11:10 PM Eastern

Even though the Blue Jays nearly blew a six-run lead far later on in last night’s game, you kind of got the feeling this one was over after the Jays simply took Bronson Arroyo to the woodshed off the hop.  Five batters into the bottom of the first inning, the Jays had a 5-0 lead.  Marco Scutaro worked an eight-pitch walk and Aaron Hill took the next pitch into the seats beyond the Jays’ pen in left.  Vernon Wells took the pitch after that into the seats beyond the Jays’ pen in left, and after Scott Rolen Charlie Browned Arroyo with a line drive up the middle, Adam Lind went deep, though his didn’t make the seats.

It was the 27th time the Jays have hit three homers in an inning – the last time was on May 20th, 2007 when Alex Rios, Wells and Matt Stairs did it.  When Hill and Wells went back to back (and belly to belly), it was only the second time all season that the Jays have had back-to-back jacks – Lind and Rolen in Cleveland May 5th.

Scott Richmond had his struggles early on, though there wasn’t much damage.  He gave up a one-out solo shot to Jonny Gomes in the second and then a couple of wild pitches following a walk and a broken-bat single got the Reds a run in the third.  But through those three innings, Richmond had real trouble closing out at-bats.  He only allowed four baserunners through the first three innings, but threw 66 pitches.

Then, it clicked.  After a rough, 26-pitch third inning that featured those two wild pitches, Richmond needed only 25 pitches to get through the next THREE innings!  Richmond closed out his night with four perfect innings, retiring the last 14 hitters he faced, and Hey Dirkhurst came in to finish up.

On the lefty-meter, southpaws went 0-for-12 off Richmond with two walks and one strikeout.  And this after he shut down all those left-handed-hitting Phillies in his last start!  Very, very nice.

Even though it felt over early, the Blue Jays broke with tradition and continued to add a run here and there – one thanks to a terrible throw by Adam Rosales on a hard ground ball by Wells that had a good chance to be an inning-ending double play in the 4th, another on a Wells double in the 2nd (hey, he’s 13-for-his-last-32 <.406> and has an extra-base hit in four straight games!), and another when Russ Adams showed his wheels coming around on a hard line single by Hill in the 8th.

They didn’t need it, though, with the Reds managing a grand total of two singles after the third inning.

Scott Rolen shone again – first he extended his hit streak to 13 games (over which he’s hitting.446 – take that, Vernon!), and then he CLIMBED THE LADDER to pull down what should have been a two-run double by Jerry Hairston, Jr. in the eighth.  If Rolen doesn’t get way up there, I’m thinking it was about 16 or 17 feet, it’s a 7-4 game with the tying run on deck, one out in the 8th, and the 3-4-5 hitters up, and who knows where things go from there.

I have said a few times on the air that Scott Rolen may just be the best defensive third baseman in the history of the game, and there are many around the game who agree with me, including Hall-of-Famer and 10-time Gold Glover Mike Schmidt.

GBOAT is a solid nickname for Rolen, no doubt, and I was all over that early, referring to him as the Greatest Blue Jay Of All Time when he started his career here late last April, but the more I see him, the more I want to call him The Caveman.  I don’t know if I can accurately describe why, but just watch him in the batters’ box with that ferocious line-drive swing, watch the way he throws the ball, with that strange, raised-middle-finger grip, the way he snatches at those short hops off to his left.  I say this with all due respect – its wonderful in its neanderthalicity.

And hey, that way we get The Captain and The Caveman!

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

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Tomorrow night, the brooms is out!  Brett Cecil against Johnny Cueto, tune us in at 7:00 PM Eastern!

Rational, reasonable comments are always welcome.

84 Responses to “Early Explosion”
  1. 1.

    Rolen for Glaus = best trade EVER!

    - Stever
  2. 2.

    how bout scott “mamoth burger” rolen

    I think kelly gruber was just as good, also tony bautista.

    and can you imagine what does hey dirkhurst do when somebody says “hey mike” “hey rick” or just “hey” he has to turn around every time!

    MW: Your memory is being very kind to Gruber, and even moreso to Batista.

    - raul
  3. 3.

    so JP was the only GM who could have gotten roy to resign? nobody else? so if alex anth. was the gm then roy would have bolted? it’s a ridiculous notion.

    MW: And any other GM could have gotten Scutaro for nothing, and picked up Downs off waivers, and drafted Lind and Marcum and gotten rid of Raul Mondesi’s contract and traded a broken-down Troy Glaus for Rolen and gotten Accardo for Shea Hillenbrand. You can say any GM could have done any one of those things, but then look at the whole body of work and it’s pretty good. And yes, J.P. was the one who sold Halladay on sticking around.

    - raul
  4. 4.

    Second straight start where Richmond handled the lefties very well. If this represents a significant (that is, real) improvement, then we might have something here. The 7 innings wsa good too. All the ‘good’ members of the pen got a rest tonight. Unfortunately, at this point that category probably includes only Frasor and half of Brandon League.

    I don’t know what’s with the attendance. Cripes. Everyone went to the cheapo game last night, I guess. I hope they can at least break 20k tomorrow.

    I’m going to the last game of the Philadelphia series. I really, really hope the Jays can actually draw some people out. Weather’s nice, dome’s open, hockey’s finally over, WS champions in. Weekend series. I do hope they can get 90k over those three games.

    MW: I wouldn’t bet on it.

    - Flaming Moe
  5. 5.

    “MLB.com to broadcast Yanks in-market
    Live local games to be aired over Internet in landmark deal!!!!!!!!!” Rogers Let’s get this going for the Jays. Many people will pay for this, it’s in both our best interests.

    - EagerToWatchJaysOnTheCell
  6. 6.

    Great game tonight, and your blog great as always.

    Sad to see 1/2 the crowd at the game (15,400) I think tonight over last night. The weather was just as nice. I think there is a great deal of price sensitivity and perhaps the price points are a bit too high for the regularly priced games. I hope Rogers looks at its attendance patterns and tries to get more people out to the games. It was a completely different atmosphere tonight.

    Richmond’s outing was very rough up until about the end of the 3rd. To me, it looked like he was trying to finesse the strike zone and was missing. Then in the 4th – 7th, he was just fantastic, letting the Reds hit and letting the defence do his great work.

    Hayhurst scared me in the 8th when he let the first two runners on. I was surprised not to see BJ come in for a bit of work. I guess Cito’s preserving his pen.

    My comment with the wild card is that the Jays are not midway through the season yet. When the Jays hit their skid, the comment was that it was too early to write the Jays off. I am saying that it’s too early to count the Jays in.

    They’re having a great season so far.

    MW: No one (at least not here) is counting them in, but there’s no denying that they’re right there right now.

    - Tim
  7. 7.

    I was at my girlfriend’s fastball game tonight but I did catch the tail end and my heart was thoroughly warmed to see a solid outing from the ‘pen. Hayhurst looked just dandy in notching that 6-run save.

    16 or 17 feet? That’s ridiculous Mike. It was at least 20. But in all seriousness, does Mr. Rolen have a legitimate shot at another Gold Glove this season? His defensive statistics don’t jump off the page this year but neither have Jeter’s in past years and we all know how that ended up… I’m hoping GBOAT can nab another for his mantle.

    (For everybody’s reading pleasure: http://tinyurl.com/5vpzso )

    And if you can use Neanderthalicity then I get to keep Camp Blow-the-Lead. Fair is fair.

    One last thing, where in the world is David Dellucci?

    MW: In Las Vegas, struggling.

    - KP
  8. 8.

    Hey Mike, great show, love the blog.

    I was at the game tonight and about 5 minutes before the spectacular Rolen catch I was making the case to a friend of mine that Rolen was the most talented third baseman in Blue Jays franchise history.

    The caveman name will go well with his cravings for Mammoth Burgers and Fossil Fries.

    - Terry Bradley
  9. 9.

    Mike, I’ve heard the notion that Fenway Park really helps Jason Bay, Is this true? I was sort of lead to believe by some people it does but looking at his stats it doesn’t seem that way.

    2009 splits
    Home: 277/395/588/983
    Away: 307/404/600/1004

    The stats prove he actually does better away from Fenway. If the Jays sign Jason Bay do you think he will be the player he was in Pittsburgh or Boston?

    Pro-rated to 162 G
    Pittsburgh: 98 R, 31 Hr, 102 RBI, 281/375/515/890
    Boston: 121 R, 38 Hr, 146 RBI, 289/386/564/951

    The Jason Bay we saw in Pittsburgh was great but the one we see in Boston is just unbelievable. If it isn’t Fenway then what is the reason for the change. Is it playing in the AL? Is it having a better line-up around him in Boston?

    On Another note, I think it was Pat Tabler who said if Alex Rios played in Boston, he can be easily a 30-35 Hr guy. What is your opinion on this comment?

    MW: Fenway is certainly helping (his OPS there is almost 100 points higher than it was as a Pirate, and the lion’s share of that improvement is in slugging), just not as much as the AL road cities are helping. But how about we give him more than four months with the Sox before we declare that he’s a different guy. I don’t know about the Rios thing, he doesn’t hit a lot of towering homers, or high fly balls that get caught deep – those are the ones that turn into homers in Boston. Rios only has four career homers there in 159 plate appearances (about a quarter of a season’s worth), but he does have 15 doubles.

    - Vjey
  10. 10.

    Do you think Rolen can make it to the HOF for just his defense?

    Also, since you brought up nicknames … got one for Cecil and Ricky?

    Zep made his debut in Vegas. 9 K’s, 3 BB’s, 0 ER, 2 hits in 5.2!

    So many lefties! Purcey, Castro and the Jays recent draft pick, Paxton, too.

    MW: Rolen won’t make the Hall on defense alone, only Brooks Robinson, Ozzie Smith and Bill Mazeroski could do that. I don’t have nicknames for the young lefties yet, I’ll see what I can do.

    - T from NY
  11. 11.

    I was at the game last year on this day when they woodshedded Arroyo, and tonight I felt a twinge of pity for him. Then I snapped out of it. Recalling the 9-game losing streak and Baltimore fiasco, I say “hammer away boys”.

    The Jays have 9 games left to the half. A record of 7-2 would get then to 47 wins and on pace for 94. Reds/Phillies/Rays/Yankees make a very tough challenge. Ok so I’ll settle for 5-4 over the next 9 to get to 45 at the half. Can you see it happening Mike ?

    MW: Yep. I can see 5-4, 4-5, 7-2, 2-7, any of those could happen pretty easily.

    - Rez
  12. 12.

    Mike, this comment isn’t directly related to jays but I want your opinion. I think the term “clutch player” is sometimes a false image created by the media and fans. I am going to use Derek Jeter as an example.

    Career: .315 .386 .458 .844

    Postseason: .309 .377 .469 .846

    RISP: 311 .405 .435 .839

    RISP and 2 outs: .319 .420 .458 .878

    Tie Game: .320 .385 .472 .856

    1 Run Game: .324 .389 .476 .864

    He doesn’t excel in critical situations to be called a clutch player. I know you think, I am a Derek Jeter hater or a red sox fan but I am not. I think he offensively is a great SS. I just think the term “clutch” is not used properly a lot of times in baseball.

    You probably have answered this lot of times in the past so I am sorry if you have to repeat yourself.

    MW: Great hitters are great hitters, that’s really the simple truth of it. A guy is who he is, over time, regardless of the situation. That’s why I’d rather have Wells or Rios at the plate in a big spot than a “super-clutch” hitter like, say, Mark Lemke.

    - Vjey
  13. 13.

    Hey Mike, another solid W. I’m new to the blog and had no idea that you responded to us fans’ comments. That is really cool of you! That is also why your blog is now tops in my books.
    I asked you yesterday about batting practice (Saturday) at Rogers Centre, and you gave me some helpful info. I have a follow up question though: Since the Jays don’t usually take batting practice at home on Saturdays, roughly what time does the visiting team usually start and finish their batting practice?
    Thanks Mike.

    MW: It depends on whether or not the Jays take BP. And the visitors don’t always do it, either. I’d say, though, that they will likely take BP from about 11:30-12:30.

    - Randy Keighan
  14. 14.

    Wiener Milk!

    Tonight someone asked when the last Upper Deck shot was at the Dome. Phelps did hit it up there in 2004, but the next game (I think it was a Thursday and against the Rays) Wells also blasted one up there. This one if memory services me, grazed the railing of the first row. The fan also remembers people putting up a number to honour the shot: well it was actually the now defunct Blue Jays Cheer Club (from Batter’s Box) who made the sign for Phelps and put it up. The next game after Vernon’s shot, I made a much crappier #10 which I placed in the area that V-Dub had hit it.

    Molina’s home run in 2006 Opening Day did not hit the Upper Deck. It was a moonshot down the left field line and went into a 400 level luxury box.

    Thought I’d help clear that up. Keep up the great work!

    MW: I thought that about the Molina homer. Here’s what the Jays 2007 Media Guide says – Wells hit the last 500-level homer on Sept. 16/04 off Baltimore’s Rodrigo Lopez. Phelps hit two, one August 29/02 off Roger Clemens – and Clemens nailed him twice when they met the next Opening Day, and the other July 7/04 off Seattle’s Ruben Mateo.

    - Jeff H
  15. 15.

    So, apparently Dustin McGowan’s career is over. Can the Jays’ management/coaching staff be blamed for the tragic number of pitchers who are injured? Have they misused or overused them?

    MW: Who says apparently McGowan’s career is over?

    - Matt
  16. 16.

    To me, there’s only one caveman in this league and that man is Johnny Damon. And I mean that in the most ‘Encino Man-sical’ sense of the term.

    I feel as though a more blue-collar nickname would be appropriate for the man who “just goes out there and does his job”. Scotty The Cable Guy? Nah…

    Maybe if John MacDonald is the ‘Prime Minister of Defense’, Rolen can be the ‘Long Haul Trucker of Defense’ because he always delivers from out of nowhere and on time.

    - Provan
  17. 17.

    16 or 17 feet? Scott Rolen is 6’4″. That means his feet would have to clear the ground by 10’3″!

    The men’s high jump world record is 7’6″…

    Still an amazing catch. I love to remind my dad about how Troy Glaus is doing compared to Rolen. My dad criticized the Jays back when they made that trade.

    Hey, what do you think of the theory that Vernon Wells tends to heat up with the air temperature? I don’t have access to the more esoteric statistics but I vaguely recall seeing a graphic on TV that showed his batting average going up in the summer.

    MW: Rolen could set a high jump record if they let someone hit line drives at him during the event. For his career, Wells’ best months are easily June and July.

    - Kurt
  18. 18.

    If I may, Mr. Wilner, I would suggest The Barbarian for Mr. Rolen’s nick. “Scott the Barbarian”,… The stuff of legend, no?

    Thanks as always for the show,

    MW: Thanks. I don’t think “Barbarian” goes that well with “Scott”, though. It sounds kind of like calling someone “Chad The Terrible”, no?

    - Moyashi from Japan
  19. 19.

    This is nitpicky on my part, but I’m pretty confident that Scott Rolen didn’t reach anywhere near 16 or 17 feet on that jump.

    If he stands on one toe and reaches up with one arm, he might be able to span 8 feet vertically (that’s probably pushing it too). So for him to get up to 16 feet, he would have to have at least 8 feet of space under his lower foot. In other words, he would be breaking the world high jump record in a standing position, from basically a standstill. He’s great and all, but not that great.

    4 feet of vertical leap is very good for a pro athlete (I think I read somewhere that Randy Moss has done 52 inches), so maybe Scott got up to 12 feet. That’s plenty impressive.

    MW: Sigh.

    - Darren
  20. 20.

    Mike,

    How much control would you say major league batters have over the accuracy of their hits? You can always tell when a hitter went with an outside pitch, intentionally putting it opposite field. But what do you think is more likely their gameplan in their minds:

    i) I’m gonna go for an opposite field line drive, and with any luck, it’ll be where the fielders ain’t

    ii) I’m gonna hit a line drive opposite field, right between the 1st & 2nd basemen, perfectly placed

    Any athlete with confidence is going to be thinking ii), as they have to believe in themselves – but what do you think is the real scenario? Is a hitter’s accuracy as crude as the field level (left/center/right), or more fine/pinpoint than that? Do hitters hit that clutch gapper having planned to hit the gap from the beginning, or is it luck? I’d wager it’s an interaction of both, and I like to think the better hitters plan it atleast some of the time, but it seems so superhuman of a skill to be able to consider the location of one’s hit, when the entire plan depends on the location/speed of the oncoming, quasi-predictable pitch (which seems like enough of a task on its own).

    And on a note related to the blog – I love the way Scott Rolen plays the game (both talent and attitude-wise). I wouldn’t say the best of all time, but he’ll certainly be looked back upon when the next 3rd baseman inevitably can’t fill his ginormous shoes (unless we make a run for Figgins, of course; defensive inferiority aside).

    MW: I think the really great ones had the ability to place the ball where they wanted – the Rod Carews of the world, but I think most guys just go up looking to hit the ball hard.

    - Matt
  21. 21.

    Mike , Good game/catch tonight for those Jays, Scott Rolen only makes it look so easy a caveman could do it. (insert Geico royalty here). Notice we still had awful rbi stats w/ risp , homerun ball picked us up .Bring out the brooms for Brett ,Go Jays

    - Earl
  22. 22.

    Mike,

    Another thing – the talk of the 500 level homers on the JaysTalk was really interesting. It made me think there really should be some sort of honour bestowed on anyone who makes this accomplishment. Kinda like in Bull Durham, with the free T-Bone for hitting the Bull billboard. If you ever come across the source, could you list those who have done this (as well as the folklore batting practice memories you have, for which there is no footage)?

    I’ve only seen the footage of Canseco’s 1989 blast, and the camera work was either really bad at that time, or just unprepared for such a ridiculous feat, perhaps. But what a bomb nonetheless.

    Also, my old man has a folklore 500 level tale of his own. He claims he was eating in the Hard Rock Cafe in the early Dome days and Fred McGriff launched one center field over the restaurant – so he says it must’ve hit the JumboTron. I want to believe it, but it’s just absurd…isn’t it?

    MW: No one has ever hit the Jumbotron/JaysVision scoreboard. McGriff hit the Hard Rock, but the only ones who have ever gone over the restaurant are Jim Thome and Cecil Fielder.

    - Matt
  23. 23.

    Dirk Hayhurst
    Hay Dirkhurst
    Day Hirkhurst
    Hay Hirkdurst
    Hirk Dayhurst
    Hurst Dayhirk
    Hirk Dayhirst
    Dirk Hursthay
    Hirk Dursthay

    etc…?

    MW: I’ll stick with Hay Dirkhurst.

    - Nick
  24. 24.

    the brooms ARE out mike

    MW: Huh?

    - nick
  25. 25.

    Is it safe to say Mcgowan and Janssen are done for the year? I just have a feeling that we wont see Janssen anymore this season. Im a little concerned that Mcgowan’s career could be over with. Have you had the same thoughts? If thats the case, whats the rotation looking like for next year?
    Halladay, Marcum, Cecil, Richmond and Romero?

    MW: That’s not unreasonable for next year’s rotation. I think we’ll see Janssen back this year. McGowan we won’t.

    - Dave Brantford
  26. 26.

    Hi, Mike:

    I was sure the title to your blog today would be “Great Scotts!”

    Not that the Scotts were the only ones to play well, but they were the highlight reel.

    Did Arroyo’s life flash in front of his eyes on that Rolen line drive in the first?
    Even though only a single, that may have been the hardest hit ball of the inning!

    I note that Mark Rzepczynski (hereafter to be referred to as Mark Alphabet) started for Las Vegas last night, and threw 5.2 innings of shutout, with 9 K’s — nice job!

    - Norm
  27. 27.

    It was warm and a bit muggy in the dome last night but a great game for sure.

    Richmond – Mr. Cool out on the mound, he sure does look so relaxed and in control no matter what the situation.

    Vernon Wells – man oh man that home run swing looked so familiar from way back when! Great to see. He seems to like the old familiar #3 spot for sure. Let’s hope so anyway.

    Rolen, I couldn’t agree with you more Mike. I said the same thing when he arrived in Toronto – he is by far the best defensive 3rd baseman, all time in MLB. Just unbelievable the vertical range he has. You mentioned the “raised middle finger” throw. Try it yourself – if your looking for acuracy and being able to keep the ball around chest high when you throw it to first – then keep your middle finger off the ball. Not easy to keep on doing for sure but the middle finger for the most part is what makes a ball do funny things like dive etc. To make a ball dive a bit into the dirt or shin high the middle finger action will help with that.

    Good on Cito for finally getting the batting order “in order”. These guys are for real, the pitching woes and coming and goings of guys is tough on all the pitchers. Once that settles down and it more and more, and when everyone knows there sticking around for a while – things will get even better.

    Thanks and keep up the great work Mr. Wilner – take care.

    - Bob from Burlington
  28. 28.

    This team despite the injures, does not disappoint.

    Now If I were Susie switchhitter, do I have to say I am batting right, before they decide who will pitch to me?

    MW: Nope.

    - Barb
  29. 29.

    Hello Mike……Great start by Mark Rzepczynski in Vegas…is this guy similar to the potential of Romero or Cecil….add Rzepczynski to the likes of tiny Tim Collins and Daniel Farquhar plus the recent if signable draft selections seems like the Jays will have a wealth of good young pitching….hey Mike notice the similarity in looks of Rod Barajas and WWE superstar Santino Marella…

    MW: I have been up on wrestling since the guy with the rubber bands on his face was making Cyndi Lauper videos. I have yet to see Rzepczynski pitch.

    - Mark from Thorold
  30. 30.

    Tao of Stieb has proposed that Rolen be known as Hoss. He totally looks like a Hoss.

    Anyhow Mike this team is looking like a playoff contender. With that being said they’ve already come out and said that they will add to payroll if need be to help the push. If your the GM what would you upgrade and who would you target? Who out there will help push these guys past the Yanks and keep the Rays at bay?

    MW: I would target Victor Martinez for one, and try to find another stud reliever for two.

    - Jeff
  31. 31.

    Mike, caveman is no good. Scott Rolen runs too well and is too agile. Scott Rolen should be called the cougar, with a mix of speed and strength. Brian Tallet is the woodsman.

    MW: You don’t think Cavemen ran well and were agile? How do you think they brought home Sabretooth Tiger for dinner?

    - Ross
  32. 32.

    Caveman? Are you crazy? He’s too cute to be a caveman. On behalf of all the female fans out there, let me tell you that Scott Rolen is hawt! And exceptionally talented. How long do we have him around? Is he back next season?

    In other news, Adams is hitting extremely well in Triple A. As you know, I don’t have a ton of time for him, but he did ok yesterday. I wonder if he’s up here to have a little showcase moment so he can be put in as makeweight for a trade. Pat Tabler was commenting on how extremely versatile he is, so he could be a useful bench addition to an injured club.

    MW: He could be being showcased, it’s always a possibility, but I don’t think that he’d be the guy that puts a deal over the top. And come on, you’ve got a thing for Fred Flintstone, no? He was a caveman. Alley Oop? Ringo Starr?

    - isabella reyes
  33. 33.

    Rolen is GBOAT? Did you forget about Rickey Henderson and Roger Clemens?

    MW: Nope.

    - Chuck V
  34. 34.

    Mike – At Tuesday game, in the Reds 8th, they scored a run with no hit, no error, no wild pitch, no passed ball, no balk, no hit batter. I can’t think of too many times when that happens??

    Secondly, I was at the game, and frankly I was disappointed that the Jays didn’t show any recognition for Votto. I know he is on a different team and lots (well not lots I guess) of other Canadian players come to toronto for games (Bay, Morneau etc), but this guy is from Toronto !! When he came up to bat for the first time, there was a few applause, but I bet half the people in there didn’t know who he was (especially given it was a promo night and likely lots of “casual” fans). Since he plays in Cincinatti and therefore doesn’t play here regularly, this was probably a very big deal for him. If the Jays are trying to promote themselves as Canada’s team and promote baseball in Canada, you would think they could have done something small like something on the jumbotron or something. Perhaps when Canadians play in Toronto games, they should put a little maple leaf beside their name on the scoreboard…something….anything. I felt sick when a Toronto boy, and a very good player at that, came to plate and you hear a couple dozen people clap their hands a couple times.

    Thirdly, perhaps you could pass on to the powers that be, is that if you are going to have a hotdog promotion, perhaps you should put out some extra tables of ketchup etc. The line up for hotdogs was only surpassed by the 20minute lineup after that, to get condiments !!! Geez, a fold out table and some extra bottles of mustard etc would mean that we would not have to miss 2 innings of the game just to get a hotdog.

    thanks Mike….you do a great job !!

    MW: 1 – There was a hit batter (though I guess you didn’t count it because it was after the run scored) and there was a key stolen base. I’ll wager that a guy walks, steals a base or two and scores on a ground ball more often than you think. 2 – Usually they do put a maple leaf up beside a visiting player’s name if he’s Canadian.

    - Randy
  35. 35.

    Mike, while I love Rolen, he has serious competition for the GBOAT. You have to remember that Clemons played here, as well as Ricky Henderson, Paul Molitar the Big Hurt, Winfield and Alomar. All are or will be HOFers. Then you also have Halladay. I love Scott, for sure the best third baseman we have ever had. And I am amazed that he NEVER has a poor throw to first.

    - Dan
  36. 36.

    I think Paul Molitor is the greatest Blue Jay of all time along with Alomar. But Rolen would be up there too.

    - Mark
  37. 37.

    Hi Mike, re: 500 level homers, Josh Phelps definitely hit one up there in his brief tenure with the Jays.

    - Thomas
  38. 38.

    I wish Arroyo still played for Boston, we would likely see him a few more times in the dome…I mean Rogers Centre.

    MW: It’s still a dome.

    - KJD
  39. 39.

    Mike,
    I agree with you that Vernon should not be a 3 or 4 hitter on a contending team. It begs the question, coming in his 8th year as gm, JP still has not found a true hitter in that third or fourth spot. How can you defend this guy? Granted, lind and snyder will take over that role eventually. But who do we have NOW? or in the last 3 years? Looking at the rosters of the teams that have qualified for the post-season in the last three years, every single one of their 3 or 4 hitters were better than any of our tandums. Jays fan still wonder why we cant crack the AL EAST. WE NEVER HAD A LEGIT 3 or 4 TANDUM. When snider and lind take over that role, halladay will be gone.

    MW: It’s tandem and you’ve used “begs the question” incorrectly. I’m not sure whether or not you believe that middle of the order hitters grow on trees or are easily available – they’re not. It takes time to develop them when you’re starting with nothing.

    - Nitin
  40. 40.

    The Yankees lead the league in HR with 107. The Rays only have 96.

    MW: I must have read the chart wrong. I’m sick, what can I tell you?

    - Chris
  41. 41.

    Mike

    Great Blog – question regarding your statement of “back to back (and belly to belly)”. What exactly does this mean? I have heard this statement from a New York Yankee broadcaster when a right handed hitter and a left handed hitter (or visa versa) hit back to back home runs. The statement (at least the way I understood it) is that the term “back to back” referred to the home runs and the term “belly to belly” referred to how they were positioned at the plate if they were both standing there (right handed hitter facing a left handed hitter); hence, the “belly to belly”.

    With Hill and Wells (both right handed hitters) going “back to back” – I want to understand what you meant by “belly to belly”?

    Dan

    MW: I was just playing. I actually never knew what John Sterling meant by that. He doesn’t only use it for when a righty and a lefty go deep, though, does he?

    - DC
  42. 42.

    Hey Mike, with McGowan’s future in question and the other injuries piling up I think the Jays should look to add pitching depth.

    Jeff Niemann is out of options with the Rays and Kazmir is on his way back. Could the Jays offer up some relievers for Niemann who’s a nice looking arm that could replace the likes of Hayhurst or Carlson?

    Also, what about Chris Davis as a bat? He’s had an abysmal month or so at the plate but he has obvious power, he may be too similar to Travis Snider (high strikeout, high power) but he would seemingly be a great upgrade at DH or 1B down the road. There’s been talk of the Rangers having him finish the year in the minors, could the Jays swoop in and grab him under-value? Perhaps he would thrive under the trio of hitting specialists in the Jays’ coaching staff. Cheers, love the show.

    -Pat

    MW: I don’t think the Rays would deal to a team that’s locked up with them in the standings, though the Jays would be happy to add another good, young arm. As for Davis, it’s a thought. He has a ton of power and the potential to be very good, so he won’t come cheap.

    - Pat
  43. 43.

    I have not commented in a while, but I just wanted to say that when I read that Scott Rolen caught a ball 16 or 17 feet in the air I laughed out loud. Thanks!

    MW: At least someone understands me.

    - Steve
  44. 44.

    Rolen is phenomenal!!! He is also 2nd in the league in hitting. It is getting a little tougher to see who the All – Stars should be on this team. Both Hill and Lind should be there, along with Doc (thanks for catching the spelling mistake yesterday), but how can Rolen be overlooked? The only way I can see is the way he was used early on in the season with all the games off when an afternoon game followed a night game.

    If Vernon turns it around and continues to rip the ball the way he has since they went to Philly, has is going to be an enormous boost to this offence, and will go along toward a playoff push.

    Has Purcey fallen out of favour a bit, and is he a pitcher they would be willing to move, or are the Jays giving other arms a shot when it comes to call-ups for spot starts, or a couple of turns in the rotation. What is the Jays record since Doc went on the DL?

    MW: I can see Halladay being the only Blue Jay at the all-star game way more than I can see all four of Halladay, Hill, Lind and Rolen going. Purcey is a guy the Jays would be willing to move, but his value isn’t that high right now. Are you afraid to try to spell Halladay? Since his last start, the Jays are 6-5.

    - Aaron Ker
  45. 45.

    MW: “If Rolen doesn’t get way up there, I’m thinking it was about 16 or 17 feet…”

    I’ll go along with best defensive third baseman ever (that I’ve seen, including Nettles, Beltre, Brooks Robinson and Schmidt), but 16 feet? That’s some hoppin’ caveman.

    - Evan White
  46. 46.

    Let me preface this by saying usually I agree 100 per cent with most of what you say and use the ‘Gospel of Wilner’ often as a means of putting out of line Jays fans in their place.

    That being said, it seems to me your stance on W/L record for pitchers has changed of late, judging by some of the comment responses. I seem to always recall you implying before on air and in comments that a pitcher has very little control over his wins and losses, which I agree with.

    In some recent comments now you’ve taken it even further and said a pitcher has NO control over his wins and losses.

    I just can’t see how you could fathom that this is true and a pitcher’s performance isn’t in some way tied to his wins and losses.

    I get as mad as you do when I hear the .500 pitcher claims and I know this is useless. However, over the long haul, given the huge sample size of pitchers who have ever played in the MLB, I don’t see how you can say that generally, good pitchers win more baseball games than poor ones.

    The longer a pitcher stays in a game, the greater number of chances there are for his team to come back or widen a lead and provide him either a no decision or win. Pitchers who allow fewer runs have a tendency to stay in games longer. Would that not, on its own, in some way, lend itself slightly to a slight correlation between pitcher skill and W/L record?

    Can a bad pitcher win 300 games or 15+ games multiple times in a career? No, because while forces external to that pitcher’s ability may occasionally lead to wins when there shouldn’t be, that won’t sustain itself over the long haul of a career.

    Can a great pitcher have a poor winning percentage? Of course, but aside from the Nolan Ryan example, I would be surprised if there are hordes of people considered “great” pitchers who don’t have more wins than losses.

    I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts, hopefully in more than a dismissive one liner. Also, am I off base that your stance on this has changed of late, from ‘very little’ to ‘no’ impact on W/L? If so, is there anything you’ve studied or learned lately that led to this change?

    Thanks Mike.

    MW: Ryan actually has a career winning percentage of .526, I think. You’re right – as I said above – the better a pitcher is, the better his chances of winning, obviously. Maybe I have become more entrenched as the other side of the argument has gotten louder and sillier. Let’s say this – on a single-game basis, a pitcher has no control over whether he wins or loses.

    - Cole
  47. 47.

    I’m curious as to the progress of Michael Barrett.

    He has played 3 games in vegas in the last week at the catchers spot and is batting over .300 mind you in only 13 at bats.

    Is he still in the plans for this year or do the jays prefer a Chavez / Barajas tandem?

    I’m guessing if he does come back that it won’t be until after the all star break though.

    A long rehab in vegas?

    MW: It can’t be that long, he’s only allowed 30 days. They’d like to have him back over Chavez, but if they bring him back they lose Chavez – he can’t just be sent back down.

    - Chris
  48. 48.

    Hey Mike,
    A few questions/comments (regarding nicknames).
    What made you come up with ‘Hey Dirkhurst’? It sounds awesome, hoping that Hayhurst treats it the way we’d like him to see it as, and isn’t it supposed to be Hay Dirkhurst instead? If you explained before, I’m sorry, I never knew.

    And for the Caveman, I had that thought too, because of his looks, and mostly his appearance in the Mammoth Burger and Fossil Fries commercial. I don’t know how that accurately relates to caves though, but doesn’t it seem connected? Fossil Fries? That drive-thru animal thing? He’s a caveman alright. He’s just plain awesome, Jays are lucky to have him. What a third baseman.
    Scott, whatcha doin’ this weekend? Text me…

    Hope we can sweep the Reds and welcome the Phillies, who just own on the road.

    MW: You’re right, it should be Hay, but Hey just seems to flow better.

    - Peter
  49. 49.

    “… I don’t see how you can say that generally, good pitchers win more baseball games than poor ones.”

    Can in the above paragraph on my post should be can’t.

    If you could change that, I would appreciate it.

    MW: I tried, but I couldn’t find it.

    - Cole
  50. 50.

    how does it work, contract-wise, when a guy like russ adams is called up? i assume he still makes minor league dollars, but at what point (# of games or days) do the jays have to sign him to a mlb contract?

    MW: Once he gets called up, he gets a major-league contract at major-league money.

    - rob
  51. 51.

    michael,
    was just perusing the overall standings in mlb early this morning.
    so you know what i found out?
    there’s only 2 teams in all of mlb with more wins than the toronto blue jays as of this morning.
    true indeed, just the dodgers & the red sox.
    that’s it. no others out of the other 29 teams…..
    a couple tied with the jays in wins that’s true but still.
    that’s kind of impressive at this point in the season coming up to the all-star break. i’m not wrong in thinking that michael am i?

    MW: No, you’re not, but the Jays have also played more games than just about anybody.

    - darrell bishop
  52. 52.

    Hi Mike,

    I am really enjoying seeing Vernon Wells getting out of his slump. Also, I was just wondering how David Delucci is doing in AAA and when he might be caled up?

    Thanks.

    Ian.

    MW: He’s not doing so well, I don’t see a call coming too soon.

    - Ian Noriega - 13 years old
  53. 53.

    michael,
    typo my friend, no team in mlb with more wins in the remaining 27 clubs not 29 as posted previously. still only 2 with more regardless. gotta like it.
    btw, a very good test for young cecil coming up tonite.
    trying to put the final touches on the ever difficult 3 game sweep. never easy…..

    - darrell bishop
  54. 54.

    Hi Mike, I’ve a question

    If the draft is 50+ rounds, does that mean that over a thousand players are drafted each year? Where do all these guys come from and where do they go?

    MW: The draft is 50 rounds, which means that over 1500 players are drafted each year. They come from colleges and high schools and they mostly go to rookie ball and short-season A-ball leagues.

    - Carlos
  55. 55.

    I have a couple of questions about Rolen and Scutaro.

    Would you sign either of them for next year?

    I would for sure. Especially Scutaro. This team has been seriously lacking a starting SS for years (no offence to Johnny Mac), and he has finally filled that role. And he seems to be a late bloomer. If he could give us 3 more quality seasons, it would fab. Do we have any young SS in Las Vegas ready to play?

    Rolen is an interesting one. He has been amazing this year. But he’s injury prone and since he’s not getting any younger, so you might not want to risk committing money to him. But there’s a chance he’s put his serious injuries behind him. I personally think he’s worth the risk, as long as he doesn’t ask for an unreasonable length/salary. Again, any young 3B in the minors?

    Thanks, sorry for the long windiness.

    MW: That was hardly long-winded. Rolen is already under contract for next year, so that question is moot. I would sign Scutaro, for sure, he’s been a revelation. But Scutaro won’t be looking for a one-year contract.

    - Michael
  56. 56.

    Hey Mike,

    are you seeing anything that Richmond is doing different to have more success against lefties lately? Or do you think its just a lucky streak…

    MW: Maybe before, it was an unlucky streak.

    - Monty
  57. 57.

    i dunno mike, Caveman sounds a little insulting. i hear where you’re coming from and all, but i dunno.

    - Diego
  58. 58.

    The Jays need to trade for a power lefty bat,I feel a Rios for Dunn trade would be the best option.Rios needs a new start and the Jays need a 40 homer guy,pride and emotions need to be set aside for the business side of baseball.

    MW: I think the Jays lose out pretty big in a Rios for Dunn deal.

    - jason c w
  59. 59.

    Mike, just a couple of quick true or false questions.

    1) Both Adam Lind and Aaron Hill finish the year with 100+ RBI.

    2) Hill leads the team with HRs at the end of the season.

    Thanks

    Great work on the blog and the JaysTalk.

    MW: False to both, though it would be pretty cool if it were true.

    - Zach
  60. 60.

    Mike,

    What was the point of replacing Joe Inglett with Russ Adams? They both are not that good, so where’s the net gain of having one over the other?

    MW: I guess they felt that Inglett wasn’t doing well and Adams might do better. And so far, they were right.

    - Bernard
  61. 61.

    Mike,

    Please take some time out of your busy day tomorrow (June 26th) and join me in wishing Mr. Derek Sanderson Jeter a very very Happy Birthday!

    - Bernard
  62. 62.

    Hey Mike,
    quick question for you..
    Do you think the Jays should persue free agent Casey Fossum, former Red Sox pitcher? With all the injuries to the Jays staff, it makes sense to sign him.

    Thanks Mike, great game last night…GO JAYS GO

    MW: Casey Fossum is horrible.

    - tom stewart
  63. 63.

    Hey Mike, It’s been a while since I’ve posted on here but after watching a post game interview with Vernon I had to post and tell you how amazing he is with the media. His coment about getting hyped up because the fans were chanting his new nickname “Boo” was hillarious and then thanking the media for there suport during his slump (which looks like is behind him). I’m a Vernon fan and think people should get off of his back because I’d love to see anyone of them hit a 90+ mph pitch or have to deal with the things these players deal with on a daily basis both from fans and media ( I dont in anyway include you, Alan or Jerry in that because I consider the 3 of you part of the club). Lets hope for the sweep tonight. Keep up the great bloggage and post and pre-game shows

    MW: Thanks. I don’t consider me part of the club, though. I have to say I thought Vernon was a little out of line with his comments, though. The right thing to do would have been to say that he’d earned the boos, because he had.

    - Chris
  64. 64.

    Hi Mike

    When he’s healthy,Rolen sure is a treat to watch.Now that he’s adjusted the swing we’re seeing the whole package of what JP traded for.He seems to me as one of those guys who takes to the role of being “depended on”.Sort of like a Roy Halladay.The move of Rolen to 4th in the lineup has been a good one for both Lind and Wells.I think Lind could eventually be a #4 but for now Rolen has stepped up huge.I like Vernon as a 3 hitter and he’ll do better there as he seems to be finding his stroke.
    Guys like Richmond and of course Tallet have done a great job keeping the Jays in this race.I’m just concerned that they may hit a wall come mid-august as the innings pile up.Hopefully,Marcum can come back and help out soon.What will the Jays do if Romero and Cecil reach their innings for the year and the Jays are still in it?I know you’re not high on a guy like Paul Byrd and I understand that but he could be an innings eater give the pen a break as they seem to be showing some wear and tear.I think Casey Jannsen would be a welcome add to the pen upon his return.If not, is there any veteran relievers out the who would be a good fit to help out in the second half?

    MW: There are always good relievers available at the deadline, those trades are very easy to make and it seems as though that’s what the Jays need, though once Downs and Janssen come back I think the ‘pen will be far more settled.

    - terry
  65. 65.

    hey mike;

    Was at the game with friends and great to see richmond shine again after a rough couple of innings, but was dominant in the latter innings, and could have pitched past the seventh, but hayhurst was good. Great to see vernon firing on all cylinders but he is being booed only because fans are restless and know he’s capable of quite a bit more, as in producing lind’s and hill’s type numbers- where would the jays be with an extra 4-5 wins!
    Another great shout out to russ adams for his two hits and agressive baserunning to stymie the double play, this kid should be kept on the roster, as he’s cheap insurance for scutaro and macdonald(love johnny mac but adams is a better hitter period). In closing rios didn’t look to be having any consistancy again and appears in a funk again, which is a little unnerving, but what was more troubling was that the rodgers-skydome was 3/4 empty with a paltry 15,500 fans including me and my three friends, let’s support the jays toronto! good job as always mike.

    - robert.s
  66. 66.

    MW: If Rolen doesn’t get way up there, I’m thinking it was about 16 or 17 feet…

    was this an actual estimate? i really hope that was a joke, but the way it flowed into the rest of your sentence, i don’t think it was…terrible

    MW: Sheesh.

    - Jay B
  67. 67.

    Hey Mike

    Great Blog. I liked you mention of Rolen being a caveman. Kind of goes in with the commercial he does.

    I have a question for you. It goes back to the game on Tuesday night.

    When Camp came in he loaded the bases and got none out. How does this get scored for him considering he did not get any out. How does it affect his WHIP? I think he gave up 2 walk and a hit, but technically he did not pitch an inning or 1/3 of an inning.

    Looking forward to tonights game.

    Lawrence

    MW: It gets tacked on to his season total. If that had been Camp’s only outing of the season, his WHIP and ERA would both be listed as “undetermined”, because they don’t want to put “infinity”.

    - Lawrence
  68. 68.

    Mike,

    Would you not rather see Purcey get the start on Saturday against the Phillies than mills.

    Purcey seems like a better option in my opinion.

    MW: And that wasn’t hindsight! Purcey needs to work out his control issues and Mills deserved a second chance. But that’s it, he’s gone when Halladay comes back.

    - Chris
  69. 69.

    I believe our friend Benji Molina hit a shot into the fifth deck (not sure if it made it all the way up there) on opening day 2006

    Nice cubing of the Reds last night, here’s to a sweep!

    MW: Molina’s didn’t quite make it.

    - scott
  70. 70.

    Mike,
    Speaking on behalf of the maritimes, you should visit. I don’t know what your obligations are with the FAN and baseball but Nova Scotia has a great fall. The ocean causes the weather to stay warmer longer, well into October and sometimes early November. In addition the vibrient fall leaves in Nova Scotia are hard to beat.

    MW: I have family in Halifax, I’m definitely going to make it out there at some point.

    - JW
  71. 71.

    Wow!! I have been very aware of your knowledge and understanding of the game. But Mike, I just wanted to again show my appreciation for your knowledge and understanding around mental illness and that yes it can strike professional baseball players, good professional baseball players; such as a very respected pitcher during my little league pitching career – Pete Harnish

    We talked about stigma and discrimination. I am a founding board member of the Mental Health Commission of Canada (created by former Senator Michael Kirby and well funded by the PM). One of our 5 initiatives is a 10 year multi-million dollar anti-stigma / anti-discrimination campaign. A part of this campaign is social marketing which includes utilizing the fame of famous people with mental illness to combat stigma. Any suggestions on how I can contact Joey Votto or any others you can think of who may have an interest. An example of this is star forward Daniel Alfredsson of the Ottawa Senators is a spokesperson for a mental health program in Ottawa.
    Best,
    Andy

    MW: There are two good ways to contact Votto for such an undertaking – either through the Reds or through Baseball Canada. I’m sorry I wasn’t there on Thursday, I would have talked to him about it myself.

    - Andy
  72. 72.

    Hey Mike,

    Great blog. Jays fans really don’t fully realize how truly spoiled they are. We’re spoiled in having perhaps the greatest pitcher of his time in the Doctor, perhaps the greatest defensive third baseman of all time in Rolen and arguably the best all around defensive infield of either league. I’m so thrilled that someday I can tell my grandkids that I used to stroll down to the ballpark on a warm Sunday afternoon to watch Halladay and Rolen apply their immaculate skills.

    We’re spoiled Mike.

    Not sure what I think of the “Caveman” but I see where you’re coming from for sure. Personally, he reminds me more of a cowboy. Rolen’s a guy who you can easily picture in a rodeo. Strong as hell, tough as nails, yet surprisingly agile. “Tex” Rolen? Work in progress. :)

    - Scott B
  73. 73.

    Mike,

    I heard the Indians acquired Jose Veras from the Yankees for cash. Would this transaction be similar to, say, Bill Gates selling his toaster on eBay for $50?

    MW: I’m not sure I get that.

    - Chris
  74. 74.

    Hi Mike,

    Interesting nickname for Scott Rolen but I always think of him as more of a bulldog. He is tenacious, aggressive, smart, disarmingly sneaky, unexpectedly quick and intensely competitive. He even looks bulldog-like (no insult intended).
    However, the more I think about it the more I can understand the caveman comparison. The character Barney, from The Flintstones, comes to mind.

    MW: Barney? Really?

    - Linda
  75. 75.

    MW – another on a Wells double in the 2nd (hey, he’s 13-for-his-last-32

    Both ESPN and MLB have Wells at 11 for his last 32…..that’s only a .344 BA.

    They also both have him at 13 for his last 38. I don’t know where you are getting your stats from, but I suspect that they are incorrect. I suspect that you are taking his hits for his last eight games and dividing by his at bats for his past seven games. Not sure why anybody would want to do that. It certainly doesn’t give you a player’s BA.

    MW: I got them from my own scoresheets. I’ll check again……..oops, it was 13-for-34. Sorry about that.

    - stats lady
  76. 76.

    Hey Mike,

    I’m hoping you are exaggerating the height of the catch Rolen made on purpose. It’s sounds like you’re serious though and if so, you should rethink that height you think he got to. Rolen could MAYBE hit 11 feet at the peak of his jump and that’s being generous. 16 or 17 feet is not possible for anyone not named Yao.

    MW: You people continue to impress me.

    - Gary
  77. 77.

    And now for the second act.

    Beginning Monday the Jays have 85 games remaining including:

    19 games versus the Rays (leading the AL with a +73 run differential)

    13 games versus the Red Sox (44-27)

    16 games versus the Yankees (39-32)

    That’s 48 of 85 games against very tough AL East opposition.

    In the team’s first 77 games they played only nine games against these teams.

    Good luck boys. Me thinks you’ll need it and a whole lot more.

    - stats lady
  78. 78.

    To bad The Puma has been taken by Lance Berkman because I see Rolen perfectly fitting a puma or any jungle cat. He’s big like a puma, he has good speed on the base paths like a puma, he has great reflexes and instincts like a puma whether he is hitting, fielding or running. He is a beast. but puma is taken so how about: The Lynx, The Mountain Lion (which works because he is in the cold wilderness of Canada), The Cougar, The Panther?

    - jake
  79. 79.

    Hi Mike,

    Over the past few seasons I’ve been observing a routine that Vernon uses in the outfield on easy fly balls with no runners on: Wells trots/walks to the ball, casually lifts his glove, makes the catch, takes a second to stare at the ball in the glove, then flips it into the infield. This routine frustrates me because it gives the impression of a disinterested or “this is too easy for me” attitude. On two occasions during Wednesday’s game with an easy fly, Vernon had some bounce to his step, caught the ball, and fired it into the infield (something I hadn’t seen in a while).
    Do you think this is just coincidental timing to the espn article? Is he trying to live up to the “He runs hard through the bag on every ground ball” comment from the article? Or am I just imagining all of this?
    Thank you,

    MW: I think you’re just imagining. And no one runs hard through the bag on every ground ball.

    - Otto from Arnprior
  80. 80.

    “Dustin McGowan emerged as one of the AL’s most promising young pitchers by winning 14 games with a 3.62 ERA and 169 strikeouts in 32 starts from mid-2007 to mid-2008, but began struggling following a 125-pitch outing last June and had season-ending shoulder surgery a month later. His recovery has gone poorly and general manager J.P. Ricciardi hinted Wednesday that his career is in jeopardy.”

    Prior to his 125 pitch effort on June 10th he threw between 88 and 103 pitches in his 13 starts. What was up with that 125 pitch stint? He never pitched anything resembling a good game in the five starts he made after that game. John Gibbons was fired on June 19th. This fiasco may well have had something to do with it. I wonder what Gibbon’s views on this might be now.

    Was this sudden increase in pitches thrown really necessary? It looks like another promising career is now down the drain. Wonderful.

    MW: You can’t honestly believe that 25 extra pitches in one start caused this, can you?

    - Kit
  81. 81.

    I asked you a couple of months ago who you thought had the best swing in baseball. I said it was Joey Votto. What a beautiful swing. The guy has played outstanding especially considering his personal problems.

    - Domenick
  82. 82.

    brandon league is horrible. his era is 5.85. that is worse than veras who was RELEASED by yankees. veras had .baa against vs righties of .180 and he gets released. I think league needs to be sent down. he gives up runs almost every time out. 21 er in 31 ip

    MW: League does give up runs almost every time out. Or to be more accurate, he has been scored upon in eight of his last 24 outings.

    - billy
  83. 83.

    Mike,

    A couple days ago you guys were talking about the last home run hit into the 500 level. I think the Bengie Molina one that one caller brought up would definetly be the one that comes to mind. But I think Rios hit one on May 17th of this year against the White Sox that went into the 500′s. Can you confirm that for me?

    MW: As you know now, neither of those homers went into the 500s. Molina’s went into a suite on the 400 level, right above Tom Cheek’s name on the Level of Excellence. Rios’ homer on May 17th of this year landed in the 100-level seats.

    - James K.
  84. 84.

    I have a different question for you Mike. A few post game shows ago you stated that the furthest West you have been was Sarnia. I’m from Sarnia and am just wondering what did you do here?

    MW: Crossed the border. I said the furthest west I had been in Canada was Sarnia.

    - Brent
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