2:00 AM Eastern

Wouldn’t you know it? At the point in time where it is most rational to be incredibly pessimistic about the 2008 season, Blue Jayically, the Jays go out and play as well as they have at any point in the season.

Dustin McGowan has a tear in his rotator cuff and is probably out for most of the rest of the year, at least? Big deal, let’s come back from four runs down for the first time all season and win, and get our first walk-off in the process.

Vernon Wells has a Grade 2 hamstring strain and is going to miss a month again?  No problemo – how about overcoming a three-run deficit for only the third time all season and walking it off again, but this time with a hit?

The Blue Jays have reached the point where it will take a miracle for them to make the playoffs, and here they are winning three straight one-run games, scoring 22 runs in the bargain, and sweeping the Baltimore Orioles down into a 4th-place tie in the division.  And how about this – they’ve picked up 3 1/2 games on the Tampa Bay Rays in the last four days!

Things are looking up, except for the fact that McGowan and Wells are going to be gone for a while, which means things aren’t looking up at all.

Now, if the Jays hit like they should, they can overcome the loss of Wells.  Rios, Rolen, Overbay, Lind, Stairs and the surging Joe Inglett have more than enough in them to pick up the slack.  For the most part, though, they haven’t done it all year, so to ask them to get back to a little bit better than where they should be after not having done it for a long while is a lot to ask.

Even if they do, will the offense generated be enough to support a pitching staff that has Jesse Litsch as the number three guy?  Very doubtful.   And if Marcum’s return is stalled and A.J. Burnett gets traded, then Litsch becomes the number two for a while, with a merry band of lefties (John Parrish, David Purcey and Brian Tallet) behind him.

How amazing would it be if the Blue Jays crawled back into the race on the backs of guys like Lind and Inglett, Parrish and Purcey – people who weren’t even supposed to be here this year?  As I said, we have reached the “need a miracle” stage, but stranger things have happened.

Just to clarify the McGowan thing, by the way, I had an e-mail conversation with the great Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus tonight, and we discussed the whole rotator cuff tear thing.  The Jays are saying that it’s the same tear that was on an MRI of McGowan’s shoulder last season.  Carroll said that doesn’t account for the body’s capacity to heal, and that over the course of a year a small tear would likely have healed on its own, which means that McGowan has torn it again, and that likely means he’ll keep tearing it over and over again until they can get it fixed.  That fix might not require surgery, but almost certainly requires McGowan being shut down for the season.  If he does need surgery, we’ll see McGowan again around the all-star break in 2009.  We’ll find out more during this year’s break – McGowan is scheduled to see Dr. Timothy Kremchek on Monday.

As I mentioned on The JaysTalk, a bunch of us media types spent dinnertime trying to figure out who the Jays would call up to replace Vernon, and the Jays settled on Kevin Mench, who would have been my last choice.  I know, I was happy when they brought him in the first time, because he was a legit lefty-masher and they needed one, but that was in May, with still well over 100 games left in the season, and with things very different in Blue Jay land.  Mench came, he saw, and, well, he didn’t really do much – hitting .210/.282/.290 and even worse, “mashing” lefties to the tune of .214/.286/.262 in (granted) 42 at-bats.  He’s still looking for his first major-league home run of the season.  He did go deep in Syracuse, though, hitting .283/.313/.391 in 13 games down there to “earn” the call back.

I hoped that the Jays would call up either Matt Watson or Travis Snider to fill in for Wells, taking the position they’re in and the point of the season at which they find themselves into account.  Watson was the Syracuse Chiefs player of the month for June, having hit .375/.494/.594 .  For the season, the 29 year-old is hitting .307/.414/.449.

Snider we all know about.  After a slow start in AA, he hit eight homers in May, then hit .313/.371/.469 in June.  He has seriously fallen off the table through the Fisher Cats’ first 11 games of July, though, going just .238/.233/.429, still with two doubles and two homers.

What better chance to get one of these guys some big-league experience?  It certainly would be more exciting to watch than trotting Brad Wilkerson out there every day in right field.  As good as Wilkerson was pre-2005, he hasn’t been close to the same since, and given the opportunity for regular playing time during Wells’ last injury, he didn’t produce (though he did seem to be in the middle of a lot of stuff).  Cito Gaston recognized early that he wasn’t going to have much use for Wilkerson.

Look, this is a team that is more than likely going nowhere this season, with 70 games left, a 9-game deficit in the wild card race and with Marcum, McGowan, Accardo, Hill and Wells all on the shelf for extended periods of time.  Why not take a look at one of the kids?  Yes, you’d be starting Snider’s clock early, but he still wouldn’t be arbitration-eligible until after the 2011 season (assuming he hits well enough to stick), nor would he be eligible for free agency until after 2014.  What’s to be lost by giving him a look?

Instead, they go the safe route and call up Mench, who will DH against lefties instead of David Eckstein and we all get to watch Brad Wilkerson play right every day.  I think I’d rather have Richie Sexson for that.

The only saving grace to this move is that maybe they re-tool over the all-star break.  If Mench is just here for three days, then during the break they trade Eckstein and Burnett, find out McGowan is gone for the year and then bring up one of the kids, fine by me, but I doubt that’ll happen.

Here’s tonight’s edition of The JaysTalk:

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Before I go, I have to mention how great it was to see Lyle Overbay come through tonight.  Two hits, and then when he came up with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 9th down by a run, he jumped on George Sherrill’s first pitch and smacked it to deep enough centre field to get the tying run home.  That’s the same George Sherrill against whom lefties have hit .143/.260/.238 this year.  Then another lefty, Adam Lind, picks up the game-winning hit!  No love for Overbay on the post-game though, which is pretty unfair since I think that about 80% of you fully expected him to hit into a double play in that situation and I believe I would have heard from every single one of you if he had.

Comments are encouraged, as always, and I’ll try my best to get them up sooner.   One change, though – I’ve decided that I’m no longer going to respond to those comments that take shots at me for being an “apologist” for the Jays or for J.P. Ricciardi.  I’m most assuredly not, what I am is fair.  So many commenters and some media members take whatever opportunity they can to be negative, regardless of the situation, and it’s really wearing on me.  It’s just not worth it for me to respond to those types of comments, it makes me too angry.

111 Responses to “What’s All This Then?”
  1. 1.

    Hi Mike! Great win! Gas up the bandwagon tonight! (gas prices are gonna jump going into the weekend)
    In the midst of this weird n’ wacky 2008 Blue Jay season I must say I’ve become an even bigger fanatic for this crazy game. I think the most beautiful aspect of baseball is the interpretation and analysis of stats (and how meaningfully meaningless it can sometimes be.)
    I wholeheartedly agree with you that the W-L record of a starting pitcher is rather unimportant when assessing a starter’s value to a rotation. As we’ve witnessed this year in particular, there are many things that factor into wins and losses that are beyond a starter’s control.
    I heard David Cone earlier this year say on-air that he feels the most important pitching stat is innings pitched. I think Pat Tabler mentioned the other night that he felt strikeouts in general is a highly overrated stat because the most damaging power hitters are often strikeout leaders as well-just goes with being aggressive at the plate. We constantly hold ERA in high regard too, but it seems to me that opposing batting average (or perhaps OBP) is far more significant.
    So, here’s the question(s)-assuming your scouting from stats sheets alone what are the top 3 stats you look at in assessing starters?…and while we’re at it, what’s the top 3 in your opinion for relievers? I’m not a fantasy poolie or anything, just a junky for the game that hasn’t gotten around to reading Moneyball yet.
    I can never get through to JP on Wednesdays-I would love to hear a GMs opinion on this if I could ever get through.
    Your hard work on The Blog never goes unnoticed, we appreciate all that you do.
    Thank you.

    MW: Thanks – for starters I look at their WHIP, and walks, strikeouts and home runs allowed per nine innings. Also innings pitched. For relievers, it’s the same, except I don’t care about innings pitched.

    - Dan
  2. 2.

    You’re an apologist for J.P. Ricciardi.

    - Scott
  3. 3.

    Random trivia…

    By my calculations, Lind now has a .940 OPS in 50 AB since being recalled.

    Wilkerson, while having displayed no power (like most everyone else) brought an OPS since May 28 of .744 into tonights game – not great, but slightly better than Vernon’s .739 since his first injury.

    the Jays are now 10-6 in the last three weeks. In the two weeks previous to that (i.e. the 14 games that started with the bullpen melt-down in Baltimore) the Jays were 3-11. In the second half of April, the Jays were 3-11. If they had played even .500 ball in those two slumps, they’d be one game behind Boston right
    now.

    If “ifs and buts” were candy and nuts, eh?

    MW: Just for clarification – Lind has a .920 OPS since the recall, Vernon’s is .764 since the first injury, and Wilkerson’s is .714 since May 28th, though I’m not sure why you chose that date.

    - WillRain
  4. 4.

    Lydon has a .400 OBP against RHP this year for Syracuse and seems to be a tremendously efficient base stealer, so I wouldn’t mind seeing him in RF and leading off vs. RHP. What I shudder to think of is Wilkerson playing every day again – there’s just zero reason for it. I’d rather watch Russ Adams fail out there than him.

    - Ari
  5. 5.

    What are the chances the Jays sign Sexson?? I agree with you that he’d be favourable over Mench, and IF he gets hot then he’d provide that legitimate scary bat in the lineup. Could be another piece of the miracle Jays ’08. Keep up the good work.

    MW: I don’t think Sexson becomes the legit scary bat, even if they do sign him.

    - Graham
  6. 6.

    I’m with you Mike. Mench was a reasonable gamble but it turns out he’s junk. Sexson could fill the same role much better … and he was just released. Did you write this before or after you found out?

    Sexson this year:
    vs RHP: .584 OPS
    vs LHP: 1.045 OPS

    MW: Didn’t you read the post?

    - paulf
  7. 7.

    Although having just read the article in the Seattle Times, Sexson was released because he had no interest in being a platoon 1B. He’ll have to change his attitude quickly if he wants another job.

    - paulf
  8. 8.

    Hey Mike,
    A couple of things: first, I really think that Mench will be back down or released by next weekend. I think J.P. already has something brewing and hopefully it involves a young guy that can step right in.
    Second, I loved seeing Eckstein run out and jump on Lind after the win…I know he is brutal defensively but I would hold on to him until at least Hill gets back. Say what you want about the guy but he gets buried on the bench with Cito here and there he was jumping on Lind as though the Jays were in first place. He still leads the team hitting with RISP and came up with a huge hit Tuesday.
    Third: I wouldn’t be surprised to see Burnett go for Jason Donald and a few others. Gillick seems anxious to make a move. I would take Brett Myers and Donald for Burnett. Gillick could rationalize the deal by saying he’ll get two picks next June.
    Thanks Mike

    MW: I don’t think the Phils would offer Myers and Donald for Burnett, I hope you’re right about Mench, and I’m glad that you mentioned the fact that Eck is leading the team in batting average with RISP, because him being excited about a win isn’t a good reason to keep a player around.

    - Jeff
  9. 9.

    One last thing, I’m really impressed with Parrish. It couldn’t have been easy coming off such a long lay-off. I am happy to give him a regular turn.

    - Jeff
  10. 10.

    Mike,

    Tonight you ended a sentence with a preposition; your Grade 6 English teacher is cringing. I know you normally avoid such errors and I hope you correct your ways.

    Anyway, I can really see Joe Inglett becoming the new ‘Reed Johnson’. White guy, high socks, works hard, under-rated, good looking… he fits the bill. How much crap do you think JP will get if he isn’t re-signed this off-season?

    MW: Not that much, he needs a couple more seasons to make people fall in love with him.

    - Chris
  11. 11.

    Do you think it might be too early in Travis Snider’s career to call him up to the show?

    MW: Maybe, but what have they got to lose?

    - Erik
  12. 12.

    Mike:

    I can’t believe I’m typing this, but…

    Richie Sexson is hitting .260/.363/.512 on the road and kills lefties (.344/.423/.623 this year).

    He’s hitting .350/.435/.500 in Toronto in aught-8 and is a career .316/.397/.565 hitter at the Dome.

    I’d rather have him than Mench.

    I’m not sure where you stand on this and I’m not going to to ask because I don’t wish to put you in a tough spot but–bring back Frank McMahon the beeeah guy!

    ICE. COLD, BEEEER!

    Best Regards

    John

    MW: I hate to say it, but I don’t know Frank the Beer Guy. I mean, I hear the “ice cold beer” up in the booth, but I didn’t realize that he was such an institution at the ballpark. I have a feeling that we’re going to be hearing quite a bit about Frank and his quest for reinstatement in the coming days, I wish him luck.

    - John B.
  13. 13.

    Hi Mike,

    The miracle is happening.

    Just like when Joe Inglett couldn’t be sent down TWICE

    (even though it was the choice of the GM to do so and injury
    to others prevented JP from the move yet I wouldn’t put Hill back in Joe’s place now should he be able to return)

    will injuries force JP to use guys he would’ve otherwise chosen not to on his own or maybe even make a few moves that he might have ignored prior to the deadline?

    The Mench decision is perplexing (because you and I agree that the Jays have needed a LEFT bat) unless it’s one last chance to “showcase” him before the deadline. I’m with you on Snyder, but what about Buck Coats? His first time up was decent, not so good the most recent. But he’s a left bat and faster than Wilkerson and I have fancied the idea of a Lind/RIOS/Coats
    outfield line-up (unless the
    corners could be upgraded) for Cito to mentor.

    Up until his latest hitting streak over the last few weeks, there were rumblings about Aubrey Huff going before
    the deadline. And Eckstein has been mentioned for Baltimore.
    Any chance the Eck and someone for Huff is now “do-able?”
    I think Huff has two years left on his Jan’07/$20Mil contract.

    MW: Huff is certainly having a big year, and wouldn’t look too bad as a DH bat, but I don’t think that the O’s would move him for present/stopgap help. His deal is up at the end of next season, $8M each this year and next.

    - BRick from Oakville
  14. 14.

    Hello Mike

    I agree with your comments on bringing the young kids (Schnieder) as opposed to bringing ‘old guys’.

    It is something exciting about looking at the future as opposed to just ‘plugging the holes’.

    One question – and I see this with most teams. When a team has someone on base (say on second base) and the batter on the plate hits a fly ball to the outfield (that has a good chance of being caught), but the outfielder is catching it away from the play, why would the person on second base not wait on the second base and tag up as soon as the ball is caught as opposed to going halfway to third when the ball was hit and end up coming back to second base, thus, not gaining a base on the play.

    MW: It’s Snider, first of all. Secondly, on the play that you mention, the runner should stay at second if he believes that the ball is going to be caught. If there’s any doubt in his mind, though, he has to go halfway so that he can potentially score if the ball drops.

    - francis
  15. 15.

    I think I figured it out Mike last year when he was out with the Apendix, they sunk all of the money used for the conditioning program into making Doc Bionic. At least that’s all I can come up with for a reason as to why this team is so injury riddled…seriously who are the doctors, trainers and conditioning coaches and why do they still have a job after all this stuff? Ok now that’s out of my system. It’s great to get to see Lind hitting as well as we hoped he would gives me a lot of optimism for next year. Do you think Mench is the sort of call up just to fill a roster spot till a trade comes or is he going to get meaningful at bats?

    MW: I hope he’s not here to get meaningful at-bats.

    - Nick
  16. 16.

    So people constantly ask you for status updates on Aaron Hill and Jeremy Accardo but I was just wondering what happened to Shannon Stewart? You didn’t mention him in your list above and no one has mentioned him in a long time.

    MW: He’s still hurt. He doesn’t get mentioned because there’s really no place for him on the team when he gets back.

    - Eric
  17. 17.

    I really enjoyed the game last night. My hope now is the Jays start playing the kids. Its time to start enjoying baseball, the game, and not getting so down on the Jays performance. Last night was a good start and win or loose lets enjoy the balance of the season!!

    - james
  18. 18.

    Mike, how do you feel about Cito’s decision to play Tallet for an inning when hes scheduled to start on Sunday, how long is he expected to go that day?

    MW: He’s supposed to throw 65-70 pitches Sunday, and the inning yesterday won’t affect that. I’m surprised only because Cito told me Wednesday that Tallet was off-limits until Sunday, but the truth is, it’s good to get him some work, and starters do throw in-between starts, so that outing was like a throw day for Tallet.

    - Frank
  19. 19.

    Good on you Mike! It is your blog and you should run it the way you like. Heck you are the only one I know that responds to everything and some people take advantage just to try and get under your skin.

    A couple days back there was a comment on the blog about Rogers not caring if the Jays won or loss as long as the profits continued to rise AKA the famous MLSE argument for the Leafs.

    I have thought a lot about these things over the past few years while watching the Leafs and I think it is a load.

    Sports teams are run as a business, which I think is perfectly fine but that is an argument for another day. In the day to day operations of a business the goal is to increase profits for the shareholders. Winning is good business, winning drives up profits quickly and if done right can net a few more home games to help drive up ticket revenues. In hockey that is anywhere from 2 to 16 more home games, less with baseball but same idea. If the Jays were smacking the ball around like the Rays or as successful as the Yanks/Sox since the glory years of the early 90′s the Dome would be sold out and Rogers would be making a lot more money.

    To those who say to this, “well they don’t feel as if they need to win then”. They may be making a profit, but you go to any major corporation and give them a way to increase profits. Do you really think they are going to turn you and say “No Thanks, We’re good”. If they did this then the shareholders for Rogers Communication and that teachers pension that you all like to bash would be pretty p***d off, don’t ya think?

    MW: Sure, except that it’s safer to do things the way MLSE does, because although winning increases profits, there’s no way to guarantee that you’ll win, and shareholders like guarantees.

    - Johnny G
  20. 20.

    Mike,

    Good on you! It’s about time as to your last paragraph – way overdue, way overdue! Wasn’t very difficult to “read between the lines” as to your demeanor when responding to them. I don’t know how many times I thought, what a waste of your valuable time.

    Take it a step further, don’t even post them. Then again, they are good for a laugh when you think of the time wasted by those who write on such trivial and juvenile matters.

    The Jays recent wins, 1 run wins, walk off wins and runs via opposition errors or “seeing eye” ground balls getting through the infield!

    Hey, that’s called “Karma” – it’s about time we see these types of hits etc. go our way for a change! The baseball gods have finally come over to our side.

    I would have to disagree Mike with your comments regarding Rios, Rolen, Overbay, Lind, Stairs and Inglett as to asking them to get back to where they should be when it comes to hitting.

    I say we should expect this and it is not, a lot to ask as they have not done the job thus far. Going as long as they have, with below average hitting (not all) – the only way to get back to average is by playing above it for a while. Like, maybe the second half.

    The bats will have to stay around as they have been recently with the pitching staff hurting like it is. We lived without Vernon for a bit already and did ok – a depleted pitching staff is quite another thing, to say the least.

    The Jays have played way below expectations for half the season. So now it’s time for this to do a 180′ turn.

    Wouldn’t be the first time a pro sports team has played way above their heads when expectations are so low. When players hear the “boss” is “hinting” that he has all but given up on post season – pride is on the line. Good move by JP as to comments made and I think an intentional one.

    Nine or ten games out of post season at the half-way mark is nothing. You can bet your boots the players realize this also and are gung-ho to prove it, continuing with the Yanks.

    Thanks.

    MW: It’ll be very interesting to see if they can keep it going against the Yankees.

    - Bob
  21. 21.

    “He has long since started to hit the ball well in AA – why not give him a shot? J.P. Ricciardi can’t worry about when he’s going to be a free agent. If he were to come up tomorrow, he’s be a free agent after the 2014 season.”

    To follow up from the last blog post, you know as well as I do that he’s not hitting that well for the Fisher Cats. At the moment, Snider’s OPS is .794. And so far, at every level he’s gone up, he’s done worse. Now is not the time to expose him to major league pitching when he can’t even properly succeed in AA. Sure it would be more interesting than watching Brad Wilkerson strike out every game, but the long term success of this franchise has to be put before what JP Ricciardi can or can’t afford to worry about. He shouldn’t expose players too early just because his job might be in trouble next year.

    And again, there’s no point in starting his arbitration clock at the age of 20. Yes it will be 2014 when he’s a FA, but he will likely be entering his prime at that point (26/27). I’d like to have his production during those years without having to pay him a huge salary, or risk losing him.

    Bottomline, organizations shouldn’t be making moves based on what would be more exciting for the fans and media. That shouldn’t be a factor here at all. They should be thinking about the short and long-term success of this franchise.

    MW: You’ll have to explain to me how bringing up Snider for a look now would be detrimental to the long-term success of the franchise. No one should be thinking about 2016 right now. And I certainly did mention what Snider is doing in AA in July.

    - Steve
  22. 22.

    Hi Mike I talked with you before a jays game a few weeks ago. Erik Bedard’s value is falling daily with his injury filled season. Why not trade some of our many prospects right now; for example campbell, jackson, and cecil, to try and pick up an allstar pitcher and canadian in bedard

    MW: Because he’s expensive, injury-prone (in fact, currently injured) and not a guy you want around your clubhouse. I’d never make that trade. If you want him, wait until after next season and sign him as a free agent without giving up three outstanding prospects.

    - Matt
  23. 23.

    Hey Mike, did you agree with Jerry & Alan that Joe Inglett is reminiscent of Reed Johnson?

    MW: In that he’s short, white, scrappy and hustle-y, yes.

    - Tyler
  24. 24.

    Hi Mike,

    On Jays Talk last night you indicated you were in favour of the Jays calling up Travis Snider. Good idea. Also think they should play Adam Lind EVERY game, to better determine if he’s going to have a future as a significant contributor.

    Couldn’t disagree more violently to your suggestion that they pick up the sadsack Sexson. I’ve watched more than a reasonable number of Mariners games this year (the admission that I placed a small bet that they would win the division is license for you to disregard this e-mail) – the man – as a previous comment on your blog so aptly put it, is truly “embarrassing”. The Jays already have enough veteran retreads and guys whose careers are spiralling downhill – especialy for a team that isn’t in the running for anything (restrain anti-J.P. snarl), and should be focussing on the future. Could care less what this one-time slugger’s OBP is – his power is gone and he doesn’t drive in runs, which was what he was paid an obscene amount of money to do.
    Also must disagree strongly with your contention that there are teams who would trade for Vernon Wells if he managed to have a “good” season next year. Not if his contract is 23 million starting 2010!!!! Not even the Yankees and Red Sox would be willing to spend that kind of money for a guy who may well thud out as nothing more than a slightly above average player… But then you might be right after all – the GIANTS would gladly offer a certain left-hander!

    MW: They’d love to get rid of Zito. I do think Wells is tradeable if he has another 2006esque season. Sexson’s power isn’t gone – he’d lead the Jays in homers and is slugging over .600 against lefties.

    - Ken
  25. 25.

    In the 9th with the sacks juiced and Overbay up, I was just hoping he did something other than hit into a DP. Everyone would have been jumping on him if that would have happened.

    I was thinking that Buck Coates would have got the callup to replace Wells. But I don’t know how everyone is doing in Syracuse, but I am going to hopefully check them out when they return to Buffalo.

    Let’s just hope the entertaining ball continues this weekend against the Yanks. The Angels don’t make excuses for injuries and look at where they are sitting.

    Assuming Marcum returns in August and McGowan is done for the year, any thoughts on what the rotation would be? Assume Burnett is still here. If you want to have fun, also make a rotation assuming he’s not here.

    MW: I’ve already given what I think the rotation will be. I think it’s actually in the post to which you’re commenting.

    - Aaron Ker
  26. 26.

    Travis Snider is definitely not ready for the majors. Just because the Jays suck doesn’t mean you have to start risking the development of your best prospect just because JP is desperate and needs something to show off in one last hope of saving his job. He is 20 years old. How many position players can you name off the top of your head who made their debut at 20 or younger? 3 off the top of my head are ARod, Miguel Cabrera and Griffey. Griffey basically completely skipped the minors but both A-Rod and M-Cab had much better minor league numbers at higher levels than Snider. He also strikes out one of every 3 AB’s in AA … what do you think he’s going to do when he’s facing major league pitching? He isn’t even ready to make the jump to AAA yet let alone the majors.

    MW: M-Cab? If Snider is as special as most seem to think he is, he might be able to handle it. If he isn’t, ship him back to the minors. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

    - Matt
  27. 27.

    Mike,

    I heard on the 20-20 this morning that SI is reporting the Jays are having talks with the Phillies for AJ. Have your heard any more?

    MW: Just that assistant GM Tony LaCava is scouting the Phils’ AA team. No shocker there.

    - Ian
  28. 28.

    I hope this Mench thing is just like many of Ricciardi’s ill-fated attempts at reclamation – they come in, play for a bit (not so well), get sent away (somehow) and are replaced by a younger, better player who should have gotten the nod in the first place (see Zambrano, V., Ohka, T., Thompson, J., Clayton, R., Alfonzo, E., Wilkerson, B., Stewart, S., Benitez, A., that’s all I can think of for now).

    I must say, he has had a few though, Carlson and Stairs leap to mind immediately. A younger guy with more upside though would generate much more interest than Mench, and probably play just as well or better.

    I do hope that another reclamation project in the name of John Parrish sticks around though, since I don’t see or know of anyone who would do better, and I like what I have seen so far.

    Thanks! Keep up the good work and enjoy the weekend series against the Yankees!

    - Rory
  29. 29.

    Mike, I love that you won’t respond to people taking shots at you! I’d love it even more if you don’t even bother posting them so that the rest of us don’t have to read them.

    Thanks for responding to my question about pushing Doc’s start back. I didn’t take into account the All Star break and I hope they do everything they can to keep him on his regular turn for the rest of the season. Even if it doesn’t help them win anything, it would be nice to see the organization get him as many starts as possible to see if he can get another Cy Young award. To this point in the season, I think he deserves it.

    MW: I think we’ll see Halladay go every 5th day from here on out.

    - Chris - Kitchener
  30. 30.

    Hi Mike,

    Completely agree with you on the Snider issue. Give the kid a chance and see if he can handle it. It’s also disappointing they aren’t giving Watson an opportunity to show if he can contribute at this level. It’s very perplexing to me that they haven’t put both Wilkerson & Mench on waivers. On Overbay not getting any love, I believe he’s going to have a big second half. He seems to be hitting to the alleys again which is a good sign.

    Cheers

    - T.Scholczy
  31. 31.

    you’re such a pesimist….

    *before you comment please note the sarcasm.

    MW: Instead, I noted the spelling. At least you used the right “you’re”!

    - KD
  32. 32.

    Mike,

    Now with Vernon gone for an extended period of time, Wanna jump on board the “Adam Lind will lead this team in HR by year’s end” bus?

    … and if you still don’t believe Lind will, then who do you think will?

    MW: He very well might.

    - Andrew (Guelph)
  33. 33.

    Mike,

    When JP leaves office do you plan on writing a tell-all book about him like former White House press secretary Scott McLelland did when he left George Bush?

    - Prokopec
  34. 34.

    Hey Mike, your show is probably what keeps many of us watching through the tough times, because we all know they don’t always play like this.

    I’m all for calling up any of the youngsters at this point, what do they have to lose? I think the Jays need to make it clear by the deadline whether or not they still ‘believe’, or whether or not they ‘know’ (that they won’t contend).

    My question is, will the Jays trade strictly for prospects? Or do you think that JP will look to add a bat and try to salvage this season (finish above .500 and try keep a decent team together for 09).

    MW: I don’t think they need to add a bat to finish above .500, I think they’ll manage at least that. They’ll trade for prospects, but the better trade bait will be dealt for major-league ready prospects, guys who can contribute as soon as 2009.

    - Pat
  35. 35.

    So Mike you can take shots at callers/readers people just can’t take shots at you! thats how this works is it?

    MW: Nope, people can take shots at me if they want, I’m just not going to respond.

    - Dan M
  36. 36.

    Mike,

    Thanks for keeping this blog going. What do you think the chances are that the Jays pickup Richie Sexton? His 11 home runs would lead the team. :)

    I agree with you, give the kid (Travis) a shot for the next 4-6 weeks. Experience is everything!

    Enjoy the weekend.

    MW: The one reason I hope the Jays don’t move on Sexson is so that I won’t have to see his name butchered every day.

    - Alex MacKenzie
  37. 37.

    Mike how long ago was it that you were telling people who suggested bringing up Snider in September was too early and the he wasn’t ready yet and that he’s only 20.

    Now J.P. Suggests he could be brought up in semptember and you do a complete 180 and start lobbying for him to be brought up in July.

    why the change of heart.

    MW: Why the change of heart? Because they’re nine games out at the all-star break having just lost McGowan and Wells for an extended period and with Burnett about to be traded. And because Alan Ashby thinks it’s a good idea.

    - Dan M
  38. 38.

    No one suggest firing J.P. he drafted prospects good enough to trade for John Mcdonald who a last place team wont even play.

    - Dan M
  39. 39.

    Mike I love the fact that you won’t say the Jay’s have a weak farm system because “those rankings are just educated guess’s”
    but really what your doing is nothing more then an educated guess and I’m starting to think its not very educated.

    MW: I know I said I wouldn’t respond to these types of posts, but what sort of educated guess am I making? I haven’t ranked the Jays’ farm system anywhere. All I have said is that the ONLY way to know what a farm system has is to wait five or six years.

    - Dan M
  40. 40.

    Good on Lyle to come through. I think he gets dumped on (unfairly) because with the team’s power outage this season, fans look to 1B as a prime mashing spot, and Lyle just hasn’t been mashing like a “prototype” first baseman would do. I could live with 15 HR if it came with 45 doubles though.

    Re: Mench…..what happened to Buck Coats, the thoroughbread of spring training? He’s not tearing the cover off the ball in Syracuse, but he’s holding his own. One more for the outfield, do you expect to see Shannon Stewart wearing the uniform again?

    MW: I expect to see Stewart in uniform once he gets healthy if it’s between him and Kevin Mench.

    - JC
  41. 41.

    Mike,

    I know time wasn’t available on the show to fully answer my Q Thursday night. What are JP’s 3 or 4 best trades or aquisitions in your opinion in addition to Accardo.

    MW: I’ll have to think about that.

    - Dave from Oakville
  42. 42.

    Mike do you think Lyle Overbay is a first ballot hall of famer?

    MW: You’re an idiot, and not welcome here any more.

    - Dan M
  43. 43.

    Hi Mike,

    I agree – I don’t like the Jays picking up Richie Sexson, but I have a bad feeling that J.P. will make that move instead of trading for a big bat.

    MW: I don’t think it’s a one-or-the-other proposition, but I don’t think the Jays are in the market for a big bat right now.

    - Ian
  44. 44.

    Mike, what’s really to gain by adding Sexson? The Jays are not in a race right now. I’d rather Eckstein play as much as he can in an attempt to raise his trade value.

    Richie Sexson is not going to get this team into the playoffs. Wilkerson and Mench made sense at the time, but right now where the Jays are and considering the players they just lost, I feel the adding Sexson would be a waste of everyone’s time.

    MW: I don’t think it’d be that bad. As I said, I’d rather see him than Mench.

    - John
  45. 45.

    Don’t you think Lind should hit higher in the order? He’s likely a 3-6 hitter in ability .. Batting him 9th is not a confidence builder .

    MW: But it’s a pressure-remover. Cito will work him higher in the line-up as time progresses.

    - Chas Calz
  46. 46.

    Mike,
    Clearly you dont pay attention to your own show, the last caller gave love to Overbay and Lind.

    And two shows ago you said “I wish the Jays had 100 wins right now”, how is that possible?

    I thought that I had heard that Purcey was making the start against the Yanks, did something change or did I just not heard correctly?

    I am all for bring up some young guys to see what they can do. The key is that you have to be willing to give them the playing time. I really don’t see how Mench, and other discards from bad teams, can make the Blue Jays better unless they come in to fill a specfic and limited role (AKA pinch hitter vs. lefthanded pitching). Right now with the injury to Wells the Jays need to get more out their right fielder than .226/.314/.331. Hell, I’d rather see Buck Coats out there. Bad Brad has to go.

    MW: I often don’t pay attention to my own show. I was kidding about the 100 wins right now – good job catching on. That reminds me of my days back on 680, when Lou Passaglia retired and I said on the update that he was 78 years old and an original founding member of the CFL and people actually called to correct me. We all just thought it’d be Purcey getting the call when McGowan went down, but the Jays decided not to go that route.

    - JW
  47. 47.

    Overbay FINALLY throws the fans a bone and you want love for this guy? He’s done JACK all year and you want the fans to get all excited because he’s finally decided to do what he is being paid to do and more money per season than you or I will ever make in our lifetimes. I think Overbay better put up or shut up. Look where we are in the standings. Where was Overbay all year. You can have Overbay.

    - Vito From Hamilton
  48. 48.

    Burnett has been discussed here more than 25 billion times so I’ll have a pass on him. Eckstein’s trade never made sense to me and I disagree with the typical GM talk that “you pick up the best player available regardless of the position”. J.P did that after signing Johnny Mac for two years and it never worked. It’s emabarrassing to see Eck DH, it really is. I’d rather have Stairs DH for me and bat right-handed than Eckstein DH and lead-off.

    If Jays sweep the Yankess, Cito will have a .600+ record as a manager after 21 games. Don’t you think he’ll have bragging rights if that happens?

    MW: No. John Gibbons had a .667 record as manager after 30 games in May.

    - Beburg aka The relief pitcher
  49. 49.

    Hey,

    The thing about Sexson is that his RISP is .123 this season and I believe thats the reason that Seattle let go of him. Now he might be able to hit LH but can he hit when we need that hit?

    However I still do think we could pick him at a minimum salary and have him platoon at DH with Eckstein.

    Now talking about Eckstein, I am sure Eckstein increased his value right infront of the Orioles. What do you think we might get in return for him from the Oriolese. I think we should just trade him for whatever the orioles offer but trade him for sure, I doubt any other teams might be interested in him.

    Regarding my last post you are right it is too easy to get caught up in good prospects hype, however i really want to see some of them play and i HOPE that they can play at their full potential because if they do then the Jays would be successful. Another thing I haven’t heard much on Scott Campbell but does he seriously have a chance of taking over 2B, moreso than Hill? if thats the case we can afford to trade Hill or Campbell too (in the next 2 years when campbell is ready and is value is high).

    Last thing I am fairly new to baseball and would like to know how Slugging % works and how they decide whether a team gets 1 or 2 or maybe 3 (not sure) first round draft picks when a player leaves via free-agency.

    I believe if burnett leaves via free-agency then we get 2 1st round draft picks. So if we do trade him then we have to make sure that we get more in value than 2 1st round draft picks.

    Another thing, is a trade to Milaukee stiill possible. I doubt it but just now the Cubs strengthed themselves and Milaukee did have 6 picks out of the first 62 last draft. They also need a closer (BJ Ryan maybe) and with Gallardo out they might want just one more starter (Burnett maybe). But i doubt they might give more prospects away however what do you think are the chances of us trading Ryan? or trading burnett specifically to Milaukee. Tampa is another team that might be interested in both and still have a great farm system.

    Sorry for the long chatter.

    MW: You need to calm down about the prospects. It’s too early to start talking about trading Hill to make room for Campbell. If Eckstein and Sexson platoon at DH, what does Matt Stairs do? Slugging percentage is simply total bases over at-bats. Draft pick compensation is determined both by how the free agent ranks relative to others at his position and where the team that signs him finished the season before. I don’t think the Brewers have another big deal in them, but you never know.

    - Harry
  50. 50.

    Mike,

    Missed the game last night but nice to see the boys get another come-from-behind walk off win though.

    I did, however, take in the Ottawa Rapidz game here in Ottawa. Their opponents on this night were the Atlantic City Surf managed by none other than former Blue Jay Cecil Fielder.

    Big Daddy did make quite an impression after a questionable balk call against his pitcher in seventh. He had seen enough I guess as his team had almost completely withered away an 8 run lead and promptly got tossed from the game after arguing with the third base umpire (who had made the call). Big Daddy then got in a heated argument with the home plate umpire (who was pretty inconsistent all night) which then led to another coach and bench player getting tossed. Finally the crew chief was able to seperate Cecil from the home plate umpire and he finally left the field.

    In the end his Surf held on for a 9-8 win despite three critical errors by his third baseman.

    - Derek
  51. 51.

    Hi Mike…is the Brandon League experiment over? He has not looked good in his two appearances since being called up and I can’t see Cito trusting him too often.

    MW: There was a Brandon League experiment?

    - Zack
  52. 52.

    Mike,

    I had tickets to last nights game and I gave them away because Roy’s start was pushed back. Go figure, and shame on me for giving them away.

    I completely agree with you on the call-up for the young guys instead of Kevin Mench. I wasn’t nearly thinking of Snider or Watson, I was thinking of Buck Coats, but Snider and Watson makes a little more sense.

    How is Buck Coats doing there anyways, I havn’t heard anything else about the guy.

    Also, instead of Tallet, why not bring up Brett Cecil as well? How is he doing and is he Major League ready?
    Is there any other young starter down in AAA that might be worthy of a call-up other than Purcey?

    MW: Coats is doing fine, not great, hitting .277/.345/.396, but he’s only 3-for-23 so far this month and hasn’t played in three days, so he might be hurt. Cecil doesn’t seem to be an option, because they’re still being very careful with his innings.

    - Mark
  53. 53.

    Hey Mike, love your work. Is Joe Inglett the new Reed Johnson? I saw him running hard last night on a groundout…and with the high socks and all out hustle, thought of Johnson. Exciting to watch!! I’m glad he’s having some success! Thanks!

    - Jeremy
  54. 54.

    Hey Mike, I was listening to your post game show from last night and heard you mention that you think the Jays should either call-up Travis Snider or Matt Watson, how about giving Russ Adams another shot with the big club? He did pretty well last year when he was called-up.

    Thanks for your time

    MW: “Pretty well” is a relative term, I guess. Russ hit .233/.313/.383 in his call-up last year.

    - Chris
  55. 55.

    Mike,

    Can you give me/Jays fans a quick update on what the Jays are saying for possible returns to the players on the DL. Hill, Marcum, Accardo, Stewart? We have been informed Wells is 4-6 and McGowan is minimum 4 but likely more. Finally, is Janssen still on target for the start of next season?

    Thanks, Mike. Looking forward to your reply.

    Ryan

    Lindsay, ON

    MW: There’s no timetable on Hill, Accardo and Stewart right now, Marcum is expected to start the 5th game after the all-star break and Janssen remains on target for next year.

    - Ryan McMillan
  56. 56.

    Hi Mike
    First to the people who call you an apoligist.I believe what you are is a true Blue Jay fan like myself.I think you are aware of the teams positives and negatives,I’ve heard you mention both many times.I will say I don’t always agree with you but what I can say is that you always make a baseball point and that is what a person in yopur position must do.So keep up the good work.
    What a win!I know it’s only one game and like you said we need a miracle but it was the most fun I’ve had watching a bluejay game all year.I kind of gave up on Parrish during the 2inning thankfully he proved me wrong.I thought he kept his composure after getting hit pritty hard in the first couple of innings and gave us a chance to win which we did.I don’t know about you but League is a bit to wild for my taste.He walks to many batters.I thought Wolfe would have been a better choice.It was nice to see Overbay come through as well as Lind.All in all a great win espeacially with the news af Wells injury.
    mario
    Go Jays!!!

    - mario
  57. 57.

    Hi MIke, What a great game tonight, that walk off was amazing. I am a Lyle Overbay fan and have been since he came to the Jays. I was so pleased to see him do so well during the game. Thank you for being so fair.
    liz

    - Liz
  58. 58.

    Hey Mike, I’ve noticed that Scott Rolen has been 1st pitch swinging a lot, and theres nothing wrong with that. However, it seems like almost every time he does he fouls the ball, and it bothers me so much because a lot of times there great pitches to hit. Why do you think he’s having so much trouble?

    MW: I’m not sure, other than he’s in a serious slump right now.

    - Paul D
  59. 59.

    If the Jays brought up Snider, picked up Sexson for free, and actually made an effort to show fans that the upper management cares, I would continue to go to Rogers Centre and spend my money there.

    It really seems that the Jays management only cares about staying afloat financially, the almighty bottom line being more important than the fans and their passion for the game. But their business plan is a joke anyway. Nobody will come out to see Mench. Nobody wants to see Wilkerson. If they brought up some young talent and some new players to replace their injured starters, they would sell more tickets, and in due course, more over-priced concession (etc.)

    Even though the Jays seem to be out of it, they COULD still make things very exciting this year. Instead they are giving up. Mench? Blah. I knew it.

    MW: They picked up Mench and Wilkerson for free, how would picking up Sexson be any different? And calling up Mench, I would think, means more that they’re not giving up than calling up Snider would.

    - andrew - KW
  60. 60.

    Hey Mike,

    On the Fan Keith Law took every opportunity he could to bash JP (as always). What I would like to know is a) what happened between those two when Law worked for him, and b) he paints a pretty bleak, blow it up arguement which he feels JP has no pedigree to deal with, is it that bad?

    cheers,

    MW: No, it’s not that bad.

    - chris
  61. 61.

    Matt Watson wouldn’t be such a bad idea at this point. His numbers wouldn’t be as great as they are in AAA but he might be better then Mench, Wilkie or Sexson( that is if the Jays pick him up).An infusion of youth couldn’t hurt, look at Lind in his second tour of duty this year. If Eck or Stairs is traded, Watson should really be given a chance. It might be a reprise of last year’s discovery of the young 3(Dustin,Litsch and Marcum) because of injuries to journeymen pitchers, but only this time with offense. This time, Watson might provide some dynamism to the lineup and voila’ some much needed offense.

    MW: I don’t think Watson would be that kind of an answer. At 29, he’s not exactly a young up-and-comer along the lines of Lind or the pitchers.

    - jay
  62. 62.

    I was wondering Mike, about the current starting catcher for the Rangers, Max Ramirez. Wasn’t he traded last year for Kenny Lofton?

    MW: You’re right. I had confused him with the Saltalamacchia deal.

    - Adam
  63. 63.

    its gonna be the same ole story…jays are gonna finish strong and we’ll all be optimistic for next year…whatever blah, im just glad they keep the beer at the dome cold…chamberlain vs halladay will be fun tonite. good thing, i dont smoke and took the tickets over the nicorette prize pack (2nd row 1st base side)
    Hey M-Dub, I just sold my soul for those yankee tickets in august (13 rows behind the jays dugout for sunday and a logebox on the friday) if it rains im blaming you.

    - slobberface
  64. 64.

    Hey Mike,

    I’m glad to hear you address matters when it comes to people bashing you.

    Too much of what is said and written in this market is the same stuff that gets said about a certain hockey team that plays next door.

    Baseball is a different sport, and I’m glad we have someone here in Toronto that recognizes that fact.

    It’s unfortunate that you get the “apologist” label when you are just being realistic and level-headed. So often the “realist” is thought to be “negative”, except here. People are going to start slagging you (if they haven’t already) for changing your tune and saying that the Jays are done and should look to next year, when 50 games ago, you were saying “give them time”. Anyone who knows anything will figure out that you’re not “changing your tune”, you’re following the season with a realistic eye.

    Keep up the outstanding work!

    MW: Thanks!

    - Iain
  65. 65.

    Hey Mike

    My apologies if some of my comments have put you in a foul mood as that was not my intention. I respect your opinion as a baseball analyst but it does seem like you defend JPs moves, right or wrong. Example – the other day a fan asked about how Ricky Romero was doing, and you said he is still developing, but just at aslower pace than expected. Mike, he is not developing, he is getting ripped again this year just like he has at every level. The draft is a bit of a crapshoot, why not just admit that was a bad pick and move on?

    Now as for Snider, that was a great pick by JP. He looks to be a centerpiece of this franchise over the next decade. As excited as i am to see him arrive, i’d be happy to wait one more year if it means we control him for an extra year when he is in his prime. No point in starting the clock on him when the Jays are not in contention.

    I see Bedard has been placed on the DL. Unfortunate for Seattle, but that should help us get more for AJ…

    take care

    MW: Ricky Romero was chosen three years ago and is 23 years old. How can you be so sure already that he was a bad pick and it’s time to move on? Travis Snider was chosen two years ago, is 20 years old, and hasn’t played a single game above AA. How can you say that he was a great pick and will be a centrepiece of the franchise?

    - rick
  66. 66.

    Hey Mike

    It was finally nice to see the Jays have a come back, walk off effort in last nights game. I won’t lie to you I saw the score and figured it would be just another loss in typical fashion.

    I agree it would be nice to see some youngsters get some playing time in the absence of Vernon Wells. It would be beneficial to see what the Jays have on the farm as they look forward to next year and rebuilding the offence.

    The experiment of bringing in all the players J.P. wanted 3 years ago is over (wilkerson and mench), and with the season all but a wash, its time to see what the Jays have going forward.

    I don’t know how you rebuild this offence as there are no sure fire guys in the farm, and the value of most of the hitters on the club are at the low end….it looks as if the Jays will have to rebuild through the free agent and trade route…I heard recently that AJ Burnett was offered to the Brewers for JJ Hardy…I guess that would have been a start, but definatly not the answer to the problems..Hopefully there will be wholesale changes in the offseason fromt he front office down.

    - Brandon Wagner
  67. 67.

    Don’t get the Jays needing Mench or Wilkerson at all, Matt Watson or even Wayne Lydon would have been a better option than Mench. I thinks its too early to even consider bringing up Travis Snider?? What about Russ Adams, give him one last shot??
    Thanks Mike
    Tom Stewart
    Jays Fan from Rhode Island, Red Sox Territory

    Peace

    MW: Why Russ Adams? He’s not even hitting in Syracuse.

    - tom stewart
  68. 68.

    Wayne McMahon got fired today ? That’s terrible. Do you know what the reasons were ?

    MW: I think he got fired on Tuesday.

    - Dilson
  69. 69.

    They aren’t tied for fourth. Technically, they’re in fourth.

    Remember, it goes by winning percentage, not “Games behind.”

    I know, it’s just semantic, but anything that keeps my team out of last place is something I’m grabbing on to.

    MW: Enjoy.

    - Rick Jones
  70. 70.

    I would like to see Lydon get a shot. Some speed on the bases and in leftfield would be alright. Wouldn’t play a lot, but late inning pinch runner with ridiculous speed is always nice… like when Rays are down by 1 and Crawford gets on in the ninth, you just get that bad feeling.

    Also would like to see Watson, has had some bad luck over the years, and never really got a shot.

    - ju1ced
  71. 71.

    Gosh, you’re just full of good news. Is that League’s first appearence since his call up? I can’t remember him being in a game. Props to Shawn Camp for the quick eight pitch ninth inning. The Jays need all the positives they can get.

    I’d like to see the club take a look at Richie Sexson should he clear waivers. Seattle fans hated him. I guess when you consider he went 3 for 59 in games against the Angels last year, he did very little to endear himself to them. Some might consider his numbers to be not much different than Frank Thomas, but at least Sexson runs better. Going into last night’s games, the top three American League strikeout artist over the last three years were:

    Grady Sizemore 507
    Richie Sexson 497
    Jhonny Peralta 496

    If he hits a few home runs I’d forgive the strikeouts. At least they’re not double plays.

    MW: It wasn’t League’s first appearance since the call-up. I think it was his third.

    - Jim Branscome
  72. 72.

    What type of player and or pick would we get for Burnett? And also, I can’t imagine the idea of David Eckstein getting traded. I look forward to the Don Landry impersonation a few times a week. please, say it ain’t so Mike…

    MW: Tell me you wouldn’t really have a player for whom the Jays could get something sit on the bench five days a week.

    - Ryan Roberts
  73. 73.

    Mike,

    I know if we sign Sexson you said what does matt Stairs do, however I believe the jays were just recently scouting LAD’s A team. I also read that the LAD were interested in Stairs and that Stairs might be a good fit for them. However I doubt we could get 1st rounders for Stairs what do you think LAD might give us in return for him.

    If we do trade Stairs then we are left with Eckstein and Sexson (assuming we sign him). However what if we trade Eckstein too? Then I think we would be left with Sexson and Wikerson?. So i guess we could sign Sexson however that can only happen if we trade either or both Stairs/Eckstein.

    Oh and who do you think is the most coveted SP in the market right now. I would say Bedard/Burnett but some say Oswalt might get traded too (even though he is doing horrible this season he has an awesome past track record)

    MW: Oswalt has a full no-trade, so it’d be difficult to deal him even if the Astros were interested. With Bedard on the DL, I don’t think there’s any question that Burnett is the most coveted starter on the market. You’re right, Stairs could be moved and I have heard about the Dodgers’ interest.

    - Harry
  74. 74.

    Hey Mike,

    I know there is much talk about A.J Burnett opting out of his contract at year’s end but what about B.J Ryan? Is he eligible to opt out or does he even have that in his deal? If B.J could opt out i don’t think he would because it is the second richiest deal of all-time for a closer. (i think it is Mariano Rivera holds that title now)

    MW: Ryan doesn’t have an opt-out in his contract.

    - Adam
  75. 75.

    Mike,
    Personally I don’t see any reason to bring up Snider yet. Yes I would love to see what he has first hand but better off letting him do his thing in AA and AAA first.
    I scanned through the comments, and am suprised to see nobody has mentioned Brett Cecil as a possible spot in the rotation? He just pitched a 1 hit gem last game, and his numbers are great, including a couple bad outings. In 63 innings he is 4-2 (on a losing team) 2.86 ERA, 52 hits, 1.14 WHIP, and 66 Strikeouts.
    If there is any young prospect ready to make an impact to me its him. Do you agree?

    MW: Kind of. But as I mentioned earlier, the Jays are being very careful with his innings, so I’d think it unlikely that he comes up to start this year.

    - Denny
  76. 76.

    Question:

    Do you think Marcum and McGowan having arm troubles has anything to do with those geniuses shagging fly balls during BP, and then trying to throw those balls into the hotel rooms above the 500 level seats? i ahve watched them countless times this season take two crow hops,and throw a ball as hard as they can at the hotel windows. i know pitchers do things a human shoulder is never supposed to do, but certainly chucking a ball at an upward angle as hard as you can cannot be good. To give you an example of how hard of a throw it has to be- Jesse Litch can’t even get it up to the window. It is a weird coincidence. Thoughts?

    MW: A lot of guys do that, including Litsch and Stairs, for two examples off the top of my head. Neither of them have arm problems.

    - Chris
  77. 77.

    Bring Back Wayne McMahon!

    - Dave
  78. 78.

    IIICE

    COOOOOOOOOOOOOLD

    BEEEEEEEEEEEEEER!

    I hope all the fans at the dome make themselves heard by shouting the 3 words above. I also hope the account manager from Rogers who deals with Aramark has the sense to request to have Wayne reinstated.

    Anyway, back to the baseball – why did JP get rid of Reed Johnson? Just kidding – Enjoy a few days off blogwagon during the All-Star break.

    Do you what the lastest news is with the Roger Clemens Steroid Saga?

    PS – IIICE
    COOOOOOOOOOOOOLD
    BEEEEEEEEEEEEEER!

    - Aneez
  79. 79.

    With the Athletics recent signing of Michael Inoa I got to thinking. Why does it seem the Jays are never too involved in signings of players like this. I realize that these players all carry a heavy tag for their age, but if these prospects are so highly touted, why wouldnt the Jays be more active in this market?

    Are they looking at any of the top players in the Latin American prospect class?

    MW: J.P. Ricciardi talked about this on Wednesday, and says that the Jays are in on a lot of kids in Latin America, but that the bonus money is starting to get out of hand.

    - Andrew (Guelph)
  80. 80.

    Hello Sir,

    I honestly don’t believe that having Litche as the third man in the rotation is a problem. He has had to date a better year than Dustin or AJ. He has earned his wins and has a very respectable ERA and while he isn’t perfectly consistent he is more consistent than the aformentioned duo. He sometimes struggles against good hitting teams because he gives a lot of pitches to hit but he also sometimes can shut a team down. If Parish pitches decently and when Marcum comes back I think that our rotation is still above average in the majors – and not by a hair. I know you really like AJ’s stuff (and I can see why) but I would honestly rather have a guy who gives you a shot to win everyday than a guy who will be great or poor on any given outing, or in any given inning.

    Jeff S.

    MW: I think Burnett gives a team a better shot to win more often than Litsch or Parrish does.

    - Jeff
  81. 81.

    New Jays Leadoff hitter, 37 stolen bases, .280 plus BA
    Wayne Lydon. Do it JP, Bench Mench

    - tom stewart
  82. 82.

    I really would rather see Snider here than pick up Sexson. We’ve been hearing about the kid, let’s see him!

    If they aren’t looking for a big bat, that’s a shame. Because I think we really need one, and when Wells gets back, if he’s in front of a bopper, I think he will improve as well.

    That having been said, that was a great game yesterday, and that’s the kind of game that won me over to baseball from my native football (or as you barbarians call it, ‘soccer’). It wasn’t the best-pitched or most graceful game I’ve ever seen, but it did have a walk-off, and a sensational play at 3rd by Rolen. I can’t think of another 3rd baseman we’ve had since ’93 that could make that play.

    MW: It was a sensational play indeed. I’m frightened that you’re agreeing with me about Snider, though.

    - reyes
  83. 83.

    What’s all the hype about with George Sherrill. Looking at his numbers last night I saw he had an ERA of about 3.72, a WHIP of 1.32, and had blown 5 saves. All star? Try the 4th or 5th best reliever if he was on the Jay’s roster.

    MW: Saves are a very important stat for all-star consideration.

    - Brett
  84. 84.

    Mike…surely you cant be serious with this quote (and dont call me shirley)

    “Ricky Romero was chosen three years ago and is 23 years old. How can you be so sure already that he was a bad pick and it’s time to move on? Travis Snider was chosen two years ago, is 20 years old, and hasn’t played a single game above AA. How can you say that he was a great pick and will be a centrepiece of the franchise?”

    well. for one thing, snider has hit at every level since being drafted. romero has performed poorly at most every level. snider came out of high school meaning he likey has much more room for improvement than the college boy. this is just making an argument for the sake of an argument. romero will never see the light of day in the bigs and snider will be a viable every day player. im sure if you ask the scouts 95 percent will tell you the same.

    MW: I’m sure they’ll say the latter (if he can find a position, they’ll say), but I don’t know how many will say the former. It’s far too early in Romero’s pro career to write him off, is all I’m saying.

    - sammy jalalzai
  85. 85.

    Hey Mike,
    SI.com has a good article about Halladay potentially starting the all-star game. Because many of the guys on the roster are pitching Sunday, its really just between Roy and Lee. I think Francona is smart enough to realize Roy deserves the honour. Thoughts?
    Thanks Mike.

    MW: It was leaked on Sunday that Lee will start the game, but Francona has the right to change his mind.

    - Jeff
  86. 86.

    Hi Mike
    I still believe that the jays will sneak into a play-off spot, and I will continue until they get mathematically eliminated.
    Two quick questions:
    1. When on the bench, Joe Inglett seems to always get the job done (for example advancing a runner). Are most bench players as consistent as him when he comes up in a pinch hitting situation?
    2. I recently became a fan of John Sterling (880 AM) and I like his calls a lot. What do you think of his style?
    Shabbat Shalom

    MW: Inglett is 3-for-11 as a pinch-hitter, good for a .273 average, which is solid, if unspectacular. I don’t have the time to go over all 11 appearances to see if he “got the job done” every time, but I doubt it. As for Sterling, I’m a big fan.

    - Hopeful Homer
  87. 87.

    “You’ll have to explain to me how bringing up Snider for a look now would be detrimental to the long-term success of the franchise. No one should be thinking about 2016 right now. And I certainly did mention what Snider is doing in AA in July.”

    It risks the career development of a player that could very well be the franchise hitter for this team in the future. And yes, this is exactly what the team should be thinking about.

    Don’t make moves based on what would be more exciting to fans and the media or what Alan Ashby thinks would be the right move to do. Travis Snider is 20 years old and not even succeeding at AA. He shouldn’t be facing major league pitching, and I’m very surprised that you would be suggesting this of all people.

    MW: How does it risk his career development? If he fails, he fails, and he goes back down to work on what he needs to work on having had a taste of life in the big leagues. Big deal. Sorry to disappoint you.

    - Steve
  88. 88.

    Mike,

    They should grab Richie Sexton… They can’t lose… He needed a change of scenary. He surely not washed up. He obviosly isn’t a 14 million dollar player and that pressure got to him. The boo’s didn’t help much. We need a DH and someone to play first when lefties are on the mound. Throw Lind in right field, Stairs in left and send Wilkerson packing. if it works, we sign him to a 2 year deal after the season (probably for what we were paying thomas). I don’t want to think too far ahead but an 09 batting lineup that includes rios, wells, sexton, rolen, overbay and lind (with Stairs and Barajas as subs) would be good. then we could take the rest of the remaining Thomas/Burnett money we’d have to grab some pitching.

    MW: SexSon! And I don’t know why anyone would think that a change of scenery would magically get him back to the player he was years ago.

    - Dan Godfrey
  89. 89.

    There’s really only one thing we disagree about strongly!

    Anyway, if they keep playing like this–even if they lose–they’ll be worth watching.

    MW: There’s more than one thing that we disagree about.

    - reyes
  90. 90.

    In regards to post number 12, the guys name is Wayne, not Frank. It is Wayne McMahon, and it is outrageous that he got fired for selling beer to a 22 year old. Not even kidding, that dude is half the reason I go to games. I say everybody go on a thirst strike at the Rogers centre untill he gets his job back. Don’t buy beer until he is back

    - B.Viddy
  91. 91.

    Hi Mike love your Jays Talk, What are the chances of Rance Mulliniks being a hitting Coach? This guy is known as a smart hitter when he was playing in the major league, and he sees the weakness and strength of each batter. I think he can improve the problem of the jays for next year..

    MW: I think that if Rance wants to be a big-league hitting coach, he could definitely get a job, but the position is filled here for now.

    - Cookie Galang
  92. 92.

    Wow, how can you not love Joe Inglett?? Let me hear you say it Mike, let me hear you say you love him. Confess your love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    MW: It’s very hard not to love Joe Inglett. He certainly has yet to wilt in the face of greater playing time.

    - B.Viddy
  93. 93.

    You can’t stop the Lindster…you can only hope to contain him!

    ;)

    - WillRain
  94. 94.

    With all due respect to Cliff Lee, Doc is making his case to start the ASG tonight.

    I really hope Francona can look past a flash in the pan and give the honor to one of the best pitchers of his generation.

    MW: That would be swell, but sadly, I have my doubts.

    - WillRain
  95. 95.

    John is right Frank the Beer Guy is a sensation at every game….i can hardly wait till he gets to my section. I also like the guy who says “If you can’t catch a ball, catch a buzz” both great characters in the stadium

    - Ian
  96. 96.

    Hi Mike,
    You mentioned the other day that in the glory days of the Jays, fans were still whinging about the team on call in shows.

    I follow the scores on the cnnsi.com website and they have a live message fan board and the Yanks fans are about as negative about their own team as you can get. They assumed the game was over in the 3rd inning!

    My point is, I think most fans natural instinct is to be negative and pessimistic. This is a sort of safeguarding insecurity and it’s a win-win scenario because if the team stinks, your negativity is proven correct, and if they do win, the degree of satisfaction you feel is almost euphoric.

    Everyone seems to have had high expectations for the Jays this year and the frustration seems more palpable than ever. Fair enough. But we only need to look at other teams like Seattle and Cleveland who had even higher expectations and are stinking the joint out far worse than the Jays are. I’m sure Yanks and Tigers fans thought they’d be doing better as well.

    When you put things in that perspective, Jays fans need to chill out a bit about pushing any panic buttons.

    Also, I sense you are starting to get a bit burnt out with the blog…same questions over and over (I’m sure I’m guilty as well). Hang in there.

    MW: You’re a wise man.

    - Oz Rob
  97. 97.

    on the continual Sexson v. Mench qurestion:

    You have to think the Jays had some idea they would be without Rios for part or all of this series and knew that another OF was better than a 1B/DH – if they considered Sexson at all.

    MW: I don’t know that the team had some sort of insight that Rios’ fiancee was about to go into labour.

    - WillRain
  98. 98.

    Dan in #35:

    So Mike you can take shots at callers/readers people just can’t take shots at you! thats how this works is it?

    ~unquote

    It’s called “having your own blog” Dan…look into it.

    You people are GUESTS here in the virtual home of a man who serves you tasty treats when he has no obligation to and you aren’t satisfied unless you kids can take a leak on the living room rug as well.

    Show some respect.

    - WillRain
  99. 99.

    Hey Mike!

    Great effort by the doctor! Really enjoyed the game.

    - Hardeep
  100. 100.

    Where is Shannon Stewart?

    MW: On the disabled list.

    - Lex Mackenzie
  101. 101.

    That was one of the best games I’ve ever seen. Excellent pitching, excellent defense, excellent and timely hitting against a great pitcher.

    - reyes
  102. 102.

    Do you think if someone like Phily would trade one of their top prospects for A.J burnett if he gets dealt? Also, can you explain you hate for Derek Jeter?

    MW: Your first question doesn’t make sense. As to the second, I don’t hate Derek Jeter. I hate the myth of Derek Jeter.

    - andrew
  103. 103.

    …and according to the NY Post, the Yankees are thinking about picking up Sexson. I think we should let them do it!

    I am on the Joe Inglett Love Train. That was a great catch. But then I’m also on the Scutaro and MacDonald as an All-Star s/s-2nd base pair. At least for the next few hours. Amazing play! It’s extraordinary how well the subs and bench guys are playing for us right now.

    - reyes
  104. 104.

    Mike, do you think it’ll ever get to the point where the Jays will be forced to deal Doc? He is da man!

    And one more thing, I don’t even drink beer but I’m ready to throw my support behind Frank. He really adds something to a usally sterile environment.

    Bring back Frank!

    ICE!
    COLD!
    BEER!

    - Sherrymon
  105. 105.

    Quote:
    MW: Just for clarification – Lind has a .920 OPS since the recall, Vernon’s is .764 since the first injury, and Wilkerson’s is .714 since May 28th, though I’m not sure why you chose that date.

    Major screw up on Wells, not sure how I got that unless it was a typo on the calculator.

    Wilkerson’s figures were coming into last night’s game. The 0-3 night dropped him down – and I chose May 28 because someone on another board was saying that Wilkerson carried the team while Wells was out and it seemed to me in looking at his game log that May 28 was a turning point, but now he’s 2 for his last 23 so the point kinda fell apart anyway.

    I figured Lind again and got a .926 (before the NY) game which was neither my original figure or yours. Clearly either I’m missing some esoteric factor like HBP or I’m just not doing it right.

    For what it’s worth (apparently very little) this is the line I have right now based on ESPN’s stat page:

    .340 – .364 – .604 – .968

    I hope that’s in the general zip code of being right anyway.

    MW: According to the lovely and talented baseball-reference.com, Lind was at .320-.340-.580-.920 going into the Yankee game since his call-up. After the game, according to me, he would be at .340-.357-.604-.961. You might be missing the sac fly.

    - WillRain
  106. 106.

    Mike, optimism is alright but a realist:

    Does not see the glass as half empty or half full. They see what’s exactly in the glass.

    They never try to make a bad situation seem better than it is…

    But they also never sabotage any good things they have going on.

    They are brutally honest in their assessments of situations – and this always seems to help them cope.

    MW: Sounds good to me!

    - Vito From Hamilton
  107. 107.

    “How does it risk his career development? If he fails, he fails, and he goes back down to work on what he needs to work on having had a taste of life in the big leagues. Big deal. Sorry to disappoint you.”

    Snider seems like he has a pretty good head on his shoulders, but losing confidence can happen to anybody. Considering his OPS is in the .780 range in AA, he’s almost a sure bet to fail at this level if he was in fact brought up. AA pitching is absolutely nothing compared to major league pitching.

    Exposing him to the majors, and then sending him back down to the far less glamorous minor league system, could certainly hurt his development as a player.

    And to bring him up without thinking of the mental effect on the player if he was in fact sent down again would be completely irresponsible of JP Ricciardi.

    And yes, while you may not want to acknowledge it, bringing up a 20 year old, two years out of high school, when he isn’t even succeeding in the minors, is a HUGE deal.

    I haven’t even gone into the problems behind paying Snider at the age of 20 when he won’t be producing, when you’d much rather be doing it at the age of 27 in his prime.

    MW: I can’t think about 2015 right now, and I don’t think anyone should be, either. There are SO many variables between now and then that it’s almost impossible to have any reasonable idea about what might be going on then. As far as Snider’s confidence – if he’s the kind of player that we all seem to think he is, he’s not going to be shattered by exposure to failure at the major-league level. If he does fall apart, then that reveals a great deal about who he is and, perhaps, what kind of player he’s going to be.

    - Steve
  108. 108.

    Has anyone ever checked to see if Doc is really human. I mean seriously??? What does it take for this guy?

    If only this guy played in a bigger a market he would deserve the kudos he actually deserves. I was talking to some Yankee fans today who were also in bewilderment at the way this guy pitches.

    I know it doesn’t mean much, I just think he ranks up there as some of the greatest Toronto athletes of all-time.

    MW: I think you’re right. And I have suggested in the past that he may, in fact, be a robot.

    - Bobby
  109. 109.

    You might be missing the sac fly.

    ~unquote.

    YES!

    Those things that don’t appear in the regular stat line are the things that screw me up.

    Anyhow, it just occurred to me what I’d really like to get for AJ Burnett:

    Colby Rasmus!

    I know I know, keep dreaming….

    But it’s such a NICE dream…

    (After all, St. Louis is one of the teams he might agree to forgo his opt-out for pretty easily)

    - WillRain
  110. 110.

    RE Post #108

    “He would deserve the kudos he actually deserves” — ???

    And I don’t think he’s a robot — unless someone has discovered a way to make a robot smile when a great defensive play is made behind him!

    - Norm
  111. 111.

    Hi Mike
    This is the first time I have looked at your blog and I have never called in on your show, but I do listen most of the time and really enjoy it.
    I have to say for most of the season you have been very patient with callers, and I have often heard you refer to the amount of time left in the season to get back in the race.
    I do not think I am being overly optimistic, but I still say it is only July 12th and in the loss column, we are only 7 games back of the wild card position and a playoff spot, and with over two months left that is certainly not unattainable.
    I do not think we should consider trading anyone until at least closer to the trade deadline, as injuries can often have a positive reaction on the remaining players or new players brought in.
    If by chance we do make a move in the next 2-3 weeks, it would sure be nice having AJ Burnett around and his potential for being able to shut teams down, in both September and possibly the playoffs.
    In my opinion it would only take a few of the veterans (Stairs, Overbay, Rolen etc.) going on a hot streak, and maybe a surprise or two (like Marcum, McGowan, Hill, Jannsen etc. have done in the past due to injuries) to step up and play maybe better than we thought they might.
    Thanks

    MW: I think that you would be absolutely right if the team were healthy, but trying to claw your way back into a race without McGowan and Wells, in addition to missing Hill, Marcum and Accardo is a very, very tough task, and I don’t think you should sell your future short because of that very slim chance.

    - Dan
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