11:05 PM Eastern

I got to go to a baseball game tonight!

I saw a typical Matt Garza special, but at least I got to go to a baseball game tonight.  I really do appreciate all the kind words and wishes from so many of you out there – really, it was no major illness or anything.  At least, not the one I had.  Still, being away from the ballpark really sucked.

While I was gone, so did the Blue Jays, and the ol’ magic didn’t kick in upon my return.

Scott Richmond had a fine outing, allowing three solo homers over seven innings of work, but for the way the Blue Jays have been hitting lately, that was more than enough for the Rays to pick up another win.  The Jays picked up just a solitary run tonight to give them six over the last four games – they’ve scored just twice over the last 24 innings.

It’s pretty amazing that they only managed the one run tonight when you look at the scoresheet.  Marco Scutaro and Aaron Hill combined to reach a total of five times, Scott Rolen extended his hit streak to 18 games and Adam Lind had a pair of hits.  Seems as though that would be the recipe to score more than once, but the Jays’ only run came on a double-play ball by Lyle Overbay in the second.

Scott Downs and Jake Eliopoulos threw in the bullpen before the game, and I spoke to both afterwards.  Downs says he felt fine, but he hasn’t tried to run yet.  His arm felt fresh, but he said it could be three days, a week or two weeks until he’s back.  The test is going to be when he runs, but the toe didn’t give him any trouble as far as his mechanics were concerned.  He’s eligible to come off the disabled list on Friday, when the Jays open up in New York.

Eliopoulos hasn’t signed with the Jays yet – he was their second-round pick in the draft earlier this month, but he was out here to throw for them.  He’s headed south with the national team.  I made sure to say hi and to thank him for coming on the pre-pre-game show a couple of weeks ago.  He smiled politely and agreed when I said that I hoped he got signed soon  so that he could come out here and pitch for real.

I was pretty surprised to see Brett Cecil come out of the bullpen in the 9th inning – I thought something had changed pretty drastically since I’d been gone – but it turns out that Cecil is the guy who is getting skipped with Thursday’s off-day.  He’s not scheduled to start again until Tuesday in T-Bay so Cito will have him available out of the bullpen for the next few days.

Here’s tonight’s edition of The JaysTalk – with me! – for your listening pleasure:

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Tomorrow, this ugly homestand comes to an end with a Canada Day game that will have Ricky Romero on the hill against the Rays’ inappropriately-nicknamed “Big Game” James Shields.  The Blue Jays need a win to wind up with a poor homestand of 4-5.  We’re on at 1:00 PM Eastern for a 1:07 first pitch, and there’ll be fireworks after the game!

Rational, reasonable comments are always welcome!

40 Responses to “Quar(antine) Is Over”
  1. 1.

    I was wondering how did tbay lock up crawford to such a good contract? only 8 this year and 10 next? and JP gives trump money to rios. crawford has more games than rios and is a far better player and yet signs a very cheap contract. I think this shows the difference between a good gm and a bad one.

    MW: I think it shows that you don’t understand how contracts work in baseball. The Rays bought out a couple of years of Crawford’s free agency and are paying an average of $9.125 million per free agent year. This would have been his first year in free agency and he’s making $8.25 million. The Blue Jays, on the other hand, bought out four years of Rios’ free agency (with an option for a fifth) though they’ll pay him an average of $12.25 million per free agent year – but that’s because they bought more. 296/.334/.437 or .286/.336/.451 – which one would you rather have?

    - marco
  2. 2.

    Hey Mike,

    Any idea what’s behind Vernon Wells’ bizzarely backwards home-away splits this year? I know it’s still a relatively small sample size, but 80 games or so is a big enough sample to at least start thinking that maybe there’s something behind it.

    I can’t imagine that the boos would have any effect on him – and even if they did, there’s no way it could make THAT much difference – but I really can’t imagine anything that would make him so much worse at home, especially when he’s spent his entire career hitting very well at Rogers Centre.

    Have you heard any interesting theories, or is this just one of those trends that we’ll have to accept as being a total coincidence? (I know it probably is, but it’d be much more interesting if there were at least SOME possible explanations, regardless of how far-fetched they might be!)

    MW: I wouldn’t say the splits are bizarrely backwards, they’re just bizarre. It’s not as though a player is supposed to hit much better at home than on the road. There’s no explanation, there can’t be.

    - Ty
  3. 3.

    wondering why Cito didn’t pinch hit for Overpaid (I mean Overbay) in the 8th when he faced Choate. Bautista and Millar were available. Weren’t they?

    Also, don’t you think a team should be getting more production out of the 1 and 9 positions? This is ridiculous. Any trade would be welcome if it involved dumping these contracts and allowing someone else a chance. Two terrible at bats late in the game for Rios and Overbay.

    MW: The 1 and 9 positions? In the batting order? No, I don’t. In the field? Yes, they should be getting more out of Rios, but the pitching has been just fine, thanks. Still hanging out the old Overpaid, huh? A .388 on-base and a .497 slugging don’t do it for you, huh? .333 average with runners in scoring position doesn’t cut it?

    - Dale
  4. 4.

    Hi Mike,
    I know you don’t think it is right to “boo” our beloved Jays. And, they are my beloved Jays.

    But, they deserve to be booed, and if we were NY or Boston, booing would be reasonable and rationale for the way we are falling apart since being 14 games over .500.

    Individuals should be praised, and even sent to the allstar game (Hill, Lind, Halladay, with an argument for Scutaro), but the team as a whole deserves to be booed.

    So, “boo” to the Jays tonight and since the collapse started.

    And, I love Cito as a leader of the team, but I hate his in-game managing and I hate his batting lineup (Wells, Adams, order, etc.). And I think we can all agree that the lineup is hurting our chances at winning (i.e. see your blog tonight).

    MW: If they were New York or Boston, they’d deserve to be booed because those teams are expected to be world-beaters and a record of three or four games over .500 would be some serious underachieving. This Blue Jays team was supposed to finish an easy 4th, with a lot of “experts” saying that they’d lose at least 90 games. What they’ve done is astounding, especially considering how many pitching injuries with which they’ve had to deal. No sane individual could have reasonably expected the Jays to keep that 27-14 streak going. Look, if you want to boo, boo. You paid for your ticket, you can do what you want. But I think a home team should only be booed for lack of effort or for stupidity, not for losing. It’s called “supporting” the home team.

    - Michael
  5. 5.

    The Jays plan on contending and they have Russ Adams in the outfield?

    Maybe it’s not Ricciardi’s fault that McGowan, Marcum, Litsch, Janssen and Bobby Ray are on the disabled list, which has decimated the starting rotation.

    But the Blue Jays expect to keep up with the rest of the AL East with Russ Adams in the outfield?

    Is this part of J.P.’s plan to contend in 2010 — get Russ Adams some experience in the outfield?

    MW: You know the answer to that question.

    - Ken Pagan
  6. 6.

    Looking at Tampa play against the Jays, the Jays look like a double A team right now. Tampa has power threats throughout the lineup and solid pitching. Upton for example doesn’t look like a home run hitter but can go deep at anytime. Rios on the other hand doesn’t look like a home run hitter and well………… he isn’t.

    MW: Except that he has more home runs than Upton.

    - dave_12
  7. 7.

    I thought tito didnt want back to back lefties, now he has lind and overbay b2b. nothing this guy does makes any cents.

    MW: You’re kidding with the spelling, right?

    - marco
  8. 8.

    Good to hear that Downs is ready to come back. I hope that the team actually gets into a save situation sometime soon. The only thing to hope for, given the pitching and hitting of the other three, is for the Jays to stay ahead of Baltimore the rest of the way.
    I was so disappointed that they weren’t able to manufacture a run (or more) that I shut the game off. You say no, but I’m sure that attendance is affected by this lack of production.

    MW: It’s not. Although I continue to be amazed by how many people so readily ignore the fact that a season is 162 games long.

    - Jack
  9. 9.

    Hey Mike. As you probably know, Ferguson Jenkins throws out the ceremonial first pitch. Any chance you personally could get an interview with him? I met him at Nat Bailey Stadium last season. Good guy.

    MW: I did personally get an interview with him. It’ll be on The Blue Jays This Week this week.

    - Matt from BC
  10. 10.

    Hey Mike. This is a clarification and follow up to my question about Halladay in the All-Star game yesterday.

    I was not thinking that he had lost the spot on the team. I was just wondering that with the pitchers you mentioned coming closer to Roy in wins, if that has or will alter his chance of starting the All-Star game. Also in general, how are the starters for the All-Star game picked? Is it stats, last day pitched, home town favourite? Thanks for any insight.

    MW: It’s a combination of stats and last day pitched. The decision is announced the day before the game. I think Halladay’s injury, and the fact that he has been racking up the wins lately, has definitely affected his chances of starting the all-star game.

    - Jean-Marc Racheter
  11. 11.

    No question the bats are cold. I pray they waste little time in getting out of this funk as the true test (aka AL east) is upon them.

    I wanted to ask you Mike, do you feel that Jay’s offense had a much different and even more intimidating before Travis Snider was sent down? I mean, you do can far worse as far as 9-hitters go. While the kid did cool off, he didn’t stink up the joint. I also felt he was missused by Cito with strict platoon setup.

    Thanks,
    Kurt

    ps – welcome back

    MW: Thanks. The kid did actually stink the joint up – after that two-homer game in Minnesota April 13th, Snider hit just .225/.279/.275, which is just horrible. Hopefully some of that had to do with his back problem. I agree with you that he was misused with the platoon set-up. He didn’t have to start against lefties, but he should have at least come into games when righties did.

    - Kurt
  12. 12.

    C’mon! Cito’s seniority system is getting ridiculous and tiresome. When will Adam Lind be moved into the three spot so the Jays can at least put pressure on teams with their best four hitters at the top of the line up?

    MW: Today. Seniority?

    - Will, Oshawa
  13. 13.

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

    Do I detect a note of weariness there? Trust me, we feel your pain. I know he’s trying hard but he hasn’t been truly effective for a long time. From what I can tell, Hill should be hitting third in front of Rolen unless the powers that be listen to my prayer for a real dh and we know they won’t.

    Overbay’s been going through a bad patch, but he can get on base well and he can run. I’d like to see him second. Rios and Wells could hit 7 and 8. I understand that Wells is a veteran and may not take kindly to this, but he should look over at BJ Ryan who at least appears to be taking his demotion well. Wells is not a productive bat and he gets worse with runners in scoring position. He’s a real rally-killer. Put him where he can’t do too much damage say I.

    MW: Today he’s on the bench, and he definitely won’t be hitting third or fourth if he’s back in the line-up in New York on Friday. Overbay isn’t a good baserunner, though. Of the regular starters, he’s ahead of only Barajas.

    - isabella reyes
  14. 14.

    I did not hear a lot of the game yesterday – had things to do and then a little work. I caught a little of the game, but what I wanted to say is : the happiness in your voice on the air, was palpable.
    ANd so wonderful that Halladay may be really back, tolerated his 6 innings.
    Now if we could just get Snider . We had a doctor here in Canada called the back doctor. He started the Canadian Back Institute. I wonder if he likes baseball??

    MW: If he doesn’t, Scott Richmond’s dad is a chiropractor.

    - Barb
  15. 15.

    So far this season when a big series comes to town or even on the road the Jays seem to get beat every time, labeled a “must win series” they lose maybe even get swept my question is with the Jays struggling to keep pace in the A.L East and the wildcard shouldn’t J.P swing a trade for a bat,it is a needed just as bad as a number 2 pitcher but i think since a bat can play every day he should go after a bat before he goes for a pitcher??? … Also can the Jays have 4 All Stars and still be in 4th if that does happen shows you the team is missing something ..

    MW: The Jays aren’t likely to have four all-stars, but there’s no question the team is missing something. How can it not be missing something?

    - Jaime Ramon
  16. 16.

    Hi Mike,

    Haven’t been keeping up with the blog lately, so I apologize if this question has been asked alot.
    Is there any trade market out there for Wells or Rios? I’m not asking because I want to see the Jays dump them for the sake of dumping them. But I really want to see them lock up Halladay for a long time. Money saved on one of their contracts could potentially go towards Roy.
    Hard to believe we almost traded Rios for Lincecum. Now that deal seems like an old joke.
    A lot of things I like about this team, but it is frustrating to think we have played competitive/over .500 baseball with very limited contributions from Wells/Rios.
    We have won in spite of them! it should be that we win because of them.
    So… Any trade value?

    Thanks as always.

    MW: Rios and Wells have not had the same season. Rios has been OK, Wells has been bad. Neither of them has negative trade value right now like, say, B.J. Ryan.

    - Rob H.
  17. 17.

    Welcome back, Mike, and happy Canada Day. Good to hear you on the air last night. I got a kick especially on the 9 man defence / 9 man offense idea… :). Why don’t we put 11/12 men on instead and let them all play at the same time? And let’s make the ball bigger and instead of bases, lets have goal lines… wait, that’s football.

    It’s a bit depressing to see the Jays fall after such an impressive start.

    Anyway, Vernon Wells. Two poppers with men in scoring position. With how he is hitting, he simply doesn’t belong 3rd in the order anymore. Very disappointing to see him disappoint again and again. His batting average at home with RISP is downright abhorrent.

    Anyway, are other clubs just as streaky as the Jays when it comes to hitting? It seems that there are two brands of Jays – the ones who have it all together and score 6 or more runs a game (like Cincinnati) or combine to score 6 runs in four games (now).

    And it’s not really the hitting that’s the issue… it’s the conversion of runs from the Jays’ key players. I hate to talk lineup but…

    Maybe Cito’s gotta stack the order a bit, put Rios at the bottom, throw Wells at 7th, put the Chavaras at 8th, and put the DH/LF/1B (Bautista/ Millar / Adams) at 6. The infield and Lind complete the top of the order.

    That way when Rios hits into the DP batting 9th that leaves Scutaro leading off. And if he manages to get on base (by fielders choice) he’ll be dangerous and will have the AL leading on base man behind him to move him over.

    Wells will not be so damaging at 7th. At least he hits fly balls which will lead to sacrifices.

    I say a little bit of this tongue in cheek but it’s been so frustrating to watch the Jays over the last four.

    Talking about them now has made me decide to go to the game today.

    - Tim
  18. 18.

    Hey Mike!

    So glad you’re back. We all missed you.

    When was the last time the Blue Jays hit a three-run home run? Let’s not talk about the grand slam because our last one was from Millar in the Metrodome. But all the home runs that have been hit recently have been either solo or two-run shots. I hardly remember the last time a three-run homer was hit – was it in Chicago from Adam Lind on that 8-2 win? It’s an interesting thing to bring up, I think. Three run homers can bring a really big inning, and teams would either have a bigger lead, or cut the deficit. Any comments? On what a three-run homer does?

    MW: Three-run homers are huge, no question about it. They’re often game-changers, featuring a lot of production for not a lot of effort. The last three-run shot the Jays hit was indeed Adam Lind’s on May 17 in the Jays’ 8-2 win over the White Sox.

    - Peter
  19. 19.

    Hey Mike,

    Couple of questions/comments

    I was wondering with Russ Adams struggling as the Jays head into New York, do you think on Thursday the Jays will send Adams down for David Delucci. Dellucci has been heating up in Vegas as of late and could provide some power with the short porch in right.

    Secondly, Vernon is really struggling and should not be the third hitter at home. On the road he is amazing. I have no reason to explain this but if this continues, do you think Cito will have a home and an away line up because of Vernon. The away line up would not be changed but the home might have Vernon batting 7th and everybody moves up a spot (from Rolen to Overbay). I just can’t explain this though, I mean he was good in the Reds series, especially the third game. Maybe the momentum carried from the away games. I don’t know…

    MW: There won’t be a separate home and road line-up. I wonder about Dellucci for the Yankees series. I mean, you don’t want to make a habit of yanking guys up and down, but it’s not as though you really have to worry about hurting Adams’ feelings or his value. He certainly hasn’t hit the ground running.

    Thanks

    - Shakeel
  20. 20.

    Hey Mike

    The current roster is just not strong enough to compete with the Yanks, BoSox or the Rays over a full season. I’m wondering why so many seem to think 2010 will be better. Yes, Marcum and McGowen may be back but they are missing some pivotal elements of a true contender. The middle of the order has been a glaring weakness for years, and if the club is serious about contending they can’t enter the season with Wells and Rios expected to produce in the 3/4 hours. And yes, i think Snider will fill that void in 2 or 3 years but it is unfair to expect him to be ready to hit cleanup next year.

    The starting pitching should also be changed. The Jays have more depth at this spot than any other team in the majors, but they don’t have a clear #2 behind DOC. If you asked 10 people what the rotation will be, you would likely get 10 different answers. Depth is nice, but you don’t need 9 starters. Don’t you think the team would be better off packaging 3 of these guys to a team in need of starters for a true #2? Even if they made a 3 for 1 deal, they would still have 6 or 7 quality guys in case of injury.

    I think JP should have made a move to boolster the offense after the team had such a great start. Seems like a missed opportunity to me. If the team doesn’t improve in the middle of the batting order and acquire a #2 starter, fans can expect similar results in 2010.

    MW: I think that by the end of this year, you could have your pick of a true #2 between Marcum, Romero and Cecil. Snider doesn’t have to hit clean-up next season, but he could certainly be a productive 5th-place hitter with Adam Lind hitting 3rd and Scott Rolen in between them.

    - Rick
  21. 21.

    Happy Canada Day Mike

    Today’s revamped batting order is proof that Cito Gaston’s frustration with the Blue Jays’ struggles at the plate have reached the tipping point for the manager who is now willing to abandon his stalwart doctrine of sticking to the same lineup regardless of performance. Changing around the batting order will hopefully allow the Jays to score more runs overall, but most importantly, the shakeup intends to generate some kind of positive impact on Rios’ and Wells’ production.

    Even if the new order proves more efficient and productive, there remains one glaring problem with the offense: the lack of left-handed bats. The homestand versus the Rays has made the Jays’ absence of lefties and switch- hitters all the more apparent as Tampa’s potent offense had a majority of its hitters batting from the left side of the plate against Roy Halladay and Scott Richmond. Carl Crawford and Willie Aybar in particular hit the Toronto righties well and with power. As for the Jays, there are only two regular lefties in the current lineup: DH Adam Lind, who is having an all-star calibre year, and 1B Lyle Overbay, who is hitting .264 80 games into the season, below his .280 career average. Travis Snider remains the great hope for lefties at the minor league level as Joe Inglett, Russ Adams and recently-acquired Dave Delucci do not appear to provide the kind of left-handed hitting that the Jays need to stay competitive this season. Regardless of when Snider returns to the majors, the Blue Jays must make a move to get a big, left-handed bat to stay in the playoff race.

    I personally believe that a player like Adam Dunn on a team like the Washington Nationals would be the kind of lefty bat worth trading for. A recent Washington Post article (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/jun/18/sunken-season-makes-players-more-tradable/) suggests that the 6′ 6″ 275 lbs slugger is a tradable asset. Dunn, who currently ranks 5th in NL in HR (20), 6th in RBI (56) 2nd in BB (60), is on the first year of a two year contract valued at $8 million in 2009 and $12 million in 2010. There are reports that New York Mets, Detroit Tigers and others may have interest in Dunn and that the Nationals have been purportedly unhappy with their outfielders for quite some time and see Dunn more as effective as DH in the AL. (http://www.talkingchop.com/2009/6/28/928391/nationals-may-have-trade-interest) The Nationals are certainly open to moving players as Mike Rizzo, Washington’s acting general manager just traded CF Lastings Milledge and pitcher Joel Hanrahan to the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday, June 30, for outfielder Nyjer Morgan and left-handed reliever Sean Burnett. I make no claims to understand the business of baseball but to a layman like myself the Blue Jays could offer a package of young pitchers (B. Cecil + J.Carlson or J. Accardo for example) plus a good defensive outfielder (Rios, for example) for Dunn and a future draft pick. I believe this would be a fair deal for both teams although the decision to trade the very promising Cecil would not be taken lightly.

    However, all that said, J.P. Riccardi made it very clear a year ago (http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/postedsports/archive/2008/06/19/jays-notebook-ricciardi-trashes-adam-dunn-on-radio-show.aspx) that the Blue Jays have “zero interest” in Dunn. The Jays general manager stated that “there’s a reason why we don’t want Adam Dunn. I don’t want to get into specifics.” Although Riccardi believes that Dunn “doesn’t have a passion for the game,” I’ll assume that the distaste for Dunn stems mostly from the fact that “[Dunn's] a lifetime .230, .240 hitter that strikes out a ton and hits home runs” according to Riccardi, ie. the big lefty does not conform to “moneyball”/sabermatic criteria for choosing players. Lets assume that J.P. Riccardi hasn’t changed his opinion on Dunn and that the Blue Jays’ management are willing to make trades in order to do get a left-handed batter. Who do you think the Jays will/should try to pick up? Who do you think the Jays will/should trade in order to do so?

    Thanks,

    Mikey in North York

    MW: That’s a well thought-out comment, but I have to tell you that the idea of trading Cecil, Rios and Carlson or Accardo for Adam Dunn is simply laughable. The Blue Jays wouldn’t ever consider doing just Cecil for Dunn. The Blue Jays could use another bat, without question, and a guy like Dunn would fit perfectly, but the Jays aren’t interested. Not because he doesn’t conform to the Moneyball/sabermetric criteria, though – he does that perfectly. For whatever reason (“he doesn’t like baseball”), Ricciardi doesn’t like him. No one was complaining about a lack of left-handed bats when the Jays were 27-14.

    - Mikey in North York
  22. 22.

    Happy Best Country In The World Day! Nice to have you back.

    A lot of people seem to be trying to figure out if this is a year for the Jays to contend, or to rebuild. My two cents is that “build” doesn’t necessarily have a “re” on the front end. I’d love to see our guys fighting for a playoff spot in September, but, if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t mean it’s time to “blow this whole thing up”. Just like we were told in the off-season.

    MW: Good point.

    - Dilly in Dundas
  23. 23.

    “We’re on at 1:00 PM Eastern for a 1:07 first pitch, and there’ll be fireworks after the game!”

    Hey Mike, hopefully there will be fireworks DURING the game, from the Blue Jays offence!

    My attitude that the Jays will finish about .500 and out of the playoffs this year has kept me sane through the last month and I got to enjoy the fast start all the more, knowing it had to even out at some point.

    Rationally, this pitching staff CANNOT and will not hold up – they don’t even have a proven #2 starter and I doubt a team has ever made the playoffs with an unproven staff such as this.

    It’s a miracle the staff has held up this far and when the hitting comes back around, and it will, reality will likely set in for our starters.

    All back and healthy, with a dose of luck and 2010 could be dfferent.

    MW: The Rays made the playoffs last year with a starting staff basically as unproven as this one. And it turned out there were indeed fireworks during the game from the Jays’ bats!

    - Gary
  24. 24.

    I asked if you felt if Rios and Wells should be accountable for their performance with reduced playing time and mentioned that Rollins has been sitting. You didn’t answer my question. You mentioned that Rollins has been much worse then Wells and Rios which is true but wouldn’t answer my question. With Wells sitting today and Rios batting 7th, perhaps Cito will start making his players accountable. Here is another question that you probably won’t answer. Is your reluctance to answer any tough questions regarding the poor play of a Blue Jay have anything to do with the declining number of comments posted on your blogs?

    MW: I’m actually happy about the declining number of comments on the blog, though I’m sure my bosses aren’t. But I answered the question – just not with the answer you wanted.

    - Domenick
  25. 25.

    Hey Mike, I agree with you in the thinking that Nick Johnson would be a good fit into this line up. He’s left handed and is an on base freak. One stat that stands out is that he has an OBP of .462 from 2006-2008 with RISP (although 161 AB’s is a small sample size).

    The question is (sorry if it’s been asked) is ho wmuch would the Nats ask for? If they asked for someone like a Brad Mills, would you go through with it?

    MW: Maybe. I’m not sure about that, that’s a lot to ask for half a season of Nick The Stick.

    - Pramit
  26. 26.

    Hi Mike,

    Good to hear your voice on the broadcast last evening, and surprised to learn you have big feet! Alan is right, you do have big shoes to fill, and the guys did a fine job while you weren’t able to. Stay well.

    MW: Yes, they did. Thank you!

    - Jim from Woodstock
  27. 27.

    its nice to see your back i didnt understand your response to the Nolan Ryan argument all you said was you have nothing to say does that mean you agree or do you still disagree and if so why. also what was the Abraham Lincoln refrence

    MW: An old Abraham Lincoln quote: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.” If you don’t think that Nolan Ryan was a great pitcher, I’m not interested in further discussion, because it would be akin to banging my head against a wall.

    - elliott
  28. 28.

    Hey Mike I previously wrote on Sunday that when Aaron Hill came up “he was destined to fail 70% of the time while succeeding 30% of the time.”

    I didn’t mean to confuse you by a bogus number, I was simply saying that his average is .300 – i.e. 30% success, 70% fail.

    If you bunt over you can score a run without even getting a basehit, thereby increasing your odds.

    MW: If his batting average is .300, it doesn’t mean he gets out 70% of the time, and it certainly doesn’t mean he’s failing to move a runner over 70% of the time, was my point.

    - Scott
  29. 29.

    Mike,
    Good to have you back!
    A few quick points

    1. I agree about the stadium issue that was brought up tonight. Everyone wants to romance about an outdoor stadium as a solution for all that ails the Jays. They fail to look at places like Camden Yards, where the attendance has significantly dipped due to the lack of a winning product. People will come if teams win, it does not matter if they play in the Dome or another field.

    2. If this year truly was about seeing what the Jays have in the system, then there is no reason not to bring up a Ruiz to play in place of Millar. Millar is what he is, and i can not see how he (and plausibly Dellucci later) playing on a semi regular basis can be view as “seeing what they have”

    3. The Jays have so much pitching depth at this point, i can not imagine what is stopping them from turning a Purcey or someone of that ilk into a solid left handed DH. He will not bring in a Holliday, but he can bring in a decent bat that can slot in from 5 – 7.

    Again, congrats on your heroic recovery from the flu!

    MW: 1 – You’re exactly right. 2 – Cito loves what Millar “brings”. 3 – Purcey is worth more than just your average left-handed-hitting DH, long-term.

    - Sean
  30. 30.

    What?!? A new Super 8 commercial and no free breakfasts and internets??

    MW: I know. It’s kind of sad.

    - Wes
  31. 31.

    What’s sad is how Millar still has a job on this team. Where is Ruiz?

    It’s time to cut bait Mike.

    MW: You’re telling me as though I could have some sort of effect.

    - Chris
  32. 32.

    Hey Mike

    Looking down the road to next year and the shortstop position, what do you think it will take to re-sign scoots long term and if that somehow goes off the rails what are the options the jays may have (impending FA’s etc)

    Thanks

    g

    MW: I don’t think Scutaro should be signed long-term. He’s 33 and is having his first good year in the majors. If they can bring him back for two years and no more than $10 million they should, but beyond that, I don’t think it’s a good idea. If they can’t bring him back, it’s not exactly a bumper crop of free agent shortstops. The best ones available will be Miguel Tejada and Orlando Cabrera. Then you have guys like Adam Everett, Khalil Greene and Johnny Mac.

    - Greg
  33. 33.

    Mike,

    Re the Rios vs. Crawford contracts:

    “296/.334/.437 or .286/.336/.451 – which one would you rather have?”

    Do you really think for one second that the Rays GM would consider trading Carl Crawford for Rios? I don’t (but then I’m obtuse enough to prefer Barajas over Sal Fasano).

    Also, on Jays Talk you posited that the only position the Jays had to worry about next year was shortsop – presumably if Scutaro goes elsewhere. That’s just great, Mike – just bring back the same guys on a team that will probably finish 4th and hope nobody gets injured, and that they play better… hasn’t worked yet, but 2010 WILL be the year these world beaters all get it together… What WOULD be a breath of hope is a new, dynamic GM that would come in with the realization that whatever plans that have been implemented since 2001 have resulted in teams that haven’t even contended for anything. Maybe the new man could actually make a few radical changes (dealing Rios for one) – Nah,why upset a successful formula at this point? This bunch’ll get ‘em for sure NEXT year…

    MW: I don’t think for a second that the Rays would do Crawford for Rios, and I firmly believe the Jays would be happy to do Rios for Crawford. What I’m illustrating is that there’s not much difference between the two – if any – other than stolen bases. You bring back the same crew thinking that the addition of Marcum and the improvements of Romero, Cecil and Snider and Wells and Rios getting back to normal will make this team awfully good. I don’t mind a radical talent-for-talent change that doesn’t set the clock back a few years, though.

    - Ken
  34. 34.

    I’d just like to say that I feel better knowing that even the mighty Red Sox are capable of having a meltdown on par with the worst of all time.

    Its not so much that I hate the Sox, its just, once in a while, I like to be reminded that a crappy game can happen to any team, and so can a magical one.

    Thx,

    MW: Remember, even the best teams are going to lose about 60 games, and some of those losses will be ugly.

    - Greg W
  35. 35.

    Hey, Mike, I’m wondering what the commenter (#27) was trying to tell you when he said it was “nice to see your back”?

    Are you leaving?

    And, point #3 of Post #29 — Holliday is not a Left-handed hitter.

    MW: I have a very nice back.

    - Norm
  36. 36.

    michael,
    i saw your response re: my last post on alomar, hill etc…
    i’m not a knucklhead, it’s not difficult to understand the vast difference between alomar’s career & hill’s current season.
    was just attempting to rile up the jays old guard fan base is all.
    cause’ alomar’s the best player this organization’s ever had. (although halladay seems to be wanting to do something about that based on how his careers proceeding to date)
    but apples & oranges isn’t it. everyday position player vs. a pitcher trotting out every 5 days or so.
    but alomar’s still not my favourite mike.
    tony f. with my new guy scotty r. quickly coming up the rear.
    and i don’t mention halladay in this cause’ he’s simply my favourite athlete from this city of all time…..

    - darrell bishop
  37. 37.

    Mike,
    In response to Mikey of North York, you answered:

    MW: That’s a well thought-out comment, but I have to tell you that the idea of trading Cecil, Rios and Carlson or Accardo for Adam Dunn is simply laughable. The Blue Jays wouldn’t ever consider doing just Cecil for Dunn. The Blue Jays could use another bat, without question, and a guy like Dunn would fit perfectly, but the Jays aren’t interested. Not because he doesn’t conform to the Moneyball/sabermetric criteria, though – he does that perfectly. For whatever reason (”he doesn’t like baseball”), Ricciardi doesn’t like him. No one was complaining about a lack of left-handed bats when the Jays were 27-14.

    Well, I remember writing earlier in the season that although the team was playing well(then) it was not a good team. I cited the lack of speed (which translates to base-stealing) and the absence of a credible clean-up hitter. I even mentioned Adam Dunn as the ideal person for the job.
    Based on your comments since last year, you don’t think speed is important, and you and JP are probably the only people who would not trade a 2 and 1 rookie pitcher for a 40+ home runs left handed bat, when we desperately need one. At least JP has a reason, although based on your comment above it now has nothing to do with baseball.

    BTW If Overbay (a platoon hitter) hits third, then we need 2 #3 hitters, when we are having problems finding 1.
    I also contend that for this team to do well, Vernon has to be hitting well in the #3 slot.

    MW: If Adam Dunn was such an attractive commodity, he wouldn’t have had to wait until the last minute to sign with a team this off-season, and wouldn’t have had to take so much less than he wanted. I’m pretty sure there’s no team in the bigs that would trade its top pitching prospect for him. I don’t think Wells has to be hitting well in the #3 slot for the Jays to do well.

    - Cito Man
  38. 38.

    MW: I think that by the end of this year, you could have your pick of a true #2 between Marcum, Romero and Cecil. Snider doesn’t have to hit clean-up next season, but he could certainly be a productive 5th-place hitter with Adam Lind hitting 3rd and Scott Rolen in between them.

    I would love to agree with you, but unfortunately Cito is very stubborn when dealing with young left handed hitters. I love what he brings to the table, but i can not expect anything other then a part time player next year simply based on Cito’s history.
    Shawn Green is a great example.

    MW: Why isn’t Lind a great example?

    - Sean
  39. 39.

    Hi Mike, Since lots of people are coming up with their preference of jays lineups, I wanted to share my thought on the best possible lineup.

    1. Scutaro
    2. Overbay
    3. Rolen
    4. Lind
    5. Hill
    6. Rios
    7. Wells
    8. Left Handed Bat
    9. Catcher

    Basically, I prefer to have our top 4 on-base guys having the first four spots

    MW: There’s something to be said for that.

    - Jay
  40. 40.

    Hay mike glad you are feeling better.Iwould like to talk about why cito always sticks to one line up i think he should go with
    1 vernon wells
    2 Aaron hill
    3 Adam lind
    4 Scott rolen
    5 Alex Rois
    6 Lyle overbay
    7 Marco Scuturo
    8 Rod barajas
    9 Kevin millar

    MW: OK, so talk about it.

    - keith g
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