7:45 PM Eastern

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and John Parrish did pretty well at that this afternoon, looking terrific in pitching six strong innings. It was the first win for a lefty starter for the Blue Jays this season, and it gives them a chance for a second straight series victory after taking until this week to get their first one for the month of June.

What struck me the most about Parrish is that he only walked two over his six innings. This is a guy who historically has walked more than twice as many, on average, over his major-league career, but in Syracuse he got his BB/9 down to 3.84. This spring, Parrish worked with Brad Arnsberg on staying straighter and not throwing across his body so much. The goal was to increase both his control and his stamina and if that’s been accomplished, the Jays might have another nice weapon on their hands. Still, he’s only scheduled to make one more start before Shaun Marcum comes off the disabled list, against the Yankees on July 13th, the day before the all-star break.

Cito Gaston put a different line-up out there for the first time since last Sunday (when they had no DH), and it worked rather nicely. The additions (Eckstein and Barajas) combined to go 3-for-7 with a double and a homer, four runs scored and two RBIs. Joe Inglett kept up his surge in the last game of his 20s, singling twice, once driving in a pair of runs. And it came in a bat-around inning – the 5th time the Jays have sent eight hitters or more to the plate in an inning in the last five games. If you’re looking for a basis for comparison, the Jays had had four such innings the first 23 days of June.

It’ll be interesting to see how Gaston uses Brian Tallet next. The Braves hit for the cycle off Tallet in the 8th inning, scoring four runs to turn a 6-1 blowout into a temporary nailbiter. The lefty only gave up one hard-hit ball, Mark Teixeira’s home run, and Cito did leave him in after that to strike out Greg Norton and get Brian McCann on a grounder. Gaston hasn’t found a situation yet where he trusts Brandon League, despite having had 8th-inning leads of 13, six and five in the last five games, and now you have to wonder what might happen after that Talletic performance.

One thing that made me raise an eyebrow was the lack of a pinch-runner for The Captain in the 8th inning. Lead-off double in a one-run game, you have speed on the bench in Brad Wilkerson, Johnny Mac and Scoot. I would have pinch-run with McDonald and then pinch-hit Gregg Zaun for Eckstein. What Cito did worked beautifully, though, with Eck singling in the run. The Wells two-run double made the defensive replacement idea kind of moot anyway.

Make sure you tune in Sunday afternoon for a fine conversation with Cowboy Joe West – we went about 14 minutes and I could easily have talked to him for another hour. That interview will headline the pre-pre-game show, starting at noon Eastern on the FAN590 and here on the website.

Here’s today’s edition of The JaysTalk, for your listening pleasure:

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Comments are encouraged, as always. The 24/7 JaysTalk seems to be a big hit!

75 Responses to “Parrish The Thought Of Ever Scoring (More Than One Run)”
  1. 1.

    Mike thanks for posting a homerun call from Jerry to start the Jays talk. Can you keep it up?

    MW: Thank Jon Levett for that.

    - Jamie
  2. 2.

    It’s amusing to hear you seem almost perplexed about the idea that SLG can help a team score runs even if they aren’t hitting with RISP. Well, Mike, some of us have been trying to tell you that all season, but to no avail. Why? Because all you care about, offensively, is OBP, and it’s getting ridiculous. I tried explaining this to you a month back BEFORE Barajas proved me right, how badly the team needed his SLG bump over Zaun’s OBP. And when you defend Overbay, the thing you immediately jump to is his .370 OBP, and you conveniently ignore his abysmal SLG, which easily places him in the lower tier of 1B across baseball. Well, there’s a reason this team had trouble scoring runs, and a low OBP wasn’t a part of it. A lack of SLG was (along with the RISP problems), but today proved that if you have the SLG you don’t need to be “clutch” to win.

    Do you think the Jays could get the Braves to consider a deal surrounding Burnett/Overbay/prospect for Teixeira? Obviously they’d need to improve their record before doing something like this, but it may be beneficial for the team if they did. I’d sacrifice some pitching every 5 days to get that bat in the lineup.

    MW: I don’t think the Braves would be interested in that – they only have two big bats, why would they deal one? They’re right in the thick of the race, despite their record. I still think the RISP problems were WAY more of an issue than the lack of slugging. Eight more singles with RISP at the right time would probably have led to six more wins.

    - Ari
  3. 3.

    Why do you think Zaun is a better receiver than Barajas? Zaun’s catcher era is actually higher than Rod’s, 3.70 vs. 3.50.

    Barajas also has a slightly higher % in throwing out runners.

    They both have 2 passed balls this year.

    MW: Because I have watched them both catch. Barajas doesn’t block balls in the dirt well (not reflected in passed balls), nor does he block the plate well. Catchers’ ERA doesn’t mean much to me unless the two guys are radically different.

    - Jason
  4. 4.

    “Eight more singles with RISP at the right time would probably have led to six more wins.”

    Only because at other times during those six games they failed to SLG enough to provide that one run that apparently is costing them these wins! I think you are wrong, and it all starts with your defense of guys like Stewart, Eckstein, Overbay, and Zaun as “good” hitters simply because they put up respectable OBPs.

    MW: They are good hitters, though.

    - Ari
  5. 5.

    Great game today, Jays finally hitting the long ball. If Parrish continues to pitch well, I think he has a shot in the rotation next season competing with Purcey. What about Casey Janssen, will he be back next season. Thanks, Mike
    Tom Stew

    MW: Janssen is scheduled to be back next season. Please don’t get too excited about Parrish.

    - tom stewart
  6. 6.

    Mike, I’m just wondering why you don’t believe in chemistry?

    MW: I believe that chemistry is a creation of winning, rather than vice-versa.

    - andrew
  7. 7.

    It’s about time I received some credit for something on this blog.

    MW: The amount of a** you kick on a regular basis is beyond compare.

    - jon.levett
  8. 8.

    Wilner, I heard you comment on your show earlier today about going back to the “balanced” schedule, playing against every team – regardless of division – approx. 13 times each.

    I have an even better idea!

    Keeping with the current format of playing teams in your division 18 times, I’d like to tweak it to have a kinda March Madness in September, whereby you play no other teams but those in your own division in September, playing 7 games against each for a total of 28 in that month. This would make for an exciting finish to the regular season, no? And you would play NO TEAM in your division throughout the preceding month of August, all in an effort to build excitement and to wet the appetites of the fans for the final month to come. If the Jays can turn things around can you imagine how exciting that final month could be if the top 4 teams are all separated by, let’s say, 6 or 7 games and all playing nobody but each other? Playing 28 division-only games in the final month would or could result in plenty of turnover in the standings, keeping the fans on the edge of their seats. And it would be great for ratings, too! Why the heck do we play AL Central and West teams in September anyway? It’s just plain stupid!

    Of course, before this can be accomplished, something has to be done with the AL West, considering that there’s only 4 teams in that division, which I feel is a crime. I still don’t understand why that continues to be the case considering that there’s 6 teams in the NL Central. That’s clearly not fair for teams in that division. Trying to overcome just 3 teams in front of you is a lot easier than trying to overcome 5 teams. To remedy this, the Astros should be moved next season to the AL West. That would balance the divisions and allow my “September Madness” suggestion to work for all. And it would create a great rivalry between the Rangers and Astros – and a lot more cash in the coffers for both organizations as a result. The Rangers playing the Astros 3-6 times a season while playing the Pirates 15 times is as dumb as when the Leafs used to face the Canadiens once or twice a year.

    This clearly makes perfect sense for all! Why will Selig not entertain this kind of meaningful change? How did the 6-team NL come to be in the first place? It makes no sense!

    Anyone else agree?

    MW: The only problem is – with an odd number of teams in each division you can’t do it.

    - anonymous
  9. 9.

    mike i love the show i work late and usually miss it but i listen to it on your blog…. i just wanna say i am tired of hearing tha AJ Burnett is no good and needs to be traded that is garbage AJ brings good stuff and i think he gets a tough wrap becuase he has a few bad starts.. anyways cheers to good second half

    MW: Thanks!

    - kyle arbeau
  10. 10.

    Yesterday you said “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?”

    I am not sure, so maybe you can enlighten me. Sure you can’t be taking a shot at Cito and his staff after saying that Cito didn’t get a fair shake last time around and knowing that even the best teams will be shut out a number of times through the season.

    So you must be taking a shot at the fans that thought that Gibbons had been give a fair chance to turn the hitting around. While Gibbons was manager in ’06 when the hitters hit, he was also the manager last year when they didn’t. Credit was given to Gibbons for getting the Jays to .500 despite injuries. The hitting coach paided for the lack of offense with his job. A new hitting coach was brought in , the hitting got worse and the Jays preformed well below expectations and it became clear that something needed to be done to shake things up. While it make not be fair, preformance is the name of the game and it was not happening.

    So, please, if you could, let me know if you were trying to insult me for thinking that cutting Gibby was the right move and that Cito, so far, has been a positive impact on the hitters?

    MW: Insult you personally? No. Collectively? Sure. And you’re fooling yourself if you think that credit was given to Gibby for getting the Jays above .500 despite the injuries last year. I mean, maybe you gave him credit, which is nice, but the vast majority of the people who wanted him fired this year also wanted him fired last year.

    - JW
  11. 11.

    Note that Gaston didn’t really make any significant change to the lineup. He simply substituted two players, keeping them in the same spot in the lineup. Everything else has stayed the same. You see what a steady lineup can do for a team, as opposed to having 70 or so different lineups in one half of a season?

    MW: No. It was one game.

    - Shmuel
  12. 12.

    Is Teixeira as good of a fielder as it sounded on the radio? Better than Overbay?

    Your crew does a nice job by the way, first time radio listener via XM.

    MW: Welcome aboard! Teixeira is definitely a flashier fielder than Overbay, but they’re both very, very good.

    - Brett
  13. 13.

    Mike- Do you think the Toronto Blue Jays will make the playoffs this year?

    MW: I think it’s improbable, but not impossible.

    - Philip Scolari
  14. 14.

    What are the chances of Downs being an all-star? Do relievers that aren’t closers even get much consideration?

    MW: Not much consideration at all, though Justin Duchscherer went a couple of years ago. The chances aren’t good at all for Downs.

    - Brett
  15. 15.

    Mike…I do not understand your evaluation of other teams “good hitters”? You constantly look at the Jays with rose colored glasses – (Zaun one of the three best offensive threats in the AL at his position?)…you mentioned the o’s only have 2 good hitters (I am assuming markakis and Roberts) as Huff is basically clobbering every single Jay in ever offensive category)…now you say the Braves only have 2 big bats? Where does Brian McCann fall in that if you’re referring to Jones and Mark T.? Certainly Jeff F. is a solid bat having a slow year (but still has 42 RBI’s – more than any Jay by about 10!)- the guy has crushed the ball the past 2 seasons? It gets hard to listen to – but yes I am still here because you know so much about baseball and do such a great job – all that makes it harder to understand your statements about other teams?

    MW: When did I say that Zaun was a top-3 offensive catcher in the A.L.? I have said that there are only four catchers I’d prefer to him, and that he’s at the top of the next tier. Hmmmm, you’re right about McCann, I had forgotten about him. He fits in nicely with those other two guys. I don’t love Francoeur, though. The guy is allergic to walks, though not as severely as he used to be. And he’s not having a slow year, he’s having a bad year. Lyle Overbay’s obp and slg are each better than his.

    - Gary
  16. 16.

    Hi Mike,
    Great show today. One of these days I hope to catch it live so I can call in. My question today is, which Jay (past or present) was the most known for pulling pranks in the clubhouse? Also, are the media off limits when it comes to the practical jokes?

    MW: They tend not to pull big practical jokes around us, though every once in a while you get to see a rookie batboy or ballboy looking around trying to find a curveball or the key to the batters’ box.

    - Dave
  17. 17.

    Hey Mike, I require quick and thorough answers to the following questions:

    1) Why did the Jays choose Stewart over Johnson?

    2) Is Tampa Bay for real?

    3) Why did the Jays sign AJ Burnett for so much money when he was/is a .500 pitcher?

    4) Did you think Jon Gibby was a good head coach?

    5) Who’s the better back catcher: Barajas or Zaun?

    MW: See, now THAT should be my FAQ section right there!

    - Gary
  18. 18.

    No, it’s actually been the fifth game in a row with the same lineup, save the two substitutions on Saturday. And the first three lineups were almost identical as well (only Overbay moved around, and, of course, the pitcher had to hit).

    MW: Save for the substitutions?

    - Shmuel
  19. 19.

    I think it’s nice to know that with Parrish we have a guy who can take the ball every fifth after Riccardi wakes up and trades the Burnett.

    MW: After one start?

    - Dave
  20. 20.

    Inglett and Barajas have the highest OPS on the team and these 2 are the ones wilner hates the most. wilner thinks hill and zaun are better choices. glaus has almost double the rbis of rolen but wilner thinks the jays won that trade. wilner said overbay is a superstar? and wilner thinks that caller is an idiot.

    MW: That caller was an idiot. Who says I hate Inglett and Barajas? I don’t hate them at all but yes, Hill and Zaun are better choices. And I have never said that Overbay is a superstar. I hope you’re enjoying my work anyway, through the filter that you seem to have in your brain.

    - rahim
  21. 21.

    Hi Mike,
    To answer your questions about cricket. Yeah, they can hit to all places in the oval 360 degree field. The bat is also pretty heavy with a wide flat side. But every now and then, when a bowler throws what is called a “full toss”, i.e. it doesn’t bounce and is just like a baseball pitch, you can see the guys eyes light up like saucers and they generally smash it out of the park.

    The Jays need a DH. Tell JP to enquire about 2 guys in Australia: Adam Gilchrest, Andrew Symonds, and to check out the stats of the new 20/20 Indian Cricket (IPL) league.

    I’ll take 10% on any signings thanks very much.

    - Oz Rob
  22. 22.

    Whats worse? This blog referencing a madonna song or AJ’t theme song of “hang tough”? sometimes there is no right answer…

    1. what is the purpose of brandon league if he isnt to be trusted in games where they are up or down 4 or more runs late in the game?

    2. why is mac not in the game in the 9th for defense? surely you cant be worried about his bat being needed up by 4.

    3. why is robinzon diaz in the gulf coast league? rehabing?? they rehab AAA guys in the gulf coast league?? what??

    4. why does it seem like vernon is having a terrible year but then you look at his numbers and they are solid if not spectacular given all the time he missed?

    MW: At least Burnett doesn’t come out to NKOTB any more.
    1 – I don’t know, 2 – you don’t need a defensive replacement when you’re up by four, 3 – yup, rehabbing; all the Jays’ rehab facilities are in Dunedin; 4 – I don’t know. They’re not spectacular, though.

    - sammy jalalzai
  23. 23.

    General MLB thoughts:
    Top 5 current starting pitchers in MLB in No Particular Order:
    - Roy Halladay: Efficiency + innings
    - Johan Santana: K’s, but I don’t think he’ll be the same in 5 years
    - Brenden Webb: Innings and efficiency
    - Jake Peavy: K’s and innings
    - John Lackey: I was surprised to see that until this year he has played in 33 games every year since 2002 with no DL.

    As great as Beckett is, I don’t think he is consistent, efficient and healthy as Lackey has been.

    Who’s in your fav top 5 Mike?

    MW: My top 5 starters? Hmmmmm, I like that you don’t just mean this year. Halladay, Santana, Peavy and Webb are there for sure. Who’s the 5th one, though? Sabathia? Lackey? Maddux? Verlander? Oswalt? Sheets? Haren? Carlos Zambrano? Tough one indeed. I think I might take Oswalt out of that group.

    - BK
  24. 24.

    I agree with your stance on interleague play. I’ve never liked it and I don’t think baseball needs it anymore. Ya, it was a great tool after the strike, but seriously, its usefulness is long gone.

    Personally, I still don’t understand the need for 3 divisions either. Why not have 2 divisions, and have the top 2 in each advance? Or heck, have 1 division and let the top 4 advance?

    The fact we play NY and Boston 18x while other “division leaders” or “wildcard contenders” outside of the AL East don’t is absurd.

    I know it won’t change.. but /shrug, it still doesn’t make sense. :P

    MW: I’m with you – two leagues, top four teams in each make it.

    - Angelo
  25. 25.

    Hey Mike heres a simple question for a change… heh heh heh! If the Jays keep scoring runs at a reasonable pace then will you change your mind on how much of an influence coaches have on their players in general?

    MW: Nope. Well, maybe a little, but only a little.

    - Matt from BC
  26. 26.

    you see what Billingsley did last night?
    dude is nasty

    MW: I didn’t watch it, but yeah, he’s good. Takes a heck of a pitcher to win when his team doesn’t get a hit. But he gave up three hits, walked three and struck out seven over seven innings. That’s basically the same as what A.J. Burnett did Tuesday night.

    - slobberface
  27. 27.

    Hi Mike,

    Had to be pleased with Eckstein and Barajas work and how Cito “plugged” them into the batting order. I’ve commented before how Gibbons would “scramble” the order and I think players are uncomfortable (and/or flat out just don’t like) moving around in the batting order. This also falls into the superstition topic that you were covering during the game.

    Don’t the players prefer (and even sometimes demand) that they sit in the same spot on the bench, have their same cubby spot for their batting equipment,etc.?

    I was surprised when there was no pinch runner or even Zaun wasn’t used as a pinch hitter and/or defensive replacement but Rod came through anyway!

    It seems that Cito has not changed his style,but that “do nothing” style was what came in to question on his way out last time around. But it all worked out nicely on Saturday.

    The divisions and scheduling thing is always an interesting debate. I’ve always felt that with 162 games, you should have 54 series of three games each so that the number of series wins would become a more relevant topic. I have always considered 2 or 4 game sets as too short or too long
    and two sets of three games always leaves a day off in the week for a break or to fill in for rain outs.

    If leagues were re-aligned to 15 teams each, it would be much easier, but with 54 series in the AL, interleague should be no more than 5 series and you’d play the most historically interesting or geographically relevant and leave it at that. I’m with you, Mike, in that I’m not a big interleague fan at all. It is dangerous for AL pitchers in NL parks as they do not get enough prep. time. Either way, why wouldn’t the NL home teams use the DH to “demonstrate” to their fans the difference in the two game styles and take the danger element out and it would make the series against the NL more relevant as the game style would be more similar?

    So, if you had 49 series left,
    you’d play everyone in the AL for three series of 3 each, (sub-totalling 39) and leaving 10 series to split up in your own (or as much as possible of your own) division

    For the Jays, that would be 30 more games (in series of 3) against each team in their own division , and that’s it.

    That leaves an odd number of games in each series to win and an odd number of series to win against most of the teams in the AL and NL and an odd
    number of home and away series against the team in their own division, alternated as required.

    MW: I talked to Cito about the pinch-running thing, and he said that he doesn’t like to expose a second catcher but that he would have pinch-run had the Jays been down a run. As far as your math on the schedule, I like it, but if they went to 15 teams in each league, there would have to be interleague play every day.

    - BRick in Oakville
  28. 28.


    Two questions.

    WHen the Jays at home, I noticed that they are off the field about one to one hour and a half before the game starts. What do they do in those 90 minutes. Do they watch video, stretch? What is their routine after taking BP before a game?

    The second question I have is what happened yesterday going into the 8th inning. Why wouldn’t Cito warm up two pitchers instead of one, especially when you have guys like Tallet or Frasor, people who are less reliable than downs?

    BTW – when is Accardo coming back (I lied, I am asking three questions)


    MW: I don’t know what they do in that last hour before the game, because the clubhouse is closed then. I’m assuming they watch video, eat, stretch, get rubbed down. Some go out on the field and play catch after the visiting team’s BP is finished. Cito didn’t warm up a second pitcher because he trusted Tallet with a five-run lead. I’d have had someone else ready, but that’s me. Cito believes in showing that much faith. I don’t know when Accardo is coming back.

    - francis
  29. 29.

    Hi Mike
    Do you have any thoughts on the practicality of the Jays’ black-top uniforms on hot, sunny day games? I would expect to find them a drain on the players’ stamina.

    MW: The fabric is pretty light, despite the dark colour. They’re still better off in those, I think, than the old wool double-knits.

    - roy hughes
  30. 30.

    If only we’d hit all season like we did in May (with Gibby) and lately (with Cito) with the kind of pitching we have been getting – one could only imagine where the Jays would be sitting right now.

    John Parrish delivers nothing more than what we have been seeing all season as to pitching – good on him for sure and nice to see.

    Wells stance looks a bit more “closed” of late – when he swings you can see him moving that front foot forward and turning on the rear one ever so slightly – just like the old days for Vernon. He is going to go on a run as to being the “big bat” again!

    Bobby Cox still has that same old “woddle” when he comes out of the dugout – that familiar “look” on his face while walking to the mound – he just really looks the part of what he does for a living – I love it!

    The other night on “Jays Talk” MIke – you had a caller who was going on about AJ and the perception of him around the league, the Yankees playing all their games in a play-off atmosphere and McGuire and company! I thought he did get into it somewhat to shoot down yourself,the Jays and to pick an argument – however he did make some very good points which made sense – and really I didn’t think he deserved to be called “an idiot” after you ended the call.

    If his point of call was to get you “going” or all “wound up” – he succeeded.

    Not “Kosher” on your part Mike and I am sure you likely regreted saying it. I just think it takes away from your show (a good show) by ending on a comment like that. Only my opinion!

    I still think the Jays have a better than average chance of making the post season. The second half of the season is for the most part the hitters time and if our bats are coming alive now – there is no where else to go but up.


    MW: Wow, people think I’m an optimist/apologist! I’d never say that the Jays have a better than average chance of making the playoffs. They have a ten-game deficit to make up and almost every team in the league is ahead of them. It’s going to be very, very difficult. I don’t regret dealing with that caller that way – as I remember, he made some points that I countered, changed his argument and pulled out some ridiculous comparisons to try to prove his side. He was belligerent, as well. What’s with all the quotes, by the way?

    - Bob
  31. 31.


    As we’re at halfway point in the season (for the Jays anyway), I wonder if you’d be interested in providing us with a updated predictions.

    Here are mine. They’re not really based on anything special, but are fun to make. I’m just doing AL

    AL East

    AL Central

    AL West

    Wildcard NYY

    I think the Jays will turn it up and will come to within 3-5 games of Wildcard.

    As for Jays players:
    - Eckstein will return as regular and will end up close to .300
    - Hill will return, but will have a subpar season. Will be very good next year.
    - Rios .290, 18 HR 80+ RBI
    - Wells (similar to Rios)
    - Stairs will have subpar 2nd half
    - Rolen .275 14 HR 70-75 RBI
    - Overbay (similar to Rolen). Won’t GIDP as much, and people will give him a break, cause the Jays will be winning.
    - Barajas and Zaun will combine for very good numbers, but won’t get much credit.
    - MacDonald and Scutaro won’t get much playing time.
    - Inglett will end up as a good back up.

    - Burnett will get 18 wins and Jays fans will be sorry to see him go
    - Halladay 18 wins and will be a good Cy Young candidate
    - McGowan 15-11 ERA 4.00
    -Litsch 14-9 ERA 4.40
    - Marcum 13-8 ERA 3.30

    Again, not based on anything but gut feeling, but fun nonetheless.

    - Rene
  32. 32.

    It’s Sunday afternoon, I turn the TV on and guess what! Dan Shulman is the play-by-play announcer and Mike Wilner is the colour commentator. They’ve been given 5 year contracts to do Jays games, all 162 of them. I go WOOOOOOOOO ala Ric Flair and then……..I wake up.

    Now that’d be ridiculous! two of the best baseball experts this country has ever produced. Danny’s insight and his billion dollar voice combined with Wilner’s unique stats and deep knowledge of the game.

    What’s more likely to happen? The above scenario or me winning 6/49?

    P.S: Needless to say, I am having a miserable time with the TV commentary crew. Perfect cure for insomnia.

    - Beburg
  33. 33.

    If Parrish gets moved to long relief when Marcum comes back, look for Tallet to be sent down or dealt. Clearly Cito is not confident in him

    MW: How is it clear that Cito is not confident in him? He brought him in with a five-run lead and left him in even when the lead was down to one run to pitch to two more batters.

    - neil
  34. 34.

    Hi Mike
    I enjoy and support your baseball insight.
    Living in Little Rock (AJ’s home) I cant get to your Jays talk live but listen on the web the next day.BTW I was born in TO and have followed the Jays since the snow game.
    AJ is given a bad rap by the Jays fans. W/L is not a good measure of a pitcher as it is the team that scores the runs. He is a good addition to the rotation and a good pitcher. However he is more than likely to opt out at the end of the year so why not trade hime while the Jays can get a lot more than 2 draft picks. They can use a committee from the BP for his spot in the rotation and still do well.
    Also Roy is the franchise and will stay if the team shows promise. He and his wife have said they have all the money thay need so it won’t take bucks, just a hope for success.
    Thanks for the time

    MW: You can still hear The JaysTalk live on the web!

    - Richard
  35. 35.

    Thursday was probably Ken Griffey’s last game in Toronto and it’s a shame there were so few people in the stands. We are talking about arguably one of the top 10-15 players of all time. Most importantly his name has never been mentioned in all those steroid years. We Torontonians don’t seem to care about these things do we?

    MW: I don’t think it was Griffey’s last game in Toronto, but no, Torontonians don’t seem to care about such things.

    - Beburg
  36. 36.

    Mike, what do mean chemistry is a creation of winning? Can you explain more on that? Also, do you think Curt Schilling is a hall of famer and why?

    MW: Teams have chemistry whether they win or lose, but it’s only noticed/written about/talked about when they win. In fact, on a winning team, stories will be told and written about their great chemistry whether it exists or not. The same look on someone’s faced that’s “bored” or “vacant” on a losing team is “steely eyed” or “focused” on a winning team. I think Schilling is on the bubble, but probably gets in as standards for starting pitchers change.

    - andrew
  37. 37.

    You are so mean to me. Why arn’t you mean to guys like Neil and Vito.

    MW: Vito is just emotional, and really kind of a parody of himself. Neil makes stuff up, but isn’t malicious. You’re often malicious. And you say things that are just categorically ridiculous, like the fact that Rob Butler inspired the Jays to win because he’s Canadian.

    - anton
  38. 38.

    Mike your beside yourself again with the headlines you come up with! Love it. Jerry shrewedly pointed out on the show that although the Jays were just as abysmal as anytime with runners in scoring positon, 1-8 or something thereabouts, but the difference in this game was the homerun ball that they had been missing and thats what made the equation look all the more frustrating. No doubt this team needs another proven slugger, Mike.

    MW: No doubt that would help a lot.

    - Vito From Hamilton
  39. 39.

    Regardless of a 4-4 record since Cito and the gang’s arrival, clearly credit has to be given to them for the turnaround in hitting. If Halladay hadn’t had a complete meltdown, they’d be 5-3.

    MW: Halladay had a complete meltdown? I thought he had one bad inning. They’d also be 5-3 if they could have scored in the first 11 innings Friday night.

    - Peter
  40. 40.

    Rob Butler! That is comedy right there.
    Lefties in the bullpen will be my topic this time. If Parrish sticks around when Marcum comes back, that would make it 5 lefties in the bullpen. Can a team have too many? The way I’m leaning on this is that the Jays don’t have too many. It looks like Downs has taken the set-up man role so it doesn’t matter which arm he throws with he is the guy in the seventh and/or eighth when there is a save on the line. The fact that Ryan throws left is likewise irrelevant. If Parrish falls into a long relief/swing man role, the fact that he throws left isn’t very important either. It’s a nice benefit because the starter was a righty. So that leaves Carlson and Tallet as people to use when when the situation calls for it. Even Carlson seems to have a bit of a specialized role lately as the “we need a strike-out right now” guy.
    So what are your thoughts? Too many lefties? not enough? I’m a goof for overthinking an unimportant situation?

    MW: Bullpen composition is pretty important, so you’re not a goof. You’re right on Downs and Ryan, but I still think five lefties is too many. Especially since the righties are League, Frasor and Camp, none of whom are world-beaters.

    - matt
  41. 41.


    I always thought you weren’t a fan of interleague play and here I’m reading people say that you were talking about a balanced schedule where teams play everyone. As far as the Jays are concerned, I think the sooner they get rid of interleague play the better. I’m pretty sure they have a losing record in interleague play since it’s inception and can only go 8-10 at best this year to continue the trend. It seems as though the rest of the American League takes advantage of the supposed weaker teams in the NL because the other team have some pretty good records in interleague at least this year. Toronto will join Cleveland and Seattle as the only AL teams to have a .500 or worse record this year in interleague play.

    I’ve always felt that you want a balanced schedule because you feel the AL East is too tough to compete in playing New York and Boston 18 times each. However, I think historically the Jays have had decent records against the 2 teams that they can’t seem to catch in the division standings. Therefore as I see it, the Jays just don’t get the job done (win as many games) against the teams in the AL Central, AL West and Interleague like Boston and New York do generally.

    I think just looking at last year the Jays were only 1 or 2 games under .500 against Boston and New York combined however they finished well back of both of them in the final standings. The Jays also had the benefit of playing Tampa Bay (worst record in baseball) and Baltimore (tied for the 3rd worst record in baseball) 18 times each which should have allowed them to pad the record a little.

    Also just a note that of the 4 major sports (including hockey in those) they all play a heavier division schedule to create rivalries reduce travel etc. Now grented they all don’t have the same plyoff structure as baseball does but the NFL takes the 4 division winners and only 2 wild card teams who have all played different schedules during the season. Also seeing as the NFl is a 16 game regular season, every game is more meaningful … in fact losing a game is like a 10 game losing streak in baseball in terms of % of the season. I think that fact that you have 6 months and 162 games to qualify for the playoffs in baseball makes everything even out for everyone in the end (ie. winning streaks, losing streaks, injuries, bad breaks, luck, travel, player slumps, etc.)

    MW: It evens out everything (usually) but for the schedule. I’m a proponent of a balanced schedule, but that doesn’t have to include interleague play.

    - Peter B.
  42. 42.

    Hi Mike
    Solid performance by Parrish.Not ready to give him the job just yet but it’s nice to have him if needed.When it comes to managing you can throw out the way things are supposed to be done with Cito in there.He kept Tallet in there after giving up 4 runs to make it a 1 run game.If ever there was a manager that manages by feel and gives the player all the rope he needs to hang himself it’s Gaston.I now recall why I wasn’t a big fan of his the first time around.This system works when you are trying to figure out the players on the team and when you are wiining but the second guessers are alot louder when you lose.Anyway the vote of confidence seemed to help Tallet after the homerun which was the only hard hit ball Tallet gave up.Hope the rest of the team took notice.
    Go Jays!!!

    - mario
  43. 43.


    When I made a comparison of the Angels to the Jays in terms of run differential and their corresponding records I got the impression that your feeling was that a lot of close losses are the result of luck and the Jays have just been unlucky. You also stated that because the Jays record was below their pythagorean win/loss record they were the unluckiest team in baseball.

    So, seeing as teh Angels win a lot of close games, do you think that Mike Scioscia feels that his team is therefore the luckiest team in baseball? I wonder if their winning record in those games has anything to do with his small ball mentality to the game. It seems the Angels like to get guys on base, steal second, bunt the guy forward and hit him home which might result in those precious few extra runs needed in a close game. I know you don’t travel with the team but I wonder if someone asked Mike Scioscia when the team goes out there what his response would be to the disparity in records and if he feels that a lot of it is luck.

    MW: The Blue Jays have more sacrifice hits than the Angels this season. Also, according to pythagorean W-L, the Angels are indeed the luckiest team in baseball.

    - Peter B.
  44. 44.


    Have to agree with Ari – your obsession with OBP is becoming increasingly misplaced, especially given the Jays lack of offensive production, DESPITE their apparently good OBP numbers… The fact that the likes of Zaun will take a walk doesn’t overwhelm me – rather have his counterpart in there; at least HE seems capable of driving the ball and knocking in an occasional run. (How many times has Zaunie successfully blocked the plate this year?) Constantly cheering our big firstbaseman Overbay’s OBP is also kinda… sad. Overbay is paid to hit for at least extra base power and drive in runs. Of course he’s far from the only problem, but he’s become,perhaps unfairly, symbolic of the futility of the “hitters” that J.P. is responsible for assembling. Note: if they ever do collectively “come around” for a sustained period, it’s going to be far too late to matter.

    This can’t end without a further J.P. shot, who alledgedly was going to build this team through the draft???!!!! (Great job so far).

    A fitting epitaph for when he is ushered out the door – hopefully before he can do more damage:

    “We like Zaunie” , or “Zaunie’s our catcher”.

    Indeed he is.

    MW: J.P. has done a better job building through the draft than either of his predecessors did to this point in their careers.

    - Ken
  45. 45.


    I heard you say today (again) that Burnett has only given up more than 3 earned runs in five games this season, as if his season hasn’t been as bad as his ERA looks, and as if it’s surprising that his overall numbers look so bad. The truth is that Burnett’s very poor season so far is not only reflected in his ERA, but in his innings pitched. He’s failed to pitch even 6 innings on seven occasions (not including the relief appearance), and he’s failed to pitch more than 6 innings ten times. That’s not very good at all. I won’t get into the importance of innings pitched for a starter because, presumably, you already appreciate it. But I can’t understand why you seem to be overlooking this aspect of Burnett’s season. ERA’s don’t lie, and his ERA is over 5 (before today’s game). In Burnett’s case, it’s his inability to pitch deep into games that’s been the problem.

    MW: ERAs lie all the time, and with A.J. giving up three runs or less in 12 of 17 starts, I don’t think the nearly 5.00 is an incredibly accurate assessment. You’re right, though, he has failed to take the game into the 7th seven times, which hurts. Still, I’ll take a guy who is going to give up three runs or less 2/3 of the time and be very happy.

    - Shmuel
  46. 46.

    Yeah right, Brett! Downs an All-Star. (chuckle,chuckle) That’s a good one, Bret. All he does is come out and get smacked around.

    MW: You do realize that Downs has now gone 26 innings without giving up a run, right?

    - Vito From Hamilton
  47. 47.

    Where would you rank Chipper Jones among the best 3B in history?

    - sam
  48. 48.

    WHAT A GREAT PLAY, by McDonald in the 3rd!!! This guy’s sick, Mike!

    - Vito From Hamilton
  49. 49.

    See that throw by Barajas to second on that steal attempt to end the 3rd? Does Zaun put that throw right on the money?

    - Vito From Hamilton
  50. 50.

    Back to back bases on balls for AJ Burnett to start the 4th who if he doesn’t get out of this mess he created, becomes in my books AJ Burnout. Update: Burnett gets out of potential disaster with the help of a DP ball culminated by yet another great play by the middleman John McDonald.

    MW: Yeah, Vito, that was an awful outing by Burnett – seven shutout innings and all that.

    - Vito From Hamilton
  51. 51.

    Darn. My smart comment gets overshadowed by a dumb grammatical error. At least I didn’t talk about Gibbons’s “preponsity” to change the lineup every day (Jim Hughson used that “word” during today’s broadcast).

    About ERA, the only time it might lie is when a guy has a couple of really horrible outings and many really amazing ones. That’s rare, and it’s not the case with Burnett. He’s had a few horrible, a few amazing, and many somewhere in between.

    For argument’s sake, you’d take a guy who will give up 3 runs but only pitch 4 innings? What about 3 runs in 5? Where do you draw the line? The Jays are lucky to have a great bullpen. What if your team had an average bullpen? Then a guy who won’t pitch more than 5 innings better be your 5th starter. Even then you’d probably be in big trouble.

    MW: I’ll take a guy who will give up three runs in six innings 2/3 of the time. With a quality bullpen, of course, but the Blue Jays have that.

    - Shmuel
  52. 52.

    Mike saying J.P. has done a better job drafting then either Ash or Gillick to this point in there carrerrs is kinda dumb. You sound like a Toronto fan only compareing J.P. to other GM’s of Toronto why not compare him to the other 29 GM’s currently in baseball? Instead of guys that were here 5 and 15 years ago???

    I don’t see how you can defend a GM who has close to 100 million dollar payroll with David Eckstein DHing for his team. Even if it was only one game.

    MW: So Brian Cashman is an awful GM, then?

    - Dan Moore
  53. 53.

    I heard there was a rift between Cito and the Bob Cat on the station on racism. Do you know anything about that? Also, do you think Derek Jeter is the most overrated hitter in the game right now?

    MW: That’s an old story, and I don’t want to dive into it again. No, I don’t think Jeter is the most overrated hitter, he’s a pretty good hitter.

    - andrew
  54. 54.

    Yo Mike, I’m not malicious. I’m just stating the facts. I’m a proud Canadian and I can’t believe I care about this team more then anyone on the blue jays but matt stairs. Everyone one of those sad sacked losers should be more like Matt Stairs. He’s a great role model in the community and knows what it means to be Canadian.

    MW: You are malicious, and if you’re the example of a proud Canadian, then we’re not exactly putting our best foot forward.

    - anton
  55. 55.

    And tell me why some of posts are delated?

    MW: Some posts are deleted because they’re not worth posting.

    - anton
  56. 56.


    Suprise..Suprise the pitching and defense bails out the offense again!Off the record, I would love to know what the pitchers REALLY think of these clutch hitters they are stuck with this year!Why does it seem they are so reluctant to use Brandon League? Do you think he will ever be a force on this team,starting or relieving? By the way,thanks for the mini tribute to Carlin this week. Sounds like he meant something to you to.

    MW: Why would I be able to answer something off the record? I don’t get the League thing, either. And yeah, George Carlin was particularly awesome.

    - steve wilton
  57. 57.

    MW: How is it clear that Cito is not confident in him? He brought him in with a five-run lead and left him in even when the lead was down to one run to pitch to two more batters.

    Thats because he was slow off the trigger to get anyone warming. By the time Camp was ready the inning thankfully was over

    But it will be interesting to see if he’ll use Ryan for 1+ inning saves. I don’t recall that being his style

    MW: He shouldn’t, because the thought had been that Ryan won’t throw more than one inning all season, but Cito did have him warming up in the 8th the other day. Yesterday, relief help was ready after the Teixeira homer, but Tallet stayed in.

    - neil
  58. 58.

    Mike, can you give me a lift home? Looks like I missed the bus again!

    - Vito From Hamilton
  59. 59.

    Does Parrish not start now until game 2 vs. NYY? If so, it’s going to be tough for Cito to give him innings, and I assume you don’t want a guy not pitching for so long in between starts?

    MW: Game 3 vs. NYY, and the word is he’ll be used in long relief until then, but you’re right – getting him innings will be a problem. But he’s out of options, and can’t be sent down without going through waivers.

    - Ari
  60. 60.

    Do you think that this team needs a power bat because Jeff Blair said a power bat on this team could make the difference of competeting for a playoff spot. Also, do you think Anton is racist because he likes Canadians so much and speaks of them so highly and he think Amercians are the scumbag of the earth?

    MW: A good power bat would help quite a bit. I don’t think Anton is necessarily racist, but you could certainly make the case.

    - sam
  61. 61.

    If the Jays are out of it at the trading deadline what do you think of a deal moving Burnett to the Yankees for Phil Hughes. Also two players I’d love to see in a Jays uniform are Jason Bay and Rich harden (and not just because they are Canadian)

    MW: I’d do Burnett for Hughes in a heartbeat – I doubt the Yankees ever would. Harden and Bay are both terrific, though Harden has major health issues.

    - Steve from NJ
  62. 62.

    Yo Mike, you better post all of my posts because some delated by you. Anyways, if you say this team cares about winning, then why are they content with medrocity?

    MW: What do you mean I (had) better post all of your posts?

    - anton
  63. 63.

    I repeat…does Zaun put that throw right in the bread basket, Mike? No knock against him. Just wondering about your opinion.

    MW: Chances are very good that he does not.

    - Vito From Hamilton
  64. 64.

    I feel like I have to back you up again, Mike. A.J. is great to watch when he has control like today. His fastball has a nice late dart and his curveball is cruel. Any team would want that guy, and he could be the staff ace on a couple of teams. I think people get down on him because they just don’t understand how he can have a game like the day he tipped his cap for the chorus of boos.
    His defense looked a little shakey today, with the errant throw to second that McDonald saved amd the failure to throw to first on the bunt he fielded. I never really noticed anything before, so how would you rate him defensively?

    MW: Not especially good.

    - matt
  65. 65.

    When the Jermaine O’Neal trade goes through, where do you think Cito will bat him in the lineup??

    MW: Probably third.

    - B.Viddy
  66. 66.

    How am I malicous? Give me example to prove i’m malicsous.

    MW: Just look back at the things that got you banned.

    - anton
  67. 67.

    Hello Mike…

    Hey Mike..I listen to your show from time to time and I actually saw you at the fan 570 “tent” at the game today..Recently I heard about your blog and I read some of the articles..Man you really like this team that J.P Riccardi assembled..On paper they should be better but they just can’t seem to win enough games..Overbay is not one of the better hitters as far as 1B goes..I have always belived that first basemen are usually the guys that can hit the HR..His average is ok at best but as far as hitting the long ball, he ranks near the bottom..Vernon Wells’ production isn’t so good either..Why is it that some teams that look good on paper can’t win?..The Jays just can’t seem to put enough hits together to win enough games..You are right..If they could have hit here and there they would be contenders..

    MW: 590 actually, thanks for coming by, though. There’s a reason they say that the game’s not played on paper, I guess.

    - Gump
  68. 68.

    Mike does your 3 year old son come up with these blog headlines?

    MW: I don’t have a 3 year old son.

    - Howard
  69. 69.

    Mike, comment 68 wasn’t me, it was someone else pretending to be me.

    MW: That’s true, but you’re done anyway, thanks to your next comment, which has been deleted. I also took care of #68.

    - anton
  70. 70.

    Mike I enjoyed your piece with Devon White on TBJTW. I just wanted to point a small error that you made at the end of the interview. You said the he was 5 time Gold Glove winner, but in fact he was actually a 7 time Gold Glove winner…Hate to be picky, but I just wanted to give the greatest center fielder in Blue Jays history his just due. I was also quite surprised (in a good way) to hear that Adam Dunn’s favourite baseball player was Alan Ashby…that’s pretty cool.

    MW: I thought that was cool, too. Credit where credit is due, it’s true, but I meant five with the Jays.

    - Bernard
  71. 71.

    1-0 not the most entertaining game i’ve seen but we’ll take the win..Why is it fans don’t like certain players..I like Overbay in some ways but I heard some jeers when he comes to bat..He isn’t overpaid at all..In fact he is underpaid compared to most players..It reminds me a little of Eric Hinske..A decent player but the fans didn’t like him much..Is there a chance the Jays will trade some of their better players at the deadline if they are out of contention?..Will that mean Riccardi has admitted this team isn’t as good as he thought?


    MW: They’ll trade some players at the deadline if they can’t get back into it, but not the ones who are controllable and cheap for a while. I don’t get the Overbay thing, either. I think people think that a first baseman has to hit 30+ homers every season, but ask these people how much they liked John Olerud. Hinske is another story, though.

    - Gump
  72. 72.

    If credit wasn’t given to Gibby for 2007, why wasn’t he sent packing too? And as for the draft question, the jays have been successful in drafting under J.P.
    The Jays have been better than the Yankess and comparable to the Red Soxs and the Rays. Names that come to mind are Litsch, Hill, Lind, Janssen, Thigpen, Purcey, Russ Adams, David Bush, Josh Banks, and Shawn Marcum.

    MW: Credit was given to Gibby for 2007 – by the front office, not the fans. As for the draft record, I don’t know that I’d put Russ Adams in that company, or even Curtis Thigpen. But I’d also add Adam Peterson, Zach Jackson, Bubbie Buzachero, Tom Mastny, Kristian Bell and Graham Godfrey.

    - JW
  73. 73.

    Ah, but he has failed to pitch 6 innings a whopping 7 times. And while he hasn’t given up as many as three runs in each of those starts, the number of acceptable runs should decrease (at whatever rate) as the number of innings pitched decreases. And, as you admit, you need a quality bullpen. An objective evaluation of how well a starting pitcher is performing cannot be influenced by the strength of his bullpen. That mistake can, and does, lead to teams overrating certain pitchers and overpaying for them.

    MW: As I said, I’ll take a terrific start two out of every three outings.

    - Shmuel
  74. 74.

    Yes I would agree that Overbay looks alot like John Olerud..If Overbay could hit like him that would be special..I belive Overbay has said in the past that he always looked up to John Olerud as a kid..But how could you not like Johnny O? He was a fine ballplayer and a good person off the field..The guy was almost always on base..But the problem with Overbay is that this isn’t the 93′ Blue Jays..There is no Carters or Alomars to follow him in the lineup..People expect too much from him..After all, we had Delgado and Olerud befor him..

    Have a quiz for you..Who was the only other Blue Jay to play for the Washington State Cougars (University)?

    MW: Dunno.

    - Gump
  75. 75.

    But is 3 runs in 6 innings a terrific start? Although it’s called a quality start, it’s borderline. And Burnett hasn’t delivered 3 runs or less in 6 innings or more in 2/3 of his game. Just 9 out of 17 to be precise. (I’m sure his second half will be much better, but that’s another matter.)

    MW: Again, do you guys even read, or do you just pick the words you like? When did I ever say that 3 runs in 6 innings was a terrific start?

    - Shmuel
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