5:20 PM Eastern

I’m not really sure anyone could have seen this coming. On the day Shaun Marcum gets sent down to Syracuse – a stunning move, given that Marcum was leading the American League in WHIP and opponents’ batting average when he was injured in June and had seemingly overcome a rough beginning to his return before losing the plate in the 4th inning last night – Jesse Litsch goes out and throws down zeroes for the second straight outing and the Jays’ offense explodes for the third time in a week.

Since Litsch returned from AAA, he has started twice and has yet to be scored upon, throwing 13 shutout innings having allowed seven hits with five walks and seven strikeouts. Maybe the Jays are hoping for similar returns from Marcum, but Litsch had three starts for the Chiefs, and Marcum will only get two at the most, since the Chiefs’ season ends September 1st. Should Marcum come back as a September call-up, which is no guarantee (he was overheard telling people that he’d see them in the spring as he packed his stuff in the clubhouse), he’d still be eligible for the playoffs should the Jays pull off the miracle, since the Jays will have roster flexibility to add to the post-season roster thanks to the injuries to Casey Janssen, Dustin McGowan and maybe even Scott Rolen, if he doesn’t come back.

Marcum’s demotion shocked the heck out of me. It’s funny, after his first terrific start since returning from the disabled list after the all-star break following three rough outings (seven innings of three-hitter in a 5-1 win over Oakland), Marcum mused that he was worried that if he didn’t start pitching well, he’d be a candidate to go down to AAA and the gathered assemblage just rolled its collective eyes. Nobody thought that the Jays would ever consider taking that step, but it seems Marcum was pretty prescient.

I think there’s a story behind this story, though. Marcum had pitched well in picking up three straight wins before yesterday – the third win wasn’t his best work, but he still only allowed a run on five hits in five innings – and he was fine through the first three innings last night before falling apart in the 4th. Is he giving them any less than David Purcey is at this point? Weren’t the Jays so shaky about having John Parrish in the rotation that they promoted Scott Richmond just to move the lefty to the bullpen? Now Parrish is back to take Marcum’s place. Something is definitely up – I’m hearing that Marcum may have been in need of an attitude adjustment, which surprises me a bit. He’s always seemed loose and relaxed to me, but there are whispers that his britches have been getting kind of small, as it were.

As for today’s offensive explosion, this is something that Jays’ fans could get used to pretty easily. So they didn’t get up to 20 hits today, but they scored double-digit runs for the third time in six games, and cranked out seven extra-base hits – four doubles and three homers. Vernon Wells went deep twice among his four hits to take sole possession of the team’s home run lead among people who have actually hit a home run with the Blue Jays. Both home runs came on the first pitch, by the way.

Even Kevin Mench got in on the action, with a pair of doubles as part of a three-hit afternoon, jacking up his batting average by 20 points. The only Jay who didn’t reach base as part of the rout was the new guy, Jose Bautista, but he contributed a sacrifice fly in the second inning to up the lead to 3-0, and showed a terrific throwing arm from third base. He also made a nice running catch on a foul pop by Jacoby Ellsbury to end the 4th, going back towards the left-field stands to haul it in over his shoulder.

Speaking of nice running catches, that Wells fellow reminded the almost 45,000 gathered that he’s one of the best in the business on the defensive side with a pair of outstanding grabs, robbing Jason Bay of a pair of doubles. The first catch was simply incredible, Willie Mays-esque, and Wells didn’t even use his glove. He caught the ball somewhere in the crook of his wrist, arm and elbow as he ran with his back to the plate. The second catch looked a lot easier, but Wells had to go a long way in a very short amount of time to run the ball down at the wall in left-centre.

Brandon League and B.J. Ryan finished up with an inning each, despite the 11-run advantage, but that’s fine. Neither pitched yesterday, both will still be available tomorrow, and the Jays are off Monday. Perfect time to give those two some work.

If you read back in the archives, you’ll see that I said (especially to those who claimed at the time that the Jays’ hitters weren’t any good, had never been any good and would never be any good) that things would turn around, the hitters would get back closer to their career numbers and that Cito Gaston would get the lion’s share of the credit for that and, lo and behold, it has happened. As much temptation as there is to get on the Cito bandwagon, these guys were always this good, they just simply had to start hitting. That’s not to say that I don’t think Cito is doing a good job, he is. It’s just that it’s impossible to say that they wouldn’t have done this without the change, or that they would have been playing this well from the get-go had Gaston been in charge all season. As a caller to The JaysTalk mentioned, the Jays went on a 14-4 run under John Gibbons in May just when they looked as dead as they have at any point this season.

Speaking of The JaysTalk, here it is for your listening pleasure:

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Tomorrow, remember the pre-pre-game show at noon Eastern on the Fan590 and this very website, and at 7:05 PM Eastern, we’ll have The Blue Jays This Week!

79 Responses to “Goodbye Shaun, Hello Rout”
  1. 1.

    Hey Mike,

    Great game, that goes without saying. Just a question about this line though:

    “So they didn’t get up to 20 hits today, but they scored double-digit runs for the third time in six games, and cranked out seven extra-base hits – five doubles and two homers”

    I thought the Jays cranked three homers today, though – two by Vernon, and that bounce-off-the-top-of-the-fence job by Scoot.

    I can hear your critics sharpening their knives over that one already. Keep up the good work!


    MW: Uh-oh. I’ll go fix that.

    - Dan in Waterloo
  2. 2.

    “Something is definitely up – I’m hearing that Marcum may have been in need of an attitude adjustment, which surprises me a bit. He’s always seemed loose and relaxed to me, but there are whispers that his britches have been getting kind of small, as it were.”

    Just a little personal insight into the rumours regarding Marcum’s increasing ego. When I was at the Oakland series I witnessed 4 kids standing right by Marcum near the Jays dugout about an hour before the game. They were cheering his name and pleading for an autograph. I must note that he was not scheduled to pitch that day or the next. Well Marcum ignored the kids and walked right past them without so much as a hello or an autograph. My buddy and I commented that apparantly somebody thought he was pretty special and were very disappointed in his actions. Hopefully the trip to Syracuse will remind Marcum where he came from and he can get back to being an effective starter.

    MW: I don’t know if that story points out an ego problem for Marcum. He may well have had a meeting to go to, he may have had a bullpen he had to throw. Lots of guys ignore kids’ autograph requests all the time.

    - Dave J
  3. 3.

    don’t you think that the jays are a better team with marcum though, its will be even harder to make the playoffs now.

    MW: That’s why I found the move so surprising.

    - John Terry
  4. 4.

    I agree with you Mike there must be something else driving the Marcum demotion. You don’t send your #3 pitcher (healthy) at a time you need to be winning at .666 or better.

    I sure hope this isn’t a Gary Leeman type situation (although those tend to get sorted out by the players like Al Secord).

    MW: I doubt it very much, and again you should really have some sort of reason for bringing something up rather than just making baseless and likely slanderous accusations.

    - Ian C
  5. 5.

    See in the spring?

    Holy-friggin-moley, Batman!!

    This is NOT the sort of stuff I want to hear!

    I mean, from a “fantasy baseball” POV maybe you start thinking about turning Marcum into a quality hitter for next year and spending the money on a FA instead but I’m sure that’s a massive over-reaction.

    Still…such talk disturbs my calm.

    - WillRain
  6. 6.

    Hey Mike,

    Any chance the Jays try and pick up a starter before the end of the month? If J.P. thinks they’re in this thing then I have hard time believing they feel great about Purcey (love his upside though) and Parrish in the 4/5 spots.

    Not sure who would be available and who would clear waivers however.

    MW: I doubt very much they’ll be in the market for another starter. Marcum may only miss a start or two, with the off-days, if all goes well.

    - Cameron
  7. 7.

    What makes Burnetts curveball so unhittable? Opposition players look like fools when they try to hit it. Honestly, maybe I’m wrong but i i have never seen burnetts curveball hit for a homerun since he arrived in TO.

    MW: I’m sure he’s hung one or two in his day, though I don’t remember specifics. What makes it so hard to hit? It’s moving awfully quickly, both in and down.

    - JaysFan
  8. 8.

    I think I spoke too soon on Wells. He made a moron out of me after an excellent performance today.

    I hope the 1st base ump won’t be the HP ump. tomorrow. He was totally biased. Two calls and a check swing went against the Jays.

    I am sure you’ve been asked this question before.. Do you see League as a closer 3,4 years down the road?

    MW: I see League as a closer sooner than that.

    - Beburg
  9. 9.

    Mike, I hope Marcum can get better soon. I am happy to see that Wells is torning it around alot. Even Rios and Overbay are hitting better. That is what I like to see.

    - David
  10. 10.

    I don’t think it’s Cito getting the credit so much as it’s Tenace getting the credit. ‘See ball, hit ball’ is working for these guys. I know Manny always chants ‘go deep in the count’ in the locker room, and that approach works for him. But clearly being aggressive works better for these guys.

    You will not like what I have to say next:

    Cito is not Ricciardi’s hire and he’s not Ricciardi’s creature. Which means he makes his own decisions in the dugout and beyond. Also it seems to me he’s much more relaxed with his players. They, in turn, have relaxed as well. And we see the results. Yes, Gibbons had a great run in May. But I think that was as much fear on the part of the players that if they didn’t give it everything they had, they’d be on a rail out of town next. That run exhausted them, and they began to lose again. And even in that run, if I remember correctly, they weren’t hitting like they are now. The team is better with Cito. And I think Cito has to have something to do with that.

    MW: I think he has something to do with that, but not as much as most people think he does. It’s interesting that they’re hitting (in the overall) about the same as they did under Gibby, just scoring an extra run a game. And I don’t see that Tenace is getting more credit than Cito, not by a longshot, nor are either of them preaching a “see ball, hit ball” philosophy.

    - reyes
  11. 11.

    I am also shocked at Marcum’s Minors stint. One thing I appreciate from CITO is he is not taking any crap from these guys. A great win today and a MUST win tomorrow.
    GO JAYS GO!!

    MW: No such thing as a must-win in August.

    - Will
  12. 12.


    Just to mention the obvious, the fact you said that the Jays hitting was bound to improve when Cito took over is completely irrelevant to determining what role Cito has played in the turn- around.

    The day before Cito took over I posted that I thought Cito would be the perfect tonic for the Jays underachieving hitters. This is just as irrelevant as your theory.

    The real question is — has Cito done anything different that can be attributed to the turn-around and if you listen to the players on the field, rather than one talking head, the obvious answer is yes.

    If JP had been confident enough prior to spring training to give up the Gibbons puppet strings and install Cito and his staff, the Jays would probably be looking forward to the playoffs right now instead of hoping for a miracle.

    Anyway, I too am shocked about Marcum but I have complete faith in Cito’s judgment. The bottom line to me is the Jays seem so much more confident under Cito than the assemblage of clowns JP had hired previously.

    MW: Except that you have to remember the psychology of it all. If these players don’t attribute the turn-around to Cito and his staff, then that means that they have to place the blame for what went on before Cito took over on themselves, as opposed to the implication that it was Gibby and Gary Denbo’s fault. Also, I asked Cito before the game today about the genesis of the Marcum move, and he said that he and J.P. sat down to talk about it, just as Gibby and J.P. used to sit down and talk about personnel moves.

    - Prokopec
  13. 13.

    Hey Mike,

    Really surprised that the Jays moved down Marcum but what surprised me even more was that they brought up Parrish. In my opinion I think Richmond has done way better as a starter than Parrish and he has been very consistent, 3 runs in 6 innings both times he was on the mound if I’m not mistaken. I agree with what you said about the Cito bandwagon but I think that there is one thing that Cito did that Gibbons didn’t and that is Cito puts a lead off hitter who can has some speed and I think that is an important quality for a lead off hitter. I really didn’t understand why Gibbons put Stairs and Wilkerson at the top of the lineup when he was here. Could you explain the thinking behind that?

    Thanks for taking the time to read my post and keep up the great work you do on JaysTalk.

    MW: Wilkerson has as much speed as Inglett does. I think you have to put a guy in the top spot who can get on base. It’s not like Inglett is a guy who is going to steal a lot of bases – though he does have eight. His primary asset is his ability to get on base, not his speed. Richmond never got out of the 6th, but did allow three runs and take it into the 6th in each of his three starts.

    - Kevin
  14. 14.

    Something must have happened behind the scenes for this to happen to Marcum. I do not understand it. If it was a disagreement or something like that – that didn’t stop Myers from pitching a gem after he got into it publicly with his manager. I think this is a mistake and someone’s fuse was a bit too short. This can have long-term impact on him even though I am sure he will say all the right things once he comes back up. I think JP is done (and I think he should be done)- Burnett? See ya! Funny how he has no problems with his health in his walk year? The Mets will give him the 15-17 million he wants. I don’t think the Yankees are that stupid – they’ve learned there lesson with Pavano. I know you defend him Mike – but AJ’s done little to justify his contact until these past 2 months – and that smells funny since he’s going to be a free agent.

    MW: Take a look at Burnett’s numbers over the course of his contract and you’ll see he’s done plenty to justify it. I agree, though, that his ability to stay healthy only in walk years definitely should cause some eyebrow-raising.

    - Gary
  15. 15.

    Shocked! Marcum is way better than Purcey, Parrish or Richmond at this point. I can’t believe this move will help the Jays’ chances down the stretch.

    - Zack
  16. 16.

    Hi Mike
    Do you know if it’s true that JP Riccardi is on the US baseball team selection committee?

    MW: He was back in 2000, I’m pretty sure he isn’t anymore.

    - Sue
  17. 17.

    The Jays hit 3 home runs in Todays game against Boston ;).

    MW: See above.

    - Osman O
  18. 18.


    I love the offense but I am not counting on Marco Scutaro banging out homers every night. This is not a good hitting ballclub and never was. They are 21st in MLB in OPS.

    I love this run we are having, but big picture for the future I think this is the worst thing that can happen. It justifies playing inferior players, not working the count, rebuilding, and Cito’s questionable decisions. Tampa Bay is only getting better, the Yankees will buy whoever they want in the offseason, and the Red Sox will be the Red Sox. Meanwhile, the new (but oldschool) philosophies that have were proven to be junk are now the rule in in Toronto. I really fear for the future of the franchise.

    - Jim B
  19. 19.

    With Jesse Litch’s newfangled ability to throw low 90′s fastballs, instead of exclusively a mid-high 80′s cutter, do you see him as something more than a borderline 5 starter in the future?

    He is young, and if he could improve control (Not so bad looking in the last 2 starts) and perhaps add some break to his curve/change who knows what he could do. Here’s to hoping superb pitching coaches the jays have can work him into a middle of the rotation pitcher over the next couple years. Just want your opinion.


    MW: It’s possible that he could become a middle-of-the-rotation guy, but he’s going to be one of those pitchers who will have to prove himself every year.

    - Liam
  20. 20.

    I don’t get this ‘attitude3 adjustment’ idea behind Shaun Marcum…….besides that last game, he was producing wins and has been a reliable pitcher for nearly most of the year…..attitude or not it is all about wins.

    I dont get the move and even if it were made, why John Parrish….why not a younger guy who has more upside?

    MW: Because there isn’t one there who might be ready, other than Brett Cecil, and I don’t think they want to give him his first taste of the majors in this situation.

    - Mark
  21. 21.

    Mike, who do you think gonna win the AL central and why?

    MW: I don’t make predictions, because they might be wrong.

    - andrew
  22. 22.

    My last name is Tilner, yours is Wilner. We should have a show called Tilner and Wilner in the morning.

    MW: Get on that!

    - J
  23. 23.

    In a game like this, what goes through a managers mind that is getting beat on like this. Does he say to his team lets just play this game out… or does he get his team focused on making a comeback?

    MW: Sometimes you have to resign yourself to a loss, but you can always stay positive, implore the players to have good at-bats, play well on defense, win an inning, things like that.

    - Victor Kovari
  24. 24.

    Hi Mike,
    As a university lecturer, I have to say that you have slipped in my good books by admitting you skipped so many classes. I take some solace in the fact that you had the initiative to get the notes and that your attention to grammar has remained intact.

    Been away for a week and now have eye strain from catching up on the blog. The crazy ups and downs of this season, and the recent resurgence in the Jays hitting is why baseball is such an unpredictable and wonderful sport. And once again, the Jays are giving us hope for next year. It’s like a conspiracy!

    A couple of comments. Isn’t it semi-tragic that like Al Leiter and Ted Lilly before him, AJ Burnett is having a “career” year and is going to walk away…

    Also, fans should tip their hat to Mike Timlin if he pitches as he and David Weathers (Marlins) are the last rostered players from the Jays World Series teams who are still active. When they stop playing it’ll be the end of a special era for the Jays.

    Of course, we’ve still got Cito.

    MW: I’m sorry for skipping so many classes, honest.

    - Oz Rob
  25. 25.

    Hey Mike. Hard to explain the Marcum demotion, but I will try. In 2006, Marcum had shown enough to be given a 4th or 5th starter position in the rotation. Not in JP’s eyes. He wanted the security of veterans and signed 3 broken down pitchers, Zambrano, Ohka, and Thomson. They put Marcum in long relief, and many of us wondered why. Since he became a starter after JP’s ludicrous signings had all failed, as expected, Marcum has been pretty much the third best pitcher on the staff and one of the best third starters in the american league. Since you like to deal in the rational, the only explanation as to why you would embarass this kid is there is a personality conflict between him and the so called boss. Also, giving yourself a pat on the back for your prediction that these guys will hit is funny. I’ll give you a bigger pat on the back for your ability to see the future. You should play lotteries with your gift, Kreskin. The line up that most of us laughed at included Rolen, Eckstein, Zaun and Stewart. Before Cito got there Lind was in triple a with no sign of being called up. Go back to your JP talk the Wednesday he trash talked Dunn and you will hear him say Lind is not ready yet. Lind was called up 2 days later when Cito was hired. Kudos to Lind, Scutaro, Inglett and Barajas for stepping up when called upon, for making your prediction come through. Lastly, as you are well aware, baseball is 162 games. Even the worst hitting team in the majors has streaks where they score runs for a 3 or 4 game stretch. Hard to take credit for this vaunted offensive juggernaut when their hr leader has 11. Chris Davis in 190 ab’s has 12.
    Dave B

    MW: Not worth a reply.

    - DaveB
  26. 26.

    Here’s the latest installment of the RAUS (Russ Adams Update Show):

    For August — .427/.476/.680 OPS 1.156

    Totals for year — .258/.343/.411

    And some extra “food for thought” — with RISP (year)
    .292/.398/.531, OPS .930. Could the Jays use some of that, down the September stretch?

    MW: They could, but he might be in Pittsburgh by then.

    - Norm
  27. 27.

    Hey Mike. I am as shocked as you are about Marcum! What suprises me the most is that if they are simply demoting him because of a 4th inning meltdown then why did guys like Overbay, Rios, Rolen, Johnny Mac, and Stairs all get off the hook when they where having hitting slumps worse than any regular pitcher who has had a pitching slump this year!!! FYI I don’t expect you give me an awnser for all those guys, because I’m just venting my frusteration to you through example. If it was an attitude thing with Marcum then why did Rios get off the hook for his lackluster effort not long ago! Did Shaun put a stink bomb in Citos office??? What angers me the most is that the miracle that the Jays need to make the playoffs has now become a need for an even bigger miracle without Marcum. He is not the Jays biggest gun in the rotation, but he gives the Jays a better chance being on the 25 man roster! Its like being the underdog in a huge war and saying “Its ok we don’t need those M4′s we only need cannons!” Sorry… I needed to blow some steam!

    - Matt from BC
  28. 28.

    The Jay’s bats are amazing.
    So amazing!!!!!
    you were right Wilner. This line-up is a well oiled machine.

    give me a break

    MW: I love the people who give me crap about things I didn’t say.

    - slobberface
  29. 29.

    Mike, what are you noticing this time around with Jesse Litsch that we didn’t see before he went to Triple A?

    MW: He’s not walking people and he’s keeping the ball in the park.

    - andrew
  30. 30.

    Nice win – wow! Great to see Vernon being Vernon. I’m not surprised to see “something” happen with Marcum. However, a demotion is not what I expected. I thought, he looked a bit tired his last start and perhaps missing a turn or two in the rotaton or even a stint in the pen would be warranted. Maybe there’s a deal in the works!

    No need to read back in the archives there Mike as to what you said with respect to the Jays hitters coming around, as their just too good not to.

    I am sure everyone knows (but would never admit it)you did correctly state those facts. I couldn’t have agreed with you more then or now as to the hitting.

    I think, the biggest change between having Gibby Vs Cito in the clubhouse is likely more of a “presence” than anything else. With Gibby, it may have been more of an “old boys club” atmosphere as to being more laid back and letting things work out. Whereas with Cito, the hitting or lack off is looked at a situation that can be “worked on” rather than just left to “work out”.

    Don’t get me wrong here Mike, I liked Gibby and was a supporter of him for sure. However, I do have to give credit to Cito and his guys for what I believe has resulted in better work ethics. I just can’t be convinced that a whole team could slump that bad, for that long without reason. Albeit, they did run into some very good oppositon pitching rotations at the wrong times – that can happen to a team.

    Let’s see, my “blind optimisim” told me before the Tigers series the Jays would go on a 14-3 run. One ppd game (Bos)thus far means they can only go 13-3. They are 8-3 since the Tiger series – yikes, that means they gotta not only beat the Red Sox today – they will have to sweep the Rays at home. I’m getting blinder, they can and will do it!

    I realize however, we are running out of games and not gaining a lot of ground here of late. The Jays, are however without a doubt providing lots of exciting baseball late in the season despite the standings – and isn’t that also what it’s all about.

    I went boating yesterday and will be again today. You wouldn’t believe Mike the amount of radios you hear tuned into the game – very cool to hear. You 3 boys do a fantastic job broadcasting games – even better sounding on the “Grand River” as your voices travel well over water.


    MW: Thanks, that’s great to hear! It’s a good point you make about the hitting being worked on as opposed to just being left to work itself out, but I do think that the hitting was being worked on a lot under Gibby, and he knew that it would eventually work itself out. The thing is, the difference in the situations led to the difference in the coachspeak.

    - Bob -
  31. 31.

    Hello Mike, great Jays talk today. I thought there was a couple of callers that made great comments that I would agree with. The first one was the one when he commented on the Tennese interview. I thought he was right in that Tennese pretty much blamed Denbo. Of course, Tennese is never going to out right blame Denbo on the radio or that would be trouble. Same with the hitters. I think that Denbo is a great person & a good hitting coach but not the right fit for this team. I know you don’t like the word “fit” Mike but I believe that certain hitting coaches are better suited for certain teams. Say, if Denbo goes to another poor hitting team like San Diego or Washington, he may have more success there since his philosophy’s might be better suited for their collection of hitters. Same thing with managers, if Gibbons went to another team, he might have more success with that team since their collection of players may not need that one-on-one, or accountability as much like Cito brings to get the most out of them, as the other caller mentioned. Of course players don’t try harder for one than the other. But as for this specific Jays team, Cito & Tennese seem to get more out of these collection of players because of their methods outside of just X & O’s. Not that Gibbons didn’t do that other stuff but obviously not near to the degree as Cito. I know you would probably disagree with this Mike since I know you are mainly a stats person, & don’t believe too much in that other stuff that doesn’t show up as numbers/stats, but I think a great team does have to have the right mix of people in place to a degree. A manager knowing the X & O’s of baseball is I think a must in the major leagues but there are many other methods that he has to use to be a great manager. However, I do agree with you on that you mention that not one person, in this case Denbo is at fault for their hitting or mediocrity as a team this season. It is many reasons. All in all, we do agree that we hope the Jays can put a run here & would be nothing better to have meaningful games being played in Sept..It would be fantastic to see…Question, I was shocked as you were to hear Marcum being sent down. Since you are closer with the team & hear stuff us fans don’t, do you think it was his attitude or something??..If so, please explain…Thanks Mike & keep up the good work.

    MW: I thought I explained what I knew in the post to which you’re commenting. You have some interesting points to make about Cito vs. Gibbons, but how much do you know about the truth of what actually goes on behind closed doors now and what did under Gibby?

    - David F.
  32. 32.

    re to Marcum demotion
    I’m shocked that he has been sent down. Friday wasn’t his best but everone has a bad day. Take Lester yesterday and Beckett last week etc….
    Must be as you say a story within the story. I think Marcum is a much better choice than Parrish.
    Happy with Jays bats of late but this years pitching is great and deep.
    Keep up the good work Mike.

    - Lindsay
  33. 33.

    Hi Mike. So here I am with my second ever Miked Up blog posting. Thrilling, isn’t it?

    I was surprised to hear about Marcum, and agree that there’s gotta be more to it than just on-field performance.

    I don’t mean to beat a dead horse to water to pick my friend’s nose, but I’m gonna touch on the Johnny Mac thing again. (I know, I know) I believe I heard you say, in the last day or two, that Johnny is about a .240 career hitter. So let’s say, in a hypothetical season, McDonald hits .240. That means the difference between him and a .290 hitter is one hit per every 20 at bats. I figure it would take most guys 4 to 5 games, sometimes more, to get 20 at bats. I’m pretty sure that for every 4 or 5 (or sometimes more) games that Johnny plays, he takes away well over one would-be hit, compared to any other shortstop.

    I’d say shortstop is a pretty key defensive position, and I don’t like the idea of being able to put the best defensive baseball player on Earth (matter of opinion) in that position, and not doing it, especially for Eckstein. I’m not here to rip on Eckstein, and I know this beef is out of date, but I just had to get it off my chest.

    Ok, now that my soul is feeling better… man, it really sucks losing on Tony Fernandez day, especially to the Red Sox. But an 11-0 win to follow it up sure took some of the sting out of that. Hopefully Litsch can stay hot, basically becoming the new Marcum of the top three starter trio.

    Back to Tony for a sec, he’s my favourite player of all time, and while the idea of him getting to The Hall probably sounds ridiculous, I think his defence warrants it. But that’s never going to happen. Not that his hitting was bad. I remember being under the impression a few years back, that Fernandez retired as the all-time hits leader for Dominican born players. Am I way off on that? I’m also wondering where he currently ranks in that list, thought it’s not the end of the world if I don’t find out.

    Thanks again for your time

    MW: I do believe that Tony did retire as the all-time hit leader among Dominicans, but Julio Franco passed him.

    - Dilly (it's a nickname) in Dundas (not the street)
  34. 34.

    Mike could you post the interview with Tenace, or direct us to where it is on your front page

    MW: It’s in the audio on demand section of the website. You have to click on “more audio” from the front page.

    - gerry
  35. 35.

    Wasn’t it three homers?

    MW: See above.

    - Tyler
  36. 36.

    Oh my. The Jays are doing their annual out of the race stretch run, and as usual the media and baseball fans in Troonto go all gaga. Whereas Vernon and Rios sucked last week, now they’re the second coming. But its all an illusion. The Jays have no chance. And if they do get close, they’ll realize what they’re doing, and go back to their losing ways. When will you Torontonians ever learn?
    And it must be embarassing to have as many people from Boston in the stands as there is from Toronto. If they can’t seollout the Skydome with 20,000 Boston fans in attendance, they never will.

    MW: They have sold out Rogers Centre this season, actually. How early can the annual out of the race stretch run (success, I’m guessing you meant to add) start? Because this one started a week before the all-star break.

    - Rick GRace
  37. 37.

    Hey mike,
    would you like Brandon phillips as the jays 2baseman?
    Then we can move hill to ss.
    He is batting 270(which has dropped), 21 homeruns, and 75 rbis with a 465 slug? Given that cincinatti needs bullpen(pitching help), and that they want to get younger, we can package campbell along with another player to get him? It’ll be a great trade for both teams. What do you think about phillips?

    MW: I think he’s fine, though I’d like him to hit right-handed pitchers better. The Reds just signed him through his arbitration years, so I don’t know how willing they’d be to part with him.

    - JaysFan
  38. 38.

    Yesterday I missed every pitch of the Jays game because I was at a charity golf tournament for friend with m.s.. I believe it’s the first game I haven’t seen at least some of all season. Looks like I missed a good one. I read in your blog that both of the V.W. home runs came on the first pitch. I have noticed this to be the biggest difference since the managerial change. The hitters, for the most part, are not going as deep into the count, and putting themselves into a defensive count. There is an old saying in baseball when a pitcher is asked “what is a pitchers best pitch”? The answer is usually, “strike one”. It is also the hitters best pitch because a large percentage of first pitches are strikes, and often fastballs. If the hitter takes an offensive approach, even if he guesses wrong, he is only down 0-1. Likely the same count he would have if he let the first pitch go right down the pipe. Go Jays Go. The miracle is a long shot, but we are allowed to dream!

    MW: Being down 0-1 often takes a huge chunk out of a hitter’s capability to succeed, though. But heck, if the first pitch is there and crushable, go ahead and crush it.

    - dan from elmvale
  39. 39.

    How many HR would Vernon Wells have if he stayed healthy for the entire year?

    MW: At least 90.

    - andrew
  40. 40.

    Can we make it illegal for John McDonald to hold a bat because what he does at the plate is a crime.

    MW: Have you been watching any of this the last couple of weeks?

    - Matt
  41. 41.

    Did you know Burnett was actually a super-hero?

    His alter ego is “Mr. Inconsistency”

    Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, AJ.

    MW: This is hilarious.

    - Kyle
  42. 42.

    That blow up by AJ killed them.

    As I write this, the Jays still have 6 at bats. My prediction: ball game over. They ain’t coming back.

    MW: What is wrong with all of you?

    - Peter
  43. 43.


    I think I recall you saying that you thought that the Jays would be interested in Ben Sheets if JP is at the helm of the franchise in the off-season.

    I’m wondering if my memory serves me correctly and, if it does, why you might think that the Jays would be willing to pay Sheets money that they wouldn’t pay Burnett?

    Sure, Sheets is a few years younger. But over the past few years Burnett has certainly been more durable.

    Finally, is there a way that a ‘Miked Up’ fan can search past posts/comment responses? If there isn’t, I would like to put that into the ‘Miked Up’ suggestion box – it would save you the time to reanswer questions and us the time to write these stale queries.

    MW: Over the past few years Burnett has certainly been more durable? Maybe over the last this year. Sheets made 41 starts in 2006 and 2007 combined, Burnett made 46. I no longer think the Jays will go after Sheets if J.P. is still here, by the way. I thought there was a search function, I wonder if they can do that.

    - mike
  44. 44.

    MW: Except that you have to remember the psychology of it all. If these players don’t attribute the turn-around to Cito and his staff, then that means that they have to place the blame for what went on before Cito took over on themselves, as opposed to the implication that it was Gibby and Gary Denbo’s fault. Also, I asked Cito before the game today about the genesis of the Marcum move, and he said that he and J.P. sat down to talk about it, just as Gibby and J.P. used to sit down and talk about personnel moves.
    But the psychology angle ignores at least a couple of things. One, there is a real difference between Denbo’s philosophy of hitting and Cito’s. Two, Halladay who performed well under both regimes has been vocal about the positive changes Cito has brought and presumably wouldn’t be prone to rationalize in the same way you suggest.

    Not being at the meetings, I’m only guessing obviously but I hazard to say there is probably a huge difference in the dynamic in discussions between JP and Gibbons, who owed JP everything and JP and Cito, who dwarfs JP’s accomplishments in the game and would likely win any power struggle that might emerge.

    To me the Litsch and Marcum decisions smack of Cito’s approach to Derek Bell and David Wells years ago when those players’ work ethic and commitment was questioned by Cito.

    Anyway I am toying with a new hypothesis about the Jays. JP has shown some skills in player evaluation here and as he constantly reminds us he had a glorious history in Oakland. To date, any skills he does have though have been blunted by his inept skills as an executive — i.e. inability to delegate, impulsive decision making and his utter inability to accept personal resonsibility for his decisions or deal with the media.

    However, maybe the past seven years haven’t been a total waste in that, one, maybe he has learned from his mistakes and two, maybe due to his vulnerability he has been forced to delegate more.

    I think Cito is now in charge of the day to day decisions in a way JP’s previous two stooges could only dream of. And I think LaCava’s responsibilities have expanded enough that maybe the Jays should not fire JP on the same afternoon the regular season ends, and maybe think about it through the end of October.

    MW And on what do you base these thoughts?

    - Prokopec
  45. 45.

    No seriously, how many HR would VW hit if he didn’t get hurt?

    MW: You really think there’s a legitimate answer to that question? As opposed to “there’s no way to know”?

    - andrew
  46. 46.

    Overbay hits a homer and a double, but when he just needs to hit a fly ball, he can’t do it.

    That is the Jays season in a nutshell.

    MW: It continues to baffle me that some people think that hitting in the major leagues is so easy. And did the home run not matter?

    - Lance
  47. 47.

    Today’s Ash’s corner demonstrates that it is possible to hit a hard .125 (5 for 40) because that’s what Alan Ashby managed to achieve in his career postseason record. Besides, we all know that the pitching tightens up in the postseason right?…right?

    His first start in the postseason came in Game 2 of the NLCS on Oct 8th, 1980 in front of 65,476 at Veterans Stadium in Philly. 65k+ fans that would boo Santa Claus eh? I wouldn’t want to mess up if I was a Phillie under those circumstances. He took an 0fer on the day, but he did manage to gun down the “Secretary of Defense” Garry Maddox to end the 4th inning. Most importantly the Astros won the game 7-4 in 10 to split the opening series and send it back to Houston for the final 3 (if necessary) games.

    In the decisive (and painful: the last 4 games were decided in extra innings) Game 5 of that series, Ash came off the bench to bat for fellow catcher Luis Pujols in the sixth inning and singled to score Denny Walling with one out and tie the game at 2. The Astros would go ahead 5-2 after 7 and they had to feel good about their chances with Nolan Ryan on the Astrodome mound. But, baseball is not that predictable or fair, and the Phillies rallied for 5 in the 8th to go up 7-5. Now the Phils had Tug “Ya Gotta Believe” McGraw on the mound with the two run lead, and it was the ‘Stros turn for an improbable comeback as they tied it in the eighth on four singles off McGraw. The Phils would win an absolute classic of a series 3 games to 2, with the 8-7 win in 10.

    1981 was the year of a huge strike which resulted in an early version of the Division Series as the division winners from each half made the playoffs. The Astros were pitted against the Dodgers whom they had eliminated in a 1 game playoff the year before, to get to the LCS. Game 1 was a doozie of a matchup as Fernando Valenzuela took on Nolan Ryan in the Astrodome. The Astros took a 1-0 lead in the sixth, but Steve Garvey hit a shot to CF (quite a shot in the Astrodome as I recall) in the seventh to knot it at 1. Jay Johnstone batted for longtime Ashby nemesis Valenzuela in the top of the ninth and some 24 year old RH named Dave Stewart came on to pitch the bottom frame. He got Cesar Cedeno and Art Howe, but then gave up a single to Craig Reynolds to bring up Alan Ashby, who pulled the ball down the line and out for a two out walk-off shot to give Houston the first game 3-1. Nice! Denny Walling’s 11th inning 2 out walkoff RBI single produced a 1-0 win the next day and gave the Astros a 2-0 series lead heading to La-La land. Unfortunately, Ash went 0fer the rest of the series and the ‘Stros could only score 2 the rest of the way, losing the series 3-2.

    Five long years later the Astros got another kick at the can against the juggernaut New York Mets in 1986. Ash was 1 for 1 with 2 BB and a single against Doc Gooden in Game 1, but the stars of the show were Mike Scott, with the CG 5 H SHO and 14 K and Glenn Davis with a solo HR off Gooden to give the ‘Stros a 1-0 win and series lead. Ash went 0fer the next two games and so did his team, the second one being particularly painful as Lenny Dykstra hit a 2 run walkoff HR to give the Mets a 6-5 win. Ash set the tone for Game 4 with a two out two run HR in inning #2 off LH Sid Fernandez, quite a significant blow given Ash’s eventual career numbers against southpaws (.215/.280/.302). Dickie Thon added a solo HR for Houston in the fifth and Mike Scott was money again firing a CG 3 H, with 0 BB and 5 K in a 3-1 win. The next two games (well, 3 in that they totaled 28 innings) were all-time classics. Ash came to the plate in the top of the 5th of Game 5 and led off with a ground ball down the right field line for a 2-bagger off Doc Gooden. He would eventually come around to score on a Bill Doran groundout and give Houston the 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the inning the Mets tied it on a Daryl Strawberry HR and eventually won 2-1 in 12 on Gary Carter’s walkoff RBI single, to go back to Texas up 3 games to 2. Game 6 may be the greatest postseason game ever played. The Astros took the early lead 3-0 after 1 and held that lead until the ninth, when the Mets tied it at 3. The teams traded zeroes until Wally Backman’s single delivered Daryl Strawberry from 2nd with the go ahead run in the top of the 14th. Billy Hatcher would rock Jesse Orosco for a solo HR to extendo (never-endo) the game a little further. Hey, why not? In the 16th the Mets broke through for 3 in the top half off Aurelio “Senor Smoke” Lopez. So that’s got to be it right? Sort of. Hatcher singled home Davey Lopes to make it 7-5 with one out in the bottom half and Glenn Davis singled home Bill Doran with two out making it 7-6. Two out Davis at first, Denny Walling at second, Kevin Bass at the plate. 6 pitches later Bass had struck out swinging, Jesse Orosco had fired his glove up to the Astrodome roof and once again the Astros were on the outside looking in.

    There are lots of other towns that know our pain fellow Jays’ fans and when you look at how close the Astros have been to glory and never won the big enchilada, or the fact that the Cubs haven’t won in a century, well, you’ve just gotta feel lucky. Be happy for ’92 and ’93 and stop feeling so damn bitter. Believe it or not, things can always be worse. As for Ash, well the only consolation is that all three teams that the Astros lost to were the eventual World Champions. Then again, that isn’t really consolation is it?

    - Tom the Intern
  48. 48.

    Give Matt Stairs an intentional walk and the Captain will make you pay. I love it!

    - Jim in Ohio
  49. 49.

    Was Stairs really out, Mike?

    I am listening on the internet, so I can’t see it.

    MW: It sure didn’t look like it to me, but this is the major leagues, and the ball beat him.

    - Ricky
  50. 50.


    That throw might have beaten the Chuggin’ Canuck to end the 6th inning, but he was safe!

    - Tom the Intern
  51. 51.

    Mike, do you still think the Tampa Bay Rays are going to make the playoffs because they have no slowed down at all?

    MW: I have never thought that the Rays were going to make the playoffs but you’re right, they sure haven’t slowed down.

    - andrew
  52. 52.

    Tough game for Burnett, was really hoping he would get his 17th win today. I think it’s the homer to Crisp he’ll regret the most.

    Throughout the broadcast today and yesterday both Mullinks and Barfield have commented on how Gaston is such a great teacher and the main reason the Jays are playing well, is because he is back at the helm. Since you have pointed out countless times that none of us fans are near the team to know what really is said between Gibbons and Gaston there is no real way of knowing who was the ‘better’ manager. Of course when you hear two former players continually praise Gaston, and then see the results that have happened with this team you can’t help but conclude that Gaston has had a major part in the improvement to this team. The fact that he is always being shown ‘talking’ with the players, especially after something has gone wrong and constantly supporting them can only improve their confidence. Today’s game is a great example of how after Burnett came back to the dugout in the 7th and was extremely upset after giving up the homerun to Crisp, it was Gaston who sat with him to calm him down.

    I don’t think it’s possible to lessen the impact that Gaston has had on this team at all. I am definitely glad Gaston is back this year and it should be a no-brainer that he’ll be back next year too.

    MW: I’m sure he’ll be back next year, as well. I have always believed (and I said it back in June) that Cito is a tremendous handler of people, and baseball’s best manager from the end of one game to the beginning of the next. I don’t mean to diminish the positive effects that he has had, but those effects aren’t as overwhelming as most seem to believe.

    - Bobby
  53. 53.

    Wonder if Manny would have run into the wall for a line drive?

    Everyone let up on Burnette and Macdonald. John is the best fielder in baseball, ss anyway. With AJ, he’s one of baseballs best pitchers this year. Show up and watch him mow down opponets, while he’s here. Enjoy what we have now.

    MW: Manny wouldn’t have been playing right field.

    - Lindsay
  54. 54.

    I know not to get too fixated on left-right stuff, but I think those three right-handed batters and then three lefties in a row in the order today makes the opposing manager’s job too easy in the late innings.

    Instead of today’s batting order, but keeping with the spirit of it, what about:


    Nice and balanced, Cito gets his two guys up there at the top, Wells isn’t hitting four, and… everybody’s happy.

    I know Cito can be old school, but no player appreciates being exposed to tougher pitching because of his manager.

    MW: The three lefties in a row are definitely an issue, but Barajas hasn’t warranted being higher in the line-up lately, and I don’t think Cito wants the pressure of hitting clean-up on Lind.

    - Matt
  55. 55.

    Wasn’t the ? Mike. The ? was, would he run into the wall for a line drive. Please give people the benifit of a doubt they know what their talking about.

    MW: Have you read this comments section? Also hard to give the benefit of the doubt to people who don’t know the difference between their, they’re and there. As for Manny, I assume he would have run into the wall, not even realizing that there would be a wall there.

    - Lindsay
  56. 56.

    Ok Mike, let us have it. Bunting is stupid, it doesn’t always work, blah, blah, blah…

    MW: I figure you all know that by now.

    - Tom
  57. 57.

    I’m not assigning blame or anything, but this umpire has had a rather small strike zone today. He has been less than generous with anything high or inside the strike zone as those pitches have been called balls most of the day. I suppose both sides have had to live with it. Just a general comment.

    MW: There have been a few pitches called strikes that have surprised me, mostly inside to right-handed hitters.

    - Jim in Ohio
  58. 58.

    Why don’t you idiots who constantly bash on the Jays for “winning games late in the season when it doesn’t matter” just stop watching the games now that in your opinions, they don’t matter? Would you all be happier if they got off to a great start and then blew it all in the last 45 games? I will never get over the stupidity of people that can’t see that every win is important. This team has one of the best records in baseball over the last month, and a large portion of the comments on the blog are still negative, even after an 11-0 win over the world series champs! Maybe all you know it alls should be preparing yourselves for the start of the leafs season, a sport where everyone makes the play-offs every year. Oh ya, except for the leafs.

    MW: Amen.

    - dan from elmvale
  59. 59.

    Theway Jason Bay plays left field for the Boostonites makes me miss Manny!

    MW: If I remember correctly, Manny made a couple of incredible catches against the Jays this year. But yeah, that was a fantastic grab by Bay, probably took a triple away from Rios.

    - dan from elmvale
  60. 60.

    Sometimes you lose a good game. Today was one of those times. I hope they can find a way to sweep Tampa.

    - dan from elmvale
  61. 61.


    I can hear it now, even though the Jays Talk is just starting up as I type, “The Jays just can’t win when it matters.” People, they came two feet from winning this game and it took a spectacular catch from Jason “Spider-Man” Bay to keep Rios off the bases. Yes, as you rightly pointed out, Stairs was soooo safe. Frustrating loss yes, but at least not the kind of frustratingness resulting from offensive craptacularity, we were witnessing earlier in the year. This was a heckuva fun game to watch, whatever the result and despite the fact that it will take a miracle to get to the playoffs, it somehow felt tinglingly meaningful. Don’t jump down my throat those of you that say the Jays haven’t played a meaningful game after August 1st during the Ricciardi years, I agree, but, this FELT meaningful and exciting.

    - Tom the Intern
  62. 62.

    What a heartbreaker! But somehow, I can live with this loss. The boys fought hard, nothing to be ashamed about. They are entertainers and I must say they entertained me darn well today. What a perfect sunday afternoon!

    Go Jays Go!

    - Beburg
  63. 63.

    Hey Mike,

    Any idea as to what Arnsberg’s contract status is? I’m getting the impression that he may be unhappy and I would hate for the Jays to lose him.


    MW: What’s giving you the impression that he may be unhappy?

    - Jeff
  64. 64.

    lets imagine the jays are 7 games back at the end of August, then do you believe that in September alone (with the Jays Schedule and their recent performances) we can make up that 7 game defecit behind minnesota or boston? and win the Wild Card?

    MW: It would be very, very difficult.

    - Harry
  65. 65.

    Came back from the game with friends, and second guessing Cito was the sport. I realize that he may be a tremendous handler of players (although there is no evidence to quantify that) but he did not manage the game well.

    After the Jays took the lead in the 6th, why not use Downs for the 7th with a bunch of lefties coming up? You could then use League in the 8th and Ryan in the ninth.

    When Matt Stairs got on, why not pinch run David Eckstien or even Bautista?

    When John MacDonald is up and you need a run, why not pinch hit David Eckstein or Greg Zaun? Even Kevin Mench may be an idea!

    It makes me wonder why Zaun or Eckstein are even on this team. You would think they are the worst players in the league the way that they are not used. Statistical evidence shows otherwise.

    MW: There was no reason to take Burnett out after 6 innings. Had that happened, then all the second-guessers would be saying Cito yanked him too early. When Stairs got on in the 6th, it was still too early (for me, anyway) to pinch-run for him. Remember, the 8th and 9th place hitters were due up with two out and Stairs wasn’t the tying run, he was the go-ahead run. With McDonald up leading off a tie game in the 7th, I still want his defense in there, so I don’t pinch-hit for him, and with two out and nobody on in the bottom of the 9th, the chances of starting a game-winning rally against Papelbon are pretty slim. I’m with you on the Zaun and Eckstein stuff, though.

    - Jim B
  66. 66.

    Well guess what Mike? I knew that if Cito was the new manager you were going to predict that the offense would turn around and that he would get to much credit. Your as predictable as some of the people on your blog.

    MW: It didn’t matter who the new manager was, I was saying all spring that the oofense would turn around. My as predictable?

    - Double A
  67. 67.


    Can you also ask about the NYY situation? They also failed to sign their first rounder and will receive a compensation pick. If they sign two type A FAs, say Mark Teixeira and AJ Burnett, and assuming that Teixeira is rated higher than Burnett, would the Jays still receive the first round pick (the lower of the two)?


    - Jaybird
  68. 68.

    I wasn’t shocked to see Marcum demoted..He just hasn’t been the same since the elbow injury..He hasn’t been able to throw more then 100 pitches since he has come back and he just doesn’t seem to have the same delivery..Litch went down and now he looks much better..

    What shocks me is John Parrish…A messed up Marcum is better then a healthy Parrish..

    Maybe we have another Shea Hillenbrand on our hands here..Any chance Marcum may be traded?..Jason Bay still available? Still think you wouldn’t have made that trade?

    Hillenbrand has fallen off the radar..Is he even playing baseball these days? Last I saw of him was in LA..He got his contract bought out..Guess his ship has already sank..

    MW: I don’t know what would make you say that Marcum is another Hillenbrand. And yes, I still wouldn’t trade Marcum and Snider for a year and a third of Jason Bay. Hillenbrand is out of affiliated baseball.

    - gump
  69. 69.


    As a broadcaster, do you hold anyone in the Jays organization accountable? I hear you say things like the fans think hitting is so easy, or the performance of this team is not JP’s fault. First of all, JP put this team together, therfore the good or bad of the team falls on his shoulders, as he’s addmitted, Secondly you always saying in defense of the jays lousy hitting that hitting is not easy. Season ticket holders and long time fans don’t want to hear that lame excuse, if we’re going to start making those kinds of excuses for players that have mega contracts and that have underperformed for two years, then contracts should be strictly performanced based. Since this game is so hard.

    With contracts guaranteed in the MLB, fans have ever right to have high expectations from contracts that are in the double digit millions per year.

    Another sign that you do not hold these guys the least bit accountalbe is,
    You continuing to say when the jays were going through months of terrible situational hitting that it was still early, it’s still early so I guess it’s O.K to play lousy early in a division that consists of a team that won two world series titles in the past five years and one that has had 13 straight playoff apperances. Way to hold a team accountable Mike, especially a team that has something to prove, based on the fact that you and others wrote of last season beacuse of injuries.

    I hope you have realized that the hole that they are in now has everything to do with their inconsistancies in the begginning about the time you kept saying it’s still early.

    When fans called for Gibby’s head you told us that firing a coach is letting a player of the hook, yet last year you killed the injury excuse this year you used the it’s still early Garbage.

    Mike why is it this, (year long after the wildcard’s induction into the MLB) are you so into the wildcard and dismissing the division, For years you and JP were crying about the unfair payrolls or scheduling in the division, this year all of a sudden I have heard you say division doesn’t matter because it is not the only avenue into the playoffs. In the years of crying about division and payroll. Did it not occure to you and JP that weaker teams have a chance to compete through the wildcard.

    This is what I mean when I ask do you ever hold the Jays accountable, or is it going to be that you are just totally biased.

    MW: Totally biased. Always have been, always will be. Everything J.P. ever does is right and the players can’t do any wrong.

    - Neil
  70. 70.

    Hi Mike,

    A couple of questions after watching today’s game from the nosebleeds (though I guess hindsight is always 20/20)

    1.) Why didn’t Vernon take a shot at throwing out Big Papi at the plate during AJ’s meltdown inning? (I really haven’t been impressed with his effort in the field this year…granted I missed yesterday’s 2 catches….but in general…he seems tentative and not 100% into it)

    2.) Why didn’t Cito pinch-run for Stairs after he was intentionally walked?

    3.) Why didn’t Arnsberg get out to the mound to calm AJ down after he walked 2 in a row?

    I think I saw you today sitting in a clear plastic tent as I was running through the rain to get into the stadium. I often disagree with you (JP’s performance)…but somehow I always end up tuning in…keep up the good work…

    MW: 1 – Wells had to go a long way into right-centre to get Youkilis’ single and was moving towards right field. He’d have had to set himself and make a perfect throw, and still probably wouldn’t have gotten Ortiz. 2 – Answered above. 3 – I don’t know, but A.J. got a little looper for an out from the next hitter and then Pedroia went way up and out of the strike zone to hit that three-run homer. It was indeed me in the Fan590 tent in the pouring rain before the game!

    - Kelvim from Section 531
  71. 71.

    no such thing as a “must win” in august?

    You’re such a maroon!

    MW: Ahhhh, name-calling, though I have to say maroon is one of my favourites.

    - dannyt
  72. 72.

    Mike, the blue jays team is going to very good in about 5 years if they can hold on to doc. They have so many great players in the minors. Dunedin is staked.

    How long do you think it will be antill we players like brian dopirack and bradley emaus. those guys are killing the baseball.

    MW: There are a lot of good players n the low minors, it’s true. Dopirak has been discussed many times – he was old for his level in Dunedin, and should have hit very well, but he seems to have carried the act to New Hampshire, at least through 60 at-bats. Emaus, an 11th-round pick out of Tulane last year, is having a nice year at .300/.377/.456, but I wouldn’t expect to see him for a long while.

    - Jack
  73. 73.

    Just a comment on Dopirak, Mike. It’s true he is continuing to hit well in AA, but one thing he seems NOT to be doing is taking walks.

    In Dunedin, he had 47 walks in 106 games (with 100 K’s), contributing nicely to his .382 OBP. However, in his (now) 16 games in AA, he has only walked once, (seven K’s) thus his BA and his OBP are essentially the same, at .323.

    Not sure why this would be — maybe the other Class A teams just gave him too much respect!

    - Norm
  74. 74.

    comment 28
    i know you didnt say that.
    but still.
    why is it we all understand when JP says “we cant wait for frank thomas to start hitting in August”
    how about the rest of the team?
    you know what would be cool if you dug up some stats for how players hit month by month? i bet everybody on the Jays is an August and September hitter.

    MW: If you know I didn’t say it, then why give me crap for saying it? And if you want the month by month stats, there are some great sites you could go to to find out that info.

    - slobberface
  75. 75.


    Why do you want to see more of your man Zaunie – besides the fact he can walk? Four and a half years of futility was more than enough for me… The Captain can actually drive the ball and knock in runners – plus he can throw runners out. Zaunie should be relegated to the bench, where he’s always belonged; and where he can fantasize about starting for a contending team…

    MW: He has been relegated to the bench. I don’t think Barajas is better enough than Zaun to warrant Zaun only playing about three times every two weeks.

    - Ken
  76. 76.

    Hey Mike, love your show.
    I just want to know what you see in the future for Adam Lind? He is playing quite smashingly lately. And do you think the blue jays would even consider trading him? I really hope not, because with Lind, Wells, and Rios in outfield every day I think they make quite a formidable 3, 4, and 5. Well, at least as of the last few days.

    MW: They’ll consider trading anyone, as they should.

    - minnia
  77. 77.

    Hey Dan from Elmvale,
    We keep watching because even though the Jays are BLAH, BASEBALL is still GOOD. Its funny to suggest watching the Leafs. The Leafs are the main reasons sports fans in this town are in such a foul mood to begin with.

    - slobberface
  78. 78.

    Did R. Diaz fall that much that he’d be traded for Bautista?

    MW: Certainly appears that way.

    - Steve from NJ
  79. 79.

    comment 74
    I guess Im just giving you crap for being such a Homer.
    stats are like grilled-cheese sandwiches; better when somebody else gets them.
    You’re right though, I should do my own research, 1 second please… OK DONE:
    Gavin Floyd > Tyler Yates

    MW: Very true.

    - slobberface
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