9:30 PM Eastern

The Blue Jays are done with interleague play!  Huzzah!

They finished an ugly 7-11 on the year – only the last-place Indians and A’s were worse in the American League (at 5-13).  And the Jays got to play the NL East, where EVERY team had a losing record in interleague, as well as a set with the Reds, for some reason, who were 6-9.

It’s amazing how bad this team is at beating the National League, and how much it always costs them in the standings.

This year, in interleague, the Jays finished three games worse than the Yankees (if the Yanks hold on to win tonight), SIX games worse than the Rays and four games in arrears of Boston.  To put it another way, that’s how many games they lost to three teams they are now chasing.  When interleague started, all those teams were chasing the Jays.

If the Yankees hold on to win tonight, they’ll lead the Jays by three for the wild card.  Granted, the Yanks played six against the Mets (and went 4-1 going into tonight) and the Jays didn’t play the Mets at all.  But the Jays got swept by the Marlins – at home – and the Rays went 5-1 against Florida.

Watch at the end of the season how important three games against the Yankees, four games against the Red Sox and six games against the Rays might be.  It’s astounding how the Jays simply can’t take care of business against the senior circuit.

Here’s today’s Alex Seixierofied version of The JaysTalk, for your listening pleasure:

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Kudos to Aaron Hill for the two home runs to make him the Jays’ all-time single-season leader in homers by a second baseman.  Don’t tell the guy I just traded him in the Fat Elvis league.

Tomorrow night, to celebrate my final day on the disabled list, Roy Halladay will be activated and tasked with taking down T-Bay as the Jays try to move back into a tie for third in the East.  Make sure you tune in Jerry, Alan and Zack Cooper at 7:00 PM Eastern!  I’ll be on with Hogan and Toth at 10:30 AM Eastern to help break down the weekend and set up the rest of the homestand.  If the Jays take the series from the Rays 2-1, it’ll be their second straight 5-4 homestand.  That’s not exactly making hay while the barn door is closed, or some such.

Rational, reasonable comments are always welcome!

51 Responses to “It’s Finally Over”
  1. 1.

    Hi Alex, Zack and Mike (not sure whose reading the post right now.)

    Just wondering why in the heck didn’t the Jays put down a sac bunt in the ninth?!

    I don’t know Hill’s record at bunting, but with 2 guys on and no one out, isn’t the sac bunt the right play. If he drops it down your 2nd and 3rd with one out. A flyball ties it and a hit wins it as well as keeps them out of the double play and allows Rolen (best avg. with RISP) to hit if wells doesn’t get it done.

    And if you sacrifice them over, Johnny Mac doesn’t get caught going on first move either.

    Just thought the 9th was poorly, poorly managed.

    What are your thoughts. Sorry if you covered this on Jays Talk I couldn’t listen today.

    Feel better Mike!

    MW: It’s only me who answers these things, but don’t feel badly – I didn’t listen to The JaysTalk yesterday, either. Here’s the thing – Hill is arguably your best hitter. He’d already homered twice, which doesn’t necessarily mean anything but is cool nonetheless. I want to give my best hitter a chance to get the hit that will tie the game, or maybe even win it.

    - mike
  2. 2.

    How, how, how, how, how on Earth did Cito pinch hit Russ Adams with the bases loaded and 2 out? That was such a John Gibbons move I almost shed a tear.
    Sickening.

    MW: Now people are pining for Bautista to stay in games???

    - Neil
  3. 3.

    Mike.. That deal with J-Mac running to 3rd.. Was that him or a bench call.. Obviously, if he gets there, and with Vernon in the middle of his A.B. creates a few more situations.. I actually dont mind that decision, especially with Vernon struggling.. Vernon can hit a deep fly ball with the best of them.. You have to tie the game up in order to win it.. Thanks and get well soon..

    MW: It was called from the bench.

    - FLIPPER
  4. 4.

    Hey Mike,

    Too bad they lost today. I too am in awe of their ability to lose ground during inter-league play.

    With Mariano Rivera, reaching the 500 save plateau tonight it gets me to wondering if the Jays ever had a closer that really ranks in the whose-who of closers? I can think of some that were very good (Henke, Ward, even BJ for a year) but did we ever have an all-time elite type closer?

    Thanks
    Tim

    MW: I think Henke was an all-time elite closer, and Ward would have been had he not gotten hurt.

    - Tim
  5. 5.

    Just a thought about a world where one can use logic to construct a lineup:

    If this lineup was constructed logically the jays would only need to add a quality 6 or 7 hitter.

    THis is not the only lineup that makes sense but if you sort the stats by OPS this kinda comes out when try to go left/right.

    1 scoot
    2 rolen
    3 lind
    4 hill
    5 overbay
    6 rios
    7 Decent hitter against righties
    8 wells
    9 barajas

    So you just need someone who can OPS around .750 against righties to improve on the current group. You have Millar (unfortunately) and bautista for lefties. Wells will probably come around at some point so you leave yourself room for improvement. Trading for my decent hitter will probably not cost too much and certainly won’t mortgage the future. Texas has a few guys that would work to varying degrees (Byrd,Murphy, Jones, blalock). Texas needs pitching. maybe the jays can sell high on a guy like tallet or richmond or castro. Jones or Blalock might get you a draft pick as free agents and byrd or murphy are easily moveable pieces when snider is ready to come up.

    feel better and remember to sanitize your workstation!

    MW: It’s becoming harder and harder to argue against Hill as the clean-up hitter, but I don’t think his power is sustainable. Of course, since baseball is played by humans, you won’t see Wells hitting 8th.

    - jeremy
  6. 6.

    Mike,

    Who, in ur opinion, are the top three first basemen defensively in MLB? Is Lyle Overbay in your top 10? That Mark Teixeira guy is pretty darn good at 1B eh!

    MW: Teixeira is terrific, so are Adrian Gonzalez and Carlos Pena. They’re the three that jump immediately to mind for me. Pujols is pretty good, too, and Casey Kotchman, Justin Morneau and Kevin Youkilis. Doug Mientkiewicz was the best this decade. Overbay is in my top 10, yes.

    - Beburg (Mark Teixeira's biggest fan in Canada)
  7. 7.

    Have you read the latest from Blair where he speculates the Jays are ready to dump Rios and/or Wells for anything or even nothing? He even ends the article rather cryptically suggesting the Jays are “in danger of a serious revenue crunch that will impact their ability to do on-field business next year”.

    So is it possible a major rebuild is coming? I’m rather worried this franchise couldn’t last through a rebuild, fans aren’t even coming out this year, never mind a rebuild. Also, I can’t think of anyone willing to take on Wells. Kind of seems like any salary bump mentioned by Beeston for next year is likely out of the question.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/baseball/jays-may-finally-act-on-slumping-stars/article1200104/

    MW: The key word is “speculates”.

    - Clint
  8. 8.

    Ok Mike, here’s my Big Idea (that I wrote extensively about on the blog but I’ll make relatively short here):

    Someone should give Vernon/his agent the idea of proposing to renegotiate his deal ala Chipper Jones with the specific proviso that the money goes to resigning Doc.

    the arguments for it are overwhelming and in Vernon’s interest as well as the Jays.

    In one stroke he can go from the over-paid dead weight pariah who’s contract gets in the way of re-signing Halladay or fielding a winning team to the Good Guy hero who’s self-sacrifice makes it possible for the Jays to keep Halladay without whom they can’t win. If Wells is motivated by post-season play, as all players are, he must realize as well as we that he can’t get there without Doc.

    If Wells is willing to drop his annual salary to $13 or $14 mil a season, and defer the rest long term – that money added to what what Doc’s making now should be plenty to resign Halladay. In essence, the Jays would get to continue to spend on the two what they will be spending on the two in 2010, just with their positions reversed.

    In return the Jays can commit to a 20-25 year plan of paying Vernon 2 or 3 million a year after his days as a Jay are done. that’s the penance they pay for the poor decision to heavily backload the deal.

    Doc gets to stay, the Jays avoid the budget crunch of two $20+ mil players, and Vernon gets to re-hab his image with the home crowd (something both he and the Jays need).

    Everyone wins.

    MW: It’s not a bad idea, but it’s a lot of actual dollar value for Wells to give up, no?

    - WillRain
  9. 9.

    Hello Mike

    THere you go, you went on a disable list and the Jays went on the tank ;-)

    I was at the game on Saturday. It was painful and I have never seen anything like it. None of the hits off Mills were on the ground, even for the outs. He either punched the hitter with strike out, or fly balls. For three innings, our infielders could have just sat down and have a coffee on the field.

    Mike, do you think Mills will ever make it to the majors – his lack of velocity and control worries me and I hardly see any of it in his two outings with the Jays. I know it is a little unfair, but it begs the question why Mills was promoted before Castro

    Francis

    MW: I saw him touch 90 with the fastball on Saturday – he doesn’t lack velocity. He definitely lacks control. It’s more than a little unfair to write off a guy who was drafted two years ago and had a total of six starts above A-ball before this season.

    - francis
  10. 10.

    MW: I don’t think that’s true. At this point Hill, Rolen, Lind and Overbay are all better fits for that spot.

    At this point Hill has an OBP of .340, stolen 3 bases and was caught once. Lind has 1 stolen base and 1 CS. Overbay is 0 and 0 and Rolen is 3 and 1. None of these guys can run, is a threat to steal, or can move into scoring position from 1st for the clean up hitter.
    Vernon has 12 stolen bases and 0 CS. I assume you don’t think speed is needed in the #3 slot. Overbay is clearly a platoon hitter and it is obvious to me that Lind is better off where he is right now.

    BTW I see where you say JP has not been “invisible” because you see him at every home game! I hope for everyone’s sake you tongue was in your cheek when you said that!!

    MW: I don’t think speed is needed in the number three spot. It’s nice to have, for sure, but you can’t steal first. Rolen and Hill can both run just fine, by the way, though they’re not base stealers. You’ll also have to explain to me why the fact that Overbay is a platoon player means he shouldn’t hit third.

    - Cito Man
  11. 11.

    Hi, Mike:

    Just a quick roster question, please. I’ve seen where the Jays have decided not to put Rod Barajas on the DL, at least for now, but I’ve not seen any mention of what that did to the call-up of Kyle Phillips. I presume that has also been put on hold, right?

    If so, must be pretty disappointing for Kyle, but at least he will know that he “almost” had a shot at the bigs!

    MW: He’s still here, I think, waiting a couple of days to see how Barajas heals. If Rod can’t run by Tuesday or Wednesday, then that DL move likely will be made for real.

    - Norm
  12. 12.

    Mike, have you had any “insider” info on Brad Emaus, lately?

    He hit .280 in April, and .286 in May, but so far in June, in 24 games, he is hitting only .126, with an OBP under the Mendoza line as well. Very puzzling, to say the least — I’m wondering if there is an injury issue involved?

    MW: I don’t know. Players do slump, though.

    - Norm
  13. 13.

    Hi Mike,
    Need some help either from you or other readers of the board. I have managed to get a program from every year of the Blue Jays existance except for last year when my nephew failed in his quest. I’m back in Toronto all of August. Any idea how I can find one? It sounds stupid, but it’s actually important to me and as strange as it sounds, it’s probably easier to get an older program than 1 that is just a year old.

    Anyone have any suggestions?
    thanks

    - Oz Rob
  14. 14.

    Do you think it’s the scouting ? The Jays don’t want to spend extra money to scout out NL opponents they will only have to 18 times a year ? In the AL East, every little bit comes. It isn’t the NL East, that’s for sure.

    MW: I doubt that’s it.

    - Alex H
  15. 15.

    Jays are fading away once again, mainly in my opinion due to some injuries and less than average starts from from some of the young starters.I just want to hear what you think J.P. Ricciardi will actually be allowed to spend even a little bit of money a get a no. 2 or 3 starter ?. Is “if we stay healthy” what every GM says before the start of the year or is that just J.P.s litte built in excuse ?.

    MW: You’re blaming the starting pitching? Seriously?

    - John McLean
  16. 16.

    Hello Mike,

    With the hitting state of Wells, it has to come to a point where he just goes to Cito and says, “I’m hurting this team right now by hitting 3rd in this order, I think you should move me lower.” If anything, Vernon has been a terrible clutch hitter or hitting with runners in scoring position throughout his career, not just this season. And it’s quite rare to have a #3 or 4 hitter in any major league club to hit so poorly against RHP. I for one, will praise Vernon for his hustle on every at bat because some guys (ahem…Rios) would just put their heads down and jog after routine grounders or flyouts.
    About Vernon’s defense or lackthereof. Right now, as of the 21 regular CF in the major leagues (who’s played enough games in CF to qualify), I really believe if you take everything into consideration (speed, reading the ball, arm strength, throwing accuracy, first step or jump, best route to the ball, and going all out to try and make a catch for a ball), the only players who rank below or tie Vernon are Dexter Fowler (Rockies), Fukudome, Colby Rasmus, and Willy Taveras. Vernon has lost a step or 2 the last couple of seasons and he’s very hesitant to go hard after flyballs near the wall. Would you agree with that?

    MW: I think he’s lost a step or two, yes, but I’ve still seen him make some pretty spectacular catches. He’s not what he was in 2005, though. I’m amazed at the level of scouting that you’ve done on all 21 regular CF’s in the majors, though. You must have really had some serious tape sessions watching them all to be able to get such a clear picture. I’m inclined to believe you, especially since you point out so accurately that Wells has been a terrible hitter with RISP for his whole career. Oh, wait. Wells has IN FACT been a better hitter over the course of his career with runners in scoring position than otherwise.

    - Joachim
  17. 17.

    Yep, interleague play was bad on the Jays. Yesterday’s game was one they should have won though. Tallet had a very inconsistent outing and the number of walks were just a killer.

    McDonald had a solid outing on the weekend but his pinch running skills in the bottom of the 9th – just a really bad error – you can’t do that!!! (Unless you’re Rios).

    I know that you want to pinch run for Chavez (excellent running on that bunt – wow!), but with Barahas on the mend, was John McDonald (for a tie) catching really an option?

    I took a look at the all-start voting and it looks like that no one will be going from the Jays by the ballot alone. I voted my 50 times but when I saw that any Jay is so far behind, I lost a bit of hope.

    It was interesting to see Millar out of the lineup yesterday. When the stats people are figuring out who to play, do you think they rely on Lefty-Lefty averages or with someone like Moyer on the mound with 19+ years, did they look at the BA of the player against the particular pitcher???

    I hope you’re feeling better and I’m looking forward to hearing you on Jaystalk after the game tomorrow night.

    MW: It’s too bad about the six walks, for sure, but only one of those walks scored, so it’s not as though the walks killed him. The Jays didn’t score after the third inning – that was the major issue. Evidently McDonald catching extras was a real option, otherwise Gaston wouldn’t have pinch-run for Chavez. Blue Jays very, very rarely get voted onto all-star teams. I would hope they’d look at the pitchers’ splits as opposed to the head-to-head numbers against any particular hitter, because the latter tends not to be significant at all.

    - Tim
  18. 18.

    And on a second point, what can Rios do to stop swinging at those outside and low breaking balls that he is getting fooled by?

    MW: He should talk to Joe Carter.

    - Tim
  19. 19.

    With Aaron Hill swinging away he was destined to fail 70% of the time well likely to succeed 30% of the time.

    The odds could have been greatly improved by laying down a bunt single. Not only would the lead runner be at third but the winning run would be at second and out of a double play scenario which Wells dig ground into (assuming McDonald didn’t get caught).

    MW: I don’t get this “destined to fail 70% of the time”. This is completely without basis in fact.

    - scott
  20. 20.

    Is a steal home the most exciting play in baseball?

    MW: It’s close.

    - Jaime Ramon
  21. 21.

    This is a big week for the Jays. 7 games against division rivals. At 41 – 36, if the Jays are thinking playoffs this season, they are going to have to turn it up. Now would be a great time for a 7 game winning streak!!!

    Winning 54 of remaining 85 games will get the Jays 95 wins which should get them a playoff spot. That seems to be the number everyone says will be needed.

    I don’t care who the manager is or what people think about interleague play, but the Jays are going to have to change their philosophy on how these games are approached because it isn’t going away anytime soon. I don’t know if it is a case of interleague play, or another case of how the Jays performed against the lower level teams. 4-2 this year against the Phils, but couldn’t beat the Marlins.

    That is why I think the Jays are going to surprise some people with this remaining schedule because of the wya they always seem to play the tougher teams better.

    MW: You think the reason the Jays aren’t good at interleague is because they have a poor philosophy on how to play those games?

    - Aaron Ker
  22. 22.

    (email from Cito) ;)

    tonights lineup:
    Wells
    MacDonald
    Hill
    Rolen
    Lind
    Overbay
    Rios
    Chavez
    Adams

    – just a good move by Lidge …unfortunate that Mac got caught
    – I called the steal …trying to avoid game ending DP
    (would’ve had Lind up bases loaded after BB to Rolen)
    – Scoots needs a break (3 for 25 lately)
    – chance/excuse to move Vernon (Scutaro sitting)

    Line up going forward after tonight:
    Wells
    Scutaro
    Hill
    Rolen
    Lind
    Overbay/Millar
    Rios
    Barajas
    Adams/Bautista

    regards
    Cito

    ….hmmm I like this – Cito has said the 1st inning is the only time you actually hit first or third in the lineup.
    With this lineup you get a string of hitters 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 that have been your best producers this year.
    This string repeats itself 4 or 5 times a game uninterrupted by guys slumping who ‘kill rallys’.
    Also, less pressure on Vernon – and its not really seen as a demotion (like moving to 7th).
    If it gets him going – leave him there.
    If it doesn’t get him going – leave him there.
    …oh, and for those that scream about Scutaro being the best lead off hitter on the planet, he’ll probably still lead off an inning 3 or 4 times a game until Vernon gets going.

    - Mike in NB
  23. 23.

    In regards to Hill not bunting in the 9th, how can you say “Here’s the thing – Hill is arguably your best hitter. He’d already homered twice, which doesn’t necessarily mean anything but is cool nonetheless. I want to give my best hitter a chance to get the hit that will tie the game, or maybe even win it.”

    Yet on the flip side you defended putting in Russ Adams in for Bautista, who, by the way, had hit a home run already that day.

    Bottom line I’m getting at is that Russ Adams is in the same class as Josh Towers, he should not be relied on come through in a clutch scenario. If you let your best player swing away with none out & 2 on, then you have to let the better hitter, Bautista, swing away with the bases loaded & 2 out.

    MW: Why would you say that Adams is in the same class as Josh Towers (who, by the way, was the Jays’ Pitcher of the Year in 2005)? It’s just a way to insult the guy, and it’s undeserving. He can hit. It’s not as though Bautista’s been any great shakes this season.

    - Paul
  24. 24.

    hi Mike,

    just curious. at what point would you start moving Rolen up in the batting order to give him an extra at bat to keep the hitting streak alive?

    MW: I wouldn’t ever move him up in the batting order for that reason.

    - Tony
  25. 25.

    Just curious if you have any updates on draft signings?

    Thanks

    MW: The Jays signed their 9th- and 19th-round picks today.

    - Clint
  26. 26.

    So how do they decide who qualifies for ‘Comeback Player of the Year?’ I’m thinking Hill is a great candidate, but maybe there’s more criteria I’m not aware of.

    MW: I don’t believe there are any specific criteria other than “had a way better year than he had last year”.

    - Greg W
  27. 27.

    Hey Mike Looking at the stats, it is without question that Hill deserves an All Star spot, and thus should get one. I cannot do it all myself, having voted 4000 times.

    The all-star game has become either a popularity contest (which explains why Jeter gets in every year), or a celebration of a players past success over recent years.

    Here are crucial categories statistically, and the top 5 2nd baseman in my mind (not considering Callaspo, and the undeserving of his placing in voting Jason Bartlett). The placing row acts as an average of each players placing in the 5 categories.

    Hill
    R 4
    H 1
    HR 1
    RBI 1
    OBP 4
    SLUG 2
    AVG 1
    Placing 2

    Cano
    R 5
    H 2
    HR 3
    RBI 3
    OBP 5
    SLUG 3
    AVG 2
    Placing 3.285714

    Pedroia
    R 1
    H 3
    HR 5
    RBI 5
    OBP 1
    SLUG 5
    AVG 3
    Placing 3.285714

    Roberts
    R 1
    H 3
    HR 4
    RBI 4
    OBP 2
    SLUG 4
    AVG 4
    Placing 3.142857

    Kinsler
    R 1
    H 5
    HR 2
    RBI 2
    OBP 3
    SLUG 1
    AVG 5
    Placing 2.714286

    I know Pedroia won the MVP last year, but he was also the 2nd base representative for the All-Star game last year, and thus in my mind, hes already had his all star recognition for his “Overrated MVP” year.

    Based on the mentality of “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME THIS YEAR”, based on the placement Hill deserves an All Star spot. Either as voted in by the players, or Tampa’s Coach (it would be an outrage if he chooses Bartlett). Obviously favourtism outweighs skill in the thought and minds of the fans, and its disappointing.

    MW: Is it? The all-star game is supposed to be about the fans and who and what they want to see. At least, it was before they attached the ridiculous meaning to the game.

    - paolo
  28. 28.

    Just reading the comments from the last couple of days. A note to “Ryan S.” (#10 previous post) –

    Good Lord man! You sound lucky to still be with us! Did it happen as you left the park? I truly hope the kids you had at the game weren’t with you if it did?

    That was like reading a comment starting with how great the day at the park was followed by a story of the horrific accident on the DVP – only worse!

    Best of luck with your recovery (from somebody you don’t know at all, but who promises that he wasn’t the stabber).

    - James (from the Church of the Double Steal)
  29. 29.

    Hey mike,

    I’m working on some box seats in Fenway that last week of September….my first trip to Beantown. Anyways, I think you’re going to be on the money that the last three series are going to be very interesting. Hopefully the Jays can make a nice run because they have been stymied by the Yanks and Bosox and the Rays are playing hot. Thank goodness we have our stopper back on the mound tonight. Wells is going to have a lot better second half too. His defence has always been there this year but now he is looking relaxed at the plate, with a little less pressure batting down in the order. Let’s not forget that he’s one of the best guys on the pads for the Jays this year. I always thought he should have been running more in previous years.

    MW: On the pads?

    - Carl
  30. 30.

    michael,
    since you have been away at sickbay i’ve found my interest greatly waning in the games recently & more so the blog.
    i’ve been very despondent lately i must admit.
    and as i hear you’re making your way back into the mix, i’ve been getting caught up on things here & have noticed that i am not alone.
    the volume of bloggage is down considerably & i was told that there seemed to be alot more open lines available on jays talk after the games.
    i have a theory michael.
    do you know how it’s customarily suggested that toronto isn’t actually a true hockey town but only a leafs town?
    well i say that toronto isn’t a baseball town either, nor a blue jays town for that matter.
    it’s a “mike wilner town” plain & simple. the #’s (or lack thereof) don’t lie my friend
    here’s hoping things finally get back to normal around here.

    MW: That’s very doubtful, but thank you.

    - darrell bishop
  31. 31.

    Did Alex Rios ever say why he didn’t tag up on that fly ball? Or… why he forgot how many out there were the very next night?

    Do you think management is upset that he wouldn’t ‘own up’ to his actions by speaking to the media after each game? Or do you think they don’t really care?

    MW: Honestly, it hasn’t even occurred to me in a few days.

    - Jake
  32. 32.

    Mike do you still believe that the contract extension J.P. signed Rios too is going to save the “alot of money” as you said when the day the deal was annonced?

    and do you still think the jays should of re signed Sal Fasano againe instead of Rod Barahas like you said the day of the Barahas signing?

    MW: Have I been wrong about everything over the course of the last two years, or just the Fasano thing? I stand by that, by the way, for a back-up catcher, Fasano would have been fine. The Rios contract? I don’t know if it’s going to save the Jays a lot of money, but the jury’s still very much out on whether he’ll be worth that money. I’m pretty sure he will be.

    - Tom MCclarty
  33. 33.

    Hey Mike,

    I will never ever ever ever understand….You have a runner on first and second, NO OUTS, down by one run, late in the game (bottom of the ninth actually) and you DON’T BUNT! YOU ONLY NEED ONE RUN TO EXTEND THE GAME!

    I Don’t care that Aaron Hill was up! I wouldn’t even care if Babe Ruth was up…..you need only one run to tie the game to extend it to extras. That is your goal going into the inning, at the very least! You have to at, minimum, tie the game! If you are going into the ninth with the thought of winning the game, in this situation, then something’s wrong.

    I know teams should take the mental approach of wanting to win every game every time out and everyone wants the big homer and the big inning and etc. etc. but, in baseball, you have to take one step at a time, so the hitters job is, at the very least, to get the runners over. If Aaron would’ve hit the ball to the right side of the diamond, on a fielders choice, he would have been greeted at the dugout with high fives….so why not bunt and do the same job as hitting a fielders choice. At least take two attempts at a bunt and if it doesn’t work you can start taking your hacks after that.

    All the cliches…”the bunt is a wasted out”, “The bunt takes away the big inning” “your taking the bat out of the hands of your hitter”, “the bunt isn’t guaranteed to work” etc. None of this helped the team win last night.

    Thanks Mike

    MW: The bunt isn’t guaranteed to work, and you’re taking the bat out of the hands of arguably your best hitter.

    - quinner
  34. 34.

    Isn’t it time that Wells and Rios were held accountable for their sub par seasons with reduced playing time? This isn’t a Wells sucks/Rios sucks rant, it is a Cito sucks rant. Jimmy Rollins has seen reduced playing time and he was a very recent MVP winner. I think this sets a very bad precedent for the majority of the team that is actually pulling their weight.

    MW: Jimmy Rollins is having a MUCH worse year than either Wells or Rios. He’s hitting .211/.254/.328. Wells has him by over 100 points of OPS. This is the way Cito does things.

    - Domenick
  35. 35.

    Mike…I’d like you to be able to sit down in a room with Jhonny Peralta and Jonny Gomes and show them the conventional spelling of their first names.

    MW: You don’t think they’re aware?

    - chris m.
  36. 36.

    Which team walks away first from the following trades?

    Halladay for Pujols

    Travis Snider for Jay Bruce

    is it St. Louis and Cincinatti?

    MW: It’s St. Louis, for sure. I don’t know if it’s Cincinnati.

    - Brendan
  37. 37.

    one more trade scenario, who walks away first in…

    Wells for Soriano

    MW: They probably both walk away at the same time.

    - Brendan
  38. 38.

    THey’re not just done with inter league, but with playing like they have lately they may be done for the season; as in out of it. How fast do you think they’ll be in last place in the east?

    MW: I don’t think they’re going to lose four out of every five games. I doubt we’ll see them in last place.

    - dave_12
  39. 39.

    The Jays should not be allowed to be played on tsn. They are 1-8 when the game is shown on tsn.

    - Sam
  40. 40.

    Hi Mike….when looking in from behind the pitch with the centre field camera you can tell by looking at most hitters….they are trying to guess or figure out the pitchers pitching sequence. When I watch Rios or Wells up to bat….all I see is a blank look on their faces. The book on them is to throw breaking balls on the outside corner or 6″ outside….until they learn to swing at real strikes these pitchers will never give them anything to hit.When they watch their videos after the game don’t these guys or there coaches see this?

    MW: No, they have no idea.

    - Mark Feeley
  41. 41.

    I’ve typed this twice now and both times forgotten the ant-spam word!

    Fox is reporting that KC is willing to part with Mark Teahen, a lefty with slash numbers of .281/.341/.449 and versatility in the field. In return they want middle infield or CF prospects.

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/9732490/Source:-Royals-willing-to-trade-non-core-players

    MW: Buck Coats for Teahen?

    - Alan the stat geek
  42. 42.

    Thankfully inter-league is done for another year.
    I know a lot of people like this mess but I’m not one!!!!
    It’s time to go back to pre 1997 where the only time the 2 leagues faced each other was at the all star game and the world series.

    - Mike
  43. 43.

    Hey Mike, hope you’re feeling better and will bless us all with your presence today. No comments regarding the last few games as I’ve missed them, just a question regarding your illness. Was it a 590 or a Blue Jays decision to keep you away from the ball park until today?

    MW: It had nothing to do with the Blue Jays.

    - Chris Thompson
  44. 44.

    I watched last night’s game and could not decide whether the Jays front office should go out and get someone who might make a difference and perhaps get us to the playoffs, or whether we should start to rebuild. And I realized that every year about this time I have the same thoughts. I’ve said this before, but I wish we were downright bad rather than OK with the occasional brilliant flourish. Like the 10-game win-streak last year, and this year’s brilliant start. I think we were resigned to ‘rebuilding’ this year, especially after the fans meeting in the winter. And then the team had their yearly ‘brilliance’ bit early so we all started to hope.

    I realize the pitching staff has been decimated by injury, but even with that, most of the starters have been outstanding. Sadly, I think the problem lies with the hitting and specifically with the guys who have been 3 and 4 until very recently. Scutaro and Hill have been amazing at bat and on the field. Rolen has been terrific. Lind has been very good. Overbay is much better than he was. Barajas offers up the occasional very welcome hr or extra-base hit.

    So this year I would like to see the team go out and get a bona fide bopper to hit 3rd or cleanup. Enough with the Mencherson route, let’s get a difference-maker just this once. See what happens. Give it a go.

    MW: Don’t hold your breath.

    - isabella reyes
  45. 45.

    steroid-list-leaks-out-rumored.html

    I know what you’re going to say – but usually when there is a ‘rumour’ like this… the final truth isn’t too far off

    MW: I didn’t post the link, because they’ve already removed the list, and all it is is a straight list of names, no sources, no nothing. Anyone could have made it up.

    - Paul O
  46. 46.

    Perhaps a useless stat. Jays were 18-10 last season with Travis Snider on the team and 27-18 this season for a combined mark of 45-28 or a .616 winning percentage. They are 14-19 since sending down Snider this season.

    MW: One wonders how useful a stat that is, given that Snider didn’t really do anything the last few weeks he was here.

    - Joachim
  47. 47.

    Hi Mike,

    As I can remember, most of Blue Jays game on TSN end up with a lost one way or another.

    The first series was against Boston on Fenway where Blue Jays were swept and suffer 6 more losses after that to make 9 game losing streak.

    The next series on TSN were also losses which I can’t remember who they were playing against.

    Another series on TSN was against the Marlins where as we all know, Roy Halladay got injured (which is a lost anyway) and Blue Jays got swept.

    The one last night (the first game against Tampa Bay Rays) was also another lost.

    The only win I can remember on TSN was against Bronson Arroyo where he had not performed on the last 2 starts against Toronto on Rogers Centre anyway.

    Can you check what is Blue Jays record when playing on TSN? I hope that as more people notice this, the trend will be proven wrong and we can see more wins for the Blue Jays.

    Thank you and keep up the good work.

    MW: I don’t know what their record is when they’re on TSN, though someone above said they thought it was 1-8. I can say, though, that being on TSN or Rogers Sportsnet or nothing has less than no effect on the Jays on the field.

    - Jays Fan
  48. 48.

    michael,
    something came to mind the other day after hearing aaron hill set a record for hr’s by a 2b for the bj’s franchise the other day (and in only half a season i might add)
    so needless to say that particular feat blows the doors right off of the exploits of one robbie alomar.
    heck the kid might hit 35-40 at this pace. enough said there.
    also assuming that his pace for rbi’s is going to eclipse anything alomar ever did as well. strike 2.
    so the big 2 categories that everyone seems to care about the most, hill’s got it all over the other.
    hitting average? well hill looks like a bonafide .300+ hitter as he is right now i believe (and i know i’ve heard alan from the radio suggest a few times that he sees a batting title in the future for aaron. so perhaps he’s got that on alomar too.
    and it doesn’t seem these parts of hill’s game are leaving him anytime soon either.
    so what have we got here then?
    perhaps the only thing alomar will have over hill when it’s all said & done is his defence.
    and having said that, hill it seems to me routinely makes plays down at 2nd that continue to amaze.
    how about last night for instance? i’m pretty sure he jumped a good 14-15 feet in the air to snag that ball (as was reported) by rolen a few previous nights to that.
    (but you know how these folklore types of stories can sometimes take on a life of their own) that was good btw michael.
    anyway, what about suggesting hill’s got it all over former alomar?
    or is that just too sacred of a topic to even broach or mention? caue it’s just an observation of the facts as far as i can see…..

    MW: It’s not really an observation of the facts according to anyone else. It’s not that it’s too sacred a topic to broach, it’s that Roberto Alomar is a Hall of Fame-level player and Aaron Hill isn’t there yet, nor may he ever be. Alomar was almost without peer as a defensive second baseman, a .300 career hitter with a career OPS of .814. Hill has never hit .300 in any full season, and because he outhomered and out-RBI’d Alomar in his best year isn’t close to a reason to say Hill “has it all over” Alomar. It’s not close.

    - darrell bishop
  49. 49.

    MW: It’s not a bad idea, but it’s a lot of actual dollar value for Wells to give up, no?

    Not give up, just defer – with interest.

    Probably very little interest, but it’s not unlike an investment in a bond or something that has a scheduled payout.

    Lets say what he defers is $7 mil per over 5 years. That’s $35 in all and if he’s repaid over 20 years at $2.5 million a year (which if you suppose that the payments start in 2015 – it could be later – that’s going to be a minimal impact on a major league team’s budget from 2015-2035) then his $35 million turns into $50 million.

    That’s just an example. I have no idea what would be a “fair” amount of interest.

    MW: If they work out a fair amount of interest, then it gets more interesting, as it were.

    - WillRain
  50. 50.

    Hi Mike: Hope you’re feeling better. The game on Sunday was a tough one to take. I’ve noticed lately and it was apparent in the ninth inning Sunday that a lot of Jay’s hitters and particularly Vernon Wells are taking way too many first pitch stikes. If you look at the tape of the game, if you have access to it the first pitch to Wells in the ninth inning was about as good a pitch to hit as you could ever hope to get and he just looked at it. The problem obviously, especially for somebody struggling is that getting behind 0-1 in the count means the next pitch or two will likely be off the plate, with possibly a lot of break and hard to hit or lay off of. I don’t understand why an experienced hitter( unless it’s due to lack of confidence or not seeing the ball very well) would not go up to the plate with the predetermined intention of hitting the first pitch if it is right over the plate. there were two other great first pitches not swung at in that inning, one by Russ Adams. It’s very frustrating to watch these great pitches ignored and then have to watch hitters waving futiley at the next pitches which are infinitely harder to hit.
    Have you noticed this as well?

    MW: I must admit I wasn’t paying that much attention on Sunday. There’s just no way for Vernon to win, though, is there? Either get roasted for always swinging at the first pitch, or get roasted for not swinging enough at the first pitch.

    - Lorrie
  51. 51.

    MW: I must admit I wasn’t paying that much attention on Sunday. There’s just no way for Vernon to win, though, is there? Either get roasted for always swinging at the first pitch, or get roasted for not swinging enough at the first pitch.

    Of course there’s a way to win. Vernon Wells hits the first pitch.

    I hope after the AS break we have a bit of a line-up shuffle and Wells is moved down to where his average and RISP percentage warrants him. Which, I hate to say, is either 8 or 9. It’s increasingly depressing to watch Scutaro and Hill get on and then have to deal with what is right now a pretty certain unproductive out right behind them. I know Wells got a hit tonight, but that is too rare an event.

    As for getting a big hitter to help in the second half, I don’t expect it. But I would love to see it. And I suspect I’m not alone in that…

    MW: Wells hits the first pitch all the time, he just pops it up or hits it on the ground sometimes.

    - isabella reyes
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