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4:40 PM Eastern

The Blue Jays reminded us all why they spent the season on the outside looking in this season with their putrid offensive performance in today’s loss to Boston – the loss that eliminated them, mathematically, from playoff consideration.

It was a weird game.  Quiet, with almost a Grapefruit League-type feel.  The Jays weren’t hitting, so they looked flat, but when Scott Richmond came out after five innings, Lyle Overbay came out with him.  Scott Rolen left the next inning, and the Red Sox flipped their infield around late (the natural defensive moves for them if Kevin Youkilis is starting at third).

Daisuke Matsuzaka imposed his will upon the Jays, limiting them to just two hits over his seven innings of work, though they were both doubles.  They were up to their old tricks, though, going 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.  Again, a fitting tribute to a season in which their inability to come through when they needed to killed their chances.

No complaints about Scott Richmond.  The B.C. native actually really showed me something today.  I agreed with Alan Ashby when he said in the pre-game that the Sox weren’t exactly a good match-up for Richmond.  In fact, I thought that was pretty kind.  Richmond seemed to me to be “just a guy”, the prototypical guy you start when you need a starter, the journeyman-type who can eke out a big-league career getting people out here and there but really, that’s it.  Today, though, he looked very, very good.  He refuses to walk people (just two so far in his 21 big-league innings), and he shut the Sox down pretty effectively despite  not having pitched in over three weeks.

He gave up three runs on five hits in five innings, which is about par for the course for him, but it was different this time because he really only should have given up one.  Jacoby Ellsbury led off the game with a triple, and scored on a sinking liner by Dustin Pedroia that Travis Snider caught, but was in a position that gave him absolutely no chance to throw out Ellsbury, who can fly.  The other two runs came on a “you’ve got to be kidding me” home run by David Ortiz in the 3rd.  It was a 3-2 pitch with two out that was well off the plate outside, and Ortiz just leaned out and one-handed it out over the wall in left field.  He had NO business hitting that ball at all, let alone hitting it out of the park, and Richmond can’t be faulted for that.  At worst, it should have been ball four.

John Parrish, Brian Wolfe and Brian Tallet pitched well, I think, but again this game had a very strange feel to it.

So the Red Sox go home for the rest of the season and the Rays hit the road for the rest of the season separated by a game and a half in the division.

Remember, The Blue Jays This Week is on at 7:05 PM Eastern on the Fan590 and right here on this very website.  I have completed the post-season poll of all the Jays’ uniformed personnel and front office staff (with the exceptions of Scott Rolen and Scott Downs, who politely declined to participate, and B.J. Ryan, who impolitely declined – on that note, A.J. Burnett is talking to me again!) and the club has selected its team MVP, Pitcher of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Most Pleasant Surprise of theYear.

Tonight onTBJTW, you’ll hear from the Rookie of the Year and Most Pleasant Surprise of the Year.  Next week, on one of the pre-pre-game shows, you’ll hear from the MVP and the Pitcher of the Year.  Also tonight on TBJTW, I’ll have interviews with Jason Bay and Cito Gaston.  Tune in!

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

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Remember, today and every day in the month of September, please vote for Tom Cheek and ONLY for Tom Cheek to be on the ballot for the Ford C. Frick Award to gain entry into the broadcasters’ wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.  It’ll make more of an impact on the voters if Tom alone gets the overwhelming majority of the votes.  Just click on this link:

http://web.baseballhalloffame.org/awards/frick_2008/vote.jsp

It’s a bit of a pain to fill out all the info, but it only takes two minutes at the most, and Tom Cheek was certainly worth your time.  Thank you.

Rational, reasonable comments are always welcome!

91 Responses to “A Fitting End”
  1. 1.

    Is there a market for BJ Ryan? If yes, what are the possible destinations. Maybe the Angels might show some interests if they do not retain K-Rod?

    MW: The Angels have Jose Arredondo and Kevin Jepsen, so they won’t be looking. There may be a market for Ryan, and the possible destinations are the teams that lose out on K-Rod, at the very least. Maybe Detroit, the Mets, Texas, several others.

    - Joe N.
  2. 2.

    Mike, maybe I missed your comment on the radio today but I was not happy with Steve Simmons in his column this AM saying that you were an apologist for the Blue Jays. Now, do you resent that comment and have you taken Simmons to task or are you planning to let it go and move on? Personally, it was a cheap shot and, from what I hear from you, you are fair with the team and critical when it is warranted. This year, with what they have done on the field, you have told us like it is and I respect that. Simmons is full of it. Thanks Mike.

    MW: Swell of you to say. I responded earlier in the comments section.

    - Michael James
  3. 3.

    I heard an announcer refer to Rolen’s shoulder injury as chronic. Did JP know this when he traded for him?

    His season this year is going to almost be the same as his season last year when he hit for little to no power.

    MW: Almost the same, indeed. Whoever you heard probably called Rolen’s shoulder problems chronic because he’s been dealing with them for the past few years, but every doctor Rolen saw prior to the trade gave him a clean bill of health.

    - Jason
  4. 4.

    Sorry Mike, I still sense perhaps not negativity, but frustration or disappointment in your last few posts…but fair enough. It must be mentally debilitating doing this blog for so long following a team who’s offence needs some sort of team pyschologist, or better yet, an infusion of pyramid power.

    One thing. If I were the Jays I would be planning for 2009 and 2010 assuming we WON’T get effective contributions from Janssen/McGowan/Marcum. Most of the fans seem to think that rebounding from major arm surgery is a given. It’s not and I’m sure the Jays front office is fully aware of that.

    Plan for worst case scenario and then enjoy the bonuses if those guys come back healthy.

    MW: I would think that both McGowan and Marcum will be major contributors in 2010, at least, and Janssen probably will be too. But the Jays have done a very good job stockpiling pitching depth.

    - Oz Rob
  5. 5.

    I’ve a problem with any player, manager e.t.c that is rude or impolite to you. B.J has disappointed me bigtime. For me manners come first and what you do for a living comes after that. Does it affect your overall mood when a player is impolite to you or you just don’t give a damn?

    MW: I appreciate it, but that’s just the way of the world. I try not to let it affect my mood, and I most assuredly consider the source when it comes to that sort of behaviour.

    - Beburg
  6. 6.

    Simmons comments though regarding Burnett and the difference for him being a high-paid #1 as opposed to a #2 (like he is now) are quite thought provoking.

    Simmons is right – the pressure will be on Burnett more than ever before if he signs a huge contract and is the flown-in ace of a staff.

    It’s also good to hear positive things on here today about Richmond. I never really understood where the idea came from that he was total crap and that seemed to justify his exclusion from any activity this year. I guess he kind of knows how Eckstein must have felt. There are types here that speak of “sample size” and have we a big enough one to make up our minds on Richmond? Of course he’s 29 and Billy Beane would probably be convinced he was no good.

    And also on the topic of Richmond I was surprised to hear a couple of weeks ago that A.J. may be allowed to pitch on three days rest if he had a chance to win 20. Heaven forbid that a personal goal get in the way of Richmond’s time on the team yet they’ll bend over backwards for a surly starter who isn’t even likely to be a part of the team after next week.

    Call me miserable or a pessimist or whatever but until Burnett has another full year like this one I think ’08 should be considered an aberration. How convenient it came at a time where he has the ball in his court financially. If he becomes a Yankee and stinks out the place he will long for the Toronto fans and even McCowan and Wilner.

    - Rob M
  7. 7.

    The Washington Nationals partners with Syracuse Chiefs, while the New York Mets partners with Buffalo Bisons.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/20/AR2008092002357.html

    Syracuse GM John Simone: “We went from the capital of Canada to the capital of the United States.”

    Awesome line.

    The only AAA team left without an affiliate is Las Vegas 51s

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/postedsports/archive/2008/09/21/jays-triple-a-prospects-get-stuck-in-a-ufo-desert.aspx

    What can the major league clubs entice minor league clubs to become their affiliates?

    From the Washington Post article, it seems that Syracuse Chiefs liked the Nationals minor league talent better because of the low standing finishes they’ve been having. But that’s cyclical even for teams that draft well historically.

    From this article from Rochester, on the Mets move to Buffalo, http://www.democratandchronicle.com/article/20080916/SPORTS/80916022/1007

    The Mets like the Bisons better than the Chiefs because they’re a better run organization.

    Maybe it’s better if Toronto divorced from Syracuse?

    Other than logistics in calling up players quickly, would there be any issues in player development having the AAA affiliate in Las Vegas?

    MW: Beyond being able to call up players in a hurry, the issue would be playing in the VERY hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. Don’t be surprised to see top pitching prospects with ERAs over 5.

    - John
  8. 8.

    Would you go after Freddy Garcia this offseason as a cheap pitcher, with something to prove?

    MW: Yep.

    - Andrew
  9. 9.

    Greetings Mike,

    I am a big jays fan, and also love the game of baseball.
    I have been reading the blog all year, I really appreciate your time and honesty. Like most fans I surf the web and listen to the fan in addition to reading the newspaper to get my fill of information. I will not name names, but I really find some reporters to be irresposible and unknoledgeable, to me they have lost alot of credibility. I appreciate someone’s opinion but to go on endlessly about firing JP drives me nuts. I know being negative sells to many people but I am totally tierd of it and now am very selective about what I read and listen to. I could listen for hours to someone like Dan Schulman. I really enjoy your radio show and blog and I encorage you to keep up the great insight.
    Question…do you think it would be unrealistic for Snider/Lind to hit clean up next year? also, what do you think about the Jays putting all their money towards a garanteed sucessful FA picture/hitter and then filling the balance of the team with their own prospects?

    MW: There’s no such thing as guaranteed successful, which is kind of problematic. But I would spread the money out a little bit, try to bring in a nice stop-gap pitcher and a couple of cheap flier-guys with something to prove as well as a DH-type bat. I don’t think that I’d be comfortable pencilling in Lind or Snider to hit clean-up next year, at least not to start the season.

    - james
  10. 10.

    Hey Mike, I was wondering what kind of money Raul Ibanez and Derek Lowe are looking for as free agents and is it possible to sign both

    MW: I really don’t know, and yes.

    - Justin Jays
  11. 11.

    Mike,

    A little off topic here but who makes the schedule for major league baseball teams? The reason I asked is because 2 big question marks popped up as I glanced at this year’s schedules:
    1. The Blue Jays did not have a home game on Victoria Day, Canada Day and Labour Day. The one holiday they did have a home game on, Civic Day, was a 6:00 pm start with the team having flown in from Texas the night before. Major League Baseball should now that the Blue Jays generally draw large crowds on these days.
    2. Why would the last game at Yankee Stadium be against the Baltimore Orioles? The only fitting way for Yankee Stadium to close would have been to have the Boston Red Sox play the Yankees on the last Sunday of the season.
    Thanks.

    MW: A computer makes the schedule.

    - joe
  12. 12.

    hoo do u think iz betta Bengie Molina vs Rod Barajas all things considerd

    MW: Sorry, I can’t answer that in good conscience. That’s not English.

    - Jazz
  13. 13.

    Mike
    Even if the Jays extend AJ,I think trading Rios for Matt Cain is a good idea.Then,I would try and match up with the Tigers for Ordonez.Then dangle BJ and Johnny Mac to the Mets for Reyes.Downs and League could battle for the closer role in the spring.

    MW: Rios for Cain is interesting, though I’m not sure the Giants would bite. There’s no way the Jays would get Reyes for Ryan and Johnny Mac.

    - Terry
  14. 14.

    Hey Mike,

    Dissapointing season, but hopefully the offseason is successful and PLEASE NO MORE INJURIES!!
    Just have a couple questions for you.

    First off, Is Reed Johnson a free agent at the end of the year? If so, Do you think the Blue Jays would sign him to be a fourth outfielder? Lind or Snider will roam left field and they’re both left handed bats so I would think Johnson would be a good fit. Plus he’s a fan favourite.

    Also, any chance Brett Cecil could crack Toronto’s rotation next year, especially considering Marcum’s injury? Do you think there’s any chance they bring him up this year to get a few major league appearences? Since the Jay’s are out of it, it might be a chance too see Cecil pitch a few times.

    Thanks Mike

    MW: There is a chance that Cecil gets into the Jays’ rotation next year, a very good chance, actually. Reed’s not a free agent after the season.

    - Ian (not Kinsler)
  15. 15.

    Hey Mike

    Have we reached a point yet where more than 50% of the Jays staff at the start of this year (guys on the roster before the end of April) has had Tommy John?

    Just wondering since the guy above me seems to think that guys aren’t guaranteed to come back from major surgery.

    By my count, it’s BJ Ryan, AJ Burnett, Jason Frasor (twice), Scott Downs, Dustin McGowan and Shawn Marcum who have now had the surgery. That’s 7 of 12. Unless there’s a name or two you can add, I think that’s it.

    MW: Seven surgeries, but six players, and Marcum won’t have his until next Tuesday (the 30th).

    - Chris
  16. 16.

    Hi Mike,

    Two comments, neither of which is related to the other. First I attended a Blue Jays game today for the first time in about a decade. My father-in-law (bless him) purchased tickets for my family and my brother-in-law’s family to see the game. First game for all the grandkids! I couldn’t believe the fans who would get up, come down right in the middle of ABs! Unbelievable. Why can’t people just wait until a hit/out occurs and then go? Very frustrating. The only fans other than myself to do so were Red Sox fans, so credit to them. My second comment pertains to Ellsbury. After three hard hits, and trailing, I would like to have seen one put in his hip. It may not really serve any purpose, but he was on the plate all day and they didn’t move him back. I’m not saying high heat, just a little message. Anyhow, thanks for the blog, I enjoy it.

    MW: I don’t believe in hitting batters on purpose just because they’re having a good day at the plate. If you don’t want a guy to get a hit, get him out. I have nothing against moving a hitter off the plate if he’s too comfortable, though.

    - Tim
  17. 17.

    I still think that Micheal Young could be had for Brandon League, Adam Lind, and Mac.

    MW: You’re absolutely right.

    - todd
  18. 18.

    What are the possibilities of moving Aaron Hill to shortstop and keeping Joe Inglett at Second. He is a solid defensive and offensive player.

    MW: J.P. Ricciardi said on the air today that it’s unlikely.

    - Richard
  19. 19.

    Are Alan,Jerry and you all returning to the booth next year or are your contracts renewed annually?

    MW: I don’t have a contract, never have, but I’m sure that Jerry and Alan will both be back. Hopefully they bring me back, too.

    - david
  20. 20.

    Are the lack of walks concerning you going into next season concerning you? You look at the OBP’s of the various batters on this team (particularly, Wells, Rios, and Lind) and they are all below where you would expect. I also heard you say that you don’t think Rolen will ever be back to 25 home run form. The problem is that we don’t have a “plus bat” in the infield.

    MW: Not a plus power bat, that’s for sure. I don’t know why you’d expect Rios or Wells to have higher OBPs, though.

    - Jim B
  21. 21.

    There’s absolutely no question that Halladay deserves to be traded to a contender if he asks for such a trade. The Jays are going nowhere – Shea Hillenbrand was right, this ship IS sinking.

    MW: Yes, Shea Hillenbrand was right in July of 2006 that the ship is sinking in September 2008.

    - ChrisFletcher
  22. 22.

    It’s funny (but not in a ha ha way), the Jays have scored all of six runs in Richmond’s four starts and in only one game has he pitched with a lead. In fact, the Jays have scored just four runs while he’s been in the game.

    Yesterday’s effort almost has me thinking that the Jays expect to lose when Richmond pitches and they approach at bats with a “won’t matter anyway” attitude.

    It’s just an impression and I really hope I’m wrong.

    If Richmond learns to put hitters away more effectively, I do think he could be a useful end-of-the-rotation starter–a guy who’ll give you six innings of league average work that won’t beat himself (which causes vision impairment so my mother tells me).

    He reminds me a bit of Kelvim Escobar when he was a Jay–he’d blow through the opposing order first time through and would change his approach second time through the order and get hit hard. He seemed to think that what worked the first time wouldn’t work the next time instead of throwing his “A” material until the other team proved they could hit it.

    Richmond does something similar except it happens during at bats. He gets hitters to two strikes by being aggressive and then lets batters off the hook by nibbling hoping to get strike three. I think he needs to stay aggressive with two strikes and keeping doing what got him to that point.

    Regardless, I agree that he did show something yesterday–his command is impeccable and his stuff decent enough that I think he’ll be a good rotation stop gap/swing man for the Jays.

    Best Regards

    John

    MW: I think he could be, too, but as for your second paragraph – you know better than that.

    - John B.
  23. 23.

    hi mike;

    The jays are in a bit of a bind as they still need hitting as well as a cheap flyer on either Byrd, Pedro Martinez, or Pavano to plug some holes in the pitching lineup, and hope Romero and Cecil along with Janssen and Macowen and Hill are ready to step back in the lineup and contribute; On that note if the Jays can continue as spoilers and win perhaps 88 games then not all is lost as Halladay stated the team must finish strong to possibly allow him and burnett 20 wins- This might be a stretch, but worth trying. On the simmons article, I like his articles for it’s forthright style and nononsense approach and at least your mentioned, any publicity is good publicity, thanks for the great blog.

    MW: If Romero, Cecil, Janssen and McGowan are all ready to step in and contribute then they don’t need any cheap fliers.

    - robert.s
  24. 24.

    Mike: saw in the Tampa paper
    Monday morning that Washington has replaced the
    jays in Syracuse for 2009/2010..Where will the
    jays have their AAA club nest year and beyond???
    Thanks…
    Robert Goodwin

    MW: Vegas, baby!

    - Robert Goodwin
  25. 25.

    Any chance we can get specifics on how BJ impolitely declined your request, or how/why AJ revealed he’s willing to talk to you again?

    MW: I don’t want to get too far into the B.J. thing. Let’s just say I asked him for a minute of his time and he responded with a very impolite no. A.J. approached me in the clubhouse and apologized for what he said the last time we talked. I thought it was very big of him.

    - Tyler
  26. 26.

    Mike,

    I thought you’d appreciate this insightful analysis.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080921.WBbaseball20080921125437/WBStory/WBbaseball/?page=rss&id=RTGAM.20080921.WBbaseball20080921125437

    MW: I’m not surprised. MacLeod said the same thing on Sunday when I had him on the Writers’ Round Table for the pre-game show.

    - GregJP
  27. 27.

    Hi Mike,

    What is your guess for the Yankees payroll next year? I know this comes up often, but the gross imbalance in payrolls has got to be one of the most disgusting things about baseball. It seems to me that the MLB is perhaps the only pro league that has not addresed this issue, and lets be serious-the luxury tax is a drop in the bucket to the big spending teams. Sure there are some suprises and great runs every year from weaker market teams, but its frustrating to see that the majority of teams will be out of the running for the upper tier free agents. i really don’t understand why the MLB has not been willing to address this.

    MW: They’re not willing to address it because the last time they tried to, it cost us a World Series. I assume the Yankees’ payroll will be in the $200 million neighbourhood.

    - Jason
  28. 28.

    Mike, Don’t you think Jays will have to renegotiate Halladay’s contract to match what elite pitchers like Sabathia will get ? It was reported Sabathia rejected 4 yrs /$72 mill from Cleveland prior to trade.

    MW: I don’t think they’ll have to renegotiate.

    - Chas Calz
  29. 29.

    Hey Mike,

    How so did BJ Ryan ‘impolitely decline’?

    How did you get AJ Burnett (my fav pitcher who is once again largely responsible for my pizza lunch today) to be talking to you again?

    I’m by no means a fan of the Yankees, however Jeter’s words at the end of the game on Sunday were pretty good. Did you get a chance to see the end of that game?

    Aneez

    MW: I answered the first two questions above, and I saw the post-game of the last game at Yankee Stadium. I thought Jeter’s speech was nice, especially since it was totally off-the-cuff, but I thought it was hilarious that none of the Yankees could be seen by people in attendance because of the throng of photographers around the mound.

    - Aneez
  30. 30.

    Hi Mike

    Cheer up, your pain will soon be over. I wanted to comment and get your feedback on McGowan and Marcum’s injuries. Last year JP recognized those guys may not be ready, therefore he went to the scrap heap in the hope of getting some innnings out of a marginal MLB pitcher. Obviously that failed and they were thrown out there and performed very well. The problem is that Marcum’s innings went from 131 in 2006 to 159, a 21% increase. McGowan’s innings went from 111 to 169, or a 52% increase. What do you understand is the norm in terms of adding innings to young pitchers? A 10% increase per year? A 20% increase? Secondly, do you suspect that the increase is to blame for their problems?

    MW: The general rule of thumb seems to be that adding 30 innings a year is a good thing to do, but then you look at guys like Jimmy Key (62 in 1984 to 212 2/3 in ’85) and Pat Hentgen (70 1/3 in ’92 to 216 1/3 in ’93), who the Jays moved from the bullpen one year to the rotation the next with few ill effects. My pain?

    - Dan
  31. 31.

    Who except you and J.P expected the Jays to contend the last three years? I certainly can’t remember any impartial source picking them higher than third…

    The excuses for 2009 are being formulated already: “It’s not J.P.’s fault Marcum (the same guy who was demoted to the minors a few weeks ago)got hurt…”
    The infield is a MESS. If Hill comes back he may be the only player above average offensively (and he hasn’t done anything to make anyone thinks he’s a potential All-Star). As you admit, Rolen will be back because he is untradeable. We may not see a quality shortstop again in our lifetime, or at least as long as J.P. is in charge. The production poor Overbay is also untradeable, because the only teams he could start for are low-budget ones that aren’t going to overpay him for walking.
    The Captain looked like Johnny Bench after four and a half years of the futility that was Gregg Zaun, but Rod’s nowhere near the top at his position.
    It will be fun to watch Lind and Snider continue to develop, and we can always hope Rios will be more than what he’s shown. Wells is going to be obscenely overpaid for his production – but, as you agreed with a previous blogger, he’s also untradeable.
    Assuming at least one veteran pitcher (PLEASE not Pavano , Martinez or some other perennially sore armed has-been) is brought in to win ca. 12 games (the probable number Burnett will win for his new team between DL stints)and McGowan is healthy the pitching should still be strong, especially if the bullpen returns in good form.
    To my mind J.P. has weasled through the last two years with a battery of new excuses combined with the banal “we like our team” rhetoric. After seven years of unfilfilled promises, finishing seventh (probably) in a fourteen team league isn’t good enough.
    As McCown says, it’s time for a fresh set of eyes to sort things out…

    MW: Take a look back and you’ll find plenty of impartial observers who picked the Jays to finish higher than third each of the last few seasons. I don’t believe that the infield is a mess, nor do I believe that a sore-armed has-been would be a terrible thing to bring in (at least, by your definition). And no, the Marcum injury hasn’t led to the excuses being trotted out, but I have to tell you that I’m baffled by those who don’t think that it’s a very legitimate problem that this team will be without its second and third starters for next year and the number four guy is a question mark.

    - Ken
  32. 32.

    Mike buddy,

    This year Vernon is batting .369/.404/.602 in 110AB’s with 10-2B/1-3B/4-HR when leading off an inning. I realize this is still a fairly small sample size, but what do you think about putting him in that leadoff spot? With the looming signing of a 4-hole bat, Rios seemingly entreched in the 3-hole under Cito, and some more powerful young bats on the rise in Lind and Snider… Perhaps Vernon is a perfect fit for our leadoff spot in ’09 (assuming we don’t sign a speedy SS).

    What do ya think?

    MW: I don’t think that Wells is a perfect fit for anybody’s leadoff spot.

    - Andrew (Guelph)
  33. 33.

    Thus ends officially the playoff “race” for Toronto.

    Loved TBJTW yesternight with the Carlson, Bay and Cito interviews. Looking forward to the WBC ’09, do the following players, by your knowledge, have any issues with participating (i.e. personal reasons, MLB team concerns due to injury)? C R Martin, 1B J Morneau, LF J Bay, CF J Votto, LHP J Francis, RHP R Dempster. I would imagine Erik Bedard would be held by Seattle.

    Also, what was the one single-game, exhilirating frozen moment from this season (Blue Jays-specific) that you will remember for years to come?

    For me, it was Zaun’s two-out walk-off GS on Sat., Sept. 6 in the 13th v. TB.

    MW: That’s definitely the first thing that comes to mind. The unassisted triple play in Cleveland was pretty cool, too, though not from a Blue Jayic point of view. I doubt Dempster will play in the Festival, having just signed a new contract and stuff, but I don’t see an issue for any of those other guys.

    - Adrian, co-alumnus
  34. 34.

    Just curious: if NY, Boston, Philly, Milwaukee have natural grass fields, how come rogers centre can’t have grass?

    Milwaukee has a retractible roof as well.

    MW: I don’t know what New York, Boston and Philly have to do with anything. There’s turf here because it’s a multi-purpose stadium, and one with a retractable roof the default of which is closed.

    - J
  35. 35.

    Now that Marcum is done for the 09 season do you see the jays trying to offer Burnett an Extention rather that have him opt out of his current contract? Or just try to sign someone else in the offseason who is a cheaper option?

    MW: I don’t think one has anything to do with the other – Burnett is just like any other free agent.

    - Royce
  36. 36.

    Mike,
    I would like to see the following line-up next year:
    1)Hill/Inglett 2B
    2)Rios RF
    3)Wells CF
    4)ADAM DUNN DH
    5)Rolen 3B
    6)Overbay 1B
    7)Barajas C
    8)Lind LF
    9)Scutaro SS

    What do you think?

    MW: I don’t love Hill leading off, Rolen 5th or Lind 8th, and the Jays aren’t going to sign Adam Dunn.

    - Cito Man
  37. 37.

    Hi Mike. Definitly going to be an interesting off season. I think the Jays should Trade Wells for whatever they can get for him. Not because he’s terrible or anything but Rios can play Centre and becomes much more valuable when he does plus it frees up alot of money.
    I’d then go with an outfield of Snider in left, Rios in Centre Ibanez in right hopefully put Lind at first after I find someone take Overbay and Sign Milton Branley to DH.
    I know you’ve talked about signing Pavano to a small one year contract what do you think about Garcia on a similar deal?

    MW: I like the idea of Garcia in the same way as I like Pavano, Pedro or Prior (if he’s healthy). I don’t think that now is a good time to trade Wells, not at all.

    - Dan M
  38. 38.

    Sorry Mike one more question for you I just read at baseball prospectus that the Mariners are going to non tender Eric Bedard? seems alittle far fetched to me how about you?

    MW: If he’s going to be hurt next season, then why not? He’s going to have surgery to repair a torn labrum, and could miss the vast majority of next season. He’s a free agent after 2009, so I don’t think it’s a terrible idea.

    - Dan M
  39. 39.

    Hey Mike,

    1) I think Snider’s September numbers are a little inflated/unrealistic, because he’s hitting in the No. 9 spot and seeing more pitches to hit. Do you think those numbers would be different if he was hitting No. 5 with runners on base?

    2) Steve Simmons can fire all the darts he wants from his ivory tower, but he really knows NOTHING about baseball or hockey for that matter. At least you stand in there and take your jabs from detractors with this blog.

    MW: I don’t think Snider’s numbers are inflated, he’s been playing against very difficult opposition, but yes, I’d imagine they’d be different in the middle of the order. But that’s why Cito has Snider hitting down there.

    - Ken Pagan
  40. 40.

    Mike,

    Have you looked into the Scutaro – Zaun helmet swapping fiasco?

    - Dan

    MW: It’s a fiasco now?

    - Dan
  41. 41.

    For those of us who missed the TBJTW and will likely miss one of the pre-pre game shows can you tell us who were selected as MVP, Pitcher of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Most Pleasant Surprise of theYear.

    By the way, how exactly did BJ Ryan decline?

    MW: I’ll reveal the voting for all the awards after the season, and see above for the B.J. thing.

    - Shmuel Yitzchok
  42. 42.

    Mike,
    The loss of Marcum has me upset, even angry. I am not sure if it is justified or just sour grapes. But after watching how the Yankees treated Joba’s shoulder tightness, I am 2nd guessing the lack of caution the Jays used with Marcum after this injury earlier this year. Especially the Majors-Minors-Major yo-yo trick they pulled with him set against the back drop of injuries to McGowan, Janssen and Ryan.

    Maybe you need to snap a few guitar strings to play rock and roll, but when your dealing with a human’s ligament it would seem better to act with caution.

    MW: I don’t understand what the “yo-yo trick” has to do with anything. Would Marcum have been more likely to stay healthy had he made those two starts in Toronto instead of Syracuse?

    - JW
  43. 43.

    Hey Mike, I am still waiting for that collapse from the Rays that you so assured everyone this year would happen.

    MW: Does it still count if it happens in the playoffs?

    - Jason Deneaul
  44. 44.

    Also, why would Burnett not want to talk to you, you have been defending HIM ALL YEAR LONG. He must not listen to your show.

    - Jason Deneaul
  45. 45.

    mr. mike,
    i listen to your post game and jays this week show(s) religiously. fantastic stuff.
    and became a late starter with your blog probably as of a few months ago.
    thought i was sending emails to the blog on numerous occasions (all very eye opening subjects & material to discuss no doubt) but wasn’t getting any responses from you and initially thought you didn’t think my stuff was response worthy. but think now i wasn’t adding the fan 590 website address to push it thru correctly. (here’s hoping this one reaches you)
    anyway big fan of this great game (probably started with those incredible memories of coming home from school on a sunny weekday fall afternoon and seeing those fantastic playoff games on tv… boog powell and the baltimore orioles playing the great oakland a’s teams back in the early 70′s..or how about mike schmidt & the phillies vs. those great dodger teams. regardless, all good stuff indeed. i think you’re just a little young for that but i’m sure you have similar comparables thereafter boog & the boys.
    but needless to say big fan of this toronto ball club apart of mlb regardless of who’s the gm or the mgr or even who’s on 1st. much like you i’m sure.
    anyway got to thinking about something over the weekend in relation to the old mule mccown and his take on this ball club but more to the point his take on the merits of the gm and the club he’s put together.
    i’m sure you know that he contends he has the absolute right idea on how the playoff bb should be set up in terms of format (and you know he believes it’s competely and utterly the right way to do it as he does everything else) based on that i do find it quite curious that under these self proclaimed expanded playoff guidelines, that the jays would pretty much have been in a legitimate playoff race in most yrs under jp’s regime and in fact perhaps a playoff team on a few occasions under the same circumstances… which strikes me as ironic considering he doesn’t think jp has put together a good enough team to contend or participate in meaningful games in sept and forward…
    can’t have it both ways can you mr. mike?
    also feel sorry for him actually…. here’s a guy who always used to love the this ball team and now it seems he’s so hellbent on the demise of this particular gm of ours that i don’t think he can genuinely enjoy any successes they might endure for looking so terribly wrong on his assessment of this ball team and it’s gm. not really an opinion just an observation really.
    keep up the great work my baseball friend and enjoy this yr’s playoffs.
    darrell.

    MW: Thanks!

    - darrell bishop
  46. 46.

    Hey Mike,

    Any reasons why Rolen and Downs would not want to participate? And an impolite decline from Ryan…out of curiousity, how does one impolitely decline such a request? Seems kind of silly to me.

    As far as I’m concerned:

    MVP: Roy Halladay
    Pitcher: Scott Downs
    Rookie: Jesse Carlson
    Surprise: Joe Inglett

    Kind of seems weird giving a pitcher MVP honours but not top pitcher honours. I figured I’d spread the love as much as possible.

    MW: I was going to say that seemed kind of weird, but some of the Jays did that, too. I explained what the poll was all about to Rolen, and he said he would pass. Downs didn’t even let me get the words out before saying no.

    - Bradley
  47. 47.

    Hey Mike,

    When the Jays while the Jays were winning 10 in a row, they were playing the young talent, such as Snider and Lind and they were both playing well. When they played the 4 game series in Boston, they were playing Mench and Wilkerson. Any reason why the switch? I thought that would be a good experoence for them to play in meaningful games at the end of the season.

    MW: The reasons were explained back then – keep them away from the knuckleballer and the lefty.

    - Justin
  48. 48.

    Another year finishd with just enough to make the permanently optimistic to proclaim wait til next year..well when is the year that we finally say enough and kick JP out the door?

    MW: When he fails to put together a team that should compete.

    - Justin Time
  49. 49.

    Hey Mike,

    I just read that the Jays are very likely to sign a PDC with the Las Vegas (soon to be renamed 51s). What are your thoughts on this? A flight to sin city isn’t quick, and it seems to make more sense to have an AAA affiliate in the IL. When you look at the geographical locations of AAA affiliates and MLB teams, the Jays by far have the worst deal. How long do you think this relationship will last? I assume that the Jays will try and get back into the IL as soon as their (yet to be signed) PDC with Las Vegas ends. I’m still disappointed that we lost out on Buffalo.

    MW: Me, too. I’m sure the Jays will try to get out after the two-year deal is up. It’s a really poor set-up.

    - Bradley
  50. 50.

    I think that moving Rolen’s big contract would make more sense than Ryan’s. I read Jordan Bastian writing that the Jays would love to play Johnny Mac full-time but can’t hide his bat. That is almost what they are doing with Rolen now. You always hear announcers say that the last three outs are the toughest, and Ryan has proved he can do it. In 1994 and 1995, the Jays were without Henke and Ward and really struggled late in games.

    MW: Ryan is far easier to move than Rolen, though.

    - Elijah
  51. 51.

    Mike,

    I was reading on the SI website that the brewers were possibly shopping Prince Fielder. By the sounds of it they were not looking for an extreme amount in return. Could you see the Jays posssibly putting together a package that would would entice the Brewers to send him our way? If so what do you think it would take? WWould you give up a pitching prospect like Cecil and Adam Lind for him? Or maybe a janssen or Litsch?

    MW: I could see the Jays putting the package together that would bring Fielder here. Cecil and Lind, though? That’s a heck of a lot.

    - Brandon F
  52. 52.

    Hi Mike,

    I don’t recall the day, but while listening to the post game show last week, I heard a caller mention the possibility of moving Travis Snider to 1st base and trying to dangle Lyle Overbay as tradebait for pitching.

    I lost reception shortly after and didn’t catch your reply.

    I was just wondering what you thought of that scenario?

    I know he’s young, and there’s no guarantee that he’ll even have a spot on the roster next season, let alone become a starter, but I certainly hope he continues to make strides and becomes the player that he’s shown us glimpses of over the last three weeks.

    Plus with the outfield looking fairly set for next year – and all the talk of the team possibly brining in a DH (Manny, Giambi, etc.), it could be the only option for this kid to get regular playing time.

    What are your thoughts?

    MW: My reply was that I’d rather move Adam Lind to first, where he played in college, but that I like Lyle Overbay a lot. They’ll find time for Snider if he deserves it.

    - Richie D.
  53. 53.

    Am I the only one who thinks the Blue Jays WON’T be horrible next year? In my opinion, the worst thing they can do for next year is re-sign Burnett and sign Ibanez. This leaves them with a rotation of:

    -Halladay
    -Burnett
    -Litsch
    -Downs
    -Purcey

    and then once May rolls around, we have a rotation of:

    -Halladay
    -Burnett
    -Litsch
    -McGowan
    -Downs, or if Downs struggled as a started through the first month, throw him back in the bullpen and keep Purcey going.

    The bullpen will of course be fine:

    -BJ Ryan, League, Carlson, Accardo, Janssen (Sp?), and then Tallet/Wolfe/Frasor/Camp to round out 2 spots, or 1 spot if Downs is put back into the bullpen.

    As for a batting order:

    -Inglett – 2B
    -Rios- RF
    -Wells – Cf
    -Ibanez – DH
    -Hill, SS
    -Overbay – 1B
    -Rolen – 3B
    -Lind – LF
    -Barajas – C

    And bench players such as Scutaro, McDonald, and Bautista.

    It’s certainly affordable and possible that they could re-sign Burnett and sign Ibanez. I just don’t see the gaping hole that’s going to make for a terrible 2009 season. If your response is that Burnett is too expensive to re-sign, then the alternative is to trade Ryan, keep Downs in the bullpen, and spend Ryan’s contract on a good pitcher to replace Burnett.

    Also, if there is a decent payroll increase, substitute Manny in there for Ibanez. Is there anything untrue about everything here?

    MW: I’m not sure why you said the worst thing they could do was re-sign Burnett and sign Ibanez. Anyway, they’re very likely not to resign Burnett, and there aren’t any replacements for Burnett available on the free agent market. This is the biggest part of the issue, without Marcum. Also, you’re relying on Downs to step in and be good, and there are no guarantees of that. Litsch, Downs and Purcey in the rotation won’t scare too many people.

    - Brendan
  54. 54.

    mike, do you see League as a starter? a possible effective starter?

    MW: Nope. Could happen, though.

    - Gina
  55. 55.

    Mike,
    If Scott Rolens numbers over September (.290/.351/.507) are any sign of what he can do next year(close to his career numbers), their offence could be on to something. Alex Rios, is (.310/.341/.607 in september) and Wells has probably been the most consistant hitter all year when he is actually playing. There is alot of room for improvement on this team without even adding anyone. This offence is plenty talented enough, they just need some things to go right for them and some guys to step up.
    I definatly could see the power being a whole lot better next year.
    Big if, but Scott Rolen could hit 20Hrs if he is healthy
    Alex Rios 20Hr Potential
    Vernon Wells 30Hr
    Adam Lind 20Hr
    Aaron Hill 15Hr
    Overbay 15Hr
    and your already over the home run total from the entire team this year. I know im being a bit optimistic but its definatly possible for those players all to put up those number next year.

    MW: I don’t know about 20 from Rolen – he’s only hit one this September. But you’re right, the offense could be OK. Thing is, the starting pitching needs a lot of help.

    - Denny
  56. 56.

    Hi Mike; sorry if you already answered this question but will McGowan and Marcum missing long periods of time push back their free agent dates?

    MW: Nope. Players on the disabled list continue to accrue service time.

    - Zack
  57. 57.

    Wednesday is the big night for our family. It’s Uncle Sidney’s 67th birthday and we are taking him to the ball game. With all the uncles, aunts, mum and dad and cousins, there will be 14 of us. Others don’t care about the game that much so it’ll be me and Uncle sidney taking balls and strikes and doing our analysis there. Uncle Sidney wants to sneak in couple of BBQ chickens from Rabba and also some pops. We are confident that we’ll be able to trick security and get in with the food. Uncle Sidney will do some break dance during the 7th inning stretch, it’ll be the funniest thing in the world. So just wanted to share all this. Can’t wait for Wednesday.

    MW: I don’t think you’ll have to sneak the food in, I think you’re allowed to bring it.

    - Beburg
  58. 58.

    Hey Mike,

    I’ve always been a fan of Hank Blalock. What do you think of him? Would the Jays be able to package up B.J. Ryan and somone else to get him? I’d like to get your thoughts.

    MW: He may be a free agent if the Rangers don’t pick up his option (just over $6 million), but with his health history, I wouldn’t give up much for Hank.

    - Justin
  59. 59.

    Hey Mike…

    I am just thinking about next years team. What is the deal with Jose Bautista? Is he going to be non-tendered by the team with the infield of Overbay, Inglett, Scutaro, Hill, McDonald,and Rolen..

    To me there will be no room for him.. They could use that money on a 4th OF assuming Snider starts in Syracuse.

    MW: Inglett would be the 4th outfielder in that scenario, I think. Bautista will be Rolen insurance and may also be the first baseman against lefties.

    - Mike
  60. 60.

    I wouldn’t say you’re an apolgist. Maybe too much of a fan to be neutral, but not an apolgist.

    MW: I cut the second part, where you insulted the other guy. Not nice.

    - Rick GRace
  61. 61.

    Hi Mike,

    Wondering if you can pose this question to JP on wed. I’ll start by saying that of course hindsight is 20/20 so this may sound easy to say now. I was wondering if he’s regretting not firing gibbons earlier in the season (say approx 4-6 weeks earlier) given the significant turaround under cito. During the last 4-5 Wednesday’s with JP of gibbons tenure with the team in a swoon he was constantly asked by callers why he doesn’t fire gibbons. JP vehemently defended gibbons claiming he was doing his job and its not his fault. Its my thought that if cito was brought in say 4-6 weeks earlier that there would potentially be a better chance (on account of more games left) to get back in the race. It appears to me that the great winning percentage that they’ve enjoyed is all for not in that it came too late in the season without enough games left to make the turnaround equate in to playoff contention as they never got any closer than 7 games to the wild card. Essentially their late stretch kick and furious finish has seen them run of out race track.

    Great job with the show !

    MW: There’s no way to know how the team would have done had Cito been brought in earlier. But would they have gone 20-10 in May under Cito? Doubtful. Which is not to say that that was John Gibbons’ doing, but how do you hope a team can do better than that?

    - Frank
  62. 62.

    hey mike;

    Looks like the jays will have to settle for a Las Vegas affiliate, so much for the quick callups, hope they keep the kids away from the Vegas strip- off to vote for tom again!

    - robert.s
  63. 63.

    Simmons is a dork anyway. Someone should give him some duct tape and send him back to Possum Lodge. He probably just used your name so he could be mentioned in these fine pages. I wonder if he comes up with these gems on his own, or if his buddies; Gilbert, Booger, Lamar and Poindexter, chip in.

    The announcers on TV (no worries, this isn’t a something-you-said vs. something-Rance-said thing) talked about Ortiz’ (does that still work after a “z”?) strength after his ridiculous homer to left. Jimmy H said Ortiz uses a 34 oz. bat. He asked the others in the booth what they used. I believe Jesse said 34 oz. and Rance 33. Then Hughson pointed out that Babe Ruth used a 56 oz. bat. 56!

    This got me thinking about the nowadays vs. yesteryears argument. I know that today’s athletes are better. With so many players to choose from, and increased practice time and technology, how could they not be? But I think that angle is overplayed at times. It’s not like pitchers back in the Bambino’s day were throwing 70 mph heaters. I’d love to see George Herman hitting today, with shorter fences and extra games, and imagine the bat speed he’d have with, say, a 40 oz. bat. Or 45, or 50, or whatever.

    For another quick example; I don’t think Rocket Richard would get 50 in 50 today, but I do think he could be a 40 or 50 goal per year guy. I just think the very best are the best, no matter when they play. I dunno… endless debate.

    Ok, all this Babe talk got me to wondering… does an AL team have to use a DH, or is it an option? Do they have a choice of whether or not the pitcher can bat?

    Oh, I almost forgot, the Jays videos I mentioned the other day here… I’d be willing to lend you the tapes. The easiest way would be to bring them by your outdoor weekend spot, but I’d like them back too, so I think I’ll leave that for next year. But I’ll probably forget by then.

    MW: I think there are no questions that today’s athletes are better than those in Ruth’s era, but I’d love the chance to see The Babe hit today. A.L. teams aren’t required to use a DH. Excellent Red Green and Revenge of the Nerds references. As for the Jays videos, I’d love to see them, but there’s no way I’d have time to do so during the season. Thanks for the offer, though.

    - Dilly in Dundas (not the street)
  64. 64.

    I can not understand what it would have hurt for the three guys who declined to participate in you season ending poll. It seems some of these guys are that full of themselves. You have been very kind to all three of those guys with the comments you have made about them this year, they had no reason to refuse you, I don’t care if it was done kindly or not. Let me add one more award to your season ending superlatives: The Dave Berg Award. This years recipient: B.J. Ryan.

    MW: Oooooh, a Dave Berg award! I like it! B.J. “The Ambassador” Ryan, huh?

    - Jim in Ohio
  65. 65.

    Hi Mike,

    How are you?

    I saw this article online and thought my fellow Blue Jay fans would be interested in reading it. It summarizes all the missed opportunities the Jays had this year.

    http://sports.sympatico.msn.ca/MLB/ContentPosting_ChinMusic?newsitemid=21f2e5de-e954-47ad-abec-b5c0cb31f76d&feedname=Chin_Music&show=False&number=0&showbyline=True&subtitle=&detect=&abc=abc&date=True&paginationenabled=false

    Enjoy!

    Aneez

    MW: And it’s written by our very own frequent contributor to these comments sections – Best Regards!

    - Aneez
  66. 66.

    Mike,

    whenever you discuss the the idea of trading BJ, you reference closer deals of the past, and the nominal returns guys like Lidge, Gagne, and Valverde yielded…

    this is a pretty narrow way of looking at it, cause the way i see it, this trade wouldn’t be up for scrutiny until we see what we got with the freed up budget space…

    sure we wouldn’t get equal trade value in terms of direct impact to the current roster, but this wouldn’t be that kind of trade, but rather a move towards financial flexibility…

    even if we shipped him off for a low ceiling prospect, the only way that trade can be deemed a ‘bust’, is if the vacated $10M isn’t spent on tangible improvements to the current roster…

    i understand that it’s optimistic to simply assume that you can go out and improve your team through FA signings, simply because you have the budget space to do so, but JP has shown a knack for, at least, always being in the running for whichever free agents he targets…as such, i really wouldn’t be too broken up about it if he did decide to ‘salary dump’ BJ…

    MW: I’m not a fan of dumping salary for no return when it’s an asset that you’re dumping.

    - Jay B
  67. 67.

    Mike,

    I don’t agree with trading BJ Ryan beacuse the end of the game is critical, and closing by comitee rarely works. But Rolen on the other hand, I wouldn’t mind seeing leave. He was an upgrade over Glaus defensively, but the 23 or 24 homers Glaus has this year would be more welcome than the great defense. It wasn’t like Glaus was terible on defense by any means anyway. With the addition of Bautista, doesn’t that make Rolen more expendible, or would the Jays have to eat too much money to make it praticle?

    MW: Rolen is untradeable.

    - Justin
  68. 68.

    is the option on manny’s contract a mutual one? if not, and it’s only a club option, why are the dodgers not even entertaining the thought of picking it up for one more yr?

    MW: A condition of the trade in which the Dodgers acquired Ramirez was that they would neither pick up his option nor offer him arbitration.

    - Jay B
  69. 69.

    I was annoyed at the game on Sunday that Cito didn’t see fit to put McDonald in even for an inning or two. Being in the stands I could see that many people who weren’t wearing Red Sox jerseys were wearing McDonald jerseys or shirts and I don’t mean the ones given out for free. It seems like this year it has been popular to treat Johnny Mac like barely a second-class citizen, but like it or not he has legions of fans and I believe that the Jays record when he starts is still at least as good if not better than the overall record. Besides it’s not as if Scutaro was exactly knocking the cover off the ball that day. The Jays management might do well to have some regard for the fans. Attendance on Sunday was certainly higher than it would otherwise have been because of the Johnny Mac shirt giveaway.

    Thanks for “listening” to my rant.

    MW: No problem.

    - Debbie
  70. 70.

    Will there be JaysTalk next season?

    MW: Boy, I sure hope so.

    - Jay Money
  71. 71.

    How would you rank the AL East closers at this very moment?

    Here’s my list:

    1) Mo Sandman
    2) Jonathan Papelbon
    3) BJ Ryan
    4) The Brim Reaper
    5) Troy Percival

    Would you put Papelbon over Rivera?

    MW: The Brim Reaper would be George Sherrill? That’s how I would rank them, too.

    - Jay Money
  72. 72.

    Who has a better throw, Alomar or Inglett? I think Inglett has the most accurate throw in the league. Gold Glove no.1 for him, there’s more to come.

    MW: Don’t count on that. Roberto Alomar may well have been the best second baseman ever. Inglett has a good arm, but it’s not nearly as good as Aaron Hill’s.

    - Beburg
  73. 73.

    Mike,

    Are we ABSOLUTELY SURE that it was Zaun who hit that Grand Slam against the Rays???

    I think we should go back and check the tape.

    .225 and 3 k’s

    Ouch

    MW: Yep, it was him.

    - Tony
  74. 74.

    When is the freaking madness going to end.

    Alan……..AJ IS NOT HAVING A GREAT YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    ARGHHHH!!!!!!

    MW: It’s one of those things that people believe will be true if they say it often enough.

    - GregJP
  75. 75.

    Hello Mike,

    Having read and heard enough on the subject, my conclusion is this: no one wanted the Blue Jays and no one wanted to go to Vegas. So they got stuck with each other.

    Fair, not fair? If so, why (did no one want the Jays)? Should we care?

    MW: Completely fair. We shouldn’t care why.

    - Alex
  76. 76.

    hi mike

    do you think the umpires are tightening the strike zone just to get into a rountine for the playoffs?

    MW: No.

    - andy
  77. 77.

    hi mike

    Even if Marcum comes back in 2010, aren’t you concerned that it takes about a season to really get back into form. I look at B.J. Ryan who’s had a great year but even you’ve admitted that he is still recovering from tommy john and therefore hasn’t been as sharp as he has been in the past. Technically, We might not see the real Marcum till 2011.

    MW: Except that on Opening Day of 2010, Marcum will be 18 months post-surgery. Today, B.J. Ryan is 16 months post-surgery. Big difference.

    - phil
  78. 78.

    hello mike,

    Will you know exactly how many people voted for Tom Cheek after voting closes?

    MW: I don’t know when they’ll announce the results of the voting, so keep voting! By the way, why do you sometimes post as Andy and sometimes as Phil?

    - andy
  79. 79.

    Wow Mike, I had never heard that Tom Cheek/Mike Mussina story before. What a horrible thing to say. Did he ever apologize for that?

    Speaking (writing) of character, I have not heard one bad statement about Scott Rolen around the team. There was concern from some members of the media due to Rolen and his past. How have your dealings been with Rolen? Was all that hot air earlier or has Rolen matured?

    Thanks Mike!

    MW: Everybody seems to love Rolen, and that was the case in St. Louis as well. My dealings with Rolen haven’t been great, but he’s always polite.

    - Rory
  80. 80.

    The morning show guys asked Cito about the all-star game incident a while ago.

    Cito said after that incident, Mike Mussina didn’t apologize. A week or two later, Johnny Oates then Orioles manager called Cito to ‘relay’ an apology. Cito said Mike had all sorts of time to apologize directly to Cito. Cito did not accept the apology and left it at that.

    MW: Thanks for the info.

    - John
  81. 81.

    Not quite sure what it takes to “make” the blog….I posted a ocmment 2 days ago and don’t see it. Am only intersted in the feasability of having a player like Lind who, it seems, the team has decided cannot run (hence he is always pinch run for by Wilkerson), and is a liability in left field (hence the emergence of Snider in left). He is a slightly above average hitter but can the Jays afford to have such a player on a team with a limited budget (compared to the Sox and Yankees)? Seems to me that if Lind does not have these skills then the team needs to dig deeper into the minors to find a play who can do more than just hit.

    MW: I don’t remember seeing that comment before. I think that Lind has a very high ceiling as a hitter, and the Blue Jays can certainly afford to have him around.

    - D Mak
  82. 82.

    MW: Yes, Shea Hillenbrand was right in July of 2006 that the ship is sinking in September 2008.

    Well, it’s not like the ship’s been above water since Hillenbrand made those comments two years ago…15 years without a playoff APPEARANCE (nevermind winning it all or even a round of playoffs – just getting IN)…before that, 5 playoff appearances in 8 seasons including back to back world titles…yeah, don’t tell me the ship ain’t sinking Mike.

    MW: The ship sunk a long time ago, but it’s back on the surface now.

    - ChrisFletcher
  83. 83.

    STOP DELETING MY COMMENTS

    MW: Stop being insulting and irrational.

    - Daniel
  84. 84.

    Mike,

    Here’s an idea to increase ratings for the radio broadcast. We need a catch phrase.

    When the White Sox strike out a hitter Harrelson says “he gone”. When A-Rod hits a homer the Yankee guy says “an A bomb for A rod”.

    MW: I don’t like catch phrases, as a rule, and I especially don’t like mean-spirited, derogatory ones like that which you presented here and I deleted.

    - Prokopec
  85. 85.

    MW: I don’t like catch phrases, as a rule, and I especially don’t like mean-spirited, derogatory ones like that which you presented here and I deleted.
    ________________

    Yeah, I guess that was a bit off-colour.

    It was still kind of funny though.

    MW: Not really.

    - Prokopec
  86. 86.

    Im not im just saying that i dont agree with u saying JP has done a good job because of one factor being the burnett signing

    MW: Well, nothing wrong with saying that. But what do you mean – the Burnett signing was the one thing that makes you think J.P. hasn’t done a good job?

    - Daniel
  87. 87.

    Hey Mike,

    Did you catch the Jays 85 clincher against the Yanks on ESPN Classic the other day? It was the first time id seen it since I was at the game.

    After the game I swooped up a whole bunch of dirt from the pitching mound and I still have it. How much might you pay me for that?

    MW: I didn’t see it, but I remember it well. I might not pay you anything for the dirt, but you might want to put it on eBay or some such if you’re trying to make a buck or two. You might get a buck or two.

    - Prokopec
  88. 88.

    “MW: It’s one of those things that people believe will be true if they say it often enough.”

    Kind of like the existence of God? :-)

    MW: This is certainly not the place for those sorts of debates.

    - GregJP
  89. 89.

    “MW: I think he could be, too, but as for your second paragraph – you know better than that”

    That’s just the response I was hoping to get :-)

    Best Regards

    John

    MW: I don’t understand.

    - John B.
  90. 90.

    Mike:

    I truly enjoyed the blog this season — it was yet another great way to enjoy a season of Blue Jays Baseball.

    I looked forward each day to reading your postings, and those of your readers. It’s fun to read through the comments and your responses — I can’t imagine how much free time you spent doing this all season.

    Great work, and I hope it’s back next season. Any thoughts on if it will be? It would be a shame not to bring back the “blerg”.

    MW: I appreciate the kind words, and I’m sure the blerg will be back next season. It’s not like it’s going to go away over the winter, though.

    - Cam
  91. 91.

    Hey Mike,

    I believe that Pat Burrell is a free agent this offseason, so what would the Jays have to offer him contract wise, and do you think it would be worthwhile at that price? All the other DH options are looking either extremely expensive or old.

    Thanks

    MW: The Jays aren’t going after Burrell.

    - James R.
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