10:35 PM Eastern

What, you didn’t think a little swine flu was going to keep me down, did you?  OK, well, it’s probably not swine flu (for some reason they didn’t test me), but I have to pass along my regrets for not being able to answer the bell tonight.  Only my second sick day in eight seasons in that booth, and hopefully I’ll be back in there tomorrow night.

The operative word for Brett Cecil tonight was “up”.  Everything he threw was up, and unfortunately for Brett, it was up in the strike zone, and his stuff got pounded.  The Reds climbed all over the rookie almost like the Jays did with Bronson Arroyo last night, but the Jays had a comeback in them.

Vernon Wells and Scott (The Caveman) Rolen came up huge in that 5th inning rally to tie the game and rev up what was settling into being a pretty boring evening. Wells with the two-out, two-run double and Rolen following with the game-tying two-run single up the middle.  Unfortunately, the Jays didn’t get any hits after that Rolen single.

I have to say that when the 7th inning started, my first thought was “Shawn Camp is coming out for a FOURTH inning of work?  Really?”  Then Joey Votto took him over the right-field wall for the margin of victory.  Still, no complaints about Camp tonight – any time a long reliever throws down four innings of one-run ball, you should be very, very happy.

Rolen, Marco Scutaro (throwing out a runner from the seat of his pants) and Aaron Hill flashed the leather beautifully tonight – again.  It’s such a pleasure to watch this team play defense on a nightly basis.

Finally, huge ups to Zack Cooper for stepping into the breach in my absence.  He did a great job during the game, and as I type this, he’s doing a terrific job (with Jerry) on The JaysTalk.  Don’t believe me?  Here, listen for yourself:

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Tomorrow the Phillies come to town having lost eight of their last nine, a run that started when the Jays swept them last week.  Ricky Romero meets Cole Hamels, and hopefully I’ll be back in harness for that one.  Just nobody come too close.

Rational, reasonable comments are always welcome!

23 Responses to “Observations From The Sickbed”
  1. 1.

    Mike,

    I’ve never understood why every pitcher doesn’t ALWAYS pitch from the stretch? What is the advantage of going through the windup?

    Thanks.

    MW: Comfort? Power? Control?

    - Danny
  2. 2.

    Hope you are feeling better and you don’t have swine flu!

    A good series, although a sweep would have been sweet. Looks like Jays are back to winning every 2 out of 3.

    Can you please silence my friend who has been going nuts after Hill’s two home runs in the last two games. He thinks Hill is better than Kinsler, I couldn’t help but laugh. Tell him in plain words that Ian Kinsler is a better offensive and defensive 2nd baseman than Aaron Hill so that he could shut up.

    MW: Can’t do it, at least not this year. And I wouldn’t expect the Jays to keep winning two out of every three games.

    - Beburg
  3. 3.

    Tonight was game 162 in the Cito II era. He’s 91 – 71 this time around.

    Since I live down in the states I got better radio reception listening on the Reds radio network. The Reds radio and television announcers were very kind to the Jays. The most interesting comment was made by Jeff Brantley who said he played with and against Tony Fernandez and thought Tony was Hall of Fame worthy.

    You actually mentioned David Clyde on Jays Talk last week. Clyde played parts of 7 seasons with the Indians and Rangers. When he was released by the Indians in the spring of 1980 he was one day short of his major league pension. A player qualifies for the basic pension when he plays 4 years in the majors. A year is defined as 180 days on the roster, so every time a player accumulates 180 days on a roster he is credited with one year of service. Clyde was never picked up by another team, so today he works as a lumberjack in Arkansas with no pension. The other end of that story is Tim Hosley. Hosley was a catcher with the Cubs and A’s in the late 1970′s and early 1980′s. When the Cubs released Hosley in the spring of 1982, he too was one day short of four years and his major league pension. Hosley contacted Billy Martin and explained his problem. Martin was kind enough to make sure the A’s signed Hosley and added him to the roster as a September 1 call up, thus allowing Hosley to get his pension. Billy Martin had his faults, but watching out for the little guy was not one of them.

    Trivia question during the Reds radio broadcast tonight. Three Canadian born players have hit three home runs in a major league game. Can you name them. I know Joey Votto and Larry Walker for sure, but I missed the answer and I’m lost on the last one, unless Jason Bay has done it and I don’t remember.

    Finally, you mentioned the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame on last Saturdays pre game show. When I was a kid growing up 40 years ago, there were hardly any Canadians in the big leagues. John Hiller and Reggie Cleveland come to mind. Today there are so many it’s hard to keep track. In the next ten years, I believe you’ll see an average of about three Canadians per team, or in other words, around 100 Canadian born players total.

    P.S.- Are you ever going to play the Balor Moore interview?

    MW: Justin Morneau is the other Canadian to hit three home runs in a game. I’ll be stunned if we see three Canadians to a team within 10 years, but awfully happy. Yes, I am ever going to play the Moore interview.

    - Jim in Ohio
  4. 4.

    Mike
    …hope your feeling better – I went through the same thing in May.
    I suspect you’ll miss more than 1 game if its a similar flu.

    …a few musings:

    1. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad – Cueto vs Cecil I wasn’t expecting a win – but they almost pulled it out.

    2. re: neanderthalicity
    …I agree – longer hair and whiskers could land him a spot on the Geico commercials.
    “Caveman” may be a little to general – something more unique is more likely to stick.
    Local Neanderthals (back in the day) had a naming convention for labeling good rock handlers / throwers in their tribe.
    If I remember correctly, I believe it was either “Grog” or “Thag”.
    I kinda like Thag better…..has a nice ring to it.
    The Doctor, The Captain and Thag….

    3. …the Reds offer Jay Bruce for Rios and Accardo – what would you say if you were GM?

    MW: I’d have to think long and hard about that one.

    - Mike in NB
  5. 5.

    Hi MIKE.. Zack filled in great and hope you are back soon,, Mike, tonight thier was a couple of calls with Jerry about how a lotta’ people enjoy listening to Allan and Jerry on the radio which is a done deal with those two, but he took it a little further by saying , baseball is one of the best sports to listen to on the radio, and I totally agree.. Any real ball fan can be in check with whats going on if you got the right guys behind the mike and make it interesting while we are driving, or flipping our burgers on the barby.. Keep the good work up A and J.. And by the way Mike, I will buy you are not feeling well,, But dont start takeing vacations and stuff .. You can do that during hockey season which seemingly goes on for ever but dont mess around with the stick and ball.. Thanks Mike..

    MW: You will “buy” that I’m not feeling well? I didn’t realize I was selling anything.

    - FLIPPER
  6. 6.

    Hey Michael

    I hope you feel better today. I guess you must be happy if you win the series but a good rally was sure wasted.

    Is Cecil in need of glasses? I see him squint as if Barajas was flashing the signs too quick for the young pitcher. I also noticed he threw in much slower velocity yesterday. I thought his pitches are usually around low 90s and his off speed is around mid 80s. Yesterday, some of his pitches were registering mid 70s

    Get well Mike – eat lots of chicken soup

    Francis

    - francis
  7. 7.

    Get well soon, Mike!!!

    The Jays can’t win every game and I thought it was a good effort last night.

    So, are the Jays in a race for the wild card spot? And if so, should the Jays fill in the weaknesses so that the team is strong later on in the season? And if so, what are their weaknesses?

    The Jays are very short in the pitching. It is great to see the starting staff keep the Jays in the game. But wouldn’t it make sense to get another proven starter on to the staff? And if the Jays need to trade someone, will it be someone regularly on the bench or will it be one of their stars? What are your thoughts?

    Did it look like Lind was a little rusty out there in left in the 1st last night. Or were the Reds simply lucky?

    Is there anything behind Rios’ 0 for streak?

    MW: The Jays’ weaknesses are in the bullpen, the bottom of the rotation and DH, and they could use some more offense behind the plate. However, the bottom of the rotation is soon to be fixed with the return of Roy Halladay tomorrow, and the bullpen will get better whenever Scott Downs and Casey Janssen get back. Do you think that the average “proven veteran” will give you more than any of Romero/Richmond/Tallet/Cecil? I don’t. I thought Lind got unlucky in that 1st inning against the Reds, a couple of those hits were just beyond his range, which is pretty average. What could be behind Rios’ 0-fer?

    - Tim
  8. 8.

    The Caveman? I’m sure someone else has aleardy asked you where that come from so I’ll just read the comments section for your awnser. However, that was the same name alot of people called Johnny Damon when he grew his hair long with the Bo-sox. I’ll stick with calling him Scotty-Row. Also would you have had Camp pitch a 4th inning if your the manager? And what would you think if we gave Shawn Camp the nickname “The Scout”?

    - Matt from BC
  9. 9.

    The Blue Jays are a good defensive team as a whole (2nd best in plus/minus runs at +20). But their outfield defence is not good (2nd last in the AL in RZR and OOZ).

    I think last nights game was an example of the outfield defence weakness – Adam Lind’s career is at first or DH.

    MW: It’s interesting, because Lind hasn’t been in the outfield most of the time.

    - Jim Maron
  10. 10.

    Hey Mike,

    Sad that you’re sick. I just got the swine flu a few weeks ago and I’m finally better.

    <<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>

    It’s 10 in the morning. :D

    MW: What does 10 in the morning have to do with anything?

    - Peter
  11. 11.

    hello mike, I can see how you get caveman from Scott Rolen as you explained on Jays talk but that is not a good nick name…Scott would think it’s more of an insult hearing it for the first time than a compliement though I know it’s not meant to be that.

    MW: How do you know what Rolen would think of it? Though you’re on a first-name basis with him, so I guess you know him pretty well.

    - david F
  12. 12.

    Get well soon, sir!

    MW: Thanks!

    - Mike M
  13. 13.

    Mike I wish you a speedy recovery. Only 2 sick days in 8 years ! Imagine if you could bank the ones you didn’t take, and get paid for them.

    I like your comparison of Rolen to a caveman. He is deserving of a fitting nickname. Do you know where “Kronk” came from ? Too bad it’s taken.

    MW: Who took Kronk?

    - Rez
  14. 14.

    Sorry, I should have said: “Get back to being not unwell soon, sir!”

    MW: Thanks for that, too.

    - Mike M
  15. 15.

    Mike, I hope you are feeling better and I will be listening for you tonight. Quick question in terms of trade. Overbay’s value on the market may never get any higher than this, so do you see J.P. making Lyle available at the deadline? If so, what do you think the Jays could get for him?

    MW: I don’t see the Jays being sellers at all at the deadline, not with things going the way they are. It’s not as though they have a ready replacement for Overbay (or Rolen, who is in the same boat).

    - Daryl
  16. 16.

    What did you think of Rios’ approach to his first at bat? Sharing a laugh with the catcher before stepping in and then getting five pitches not even close to the strike zone (swinging at three). Two men on base, two out and down by four runs and that’s the intensity of his response. Fans watch Rolen and Scutaro maximize every bit of their capacities and this ‘super talent’ shows up with chump change effort. I think his recent You Tube comment pretty much tells it: he doesn’t give an f-bomb about his performance. I imagine he’s an embarrassment to any young player struggling to find his way into the Majors. Rios will probably hit his 20 homers and .300 average by the end of the season, but he’ll remain the last guy you want to see up for a significant plate appearance. He should be batting in the ninth spot where at least his speed can be utlized, that is when he doesn’t forget how to run the bases.

    - Will, Oshawa
  17. 17.

    yo mike hope you feel better soon just got one quick question when is scotty downs scheduled to return to the jays cause I really think that they miss him

    MW: They do really miss him. I don’t know when he’s expected back.

    - david struyk
  18. 18.

    I REALLY hope you come back to the radio.

    MW: I’ll be back on Tuesday, tonight if you listen to TBJTW.

    - TheSunkenZealot
  19. 19.

    Hi Mike

    What prospects do you think the Jays would have to offer to the Nationals for Nick Johnson?

    thanks,

    - David
  20. 20.

    “Everything he threw was up”

    Haha. That just made me laugh, what with you having the flu and all.

    Sorry.

    - Flaming Moe
  21. 21.

    Hey Mike,

    Don’t think I’ve read it anywhere, but with Thursday’s loss, I believe that was exactly 162 games under Cito, with a record of 91-71.

    What would it take for this year’s team to reach 91 wins?

    MW: The obvious answer is 50 wins. But I think what you want me to say is a great second half from Wells and Rios without much of a slip back from Lind, Hill, Rolen and Scutaro, and Romero, Richmond and Tallet have to maintain.

    - Ken Pagan
  22. 22.

    Whew. You’re just sick. I tuned in and thought you took a job in NY or something.
    Get well soon dude.

    MW: They offered me a job in New York?

    - andrew
  23. 23.

    Hey Mikey, not to get thinking too far ahead but next year is supposed to be a big year and hopefully it will be, but what do you think the rotation will look like next year since we have seen just about everyone I would assume that will have a shot at breaking next year with the team, personally I’ve liked the idea of Tallet in the rotation even before he was thrown out there this year and would love to see him continue because he is just pitching phenomenally and if you ask me next year, Halladay, McGowan, Marcum, Tallet, Romero or Richmond would be a GREAT rotation what do you think?

    MW: I think we’re likely to see Halladay, Marcum, Romero and Cecil in the rotation next year, and the fifth spot will be up for grabs. Whether it winds up being Tallet, Richmond or McGowan, it’s a great problem to have.

    - Sleepy
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