11:25 AM Eastern

With the non-waiver trade deadline coming up on Friday afternoon, I can’t say much with certainty what the Blue Jays are going to do, but I can say that I don’t believe the group that got on the plane after yesterday’s win over the Rays is going to come back from Oakland next week in its entirety.

This morning, I don’t think the odds are very good that Roy Halladay gets traded.  Yesterday, I thought it was almost definitely going to happen.  Who knows what I’ll think tonight?  Friday will tell the tale, unless something happens sooner, and if something happens sooner, then look out Scott Downs, Scott Rolen, Lyle Overbay, Jason Frasor and maybe even Alex Rios.

Marco Scutaro and Rod Barajas are being shopped relatively aggressively, I think, and their potential departures don’t have anything to do with Halladay’s.

It’s interesting, though, that the fact that Halladay went on the plane out west was kind of a big deal to some.  The thinking being that the Jays wouldn’t make Doc fly all the way across the country and then make him fly all the way back a couple of days later if they traded him, but here’s the thing:  The Phillies, Halladay’s likeliest destination if moved, are in Arizona this week, and will be playing the Giants in San Fran when the Jays are in Oakland.  Of course, that only works if he’s traded to the Phillies.

There was a Halladay trade odds table posted in the Toronto Sun today by Bob Elliott (I haven’t read the rest of the papers yet), and the Brewers were in there at the bottom with a note that said “But will Halladay accept a trade to Milwaukee?” or something like that.  I can tell you that yes, he would.

Here’s yesterday’s super-extendo edition of The JaysTalk, for your listening pleasure:

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With the Jays heading out west, it’s a strange, weird-timed week for me, so I’m going to take the opportunity to recharge my batteries.  I’ll post The JaysTalks, and if any sort of trade happens or big trade-deadline-type story breaks, I’ll post about that, but for this week there won’t be any of the regular bloggage.  I also won’t be hosting Baseball Today this week, that honour falls to Roger Lajoie, but I’ll definitely have a presence on the show with a few of my interviews airing, at the very least.

I’ll continue to reply to rational, reasonable comments, though.

43 Responses to “These 25 Will Not Return”
  1. 1.

    All you Well, Rios, Riciardi haters out there. Why don’t you try doing what they do? Most of you don’t even know how to hold a bat. And more of you think trading Scutaro for Johan Santana is completely doable trade.

    You knuckleheads can’t even operate the printer in your office. I would love it if Wells could show up at your work and tell you how much you suck for forgetting your computer’s log in password every day!!

    Mike, I have leanred that Toronto’s media doesn’t know anything about baseball let alone the Jays (minus you and Bob Elliot). One reporter this weekend actually said Riciardi was foolish to “announce to the world that they are going to trade Halladay”. This is why you always have to correct fans all the time. They always get misinformation from reporters who would rather make up news than report it. Not to mention most sports reporters in this town are hockey writers (and poor ones at that).

    Anyway, thats my take

    Tom

    MW: Your take is a little harsh, I think.

    - Tom
  2. 2.

    Great blog as always Mike.

    I don’t think Halladay will be traded as the Phillies’ counter offer wasn’t strong enough. Maybe something will happen.

    I think it is time that the team made some room. As much as I love Scutaro and Rolen, there is room for John McDonald to play at one of those positions with the hope that his hitting develops with regular play. And the Jays can bring up a prospect or put Bautista in there if need be. Both Scutaro and Rolen are playing really well and I think that there can be some good value received in a trade, perhaps a DH and / or a solid LF and maybe a strong starter.

    It seems that Halladay is divided between leaving Toronto and winning that world series ring (or at least playing in the playoffs). Ideally, that means that the team has a Tampa Bay quality kind of year and I don’t think the Jays has that especially in the AL East nor do I think JP has the resources to buy himself a team that will contend. I wish him all of the best. Of course I would love to see him stay here.

    Weird to see 31K on the Sunday game with crappy weather and the dome closed but only 24K at the Friday night game. There were only apparently 310 dogs but there were plenty of kids for the free Webkinz — they ran out at 12:30. Webkinz makes alot of money from the parents who promise their kid one when they find out that they ran out!!! I guess it goes to show you that promotions do work.

    MW: The Webkinz dogs were a pretty hot commodity in the press box, too. I don’t think the Jays can get nearly that sort of return for Scutaro and Rolen.

    - Tim
  3. 3.

    Hey Mike,

    Why werent you on the show today?

    MW: It’s just too much to be in at noon and in again until 2:00 AM. I don’t do the show on Jays off-days (because otherwise I wouldn’t have a day off all summer) or when the Jays are on the west coast.

    - paolo
  4. 4.

    Mike, can you please not miss Baseball Today again? Don’t get me wrong, Roger Lajoie is fine but I quickly tire of people bringing up the ‘5 year plan’, ‘Vernon Wells sucked last year’ and ‘Rios is a bad contract’ with nobody calling them out on it.

    Also, as to your Overbay interview. I found it interesting how frustrated he was about not playing full-time. It’s interesting to read Blair’s column today where he states that Overbay will NOT be the first baseman of this team next year (and Lind potentially will be).

    Finally, wouldn’t a package of Brown, Taylor and Drabek be better than Brown, Happ and Drabek? Happ is a #4-5 starter in the AL East. Completely over-rated.

    MW: Different guys have different methods of dealing with callers. I don’t know about that with Happ – his minor-league numbers are pretty terrific. Better than I thought, actually.

    - Renegade
  5. 5.

    If the Jays are to trade some of the aforementioned players, what do you think fans can expect in return. I would thiink that Frasor and Downs should fetch a decent pitching prospect or two, maybe more if they went together.

    I don’t think Overbay will fetch much due to his inconsistent play, but a deal to National league for him might be the best fit, I think he is more valuble there.

    Rolen is a “get a decent team over the hump” type of guy, anbd I think that he would bear some decent fuit if a proper deal is made.

    Feel bad for seeing Scutaro and Barajas go, I really enjoy those guys and their blue collar play, which is something that a hockey town can really appreciate.

    Quick question though, do you think that Rios could still fetch Lincecum one for one???

    Please note a small hint of sarcasm in the question, I’m not acutally an idiot.

    Have fun out there in sunny California.

    MW: Toronto isn’t a hockey town, it’s a Maple Leafs town. Rolen is tradeable, for sure, but I don’t think he’ll bring back all that much.

    - T.J.
  6. 6.

    I am not sure I would move Scutaro or Rolen. Scutaro I think has established a new standard for his play and I think Scutaro, along with Rolen, provide a solid example of how you would want younger players to approach the game. More than anything, this team needs a direction and an identity these players can provide. If they move Scutaro they’d better not under sell him. I don’t think his season is an aberration at all. The Jays would be better served to dump(pick up some salary), if not trade, two of Overbay, Rios, or Wells, and attempt to fill at least one of those spots through a Halladay deal.

    MW: I don’t think the effect that Scutaro and Rolen have on the younger players is worth as much as what the Jays could get back in trade and salary relief.

    - Will, Oshawa
  7. 7.

    I took my daughter to Dog Day and we had a great time. She used her pink #1 Jays finger to great effect and danced her way to a Jumbotron appearance, and a tossed ball from Overbay.

    I was really struck by two Wells/Rios items yesterday.

    1) Nieman is almost as tall as Randy Johnson so I realize his fastball/slider get on hitters fast. It seemed to me that the Jays hitters other than Wells/Rios were able to make adjustments 2nd time thru the order. Meanwhile Wells flailed at strike 3 way outside, and Rios looked lost.

    2) the booing for Wells was really noticeable. I’m sure he is really glad to hit the road. He even tossed in a 9th inning bases empty hit as a warmup to what will likely be another hot road streak.

    I wish the 2.5 Jays hitting coaches could get him on track at home. Wells will be here for years folks so lets not go out of our way to make life miserable for him.

    - Rez
  8. 8.

    The David Dellucci era is over. Joe Inglett is back to take Looch’s place, giving even more of an indication that … they don’t want Travis Snider to be eligible for arbitration after next season.

    Hey Mike – in light of our conversation on Jays Talk yesterday, you might need to change “after next season” to “after 2011″.

    - Mark McDonald
  9. 9.

    Hey Mike, love the show(s), blog, etc. I hope that you decide to continue to reply, our conversations are the icing on the cake that is the baseball season for me.

    Glad the Jays were able to pull one out yesterday, especially after the debacle on Saturday.

    I was watching the game yesterday – men on 1st and 2nd, the runner on 2nd steals 3rd. The man on 1st didn’t move – is there any reason that he shouldn’t be going as well? Certainly the catcher doesn’t have time to decide where he’s got a better chance to throw the runner out and will always go to 3rd, won’t he? And the benefits of having a runner standing on 2nd instead of 1st (scores on a single, eliminates the force) outweigh the negatives (closes the hole on the right side, a good hitter can be pitched around with 1st open), don’t they? Even if the runner on 1st doesn’t get a great jump, he’d make it to second without a throw, wouldn’t he? I’ve always wondered why, with two men on, a 3rd base steal isn’t an automatic double steal (unless the man on 1st is Rod Barajas).

    MW: The runner on first doesn’t always know when the runner on second is going to get ignored or get an incredible jump.

    - Terry Bradley
  10. 10.

    Have some time off, you deserve it.

    Interesting article:

    http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/9858348/For-his-sake,-Ricciardi-better-be-bluffing

    And right in my opinion. Trading Halladay hurts me more than I can say. But they have to do it and now is the time to get the best out of it. I said a while ago we should have a fire-sale and you commented that I was talking out of frustration. But I wasn’t. This team has stood pat at the trade deadline for years because we’ve always been on the fringes of the race. Well I’m glad someone has finally said ‘enough of this’ and decided to do the right thing by the team and ultimately the fans. The Jays can’t be buyers in this economic climate but they can make a very good thing out of being sellers.

    If they’re bright about it. And I do hope they’re bright about it.

    - reyes
  11. 11.

    I’m loving willrain vs. jacoby. God bless you for facilitating it, Mike.

    I may as well pose a couple questions while I’m here:

    1) What can we reasonably expect to get for Scutaro in a trade? Are we looking at a servicable major leaguer or a minor league player that may or may not pan out?

    B) In terms of Vernon Wells’ home and away splits, do you think it’s possible that the centre field backdrop at the Rogers Centre is somehow influencing his vision? I heard Alan Ashby make a point about Vernon maybe not seeing the ball that well and I recall Jerry Howarth posing the question to Cito (which Cito dodged) and I’m wondering if this could explain the difference between his home and away performance? It’s just a thought I had and I haven’t seen it mentioned.

    MW: 1 – No chance it’s a serviceable major leaguer. It’ll be a B-level prospect at best, I would think. The two first rounders might be worth more. B – I doubt that very much – it never bothered him in the past.

    - Patrick
  12. 12.

    Mike, I’ve come to believe the only way for the Jays going forward is to go heavily (as in almost exclusively) with youth and stick with them through a couple (or more) of 90+ loss seasons. If you can’t outspend the sox and yanks of the world, you can only do it the rays way. That means being prepared to bite the bullet and eat a LOT of losses until the kids grow up and are ready to shine in prime time. Unless the Jays are prepared to do that, they’ll never be bad…but they’ll likely never win either.

    MW: That could get scary, though.

    - marc
  13. 13.

    Mike,

    How about this trade, it will still ensure that the jays might even have a shot next year

    3 Team Deal

    To Philadelphia Phillies
    - SP Roy Halladay
    - SP Marc Rzepczynski
    - OF Cedric Hunter
    - OF Blake Tekotte

    To Toronto Blue Jays
    - 1B Adrian Gonzalez
    - OF John Mayberry Jr.
    - OF Dominic Brown
    - P Wade LeBlanc

    To San Diego Padres
    - SP J.A. Happ/Kyle Drabek
    - OF Micheal Taylor
    - SP Carlos Carrasco
    - SS Jason McDonald
    - SP Robert Ray
    - 2B John Tolisano
    - 1B Brian Dopirak

    MW: Those kinds of trades simply don’t happen.

    - Jazz
  14. 14.

    Vernon Wells the second most untradeable player in baseball.

    Lucky us!

    MW: Your link didn’t work.

    - Keon
  15. 15.

    Mike, with regards to the Hall of Fame, it was great that former Jays and NBC broadcaster Tony Kubek was honored as the Ford Frick recipient. But I really, really, really, really, really, hope it’s Tom Cheek next year. I’m going to get it started before you do, but all Jays fans vote for Tom Cheek this year, it is long overdue. Thanks Mike.

    Peter, St.Catharines

    MW: Hopefully Tom and Bob Elliott will get in together.

    - Peter
  16. 16.

    Mike,

    For a moment lets talk about an idealistic world regarding the Blue Jays. On paper and in terms of salary players like Wells and Rios.

    Wells and Rios in terms of their respective salaries are well paid. Both Wells and Rios are suppose to be our cornerstone guys, with each lets say for the sake of argument that both players are 5 tool players(which they are but however they are not!). In terms of their careers both of them really had one good year each. (Wells may have had more since he’s a bit older). None of the less, each are suppose to drive in over 100 RBI’s, hit over 30 HRs, and steal over/just under 30 bases per season.

    Can you imagine if they were doing that right now or on pace to? Couple with that of Rolen, Lind, Scutaro, and Hill. We would be killing the American East right now regardless of the pitching woes we are going through now with the injuries.
    J.P. would look like a genius, Gaston is the saviour, and Beeston, well I don’t know. Wells and Rios would be like Ortiz and Ramirez, the 1-2 punch that would carry the team. When one is not hitting the other would pick up.

    But we all live in the real world where Wells and Rios both are choking. J.P. doesn’t know if he has a job soon, Beeston wants out, and Gaston don’t have answers. Instead the Jays are ending up where all of baseball writers predicted they will position before the season started.

    I think what you see is what you get with both Wells and Rios. Can’t see them improving that much at the plate. Granted they are great defensive players and they may save a run or two but its the bat that everyone including myself leaves shaking our heads.

    The last time I hated about a Blue Jay was Delgado, but he shut me up pretty quickly with the numbers. Lets hope Wells and Rios are the same!

    MW: I can’t imagine why you ever thought that Wells and Rios would be like Ramirez and Ortiz.

    - J. Lee
  17. 17.

    michael,
    you most probably don’t recall but i was the one who made the fearless prediction of a 109 win season for the jays right here on this very blog the morning of opening day.
    according to my calculations they need to go 61-2 from here on in to the finish for me to be correct.
    that’s probably not realistic based on the way they’re playing right now.
    but that’s ok.
    cause’ i gotta tell you that was a sweet ride i was on for the first few months. going down to the park every night. people were buying me beers, signing autographs, taking photos with their young children, i was living large my friend. living large.
    good times……..

    - darrell bishop
  18. 18.

    Mike,
    just hypothetically, if the blue jays were to release Vernon Wells, how much of the remaining contract would the jays be on the hook for?

    MW: All of it.

    - Jazz
  19. 19.

    MW: When you count all their losses as losses, the Leafs were 34-48 last season, 36-46 the season before, 40-42 the year before that. In ‘05-’06 they finished .500, and they were 45-27-10 in the pre-lockout season (2003-04), which was the last time they had a winning record.

    The Leafs have made the “final four” four times since the Jays’ last playoff appearance. These accomplishments are what the fans remember. Do you think Leaf fans or Jays fans care about being above .500? They don’t. Getting to the final four is something that generates excitement in the city, and the Jays simply haven’t come close. They haven’t been in the final eight since 1993.

    MW: Interesting move changing your argument there when you’re proven wrong.

    - the stat lady
  20. 20.

    This is in response to the rather dismissive reaction to my doomsday scenario. In fact, since 1950, here’s what happened: The St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore; The Boston Braves moved to Milwaukee, then to Atlanta; The Philadelphia A’s moved first to KC, then to Oakland; the Dodgers moved from Brooklyn to LA; The Giants from New York to San Francisco; the Washington Senators from Washington to Minnesota; the Seattle Pilots to Milwaukee, and the second iteration of the Washington Senators to Texas. Never mind about the poor, sad denouement of the Montreal Expos.

    MW: What happened from 1950-1974 really has no bearing at all on what’s going on now.

    - Richard Hennessey
  21. 21.

    Hey Mike. I have a cell phone and every attempt to connect with the fan has been unsuccessful. Since I’m long distance should I be dialing *590 then 1 888 666 0590? Maybe you could help me out.

    MW: *590 won’t work on your cell in BC, just call the 800 number. Maybe it doesn’t work from cell phones, though.

    - Matt from BC
  22. 22.

    Hi Mike – A few days ago you said Shawn Green had “fallen off the map” after he left Toronto. I need to correct you, bro. I am a big Shawn Green fan and was extremely sad when he asked out of town. He did not fall off the map. He had 2 or 3 spectacular years as a Dodger. And was above average the during the rest of his career as a Dodger. If memory serves me right, he spent some time in Arizona and then landed here in NY with Delgado. I was a very happy baseball fan to see Delgado and Green reunited here for that season. For two years, they were probably the best 1-2 punch in Blue Jays history.

    Anyway, since we’re talking about the Jays of 10 years ago, can I ask you this question – Considering talent, production and contracts, which duo would you take Cruz/Mondesi or Wells/Rios? …

    Thank you.

    MW: I’d take Wells/Rios, believe it or not. Already been corrected on Green, you gotta keep up!

    - T from NY
  23. 23.

    Mike… I’m glad to hear you’re taking some well deserved time off and you can spend more time with your family!

    I caught your extendo radio show on the way home after Sunday’s win and I’d like to comment about your response to one caller. The caller was suggesting that the Jays look to re-sign Scutaro before he becomes a free agent. You replied that he is past his prime for a ball player and this years’ success maybe a one shot deal or aberration as history has shown with other players. What you have to consider is (please correct me if I’m wrong) that this is probably the first year he has been a full time short stop and not in a utility or back-up player role. Regular play time has worked out to his and Jays favour. I’d like him to stay, especially if Halladay remains into 2010. If they should let him walk, Mike, who is available this coming off-season with experience to play quality short, lead off for the team and put up the Scutaro numbers and obp? Jonny absolutely can play short, but he doesn’t have the bat and they would need a quality lead off.

    For my second comment and question (I didn’t want to disappoint again, so I did some research and gave it a lot of thought.)

    For 2010 the following are locked up, assuming none are traded and I hope none will be.
    Halladay (15.75M), Roland (11M), Wells (12.5M), Rios (9.7M), Hill (4M), Downs (4M), McDonald (1.9M). These numbers are on Cot’s MLB Baseball website and I expect this is probably accurate.

    This totals $68.85 million for seven players! (I’ve added in Ryan’s 10M that unfortunately is still on the books.)

    Assuming all are healthy by spring training, Jays have for 2110 an abundance of “good”starting young pitchers, namely Marcum, Purcey, Jansen, Cecil, Mills, Romero, Richmond, Rzepczynski and Litch, among others.

    I believe that Jays are just a few players away and a tinker or two from a playoff and possibly a championship team, assuming that Wells and Rios can return to the offensive threat we all know they can be.

    My point to management is that instead of breaking up the existing team core e.g. Halladay, Roland, Scutaro, League, Fraser etc for minor league prospect that may or may not work out, in keeping with the plan, as presented by J.P. at the State of the Franchise meeting to season subcribers in Februrary, why don’t J.P. and Mr. Beeston go to Rogers and secure an addition $10-15 million or so for the Jays for 2010. Trade two of those young arms this off season with Overbay (save $7M), for an established left fielder with power, or go after a free agent left fielder with power and trade Overbay anyway because he only plays against right handed pitchers. Re-sign Scutaro because he has been a terrific lead off player and most certainly compliments Hill. I’d suggest bringing back Barajas (he calls a great game), put Lind at first, bring up Snider to play DH and/or left field, to alternate with that power bat, replace Millar and perhaps Bautista. All of this translates to a payroll in the $90 – 95 Mil range. That is how I arrived at the $10-15 mil extra.

    Now that the Loonie is worth 92.3 US cents (closing today) this all makes sense to me. I’m not an Economist, as you well know, but it should be noted that the same Loonie stood at 76 US cent back on Oct 27, 2008. The stronger dollar would make the higher payroll a lot easier for Rogers to swallow.

    Toronto and ultimately Canada (Jays are Canada’s team) is absolutely clamouring for a winner. Leafs are sure not the answer and the Raptors are a big question mark. If the stars will all line up in the right direction and with Rogers help, Jays could possibly once again return to glory in front of sell out crowds and finally play October ball next season.

    I really think that deep down Roy feels the same. He wants to play for a winner. He wants to remain a Jay and wants to win with the Jays. Eventually, he also wants to retire as a Jay.

    I just love the movie Field of Dreams and this so aptly applies to Rogers and the Jays. “If you build it, they will come”

    Mike … your opinion here and constuctive comments are always most welcome.

    P.S. Enjoy your week and best regards.

    MW: I actually didn’t know you weren’t an economist! Actually, you forgot the $8.5 million signing bonus that Wells will get, so that changes the finances somewhat. Litsch won’t be healthy for spring training, but McGowan might be. It all depends on how much money Rogers is willing to spend, but if they don’t trade Halladay, I’m all for them trying to load up for next year.

    - Shelly
  24. 24.

    Mike, I understand that Kyle Drabek is the Phillies top pitching prospect but is he actually a top pitching prospect in the major leagues as a whole. Could you compare him to Brett Cecil maybe? Furthermore, if Snider and Cecil played for the Phillies and they offered Snider and Cecil for Halladay, do you make that deal?

    MW: I might make that deal, but I’d be likely to ask for more. Drabek is ranked 92 by Baseball Prospectus and 251 by Scouting Book, probably because he’s seen as a couple of years away. I can’t compare him to Cecil because I’ve never seen him pitch.

    - Ross
  25. 25.

    Hello, long time, no reply, but I’ve been reading along.

    This Jays team, the last few years, has been good, but so frustrating. The close losses, the whole RISP thing, and the way they start losing (with one O) just when I start to get my hopes up, or start winning just when I’m about to “accept reality”… If they were crappy, like the Pirates, it would be one thing, but they aren’t. They’re a good team. Maybe they should get into horseshoes and hand grenades.

    For you to deal with this, and then all of the negative and repetetive (and often misguided) comments and calls, well, I feel for ya.

    And this year, when we all finally “knew” not to get our hopes up, they go and have that hot start. I think I’m actually proud of myself for not having put my forehead through the drywall (yet).

    Conspiracy theory: (not saying I believe this, and I’m not even sure it would count as a conspiracy) J.P. isn’t really looking to trade Halladay. He’s sort of dangling him just to see if anyone will make a ridiculous offer, but knowing there’s a 90% chance Doc won’t be going anywhere before this deadline. Maybe giving Roy a taste of all that media attention, so he’ll want to stay in Toronto even more, when decision time comes. Also, if Halladay leaves via free agency… “We tried to make a deal. It didn’t work out.” But there’s still the off-season and next year first.

    Theory #2: I really don’t want or need to know too much about the players’ personal lives, but I’m starting to wonder about the whole Vernoff at home thing. Like maybe he just doesn’t perform as well on the field when he has other duties to attend to, like fathering and, uh… husbanding. Maybe the Wellseses spend too much time… um……. playing Scrabble. (I hope I didn’t cross a line here, but it’s hard to spectate and not speculate.) But this does not explain last year. Maybe he has some new, disruptive neighbors. Maybe he’s developed an allergy to back bacon and poutine, or he just isn’t right unless he gets free breakfast and internets in the morning. I don’t know. It’s mind-bottling. But it’s been happening a little too long now to be coincidence, no?

    Finally, since it’s been brought up already, I couldn’t be happier with Alan, Jerry and yourself doing the games, but if Jerry did decide to hang up the microphone, I’d think you’d have to be first in line to be called up. Unless the Fan 590 doesn’t want you becoming eligible for arbitration too soon.

    Hear you later, Mike

    - Dilly in Dundas
  26. 26.

    Hello Mike,

    Regarding the mystery of Vernon Wells’s road/home splits. What’s happening is his batting average of balls in play is way out of whack: .356 away and .175 at home. He’s not really hitting the ball any better on the road: a couple more homers in 20 more at bats on the road, but his bb/k ratio is better at home. It’s a total fluke; whatever is causing his season-long slump is the same at home as it is on the road.

    - Evan White
  27. 27.

    Mike,
    The 3 B’s of Boston

    Forget about Philly.They are unwilling to give up their prospects for Halladay. Maybe Boston will sneak in near the trade deadline and offer all of Bard,Bowden and Bucholtz for Doc. What do you think?
    Also,why is BJ Ryan’s picture still on Rogers Centre windows? And have you seen former Jays CEO Paul Godfrey show up at Jays games?

    MW: If Boston is willing to give up that package, the Blue Jays will take it. I don’t know how long it takes for them to take those pictures down – they may have more to take down after this week. I haven’t seen Paul Godfrey this season.

    - Mark
  28. 28.

    the jays said all along that this year was a wash & 2010 is the contending year. This team CAN’T afford another rebuild especially with Jp at the helm. Take notes from the raptors,Chris Bosh’s free agency year~they beef up the team. Encouring him to stay, not run him out of town. Halladay, Marcum, Romero, cecil,tallet& Litch good starting line up. JAY MANAGEMENT STOP FRUSTRATING FANS, THE WAY THE EXPOS DID!

    MW: This is nothing like what the Expos did. You’re not the first to make that comparison, but it’s uninformed.

    - Rich from pickering
  29. 29.

    Mike. Do you know what happened to Shawn Marcum last night in Vegas? He pitched only 2.0 innings and threw only 34 pitches. He pitched 6 innings back in Dunedin. Is there a reason for this? Did he feel some discomfort? Thanks!

    MW: I don’t know, have to find that out.

    - Terrence Soltys
  30. 30.

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=schoenfield/090727&sportCat=mlb&campaign=rss&source=MLBHeadlines

    This is a link to the 15 players in major league baseball who will NOT be traded at the deadline based on their salary and a number of other things…thought you might be interested to what they have to say about Vernon Wells….he is #2 on the list…..and that one caller wanted to trade wells for zito?? come on!!!

    MW: Well done putting in the link that works!

    - Adam
  31. 31.

    Mike….Good for Joe Maddon for wearing the standard uniform and looking professional. Cito Gaston looks like he’s ready for a bicycle ride with that windbreaker and Ozzie Guillen looks like he just came from the gym with the hoodie. I’m surprised MLB allows the casual look…I thought it was mandatory to wear the uniform, but a while back it must’ve changed.

    MW: It doesn’t matter at all to me what the manager wears.

    - chris m.
  32. 32.

    Michael,

    When was the last time the Jays had a submarine pitcher?

    Does that delivery put more or less stress on the arm?

    MW: I can’t actually remember the Blue Jays having an honest-to-goodness submariner. Mark Eichhorn was a sidearmer. It definitely puts less stress on the arm.

    - Uncle Ben
  33. 33.

    Mike,

    What do you think about the Jays calling up one of their young prospects to fill the void left by Snider (for one last playoff push). I was thinking that David Cooper would be perfect considering he’s lefthanded and a power hitter. J.P. Arencibia could also possibly be used. I know this could be though of as “rushing” the player to the bigs but that didn’t stop the call ups of Cecil, Mills, Ray and Rzepczynski. However, considering I have no idea how Cooper/Arencibia are performing in the minors, this comment may be completly useless. If so i apologize

    Keep up the good work

    MW: Both Cooper and Arencibia are struggling.

    - Robert Spencer
  34. 34.

    Mike,

    Wells and his contract will be coming back from this road trip.

    I was interested in David Shoenfield’s comment on espn.com (“major leaguers with the least trade value”) that Wells has “deteriorated rapidly as a center fielder (the fielding data on fangraphs.com rates him as one of the league’s worst outfielders this season).”

    Do you agree?

    MW: Yes, he has. I don’t think he’s one of the worst in the league, but those numbers are pretty compelling.

    - kate
  35. 35.

    I think it will be a shame if/when Scutaro is traded from the Jays. His attitude and sense of humour are infectious, I was at the game on Sunday and they showed him on the main screen doing his weird handshakes with all the coaches, they were all cracking up and it seems like great fun for everyone. He will be missed, and he’s having quite the season on top of all that!

    Same goes for Rolen of course, I’ve grown accustomed to him at third base, and he seems like somebody with good character.

    It’s sad to see some of my recent favourites on the trade block, knowing they’ll be playing for other teams more likely than not, and I’m sure any player with a family regrets having to relocate as well, for the most part. I wish that Toronto could have had more success with their current lineup, would’ve loved to see them all back next year

    - Cjohnson
  36. 36.

    Mr. Wilner

    We have had many discusions on the radio in regards to JP and his handling of signing players to overpriced contracts.

    I have focused in on five players for 2010. Looking at these players, a great case is made for JP being fired after another failed season in Toronto.

    Lets start with Vernon Wells. A 260 hitter with a 310 obp. At 21 million in 2010, accountibility must lay on the shoulders of the man who gave such a ridicious contract to such an average hitter over his career. I have heard your agruement that the jays paid market value for him at the time he signed the deal, since when does hitting 260 equal out to 21 million a season. lucky vernon doesnt hit 300 now.

    Now the next guy isnt even on the roster now. Great move JP. BJ Ryan, another signing for supposed market value. 15 million for a guy who is now able to sit home and do nothing. A team like the jays can ill afford to make mistakes of this nature. What does JP do, releases him and says BJ wasnt happy in his role. Suck it up BJ and pitch when we tell you. JP makes excuses for BJ to deflect his own mistake with another horrible contract.

    Next is Rios. At 9.7 million in 2010 for a guy with minimal power and poor K to walk ratio, Rios is no better than a 6th or 7th hitter in a contending lineup. If its true that JP could have had lincecum for rios years ago, he should be fired on that non move alone. But then again, why would anyone want a 23 yr old cy young award winner when you have Rios who hits 15 home runs per year and a sparkling 330 obp.

    Next is Rolen. A solid player over his career, but clearly on the down side. with the year he is having now is the time to move his huge contract for 2010(12 million). Again i have no faith in JP that he will move this asset for more than a fringe prospect or wait until rolen gets injured and his value goes into the tiolet.

    Lastly is halladay at 15.75 million in 2010. This is the deal that JP must make now. The longer he waits, the less halladay brings in return. I agree that he must get blown away with what will come back, but waiting to long will only back JP into a corner as the baseball world is all eyes on the Toronto GM. Other teams know JP’s history with moves and a team like Philly knows JP will slip on a banana peel once again.

    having talked about the 5 guys i mentioned, a rough total number in salary for these guys is at 73 million give or take. A team like the Jays can ill afford mistakes like these and JP has not shown in 8 years that the jays can play a meaningful game in september. How long until jays brass allows this mismanagement to continue

    People can make the excuses that they play in the AL east and cant contend with boston and the yankees, but make less mistakes with personnel, ie frank thomas, vernon wells, bj ryan, alex rios, and draft better younger talent.

    Let me ask you this. What has JP riccardi ever won before the blue jays?.

    MW: About as much as Roy Halladay and Carlos Delgado – the two greatest long-term players in franchise history – have. Obviously there are holes in a lot of your points. You refer to Wells as a .260 hitter. I didn’t realize that his numbers from this year were the only ones that counted. And anyway, the guy who is behind that signing no longer works for the Blue Jays. Rios’ “minimal” power is likely to get him 18-20 homers this year. Not great, but hardly minimal. There’s no great return in the offing for Rolen, no matter who the GM is. Ryan was a horrible contract, it’s true, but it was a good gamble at the time – the kind of gambles that teams that are chasing the big boys have to take in the hopes they’ll work out. As for Halladay – JP has to get blown away, but he has to get blown away in the next three days?

    - mark in caledonia
  37. 37.

    Hey Bat Man, riddle me this: if Doc for two shots at the World Series (the remainder of his current contract) isn’t worth as much as the Jays believe he is, how do they expect to get more for him in the off-season, when he’ll only give a potential trading partner a one-season shot at the big prize?

    I realize there is propaganda value in J.P. saying there is a slim chance to trade Doc before the deadline, but doesn’t he have to make his big move now? He already has a lot of egg on his face for letting Burnett walk and getting almost nothing in return.

    MW: They don’t expect to get more for him in the off-season.

    - steve
  38. 38.

    Mike – have you ever seen a baseball documentary entitled, “When It Was A Game”?

    It has been on the Movie Channel for a bit. I “PVR’d” it a while back and watched it last night.

    It is a bunch of original 8mm & 16mm movies that were shot by players and fans. Super quality and even in colour! Some of the footage is from way back in 1938.

    It really is a great piece and only 70 minutes in length. Gives you goose bumps at times as you can really feel the passion these guys had for the game, and when they speak of baseball and the effect it had on so many!

    Truly, “The Great American Pastime”!

    If you have not allready, I strongly suggest you check it out. I guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised by it all.

    Enjoy the time off – who could expect you to to the daily noon hour slot when the Jays are on a west coast swing anyway! I caught the Overbay interview – nice job (as usual).

    Take care and thank you.

    - Bob from Burlington
  39. 39.

    Michael,

    When was the last time the Jays had a submarine pitcher?

    Does that delivery put more or less stress on the arm?

    MW: I can’t actually remember the Blue Jays having an honest-to-goodness submariner. Mark Eichhorn was a sidearmer. It definitely puts less stress on the arm.

    - Uncle Ben

    I remember Mike Barlow in 1979.

    MW: Cool. I know the name, but I can’t remember having ever seen him pitch.

    - Ian from Whitby
  40. 40.

    Interesting article. Only one Jay on the list and one dishonourable mention. The Mariners dominated.

    Well’s defensive decline has been pretty thoroughly documented. I seem to remember talk of it last season as well.

    I, too will be sad to see Scutaro go. If he is traded and Rios is traded as well, who will hit lead-off?

    MW: Johnny Mac? Probably Jose Bautista.

    - reyes
  41. 41.

    Mr Wilner

    i have top take exception to a few points you made above in my post about vernon wells and rios. yes its true wells has not always hit 260, but looking at his best years, he hit 317 with a 359 obp in 2003. Guys who make Arod or texiera type money consistantly hit 40-50 home runs annually. JP may not have been the catalist of the wells deal, but as GM im sure he advises ownership if a deal like vernon’s is good for the long term health of the club.

    With Rios you said not great power but not minimal. So 18-20 home runs a year and a 330 obp equates to a 10 million dollar contract.

    Bottom line is that JP runs for cover and isnt held accountible when poor contracts like BJ Ryan are his baby. He makes the excuse that BJ doesnt like his role with the club so we release him.

    I guess when free agency starts after the 09 season, JP can look at the photo of him and ryan at the press conference back when the deal was signed and reminise.

    Until JP is shown the door, the Jays will continue to look up at model franchises such as New York, Boston and Tampa. Better hope Baltimore doesnt figure it out

    MW: I continue to be amazed at the regard some have for the Rays. A model franchise? They’ve had ONE season above .500 in the history of the franchise! And I’ll wager most Jays fans wish that JP would run for cover every once in a while.

    - mark in caledonia
  42. 42.

    Hi Mike.
    I often listen to, and enjoy, your radio program, although I have yet to call. (You definitely do know your baseball.) Similarly, this is the first time that I have responded to your -or anyone’s- blog.
    By way of introducing my question…last week, I believe it was, you said to a caller that Alex Rodriguez was ‘maybe the best hitter ever’. To your credit, you didn’t make the sweeping pronouncement that Alex Rodriguez definitely was the best hitter ever; you rarely make sweeping pronouncements, which is something I like about you. Anyway, on a recent television broadcast -it might actually have been the All-star game- Tim McCarver said that Albert Pujols was the best hitter in baseball (which opinion I know you subscribe to). He said, specifically, that Alex Rodriguez was formerly the best hitter in baseball, but that it was now Pujols. As much as I agree that Albert Pujols is currently the best hitter in baseball, and as much as I think that your remark about Rodriguez is plausible and not at all ill-conceived, I have to think that given their respective peek career years, Barry Bonds has the more awesome hitting statistics when compared to A-Rod.
    Other aspects of their careers seem to run parallel: obviously the steroid allegations (in Bonds’s case, cast by others; in Rodriguez’s, self-confessed); their apparent unlikability with respect to members of the media, and even their own teammates, etc.
    I just thought I would ask you, when you are not up against the radio clock, which of the two you considered to be the greater hitter, as well as all-around player. Thanks for indulging my inquiry (if indeed you choose to do so!).

    MW: I consider Barry Bonds to be the second-best hitter in baseball history, behind only Babe Ruth. Thanks for choosing my blog to be the first on which you’ve ever commented!

    - Carl Harvey
  43. 43.

    remember Mike Barlow in 1979.

    MW: Cool. I know the name, but I can’t remember having ever seen him pitch.

    - Ian from Whitby

    Hi Mike,

    I was only 9 back then but I was still an avid Jays fan. Barlow was not the most effective reliver but I saw him pitch live once at Exhibition Stadium vs the California Angels. He pitched a very quick and tidy 1-2-3 9th in a Jays victory. It was a three game sweep with Rod Carew going 0 for Toronto that series. For some reason, I remember that. From what I remember, it was a rarity for Barlow to have a clean inning. I should look him up for old times sake.

    MW: That game was on August 3rd, 1980, when Barlow picked up his first of five saves on the season in a 3-1 Jays win. Carew went 0-for-8 over the last two games of the series after a 2-for-4 night in the opener.

    - Ian from Whitby
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