1:00 AM Eastern

With the exception of the near-forfeit in the 8th inning, the Blue Jays couldn’t have opened the season in more perfect fashion.

They climbed all over Justin Verlander early and never let him up off the mat, adding on runs in a fashion that we didn’t see too terribly often in the past couple of years after building an early lead.

The rally in the first inning started with a two-out, none on walk to Alex Rios, and ended with Lyle Overbay swatting a two-run double into the left-centre gap, something we saw a whole lot of in 2006, and that I’m hoping we get to see again with relative regularity this year.

Every starter got at least one hit, but Adam Lind and Travis Snider blew the doors off.   The two guys who will be getting the bulk of the 923 plate appearances that last year went to Brevin Mencherson, Shannon Stewart, Matt Stairs and Frank Thomas with little effect combined to go 6-for-9 with a double, two homers and seven RBIs.

The rest of the team wasn’t all that bad, either.  The Jays went 4-for-13 with runners in scoring position (.308) and every one of the four baserunners who made it to third with less than two outs wound up scoring with less than two out (or on the second out), including a daring scamper home by Marco Scutaro on a shallow fly to left by Aaron Hill in the 4th.

Roy Halladay was sensational through six innings, facing two batters over the minimum on a two-hitter before hitting a speed bump in the 7th, and after Brandon League allowed a pair of ground ball singles with two out in the 8th, Scott Downs came in to get out of the jam with one pitch.

It was a great night, in front of over 48,000 mostly great fans.  Thankfully, the few unruly idiots didn’t spoil it for everyone else.

It has become a bit of a tradition at Rogers Centre, when there’s a big crowd, for people to throw paper airplanes onto the field from the 500 level.  On its own, that’s not such a bad thing, though when there are dozens coming down it gets to be a little silly.  Never before, though, had I seen baseballs being thrown onto the field (unless it’s the immediate return of an opposition home run ball), so I was surprised when, after Adam Everett booted a grounder in the 8th, I saw Tigers left fielder Josh Anderson pick up another baseball in short left.

About a minute later, Detroit manager Jim Leyland came out of the dugout to talk to umpiring crew chief Ed Montague, and after another baseball was thrown from the stands, Montague pulled the Tigers off the field, for their own safety.

There was a nine-minute delay before play resumed, and the Blue Jays came close to forfeiting the game.

Idiots.  Really, I mean, what else is there to say?  Idiots.  There’s never been a better argument in favour of those who have ordered the ballpark to be dry for Tuesday night’s game.  At least Opening Day is the only time they seem to come out.  The rest of the season, it appears as though the Jays draw fans who have actually had a beer before.

Despite the fact that tonight’s edition of The JaysTalk began with two negative calls in a row, it turned out to be a pretty good show.  I do apologize for giving the last caller so much rope.  I probably could have fit in a couple more calls if I hadn’t.  Sorry about that.  Here it is:

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Enjoy it, because there won’t be another JaysTalk until Thursday afternoon, at least.

And hey, how about me not turning on the microphone when I was down on the field interviewing Lind after the game?  Man, he said some terrific stuff before we figured that out.  Oh, well.   Chalk up one more in the “I’m a moron” column, it won’t happen again.  I’m not sure whether or not they’ll want to do more of those on-field post-game interviews, but keep an eye (or an ear) out for them anyway.  I think it wound up going pretty well, post-glitch.

Because of the Raptors game Tuesday, you’ll have to go to TALK820 Hamilton to find our broadcast if you’re in the Toronto listening area.  Make sure you tune us in!

And how cool is it that four years ago this very minute (as I type this) I was in a delivery room at Trillium Health Centre in Mississauga about 45 minutes away from the birth of my second daughter, Gillian.  It was a moment that took my breath away – especially since she was two weeks overdue and came out with her hands and feet white as chalk and her skin all peeling and stuff – and she has provided me with now four years of ensuing moments that have taken my breath away.  Happy Birthday, Super G!

Rational, reasonable comments are always welcome.

108 Responses to “Now That’s How You Open A Season”
  1. 1.

    Hey Mike,

    A great game to watch indeed.

    No need to apologize in regards to the last caller, although he could not articulate himself well, he did bring up a point that has frustrated Jays fans for the last 6 months. Its a shame that Rogers did not continue to spend the expected $95-$100 million in player salaries

    You are right, its better to see Romaro’ and Purcy develop, but what you did not mention was watching near 30 year old Scott RIchmond sitting in a spot that could have been held by another much more qualified and effective pitcher (ie. Lowe, Vasquez). Having that extra pitcher to slot into Burnett’s #2 slot would have made this rotation much less of a question mark.

    Regardless, its a great start to the season.

    MW: But that Richmond spot will eventually be filled by Brett Cecil or Casey Janssen, most likely.

    - Sean
  2. 2.

    Snider makes me drool.

    How plausible does this lineup sound by years end?

    Rios
    Overbay
    Lind
    Wells
    Snider
    Hill
    Rolen
    Barajas/Arencibia
    Scutaro

    MW: Not likely at all. I don’t think we’ll see Overbay or Lind up there or Hill down there.

    - Andrew (Toronto)
  3. 3.

    Oh my God, I LOVE those red maple leafs on the right jersey sleeves. Please, please, please tell me they’re permanent. Those will look awesome on the black jerseys.

    MW: They’re permanent. Sorry I didn’t mention that last night – they are pretty terrific, huh?

    - Jim in Ohio
  4. 4.

    Hey Mike

    Idiots indeed. It’s too bad the actions of a few drunken idiots will reflect on the entire city. Go ahead and blast the opposition verbally, provided you keep it clean. Give Clutch A-Fraud a hard time about the juice, or give AJ a hard time for his defection to the Yanks. But when you start tossing things on the field you have crossed the line. I also don’t agree with your comment about how your ok if a couple of drunks pound each other in the stands. I’ve seen young kids get hurt in such scuffles and they should even have to witness that type of idiotic behaviour. Have a little respect for the players and the families trying to enjoy a day at the ballpark, take the party elsewhere. I hope the Jays ban any “fan” permanently who is caught throwing items on the field or fighting in the stands.

    Doc is great to watch, man he has it figured out. He keeps the free passes to an absolute minimum, nothing he throws is straight and he pounds the strike zone without throwing the ball down the middle. One of the best starters in the game without a doubt. I would love to see him anchor the staff for a contending Toronto team in 2010, hopefully he won’t get dealt.

    - rick
  5. 5.

    The fans last night were not drunken high schoolers, there were tons and tons and tons of university students from various schools and it was just a huge party up in the 500s.

    Beer was easily accessible with 7 beer lines outside my section, and it was just ridiculous as drinking games were happening in my section, with Western Mustang umbrellas being put over people to chug beers.

    The throwing things started with a paper airplane in my section that had an incredible flight into right field, and from there on the throwing started in the 5th inning…and got horrible by the 8th.

    And yeah, the Jays got it to count at least…

    MW: Idiots.

    - Dan
  6. 6.

    The throwing things on the field was pathetic and embarrassing. The first baseball looked like it was tossed randomly onto the field, but the second one came very close to hitting Anderson in the back and he was rightfully upset. After that, the continued tossing of bottles and paper down, as well as the fans actually cheering those doing the tossing was disgraceful, and why boo the Tigers on their return? We should have been cheering their willingness to come back. Surprisingly most of the things tossed on the field came from the more expensive outfield seats, rather than the 500 level.

    MW: Bottles? I didn’t know about that. Jeez.

    - Colin
  7. 7.

    Mike — I was at the game and ratted out the morons who threw the baseballs. What surprised me was that I had to do it from the 500 level while people around them said nothing.

    My girlfriend begged me not to get involved, but I felt too strongly about this. I got no support from others as I pointed at these guys. I think the majority of fans, even if intimidated, have to speak up. Security can’t be everywhere. Four or five guys embarrassed the City and the team. They were in sec. 242.

    MW: Well done.

    - Jim B
  8. 8.

    A great way to start the year Mike, I wish I could’ve watched it but it’s just too late for me here.

    I listened to your jays talk this morning before work and I just got so agitated by some of your callers. In particular, the last guy that called into the show. Regardless of the fact that he talks in the most grating whiny voice he had absolutely no point to his call other than to offer up ambiguous moans. He typifies everything I can’t stand about Toronto sports fans – doesn’t offer any ideas, just complaints and whining.

    I guarantee it is these same people who you heard complain last year and say ‘J.P. has no plan! he just brings in free agents and hasn’t got a strategy…’. Whereas this year, he does have a plan and he’s been very frank with the fan base about what that plan is: we’re not going to win the world series this year, we are retooling and seeing what we have. Hopefully we’ll discover we have a couple of major league arms, and two good young hitters, and when mcgowan and marcum return to the rotation we will be ready to compete.

    I for one find the fact that J.P. has been so explicit about his intentions this year very refereshing. And I’m looking forward to watching the young kids and seeing what they might have.

    One last rant! For everybody that calls in and feels as though they need to be the voice of calm and tell everybody ‘we’re not going to be good this year’. WE GET IT! I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU SAID IT FROM THE VERY BEGINNING! Please go away now.

    Cheers Mike, welcome back!

    - Paul O
  9. 9.

    Mike this idea you discussed about a 4-man rotation was interesting. You said that they would need to prepare for it. But could Halladay not pitch on 3 days rest sometimes like he did the year he won the Cy Young?
    Has this not crossed Cito’s mind?

    MW: It’s something at which Halladay would jump, but I think you need to be prudent about his health. Give him time to change his routine and prepare for it, and maybe do it in a September when the Jays are in a race, or in the playoffs, but not now.

    - Howard
  10. 10.

    why are some games not on tv like tonights?

    MW: Because TV doesn’t carry all 162 games. I think Sportsnet has 124, not sure about TSN. Probably close to 30. When I was growing up, we got Wednesdays and Sundays on TV and that was it.

    - nick
  11. 11.

    Opening nigh was fantastic, I was clapping along with the crowd with each big hit.

    A few things really impressed me:
    -The amount of offense the Jays created with 2 outs
    -Travis Snider’s opposite field home run along with his sliding attempt to catch a foul ball
    -The way the team had a mix of patience and aggression at the plate
    -The way Cito managed Doc. He did not go out to the mound, and didn’t leave Roy in to the end. At first I thought Roy deserved the respect of a walk off the mound cheer from the crowd, but on second thought I believe that Roy was not pleased with some aspects of his performance so he would not have enjoyed the ovation as much. Cito played it cool.

    - J.R
  12. 12.

    Michael of the Ballyard:

    Okay, seriously. Enough with this ‘dry Tuesday’ silliness. We all know that the idiots who throw paper airplanes and baseballs only come out on opening day, AND THE MOST LOYRAL FANS COME OUT THE SECOND NIGHT, so how, exactly, does the conduct of the once-a-season idiots on opening night justify punishing the most loyal ones?

    I can understand maybe (maybe) not selling to the $2 sections or whatever, but it seems beyond silly to me to reason that the behaviour of the most fairweather, casual fans out there on opening night should cause the most loyal ones on the second night to be punished.

    I understand that the liquor license penalties need to be applied at some point and that, all things being equal, tonight’s game is as good a candidate as any, but to suggest that the fans’ conduct last night somehow reinforces that is a bit of an assault on logic.

    MW: The fans’ behaviour last night may go so far as to reinforce the idea that all games should be dry.

    - JCL
  13. 13.

    Brevin Mencherson
    haha!
    M-Dub,
    9 minutes seems a little generous. The delay felt a lot longer than that, but I’ll take your word.
    As for the idiots, they’re idiots.
    I was happy to be sitting next to a really cool baseball family; mom, dad, daughter, son.
    I love it when that happens. Good talk between the action is what makes baseball my favourite sport.
    Its better to be a moron than a idiot – Morons dont mean any harm!
    Congratulations and happy birthday to Super G

    - slobberface
  14. 14.

    Hey Mike,
    I was in 139, right below where the balls were coming in from. But here’s a bit of a lighter note from the game. Around the time the balls were coming down Josh Anderson’s way, there were also a bunch of “I <3 Hooters” balloons coming down (presumably from the 200′s and thank goodness they didn’t make it onto the field). Anyway, there was a baby near us who kept ending up with these balloons and every time he threw one over the railing (landing harmlessly behind the outfield wall) it seemed something big would happen for the Jays. The kid did this about a dozen times, prompting some of the folks in our section to chant “Lucky Baby”. Sadly, the kid and his parents left after the Anderson incident. Hope he’s got season tickets, though!
    -Andy, Peterborough

    MW: Always good to have a lucky baby!

    - Andy
  15. 15.

    Oh, and another point that got lost in my disdain for animals at baseball games – how about that dive Travis Snider made in the early stages of the game for a foul ball – right into the wall! Who cares if he didn’t get it, karma rewarded him with a long-bomb. Maybe this kid really is more than just a pretty bat.

    - Andy
  16. 16.

    Hey Mike

    Mencherson who?

    Don’t worry about the mic. You pulled it off anyhow. Hey, may be a good work out this year going from field level to the booth for the post game. Heck, Jack or Leo only have to go a few steps to do their open mic sessions after Raptor wins. You got to work for it. Nuf said.

    Anyone notice Vernon tip his hat to Verlander as he stepped into the box for his first at bat? I like that stuff. Vernon is a guy who appreciates the game and the nuances that go with it.

    Only day one, but you can see the “game plan” these guys are following when they are at the plate. In the opening frame, they sat on all Verlander’s breaking stuff and waited for something up in the zone either off speed or fastball. Textbook hitting. Should be fun.

    Finally, it seems the crew chief and Cito were getting impatient that the “announcement” to fans seemed to take a long time. I got the impression; Besston was trying to find the exact wording from Major League Baseball before getting the word out. Can you confirm the reason for the delay?

    Thank Mike

    MW: I’ll see if I can track down Beeston and ask him.

    - Garry
  17. 17.

    Great start to the season! Is it me or have we already seen more out of the DH spot than we did all last year? Hopefully the young pitchers can start the season good as well.

    - Mark
  18. 18.

    I don’t understand how you can cancel a game based on the home team losing because we witnessed at least one group of tiger fans throwing one of those pieces of debris. If they wanted to wind, all the detroit fans could’ve just thrown more crap ?!? That makes no sense, that being said, anyone throwing stuff isn’t a baseball fan and won’t be at most games. Thanks

    MW: That’s the way it works – usually, most of the fans in a stadium are those of the home team. It’s a good point, though. Teams could send undercover fans into road stadia to pick up forfeit wins.

    - Laffinator
  19. 19.

    Mike,

    The action of some fans last night, as you said, was idiotic. It got me thinking. What would happen if the visiting team’s fans began throwing baseballs or other objects onto the field? For example. when the Yankees come to town, there a plethora of their fans in the stands. If Yankee fans did what some Blue Jay fans did last night, could the Jays still forefit?

    MW: See above.

    - Jake Roth
  20. 20.

    Travis Snider batting at 9th? I think it’ll change pretty soon. This guy is the real deal and I am sure after couple of years he’ll be a regular fixture in All-Star games.

    Nothing negative to say about the last night game. Doc was terrific for 6 innings and the hitting was awesome led by Adam Lind. So the obvious question remains, when was the last time a game was forfeited in MLB when the home team was up by 5 with three outs to go? Stupid people, who should be ashamed of themselves.

    MW: That’s not to say that you were looking for something negative to say and just couldn’t find one, right?

    - Beburg
  21. 21.

    Hi Mike, I love your radio show and the blog. I was very excited about the way the young players performed in the opener yesterday. I know the Jays propbably will not contend this year, but I think the benefit in allowing the young position players and pitching to gain experience and mature will prove to be the deal breaker for any future success. After saying this I must say that the Jays must do everything in their power to keep Halladay. His professionalism, character and example example he sets for all the players on this team will be invaluable to the development of ALL the young players, not just the pitchers. As one final question, could Lind be the future 1st baseman of the team, or if they ever were to secure a deal for Wells,(and I know its a long shot) would the outfield consist of Lind-Rios-Snyder (LF-CF-RF. Thank you Mike.

    MW: Lind could be the future first baseman, although they’re hoping that’s David Cooper. I don’t really think they’re trying to deal Wells.

    - Jason
  22. 22.

    Mike,

    Great game and your right it was a great way to start the year.

    I had the show on last night as I was on my way back to Waterloo and I heard guys talking about getting Marco out of the leadoff spot. I agree I am not a huge fan of him there. I like your idea of Overbay in that spot but what about Rios in the leadoff spot? Seems to work for the Cubs with Alfonso. He seems to have become more patient with the coaching of Tenace and Gaston.

    As well we need to get Wells out of the 4th spot. He’s a 3rd or 5th spot hitter.

    Last night was my sixth straight home opener and I have to tell you the past two have been great games filled with stupid fans. But I don’t want that to take away from the greatness that is opening day.

    MW: My right what? Rios is the guy that they’d probably put at the top if Scutaro really struggled, but I like a guy with his power (and lack of on-base) hitting lower. I don’t think Wells is a 3-hitter, the Jays don’t really have one – at least not until Snider moves in there for a good 10 years or so.

    - Jeff
  23. 23.

    Well that sure was the right way to start the season, wasn’t it?

    What do you think of these Rios & Ryan to Boston (for possibly Bay?) rumours Jeff Blair floated out on the Globe yesterday?

    MW: I don’t think there’s much to them.

    - Kevin A.
  24. 24.

    Hi Mike

    It is because of those idiots that I don’t go to the home openers. I am planning on going tonight though, I know it will not be as exciting as last night, but I am hoping for another good game and hopefully a win

    Be Well

    MW: We need some people to go to the second game, glad you’ll be here.

    - Anne
  25. 25.

    Hey Mike. How close was the game being forfeited? Instead, would the Tigers have been allowed to play under protest? Would forfeiting have been the only option. As well, when Lind acme up with the bases loaded, in the 7th or 8th, he already had 5 RBI’s. My friends and I in section 114, brought up the name Roy Howell, he of the 9-RBI game in 1977, but Lind singled and I think that’s the most RBI’s by a Jay on opening. The idiocy aside, a great night all around for Jays fans.

    MW: I’m assuming that if the Tigers had had to be pulled off the field a second time, the game would have been forfeited.

    - Peter
  26. 26.

    Brevin Mencherson! You slay me sir.

    MW: I’m pretty sure it’s not an original.

    - pete
  27. 27.

    thats awesome mike, congratulations on the baby, on another note, i love baseball, and read your blog and the jays website on and offseason. I just wish i could switch my career to something in baseball right now because of how much i love it. I am a ryerson university student in 4th year business school, and hoping maybe, just maybe that i can work with the jays in the future. I love baseball that much!! Anyways cheers, see you and all the real fans there again tonight. 1 game down roughly 70 more for me to go to.

    MW: Here’s hoping – get your MBA, baseball teams love guys with those. The baby is four, by the way, but thanks!

    - paolo
  28. 28.

    Well I lost a bet. I told my friend Mike that your blog today would be called “The kids are alright”. I had The Who in my head for some reason as we watched the opener from our upgraded seasons seats. It was great to see some decent hitting with runners in scoring position again. Let’s hope we stay on the good side of the league average in that category this year.

    Leyland pulling his Tigers off the field was a first for me too, but still not as strange as the night I saw Winfield kill a seagull.

    Mike what I noticed about our lefties in the lineup last night was they were forcing Leyland’s hand to make pitching moves. Yes they happened to be hitting well last night, but it struck me that maybe this year opponents will have to make more pitching moves to deal with our power lefties.

    MW: That may well be – especially since Scott Rolen, who hits between Lind and Overbay so far, hasn’t hit lefties as well as he has righties in recent years.

    - Rez
  29. 29.

    Michael,

    Great opening day. It’s so nice to see the Jays hit like that, especially for Doc. If only we could fill the Dome like that more often, albeit with real fans instead of idiots. Man was it nice to see Lindy and Snider hit last night. Kind of reminded me of a young Carlos Delgado and Shawn Green. looking forward to many more nights like that one.

    P.S. I love the Brevin Mencherson name tag.

    Justin

    - Justin
  30. 30.

    After last year’s opening day(night) game antics in the stands (I actually feared for the safety of myself and nephew) and I hear about some more last night, it is why I had the chance to go last night and didn’t. And after the bad taste the opening night had last year, I never went back again to a game. I love baseball and the Jays, but can’t stand being surrounded by idiot’s who swear profusely, or are either leaving to get another beer or to go the Head or to come back. I would rather enjoy the game in the comfort of my own home. I used to have a share of season tickets near third base but gave them up. When I heard that tonight is dry, I thought, gee maybe I should go. It might be enjoyable, but it is a work week night.

    Loved watching the game though. A great start to a year where the owners have lowered our expectations to the point where the Jays couldn’t possibly under achieve. With all the focus on “we’ll get through the year and be better in 2010″, do they think we will not have any injuries or development issues that could set us back next year? We lost McGowan and Marcum and Hill unexpectedly. Injuries happen and are part of the game. Their scaling back of payroll this year, with hopes that we can go for it next is a tenuous strategy at best. Let’s hope Ricky and Travis and Adam and David P. surprise us and that Brett Cecil and Brad Mills and others start pushing the limits of AAA/AA so that they push others out of jobs as opposed to us pulling them up out of necessity.

    - Laurie
  31. 31.

    Hey Mike, glad to have you and the blog back on a daily basis!

    In regards to last night’s 8th inning incident, I have a couple of questions:

    First- how quickly can the folks at the Rogers Centre determine who’s been throwing what on the field? It occurred to me during the delay that it would be ridiculous to have the Jays forfeit a game they were leading 12-5. This, in turn, got me suspicious- if you were a Tigers fan, what would stop you from throwing all manner of crap onto the fields in the hopes of prompting a forfeit?

    Second- what took them so long to make the announcement to the crowd? I was seated down the third-base line, and I didn’t see any of the balls that nearly hit Anderson. All I knew is, suddenly they were all running off the field. Now, while I assumed it had something to do with thrown objects, I didn’t know for sure, and the fact that there was no announcement made me wonder what was really going on? Do you know what took so long?

    MW: See above – for both, actually.

    - Tony
  32. 32.

    Cito made the call on Halladay even though he hadn’t gone beyond 6 innings in spring training. Barring injuries he’ll be there for the team. Great example. Great work ethic. Fabulous concentration.Let’s hope it’s not the beer that draws the big crowds. Gene Tenace deserves a lot of credit for the improved hitting since he arrived last year.

    - Jim
  33. 33.

    Hi Mike,

    Great game last night. A few friends and I were in Section 113D and had a blast. Just like most we enjoyed some ICE-COLD beer and got on Magglio Ordonez the whole game. He played terrible and we felt great. I have mixed feelings about how the media is treating the fan reaction last night. Put things into perspective: throwing baseballs on the field is unsafe. Done. No more criticism. Who cares if Jays fans got out of hand and the game had to be stopped? You call them idiots, well those idiots were more pumped last night than I have seen since opening day last year. And the media wants to curb this enthusiasm? You dont want people to come back to the games? You dont want fans to support the team? Be careful how far you, and others with a media outlet, take your criticism and judgement of the fans. Remember, we dont have to come back, and then we can hear you on the radio calling attendance stats of 11878.

    Thanks,

    Mike in Pickering

    MW: Who cares if Jays fans got out of hand and the game had to be stopped? Seriously?

    - Mike
  34. 34.

    Welcome back, Monsieur Wilner. It’s great to have you, and baseball, back in the saddle. Looking forward to 161 more. Playoffs!

    MW: Thanks.

    - eyebleaf
  35. 35.

    Good morning Mike,
    Wanted too take the time too thank-you for allowing me so much time last night on the show. (I was the last caller)
    In the future I will try too get my questions or points across a little faster.
    Hope your daughter had a great birthday!
    Last season I mentioned it would be really cool if you could do your pre-game week-end show from the Lonestar on Front St. I was able too make contact with two people in the managment position, I feel that they were listening but not real receptive. It is possible they were not taking me seriously?
    They said someone from there PR department would be in contact with the FAN. I thing that was just there way of trying too end the conversation.
    Again I did appreciate the chance last night too express my concerns about the Jay’s pitching. In the future I will try too be more respectful of the other callers. Dan

    - dan harrison
  36. 36.

    Phenomenal start to the season. And they laughed at me for drafting Snider in the 3rd last round of me draft… I wish I was as optimistic about the rotation but I’m hopeful that at least one of the four or five guys expected to round out the bottom two slots through the course of the year (Richmond, Romero, Mills, Janssen et al.) will round into a reliable source of innings and outs.

    I was sitting in the very top row of the 500′s so I had a birds-eye view of all the morons up there. I see nothing wrong with enjoying yourself at a ball game. But if your enjoyment stems from ruining the experience for 48,000 other people and jeopardizing the outcome of the game you’re about eleven eggs short of a dozen upstairs. Grow up people.

    MW: You should talk to Mike in Pickering.

    - KP
  37. 37.

    is it just me or did vernon open up his stance. He didnt have his front foot turned in like i have seen in the past. I dunno i cant remember ever seeing his stance that open.

    MW: I noticed that he didn’t do as severe a front-foot tap as he had in the past.

    - josh
  38. 38.

    Adam Lind on pace for 972 rbi this year and Snider could be an incredible force if he continues to develop.

    I’m resigned to “just enjoying baseball” this year with a “wait til next year” (or 2011) in mind.

    Case in point was opening night; lots of runs, suspect defense (that will change) up and down pitching (rare for Doc) and a WIN.

    -hoping for more of the same as often as possible this year. Go Jays.

    MW: Up and down pitching? I didn’t see any of that. I saw one bad inning. And enjoying baseball isn’t such a bad thing to which to resign yourself.

    - Gary
  39. 39.

    hi mike,

    That was a great game and a great start for the team I’m hoping for them not to slack off now though. With Ricky Romero their 4th string pitcher what do you think he will do? will he get 10 wins? or will he just be someone who is filling a spot and the only real reason he’s up here is that we don’t have anyone else to fill that spot. I was also wondering what types of pitches he throws. Thanks for a great jays talk last night. Have a good one.

    MW: I doubt Romero will get ten wins, because I don’t think he’ll stick around in the big leagues all year. He could probably still use a little development time in AAA, and he’ll likely get it, but I’m very interested to see how he does.

    - Jason
  40. 40.

    I decided to stay home this year for the home opener, breaking a streak of 10+ years because of the “idiots” that were all around us last year. I knew it would happen again, and sadly I was proven right. My suggestion to the front office is to raise prices for opening day – clearly the yahoos are predominantly in the cheap seats. Raise prices, and the opportunity for said idiots to flourish will be diminished. And no, for the record I’m not some old blue-haired crank. I’m young, but decidedly more sensible than the liberally lubricated minority.

    MW: I think the solution is more security and bigger security.

    - Rob
  41. 41.

    Hey Mike. I totally agree with your opinion on Andy Frost, however I’m not sure what you ment when you described him as being a “rockstar” in Toronto. I love how the fans got behind the Jays and cheered them on for the opener. I wish the fans could be like that for all our 81 games. It sertainly annoyed me though when they had to stop in the 8th because you wouldn’t see that at a hockey game out here! It makes Canadians look like foolish baseball fans when that happens. Please tell me its not just Canadians. I hear Philly fans can be pretty nasty in all their major sports teams games! Do you remember Domi fighting a fan in the penalty box or Santa getting pelted with snow balls at what I believe was an Eagles game?

    MW: I didn’t say that Frost is a “rockstar”, I said that he’s a rock’n'roll legend, which he is.

    - Matt from BC
  42. 42.

    Mike,

    Great win last night and I especially appreciated the fact that all the scoring in the first inning came after two outs. I’m excited about this team because if nothing else, they’re going to be fun to watch. I’m all for letting some of those young guys we’ve been hearing about getting a chance to show whether they belong in the bigs.

    I thought your comment about putting Overbay in the lead-off spot was a revelation. The more I thought about it the more I liked it. His lack of speed would be a bit of a problem but if he can get back to his old form, all those extra base hits can help make up for it. Also ensures that at least one time up a game he can’t hit into a double play.

    - Rob Theriault
  43. 43.

    Hey mike I noticed in your last blog you thought the jays could finish 3rd in the division. Are you putting them ahead of New York or Tampa? Also I was just curious as to why you think Tampa will fall off so much this year. I wont be surprised if they do, you see that with a lot of teams that played for a championship the year before (like the tigers after their World Series appearance). Despite the fact that not much is expected this year of this team it is always fun to see young guys develop into big league players, winning or not.

    MW: I expect that Tampa Bay will finish fourth. I think a great many things went right for them last year, and I don’t expect that to happen again. It’s not unusual to see a dip from a team that came out of nowhere the year before, as you said, especially one that won as many one-run games as the Rays did.

    - KJD
  44. 44.

    Mike, do you think the Jays will skip some of the rookie starters when they have an off day in order send Halladay, Litsch and maybe Purcey to the hill more often?

    MW: You can only skip one guy, but the answer to that is a definite maybe.

    - Kyle
  45. 45.

    Eh…I don’t know if the game was all that close to being forfeited in the eighth. I think it was more sabre rattling than anything else. A forfeit would be an absolute last case scenario, something the officials would definitely not want.

    Btw, in a forfeit, what happens to stats? I know the game becomes officially 9-0 for the “winners”, but does anything count?

    MW: I don’t think any stats count in a forfeit, but I could be wrong. A forfeit is definitely a last resort, but if they can’t get the fans under control, that’s what would happen.

    - Flaming Moe
  46. 46.

    From before: In the words of your colleague Jerry Howarth “You just don’t trade away a 14 game winner for that.”

    He said it in a game that was on the fan on Saturday March 28th. It’s not a direct quote but something along those lines… I have MLBtv, and can go on the net if you don’t believe me…

    I just remember hearing it and saying “Thank You.”

    Matt Joyce is closer to being Adam Lind than Travis Snider, and I would have traded Lind for Edwin Jackson in a heartbeat.. Which I’m not implying Tampa would have traded him within the division…

    Based on how Tampa had no options left for Hammel and Nieman, it makes sense that they would trade starting pitchers at a discount..

    I just don’t think Edwin is one of the guys you trade at a discount..

    MW: We shall see if he proves you right. Jackson certainly has the pedigree, and was a tremendous prospect once upon a time, but now he’s been traded twice, so you kind of wonder why.

    - Stevie H.
  47. 47.

    Mike
    Great game and more to come
    I think the offence will perform like 2006
    I have a better reason why the Jays didn’t sign Derek Lowe…He wears number 32 :-)

    - Richard from AR
  48. 48.

    Hi Mike,
    How is it fair that the home team should lose the game if some idiots in the stands are throwing things on the field? In Baltimore, when the Orials play the Redsox, it is not uncommon (or so I have heard) for there to be about ninety percent Redsox fans in the stands. Does this mean that they could all throw garbage on the field and win the game be default for the Redsox? And could you imagine if a playoff spot was decided because of something like this? If you ask me, when this sort of thing happens, the stadium should be cleared of fans and the rest of the game can continue without an audience. It isn’t a perfect solution, but I’m sure fans would rather be sent home than have their team lose by default. What do you think? And sorry for rambling.

    MW: That was hardly rambling. I wouldn’t mind the stadium being emptied and the game finished, but it should never come to that.

    - Tyler
  49. 49.

    michael,
    electric last night. absolutely electric.
    and it’s all the little things that caught my eye last night to be honest. the obvious stuff, that’s easy to see. the at bats of lind, snider, wells, rios, pitching of halladay etc..
    but how about the cross body throw out hill makes in the 2nd. beautiful. snider almost breaking his neck going for a foul ball in the 1st inning or 2nd inning of the 1st game of the yr. gives you a pretty good idea what he’s all about right there. scutaro’s unbelievable heads up play on the short fly tag up to score a run. the outstanding snag(s) rios & wells made at the wall last night to help preserve halladay’s outing.
    and the other 2 things that caught my eye last night…. the players giving an obvious heartfelt salute of respect to ted during that mid innings ceremony. very very genuine it seemed.
    but the best one i thought was standing down on the 1st level and seeing all these very elderly ladies (i’m talkin’ 80-85-90+-yr old woman) in wheelchairs & walkers being helped to the railings & seats to watch their beloved team start the season. no tv or radio for them last night. had to be down there.
    off the radar screen love of the game there no doubt about it…
    btw michael, i had the home team losing the opener 5-4 to verlander, so my prediction from yesterday is now changed to 110 wins.
    and lind & snider’s combined slugging % is at 2900 i think.
    that’s pretty good isn’t it?

    - darrell bishop
  50. 50.

    Hi Mike,
    Great to have baseball back.Looking at the Jays our hitting can’t help but be better than last year,when you consider we traded Mench and his buddies for Lind, Snider,Millar and Bautista.So we are better both offensively and defensively .We are stronger from both sides of the plate and we are better insulated in case of injury.Personally I think Rolen is going to have a great year and hopefully Overbay gathers the confidence he has lost over the the last couple of years.Which leaves us to our pitching.They are young but talented so consisteny might elude them but if they keep their confidence I think they will be ok.Will we win the pennant I don”t know but Tampa
    did so go Jays.

    - mario
  51. 51.

    Travis Snider reminds me of Olerud the way he seems to swing so effortlessly with big results. The way he took that low and outside pitch into the opposite field bullpen last night indicated to me that this guy is a natural hitter.
    On another note, didn’t you feel an immediate pain in your stomach last night when Doc that liner off the foot?

    MW: Nope, I didn’t. Just his foot, no problem. I think Snider has much more power than Olerud did.

    - Mike Mississauga
  52. 52.

    hey mike,
    although the electricity in the crowd was great last night, i found myself being thankful it’s only like this on opening day. walking to the beer stand and waiting in line costed me 1.5 innings. yahoos throwing stuff and holding up the game sobered me up and made me spend the final out in the mens room.
    at least tonight i’ll have the entire section 525 to myself.
    how about tallet’s moustache?
    playoffs!!!

    MW: I asked Tallet if there was a story behind the ‘stache and he said no, he just likes the look of it. One can sense that it has some power, though.

    - Diego
  53. 53.

    What an awesome game, I am not gonna start planning any parades or hand Adam Lind the MVP trophy but I trully believe this team will contend this year, I think some of the veterans have too much pride to let last year happen again. 2 things I really dont understand is the negative callers to start the program and the classless people that almost lost this game for the Jays. Good thing those people only show up to opening day because it would be a shame to have those type of people at multiple games throughout the year. Now enough about the jerks at the game, Mike I was listening to the pre-game and was disapointed I wasnt able to make the game because just hearing it all gave me goosebumps and I cant wait to get to my first game tomorrow night. Was a real pleasure getting to hear the show again and of course getting to read the post game blog. Heres to hoping that the boys give your daughter a very happy birthday present with another great victory. Go Jays

    MW: She’ll be asleep.

    - Chris
  54. 54.

    Great start! The thing I noticed most was the aggressiveness at the plate. Perhaps this was the product of juicy pitches, but it was interesting to watch them swinging so freely.
    What will most likely go unnoticed is the bullpen. We are truly spoiled, especially when you look at the type of guys Detroit put out there after Verlander. The Jays bullpen didn’t dominate but they got the job done as they always seem to do. The Tigers clearly had some momentum going into the 8th, but the pen came through again.
    Interested to see how the next 4 games go. I believe these early starts can have a significant impact on the young starter’s seasons.

    Great job as always Mike!

    MW: I thought the Jays’ bullpen did dominate. They gave up two hits without a walk over two innings, and the two hits were ground balls.

    - Rob H.
  55. 55.

    Hey Mike – is there any chance of getting JaysTalk in Podcast form?

    MW: I don’t think so.

    - MP
  56. 56.

    Mike,
    I was up in the 500′s- It is a shame that so many people don’t enjoy baseball for the beautiful game it is and need to ruin the experience for others.
    That being said, was there ever any doubt that play would resume? I never had any doubts that it was just a warning and they would not call the game- is that what indeed took place?
    Thanks

    MW: I had no doubt that play would resume, but I did worry that it might have to be stopped again.

    - Eli
  57. 57.

    Hi Mike,

    I was excited and sickened by what I saw last night. First of all the Jays played a great game. I really think the Gaston/Tenace approach to hitting will be great for the Jays over a full season. My concern is with Scutaro leading off. Are there not any other options? He just is not that good. I would rather have Overbay in the two spot and Hill up top. Then Snyder will be able to move up into the 7 spot as well.

    I was also absolutely sickened by the actions of the fans during this game. This seems to be the case anytime there is a big Blue Jays event in the last few years. The toonie tuesday event is no longer possible because of the idiotic behaviour. Opening night has been fiascal the last few years as well. Is there no way to minimize this behaviour without simply banning alcohol?

    Thanks for your work Mike, I enjoy your blog.

    MW: Fiascal? I like it! It’s Snider, by the way, hopefully everyone will learn that shortly – it’s not just you. Hill’s career OBP is only eight points higher than Scutaro’s, and it’s eight points worse than what Scoot’s OBP was last year, so I’m not sure why you think he’s so much a better choice to lead off.

    - Andrew Clark
  58. 58.

    Hey Mike,

    That was a great start to the season and many people won’t question the lineup after 12 runs last night but I’m curious if anyone (media, etc.) has raised the point to Cito that Scutaro (likely the worst or 2nd worst OPS hitter) batting leadoff will get 100-150 ABs (depending on how much he plays) over the course of the season more than the #9 hitter, which to start the season is Snider?
    Any idea what the lineup will look like with Johnny Mac playing SS instead of Scutaro?

    MW: We’ve tried to figure that out a few times in this very space.

    - Joachim Tsui
  59. 59.

    Appreciated your insight into the “paper airplane” throwing, which I wasn’t aware of. And completely agree with you about fans throwing stuff onto the field, that’s unacceptable.

    Good showing from the offense, let’s see if they can keep that up.

    Got a chuckle out of the Sporsnet guys mentioning Nate Robertson was peeved about coming out of the bullpen- dude had a 6.35 ERA last year, only reason he’s still on a major league roster is because the Tigers had a putrid bullpen (and maybe his contract, though I don’t recall the numbers offhand).

    MW: Probably the contract – he’s still owed $17 million for this year and next.

    - DaveC
  60. 60.

    Brevin Mencherson – I like that.

    Good job not pulling any punches when describing the idiots in the stands – no excuse for that. I would hope that if a real fan saw that happening they would notify security.

    Maybe nerves got to you before the interview with Linda? I mean 48,000+ fans looking at you – could be unnerving. Seriously, I liked the interview and I hope they do more of those throughout the season.

    Happy birthday to your daughter!

    MW: I was a little nervous on my way down the stairs, but once I got down there it was no problem, I just didn’t know the microphone had an on switch!

    - Wayne in Scarborough
  61. 61.

    Hi Mike,

    good game by Lind. I wasn’t sure what to expect from him this year, but it’s a good start.
    Do you know if the Jays are planning on giving him a few games at first this year? Give Overbay a bit of time off and see if he can handle himself there? Is it a good idea? I know Overbay is quite slick with the glove.

    Thanks!

    MW: There are no plans to use Adam Lind at first base this year at this time.

    - Rory
  62. 62.

    So, the game’s not televised, I have to flip the radio dial, AND no JaysTalk. Talk about early season disappointment.

    Too bad about the idiots. Do you think the rowdiness would be toned down if the Jays started on the road, meaning the home opener would not be on opening day? I realize this can’t be done every year, but I wonder if MLB might want to do it for the next couple. It might have little to no impact anyway, but just a thought.

    Fan Depriciation Day aside, what a game! You gotta love seeing that offense, especially after the last two years. I know it was only one game, but still.

    I think, unfortunately, Adam Lind may fall slightly off his 972 RBI pace. See that? I mathed.

    One more thing, I like the “Captain” nickname, but after recently seeing some A-Team episodes, I’m going to have to go with B.A. Barajas (“I ain’t gettin’ on no plane, Cito!) I guess you’re not allowed to wear 40 lbs. of gold necklaces in baseball, though.

    P.S. Happy birthday!

    MW: I certainly don’t mind B.A. Barajas. I don’t think that whether the home opener happens on Opening Day or not would matter one whit.

    - Dilly in Dundas (not the street)
  63. 63.

    Hi Mike.
    When was the last time we had a player leading the AL in R’s BI?

    MW: R’s BI? I hate when people say that. It’s RBIs. An RBI is its own thing, it’s not an R.B.I., even though it’s an abbreviation.

    - gerry
  64. 64.

    A great game, what I caught of it. Honestly, there is great reason for optimism, in spite of the pitching’s lack of experience. I know this has all been said before, but, perhaps a snowball can build into some positive love for this team in an exciting couple of years ahead.

    Of course, a loss tomorrow can kill a lot of joy.

    Not enough to make me drop my Nationals and pick up the Jays, but at least its fun to watch!

    - Ron E
  65. 65.

    I see that David Cooper is starting the year in AA, didn’t Travis Snider start the year last year in A. So my question is will he do the same thing that Snider did last year.

    MW: Cooper is a college guy, Snider was drafted out of high school, that’s why he’s in AA. And Snider is a special hitter.

    - Jason
  66. 66.

    MW: You can’t have a contender every year, it just doesn’t work that way

    Say what !!

    Atlanta won their division every season from 1991 to 2004.

    The Yankees made the playoffs every season from 1995 to 2008.

    The Toronto Blue Jays missed the playoffs every season from 1994 to 2008, and flushed with that success have decided to devote 2009 to re-building. Tough to rebuild when you haven’t built in the first place, but hey, it does sound a little better.

    MW: Before the Braves made that run, they finished last or second-last in the NL East six years in a row, never winning more than 72 games in a season. From 1987-1992, a run of six seasons, the Yankees finished 4th or worse in the AL East. The Blue Jays were a factor in a divisional race every year from 1983-1993.

    - Ken
  67. 67.

    Hey Mike, it was a good start to the season last night. I actually felt that the security and drunken fights were improved from last year, still not great, but improved. I liked how the jays did a lot of 2 out hitting and scoring last night, and w/ RISP. In terms of the lineup, I think Scutaro is the best option right now for leadoff and Hill is born to be a #2 hitter, and second baseman.

    - Jeremy
  68. 68.

    hi mike,great story about super G!!thanks. i was watching the the home opener at “home”.there are 90% ball fans at the first game,but the 10% who use the fans as their personal toilet and make it dangerous on the field and off,make me stay away.i went to the can/us game and listened to you and paul make the game an unforgetable experience! thanks again. stan

    MW: My pleasure.

    - Stanley Skawinski
  69. 69.

    Sounded like a great way to start the season. Lind and Snider having big April’s will do alot for their confidence and hopefully they carry that throughout the season.

    Should be another good one tonight. Jackson seemed to give the Jays fits last year.

    I tuned in the bottom of the first and heard the Lind hit. Hitting with runners in scoring position, with 2 outs no less. That’s a nice change of pace.

    CC got hit around a bit in Baltimore. I remember that he wasn’t all that great to start the year and only picked it up when in the NL last season.

    Well, let’s see how the 1st of the young arms perform tonight. This is going to be an interesting season. Should be lots of fun.

    - Aaron Ker
  70. 70.

    What is it about opening day! I woke up giddy and got more so all day until my girlfriend finally said “go ahead and take the night off to watch the game”!( I’m self employeed) I thouroughly enjoyed the game, except for the moron exhibition. I am prepared for a season of growth and waiting for the young arms to develop because I believe this team will be very competitive come 2010 when Markum and McGowan join the team again. I too was in a bit of shock when the first two callers delivered pessimism but then again I listened enough last year that it’s hard to be surprised anymore. Is there any chance of getting a promo like the “Alarm Force” trivia going again this year? I missed that last season. I must also apologize for asking “how are you” last night. I don’t usually do that but then again I haven’t talked to you since last fall.
    For most of my life Mike, I have either went to opening day with my Dad or watched the game with him. He is now 81 years old and up until about 1 month ago his alzheimers was so bad he didn’t know who I was for a while. Now he is in a senniors complex. Last night I went and watched about half the game with him. Lately he has been very good and he asked me where “Pudge” was when he noticed his absence from behind the plate. What a strange disease. I am looking forward to watching and listening to many games with my Dad this season and I will be conversing with you often. ( I will keep my usual responses shorter than this)

    MW: I’m glad you and your Dad enjoyed the game, and I wish him luck.

    - Dan from Elmvale
  71. 71.

    It shouldn’t matter whether a pitcher throws with his right or left hand but I think every strong rotation should have a good lefty and I am a big fan of David Purcey. It may have taken him a little longer to get here then McGowan but he is more ready then McGowan was. His walk rate was high last year but not embarassing or as high as McGowans was when he came in the league. I think Purcey will become a very good pitcher and we will see significant improvement this season. I see a walk rate of about 2 1/2 to 3 per 9 innings and an ERA of 4.00 – 4.50 which would be improvements from last season. What do you think Purcey will do in this particular season and what quality of pitcher do you think he will become. Because he took a little longer to get here, I’m hoping we don’t see the dreaded sophmore jinx.

    MW: I’m not sure what to think of Purcey’s chances this year. He had some tremendously impressive games last season, and certainly has started off this season brilliantly, but I don’t think he’s a legit 3 on a good team. Not yet.

    - Domenick
  72. 72.

    1 more michael sorry.
    did you happen to hear the prime time host yesterday go on & on thru his entire show it seemed on how excited he seemed to be on the potential this yr’s. team to surprise everybody.
    he was praising cito, his staff. the young hitters, expecting bounce back yrs. from either/or both overbay & rolen, the wait & see attitude he has for the young pitchers.
    i swear to god michael when i first tuned in i honestly thought it was a put on. no lie.
    it was weird i tell you.
    didn’t hear the whole thing incl. his chat with alan a. but i’m pretty sure he was going to speak glowingly of j.p. as well. that’s just the way it seemed to be going.
    bob mccown speaking of the jays like that…. crazy….

    MW: I didn’t hear any of it, but I would have enjoyed it.

    - darrell bishop
  73. 73.

    Hey Mike
    I was at opening night and it was a great time and yes other than the morons who threw stuff on the field it was awesome. Great to see Lind and Snider have great games. On to my question if the Jays starting rotation can go a minimum 5 to 6 innings and let the bullpen take over do you think they have a chance to at least compete for the wild card?

    MW: I think that the Jays will be able to get five or six out of their starters most nights, I just don’t know how good the five or six will be. It’ll take a lot for them to compete for the wild card.

    - Royce
  74. 74.

    Great performance by the Jay’s offense. Jamie Campbell mentioned that Lind had added 30 lbs. in the off-season. Does anybody know anything about this? It was news to me. He sure had a great game though. And Snider continues to drive the ball impressively.

    Not sure what to make of Halladay. Only two K’s in 7 IP and 2 gopher balls is more than a little disconcerting. In the first six innings the Tigers put 18 balls in play with only 2 hits. That’s a .111 BABIP when .300 is about normal, so he was clearly rather fortunate in the first six innings. Then all hell broke loose in the 7th. I find it difficult to think he was tired after throwing less than 80 pitches in the first six innings. It’s a good thing the Jays were leading 9-1 instead of 4-1 heading into the 7th, so the meltdown kind of gets over-looked for now.

    Anyways I expect that Halladay will figure it out. He always does. And the hitting was nice to see last night.

    MW: I wouldn’t worry about Halladay. Lind doesn’t look as though he’s added 30 pounds to me.

    - Ken
  75. 75.

    Great game. I’m hoping this year is a repeat of 2003 (I think), when the Jays surprised everyone by a decent season under Tosca and leading the division for a while. Finger’s crossed.

    I stopped going to home openers a few years back after the magnet-tossing incident, and because people being idiots has become an annual event. It’s a shame that there are too many people who turn out once per year, get hammered, and then get nasty. They don’t have the intelligence to follow the game past the 5th inning, and all in all it makes Torontonians look stupid. Rogers Centre needs to get a grip on it, though, as it’s not going to stop just because people moan about it. Stamp it out now – start prosecuting some people. At least there weren’t any streakers – thank heavens for small (literally) mercies.

    MW: I’m all for throwing the book at as many people as possible, but I’d also like to see tougher security for such games. And by the way, how does one cross one finger?

    - Ben Assynt
  76. 76.

    In previous seasons when hopes were much higher than this year the Blue Jays have struggled to get to .500 by the end of the first month. Often the Jays downfall was an early schedule loaded with games against the Yankees and Red Sox.

    Looking at the schedule this year the Blue Jays only play nine games against their chief rivals (you have to include the Rays now) until June 27th. For the remainder of the season they play these three teams 42 times.

    Maybe the tilted schedule will give the Blue Jays a chance for a better record earlier in the season and maybe the confidence to withstand the heavy back ended schedule.

    Thoughts/Comments?

    MW: I seem to remember the Jays playing the Red Sox and Yankees pretty even early in the season the last few years, but spitting the bit against teams they were “supposed to beat”. I’m wary of looking at the schedule to try to determine what should or shouldn’t be an easy stretch.

    - Scott
  77. 77.

    Hi Mike I was trying to get in last night but made it home before I got on. What I was wanting to say and this has nothing to do with last nights game because I told a few people a week ago and I would expect the Jays to win the opener anyway. I think the Jays will contend this season because no one expects them too. Cito will finally get recognition as Manager of the year(should have won before). I agree with you that the Rays will be last years Detroit.

    Is Adam Lind still classified as a rookie? In the 5 spot he would have a good chance at ROY award. Snider may have something to say about that though!

    Go Jays Go!!

    MW: Lind has WAY too much big-league time to be a rookie.

    - Shane
  78. 78.

    Mike

    What a game. Your predictions on the apparent rumour of Alex Rios + BJ Ryan to Red Sox for Jason bay + Prospect

    Good for Jays?

    We do shed a ton of salary

    MW: Not good for Jays, though it depends on who the prospect is.

    - Tarun Joseph from newmarket
  79. 79.

    Hey Mike,

    It’s great to have (real)baseball back, and I’m pretty darn excited for the season. As much fun as it is to see Halladay mow down hitters, I’m looking forward to seeing Purcey and Romero just as much. Having Snidey and Lind out there helps too.

    Anyways, I hope to once again be a regular around these parts, and look forward to some fun spirited bickering back and forth. I’m going to do my best to be a bit more pleasant than I was last year.

    The only damper on last night, aside from the few fans, was that John Brattain wasn’t able to experience another opening day.

    MW: Indeed, and not just him. Lots of good baseball fans were lost over the winter, including George Macri, who was a Jays clubhouse attendant and one of my favourites.

    - Dan W
  80. 80.

    Mike,
    Who sang the songs used in the opener videos? songs I’m talking about are the…
    “Time for a Summertime…”
    and “What a feelin’”.
    Thought you’d might know.
    Thanks
    SG

    MW: I didn’t even hear the songs.

    - Steve
  81. 81.

    Mike, I just listened to the wrap up again. The last guy was clearly rattled and nervous but I feel he had a good point.

    He felt that ownership had let the fans down and asked why the Jays didn’t persue a veteran arm. Your answer was they didn’t have the money (budget +/- 80M was set). They only didn’t have the money because that’s the number they picked.

    What he was asking is why they couldn’t have left payroll alone and signed a significant #2 for +/-15M.

    Wouldn’t that have made the Jays a wildcard contender in your estimation? Even if it was possible to only sign someone for a year or two max, there are still 3 open spots to develop the young guns (Jesse Litsch can be included in that mix).

    I think it’s a fair question, one that can’t be answered with “wouldn’t you sooner see the kids develop” because the two scenarios are not mutually exclusive. Both can happen with this veteran-thin staff.

    The real answer is profit, not payroll. The Jays aren’t willing to have a 100M payroll this year with the revenues they generate.

    They’re quietly saying that we will try and be competitive but we aren’t likely to really compete so we’ve lowered payroll, commensurate with expectations and revenue projections. But wait until NEXT year.

    There’s nothing inherently wrong with that if it was more clearly communicated; it’s just honesty.

    MW: You’re right – ownership is the determinor of payroll, and if it was interested in spending more, the payroll would be higher. There’s nothing wrong with ownership wanting to make money, or at least not lose money, and Rogers is definitely accountable to its board and shareholders in that regard. Still, why spend big money on an aging Derek Lowe, who likely won’t be worth his ticket the last two years of the deal? And I would rather see the kids get a chance than see a mediocre veteran like a Paul Byrd signed.

    - Gary
  82. 82.

    well i think we have a new strategy for winning road games…get a group of bluejay fans to travel with the team…give them a bunch of baseballs…if the jays are losing late in the game, let the fans fire away onto the field

    - jp
  83. 83.

    Hey again Mike,

    How rude of me, i forgot to wish your Daughter Gillian a happy birthday.

    MW: She was quite offended.

    - Sean Lafortune
  84. 84.

    Brevin Mencherson?

    MW: Really?

    - who?
  85. 85.

    I don’t really like Hill batting second. He certainly appears to be a 2-spot type hitter, physically, but after that I don’t see much use for him in that spot. Don’t get me wrong, I believe Aaron Hill possesses oodles of potential, potential that will likely be realized sooner than laetr. I just feel he continues to offer at too many pitches outside of the zone. I understand his OBP is nothing to scoff at, a stat. which may render my point a moot one, however I feel such a free-swinger would be more suitable nearly anywhere else (3-9) in the lineup.

    MW: His career .333 OBP certainly does anything but make your point moot, but I think he can develop into the kind of hitter who can succeed in that spot in the order and, in fact, flourish. And what better time to see if he can do it than this year?

    - Jamie
  86. 86.

    Mike…Where do the Mets “hide” Gary Sheffield defensively? Or was he picked up to be a bit player and hit # 500 in the Big Apple?

    P.S….Nice birthing story, Mike…My wife was in labour for about 12 hours when our daughter was born..Went home got 2 hours sleep, let her rest, woke up and watched Matt Dunigan lead the Argos (with a busted collar bone/shoulder) over the Stampeders in the ’91 Grey Cup and then back to the hospital…Couldn’t convince her to name a girl, Matt though!

    MW: I don’t blame her. I think Sheffield will platoon with Ryan Church in right.

    - chris m.
  87. 87.

    Lind is on pace for 972 RBI’s…the hitting display was impressive last night and good ol’ Doc…gettin’ it done…he looked a wee bit irritated after the 7th…talk about intense. Great start…good times..go Jays!!!!

    - DJJAY
  88. 88.

    mike how long do you think snider be batting 9th if he hits well.

    And is it safe to say lind will finish the year, batting .800, 162 home runs and over 1000 rbis

    MW: Not too long. And I think you’re probably bang-on about Lind.

    - John terry
  89. 89.

    Hey Mike
    I really liked your idea of having Overbay bat lead off.
    Now i have a couple of quick questions.
    Wouldn’t you want the number 2 hitter to be a lefty? That way he can pull the ball though the hole left by the first baseman who is holding on the runner.
    When Snider moves up in the line up he will probably bat 5. Now where would that put Lind?
    Thanks alot

    MW: I don’t care which way my number two hitter bats, as long as he gets on base. I do think Snider eventually moves up to the five spot, and I don’t know where Lind goes. It depends on how his season goes.

    - Paul
  90. 90.

    Mike:

    Watching the game right now and I am already sick of this hitting philosophy. They are not working the count, instead they are first ball swinging and making Edwin Jackson look like Roy Halladay. Just can’t take it.

    - Jim B
  91. 91.

    M-Dub,
    Emilio Bonifacio!
    who the hell is this guy?
    also,
    Nolasco and Johnson gonna be the top dynamic duo in the majors this year???
    I think id take them (and the money) over CC & AJ!

    MW: Bonifacio is a reasonable hitter who has had two pretty good games in a row. Nolasco and Johnson are very good, and not yet eligible for free agency.

    - slobberface
  92. 92.

    I haven’t been to many baseball games in my lifetime but almost everyone I went to had some level of discomfort due to people consuming too much alcohol and the aggression and profanity that comes from many such fans who had too much.

    Maybe I’m so used to the radio/T.V. combo but I really have no interest at all in even attending a game in person anymore. There’s no fun in spending good money to watch people get drunk curse, maybe fight or use any freestanding object as a bathroom, especially with a young family.

    MW: It’s a shame because it’s true. But it doesn’t happen the majority of the time.

    - Rob M
  93. 93.

    Mike….Is it always alcohol to blame for all the nonsense at games? You go to movies and people talk rudely throughout the film or mischievous kids/teenagers toss popcorn and I don’t think they’re drunk?…I wasn’t at opening day this year, but have attended many, and it’s not always the intoxicated ones causing the problems. The paper airplanes are usually tossed by younger fans. And it puzzles me that a visiting home run ball that’s thrown back is an “old time baseball ritual.” But it still is technically throwing an object on the field, like octupus during Detroit playoffs or hats on the ice when someone scores 3 goals.

    MW: Yes, but it’s expected and happens right after the home run, while the hitter is circling the bases, and no one is caught off-guard. And yes, I believe that the over-the-top rowdiness is mostly alcohol-fueled.

    - chris m.
  94. 94.

    Mr. Wilner,
    I was at the game last night up in the 500s with my family. Initially great atmosphere then drunks who got kicked out from the 200s decided to come and pick up seats in the 500s and got annoying. Definitely agree with your comments last night: increased security is a must, as is increased toughness by that security. You’re an idiot, your out. Don’t let people sit in seats that aren’t theirs. Etc. etc.
    As usual with opening day it was a great crowd though overall. One thing I read about that has been popular around professional sports has been stadiums providing a number fans can text if they have a problem. This may be a solution to the problem that a previous commenter had (polite people not standing up). I definitely think the Jays should investigate seeing as they are owned by a Telecommunications company.

    MW: Yep, nothing wrong with a tattle-line.

    - Josh
  95. 95.

    Mike, I was warming up to your idea of leading off Overbay but then I saw his splits against LHP and…yuck. At least Scutaro is consistent on both sides and would get some speed in front of the RBI guys. I’d rather go with Aaron Hill actually because I just don’t see Scutaro sustaining over a full season.

    Also, Matt Joyce hit 40 HR total last year? I see 25.

    MW: I didn’t say Overbay should lead off against lefties. But why would the fact that he can’t hit lefties mean you’d want to lead off Scutaro over him against righties? I already corrected the Joyce thing.

    - Willie_Canate
  96. 96.

    I loved your Brevin Mencherson. In return I offer you…Shank Thomwart !

    I can’t bring myself to play with Matt Stairs name because he coaches hockey in the offseason.

    Seems like a long time ago that we were all talking about the Big Hurt’s slow starts and what it would mean to our offence. It’s really nice to see the power coming out despite the small sample size.

    MW: Very small sample size.

    - Rez
  97. 97.

    Mike,

    I thought of a solution to the “undercover fan” forefit possibility. Rather than awarding the game to the visiting team, I believe that, if the situation gets out of control, all fans should be ejected from the stadium. Yes, it’s very unfair to the majority of them that behave. But, it’s a better option than a forefit, which could be the difference between making or missing the postseason.

    MW: See above.

    - Jake Roth
  98. 98.

    Mike:

    Here is the Forfeit Scoring Rule 10.03 (e) (2):

    If a regulation game is forfeited, the official scorer shall include the record of all individual and team actions up to the time of forfeit. If the winning team by forfeit is ahead at the time of forfeit, the official scorer shall enter as winning and losing pitchers the players who would have qualified as the winning and losing pitchers if the game had been called at the time of forfeit. If the winning team by forfeit is behind or if the score is tied at the time of forfeit, the official scorer shall not enter a winning or losing pitcher. If a game is forfeited before it becomes a regulation game, the official scorer shall include no records and shall report only the fact of the forfeit.

    So if I have read this correctly, all the statistics count if the game has the length to be official EXCEPT for the pitchers’ W-L if the team that forfeits is ahead.

    So if the Jays had been forced to forfeit, Lind would still have been credited with 6 RBI, but Roy would not get the win.

    One question: What is the Jays’ team record for 2-out RBIs in a game? 5 of Lind’s 6 were with 2 outs.

    MW: Very interesting. I haven’t got a clue what the Jays’ record is for 2-out RBI. I doubt even the Blue Jays know.

    - Alan
  99. 99.

    “I think some of the veterans have too much pride to let last year happen again.”

    Where was that pride when “last year was happening”.

    MW: R’s BI? I hate when people say that. It’s RBIs. An RBI is its own thing, it’s not an R.B.I., even though it’s an abbreviation.

    Do you allow “runs batted in” or is it “run batted in”s. Whatever rolls of the tongue best is what eventually gets used. So when you pluralize the written out version “run” get pluralized. When you pluralize the abbreviation you get RBIs or ribbies. Not sure you really need to pluralize it at all. Who lead the Blue Jays in RBI or HR should be adequate.

    MW: I prefer to use RBIs, myself.

    - Ken
  100. 100.

    Hi, Mike:

    Just a further comment on post #63 — even if it were correct to say “RsBI” (which I agree is quite ridiculous), it would not be correct to have an “apostrophe” in it. The “Runs” do not own the “Batted Ins”!

    MW: Yes!!!

    - Norm
  101. 101.

    “I didn’t say Overbay should lead off against lefties. But why would the fact that he can’t hit lefties mean you’d want to lead off Scutaro over him against righties?”

    Well not too many teams have two different lead off guys. And Scutaro’s LHP splits are better than Overbay. Scutaro was .343/.338 against R/L last year, Overbay was .384/.285 and .378/.315 for his career.

    MW: It’s a shaky argument that “not too many teams have two different lead off guys.”

    - Willie_Canate
  102. 102.

    Hey Mike. Question here for ya. Had the Jays been forced to forfeit the opening because of some fans misbehaving, would the stats from that game not count?

    MW: See above.

    - Mark Liotta
  103. 103.

    “… how do you cross one finger”

    Dude, it’s a sports blog, thank your lucky stars I used punctuation at all ;-)

    MW: I should thank my lucky stars that you used punctuation incorrectly?

    - Ben Assynt
  104. 104.

    Did I just see “Frank Thomas” and “Small Sample Size” in close proximity?

    MW: I don’t know. Did you?

    - KP
  105. 105.

    My bad. I just assumed if I had said Hill’s was a low OBP, you would have gone the other way, and said it wasn’t that bad.

    MW: Why would you assume that?

    - Jamie
  106. 106.

    Mike,
    From a previous blog: “You can’t have a contender every year…”

    Well, that’s certainly true in the case of the Blue Jays; in fact you can’t have a contender ANY year – since 2000. I really think Jays’ fans have been condidtioned to have low expectations since the glory days. There doesn’t seem to be much talk of World Series aspirations, pennannt dreams, or even divisional or wildcard accomplishments. But there seems a crying need for “meaningful baseball in September” (NOT last year’s chimera: “if the Red Sox lose ten of their last twelve games…” sort of thing.
    As J.P. grinds into his eighth year of unfulfilled ambitions we are being told that 2010 is the year things will finally change – Right! I don’t think J.P is a “laughingstock” or “incompetent”, but I think he should have been let go after 2007, because using injuries to the likes of players like Johnson (released before the next season), Zaun (benched – finally), and Overbay (“Hey, he had a good year in 2006″) was unforgivable.
    Unfortunately, after years of embarrassment, the Rays have developed into an impressive young team, and while I doubt if they’ll win the division this year I can see them being contenders for the immediate future, while the Yankees flounder, but tread water because of their massive payroll.
    J.P.’s legacy – assuming he EVER leaves – will be to have taken a third place team and turned it into a fourth place one. Needless to say he will never get another job as a general manager in the major leagues…

    MW: I seem to remember there being a lot more long-term injuries to key players in 2007 than Johnson, Zaun and Overbay. Weren’t Hill and Rios the only regulars who stayed healthy all year? And yeah, the only thing Overbay has ever done in the majors is have a good 2006.

    - Ken
  107. 107.

    could overbay bat 2nd in the lineup?

    MW: I’d prefer him hitting first, but sure.

    - TheSunkenZealot
  108. 108.

    Mike! I’d love to sit in ith a chat with you, Alan and Jerry because I think the four of us would have a chat about this Jays. I have been a Jays since I was born in the fall of 1987 and I have so much knowledge of this team like you three already! I’d love to chat about this guys because I have seen a lot of players come and go in my 22 years of walking the Earth! Love to hear from you!

    Keira

    - Keira
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