baseball.

    - Dave
  47. 47.

    Mike,

    Today on the broadcast you asked about superstitions asking why ball players observe sometime bizarre rituals and why the 4/4 night stands out and not the 4/60. I don’t know if you took animal behavior during your psych degree but I’ve always found B.F. Skinner’s explanation for superstitions compelling. Wikipedia quotes some of his thoughts here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B.F._Skinner#Superstition_in_the_pigeon

    … so in summary, those ballplayer are no different from pigeons being reinforced with food.

    - Christopher Taylor
  48. 48.

    Hi Mike!
    I have a great nick-name for Scutaro. “The Scooter” It rings a bell, (Oklahome Sooners football in the mid 50′s?) regardless who had that name in the States, there is no reason why Canada can’t have their own Scooter.
    This Parrish pitcher looks good, and anyone with a 10-1 record at triple A can start for me and liminted the Braves to one run through 6 innings. He looks like he may be the perfect starting pitcher to take over for AJ Burnett. I heard he played a little for Baltimore and Seattle How did we get him? Hey Wells just hit a Home Run! I told you he’d come around. Also did Shannon Stewert, (remember him?) did he go AWOL? Where is he? how did he get injured? BTW I can still run like the wind, too bad they don’t have DR’s
    (Designated Runners)
    Forrest Gump

    MW: The Scooter? How original. Phil Rizzuto might have something to say about that, though. The Jays got Parrish as a minor-league free agent. Stewart rolled his ankle running awkwardly over first base.

    - forrestgump
  49. 49.

    You were pretty funny today during the broadcast when in the 6th inning Jerry asked you “Well, Mike…what’s new on that Home Hardware out-of-town score-board?” and you replied “Right back to you, Jerry”. I heard Tom Young and Alan laugh…but didn’t Jerry find it amusing, too?

    Oh…and during yesterday’s broadcast (Friday)…Jerry and Alan were asking why Dog Day at the Rogers’ Centre is in June instead of August…I believe that the temperatures (and humidity) in August typically are too high for the pooches to survive 2.5 hours of baseball.

    MW: I hope Jerry found it amusing, the way he picked it up from that throw made it sound to me like we had planned the thing (we hadn’t).

    - Rob
  50. 50.

    Mike,

    I know you hate people commenting on other broadcasters, but somebody should get Jesse Barfield and Rance Mulliniks matching Gary Denbo voodoo dolls and a whack of pins. It was funny the first 100 times they shredded him. We get it guys, you don’t like the man’s approach to hitting, neither do I but let’s stop dwelling on the past and enjoy what’s here now. They’re starting to rival Joe Morgan for repetitiveness and that is tough to do and can be somewhat annoying.

    - Tom the Intern
  51. 51.

    Hey Mike

    OK then, we will deal both AJ and BJ straight up for Laporta or Gallardo, and spend the money we save on free agents. Anything to get this club back into the playoffs, its been way to long….

    MW: I’m not sure the Brewers would even do that. They might, though.

    - rick
  52. 52.

    I hate Tallet. Why do you keep defending this stiff?? I’m gonna come right out and just say it Mike. I think he’s GARBAGE.

    - Vito From Hamilton
  53. 53.

    There I go with the “we/our” stuff again in referring to the Jays. I realize that neither you or I are likely to place highly on Baseball America’s prospects list. (I think I’m currently ranked somewhere in the low 20 millions. Given your softball obp, you might place a little bit higher.)

    Anyways, hopefully you catch my drift.

    - pete
  54. 54.

    As you may or may not know, Peter Gammons wrote an article on the biggest surprises/busts so far in baseball this year.

    This is the link:
    http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=3463402&name=gammons_peter&univLogin02=stateChanged&action=upsell&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fespn%2fblog%2findex%3fentryID%3d3463402%26name%3dgammons_peter%26univLogin02%3dstateChanged

    I was completely shocked not seeing Marcum on the list or even honorable mention. WHAT DOES THIS GUY HAVE TO DO? If it weren’t for pointless wins he’d be debatably leading the Cy young race.

    I made a comment about it.

    “No Shaun Marcum? I think that sums up the knowledge of the voters. A 2.65 ERA (3rd), 1.00 WHIP (1st) and .198 BAA from a 4th starter in the AL East just doesn’t cut the top 10 or honorable mention for surprises I guess…

    And yet, Lohse is in honorable mention. He of the 3.94 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 46 K’s in 98.1IP pitching in the NL Central. Marcum has 86 K’s in 98.2 IP.

    I know it was based on a vote, but please, give Shaun the CREDIT he so sorely DESERVES.”

    Thoughts, Mike?

    MW: I’m with you, 100%.

    - Wyatt Bailey
  55. 55.

    And apparently Armando Benitez makes the most disappointing list…

    This is why I don’t give much credit to MLB brass/media, Mike.

    MW: That is kind of ridiculous.

    - Wyatt Bailey
  56. 56.

    Yes, apparently it was based on the vote of “some 50 GMs, front-office executives, managers, scouts and journalists”

    I’d like a list of them.

    - Wyatt Bailey
  57. 57.

    Shout it out on the air, give Marcum props!

    MW: Sorry

    - Wyatt Bailey
  58. 58.

    I’d phone in if I could. Get the word out! Get these lazy fans off their butts and raising awareness!

    MW: Why couldn’t you?

    - Wyatt Bailey
  59. 59.

    Whaddya mean Oh Vito, Mike? They’re still inconsistent. Stll the 50/50 Jays. So they scored 9 today. All that does for me is remind me of the Loverboy song: The kid is hot tonight. Whoa! So hot tonight….but where will he be tomorrow??

    MW: Didn’t you say after Cito was hired that you wouldn’t complain about anything for the rest of the season?

    - Vito From Hamilton
  60. 60.

    Mike, what did Anton do to upset you?

    MW: Look back in the comments sections, I’m not going to repeat it.

    - sam
  61. 61.

    At the very least, Mike, do this for me. Correct anyone who says Roy “Holliday”.

    MW: I try.

    - Wyatt Bailey
  62. 62.

    Mike,
    I believe you have stated that sacrifice bunts and steals are not the smartest way to run an offense and I have strongly agreed during baseball’s homerun era.

    However, do you think that is about to change with the dramatic decrease in homers over the last two season. Are we beginning to see baseball enter an era where the stolen base plays an essential role, and more importantly will this actually be a well thought out offensive strategy or just old school baseball thinking (not that old school baseball thinking is necessarily a bad thing). Thanks as always!!

    MW: I don’t have a problem with steals, I have a problem with getting caught stealing too much. I don’t think we’re going back that heavily to that old-school era, though.

    - Dave
  63. 63.

    Hey Mike, I was at the game today in LF (June 28) and I noticed that Lind seems very shaky when fielding (I noticed before but it was very apparent live). Do you think that maybe next year he may start at first or that it would be better for him to start at first? I don’t know what would happen to Overbay though.

    Your thoughts?

    MW: He made great strides as an outfielder last year, and I think he’ll continue to develop into an average defender. I wouldn’t say he looks very shaky, but he doesn’t look smooth.

    - The Rat
  64. 64.

    Hi Mike,

    What do you think of this possible deal:

    Burnett to the Cubbies for Rich Hill and a young player such as Tyler Colvin or Donald Veal. Think either team would be interested. Hill has struggled all season with his mechanics yet has high upside and may interest the Jays. Obviously Burnett would give the Cubbies the arm they are lacking especially with Zambrano’s recent arm troubles.

    MW: I don’t think that that the Cubs would necessarily be willing to add in a second player with Hill, but in a few weeks, if the Jays are no better off, I’d do it straight up for Hill, I think.

    - Dave
  65. 65.

    Mike, in response to OzRob in post #23 (re: cricketers in ML baseball) — In the early to mid-60′s (I think), the Cubs had an infielder named Andre Rodgers, who had grown up as a cricket player in the West Indies (Bermuda or Bahamas, I believe). I’m not sure whether the Cubs were his first team, or if he also played elsewhere.

    As I recall, he had never played baseball at any level until he was signed to a pro contract, and I believe played a total of around 10 years.

    (In fact, I just “googled” him, and find that he was signed by the Giants in 1954, played his first ML game in 1957, and his last game in 1967. In an 11-year career with Giants, Cubs and Pirates, his numbers were .248/.328/.365. His best year was with the Cubs in 1963, when he hit .278/.343/.430, with 12 HRs).

    Not a bad career, for a cricket player!

    MW: Not bad at all.

    - Norm
  66. 66.

    Mike, re Andre Rodgers, I forgot to mention that he passed away in December, 2004, in the Bahamas (which is also where he was born, 70 years earlier).

    - Norm
  67. 67.

    One further “Andre Rodgers” note — see attached link for his biographical notes, including the interesting fact that he paid his own way to his first tryout camp.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andre_Rodgers

    (Sorry for the multiple posts, Mike — a clear sign of unclear thinking!)

    - Norm
  68. 68.

    I remember you saying you play baseball sim games, have you played Baseball Mogul (online or not)? I used to be a big player in the online version, it was great fun.

    Or are you a OOTP guy?

    MW: I play neither Mogul nor OOTP, my game of choice is Dynasty League Baseball.

    - Wyatt Bailey
  69. 69.

    Mike,

    It would be wonderful if all fans shared Vito’s passion. Say what you may, but he is always with the team, win or lose.

    Were you as surprised as myself to have seen Wolfe optioned down to AAA instead of League?

    MW: I was, I thought it would be League, since Cito has yet to find a use for him despite the fact that he’s been around in games that the Jays have won by 13 and six runs, and today, when they were leading by five in the 8th.

    - Adrian M
  70. 70.

    MIke,

    If The Jays money is as green like every other as your idiotic excuse is to defend J.P.. Why would a free agent come here knowing who our “clown” GM quote by Dunn is. He has embarased this organization again and has been ridiculed in pratically every radio and tv sport channel in north america. This isn’t the first time he’s done this. Let us not forget he did it to Gil Meche forcing KC manager to call John Paul and idiot with a big mouth. Free agents will take all this into consideration when desiding which green money they deside to take.

    MW: All things being equal, they may take it into consideration, but I think it means more to you than it does to them. If the Jays offer more green money than anyone else, they won’t have a problem coming here.

    - bruno
  71. 71.

    Now, I’ll give you that you’re memory is sharper than mine on your worst day, Mike, but I don’t ever recall conceding that much respect for anyone in sports. I’m not that nostalgic. Sure, we owe Cito alot of respect but if the team starts losing he’s going to hear about it like anyone else. It’s not about Cito, unless he manages to take us to the World Series then it would have to be all about Cito. Great show today Mike. Please do have a wonderful weekend.

    MW: Here’s your comment (and my response) from the day that Cito got hired:

    “Gibbons is out! Holy Molly! Gibbons is out! Cito is back! Cito is back! I couldn’t believe my ears! YAHOOOO! Ricciardi FINALLY wakes up and smells the coffee. It can’t be any worse than Gibbons. I’m prepared to back off on Ricciardi until the end of the season to see how it goes. YAHOOOOO! I love you JP!

    MW: Don’t make promises you know you can’t keep, Vito.”

    - Vito From Hamilton
  72. 72.

    You cool with me. Now, about the jays. I feel that they need a Canadian bat in the lineup to compete with the bostons and the new yorks. I want them to go after Joey Votto, a hometown boy. If they go after Joey Votto, this team will be filled with passion because nobody on this team has it because theyre Amercian.

    MW: See, I hate to say this, but that’s just stupid. Who were the Canadians who helped the Jays win two World Series?

    - anton
  73. 73.

    Do you think the JP- Adam Dunn thing will prevent us from signing any free agents because of how they preceive the blue jays organization?

    MW: No. I don’t know why that notion has become so pervasive among the fans. It’s ridiculous.

    - andrew
  74. 74.

    Mike
    All the anti-Gibbonites are happy now! What are they are going to say if this team falls fat again? It should be interesting if it happens.Do you honestly think Cito can repeat the magic again when he took over from Jimy Williams the first time? What are going to do with Stewart? What’s with Accardo?

    MW: If the team falls flat again, the calls for J.P.’s head will get that much louder. It’s going to be VERY difficult for Cito to get this team into the playoffs, but stranger things have happened. Through 82 games that 1989 team was 38-44, a game worse than these Jays are. Stewart is going to have a very hard time finding playing time when he gets back, Accardo had a setback and hasn’t thrown in a game in nearly three weeks.

    - steve wilton
  75. 75.

    Why does Johnnie Mac only have 13 AB in the month of June?
    .
    MW: He was on the disabled list for the first week of June, and since Cito took over, Marco Scutaro has gotten the vast majority of the work at short.

    - Zack
  76. 76.

    I heard a commentator say that the cubs had a little easier interleague schedule because they faced the Jays rather then the Rays (compared to the cards). Kind of funny teams are seeing us as an easy part of their schedule, I am starting to know what feels like to cheer for the royals (although the Royals are in a bit of a winning streak). Offensively this team is built around Wells, Rios and Overbay and they are just not cutting it as the core of our team. I am tired of waiting for these guys to turn it around and put up numbers they did a couple of years ago.

    MW: Well, they’re in last place, they’ve been an easy mark for a whole half a season.

    - jason
  77. 77.

    Mike, if you haven’t already got a title for today’s post, how about “Parrish the thought”!

    MW: Good idea, but I beat you to it.

    - Norm
  78. 78.

    Hi Mike! We Won! But too many good teams in the AL this year. I like your idea of playing every NL team twice per season = 30 games. WHO ARE THE PEOPLE WHO DECIDE ON DIVISIONS????? We should go back to two 8 team leagues in the AL and two 7 teams in the NL. In the end it makes no difference, I.E. 4 teams make it from each league. Maby just straight 15 team league in the NL and 14 in the AL and let the top 6 teams in each league make the play-offs. That way if a team is way down in 8th place or 9th place during the season, they still have a chance. This is what they do in the NFL. Then we play all AL teams the same number of games,, 5 or 6. Remember how the NHL last year ignored the hockey DIVISIONS (when showing the standings) as far as DIVISIONS was concerned. 4 or 5 teams in a small town Little League is cute, but NOT in the MLB. Please answer who are these people who decided a long time ago of three divisions with a Great Lakes team like Toronto playing in the East Division, the owners of each club??? I hate being negative, but it is just plain stupid! Also it looks like 6 teams in a 15 team league are the only ones who make the play-offs (two more teams)is a greater accomplishment. I understand the 162 game schedule, but time has changed so much of baseballs beauty of the past already, even the high socks, and new fans, age 11 etc, get used to what is NOW. Happy Canada Day! The only holiday that people REALLY think about except for maby Thanksgiving.

    MW: There are 16 teams in the National League, and only four make the playoffs. Canada Day and Thanksgiving are the only holidays that people really think about? You’re forgetting a pretty big one around the end of December.

    - forrestgump
  79. 79.

    Peter B.,

    After reading your post I had to go back and double check what I had written, just in case I misremembered it. I would have to have been severely delusional and drinking copious amounts of kool-aid if I were to get up on my little soapbox and rave: “Whoo-hoo! Playoffs here we come!”. But I didn’t.

    Re: your first point. Yes, I didn’t discuss 2004 and 2005, but it wasn’t some kind of sinister, strategic omission designed to prop up my argument. There were in fact reversals of fortune in those years, they just weren’t as drastic as 2003, 2006, and 2007. My point was not that drastic reversals of fortune happen every single year, because they don’t. My point was that they have happened and in the very recent past and therefore they are POSSIBLE.

    As to the second, of course the AL East is insanely difficult to produce the miraculous type of reversal of fortune to get this team into the playoffs, but who would’ve predicted that the Red Sox would ultimately utterly collapse on June 27, 2006, when they were sitting pretty? Yet they did.

    You are indeed correct that 9 games was the largest deficit overcome in my examples, but the wording from my post was: “…teams with CLOSE to the same deficit…”. 9 is close to 11. Yes, 11 does make for a much steeper challenge for the Jays as do the many teams currently in front of them.

    In no way was I “trying to get people excited” about this team making the playoffs. In fact, I advised them that betting their house on it would not be a good idea.

    You must have missed the last part of my post where I advised people to try to avoid figuring out all the permutations and combinations it would take for the Jays to reach the playoffs, because the rest of your post did just that. Baseball is supposed to be a pastime, not something that raises your stress levels. I believe my advice was to watch/enjoy the freakin’ games and a potentially more exciting offensive team and not worry about all that stuff.

    Am I frustrated with what looks like 14 straight years without playoffs? (I refuse to hold the Jays accountable for missing the playoffs in 1994, unlike some other Jays fans, after all nobody made the damn playoffs that year did they?) You better believe it.

    Am I happy with J.P. Ricciardi as the Jays GM after this year? From a pure baseball perspective yes. But, I can no longer ignore the P.R. gaffes and the huge number of on field staff that have been shuttled in and out of here during his 7 years. It’s OK to for him to stick his foot in his mouth once or twice, but to continue to do so over and over again shows a lack of learning from his mistakes.

    I’m also quite non-plussed by the fact that I thought he was supposed to be a sabermetric type of GM and he really isn’t. He comes from a scouting background and seems to place a higher value on intangibles than numbers. There’s nothing wrong with that, but don’t pretend to be something else that you clearly are not. His position on Adam Dunn and Barry Bonds, the signing of Royce Clayton, and the acquisition of Shea Hillenbrand are some examples I can think of where he went against the numbers and there are probably more.

    Unlike others here I think he has drafted well (I compared him to Ash and Gillick in a May 31st post (#76) and was stunned to see how many decent players he had drafted and brought up to the Blue Jays relative to the other two GIVEN THE SAME TIME FRAME IN THEIR CAREERS), and for the most part he has traded well. When I say he has traded well I mean if I look at the trades AT THE TIME THEY WERE MADE, I can’t see too many clunkers.

    I think the last straw will end up being the firing of Mickey Brantley and the hiring of Gary Denbo. Brantley was not extended the same mulligan for last year’s injury riddled debacle and that’s a shame because his hitting philosophy is much closer to the “new” regime’s. He seems to have been fired because he couldn’t get the “scrubs”, who were filling in for the regulars, to hit. That’s why they’re called “scrubs”. Throw in the P.R. stuff (I know it’s refreshing to hear instead of cliches Mike, but it does get tiresome after a while), and I don’t think he gets much past the last day of 2008, regardless of the second half results.

    Unlike others who think J.P. will be a glorified coffee gopher for the rest of his baseball days, I really don’t think it’ll take him too long to get a job in baseball. He may not get another GM job for a while, but he would be a great asset to any team as a director of player personnel or scouting or an assistant GM. Part of a GM’s job is politics and P.R., which J.P. has had a difficult time with here. He’ll have to earn his way back to the GM chair again, and he might.

    If it were up to me (and it is so not), I’d probably move Paul Godfrey out of the president’s chair as well. I’d bring in a Sandy Alderson/Pat Gillick/Bill LaJoie type to be president. Someone who has boatloads of experience in the front office and as a GM. That president would hire his GM and that GM would hire his manager. The GM would not necessarily have to have MLB GM experience because he would have the president to mentor him in the early going. There are some excellent GM candidates right here in Toronto. Tony LaCava’s name comes up all the time when other teams are looking for a GM. But ultimately it should be the president’s choice. If Godfrey remains president, you have no choice but to go out and get an experienced MLB GM.

    I also do not share the opinion of others on this blog that the cupboard is bare because Baseball America says it is bare. A lot of athletic players have been picked in the last 2 drafts and then there’s Snider in 2006. Of course, the proof will be in the pudding, but the pudding’s just in the mixing stage.

    Sorry Mike, I got a little off the original subject matter, and have once again produced a “War and Peace” missive. I hope that at least it has been worth your while to slog through the endless verbiage.

    MW: Good read, though.

    - Tom the Intern
  80. 80.

    Mike in response to your reponse to post 46, the Rays may have lost 90+ games for the last 10 seasons, however at least Rays have something to show for the losing seasons, how much triple AAA talent in the majors right now do we have to show for the losing seasons under J.P, in comparison to Tampa, Cincinati,Baltimore,Atlanta etc. You can keep mentioning as much names as you want in the miners, however the only name that has been mentioned alot that we have actually seen in the big leagues during the J.P era is Adam Lind.

    I think it’s very sad to see that you give the Rays no love I guess you are in ignorance of the fact that the Rays are 15 games better than they were last year at this time, the Jays who were so called destroyed by injuries last year, were actually better last year at this point than they are this year.

    What reason is there to believe that the Rays will not be there in the end, They got a jump start to the season, they have an abundance of talent on the field and have drafted well during the losing seasons. This to me seems like ligit reason to believe that this will be a postseason year for the Rays.

    There is every reason to believe that the jays will not be there at the end. 1. They get into bad slumps for long periods of time. 2. They were better last year at this time than they are this year, 3.The power numbers are way down and the double plays are way up. 4.Tampa, Boston and Yankees are Hot While Jays are under .500 etc.

    MW: What you are “in ignorance of” (besides the English language) is that it is June 28th. Also, the Rays’ starting rotation includes Matt Garza and Andy Sonnanstine, each of whom is in his first full season in the majors and their bullpen includes Grant Balfour and Gary Glover who are, to put it kindly, not good, along with J.P. Howell and Dan Wheeler who are not nearly as good as they have been. They have Dioner Navarro, Cliff Floyd and Eric Hinske hitting out of their skulls. The likelihood of all that continuing over another half-season is minimal.

    - Neil
  81. 81.

    The Canadian who helped the jays win the 1993 world series is Rob Butler. See, I proved you once again. Rob Butler inspired Roberto Alomar, Joe Carter and the rest of guys to win ballgames.

    MW: How is it that you don’t understand how full of crap you are?

    - anton
  82. 82.

    So don’t tell me that we need no Canadian to win the world series. Cause we do.

    - anton
  83. 83.

    Why would you vote for people who took steroids like Barry Bonds and Mark Mcgwire? I mean, these people shamed the game of baseball, they ruined the passion for baseball. This isn’t a hall of shame, it’s a hall of fame.

    MW: They’re both famous, and they’re far from the only ones who allegedly took steroids. It’s impossible to prove who of this era did or didn’t do anything wrong, so why only pick out the big ones?

    - sam
  84. 84.

    Hi Mike…Good game for the
    Jays on Sat.Afternoon..Hope
    today’s(Sunday)goes well and
    is another win..Quesion??
    Who do you think the Jays could get as a power hitter and who would be given up in
    order to get one?? Money of
    course for a deal to take place would be of great
    importance…Thanks…

    Bob

    MW: Jason Bay would seem to be the likeliest target, but the Pirates turned down a package of Cliff Lee, Ben Francisco and Kelly Shoppach in the off-season, so the cost will be high.

    - Robert Goodwin
  85. 85.

    Dang Mike! Do you drive your spouse insane sometimes because you’re always right? That must drive any woman batty!! Ok, I admit to my initial excitement of the Cito hire getting the best of me. You should see the lump on my head from jumping so high that I hit the ceiling! However reading it more carefully, you see that I conceded to JP but not to Cito. But a concession is a concession I guess. Oh well, you can’t muzzle a guy with a keyboard.

    - Vito From Hamilton
  86. 86.

    Hey Mike,

    On your friday night show, you said something about the blue jays never making a bad trade.

    How bout this one

    Michael Young
    Darwin Cubillan
    For
    Esteban Loaiza

    MW: That was a horrendous trade. But I said on the show (or here, I’m not sure) that J.P. Ricciardi hadn’t made a horrible trade. The one you mention, and it still hurts to look at it, was made by Gord Ash.

    - Jeffy P
  87. 87.

    MW: Luck can cost a whole lot more than a game or two. Luck is often the overriding thing that determines championships, though I know that’s not what you want to hear.

    ur right mike luck can cost ten games, but then usually luck goes your way and u win eight games by luck and end up down to games
    to claim that karma has been against a team for five entire years is crazy though
    mike make the players take some responsibility here

    MW: I have no idea what you said in that first sentence.

    - josh
  88. 88.

    i was just saying that luck can cost a team ten even twenty games in a season
    but over a long period of time ( a season, five seasons) luck tends to even out to a reasonable level
    so i dont think you are right in your assessment that karma has been against this team for five years or even for this year. I think the players and the people who put this team togethor must be held responsible. it seems like when the jays win,u think its because of the team and ricciardi but when they lose its because of luck and karma
    u generally dont believe in intangibles and only in stats but you do believe in luck quite a bit. Those two things aren’t inconsistent but it is a bit strange
    also go athletics go
    i hear you and neil diamond are quite the middle infield tandum

    MW: Intangibles, like luck, can’t be measured, it’s true, but luck is an overwhelming factor and often it’s mistaken for intangibles.

    - josh
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