12:40 AM Eastern

The Jays had been waiting for a strong start from Casey Janssen this season, and I’m not sure they expected it would come in that hitters’ haven in Texas, but Janssen got the job done with five shutout innings before getting the old “death by a thousand paper cuts” and hitting the showers in the 6th.

It was a weird outing for Casey, who didn’t dominate at all over the course of those first five.  Two of the four hits he gave up were booming doubles, he gave up a couple of really deep fly balls that were caught and Nelson Cruz hit an absolute rocket in the 4th that Scott Rolen somehow came up with and turned into a double play – making the throw to second off his back foot.

One would expected that when (if?) the roof fell in on Janssen tonight, it would have been because some more of those hard-hit balls would have been hit, and found holes, and the Rangers would have started beating him up.

Didn’t happen.  Instead, Janssen didn’t give up a single fly ball in the 5th or 6th, but in that 6th inning he issued the dreaded lead-off walk, then gave up a solid single to Cruz.  David Murphy – the man who had hit those two ringing doubles – hit a grounder to second that Aaron Hill left on the grass to load the bases, then Marlon Byrd hit a grounder into the 5-6 hole that Marco Scutaro couldn’t come up with, scoring a run.  Janssen then struck out Chris Davis, but Rod Barajas couldn’t corral strike three, another run scored, and Casey was done.

It’s weird, it’s almost as though he found his stride those last two innings (well, 1 1/3), but the sixth was when he got knocked around.

Jason Frasor closed out the 6th and pitched a 1-2-3 7th – I guess putting his picture on the milk carton helped – and Brandon League and Scott Downs, with a four-out save, finished up.

Frasor caught a big break when Elvis Andrus bunted through what was supposed to be a suicide squeeze with runners on the corners and one out in the 6th.  The potential tying run was erased as Barajas chased Byrd back to third and dove at his feet as Byrd dove for the bag.  The Jays got the call, but it was impossible to see on replay whether Barajas actually tagged him.

Adam Lind provided the pop – all the offense the Jays would need, in fact – with a pair of two-run homers.  It was the first time in his career he’d homered twice in a game.  One of them was hit to right-centre, one to left-centre, and both cashiered Vernon Wells ahead of Lind, Wells having drawn a lead-off walk in each of the 2nd and 4th.

Lind was in left field tonight – so much for the theory espoused by a caller a couple of days ago that playing the field messed Lind up at the plate.

Aaron Hill had a hit for the second straight game as he continues to come out of that slump, Rolen returned to the line-up after two days off with a bad back and had three hits, and A.L. Player of the Week Lyle Overbay singled and walked, extending his hitting streak to 14 games.

A couple of people on The JaysTalk wanted to talk about the fact that Downs was brought in for the four-out save.  I’m a big fan of this when the need arises, and it certainly wasn’t the wrong call by Cito tonight.  Brandon League definitely did his job – he got a strikeout and two ground balls, but the second grounder went into right field for a hit, bringing up the all-or-nothing lefty Chris Davis.  It had been all nothing for Davis to that point in the game, striking out three times against Janssen, but Cito didn’t want Davis to catch up with one and give the Rangers the lead, so he went to his closer.  Ron Washington went to the bench, and Downs got Andruw Jones on a grounder to third.

In the bottom of the 9th, Downs was shaky to start, walking Jarrod Saltalamacchia and giving up a hard line single to Andrus, but he settled down and with help from a great catch by Wells in the left-centre gap on Hank Blalock, nailed down his eighth save.  I think the long wait between the 8th and 9th had a lot to do with Downs’ hard time.  That’s something through which he’s definitely not used to sitting.  And asking him to get four outs after he hadn’t pitched since Friday night isn’t a big deal at all, I don’t think.

One more thing – one of the last JaysTalk callers, one in a long line of those who say Rios and Wells should be moved down in the line-up (yes, I know they should be, I agree, but they don’t suck), suggested that either Kevin Millar or Rod Barajas should be moved up into the 5th spot, with Adam Lind moving to clean-up.

I have no issue at all with Lind hitting fourth, I think it’s a great idea to move him up, but give me a break with Barajas and Millar.  Here are some numbers for you over the last month, from May 8th to June 8th, including tonight’s game for Barajas, Millar, Rios and Wells.  Try to figure out who is who:

.279/.347/.505 (.852 OPS)

.226/.247/.333 (.580 OPS)

.220/.279/.266 (.545 OPS)

.194/.270/.299 (.469 OPS)

Think about it, then check the answer below.

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

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Tomorrow, we’re on the air with a pre-pre-game show at 7:00 PM Eastern on The Fan590 and here on this very website, then we hook up with the rest of the country at 7:30 for an 8:05 first pitch.  Brian Tallet is going to try to get out of the first inning unscathed – the Jays will face Doug Mathis, who comes out of the ‘pen to make the start because scheduled starter Brandon McCarthy has a stress fracture in his shoulder.  Make sure to tune in!

I keep forgetting to give softball updates – my old man league started up in May, but I didn’t get to play my first game until last week.  We lost 15-10, and I went a disappointing 1-for-3 with a single.  Turned a nice double play at short, though – thanks to a fair bit of generosity from the umpire at first.

Here are your answers, by the way – in order, those month-long numbers belong to Rios, Barajas, Wells and Millar.

Rational, reasonable comments are always welcome!

91 Responses to “Lind Lets ‘Em Have It”
  1. 1.

    There is a great website called fangraphs.com and they have a feature that measures what a player’s value would be on the free agent market, using all sorts of offensive and defensive metrics. Last year, Alex Rios was worth $24 million. This was helped by a ridiculously good year in the field. So when people say he is not worth his contract, it really makes little sense. When he signed the deal, he was coming off years where he was worth $12 and $18 million. He is on a really good contract, both for him (obviously) and the team. I guess if he really goes in the tank, then he becomes overpaid, but there is no reason to think that will happen; he is only 28 after all. If he can put up just an .800 OPS and play great defense, he is worth the $65 million or whatever.

    - Brett
  2. 2.

    What you mean Mike that Greinke will beat Halladay out for the Cy Young and All Star Game? At the rate Doc is going, he’ll wind up with the All star Game start, Cy Young and MVP. Your thoughts?

    MW: My thoughts were kind of crystallized in the comments section yesterday.

    - Oz
  3. 3.

    Hi Mike,
    I don’t want to subject to you to another “get Rios and Wells out of the 3/4 slot” tirade because I am a fan of both players, but when you put up their season projections at the 1/3 mark a while back, it didn’t look good….not for 3/4 hitters anyway.

    Other than Lind (and maybe Hill)…there is no other real alternative unless Cito gets creative with his lineup card every night, which I don’t think he’s going to do.

    No matter what people say, our best bets at 3 and 4 are Rios and Wells. Lets hope they fire up because I don’t see a solution to the problem popping up any time soon.

    By the way…can you please refresh my memory: how close were the Jays to making that Rios/Lincecum deal?

    MW: We don’t know. It might not have been close at all, there’s a theory that Brian Sabean only floated Lincecum to bait the Jays, then tried to switch to Matt Cain or Jonathan Sanchez. I don’t think Rios and Wells are the Jays’ best bets at 3 and 4.

    - Oz Rob
  4. 4.

    Hi Mike,

    I had to listen to the game on my XM radio while driving but good to see us start it off right in that bandbox in Texas.

    Just wanted your opinion on whether you think Millar is here for the whole season regardless of who is in the minors waiting to come up? I like Millar and everybody always says he’s a “good clubhouse guy” for whatever that’s worth. Is it just a case of you don’t want a young guy up who isn’t going to play regularly? It seems to me you could bring up a young kid who would have the same or better VORP while getting a young player some MLB experience. Thoughts?

    MW: You very definitely could do that, but Millar is more than likely here for the duration. The Jays like his “winning veteran-ness” and his influence in the clubhouse.

    - Sean in Lethbridge
  5. 5.

    Hello, Mr. Wilner,

    Saltalamacchia? I think Starbucks sells those…

    Good to see back to back wins again. Good to see Rolen’s glove. Good to see Well’s eye, and (perhaps) the lack of same with the 3BU. Good to see Lind’s bat. Especially Lind’s bat.

    Gotta go listen to Jaystalk now. Thanks for the show,

    - Moyashi from Japan
  6. 6.

    Nice win for the Jays tonight. I thought that the wheels were coming off in the 6th, but they weathered the storm.

    I agree with the caller – I like Lind hitting 4th too. Hill 3rd, Overbay 2nd (against righties), Rios 5th, Wells 6th, Rolen 7th…but I know that it’s not going to happen, at least not for a while.

    Downs was a little flat tonight – his location wasn’t what it often is, and I didn’t see the bite to his breaking pitches that we usually see. It’s been said that the true measure of a pitcher isn’t how he performs when he’s got his good stuff, but how he battles when he doesn’t – well done.

    “…and I went a disappointing 1-for-3 with a single” – oh no, you’re only hitting .333, how devastating. :)

    MW: It’s old-man softball. A decent hitter should hit at least .450. At least.

    - Terry Bradley
  7. 7.

    The Wells/Lind combo solidified my point as to why I thought Wells/Lind should bat 3rd and 4th. (A point which you’ve disagreed with me in the past)

    Lind has the team’s most RBIs and would be a perfect fit for that clean up role. You then would get Wells more at bats and you’d get him in the 1st inning behind Scut and Hill.

    I’ve never liked Wells in the 4spot and I don’t think he likes it either.

    Good game tonight overall, although I thought Casey was left in too long. Good on Frasor though to get out of a bit of a rough spot. It could have been much worse.

    Hey, if you’re playing softball, keep track of your batting average, like the guy in the movie Beer League. Hilarious.

    MW: I posted softball updates all year last year, and some of you intrepid readers worked out the stats. I’ll do it again this year. I don’t understand why you would want Wells hitting 3rd – he simply doesn’t get on base enough. The two walks yesterday were a big surprise.

    - Angelo
  8. 8.

    Michael,

    I’m really hoping we see some more mustaches on this team, right now Tallet and Gaston seem to be carrying all the weight. Roy has his beard but because he’s so fair it’s practically invisible…

    My question is, what is the consensus amongst the players on the field turf. Do they like it better than the astro turf, or in their minds is turf simply turf?

    MW: It’s far better than AstroTurf, but a lot of them don’t love it.

    - Uncle Ben
  9. 9.

    Hello Mike,

    A few days ago, one your readers asked about the record for innings pitched without allowing an extra-base hit and how Roy’s 20 inning streak held up.

    So I ran a quick search for extra base hits = 0 on baseball reference. It sorts it by games played unfortunately, but eyeballing it…

    For relievers:

    The longest streak seems to be 40.1 innings pitched by both Tom Edens (1992) and Bruce Sutter (1979).

    Okajima had a 25.1 inning streak in 2007.

    For starters:

    Cisco Carlos has the longest streak at 40.2 innings (1967).

    In more modern times, when Clemens was roided up here in TO, he pitched 3 complete game shutouts without allowing an extra base hit. So, 27 innings.

    MW: Good work.

    - Kali
  10. 10.

    Hey Mike I have some good news. I’ll be on Pender Island soon which means I’ll be able to call in after a game! If I get through then I promise I wont call and complain about Wells or Rios like 20-30% of the callers.

    MW: 20-30%? You don’t listen that much, do you?

    - Matt from BC
  11. 11.

    Hey Mike,

    Player of the week Lyle Overbay only played five games in that 7-day period, sitting against lefty Joe Saunders . . . and sitting against lefty Jon Lester the final game before the week started.

    Has Doc Halladay ever had a bigger week? One shutout, another 14-strikeout complete game?

    Hard to believe a platoon player who had eight hits in five games was selected over The Doc . . .

    MW: I wonder who does the voting. I guess they weren’t impressed that Halladay gave up four runs on Tuesday.

    - Ken Pagan
  12. 12.

    Congrats on the 1-for-3 in old-man slo-pitch. Keep it up.

    MW: I have to be better than that. I’m not helping anybody going 1-for-3, though it’s not slo-pitch.

    - Ken Pagan
  13. 13.

    Did you have to bring up the 1985 ALCS tonight? Everytime I quit having nightmares about that playoff series someone just has to mention it. I walked around with a black cloud hanging over me for months when that series got away from the Jays. My worst memories were Pat Sheridan hitting as many home runs as the entire Blue Jay team- 2. (Don’t bother to look it up, Bell and Mulliniks hit them both in game three.) Then in game #7, Willie Upshaw doubles in a run to make it 2-1 Royals in the 5th. Bobby Cox pulls Al Oliver in favor of Cliff Johnson. Oliver killed the Royals all series with three big hits. Johnson goes up there and takes three big swings and the rally is over. Next inning Stieb gives up two walks and a hit batter, followed by Jim Sundbergs triple. Sundbergs triple is one of three times my heart has stopped as a Blue Jay fan. The other two were Butch Wynegars game tying home run off Tom Henke when the Jays were one out from clinching the east in 1985 (fortunately they won the next day) and in game 6 of the 1992 World Series when Candy Maldandos ninth inning throw home sailed all the way to the backstop allowing the tying run to score when the Jays were one out from clinching the series. That throw almost allowed the winning run to score. Thank God for Dave Winfields double. Come to think of it, Henke had his fair share of meltdowns. The Wynegar home run, the ninth inning blown save in game 6 and how about Kirk Gibsons two out ninth inning home run that tied the game and started the infamous season ending 7 game skid. That’s okay Tom, I still love ya.

    MW: Tough losses all. I was at Game 7 of the ’85 ALCS, sitting in the grandstand well beyond the centre-field fence, and at the game before the Gibson game – the Jays’ last win of 1987. I remember vividly Juan Beniquez dancing on the Jays’ dugout after that game.

    - Jim in Ohio
  14. 14.

    mike, you said 15 teams would take rios? well jeff blair doesn’t think anybody wants him either. face it mike, nobody needs a week hitting outfielder.

    Blair:
    Especially when anybody paying even the least little bit of attention would realize the Toronto Blue Jays have been tying unsuccessfully to move Alex Rios’s contract? Just a thought here, but it might help if another team wanted to take your player.

    MW: No one needs a weak-hitting outfielder, either, but Rios isn’t that.

    - pablo
  15. 15.

    Mike,

    Players are complaining about the turf, do you foresee the Jays ever going to at least a dirt infield like they do in Tampa?

    MW: No, I don’t.

    - Anthony
  16. 16.

    Hello Mike

    during jaystalk, you often go through research (internet) to find the performance a player. I can find this kind of stats for minor league players but can’t seem to find it.

    Can you please tell me where in the internet this site is?

    Thanks

    MW: I either go to milb.com or to thebaseballcube.com. The internets are wonderful research tools.

    - francis x
  17. 17.

    MW,

    There seems to be some reason for Cito to be patient with Vernon Wells in the 4 spot beyond his storied reluctance to fiddle with his line-up. Historically, June and July are Wells best months. So, going by the book he should start to break out about now.
    He made a contribution last night no doubt with his 2 walks and his great catch at the end of the game. But he also hit a fly with the bases loaded and he seems to have a persistent tendency to smother pitches, grounding out to third. About now, Scutaro, Hill, Overbay and Lind are looking pretty good in the 1-4 spots.

    MW: Except then you have your only lefties hitting back-to-back, which can be a bit of an issue.

    - George
  18. 18.

    Mike, just a quick correction — the squeeze play occurred with only one out — the tag on Byrd was out #2, and then Andrus flew out for the third out (which in hindsight would have been a game-tying Sac Fly).

    MW: Thanks, I’ll fix that.

    - Norm
  19. 19.

    Theres a replay on Bluejays.com of Linds first homerun last night. What caught my eye on the replay wasn’t the homerun but Wells jump off of first base. He is completely still and then gone like a ___ing rocket. I always wondered how a bigger guy moves the way he does. The jump he gets is almost violent; amazing. Has he always been this impressive in his jump or has he this year started to really develop that part of his game? 2 walks last night I might add.

    MW: Wells has tremendous speed for a guy his size, always has.

    - JGA
  20. 20.

    Mike,

    I know that Cito will not change the lineup and this is an exercise in futility; however, since we all agree Rios and Wells are not 3-4 hitters but can we also agree that this *should* be our batting order?

    Scutero
    Hill
    Overbay
    Lind
    Rios
    Wells
    Rolen
    Barajas
    Inglett/Millar/etc.

    BTW – I am a big fan of Overbay and it bugs me that people hate on him all the time. His defence is gold glove worthy IMO and he is not an easy out at the plate (.303/.406.577). I think the haters will not realise that until he is gone, which I hope is not for a couple more years.

    MW: I don’t love that line-up because, as I mentioned above, it stacks the lefties. But I don’t know that there’s a better solution.

    - Darren in Carleton Place
  21. 21.

    Regarding Wells – some of his decline this year is just bad luck. His batting average for balls in play is just .259 which is well below league average.

    However, his xb hit pct is down from 9.4% to 7.7% and he’s hitting a lot less homers 1.9% vs 4.3%.

    I think Wells shows the signs of a typical pre-steroid aging player. He’s breaking down to little nagging injuries and he was never an exceptional hitter to begin with (.806 career ops, with .331 ob) so it won’t take much of decline for him to be undeserving of a starting position.

    I think Wells is the major issue facing Blue Jay management (more so than Halladay because he’s a good problem). Unless Rogers wants to carry a lot of dead money I think the Jays will have a major handicap saddled with Well’s premium contract.

    MW: You were doing so well until you messed up that last apostrophe! The thing with Wells and the BABIP is that he has hit a lot of very catchable pop-ups and routine flies, and I think that has lot to do with it. I’m not willing to write Vernon off until we see how he does through the summer, and even then – he has too strong a track record.

    - Jim Maron
  22. 22.

    Mike, even though Aaron Hill had rather a rough night in the field (one error, one “play not made”), I’d like to give some kudos to the Jays’ defense.

    Through 60 games, my notes show that they have been errorless in almost two-thirds, having been charged with errors in only 21 games.

    In only four games have they made more than one error (never more than two), and they have given up only 18 Unearned Runs (incl. 2 the result of Passed Balls).

    The ability to hold down the “extra outs” and “gift runs” has been a huge contributor to the winning record thus far.

    Interestingly, the longest errorless game streak the Jays have had this year is 10, including the last 6 of the losing streak — thus proving that defense alone is not enough to win. (Their record during these 10 games was only 3-7).

    MW: Number of errors made, though, isn’t a very good way to rate a team’s overall defense.

    - Norm
  23. 23.

    Great blog as always, Mike! I’m really becoming a fan.

    I thought Janssen pitched a really solid game last night. Had Hill been able to pick up the ball, Janssen would probably have been out of the inning.

    I was really dreading seeing the bullpen last night but they pitched extremely well. Cito was bang on with the pitching calls and I totally agree with you both on the 4-out save and the sit-time between innings contributing to the rough start to the 9th.

    Kevin Millar has been a disappointment lately. With Overbay’s hot bat and defence however, I can only see him in the game as a DH and with road interleague play coming, I can’t see him playing except maybe in an afternoon game to give Overbay a break. Do you think that’s why Millar’s been playing more today instead of seeing other players off the bench? I’m a Johnny Mac fan myself and would love to see him more. Do you think Millar’s happy with his situation?

    MW: I think Millar is ecstatic with his situation, though not with his production. He’s getting far more playing time that he had any right to expect. He’s been playing more because Cito likes his veteran power bat, despite the fact that it hasn’t been doing much. If the Jays sign Dave Dellucci, Millar’s playing time will be reduced.

    - Tim
  24. 24.

    MW: “Here are some numbers for you over the last month, from May 8th to June 8th, including tonight’s game for Barajas, Millar, Rios and Wells.”

    Hi Mike: Why use the last month’s stats only? Don’t April stats count? You’re arbitrarily reducing the sample size of the stats to make your point, which makes for some pretty artificial analysis. Unless there is a recent injury involved, the April stats are just as valid as the May stats. Then again, I imagine Barajas (as a chubby catcher) isn’t as fresh now as he was early, and Millar’s early stats were based on platoon at-bats against lefties (who are just the pitchers he should be facing, in a perfect JP-needs-to-find-a-lefthanded-bat world).
    I don’t mean to post this to give you a hard time. I have posted a few snarky comments in the past, but I’m gonna stop that. I enjoy the show and the blog.

    MW: I appreciate the lack of snark. The reason I only used last month’s stats was because Barajas’ and Millar’s stats are still inflated by their hot starts. I wanted to show just how badly they have fallen off the table.

    - Evan White
  25. 25.

    MW: You’re correct, that Alan’s credibility doesn’t mean that he’s necessarily right and the commenter is necessarily wrong. But he’s still wrong, as are you. “Going to the guy who is having the best first half….is CLEARLY the point of the game”? Where did you get that? Also, the reason that the response to the blogger was as harsh as it was was because he comes off as very insulting. Not nice.

    If you felt that the blogger was being insulting to Alan, than I understand your response.

    But you honestly believe Halladay has a chance to start the all star game over greinke because of past performance.

    This is the 2009 all star game and its based on 2009 performance. (except voting obviously)

    Lets make a side bet
    if halladay starts over greinke I’ll donate 50 dollars to ronald mcdonalds children’s charities in your name.

    If greinke starts over halladay, you donate 10 dollars to the same charity under my name. (which I’ll give you when the team is announced)

    MW: I can’t make a bet like that, obviously. I don’t understand why you’re so adamant that the game is based on 2009 performance. It is a lot of the time, but not all the time. I’m also not saying that I believe Halladay will start the all-star game (in fact, I’ve written and said the opposite several times), but I’m saying that it’s perfectly valid to believe that he should.

    - josh
  26. 26.

    Mike,

    I know it’s easy to second guess – but would you have put on the squeeze play in the 7th? 1st and 3rd with one out and a rookie at the plate – I don’t know much about Andrus with respect to bat control but I didn’t think it was a good move.

    Your thoughts?

    MW: I honestly haven’t seen enough of Andrus to know what kind of a bunter he is.

    - Wayne in Scarborough
  27. 27.

    “One would expected that when (if?) the roof fell in on Janssen tonight…”

    Grammatical errors such as this one just drive me crazy while I am trying to enjoy your blog. : )

    Haha I couldn’t resist, sorry.

    Now for my question. I haven’t heard too much complaining about Alex Rios’ behaviour at the ROM charity event the other night. Do you think the fans are finally giving him a break? I realize he was provoked but there was no need for him to lash out with such profanity, especially when a child is clearly showing him some love. Who gives a **** Alex? I’d say pretty much anyone who loves the Toronto Blue Jays as much as we do. Rios might want to try caring just a tad more because I am growing tired of his day-dreaming laissez faire attitude.

    I’ve always been a big fan of his, but now I’m starting to think it might be time for Alex to be shown the door. Unfortunately his value is at an all time low, if only we had traded him for Lincecum when we had the chance!! I’ve read on your blog that you believe some 15 teams would have an interest in acquiring him. What do you realistically think we could receive in return?

    Thanks Mike

    MW: They didn’t have the chance to trade him for Lincecum, because the Giants didn’t want to do it. Right now, the return wouldn’t be nearly as much as it could be later on, once he turns his season around.

    - Chris
  28. 28.

    Mike,

    From your answer to my post yesterday, I am surprised that with 5 complete games that Halladay has actually thrown more innings than Greinke.

    I am so glad that I picked Lind for my fantasy baseball team, then dropped him right before the start of the season thinking that for $5 mil instead of $6 mil, Snider was a better pickup. Another reason no owners are knocking down my door to become the next Theo Epstein.

    It is probably fair to assume that no Blue Jay will get voted into the All – Star game, and it is safe to say Halladay is a lock. But, what positional players would you choose to take if you are the AL manager? I don’t know if there is room for more than one. I can think of 2. Hill and Lind.

    MW: Lind will have a hard time getting in because there’s no DH, so he can’t be voted in by the players. Hill will have a hard time, too, because of Ian Kinsler and Dustin Pedroia, but I hope he gets in.

    - Aaron Ker
  29. 29.

    Mike, well done with the “guess who put up these numbers” game. I think people forget that Rios has been hitting with power even if he has not been hitting for a great average.

    I truly didnt realize the other three had been so putrid over that span however…i guess deep down i knew barajas was going to crash back down given he is so batting average dependent in his offensive contribution, and I should have known Millar was due for a correction, BUT wow…i did not truly realize how awful wells had been over that same time frame.

    and you are very right about something else…the jays MUST bust up this millar/bautista/inglett consortium in left field/dh particularly against righties…a major league average bat in that position would do wonders for the lineup i think. it would seem the favorited of the bloggers would be bringing up buck coats who would also bring some speed and above average defense with him..and i do believe he is on the 40 man…

    MW: I don’t think Buck Coats is the answer. I think Dave Dellucci is.

    - General Zod
  30. 30.

    Hey Mike,

    I just have a question about player of the weeks honours, is there any type of reward from the league for getting this award? Money or a plaque or something like that.

    Thanks

    MW: I think a watch or something.

    - Jon
  31. 31.

    Hey Mike, I read that JP was talking that by the trade deadline the jays would be looking to add another bat to the lineup if they are still in the race, who do you think they will go after? Or do they really need to add another bat?

    MW: They definitely need to add another bat. I don’t know who they’ll look at seriously at the deadline, but I know they’re after Dellucci right now.

    - Royce
  32. 32.

    Reference your blog of June 9. Mike your use if the English language leaves a lot to be desired You use the word “cashiered”. Don’t you mean “cashed”? “cashiered” means dismissed from service with disgrace. Keep up the good work on your blog and news service

    MW: News service? I have a news service?

    - DAVID D
  33. 33.

    Mike,
    Nice to see Janssen hold down the fort and give them a chance to win. I still am skeptical of him long term in the starter role, but hopefully he proves me wrong.
    Who from the Jays do you see making an all-star appearance? Obviously Halladay, and I would have to say Lind, Hill, and possibly Scutaro.

    MW: I don’t think Scutaro has much of a chance. See above for the rest.

    - Denny
  34. 34.

    Mike,

    I’d like to comment about something you said during one of the JaysTalk shows last week (I’m sorry, I don’t recall which one it was, so I apologize if I’m a little off with my interpretation of what you and the caller were saying).

    Basically you were replying to a caller whom I believe was saying something along the lines that “A 5 million dollar a year outfielder has to make that catch” etc. and you said that the amount of money a player makes during the year should have little relation to their play.

    I agree with you, in so much as a player who signs a 5 year contract will have up and down years within that timeframe. However, I was wondering what your thoughts are on players who have “career” years the season their contract comes up for renewal. It seems to me that more often than not, a player gets rewarded for having one stellar year out of an “average” playing career. It also seems to me that more often than not, the player will return to their normal level of play, yet their contract remains higher because of that one good season.

    One could then argue that with these contracts players are in fact paid in relation to their level of play, so I can see why people call and get upset when these millionaires don’t play to the perceived level/cost of their contract.

    One last question since this post seems to be getting quite long. I was wondering what is your opinion on what I call a “hybrid” contract style? Player A is signed for a 5 year contract, and is paid 2 million dollars a year base contract pay. Each year within that contract is “negotiated” on the last year played. That way, hot players get paid a good performance bonus (which many contracts have anyway), while poor players get less of a deal (but still have their base salary). Has this ever been tried before that you know of?

    I think this would get rid of all the callers who complain about players who only play well in a contract year! What are your thoughts?

    Thanks very much for your time Mike!

    MW: The hybrid contract is an interesting idea, but a player would never go for it. As for your other point, you’re right – players are often rewarded for one good year when they come up for free agency, even if it’s far better than their previous track record. Gary Matthews, Jr. is a fantastic example of this. But again, the contract doesn’t make them a better player than they are.

    - J.Clark
  35. 35.

    Hey mike,

    this is no way a bashing of Aaron Hill by any means, but i have noticed on 4 or 5 occasions this year including the last two games, that he has been fumbling possible double play balls. given the last nights play would have been a real tough play even if he had taken the ball cleanly. I have just found this unusual considering his amazing fielding ability.

    I am just wondering your thoughts on this?

    Thanks Mike

    MW: It has happened more than a few times, as you point out. I really don’t know why.

    - Jason
  36. 36.

    Hey Mike,
    Couple of questions,

    Wh does the batter not get a rbi if the batter grounds into a dp and scores a run?

    Why does Marco hold batting gloves while running? Faster or slower?

    Has partying been an issue with the affliate being in Vegas?

    Estimate of Roy Halladay’s salary in the 2011 season?

    Estimate the number of win it will take to win the Wild Card this year?

    Out of all the Jays young arms, who would you like to see traded? Meaning, who do you think has the least potential?

    Thanks Mike!

    MW: 1 – Because the batter did something very bad and doesn’t deserve to be rewarded. 2 – Many players hold batting gloves in their hands when they run the bases to stop them from sliding headfirst, saving their fingers from injury. 3 – No clue. 4 – $23 million. 4 – 90. 5 – Robberty Ray.

    - Nitin
  37. 37.

    I agree the Barajas tag on Byrd was hard to tell on the replay if he made contact. One replay angle was close to the Umpire’s view and it was clear that the glove was beside the foot so easy for Ump to assume he tagged him.

    I really liked that the Jays tacked on those 2 runs in the 9th to provide an Arlington cushion.

    My question is about Travis Snider. I have not heard details of his back issue. What is a 21 year-old doing with a sore back ? Was there a collision or some trauma involved in his injury ?

    MW: Not as far as I know. Back issues are really unpredictable, and not necessarily related to age. I was 22 the first time I threw out my back.

    - Rez
  38. 38.

    Hi Mike

    I have two questions for you both somewhat draft related. First off what has happened to J.P arencibia, ive noticed he hasnt played in vegas in the last couple days and hes no longer on there roster sheet? Is he hurt or something

    Second question is about the draft its self i know predicting the mlb draft is next to impossible because of all the hidden factors but who are some players you would like to see them take if they are available.

    MW: 1 – I don’t know, but I’ll try to find out. 2 – No clue.

    - Scott
  39. 39.

    Hi Mike

    I like Downs and think he is pretty effective, but do you not think he needs to move his pitches up and down a bit more? This may be a bad example, but against Baltimore, they were sitting on low balls and hit them hard.
    I loved the offspeed pitch he threw to Young last night in the 9th to induce the grond ball, but when all he typically throws is low i worry that he is becoming too predictable and too hittable. You do a great job. keep up the good work!

    MW: You’re really looking for something to complain about, aren’t you? I mean, Downs has been one of the best relievers in the game for going on three years now.

    - sheldon
  40. 40.

    I wonder if I would be the die hard Jays fan I am today if I saw Dave Steib or Lloyd Mosbey denie me an autograph and act the way Rios did. I think rios said all I needed to hear when he uttered the words that he doesn’t give a f**. I could tell he dosen’t care just by watching his deminer and he reaction to certain plays on the field. Why not direct that frustration and energy at an opposing pitcher that just threw up and in on him. Show me (the long time fan) that you do give a f*** Mr. Rios. Did Mr. Abreu look like he didn’t give a f*** when Mr. Beckett threw at him?

    Thanks fro letting me vent Mike

    Regards Frank from G-town

    MW: I wish you had vented with better spelling, or had made more sense.

    - Frank (georgetown)
  41. 41.

    I was just looking at the draft order today and I noticed that the yankees have a pick in the first round (29th pick). I was wondering how this is possible. I thought they lost their picks in the first 3 rounds for signing Teixeira, Sabathia and Burnett. I don’t understand how the Jays ended up with a third round pick and the Yankees still have a first.

    MW: The Yankees got a first round pick because they failed to sign the player they drafted in the first round last season, just as the Nationals got that extra pick.

    - Sam
  42. 42.

    Ouch, that slugging percentage for Wells is ugly! (I almost guessed right, but I had Wells and Barajas flipped)

    - scott
  43. 43.

    Mike,
    Are you getting spammed?

    I can’t help but feel that Cito is giving too much playing time to Millar. He now almost as many ABs against righties as lefties. And he being destroyed by righties, hitting .189 with a .283 OBP. Terrible. I might even say he sucks against righties. There has to be a better option. Inglett if he is going to be up with the Jays. But what about Howie Clark who is hitting .339 against righties? Brett Harper for some pop?, Randy Ruiz?

    As for a bat that I think would fit really well for the Jays is Jermaine Dye. He just kills righties and could play a little left field. The Sox are not out of it yet, but should they fall out of it Kenny Williams is the kind of GM that would be looking to make a move or 3.

    Finally, as for the line-up order I would simply start with moving Wells from the 4 spot to the 6 spot.

    How could you not have Hentgen above Cone. Cy Young awards won by Hentgen with the Jays – 1, Cone – 0, Key – 0. But I guess you need a lefty.

    MW: Cone, in my memory, was a far better pitcher than Hentgen over the course of his tenure with the Jays, and Key should have won the Cy Young in 1987. I think Dave Dellucci is a better option than Clark or Inglett, Harper or Ruiz, here’s hoping the Jays can sign him.

    - JW
  44. 44.

    michael,
    if you have been paying any attention whatsoever to my “blue jay blog career” thus far here on the fan 590 website, then you’re well aware of my ongoing love affair for our man scott rolen. god i love everything about this guy and the way he plays the game. he’s
    my guy what can i say. and if there’s a bigger fan of his in this city i haven’t met them yet. that much i know.
    another incredible game in the field & at bat last night in texas for mr. rolen.
    speaking of which, you never answered my question before in the early stages of my then developing relationship with scott.
    is he seeing someone right now or not?
    i just want to know if i have a shot michael that’s all.
    i think he’d like me………

    MW: Sigh

    - darrell bishop
  45. 45.

    Wow…At 19:28 of Jaystalk Mike you actually uttered the phrase “How are you doing?” I thought I’d ne’er see the day.

    MW: I care.

    - Howard
  46. 46.

    Hey Mike,
    If the Sox were indeed willing to cut bait with Ortiz and replace him with Nick Johnson, would you personally take a flyer on Ortiz?

    MW: Nope.

    - booty
  47. 47.

    Mike,
    One last thing, you forgot about Doyle Alexander. He had great seasons in 84, and 85. Long before I was a jays fan. He won 17 both seasons and ERAs of 3.13 and 3.45 respectively.

    MW: I didn’t forget about him.

    - JW
  48. 48.

    Any possibility Wells is hurt such as in 07? Be it reaggravting his shoulder or hurting his ST injury (forgot what he hurt0).

    MW: There’s always that possibility, but I would hope that if he was and the Jays knew about it (as they did in ’07), they’d move him down the order.

    - Corey
  49. 49.

    Okay, moving Millar or Barajas up to the 5th spot *is* a stupid idea, I agree, but man oh man Wells’ numbers are *ugly*.
    I’m a huge fan of Vernon’s, but I’m starting to get very worried about him. I really hope he’ll turn things around, but I have to admit to wondering if something’s wrong with him physically.

    - Scott Shepherd
  50. 50.

    hey mike;

    great game by the jays, let’s hope tallet lasts and wins, great prowess by Lind, this kid is immensley talented and will carry the jays this year and years to come. GO jays Go and good luck in your softball league. thx for the blog.

    - robert.s
  51. 51.

    I agree with you Mike that, Rios shouldn’t be hitting where he is in the lineup. if Cito were to move him down eventually, where do you think he’d put him? 6th maybe?

    MW: I’d be fine with him hitting 5th behind Lind.

    - Dan
  52. 52.

    Hey Mike,

    Any word on when Michael Barrett will be back? He was starting to swing the stick a bit before he got hurt and he might be able to slot in three games a week instead of Chavez’s two.

    Thanks

    MW: Not before the end of the month.

    - Cameron
  53. 53.

    On an entirely different note, Mike, let me suggest that if the Fan doesn’t pay attention to their broadcasts, it may drive me nuts. In particular, the Super 8 ads are soooo far past their best before date. It wasn’t that cute to begin with, but now it genuinely interferes with my enjoyment of the boradcast.

    It’s also a plain bad strategy. GM, as we have discussed before, bailed this year in what I deem is a stupid decison. Particularly stupid when their own ads poisoned their success.

    Fan should limit the life of the ads as a means to keep the broadcast fresh and in order for the advertisers to maximum their impact.

    A good broadcast is valued by true fans. i would even go to a Super 8 if their ads grabbed me.

    love u baby

    MW: I still enjoy the Super 8 ad a great deal. But in reality, it’s up to the advertiser, not the radio station, to decide how long to air a specific spot.

    - John Morris
  54. 54.

    why did you delete my post comparing rios to mondesi?

    MW: It was a poor comparison, but that’s not why I deleted it. There was something insulting or obscene in there. I can’t remember why I delete everything I delete. Rest assured the comment was either unreasonable, irrational or offensive.

    - pablo
  55. 55.

    Hi Mike,

    How is it that the detestable Yankees still have a pick in the 1st round (29th overall) of today’s amateur draft? This is not right, Mike.

    It’s shameful that both the Jays’ sandwich pick and the Yankees’ third round pick (i.e., the compensation picks for losing AJ Burnett) will occur after the Yanks make that selection. What if that 29th overall pick is the next Joba Chamberlain?

    The bottom line is that the 29th overall pick, however the Yanks acquired it, should have defaulted somehow to the Jays (or Brewers). After the Yanks spending blitz in free agency they shouldn’t have had any picks until after the third round, period.

    Actually, it might level the playing field a bit if that team was never allowed any picks in the amateur draft, ever. The Yankees make me real sick Mike.

    MW: Joba Chamberlain? That’s who you’re going with?

    - Jamie
  56. 56.

    Batting Lind fourth makes a great deal of sense. Maybe it would improve the pitches Rios is seeing. The only problem is pitchers may pitch around Lind to get to VW. Mike, what do you think about that?

    What is clear is that the Rios-VW combo isn’t getting it done for the Jays. It’s said that a definition of insantity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. There’s a lesson there for Cito when it comes to setting his batting order.

    - Ken from Kingston
  57. 57.

    hey mike, you are right rios had a great may so how’s he doing in june? oh I see as long as you have 1 good month then you are allowed to suck the rest of the season.

    MW: June is only 7 games old.

    - kylereese
  58. 58.

    Can you tell people to STOP calling about moving Rios and Wells out of the 3 and 4 spots? I know some people don’t listen every day but it’s getting annoying. Especially those who are some how deluded into thinking Millar is better than Rios. Come on people!

    - scott
  59. 59.

    Just guessing as to the guy who was working with Frasor on the changeup.

    Since Doug Brocail popped into your head, I’m guessing you were getting him confused with another Doug, being former changeup artist, and closer Doug Jones.

    Just a stab in the dark.

    MW: Nope, it wasn’t him. It was…….argh, I still can’t remember. Some non-descript reliever who I used to have on one of my teams way back when.

    - Ewan from Vancouver
  60. 60.

    Tommy John surgery for Jesse Litsch. I cannot believe the Blue Jays luck. I guess the “What are the Blue Jays and Brad Arnsberg doing wrong questions will begin. Good luck answering them.

    MW: They have already, thanks.

    - Domenick
  61. 61.

    Mike…Do you think it’s all to do with old injuries when it comes to Scott Rolen’s low home run output? Surely he’s not old at 34 years of age and he’s 5 years removed from hitting 34 dingers and 3 years removed from hitting 22.

    MW: I think it has a lot to do with the shoulder injuries.

    - chris m.
  62. 62.

    Mike,

    With Jesse Litsch joining Marcum, McGowen, and last year Janssen on the operating table due to arm problems are the Blue Jays looking for a reason why this is happening to so many of their young pitchers? I would expect that an investigation of the conditioning team and the coaching staff (start with the pitching coach)would have to be taken. I have never seen this many injuries to young pitchers in such a short time period.

    Thanks,

    Rob

    MW: You may not have, but it does happen all the time.

    - Rob Ralph
  63. 63.

    Hey Mike,

    Is Overbay still in a platoon situation at first, or have his great season, and unbelievable week finally given Cito the confidence to keep him in there everyday? In the spirit of not wasting at-bats, I would certainly rather see Overbay in the lineup over Millar (not even taking defense into account).

    MW: I wouldn’t. Overbay still struggles against lefties – his success against right-handed pitchers shouldn’t be a reason to have him in the line-up against lefties.

    - Branden
  64. 64.

    Mike,

    There’s been a lot of talk of resigning Halladay – people thinking he’ll walk, you mentioning the Brinks trunk, etc.

    A hypothetical .. After Roy’s contract expires, he thinks the Jays are close enough to the promise land that he wants to stick around, but he doesn’t want to sign a long-term deal in case things go south quickly.

    Is it at all a possibility he may sign a “last chance” type contract and just sign a one-year extension with the Jays? Perhaps with a player option for a second year?

    Or, is he more likely to want the “setting up generations and generations of his family” contract and look for something multi-year – whether it’s with the Jays, or not?

    I know players in their prime don’t normally sign single year deals, but is this a circumstance where such a deal might make sense for both sides?

    MW: It wouldn’t make any sense for the Blue Jays. I don’t see that happening – I don’t actually see Halladay getting to the point where his contract expires.

    - Cole
  65. 65.

    Hi there, I had a message all typed but not the spam word,

    Here is my question. Who chooses the pitchers for the all star games? Is it one person or a committee of managers?

    MW: It’s a combination of the all-star manager and the commissioner’s office.

    - Barb
  66. 66.

    Hi Mike, I couldn’t tell if Rios was running out the ground ball in the first? seems like he couldn’t of been did you have a better look at it? or are you watching the game on sportsnet as well?

    MW: Seems to me as though he couldn’t possibly HAVE been, either, but there was no replay.

    - Tom McClarty
  67. 67.

    Hey Wilner,

    I’m sure by the time you get to this you would’ve already heard, but it appears Litsch is gone for the year needing Tommy John surgery. This just can’t be a coincidence. How many pitchers does that make? Ryan, McGowan, Jannsen, Marcum, am I missing anyone?

    Have you heard of any team having this many pitchers requiring the surgery? Is it the water in Toronto?

    MW: Most teams have lots of pitchers who have to have Tommy John. Neither McGowan nor Janssen had Tommy John surgery, by the way. Scott Downs did, though, and Jason Frasor, too – both before they got to the Jays.

    - Bobby
  68. 68.

    Well I can’t find contact info for you anywhere Mike, so I’ll settle for here. That caller talking about the Jays young pitcher injuries and the fans needing to be “concerned” doesn’t know much about baseball today. The Jays aren’t the only team who are having this problem. I’m a prospect hound, so here is just one example of another team who has had injury issues with their young pitching prospects, far worse than the Jays in terms of track record (and I doubt this is complete, just their top prospects through the years):

    Pittsburgh Pirates:

    - Sean Burnett (TJ 2004)
    - John VanBenschoten (Shoulder 2005)
    - Bryan Bullington (Shoulder 2005)
    - Tom Gorzelanny (Elbow Tendinitis 2006)
    - Brad Lincoln (TJ 2007)
    - Zach Duke (Elbow Tendinitis 2007)
    - Ian Snell (Elbow Strain 2008)
    - Tom Gorzelanny (Hand Strain 2008)

    In their own division, Kazmir has had an injury-riddled career in TB. Papelbon was moved to relief because of injury concerns if he stayed in the rotation. Chamberlain is kept on a tight pitch count and many think he’ll be moved to relief to try and avoid serious injury down the road. Baltimore has had a myriad of issues with the young members of their staff as well.

    If you look up the Dodgers, Cardinals, Rangers, etc. you’ll find a laundry list of touted pitching prospects with serious injuries in their careers. This is true for almost every team.

    Matt

    MW: Thanks for doing my homework for me!

    - Matt Scace
  69. 69.

    Michael,

    Exciting that the Jays drafted a B.C. boy today.

    Do you think the Jays have an opportunity to focus on developing and drafting talent from B.C. in the same way the Braves focus on players from Georgia?

    MW: I hope not. They should take the best possible players, regardless of their place of origin.

    - Uncle Ben
  70. 70.

    Jesse Litsch needs Tommy John surgery?!? What changed from the last time he was examined?

    MW: I’m guessing the ligament blew.

    - Rob Theriault
  71. 71.

    Michael,

    Do you think Roy being a groundball pitcher would have better numbers on a grass surface?

    MW: Not necessarily, but maybe. I don’t think the FieldTurf speeds up the grounders too much.

    - Uncle Ben
  72. 72.

    Mike, here are my theories on the Jays’ pitching injuries:

    1) Jesse Litsch – possibly hurt himself over-throwing – remember when he returned from his minor league stint last season and was suddendly throwing a 4 seamer at 93-94 mph? Prior to that he was always around 88-90 mph with his two seamer. That jump in velocity justed seemed odd to me at the time, even though it was a new pitch.

    2) Shaun Marcum – his funny arm angle, like you suggested.

    3) Casey Janssen – over-use during high leverage late inning situations in 2007. Always a starter, Casey possibly just suffered from suddenly pitching so often in relief that year. His shoulder may have just had a difficult time with the adjustment.

    4) Dustin McGowan – UNKNOWN. He has such a free and easy motion, and the ball just jumps out of his hand at 95-97 mph. He doesn’t look at all like he’s over-throwing ever, so I don’t get get this one. I do think that the diabetes may be a factor in the slow recovery though, as JP indicated at the time that his operation was just a debridement and not a torn labrum.

    5) BJ Ryan – his herky-jerky delivery, arm angle, heavy use in `06 and the intensity he brought into late inning situations might have played the key factors here. Over-throwing could be the issue also because he is just so charged-up on the mound

    MW: They’re all just guesses.

    - McLovin
  73. 73.

    Mike, do you agree with me on Dustin McGowan’s smooth mechanics? He just seems so effortless in his delivery and the radar gun shows 97 mph, and I’m like “wow!”

    MW: McGowan? The gun doesn’t do that anymore.

    - McLovin
  74. 74.

    MW: It wouldn’t make any sense for the Blue Jays. I don’t see that happening – I don’t actually see Halladay getting to the point where his contract expires.

    Why wouldn’t it make sense for the Blue Jays? Isn’t having Roy Halladay for one more year at least (and presumably having the chance to convince him to stay again) better than not having him at all?

    To be fair, I think it’s a bit unreasonable to just assume he will stay superhuman like this for the next five years+ (I hope I’m wrong), so all the people talking about the fact they hope Roy Halladay retires here could also be people calling Jays talk in five years asking why the Jays are paying Roy so much money if he ever ends up turning into a shadow of his current self.

    I suppose where he’s not an overpowering pitcher he isn’t as likely to be one who breaks down in effectiveness when age catches a hold of him.

    MW: It wouldn’t make sense to the Jays to sign him to a one-year deal because they want him locked up for a good, long time. They don’t need his contract status to be a yearly distraction.

    - Cole
  75. 75.

    Mike, did you know that each time the Rays lose a one-run game, somewhere out there, an angel gets its wings?

    MW: Sounds good to me.

    - McLovin
  76. 76.

    Hey Mike,

    My Fast pitch softball stats make me godly, doesnt it. I have absolutely no power, but have speed, and can get to a lot of balls in CF.

    Paolo Vella
    Avg = 0.600
    OBP = 0.630
    Slg%= 0.680
    OPS%= 1.310
    Games= 7
    Plate App = 27
    At Bats = 25
    Hits = 15
    Singles = 13
    Doubles = 2
    Walks = 2
    Rbi’s = 6
    Runs = 11
    K’s = 0

    Question for you Mike, would Dellucci get the bulk of DH or OF starts if he becomes a Jay, and what position in the batting order would you see him hitting for us.

    MW: I can’t believe that you think people are seriously interested in your personal softball stats. I think Looch will probably play more left than DH, though he doesn’t have much of an arm anymore. He’d probably hit 8th or 9th, given Cito’s lack of willingness to change things around.

    - paolo
  77. 77.

    All the non-Roy Blue Jay starters are 16-17, relievers are 8-8, Roy Halladay 10-1. With that, the Jays are 1.5 games out of both the AL East lead and the Wild Card lead. If Roy Halladay completes a season that is for the history books, all the other Jays pitchers just have to lift their games a little bit. A staff slightly above .500 will keep the Jays in playoff contention. They don’t have to pitch their brains out because Roy is doing that already. They just have to be competitive.

    MW: Non-Halladay starters are 16-18. You speak as though won-loss record is far more pitcher-dependent than it is.

    - Tim M
  78. 78.

    Mike, I completely disagree with your prognosis of Rod Barajas. How can you say he is the worst hitter on the team??? First off, he’s hitting .340 with runners in scoring position, hes got 29 RBI’s. He’s on pace for about 80. I understand hes not the greatest hitter, but for you to call him and Millar the two worst hitters (I agree about Millar) is absurd. Rod Barajas, I believe is leading the team with his RISP average…

    Also you said you had Josh in Hamilton, Shaun in Markham and Larry in Walkerton. You missed Mo in Vaughn! Gosh Mike, I’m disappointed in you.

    MW: I did miss Mo in Vaughan. My bad. Barajas is, in fact, second on the team in batting average with RISP (going into Tuesday’s game) and fifth in OPS with RISP – Overbay leads the team in both categories. Millar, by the way, is seven points behind Barajas in batting average with RISP and ahead of The Captain in OPS with RISP. How, then, can you say I’m right about Millar but wrong about Rod?

    - Warren
  79. 79.

    Hi Mike, I had to leave a comment tonight because if I have to listen to another phone call asking about Cito changing the line up, I think I’m going to beat my head against the wall. I mean seriously how many different ways can you say Cito doesn’t change his batting order. I think your Joe Carter going through a 1 for 40 slump yet still hitting 4th illustrates Cito’s philosophy on line ups and lack of changing them. He doesn’t people!!!! Ok that feels better.
    Next thing that is driving me nuts. The nutters that call up and are under the incredibly erroneous notion that Barajas is a good hitter. Not only that but that he is a better hitter than the much maligned Alex Rios, Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay. This is not true people!!! Look it up, its (info) available on many web sites. Look at career numbers. For all those that think that Barajas is a “good” hitter (which is laughable) here are his career numbers.

    OBP .290 Thats right, gets on base 29% of the time. Any way you slice it thats terrible.
    BA .243 Whatttt not .300 or .290 or even .280 (thats sarcasm) I realize unlike some of you that one month or even a month and a half do not a career or even a season make.
    OPS .698 nuff said.

    For those who are still unconvinced (although I don’t know how) Barajas with his pistol hot start which at the height was hitting on May 3rd;
    .342avg, .370obp, .539slg and a .909ops. Since that time his ba has droped to .275, obp to .304 and ops of .711 (not counting tonight).
    Whats happening you say??? He (Barajas) is returning to what he is. NOT A GOOD HITTER PEOPLE!!!!
    What is really annoying about this is that the people who call in and hate on Wells, Rios and Overbay and say things like Barajas is a better hitter than the aforementioned is that they believe that Barajas is just going through a rough spell and will somehow return to mythical performance. I use that word mythical for a reason. But at the same time believe that in the case of Rios and Wells (I’ve noticed not so many Overbay haters lately) that this is all they are and will never be capable of anything greater, despite evidence to the contrary that you Mike quote routinely on the post game show.

    And just as a point of clarification I don’t hate Rod Barajas. I don’t hate anyone on the team. Whats the point. We don’t know them. I’m just commenting on the type of hitter he actually is.

    Thanks Mike for allowing me to vent. It felt good.

    Oh ya great ball game tonight!!!

    Take care.

    MW: I like this guy.

    - Troy
  80. 80.

    Mike just in case you still hadn’t figured out who it was that helped Frasor develop that change up in the off season. It was Doug Bochtler. Apparently he also helped Trevor Hoffman.
    I think thats why Doug Brocail came to your mind. Same initials.

    Take care.

    MW: Doug Bochtler! That’s it! My recalling Brocail was the Psych 101 “tip of the tongue phenomenon” in action. Thanks.

    - Troy
  81. 81.

    Hi Mike, I had to leave a comment tonight because if I have to listen to another phone call asking about Cito changing the line up, I think I’m going to beat my head against the wall. I mean seriously how many different ways can you say Cito doesn’t change his batting order. I think your Joe Carter going through a 1 for 40 slump yet still hitting 4th illustrates Cito’s philosophy on line ups and lack of changing them. He doesn’t people!!!! Ok that feels better.
    Next thing that is driving me nuts. The nutters that call up and are under the incredibly erroneous notion that Barajas is a good hitter. Not only that but that he is a better hitter than the much maligned Alex Rios, Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay. This is not true people!!! Look it up, its (info) available on many web sites. Look at career numbers. For all those that think that Barajas is a “good” hitter (which is laughable) here are his career numbers.

    OBP .290 Thats right, gets on base 29% of the time. Any way you slice it thats terrible.
    BA .243 Whatttt not .300 or .290 or even .280 (thats sarcasm) I realize unlike some of you that one month or even a month and a half do not a career or even a season make.
    OPS .698 nuff said.

    For those who are still unconvinced (although I don’t know how) Barajas with his pistol hot start which at the height was hitting on May 3rd;
    .342avg, .370obp, .539slg and a .909ops. Since that time his ba has droped to .275, obp to .304 and ops of .711 (not counting tonight).
    Whats happening you say??? He (Barajas) is returning to what he is. NOT A GOOD HITTER PEOPLE!!!!
    What is really annoying about this is that the people who call in and hate on Wells, Rios and Overbay and say things like Barajas is a better hitter than the aforementioned is that they believe that Barajas is just going through a rough spell and will somehow return to mythical performance. I use that word mythical for a reason. But at the same time believe that in the case of Rios and Wells (I’ve noticed not so many Overbay haters lately) that this is all they are and will never be capable of anything greater, despite evidence to the contrary that you Mike quote routinely on the post game show.

    And just as a point of clarification I don’t hate Rod Barajas. I don’t hate anyone on the team. Whats the point. We don’t know them. I’m just commenting on the type of hitter he actually is.

    Thanks Mike for allowing me to vent. It felt good.

    Oh ya great ball game tonight!!!

    Take care.

    MW: I like this guy.

    hahaha

    did you post a comment under the name Troy Mike because he sounds exactly like you?

    MW: You really re-post too many comments. You have to cut out most of what you’re copying-and-pasting. And that was a LONG way to go to get that shot in.

    - josh
  82. 82.

    MW: You were doing so well until you messed up that last apostrophe! The thing with Wells and the BABIP is that he has hit a lot of very catchable pop-ups and routine flies, and I think that has lot to do with it. I’m not willing to write Vernon off until we see how he does through the summer, and even then – he has too strong a track record.

    You were doing so well as well until you used the phrase “too strong a track record.”

    Wells has never topped .360 ob and has only topped .850 ops twice in 7 years. In 3 of the past 7 years he’s had an ops under 790 with an ob under 320.

    Wells was a really good player exactly twice in 7 years. He’s not the player you think he is.

    MW: I never said Wells was a superstar, what I said was he has too strong a track record to be written off, which is eminently true.

    - Jim Maron
  83. 83.

    Nice win for the Jays tonight. I thought that the wheels were coming off in the 6th, but they weathered the storm.

    I agree with the caller – I like Lind hitting 4th too. Hill 3rd, Overbay 2nd (against righties), Rios 5th, Wells 6th, Rolen 7th…but I know that it’s not going to happen, at least not for a while.

    Downs was a little flat tonight – his location wasn’t what it often is, and I didn’t see the bite to his breaking pitches that we usually see. It’s been said that the true measure of a pitcher isn’t how he performs when he’s got his good stuff, but how he battles when he doesn’t – well done.

    “…and I went a disappointing 1-for-3 with a single” – oh no, you’re only hitting .333, how devastating. :)

    MW: It’s old-man softball. A decent hitter should hit at least .450. At least.

    I play in the bnai brith league in the D division. I expect all players on my team to hit 500 plus. (not knocking your 1/3 performance it’s just one game obviously)

    I like what the Athletics are doing. You guys want to play a pickup game against an undefeated D team.

    MW: I would expect everyone in the D division to hit .500, too.

    - josh
  84. 84.

    MW: Millar, by the way, is seven points behind Barajas in batting average with RISP and ahead of The Captain in OPS with RISP. How, then, can you say I’m right about Millar but wrong about Rod?

    Thank you for telling me this. You’re right. This leads to one question… How can you say that Millar and Barajas are the two worst hitters on the Jays? With an average that high with RISP, clearly they mustn’t be that bad. Barajas is projected to have 88 RBI if he continues at this pace (it won’t happen). I’d say 75 RBI. This is still productive for a catcher.

    MW: Very productive, indeed, and it has a lot to do with the fact that the best hitter on the team is batting in front of him, for some reason.

    - Warren
  85. 85.

    MW: As I said many times, I don’t hate Barajas at all. He had a great April, but over the last month, he’s been awful, and the true measure of the man as a hitter is far closer to the last month than the first.

    Barajas…..711 OPS
    Vernon……705 OPS

    Clean-up hitter, Vernon Wells has 28 RBI, in 266 plate appearances.

    Weak hitting catcher, Barajas, batting 9th has 28 RBI in 183 plate appearances.

    Nuff said.

    ————————

    Interesting comment from Gillick when he was in Toronto recently regarding Tallet’s workload. He suspects that the Blue Jays are simply going ride Tallet as long as they can with out any real concern for his long-term productivity. There is no real expectation on the Jays’ part that he can go from reliever to starter and remain healthy. Based on past experiences on pitchers who have gone this route, I expect that he is correct. I wonder if Litsch’s TJ surgery will cause the Jays to look at Tallet’s future a little differently.

    MW: Part one – sigh. Part two – I think Tallet will stay in the rotation, not so much because the Jays are disregarding his health, but because he deserves to stay there. He’ll be 32 at season’s end, another reason they wouldn’t be as worried about protecting his arm long-term.

    - alex
  86. 86.

    Just to be picky to Jim in Onhio, the homers the Jays hit in Game 3 of the 1985 ALCS were by Barfield and Mulliniks, not Bell and Mulliniks.

    - Rick Jones
  87. 87.

    MW: I never said Wells was a superstar, what I said was he has too strong a track record to be written off, which is eminently true.

    Really – eminently. I would argue just the opposite. That his record shows he’s been far closer to an average player during the prime of his career than a good one.

    I looked at Win Shares since 2004 for CF’s who have played regularly over that period (Hardball Times, which lists Win Shares, only goes back that far).

    Here’s the list:
    Name Win Shares

    Beltran 152
    Sizemore 114
    Damon 114
    Hunter 90
    Wells 90
    Rowand 88
    Jones 83
    Crisp 72
    Mathews 68

    In terms of Win Shares per ab, Wells actually ranks 7th on this list just barely ahead of Coco Crisp.

    He’s averaged 18 Win Shares over the past 5 years. 18 Win Shares makes you about the 15th-20th best OF in the AL in any given year. There are 14 teams in the AL – which gives you about 42 full time outfielders (of course some teams platoon but you get my point). So, in a typical year in his prime, he’d rank somewhere around 15-20 out of 42.
    If you break down the last 5 years you’ll see that in three of those years Mr. Wells has 14,15, and 15 Win Shares. Which in a typical year would rank him 20-25th among outfielders. Sounds pretty average to me.

    His track record is exactly the type that screams out, “get rid of me I’m about to slide to the bad side of average.”

    MW: I don’t know about that, but I’m appreciative that you’ve illustrated that Wells has been a middle-of-the-pack hitter at his position, which proves my point. He’s not garbage, he doesn’t suck, he’s not someone who should be left at the side of a dark road somewhere.

    - Jim Maron
  88. 88.

    re: comment 81
    Hi Mike just a response to “Josh” and his assertion that you posted a comment while using a fake name. That being my name of course. Troy. Its not Mike Josh. It just so happens I share some of the same opinions on baseball as Mike does. And the two that I discussed above in MY post (which are similar to Mike’s) were just some of the many that after a 1000 times (yes slight exageration) of hearing them I had to vent. Some others that get on my nerves are “fans” that extol the virtues of something called heart and emotion. If that player showed more emotion at the plate or after he failed that could lead to more wins in the future. By the way emotion doesn’t get you a hit people. One of my personal favorites is the uncanny ability of some of these fans who seem to think they know what a player is feeling by trying to read facial expressions. More importantly by watching them over the course of 2-3 hrs they somehow seem to think they know these players almost intimately. This is a highly problematic concept for a litany of reasons. Not to mention that perception of a given individual is highly dependant upon who you are, context of given situation, etc. etc. etc. Factoring in the fact that most who call in are probably watching the game on t.v. and again for those who have studied or read anything about various media and forms and their ability to influence (not completely shape or control ones perceptions) but there contribution to the conversation that is going on between audience and the form of media, subject matter that one is engaged with. For someone that also has a background in criminology, legal theory, race, ethnicity, law, governmentality, drugs, gender, sexuality, etc. I have come across many different kinds of ways of trying to understand the so called “other”. What does any of this have to do with baseball. Well in terms of perceptions it has to do with baseball and anything else in our world. For instance the notion that one can read accurately and believe that you can “know” someone by their outside appearance and in this case by observing someone through the t.v. or looking into someones eyes has its roots in a Criminological theory by Lombrosa. Simply stated he believed that one could identify criminals by a set of physical characteristics. In essence the criminal gave himself away through outer appearance . I’m sure we have all heard the expression the eyes are a window to the soul. The problem with many of these types of theories is that they are rooted in a particular type of racism and are completely false. You cannot see a criminal (whatever that is). They do not have a certain look about them. Similarly one cannot kwow with any degree of accuracy what the emotional, personality make up, who they are as individuals and as people simply by watching them (Wells, Rios, etc.) perform on the field. And when the camera zooms in on their faces you cannot read what they are thinking, nor can you say they don’t care.

    When one enters into a diatribe about individuals, groups, in this case Rios, Wells, etc. and attributing certain characteristics, personality flaws simply by observing performance on a field of play and through the medium of television you are engaging in a discourse that is fraught with problems and gross inaccuracies.

    Sorry for the exceptionally long post Mike. I’ve just been bouncing some of these ideas around in my head for awhile.

    Take care.

    MW: Governmentality?

    - Troy
  89. 89.

    MW: Very productive, indeed, and it has a lot to do with the fact that the best hitter on the team is batting in front of him, for some reason.

    Mike, I agree that Overbay has been arguably the best hitter, if not top 3 this year for the jays, but in front of vernon is Scutaro, Hill AND Rios. Surely if being a good RBI guy depends on the guy in front of you, than Vernon should have more runs batting in than Barajas. By no means am I calling Vernon a poor hitter, but according to your reasoning on why Barajas has been productive, then that would suggest Vernon is a bad hitter.

    MW: Vernon isn’t a bad hitter, but there’s no question that he’s having a bad year.

    - Warren
  90. 90.

    MW: I don’t know about that, but I’m appreciative that you’ve illustrated that Wells has been a middle-of-the-pack hitter at his position, which proves my point. He’s not garbage, he doesn’t suck, he’s not someone who should be left at the side of a dark road somewhere.

    Not to go on here but, Win Shares reflects a players total contribution including defence. Wells has been a roughly average player in his prime as a total package.

    Right now Wells is likely no better than the 5th best position player on the team even if he puts in a career average season (Rios, Lind, Hill, and Scutaro are clearly better than Wells at this point), yet he’s going to be taking up 20-25% of the team salary.

    He’s not a worthless player – but his pay scale so exceeds his abilities it makes him a terrible asset to own if you don’t have an unrestricted budget, which the Jays clearly don’t.

    The funny thing is that Riccardi came in here saying Delgado had to go because his contract took up too much of the payroll – but percentage wise it was no more than Wells is taking up and Delgado was still a star quality player at the time.

    MW: Percentage-wise it’s going to be the same, maybe – you never know what the payroll is going to be. Right now, Wells is taking up 12.5% of the payroll, or thereabouts. Regardless, my point is that Vernon Wells is not a terrible baseball player.

    - Jim Maron
  91. 91.

    re: comment 88

    Hi Mike just to respond to your question “governmentality?”

    Simply put it is the study of the mentality of government or as Michel Foucault called “governmental rationality”.

    I’ll quote a section of a book called The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality.

    These writings come from a series of lectures he gave from 1978 to 1979 entitled ‘Security, territory and population’, and ‘The birth of biopolitics’.

    In conclusion I would like to say that on second thoughts the more exact title I would like to have given to the course of lectures which I have begun this year is not the one I originally chose, ‘Security, territory and population’: what I would like to undertake is something which I would term a history of ‘governmentality’. By this word I mean three things:

    1. The ensemble formed by the institutions, procedures, analyses and reflections, the calculations and tactics that allow the exercise of this very specific albeit complex form of power, which has as its target population, as its principal form of knowledge political economy, and as its essential technical means apparatuses of security.
    2. The tendency which, over a long period and throughout the West, has steadily led towards the pre-eminence over all other forms (sovereignty, discipline, etc.) of this type of power which may be termed government, resulting, on the one hand, in the formation of a whole series of specific governmental apparatuses, and, on the other, in the development of a whole complex of savoirs.
    3. The process, or rather the result of the process, through which the state of justice of the Middle Ages, transformed into the administrative state during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, gradually becomes ‘governmentalized’.1

    1. Michel Foucault,’Governmentality’ in The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality, chapter 4, p.102-3

    I appologize for the explanation. I know it has nothing to do with the subject matter on this blog. Its just I find my mind is constantly seeing connections with things I am studying. Again my most humble appologies.

    Take care.

    MW: Don’t apologize, I asked.

    - Troy
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