12:55 AM Eastern

What a shame that David Purcey’s career night had to be ruined by the fact that his mound opponent was Superman.  It’s too bad, because in all honesty, no one has the right to ever expect Purcey to be able to pitch better than that.  He may yet someday, chances are he’s got a career shutout or six in him, but he was nearly flawless tonight.

Purcey threw a complete-game five-hitter, though his game was completed in eight innings.  Of those five hits, one was a bunt single, one was a grounder to second that Jason Bartlett beat out and another was a grounder off the glove of Lyle Overbay that should have been scored an error.  The Rays only hit eight balls out of the infield all night against Purcey, who didn’t walk a batter and struck out 11.  Sheer and unadulterated brilliance, and for the second time in his last three starts it was painfully obvious why the Blue Jays have such high hopes for him.

But like I said, Superman was the issue.  An alien being, known more commonly as Matthew Scott Garza, that routinely serves up pitches against which players wearing Toronto uniforms have, simply, no chance.  Garza has made four starts against the Jays this season, and has been scored upon once.  That’s not to say that over four starts he’s only had one in which the Jays have managed to score, though that’s true, too.  It’s to say that over four starts the Blue Jays have managed a grand total of one bloody run.

It was a pretty run, coming on a one-out single by MVPco Scutaro in the 7th inning at Rogers Centre on May 7th, breaking up another one of those Shaun Marcum 0-0 games.  Garza left after that inning down 1-0 and the Jays scored five off the bullpen in the 8th to wind up 6-2 winners.  Since then, three starts and a bunch of zeroes.  For the season, Garza is 3-1, 0.29 against the Jays in 31 innings.  He’s allowed 19 hits and seven walks (0.84 WHIP) while striking out 18.  This has long since gone past the stage of ridiculosity.  The Jays have four games left against T-Bay this year, and Garza is scheduled to start the last of the four.  Should be fun.

Where did tonight’s game turn?  Well, the Jays had runners at first and second three times, though all three times the rally started with two out and nobody on.  They never got a runner to third.  Among the key plays resulting in the Jays being shut out:  Lyle Overbay grounding into a hit-and-run double play in the 2nd, hitting the ball to the one and only spot from which the Rays could possibly turn two; Alex Rios swinging on a 3-0 pitch and grounding out weakly to end the third with two on; John McDonald being allowed to hit for himself and popping up to end the 7th with two on; and Adam Lind going way up and out of the strike zone and being unable to catch up to a Grant Balfour heater to end the 8th with two on.

The game ended with Justin Ruggiano apparently making a phenomenal play, picking a Rod Barajas blast off the top of the left-field wall to end the game.  It’s a double if Ruggiano doesn’t make the play (and I’m not sure he didn’t trap it, I couldn’t tell from the replay), and that would likely have left Gregg Zaun (or Scott Rolen?) as the pinch-hitter with the chance to drive in the tying run.  It was pretty much the exact same catch that Jason Bay made to rob Rios of extra bases and end the 10th inning on Sunday.

Despite the cynicism of the odd anti-J.P. commenter, Ricciardi showed up, as almost always, for his regular Wednesday night appearance.  You can hear the entire show below, but as for some highlights:

-He’d love to have A.J. Burnett stay and will make his best effort to keep him, but was non-committal about making him an offer once he opts out.

-He claims not to be aware of the vultures circling, and said he plans to honour the final two years of his contract, but again stated that if he loses his job, he’s not going to kill himself, and is confident he’ll be able to find work in baseball without a problem should he choose to do so.  For some reason, I’m sure this upsets a lot of people.

-He said that there are no plans to go after a free agent catcher in the off-season, and that one of Rod Barajas or Gregg Zaun, but not both, will be back.  This means that the Jays will be picking up Barajas’ option, as though there was ever any doubt.

-Jeremy Accardo has been shut down for six weeks, ending his season.  Structurally, Accardo’s arm is fine, but he can’t seem to shake the right forearm strain.

There were also back-to-back callers who attacked J.P., one about the Glaus-Rolen trade and the Frank Thomas signing, and another about dealing Robinzon Diaz for Jose Bautista.  The second guy, I think, was trying to be sarcastic in referring to Guillermo Quiroz and Kevin Cash as great young catchers who are currently toiling successfully in the big leagues.  At least, I hope he was trying to be sarcastic, but it didn’t really come across that way.  The first caller was simply trying to shout J.P. down.

Ricciardi actually encouraged those who disagree with him to call and debate him on his moves, so long as they have their facts straight.  I echo that, as I always have on the program, and I’ll add that if you’re going to have an argument with someone, you have to let them argue, too.  If that first caller had been prepared to actually debate J.P. – which would involve allowing J.P. to talk – instead of simply calling in to yell at him, it could have been a pretty good call.  Instead, I had to cut the guy off because he simply wouldn’t let J.P. talk.

Here’s the whole of Wednesday’s with J.P., for your listening pleasure:

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Rational, reasonable comments are always welcome!

80 Responses to “Matt Garza: Nature’s Most Unstoppable Force”
  1. 1.

    Mike,

    It looks as if the Jays have been Garzified once again! The zeroes he has been throwing are just nauseating!

    Do you think he has been getting lucky by catching the jays on one of their all too familiar nights of horror at the plate? He does have a modest 11-7 record and an era of 3.53, but common, a 0.29 era agaisnt the jays this year!

    Or do you think he has found the formula, so to speak, as to how to pitch to every guy in this jays’ linup?

    Thanks for your time Mike and keep up the good work!

    MW: Thanks. You’re killing me with the “common”, though.

    - Josh
  2. 2.

    Lyle Overbay, career – .282/.364/.449
    Lyle Overbay, 2008 – .274/.371/.422

    Obviously 2008 weighs down the career stats a little bit, but I don’t get the overwhelming feeling that Overbay has vastly underproduced. He had a very strong year in 2006 to maybe get people’s expectations up, but I wonder what sort of a role his high BABIP (.342, career .326 including 2006) had in that, similar to Joe Inglett this year. With a strong September Lyle could finish with a similar final stat line to both 2005 and 2006. I guess I just think he should be left out of the discussion of not getting what was expected from the bats (Rios, Rolen, and Thomas are the culprits.)

    MW: Lyle Overbay through the end of June: .264/.368/.396. The Blue Jays at that point: 41-43. I think you can keep Overbay’s name in the group of underachievers, though he’s doing a good job salvaging his season.

    - Ari
  3. 3.

    JP haters are simply uneducated ball fans.

    If you truly believe that JP isnt doing a good job, you are blind.

    Do some research, look into the farm system, look at the roster.

    Come on people.

    - Andrew (Guelph)
  4. 4.

    MW: Going into this season, Bautista was a career .240/.329/.395, Hill was a career .287/.341/.415.

    Mike the obvious question is why would you use their triple slash stats going into this season? It just seems like a brutal argument your making when you have to use a cut of line when Hill was better but still not by much, Why wouldn’t you just use all the information we have so you don’t sound extreamly bias?

    These are Hills lifetime road triple slash stats: .269 .329 .373

    and here are Bautista’s .241 .323 .406

    MW: Congrats on bringing up their lifetime road stats. I used their numbers going into this season because this is a lost year for Hill. He got off to his not-atypical slow start, but never had the chance to overcome it.

    - Dan M
  5. 5.

    Garza is the Jays’ daddy this year–as you mentioned a 0.29 ERA against Toronto and a 4.32 ERA against everybody else. He can thank the Jays for his 3.53 ERA this season.

    Absolutely PWN3D.

    These are the sort of games that have kept the Jays from contending–wasting absolutely magnificent pitching performances. The Blue Birds have lost seven games by teams scoring two or fewer runs this year (plus 17 losses in games where the pitching held the opposition to three or less).

    This is the sort of thing where an Adam Dunn or Barry Bonds might have made a difference. Heck, were the Jays 8-9 in those game they would be 76-56. Heck, as it is, the Jays Pythagorean record is 73-59 (or so).

    Ol’ Pythagoras hasn’t liked the Jays much in recent seasons.

    I’d love to break through the five-games over .500 glass ceiling. Toronto is 0-5 (I think) when they have a shot at six games over.

    (sigh)

    Ah well … it’s nice to see Mr. Purcey make another statement about his place in the rotation.

    Best Regards

    John

    - John B.
  6. 6.

    Hey Mike, thanx for clearing up the extendo rosters question for me. It’s too bad about people who lose control of themselfs on the radio when they want to argue something! I thought the first caller who lost it might have had an interesting argument for JP but failed to get self control after the game. I’d like to encourage people to get a grip on there emotions before they go on the radio. I’ve been angry about the way the Jays have played many times but I never called in when I had smoke coming from my ears. Also callers usually have their comments or questions organized much better when JP is on. I would like to see this with more regularity through out the week. I encourage comment readers who are callers to right down notes before hand and do some reasearch on the internet perhaps before deciding if what they are going to say makes sence. Maybe I’m asking too much! I hope to get on Jaystalk atleast one time this coming final month. I love the Jays and I hate seing them lose!

    - Matt from BC
  7. 7.

    Mike, The Blue Jays are a joke. Face facts.

    - Vito From Hamilton
  8. 8.

    Mike, you shouldn’t have let Greg go. He wouldn’t let JP talk, that’s a bunch of bull. That was an entertaining call, but don’t step on JP’s toes, hey Mike? Why do you have to sheild him? Stop ripping off your listeners.

    MW: Why are you still here?

    - Vito From Hamilton
  9. 9.

    Hes one of the most disgusting pitchers I’ve ever seen. Constantly spitting. Looks like a camel. Im surprised the grounds crew isnt coating the mound with fresh dirt every inning to sop up that mess.

    MW: Are we just supposed to know to whom you’re referring?

    - slobberface
  10. 10.

    I wish we could edit our Posts.
    M-dub, what do you mean Ruggiano “apparently” made a great play? Do you think he trapped it? It did look a little awkward. I only saw 1 replay…not sure if you talked about this on the show, and cant listen right now (supposed to be working). Did you get a good look at it? whats the verdict?

    MW: Supposed to be working is no excuse. I only got to see one replay of it, and I’m not convinced it wasn’t trapped. It wasn’t obvious, one way or the other.

    - slobberface
  11. 11.

    Hey Mike,

    Purcey pitched a great game tonight and it’s disappointing that he took the lost. Hopefully we find some Kryptonite to use in our last game against him. Kryptonite bats anyone? Don’t really have any questions for you in my post just some comments.

    I wanna say that J.P Ricciardi hasn’t done a bad job as a GM. I really don’t understand why a lot of Jays fans want his head on the table. Now I admit I used to be a anti-JP fan but after I started listening to your show I started to change my opinion. Ricciardi has build an amazing starting rotation and bullpen. He’s built a great farm system, we have guys coming up that have a lot a hype. He has built a good offensive lineup but they have underperformed. He has also made some mistakes though such as lashing out at Dunn and calling out players (which happened in 05 I think). It’s like you said the Pros out weigh the Cons by a mile. So in conclusion, I wouldn’t mind JP staying in Toronto at all because the fact is, he has done a great job during his time in Toronto and anti-JP Jays fans out there should really take a look at what he has done well instead of just blaming him for the Jays upsetting season.

    Thanks Mike for reading my posts and keep up the great work on JaysTalk.

    - Kevin
  12. 12.

    Mike,

    I am in the same boat as you with people calling in and bashing guys like Vernon Wells and others… I took Wells stats and multiplied them out over a full 162 games and he would have been close to 29 HR and 123 RBI which would have been a career high I believe…I know those numbers have inflated over his recent hot streak but people need to either be on the bandwagon or stay the hell away from it

    MW: Isn’t it a bandwagon because people jump on and off, though?

    - Brandon F
  13. 13.

    Purcey pitched beautifully. I don’t know if that’s a fluke, or if he really is that good and could be a sensational starter. The guys always seem to lose to Garza.

    Although I think that the post-season is beyond unlikely–and this version of the Jays isn’t ready for the post-season anyway–I’m much more comfortable about 2009 than I was three months ago. I hope Inglett is in their plans for next year as I think he absolutely deserves it. Lind’s bat work has calmed my Reed Johnson unhappiness. Lind is undoubtedly a more effective use of that position than Johnson was. Overbay has regained his doubles-hitting stroke and I hope that carries over. I’m extremely happy that Cito will be back.

    I’ll be interested to see who they pursue as a dh in the off-season, as all the more obvious candidates, like Abreu, don’t seem to be attracting interest here.

    MW: But you think they should change GMs.

    - reyes
  14. 14.

    Mike,

    Just curious, if Tampa Bay makes it to the World Series (and that’s a big if), do you think they’ll be able to sell out that place (Tropicana Field)? The attendance the past 2 nights has been nothing short of pathetic. Also, I get the sense from listening to JP every Wednesday that he isn’t too fond of AJ Burnett and doesn’t sound too enthusiastic about being proactive in trying to re-sign him. I think if AJ listens to your show he’ll probably be less inclined to stay so long as JP’s at the helm.

    MW: I didn’t get that sense at all from Ricciardi. I hope they sell out if they make the playoffs, never mind the World Series. How sad is that, what’s going on down there?

    - Bernard
  15. 15.

    Purcey just got initiated into the Jays starting staff last night. Throw a brilliant game, but the bats fall silent. Does Garza have dirt on every Jay this year, which would account for the lack of offence?

    Best pitching staff in the league, best defence in the league, but a very sad offensive team. If I had hair I would yank it out!

    The Rays are right up there with pitching and defence, but aren’t a great offensive team either. Maybe they got the 10 hits in games so far that the Jays didn’t get earlier which is all the difference.

    I can’t believe they are only drawing 13,000. The Rays are going to end up suffering from Expoitis, develop the player and look promising, but then have to let them go when they can’t afford them anymore. This Rays team is Montreal 1994 before the strike.

    MW: Not quite the Expos of ’94. That team had itself some offense, with Larry Walker, Moises Alou, Wilfredo Cordero and Sean Berry, among others, to go with that great pitching staff led by Pedro, Ken Hill and Jeff Fassero with the killer bullpen of Mel Rojas, Tim Scott and John Wetteland. I hadn’t thought that Garza may have incriminating evidence on the Jays’ hitters, that’s as good a theory as any.

    - Aaron Ker
  16. 16.

    The more I think about it the more I think that it takes a really long time for a GM’s full plan to become clear. I know that a lot of people want to say all the success is Gord Ash’s and all the failures are JP’s but if he does get fired then we’ll be saying the same thing about the new guy’s team. There are a lot of prospect coming that may be big time major leaguers and they could be here long after JP is gone, so his stamp on the team will be visible for a long time. I think that JP has had a bit of bad luck. For example when he got all that extra money it was too late to keep their best hitter (Delgado), Also it was a toss up between which chronically injured third baseman would be injured this year (people forget that Glaus wanted out and there was no other third baseman out there better then Rolen to trade for). And finally I think that JP deserves a lot of credit for the development of the pitching staff (after all it went from being a serious weakness in 2006 to being HUGE strength), just think what he may be able to do in a couple of years focusing on revamping the offense. Do you think the vultures are really circling? I think that management certainly isn’t blind to my about points. It would seem strange to derail this train seeing as it seems to be leading us to where we want to be…

    MW: Actually, I don’t think they’re circling so much any more. About a month ago, I think I said that it was 50-50 that J.P. would be fired. I think his chances of sticking around are much better now.

    - Aaron - from Hamilton
  17. 17.

    Mike,

    I would consider myself a JP backer, but I do have a few reservations about him being brought back and wondered how you felt about them.

    First, I think he is a terrific talent evaluator for pitching, however his record for position players has been way less impressive to this point.

    I do feel he over-evaluates his own talent to the point that he can not see the value in replacing some of his players, most notably Overbay who I really like, but just isn’t a fit on this team if JP is going to keep defensive players with limited offense, like MacDonald, Rolen, Scutaro on the team. There is simply not enough “pop” from a power position.

    His trades are at best a wash, with his most productive being for Overbay who has now put up two sub-standard years in a row, which to me is concerning. Getting Accardo was a coup, but getting Rolen certainly was not.

    A caller last night made a terrific point that JP has 1/4 of the payroll tied up in 3 players no longer with the team is brutal, and going forward we will see the same with our CF and LF alone. At this point neither looks to be a player to carry a team through an entire season and the dramatic rise in their salary is going to make them untradeable for anything other than a dump off. You can certainly see the plan being high salary in pitching now with the youngsters taking over at low prices when the fielders are being paid the most, but that is at best a tenuous line to tow.

    To me this is all a concern to the point that I am unsure I would think he should be back, not to mention his comments about Dunn can’t help his standing within the baseball community.

    what do you think?

    cheers,

    MW: I think the fact that J.P. hasn’t been shy about making moves for incremental gains (Stewart over Johnson, Eckstein over McDonald, potentially Rolen over Glaus) shows that he doesn’t overvalue his talent at all. He was very willing to trade Alex Rios for Tim Lincecum this winter. The caller who mentioned that 1/4 of the payroll is tied up in Rolen (who is still with the team, by the way), Thomas and Stewart would have had a great point if the fact was that those players meant the Jays missed out on something they wanted or could have helped them this off-season, which wasn’t the case. I don’t think his comments about Dunn affected his standing in the baseball community one iota.

    - Chris
  18. 18.

    Hi Mike,

    What is it about Garza that makes him so unhittable against the Jays? It’s a shame that Purcey’s phenomenal start was overshadowed by Garza’s shutout.

    Also, I noticed something similar with Matt Garza and Dan Wheeler. They both have the same “glove-twist” delivery similiar to Ryan Dempster. Is that to throw off the hitters, or is it just force of habit?

    MW: It tends to be a mechanism to keep from tipping pitches. Often, hitters can see movement in the glove or of the glove when a pitcher sets his grip, and that glove-twist keeps that from happening.

    - Ian
  19. 19.

    Hey Mike,

    I am just a kid that loves his sports teams. Especially the Toronto Blue Jays. I watch most of the games and listen to the Jays talk right after the game is over. I just want to say that I enjoy listening to you on Jays talk and I love it when J.P is on with you. I got a question for you. How many years does Matt Stairs have left on his contract. I was thinking we could trade him at the end of the year if his value is fairly high and of course if he has a year left on his contract. Thanks and keep up the great work.

    MW: Stairs does have a year left on his contract, but his value is pretty low. He’ll be 41 next season and won’t be coming off a good year.

    - Steven
  20. 20.

    Garza wasn’t Superman…Purcey was Superman…let down by the same kryptonite that has plagued Roy Halladay…Blue Jay batting.

    - julie
  21. 21.

    Hey Mike;

    The propensity for the jays not to give their pitchers run support when they turn in brilliant performances is disturbing, yet Purcey was fantastic and deserves to be in the rotation next year.
    The notion of changing the lineup a little would be in order, like giving some playing time to eckstein, bautista, zaun, to maybe change the complexion of the lineup for some runs against garza, he only has eleven wins, but looks like sandy koufax against the jays, thx for the blog.

    - robert s
  22. 22.

    Seems it was a good news/bad news kinda night.
    Good news – Hell of a game for Purcey. And props for striking out the side after the lone shot. How’s that for heart, character and all those other intangerinables you love so much.
    Bad news – The ghost of Gary Denbo (who I assume is still alive) came back to haunt the Jays batting order (see? it’s still his fault), causing them to help Purcey about as much as a granite lifejacket. No support whatsoever. None.
    Good news – These guys don’t work for Wonderbra.
    Bad News – Yeah… what’s with the Superman thing? How does this guy keep doing that? I think that last night, Elvis was livelier than the Jays’ bats.
    Good news – Johnny Mac also showed some superpowers, tapping his bat on home plate and snapping his bat in half like a twig.
    Bad news – That was pretty close to best thing that happened with Jays’ bats all game
    Good news – AC/DC has a new song out!
    Bad news – Another loss. A Colorado-like run is seeming more and more necessary for the ever expanding miracle to happen.
    Good news – You’re almost done reading this
    Bad news – I’ve done a typical fan move here. When Tampa’s offense is close to non-existant I credited Purcey. But when the Jays do the same thing (ok, well, even worse) I blame the hitters instead of crediting Superman.

    I hope J.P.’s job stays intact. I like the team. And you have to love him coming on the air so often to go face to face the fans, whether they’re with or against him.

    Thanks Mike. Hope you are “not unwell”. Have a not ungood day

    MW: J.P.’s job will most assuredly stay intact. And I don’t get why they would even make granite lifejackets – seems a losing proposition from the get-go.

    - Dilly (it's a nickname) in Dundas (not the street)
  23. 23.

    I loved Johny Mac’s reaction when the bat broke, hilarious stuff!

    Anyways, what are the odds Manny comes to Toronto? I’ve heard even though he lived in the states when he was young he was a Blue Jay fan. J.P. has said that Manny told him he wants to go to Toronto, but he says he wants to go everywhere for some reason. If it’s all about money he would go to New York, we may not be able to offer the huge dollars but don’t we have some free money coming up next season?

    MW: The Jays do have some money coming off the books for next season, but they’re not going to give Manny the four-year, $100 million deale’s said to want. If the price goes down, though, they’ll be all over him.

    - Curt
  24. 24.

    Hey Mike,

    I have been pretty busy lately but from what I have heard it sounds like the Jays in the offseason are not going after another quality starter but instead will be trying to add 1-2 bats. I just think that we need another quality starter in order to contend and was wondering what your thoughts are?

    MW: I think the Jays have the best pitching in the league and they still can’t get themselves into a playoff race. Seems they need some bats.

    - Corey
  25. 25.

    Is swinging at 3-0 on a border line pitch a part of the “aggressive approach” that Cito is encouraging? You can’t defend against walks.

    I tried calling last night and wanted to ask JP two questions regarding a couple of prospects. I don’t always get to call because I usually walk home from the games and the girlfriend can only take so much baseball. Most of the the time, I have to listen to it when I visit the blog. I will try next week but here are my questions:

    My questions:
    When are you take Brett Cecil off the 90 pitch count limit? He had a no-hitter in Syracuse for 7 and said his arm felt fine. If there are plans to try him out in the rotation next year, it is probably time to “take off the diaper”.

    In regards to Arencibia, I like his power but he has taken almost no walks all season. That means a lot of his hits this year turn into outs in the majors. Is the club going to work on his plate discipline and pitch recognition?

    MW: Obviously, I can’t answer those questions. Rios wouldn’t have swung 3-0 if he hadn’t had a green light.

    - Jim B
  26. 26.

    Garzafied!!!! I hate Matt Garza!!!!

    and “MVPco Scutaro”? you’ve outdone yourself Monsieur Wilner, bravo. I love it.

    Scoot’s been fantastic this year. Props out to JP for picking him up.

    MW: He really hasn’t been fantastic.

    - eyebleaf
  27. 27.

    Hey, nice blog again Mike. Heres my piece on J.P. He is the scapegoat for the players. Yes he has made mistakes as a GM, but who doesnt make a few mistakes. He has also done a lot of great things for the jays. A few highlights include drafting marcum, sticking with mcgowan, finding aaron hill out of nowhere, drafting rios, drafting snider and arencibia, two upcoming giants for the jays. Making smart signings like Scutaro, Overbay, Barajas. He may have gave to much money to mcdonald for how much he plays, but meh, hes torontos fan favourite which i dont disagree with. He cant be responsible for a lack of hitting, and some weird injuries this year to hill, accardo, wells a few times, etc. Hes responsible for keeping together a great bullpen, and obviously a great starting staff.

    Anyways this guy is great, i know we are all taking our HOCKEY PRIDE and applying it to baseball when we knock on J.P, but its understandable the way we treat JFJ, not at all in the way we treat J.P

    MW: J.P. runs a lot of people the wrong way, and I think that has more to do with people’s opinions of his work than anything. As for your points – Hill was a first-rounder, so he hardly came out of nowhere, J.P. didn’t draft Rios and both Scutaro and Overbay were acquired in trade, not signed.

    - paolo
  28. 28.

    1.how about a trade like this:
    Ryan frasor inglett 2 the mets for jose reyes (not practical but maybe in desperation they (the mets) might think of it )
    2.the blue jays would be content
    with a catcher with a career .290 obp? yukk!
    if u know I’d appreciate it
    1.how’s Snider’s defense (arm)
    2. how hard does Cecil throw

    MW: 1 – I don’t think the Mets would ever do that, regardless of their desperation for bullpen help. 2 – Seemzat way. I have never seen Snider play defense, but I hear he’s fine, with a good arm, and I don’t know exactly how hard Cecil throws.

    - steve
  29. 29.

    I read a comment on the previous blog about Arnsberg being out of the decision-making loop. You commented about how some fellow would slide right in if Arnsberg left or got the boot.

    Given the fact that in this utterly dismal season the only bright spot is the pitching staff, is not that a little….umm…insane to make light of such a potentially crucial loss?

    If Brad Arnsberg goes after coaching the best team ERA in the league, that just adds more damning evidence that Toronto management is incompetent.

    MW: That “some fellow” I mentioned is Bruce Walton, who has been the Jays’ bullpen coach under Arnsberg for years. Pitchers make pitching coaches, witness Leo Mazzone’s tenure in Baltimore.

    - Paul B
  30. 30.

    Dear Mike

    This has been a dissapointing season i guess the jays have to go 25-5 to have a shot what i don’t understand is that the indians have won ten in a row why can’t the jays go on a streak like that with the pitching they have i mean the indians only have lee carmona and they ahve won ten in a row to be honest i wouldn’t be surprised if they have a better record than the jays at the end i guess they can hit the jays can’t what i don’t understand is if jp knew the offense was underperforming why didn’t he get some legitimate bats at the deadline i honestly think this was the season where the jays could have made a run next yera we know the yankees and boston are gonna spend loads of moeny to fix their problems what are the jays gonna do in terms of offence cause we know pitching is not a problem
    thanx

    MW: The Jays were in on Jason Bay at the deadline, but the price was too high, and they thought they had Raul Ibanez, but the Mariners backed away at the last minute. As for the Indians’ win streak – it amazes me that it seems as though any team can reel off seven, eight, ten wins in a row in a given season, no matter how bad they are, except the Blue Jays.

    - jay
  31. 31.

    Hey mike,
    I don’t know if this game was more frustrating than the game against Boston. Anyways it shouldn’t be a suprise to any bluejays fan, its just another dreadful offensive game. I’m sure we’ve all grown accostomed to them by now.

    Doesn’t this game sum up the season for both team in many ways?

    The Rays have more power: 1 home run/bluejays none

    The Jays have better pitching: In comparasion, Purcy pitched better than Garza and the rest of thier bullpen.

    The Jays have more losses: Jays end up on the wrong side of a well pitched game, Tampa seems to win every close game?

    Jays hardly catch a break: The Jays were destained to catch a break given that they faced Garza 4 times in all.

    Jays Underacheive: Garza served at least 4 homerun hittable balls.

    Jays have better offense(%wise): Jays had more hits than Tampa.

    Look at the bright side, at least Doc wasn’t out there.

    Do you agree?

    MW: Not really.

    - Jaysfan
  32. 32.

    Hey Mike,

    Enjoyed listening to J.P. on your show but HOW someone can make an argument that Cash and Quiroz are all-star triple A players that teams are drooling over is simply BRUTAL!!! The funny thing is I believe he was dead serious.

    What game do they watch? Cash (.229 avg.) is Wakefield’s personal catcher and is only up because Varitek needs a day off once a week and why expose him to the knuckle. Quiroz is hitting a whopping .195 with the O’s so he’d be the desire of 29 other teams.

    Anyway, I’d like to see J.P. finish his tenure with the Jays and see where they are then. I think they’re close (in a very tough division) – with a bat or two needed to push them over the hump.

    Thanks as always.

    MW: He may well have been serious, which is really scary.

    - Cameron
  33. 33.

    Hi Mike,

    It was a great Jays talk last night,it was nice to hear someone who had his facts straight calling in who wasn’t afraid to challenge J.P
    If he had been willing to listen a bit more, it would have been a great debate!
    I do agree with the caller 100% that the Glaus/Rolen trade at this time would have to go down as one of the worst in team history.
    It would be refreshing to hear J.P accept some responsibility, instead of making rambling excuses or claiming “it looked like a good deal at the time” in the real world we are all accountable for our actions, something which J.P just doesn’t seem to get.

    Thanks.

    MW: There’s not a chance that the Rolen/Glaus deal is one of the worst in team history. J.P. isn’t seeing it through rose-coloured glasses, though – he said that Rolen still has two more years to prove that it was a good deal. It’s a shame that moves can’t be made in hindsight, though.

    - Stephen Berry
  34. 34.

    I’m just an average fan. I, like everybody else who post on or reads this blog, have no control over any of the day-to-day decisions that effect the Toronto Blue Jays. If I were the guy in charge and had the ability to make the decision over J.P. Riccardi’s future, I believe I would bring him back for another season. I do not agree with his every move, but I’m sure there are reasons certain transactions are made that are not made public and therefore it would be wrong for myself or anyone else to judge the motive behind any move the club makes.

    We’d all like to see a post season appearence, followed by some post season success. Hopefully that is not far from being reality. J.P. has assembled the best pitching staff in baseball and one of the top 5 defensive teams in baseball as well. If or when this club begins to hit on a consistent basis the sky could be the limit for their success. I have seen many encouraging signs in this clubs performance of late and when I add the upcoming potential of Brett Cecil, Kevin Ahrens, Brian Jeroloman, Travis Snider and J.P. Arencibia, I think the future for the Blue Jays is a good one. I was listening to the Yankees radio broadcast the other night and their announcers were lamenting the fact the Yankees have spent the entire season grounding into double plays and leaving runners on second and third with less than two out and not scoring them. It seems that problem has been universal during this 2008 season. Coming in to this eason I felt the Yankees were vulnerable and I would derive great satisfaction from the Jays finishing in front of them. That oppurtunity is still possible.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an apologist for Riccardi, nor do I agree with every move he’s ever made, but if he does happen to be sent packing at the end of the season I can certainly praise his efforts during his tenure as I believe he would have left the club in better shape than he found it. I don’t understand the people who complain about the Glaus for Rolen trade. Glaus made it clear he did not want to be in Toronto and his value was somewhat limited by his potential free agent status after one year. J.P. did the best he could with that situation and had I been in his shoes I would certainly have done the same thing. As for Frank Thomas, he has spent the better portion of this season injured. It was better to send him on his way and let someone else play. I don’t care about the money spent on him because it was not my money. One last observation goes toward those who think the Jays draft poorly. I have researched the past draft performance of most of the clubs in baseball and to be honest, if you get two or three guys to make the big leagues out of any draft you’ve done rather well. Feel free to research the draft history of any club during the last ten years at baseballreference.com and you will see that J.P. Riccardi has done all right for himself when it come to drafting amatuer players.

    Thanks Mike

    - Jim in Ohio
  35. 35.

    Hey Mike,

    I was having a disagreement with a friend and I knew you could settle it. Was Purcey’s outing last night consider a complete game even though he only pitched 8 innings?

    Thanks,

    Ryan

    MW: Yep.

    - ryan
  36. 36.

    Hey Mike,

    I forgot to ask, can you give us more details on when to start and how to vote for Tom Cheek. I’ll do anything I can to help. He deserves the honour.

    Ryan

    MW: That he does – voting starts Monday at http://www.baseballhalloffame.org.

    - ryan
  37. 37.

    Is the consensus that offensively, Rolen’s career is pretty much dead now (now that he’s only half as good a hitter as I am… rolling my eyes at my own ignorance to think that he couldn’t take on a whole team of us big mouths)? Or is there hope for that shoulder?

    MW: How many years of pro ball did you play? I’m assuming, since you believe that you’re twice the hitter Scott Rolen is that you’d have had at least a very productive minor-league career. At least there seemed to be some self-awareness there.

    - Ron E
  38. 38.

    mike,
    Did J.P. say that say that the Jays had one of the best farm systems in baseball, the same farm system that was ranked 30th by baseball today

    And props to the first of the back 2 back callers who attacked J.P. about Rolen-Glaus i think his name wz Greg

    MW: What’s baseball today? And how can you give props to a guy who just yelled at J.P. for a minute and a half?

    - Jazz
  39. 39.

    and props to Richard Griffin

    MW: Oh.

    - Jazz
  40. 40.

    Mike, are you sure this is a matter of Matt Garza being Superman, or the Jays impotent offense not being able to come through yet again?

    As far as J.P., he’s not a bad GM, but he has just not gotten it done. A GM can either produce results or excuses, and thus far it’s been much more of the latter. How can one justify J.P.’s misuse of Ted Rogers’s $100 million when Tampa Bay is winning the division with a payroll of $43 mil? Why are we in the seventh year of the five year plan? You either get it done, or you don’t. As far as his effect on the farm system, it’s just conjecture whether or not the Jays have “7 or 8″ good prospects–last time I checked, only 2 were in Baseball America’s top 100.

    J.P. is not Chuck Lamar. He’s made some good moves and some terrible ones. But he hasn’t produced enough to justify a return to his position next year.

    MW: Sigh.

    - John from Victoria, BC
  41. 41.

    The most significant on-field change since the implementation of designated hitter begins tonight: Limited instant replay.

    I understand it will only be used for fair/foul and in-play/over-the-wall home run controversies.

    Yet, what happens in this scenario: Runner(s) on base. Batter appears to hit it over the fence for an HR but ball quickly bounces off something back onto field. Outfielder throws it to infield but umpire signals HR. Infielder lobs ball into crowd/back to mound. Batter and runner(s) circle bases slowly as per usual. Team on defence protests; umps agree instant replay should be consulted. MLBAM war room shows ball bounced off top of wall and stayed in play.

    How do they determine what bases the batter and runner(s) should go back to? Ground-rule double?

    MW: I don’t know. But in certain situations the umpire has the discretion to place the baserunners where he thinks they ought to be, and I’m sure the same thing would hold in this case.

    - Adrian, co-alumnus
  42. 42.

    Well we still have a few days left until the trade deadline and I think they Jays should move some parts. Little Eck, Burnett, Inglett, Zaun, League, Tallet, Frasor. I hate the fact that we don’t get to know what J.P. is offered for his players

    MW: Players don’t like knowing they were offered in trade. There’s no upcoming trade deadline, but there is a playoff eligibility deadline. And why would you move Inglett? He’s great Hill and Rolen insurance for next year.

    - Dan m
  43. 43.

    did you see when Johnny Mac tapped homeplate and the bat broke? hilarity!

    never seen anything like it….the new bat didn’t help though. he went down swinging.
    Unfortunately that was the only highlight when the Jays were batting.

    MW: That was pretty funny.

    - Randy
  44. 44.

    Mike, I agree that J.P. takes more blame than is deserved based on the rational analysis of his performance. I’m letting you be the owner. You’ve given J.P. seven years and millions of your dollars in becoming competitive in a competitive market with ample chances to provide some measure of success. Your finger is on the button. Be honest.

    MW: I don’t fire him. But I sure want to know why he didn’t sign Barry Bonds when I told him to back in April.

    - Ryan Clark
  45. 45.

    Mike,

    You should of worked harder on you’re grammar and spellings. I am not saying your bad, your good but to avoid English lectures here you should of worked harder on you’re English as a kid. Do you think it could of made any difference if you had paid more attention in school? But the bottom line is your still good, your damn good.

    MW: My eyes are bleeding.

    - Beburg
  46. 46.

    Good Afternoon Mike,

    I didn’t have a chance to listen to Wednesdays w/ J.P. as the speakers on my computer aren’t working. Did he mention who they would consider bringing up in Sept.? I know Snider, Campbell, Arencibia are all playing in the Arizona fall league so I’m curious who, if anyone, they would bring up?

    Cheers

    MW: He didn’t give any names, but he said that there would be three or four players called up, and none would be a surprise. Im thinking Marcum, Mench, Thigpen and Wolfe. Maybe Coats.

    - T.Scholczy
  47. 47.

    I do have to agree with one of the callers. The Frank Thomas contract was absolutely terrible. At the end of July, Frank Thomas was hitting .250 with 17 home runs. He had 9 RBIs in the entire month of May. He’s was and still is an absolutely terrible base runner. Meanwhite, Matt Stairs, in just over half the at bats, he managed to hit 21 home runs with a .289 batting average, but of course, he couldn’t play because of Frank Thomas’ $20 Million over 2 years. In my area, there were a lot of angry fans over Frank Thomas’ signing, and rightfully so. He was a waste of money because he didn’t perform until after playoff hopes were abandoned.

    MW: Stairs got plenty of playing time last season, but you’re right, the Thomas contract was terrible. Stairs had 320 at-bats to Thomas’ 531.

    - Richard
  48. 48.

    Mike,
    I hate to be the one that has to defend J.P., sure I think he has done a good job. Sure this teams offense has been bad or worse than bad this year but he has to be given credit for building the Jay’s pitching staff, for drafting and trading for players that have rebuilt the jays farm system. It wasn’t that long ago that the Jays had few to no prospects in the minors. J.P. didnt have to sign Barajas after he spurred J.P. the previous season, he didn’t have to try to boast the offense by signing Eck after giving MacDonald a contract, he didn’t have to trade for Marco for players most people would have a hard time naming (Graham Godfrey & Kristian Bell), and he didn’t have to roll the dice by moving one former allstar 3rd basemen for another with a bigger payoff. Sure some moves haven’t panned out, but that is the nature of baseball and sports in general. You do your best to put yourself in a position to win.

    What people seem to not realize is that the best teams in baseball have stability at the top and rarely, if ever, does firing a GM result in a drastic improvement. You fire your GM when you want to move in a different direction or if your GM has proven he can’t make your team better. People would argue that being a team that is barely able to get over .500 is a failure, but in the Al East getting above .500 makes you one of the better teams in baseball because you’ve managed to do it in the same division as the Yankees and the Soxs, and the Rays.

    If you had of asked any reasonable jays fan before the season if this team will make the plays they would have answered that if they hit and pitch like they can they have a good shot. They didn’t hit like they should and they still managed to play some good baseball. If anyone thinks J.P. doesn’t know this they are fools, and if anyone thinks J.P. isn’t going to address this in the off season they are also fools. But what I have also admired about J.P. is that he isn’t going to mortgage the teams future to sign an over priced talent like Mark Tex, he is going to find someone he thinks is the right fit/ salary that can help the club. In doing that he has to take on more risk and has to open himself up to critism from people with no regard for budgets that want him to sign a superstar. The soon this people wake-up and realize that they are not going to be movie stars and presidents and the Jays aren’t going to be the Cubs or Yankees the better off they will be.

    MW: Your points are well-made, but that hurt to read.

    - JW
  49. 49.

    P.S. – I hope he Jays hitters pitched in last night and bought Purcey a steak dinner and a beer cause as a unit they were unless.

    MW: I think they could do better than a steak dinner and a beer.

    - JW
  50. 50.

    Mike,
    what do you think about the following free agents and do u think the jays will/should make a run at them
    -Jason Varitek
    -Ivan Rodriguez
    -Paul Lo Duca
    -Hank Blalock
    -Carlos Delgado
    -Jason Giambi
    -Kevin Millar
    -Orlando Hudson
    -Orlando Cabrera
    -Edgar Renteria
    -Juan Uribe
    -Omar Vizquel
    -Joe Crede
    -Chipper Jones
    -Milton Bradley
    -Pat Burrell
    -Juan Rivera
    -Rocco Baldelli
    -Bobby Abreu
    -Vladimir Guerrero
    -Bartolo Colon
    -Ryan Dempster
    -Randy Johnson
    -Pedro Martinez
    -Brad Penny

    MW: Seriously? You want me to evaluate 25 guys? How much time do you think I have?

    - Jazz
  51. 51.

    Dear Mr. Wilner,

    What is all this talk about JP being fired this year ? Are they serious ? How much is it media inspired for ratings and readership,or is it just the same 9 or 10 idiots that calls in every year ? If everyone is that unhappy, then who are buying all those blue jays tickets every year ? Isn’t the attendance increasing every year ? Does JP have a buyout clause ?

    MW: The attendance is increasing every year, J.P. has no buyout clause.

    - charles
  52. 52.

    Quick question about Burnett.

    I keep hearing we get 2 draft picks if he walks. But what if he signs with a bottom feeder, such as Baltimore (closer to his home) would we only get 1 pick (the sandwich pick)? Also, do we automatically get the picks or do we have to offer arbitration and wait for AJ to decline? What if we offered him arbitration and he accepted, I’m assuming he wouldn’t as he’d want a long term deal, but you never know.

    PS. Great work on the air and online.

    MW: Thanks. If Burnett signs with a bottom-feeder, I believe the Jays get the sandwich pick plus that team’s second-round pick. The Jays will offer Burnett arbitration, because they’d be happy to have him back for another contract year.

    - bmac
  53. 53.

    Hey Wilner,
    Do you think that Wells’ freakish ability to recover from injury well ahead of schedule could be a sign of doping? I’m willing to give Vernon the benefit of the doubt because I like him so much, but I find it kinda suspicious nonetheless. Are the Jays subject to regular testing?

    MW: Everyone is subject to the MLB testing program. I don’t think there are drugs that help someone to recover more quickly from a broken bone, though.

    - sundog
  54. 54.

    Way to go Greg from St. Kits , for saying it like it is! J.P. has wasted a TON of money on players that are not here!

    MW: Again, that call would have been SO much better if the caller had actually wanted to engage in a conversation instead of just yell. It’s sad that in a lot of areas, our society has come to yelling louder than the other guy equals winning an argument.

    - todd
  55. 55.

    Hi Mike,
    I know you don’t believe in intangible factors in baseball affecting outcomes, but I believe in tradition and offer the following 5 things the Jays can do to ensure success next year without even changing their roster:

    1) We have the ugliest logo in baseball. Change the uniform back to the classic white version from the Glory Years and get our original logo back because at least it has a prominent red maple leaf if nothing else.

    2) Everyone needs to start calling the team the Blue Jays again instead of the Jays. It’s not as if we were the Toronto Blue Devil Jays.

    3) Bring back autograph and picture day and maybe banner day too.

    4)Stop playing Take Me Out to the Ballgame during the 7th inning stretch at the Rogers Centre. That may be baseball tradition but it’s not Blue Jay Tradition. Instead, go back to playing the full version of “OK Blue Jays” and bring back Kelly Gruber to lead the perky cheerleading squads on top of the dugouts. This always tended to fire the fans up for the final innings. I think it also confuses the opposing teams players as they’ve never seen anything like it before. During the summer months, Kelly could also give waterskiing updates from cottage country on the Jumbotron.

    5) Get Fergie Olver to start handing out watches to the players after post-game interviews again. This might provide added incentive to play better.

    Perhaps one roster change is needed, let’s send about 3000 fans of retirement age to Tampa for Matt Garza.

    MW: 1 – Ridiculous (that such a move will ensure success). 2 – Ridiculous (same). 3 – They still do have picture day, not that that affects the success of the team one iota. 4 and 5 – Now you’re just being silly.

    - Oz Rob
  56. 56.

    Mike, would you move the Rays out of Tampa because they can’t draw flies there and where would you move it?

    MW: I’d move them to Montreal!

    - andrew
  57. 57.

    Mike, do you think Tropicana Field the worst stadium in baseball? I mean, the atmosphere looks dead.

    MW: I’ve never been inside the place. How can you see an atmosphere?

    - andrew
  58. 58.

    You read Richard Griffin article about the pros and cons on keeping JP. I’m wondering why you think Richard Griffin pros outweigh the cons?

    MW: The article would seem to indicate they did. The pros looked a lot more impressive to me than the cons looked bad.

    - andrew
  59. 59.

    “MW: But you think they should change GMs.”

    Yes, Mike. But not because he has done everything wrong, as you know very well. He’s done a lot right, especially when it comes to the pitching staff. But, as I’ve said many times to you, he’s bad for team morale, he can’t stop meddling and he can’t keep his mouth shut.

    In other news, seems like old times! The Jays haven’t scored a run in 15 innings. I hope the Rays go the distance. They deserve it.

    - reyes
  60. 60.

    Can Bautista actually hit the ball?

    Like literally… does he have any batting potential at all… it’s painful seeing stairs, barajas, mcdonald, bautista in there.

    Where is ECK?

    MW: No, Jose Bautista can’t hit. Not at all. He’s never gotten a hit in his pro career. Certainly isn’t second on the Jays in home runs or anything.

    - Chris
  61. 61.

    hey mike,

    this doesn’t concern your latest blog entry but i wasn’t sure how to contact you other than your post game! i was tuned in a couple of nights ago when you were on the topic of the cy young. to me it seemed that you thought that halladay should be the guy. now if i had to pick what guy i wanted long term, obviously halladay, but to this point i think lee gets the nod for the 08 cy young! i understand many fans look at wins and amazingly so do some voters. so lets put wins aside. their OBS,SLG,OPS,WHIP are a wash. roy has the edge in k/9 but lee’s is still respectable, the reverse is true for K/bb. roys gb/fb is much better which is interesting because he has allowed 15hr’s to lee’s 8. i don’t know if that means that lee has been lucky on balls hit in the air or if roys been unlucky.( i know the rogers centre is a favorable hr park, not sure of the prog). roys got the nod in innings and k’s.

    so some points for lee;
    -only 8 hr’s
    -only allowed 3 unearned runs to roys 11.(some may say that shouldn’t be in the conversation but run prevention is run prevention! and with major league score keepers not knowing what is a hit or an error half the time run average applies.)
    - martinez and hafner being hurt or unproductive all year and a terrible pen has turned the tribe into the biggest disappointment of the year.
    -not sure of the run support
    -and last , the guy is 19-2.

    points for roy;
    -8 complete games. (no value to measure the stress he takes off his bullpen)
    -not sure of the run support but roy should have 3-4 more wins.
    -not sure of the EqA of batters faced but pitching in the al east halladay has had to face tougher batters over the coarse of the year.

    So after looking at some peripheral stats i will still give a slight nod to cliff, but it is not a full nod anymore! the last handful of starts are going to make this very interesting!!!

    MW: Sadly, they’re not, unless Lee pretty much goes winless through September.

    - matt reinhart
  62. 62.

    Hi Mike,

    Just a comment about JP’s section last night.

    He scares me when he says stuff like “we’ll use the draft picks and try to get people that can be up here and helping quick” in regards to the added picks if Burnett opts out.

    I dont like that mentality as the objective of the draft shouldn’t be to find the guy who will get here and help the quickest, it should primarily be to draft the best talent available, if they come fast all the better.

    MW: Fair enough, but I think Ricciardi wants a combination. Look at guys like Cecil and Snider, and then at guys like Ricky Romero and Lind.

    - PeeWee
  63. 63.

    just a reply to my last comment bout those 25 guys i’ll just pick a cuple of them
    Jason Varitek
    Kevin Millar
    Milton Bradley
    Pat Burrell
    Rocco Baldelli
    Bobby Abreu
    Bartolo Colon

    MW: No interest at all in Varitek (too old, not so good), Bradley (attitude issues tend to be detrimental to his performance, could be lost for the season at any time), Baldelli (awfully sad story, but can’t take a chance on his health). Burrell will likely want too much money over too long a term, and Abreu will cost too much. Millar wouldn’t be a terrible add, but he’d be about my Plan F or G to be the DH, and Colon’s a guy at whom I’d throw a minor-league invite.

    - Jazz
  64. 64.

    “MW: The article would seem to indicate they did. The pros looked a lot more impressive to me than the cons looked bad.”

    I’m interested that you say that. Griffin is not at all a Ricciardi fan, and I’ve seen that article quoted in US blogs as evidence that Riccardi might well be on his way out at the end of the season. I thought the article was fairly even-handed, but I did not think that Griffin believed Riccardi should stay. JP has done some things very well. And other things very badly.

    I just watched us get beaten by a team that includes three Blue Jay rejects, who all seem to be doing very well with their current team. I’m not saying we should have kept them necessarily. But I am saying that Ricciardi has been overly fast on the get-outta-town button sometimes. To the detriment of his ballclub.

    MW: Seriously? You’re bringing up Eric Hinske, Gabe Gross and Trever Miller as examples of Ricciardi being overly fast on the get-outta-town button? Miller left as a free agent, Gross (who’s hitting a whopping .232/.302/.405) was sent to Milwaukee as part of the Lyle Overbay steal, and while Hinske is having a solid year, you do realize that he was so highly thought of that no team would offer him a major-league contract this past off-season, right? As for the Griffin article, there’s no doubt in my mind that Griff doesn’t believe Ricciardi should stay, that was his conclusion. What I’m saying, though, is that if you read the column, and weigh the pros and cons that he mentioned, a rational reader shouldn’t come to the conclusion that Ricciardi deserves to be fired.

    - reyes
  65. 65.

    Hi Mike,
    Apologies for my last post, but it’s been a long and frustrating season and I thought some humour was in order.

    What a crazy Wed with JP. I don’t know who was more annoying, the caller ranting at JP about the Rolen trade and the payroll, or the guy 2 callers later who wouldn’t get to the point. In between, the comment about Bautista batting 0.00000 had me crying with laughter.

    JP certainly is impressive on that show. I have been sitting on the fence about him the last few years. Like many fans, we want results and he is the obvious scapegoat. On the other hand, I think this year in particular, he has just had plain bad luck in terms of trades, injuries, player performance etc. His description of our prospects sounds very exciting and I hope he gets at least 2 more years to see these guys come through.

    Fans need to put things in perspective. Say JP is fired and we hire some sort of “super GM” next year. Is he going to make any impact in the first year or 2? Probably not. Barring phenomenal trades and free agent signings, the roster is fairly set with what we have now and what’s coming up.

    So let JP finish his contract. We might be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

    I also admire his restraint and candour with the callers. One thing he seems to be sensitive about in general though are any comments questioning his baseball acumen and reputation.

    MW: No need to apologize for the previous comment, I just wish you’d made it more apparent you were kidding. As for J.P., he should be sensitive to people questioning his baseball acumen and reputation. He’s been working in a major-league front office for the last 25 years – I think he shows remarkable restraint with those types of comments.

    - Oz Rob
  66. 66.

    Number 45 above was pretty funny… how many grammar/syntax errors were there in that one?
    With regard to my comment above (#37)regarding Scott Rolen, comparing my hitting to Rolen was supposed to be a joke…I’ll keep working on my jokes apparently. Seriously though, are people thinking the shoulder is done?

    MW: Ricciardi seemed to think he’d be fine for next season. I wonder why he didn’t play tonight, though.

    - Ron E
  67. 67.

    I too am disappointed that Greg was disconnected at that point. I am not sure that he was yelling – I listened to the archived show again this afternoon.

    Given that much of your audience is:

    a) likely not familiar or comfortable with being on the radio and talking to (and criticizing) a major sports executive

    …and

    b) there to express an opinion on their perception of a situation based on what THEY know at the time

    …Greg did very well. A lot of us could come back later and think of what we should have said but for the most part Greg was toe-to-toe with Ricciardi – he had an answer for practically everything. If Greg was talking too much it was likely because he figured if he didn’t it would be Ricciardi who would be talking over him.

    There is certainly more than one person talking on Primetime Sports so surely a “good” call like Greg’s could be allowed a little leeway on your show.

    MW: That call by Greg could have been great. Instead, it was awful. The purpose of having J.P. on the air every week is that so fans can talk to him, not talk at him.

    - Rob M
  68. 68.

    Mike,

    Stop being so hard on my cousin Vito….you know as well as Vito and I that the Blue Jays are pathetic and JP is a moron!!

    MW: Please, Lord, tell me there aren’t two of them.

    - Vinnie from Hamilton
  69. 69.

    Cito at it again like the last year he managed. Can you explain why Cito would have Baustia 0-22 playing instead of Stairs against RHP. Stairs should have pinch hit tonight. Who in blazes scouted Baustia and expected him to be an asset.

    MW: It is simply amazing how much 12 at-bats can tell you about a player. That Adam Lind guy is awful.

    - Patrick Anderson
  70. 70.

    I’m not an expert but it seems that Overbay is pulling off the ball vs. left-handers instead of standing in and is a sitting duck on fastballs to the outside corner.
    Can you tell me why they continue to hit Bautista. The guy wasn’t good enough to be on the Pirates roster – The Pirates for goodness sakes. Why was Rolen activated if he wasn’t going to play anyway. Why wasn’t Stairs in there for Bautista in the 8th or Scutaro in the 9th. (Lind would have moved to left)

    Disgusted!

    MW: I can’t answer the question about Rolen, it doesn’t make any sense to me, either. For all we know, something might be up with Stairs. If nothing is, then yes, he should have been hitting for Bautista in the 8th. As for Scutaro in the 9th, I thought he was the MVP.

    - Steve from NJ
  71. 71.

    For the room…

    By BP writer Joel Sheehan:

    The Toronto Blue Jays have the fifth-best adjusted record in baseball. I had said at the start of the season that they might be the eighth-best team in baseball and we’d never know it because of their schedule. Well, they’ve outdone that, thanks to tremendous pitching and defense. One other thing: they’re 33-23 since recalling Adam Lind on June 22. Way to finally get there, guys. Shame the New Shannon Stewart Era didn’t work out; no one could have seen that coming.

    - WillRain
  72. 72.

    Hey Mike,

    I think that these bloggers that support JP a guy who thinks he is here to teach canadians about baseball are fans that have a pretty low standard when it comes to their toronto blue jays. Fans on the show have subjected themselves to talking alot about potential or what could possibly be, instead of what’s proven. from year to year when we finish outside the playoffs we are always talKing about what could possibly be for this team or this player the next year, isn’t that a Toronto maple leaf thing. Mike you and your JP supporters need to stop and think about the great young minds that are out there that are waiting for an opportunity to shine. yet there is a GM in place who has been here for almost eight seasons with the no playoff appearance. How is one to get a fair chance if the one who has recieved countless opportunities continues to get opportunities Unjustifiably. Opportunities do not last forever and there are those who deserve them and there are those who should have run out of them.

    Ask youself the following

    1. Why is JP so special that he should get a longer tenure with no playoff appearance than Gord Ash, When there are guys awaiting this coveted position, Guys who are deserving of a chance.

    2. Are we not starting to sound like the Leafs when we constantly keep saying we’ll be good next year. Since JP has been here all I keep hearing is about potential shouldn’t seven years worth of potential translate to at least a wild card

    3. How many GM’s in professional sports have had several years of no playoff in a tenure and still have a Job.

    4. How many GM’s that were hired in JP’s time still have a Job.

    5. When the jays lost all that money back in 1999-2000 did JP not assure Paul Godfrey that he can build this team on a limited payroll through the Draft.(I believe this is where the five year plan came in)

    6. After promising to build a team on a limited payroll did JP not say he needs about 75 million to contend, not considering that there where teams contending for the wild card with a lower payroll

    7.How many free agents sign and end up staying when the contract is up.

    8. Why would Ted Rogers Not clean house in terms of upper management when, his near billion dollar investment in the Blue Jays has translated to @ best 9.0 GB of the wild card with no playoff berth.

    MW: I asked myself all those questions, and am very pleased with my answers.

    - Neil
  73. 73.

    Mike,
    Time for JP to go.

    I heard you mention several times this year how Gord Ash had an $80,000,000 payroll. You give the impression that he had a lot more money to work with than JP. However the fact is that from 1996 until 2000 the Jays payroll was under $50,000,000. Gord Ash had only 1 year with a payroll above that and that was 76,895,999. Then he was fired. JP has had only one year with a payroll under $50,000,000

    You talk about the bad contracts of Gord Ash but JP has been just as bad. He paid too much for Frank Thomas and the Jays are now paying him to play for another team.

    He signed an injury prone Corey Koskie who played 1 year for the Jays and then the Jays paid for him to play(not play)for another team for a couple of years.

    He signed Eric Hinske and then the Jays end up paying him to play for 2 or 3 years on other teams.

    He trades for an injury prone Scott Rolen who makes big money.I do like Rolen but he is not worth the money anymore. He will never hit with the power he once did.

    Overbay trade was okay, but he has had only one good year since coming here.

    JP may have put together the best pitching staff but he has failed to put a good team together. The hitting has been bad since mid 2007.

    JP has had the same amount of time as Gord Ash but has done no better at building a team.

    JP lied about the BJ. Ryan injury last year. Then makes a stupid statement that it is not a lie if he knows the truth. Yes, GMs do not always tell the truth but I have never heard any that try to hide an injury like this, when the player is scheduled for an operation the next day. Usually you know well a head of time when a pitcher is going for an operation. There was no point in him lying about it.

    Then he makes the comments about Adam Dunn. Not called for. JP brought Troy Glaus in here and talked how great he was but his hitting is very simlar to Dunn’s, low average, big power.

    I am not a Gord Ash fan, I was glad when the Jays replaced him. I was happy and excited when JP was hired, but he has done no better than Gord Ash. The team is no better. I heard on your radio station yesterday that USA today ranked the Jays farm system as 30th in Baseball.

    MW: Your comment about Hinske isn’t true, they only paid for him to play one year elsewhere. As for Ash and the money he had to spend, remember that $50 million was baseball’s top payroll in 1993. It’s all relative, and relatively, Ash had a lot more money to spend than J.P. has. Also, Ricciardi didn’t lie about the Ryan injury right up until he had his surgery. We knew a good month before Ryan went under the knife that he was having elbow problems. And he should lie, so that he can still leave his options open for making a deal.

    - Dan Gosselin
  74. 74.

    Hi Mike,

    We’ve been Garzafied and Jacksonized these past two nights. THe hitting is really getting on my nerves. Last blog I wrote about 11000 people there and you replied 7:10 is a late start in Florida. I assume this was sarcasm, right? I know you cant and wont comment on The Sportnet broadcasts. And I’d like you to know that I LOVE Jerry Howarth calling the games with you and Alan.

    One comment on JP:

    People say he’s arrogant and a full of it GM. I’d like the mto name me any other GM that talks to the fans every week and hears their opinions and keeps his cool when some fool calls up and says: “Trade Russ Adams and Gregg Zaun for A Rod.” (no one has said this but theyve said other stupid things like that.) I think JP couldve done better but overall hes done well and taken the disaster Gord Ash left us and turned it into a good team. Not great, good.

    I’ve been impressed by Rod Barajas this year. Hes had numberous clutch hits all season long and I don’t think he gets enough credit for it.

    Why would the Jays trade Robinson Diaz for this Bautista? I’m not judging him from his first twelve at bats, but his career 240 average and mediocre numbers. Diaz had potential and they might have made one of the dumbest trades in the past few years. Why do we need 6 infielders???? It is a pointless deal and I don’t understand it.

    Cito is a great manager. I think next year they will finally make it. And maybe they can bring in a world series back to Toronto. If Manny is a Jay next year, is there a realistic chance they can make the playoffs and winning some games there?

    Thanks mike! Love your shwo and blogs!

    MW: I cut your ripping of certain broadcasters, I don’t know why so many people feel that this is the right forum for that. There’s a realistic chance the Jays can make the playoffs next year even if Manny Ramirez doesn’t come here. As for Barajas, he’s hitting .277/.346/.468 in “close and late” situations, but in only 47 at-bats.

    - Warren
  75. 75.

    Mike,

    50,000 may have been the highest payroll in 1993 but there were alot more teams close to that payroll. It is not like the Jays were spending alot more than most of the other teams. There were a number of other teams spending close to the same money. Ash did not run the team in 1993. When Labatts sold the team they froze the payroll for a number of years.

    Your comment that Ash had an $80,000,000 was wrong. Never $80,000,000. And only 1 year at the 76,000,000 range

    For the last 3 year JP has had alot more to spend. A lot more than Gord Ash. This team has not improved.

    I agree Gord Ash was not a good GM,but neither is JP he. wastes alot of money and does not fix the problems areas. The team has not improved

    As for the BJ Ryan lie, there was no gain for him to make.

    Okay I was wrong with Hinske, it was 1 year they paid for him on another team. Still 1 year though.

    MW: And you completely ignore the point about the Jays’ payroll now and under Ash, relative to their competition. You should ignore it, though, because you don’t have much of an argument if you consider it. I explained the gain in the Ryan lie in my first comment to you – there clearly was a gain to make. Your timeline was wrong, too, another point you didn’t address.

    - Dan Gosselin
  76. 76.

    Mike, re #38 and #39 – a question I have wondered about for a long time…

    What exactly are “props” — I know how the term is used (i.e. “accolades”), but what is the derivation of the word? I assume it is a contraction of something, but what?

    MW: Propers, as in proper amount of respect, I believe. But I could be wrong.

    - Norm
  77. 77.

    Mike,
    sorry if it was hard to read…I didn’t proof read it, which likely showed. But how can one have well made points and write something that is hard to read?

    No, do defend J.P. again. I am no Overbay fan but he has filled a gap at 1st and J.P. didn’t give up much to get him. I think anytime you can give up mid level prospects for an everyday player you have done your job. I think people can expect more out of overbay, i know i do, and people can believe it is time for a better hitting 1st basemen while believing that bring in Overbay at the price J.P. was a good move.

    As for the Glaus – Rolen trade, hiden sight is 20/20, but Glaus didn’t want to play on turf anymore and had been banged up alot in the past 3 years. Medical report on Rolen were all positive. It was really the only place J.P. could move Glaus and get back comparable value.

    MW: It’s very easy to make your points well but still be difficult to read.

    - JW
  78. 78.

    The Jays from a contender’s standpoint are a complete and an utter joke.

    - Vito From Hamilton
  79. 79.

    Mike,

    The Jays payroll in 1996 was only $28,000,000, $45,000,000 in 1997, 1998 and 1999 it was only $48,000,000 and went down to $46,000,000 in 2000. There were alot of teams spending more than that.

    JP has had a steady increase in his payroll for the last 3 years , yet this team has not gotten any better.

    The Jays are spending $9,000,000 of their payroll this year for Thomas to play on another team. He overpaid for Thomas in the first place.

    MW: In 1997, the Jays were 7th in MLB in payroll, and in 2000, they were within $10 million of being in the top 9. This team has gotten a lot better in the last three years – look at the pitching staff.

    - Dan Gosselin
  80. 80.

    Mike I’ve heard you say countless times that this season cannot be blamed on JP, so who would you actually blame for the following, examine the points rationally

    1. Resigning a 41 year old DH eventually to be released to a contender.(Why bring back a 41 year old, if your team is only a playoff contender not a world series contender.A 41 year old is looking for a ring not a plyoff appearance

    2. Trading a big slugger For a third baseman with known shoulder problems, who now only has 9 home runs 39 RBIs and batting .250 in 320 @ bats, pretty much the same as last year. Glaus who was traded for Rolen. In 420 @ bats is batting .271 with 85 RBI’s and 21 home Runs.(can JP ever get the third base situation right, Hinske,Koskie,Glause,Rolen In seven years)

    3. Releasing Reed Johnson for a declining stock in Shannon Stewart (who was later released)instead of replacing Johnson with a fresh young bat in Adam Lind, Who was only brought up permanantly when Cito got here.

    4. The Blue Jays are yet again are double digit games out of the division this time fourteen as oppose to last years eleven, sadly enough this time they trail the lowest payroll, and probably about to finish again no better than seven games out of the wild card. It baffles me that you continue to try and convince fans that this team is getting better, although the wins and losses and GB, at this point prove that they are not.

    5. Almost 40% of the payroll is going to (a) a guy who has had one season out of three with the jays in which he was not injured and over 500
    The jays were the only team to offer an opt clause and the first team ever to offer a pitcher that clause. AJ will likely walk away from the jays

    b.A third baseman who is batting .250 with 8 homeruns in 320 @ bats. Pretty much the same numbers he put up last year.

    c. A DH(frank Thomas) we no longer have which was highly overpaid to begin with given the fact that he is 40 and has had alot of injuries. Only the Yankees can afford to overpay aging players.

    It is time for fans to see that
    JP would only like to be held accountable under these circumstances

    Get the Yankees and The Bo sox out of the division although it is the lowest payroll that is running the table

    Completely no injuries all year long,

    Pitching and hitting are all inline.

    More money (although he has 100million already.)

    Mike you yourself have said the fans want everything and a team just can’t have eveything, The things outlined above are things JP has always deemed as roadblocks in his path , It would make one think that unless JP has the perfect team he will always have some excuse for why this team did not make the postseason. Minesota and Florida face simialr cicumstance being amoungst high payrolls yet still are alot more competive than the jays.

    MW: 1 – Who is the 41 year-old DH that the Jays re-signed? 2 – Nice job ignoring the fact that Glaus had serious injury problems three of the five season before the Jays traded him, and he wanted out. 3 – Mistake, but not without benefit of hindsight. 4 – Wins and losses prove that the Jays aren’t getting better? How’s that? As for 5, the Jays weren’t the only team to offer Burnett the opt-out (St. Louis did, too, as probably did the Orioles), and if you think he was a bad signing, why are you upset that he is opting out? How about holding the hitters who haven’t hit all season accountable for what the Jays have done?

    - Neil
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