6:15 PM Eastern

Sorry about that, folks, but with a late extendo-JaysTalk, then a Baseball Today, a quick trip with the family to the dentist and back here to get down and dirty for a double-dip, I felt like last night was a good one to go blog-free.

But I’m led to understand that because of some of the Scott Rolen-related discussion, the fine folks over at drunkjaysfans.com want last night’s edition of The JaysTalk posted forthwith, so here you go.  I live to serve.  I’ll add this – the things I was told about Rolen were told to me by an extremely trustworthy in-uniform Jays source.  Of course I’m not going to tell you who it was.

Anyway, here’s last night’s edition of The JaysTalk, for your listening pleasure:

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Three September call-ups today, as revealed by Russ Langer on this afternoon’s Baseball Today about 20 minutes before the Jays announced them.  Dirk Hayhurst, Brian Wolfe and Joe Inglett are back, and more will come over the course of the next week.  I expect to see Kyle Phillips sooner than later, along with probably David Purcey (since today will be Marc Rzepczynski’s last start of the season) and maybe T.J. Beam.  No, I don’t know what Jeremy Accardo did, either, but I expect he’ll be up next week.

Off to answer your comments from last night – reasonable and rational ones are always welcome!

34 Responses to “Please Accept My Apologies”
  1. 1.

    Brandon League may be the most frustrating pitcher to watch in baseball. It’s one thing to be bad one start then good the next. But he’s good and bad within a single start! He’ll make Jason Bay look like a little league only to walk Alex Gonzalez. Ugh.

    - Renegade
  2. 2.

    Hi Mike,

    Just when you thought the Jays were hitting rock bottom (almost blowing an 11-0 lead), Adam Lind and Rod Barajas restore your faith in the team. I read one comment from someone in your blog yesterday suggesting that Jim Balsillie might as well focus his efforts in buying the Jays team. I agree with him given that the Maple Leafs have expressed through their lawyers that they do not want a team in southern Ontario without unanimous consent from all teams. Who knows maybe Mr. Balsillie will be able to provide the necessary funds to get the players who can make the Jays more competitive. Although I will be a Jays fan as long as I live, I would prefer to be a fan of a team that is in contention on a consistent basis. But it appears that the Jays are taking a page from the Maple Leafs in focusing more on the profitability of the team than its competitiveness, although to their defence it’s not for lack of trying (the Jays do have a good lineup, it’s just that some players are having a bad year coupled with injuries to the pitching staff). I would prefer to see the Jays emulate the Tampa Bay Rays in positioning themselves (not that the Rays did that intentionally) to get the good draft picks for a certain number of years and building a good core of players from that like what they have now, rather than being in the middle of the pack. Rather than being the 9th best team in the American League (i.e. 5th worst team) right now, they might as well aim for Kansas City’s record. After all they are only 9 1/2 games ahead of Kansas City but 17 games behind the wild card. Unless they can compete on a financial basis with New York and Boston.

    MW: They can, though, can’t they? Toronto is the 3rd or 4th largest city in North America and the owners are flush with money.

    - Anthony
  3. 3.

    Hey Mike.

    What’s the story with Overbay? Cito keeps putting him out there as his cleanup hitter and Overbay has driven in a grand total of 11 runs since June 23! Ugh! Is there something physically wrong with him?

    MW: Nope. Since being installed in the clean-up spot, Overbay is hitting .329/.430/.507.

    - joe
  4. 4.

    avacardo has said he wants off this team. how can you defend JP on this?

    MW: What’s to defend?

    - vinny
  5. 5.

    Hi Mike.

    I don’t get your point. Your response suggests that the slash stats tell the story. Au contraire. In July, Overbay had ZERO hits with RISP and predictably, he drove in 2 runs for the ENTIRE month. In August, he hit .111 with RISP and only drove in 9 runs. Isn’t a cleanup hitter supposed to drive in runs?

    MW: Yes, he is. But here’s where you and I disagree – you seem to believe that a hitter can control when he gets his hits.

    - joe
  6. 6.

    so tell me what’s the reason? he is obviously doing for personal reasons.

    MW: I don’t know what the reason is, but the fact that we don’t know doesn’t make it obvious that it’s for personal reasons.

    - vinny
  7. 7.

    Mike:

    How do teams go about determining how to schedule a doubleheader?

    i.e. why are some scheduled as day-night doubleheaders and some (like tonight’s Jays @ Texas games) a so-called traditional twi-night doubleheader?

    MW: I really don’t know.

    - Adrian, co-alumnus
  8. 8.

    Mike, on DJF Cathal Kelly (presumably) says, “Wanted to get out of Toronto? Possibly. A clubhouse cancer not well liked by the media? That sounds completely wrong to me. Unless things changed hugely this year.”

    http://tinyurl.com/ldnd8d

    I’m not interested in pitting you two against each-other, but Kelly did cover the Jays last year so do you think that the attitude toward Rolen by the media and the impression of him in the clubhouse has changed that much this season? Or do you think it has remained the same since day 1?

    His past record of personality conflicts means I’d be more surprised by the former than the latter.

    I’m wondering if maybe the dismal year this year just really got to him? (although then we’d have to forfeit the first two months)

    MW: It’s impossible to be sure that that comment was made by Cathal Kelly, or even to be confident. Rolen wasn’t well-loved by most media members last season, either.

    - ryth
  9. 9.

    Mike,

    You’re misinformed, Toronto is the 7th most populous city in North America. Also, I thought JP was the guy that said he could build a team with out spending as much money as Gord Ash did? I thought JP thought Delgado’s contract was an “albatross” only for him to then to later whine that he couldn’t compete with the Yankees and Red Sox without more money only to waste that money on Frank Thomas, BJ Ryan, and AJ Burnett. Two of which the Jays were paying not to play for them and then to waste the draft picks recieved for AJ Burnett meanwhile JP wouldn’t cough up a few million to hold onto Chris Carpenter while he went through rehab. So Mike can you not sort of understand why Jays fans like myself might be frustrated with JP Riccardi?
    CK

    MW: Yep – but you’re not really taking all the facts into account, are you? Ricciardi did say that he could build a winner on a $50 million payroll when he got here, but when he got here the top payroll in the majors was $109 million. Two years later it was $180 million. Don’t you think that changes the situation a little bit? When Ricciardi said that Delgado’s contract was an “albatross”, it was within the framework of a $50 million payroll – Delgado was making 36% of it. The money on Burnett wasn’t wasted, and they’re getting the draft picks back. Ryan was a gamble that failed miserably, and Thomas was a gamble that only provided half the expected return. And yes, Ricciardi didn’t cough up 5% of his payroll to hold on to Chris Carpenter while he rehabbed an injury from which he had about a 25% chance of recovering. How is that a bad move?

    - Cory
  10. 10.

    Listening to Jerry ask Ashby to explain what a Google Map application is on your phone makes you wonder if Alan isn’t on the way to becoming the next Phil Rizzuto…

    That little part from the top of the 7th should be cut out and posted on here and also on the Fan 590 audio page…it may be one of the funnier things on any of the broadcasts this year. It’s almost as funny as Don Landry’s sleepy Mike Wilner.

    MW: The next Phil Rizzuto?

    - Rob M
  11. 11.

    Hey again,

    You are right on the C. Kelly comment thing, but I tried to work the question so that the validity of the question didn’t hinge on that.

    In any case,

    I haven’t followed a major league team closely other than the Jays as an adult, but have the Jays had a disproportionate amount of “Locker room cancer” type plays in the last few years? Rolen, Thomas, Hillenbrand.. do we throw Lilly in there? I’m sure I may have missed someone.

    Just I’d like to hear what your thoughts are on that.. do all teams experience this with similar frequency?

    R

    MW: Think about your work environment. Is it likely that if you pick any 30 people there, three or four of them will be jerks? Probably. Not everyone gets along with everyone anywhere, so it’s unreasonable to expect that on any pro sports team everyone would be buddies. I don’t think that Thomas was a “clubhouse cancer” – except maybe for the last two days of his tenure in Toronto. Same with Rolen, though things were getting close, and he would have made a lot of people miserable had he not been traded, so I’m told. As for Hillenbrand, I don’t think he was a cancer, either. He seemed like a nice enough guy to me, but he’s a different guy and so I’m sure he rubbed a few people the wrong way.

    - ryth
  12. 12.

    Now you’re ignoring the facts and manipulating them to your own argument. When Riccardi took over the Yankees and Red Sox were already spending much more than other teams yet Riccardi argued that he could compete with these teams based on the Moneyball principles used by his mentor Billy Beane who by the way did compete with a much lower salary and has been to the post season several times. And then when it was obvious JP was wrong that he couldn’t compete then he complained that he needed more money. When he got the more money he wasted it. All along making stupid decisions like denigrated Delgado, Carpenter and others. And you yourself have changed your tune several times, aligning yourself with moneyball principles as well as complaining about the division and now saying if the Jays only had more money to compete…well as I already mentioned JP wasted the money he was given to compete with.

    MW: I’m neither ignoring nor manipulating any facts (though I’m ignoring the massive contradiction in your opening sentence). I’m still a huge fan of the principles of Moneyball, but I can’t ignore the reality that the Blue Jays face – in that division, in this market, they need to be able to spend to compete. In your opinion, Ricciardi wasted the money he was given. In my opinion, he made some high-risk, high-reward moves, most of which didn’t work out through no fault of his own. And then his payroll was cut by 20%.

    - Cory
  13. 13.

    Also in regards to your repeated excuse of the Eastern Division, Paul Beeston is on record as saying he wouldn’t change divisions even if he could because as he rightly pointed out that to make it to the World Series you’d most likely have to face the Yankees or the Red Sox anyway. Also in regards to your complaints about not having enough money to compete, well the Marlins, Rockies and Brewers all seem to compete pretty well against teams like the Mets and Dodgers with huge payrolls.

    MW: Is this going to start to be a thing? One of those things where you simply disagree with anything I say and never acknowledge the actual points I make while never really making any of your own? Because I’m really not interested in playing that game.

    - Cory
  14. 14.

    this isn’t sarcasm, but i also don’t mean it as a shot at tallet (even though it basically is), but is there a worse pitcher in the league at covering first base?

    MW: Without question, he’s the worst on the Jays.

    - Jay B
  15. 15.

    MW: I don’t know what the reason is, but the fact that we don’t know doesn’t make it obvious that it’s for personal reasons.

    there are only 3 reasons you get sent down, 1 poor performance, 2 financial reasons, 3 personal reasons.

    given 1 and 2 are not valid, then it must be 3. if you cant come up with a logical reason then it IS obvious. my guess is that jeremy said or did something that cito didn’t like and so he is being punished. but JP has an obligation as a gm to put the best team forward and using jansen over accardo is simply doing the fans a disservice.

    MW: There are a lot more factors that go into the choice to keep a guy or not. Contract status, options, the status of those in similar positions just to name a few. Please don’t speak here as though your opinion – which is all it is – is fact.

    - vinny
  16. 16.

    MW: Yes, he is. But here’s where you and I disagree – you seem to believe that a hitter can control when he gets his hits.

    if this is true then there is not point in tracking hitting with risp right?

    MW: No, there’s a point in tracking anything you want to track. It’s a record of what occurs. But don’t believe there’s any special skill involved in hitting with runners in scoring position, because there isn’t.

    - jack
  17. 17.

    Seems like you have an explanation for everything bad about this embarrassing team, and especially Ricciardi! You have a very high tolerance for mediocrity, and for a long time. What’s going to happen if this team decides to keep JP for one more year? This is a very delicate situation for Rogers to figure out, because us fans have had just about enough. END THIS ALREADY!!!!!!!!!

    MW: It’s probably because there is an explanation for most of the bad things, even though they’re ones that most people don’t seem to want to hear. It’s what happens when you’re dealing with human beings.

    - danny
  18. 18.

    MW: Is this going to start to be a thing? One of those things where you simply disagree with anything I say and never acknowledge the actual points I make while never really making any of your own? Because I’m really not interested in playing that game.

    Your coomments here are faily petulant and sensitive Mike. You should reread them basically you’re saying agree with me or else and you don’t even acknowledge that I myself have made any points at all. See Mike this is pretty much what frustrates fans. You’re reasoning is basically the same as JP’s. I’m right and no one else has any valid points or could possibly think that JP isn’t an amazing GM and the Jays are always so close to actually playing a meaningful game in September. Again reread what you wrote to me and see if it doesn’t sound a bit petulant.

    MW: It doesn’t. And here’s the thing – you make a point, I either agree or refute with actual facts. If I don’t agree with you, you ignore what I say and just come back with another of the arguments that I’ve been dealing with all season long. Honestly, if you want to save us both a bunch of time, just go back and re-read some of the comments sections from last month or the month before. You’ll find pretty much everything you have to say has been said and I’ve commented on it then.

    - Cory
  19. 19.

    MW: No, there’s a point in tracking anything you want to track. It’s a record of what occurs. But don’t believe there’s any special skill involved in hitting with runners in scoring position, because there isn’t.

    you don’t think that hitting with risp involves more pressure? and that some players are not good at hitting under pressure? how about pitchers? is it the same to pitch in the 9th with a 1 run lead as it is to pitch in a 10 run blowout?

    MW: No, it certainly isn’t, and you’re right that hitting with runners in scoring position involves more pressure – but there’s likely as much pressure on the pitcher as there is on the hitter. Look at the numbers throughout the years, you’ll find that the math says only two players in history were (statistically) significantly better with runners in scoring position. Ever.

    - jack
  20. 20.

    A few random thoughts…

    I can’t see the Jays bringing back Bautista next year. He looks horrible, as if he doesn’t want to be here next year.

    I understand Accardo was upset being sent down to Vegas, but what about Hayhurst? He has done a more than adequate job with the Jays, yet he has spent almost all of the year at Vegas, what’s up with that?

    Can the Jays please give Vernon a couple of days off? I am tired of watching him every day to see if he is going to turn his season around…it’s not going to happen…

    MW: I’ll never understand the whole “looks as if he doesn’t want to be here” thing. Bautista is the same guy he’s always been, and he’s contributing some spectacular defense in the outfield to boot. Did Scott Rolen – who ACTUALLY didn’t want to be here – ever look as though he didn’t want to be here? Exactly. Hayhurst has the same argument as Accardo, though Accardo does have a 30-save season in the majors under his belt. I wouldn’t bet on Wells getting a couple of days off this month, it’s not Cito’s style.

    - Steve
  21. 21.

    Toronto is not the 7th largest city in North America. It is, in fact, the largest metropolitan area in North America. There are 5 urban agglomerations with a population larger than that of the GTA, all of which reside within the continental US (New York, LA, Chicago, Miami and Philadelphia). Canada and the United States conduct their own censuses, and report the respective data of each to the United Nations Population Division completely independently from one another, which accounts for this discrepancy. Because UA’s and MA’s are evaluated differently, it is somewhat misleading to compare the two.

    Without getting too technical, it is likely that if Toronto were defined as an UA, outlying urban zones like K-W and St. Catherines and even Brantford would be included in the overall population totals.

    Because of this, when the GTA is mentioned in a North American context in terms of population, it’s urban area is generally the marker by which it is measured. Urban areas are defined by a single and continuous larbour market (hence the inclusion of the aformentioned outlying areas).

    Toronto IS the fourth largest urban area in North America, ranking below New York and Los Angeles, and just slightly beneath Chicago (but above San Francisco, Miami and Philadelphia).

    My point, I guess, is that Toronto is flippin’ massive. Maybe my second point is that Wikipedia isn’t really a credible source of information.

    Thanks!

    MW: Is that where that guy got the 7th-largest thing? That was a pretty big surprise to me, thanks for clearing it up!

    - Branden
  22. 22.

    MW: There are a lot more factors that go into the choice to keep a guy or not. Contract status, options, the status of those in similar positions just to name a few. Please don’t speak here as though your opinion – which is all it is – is fact.

    please mike, anybody can figure out if it was contract status or options. griffin stated that accardo was being “dissed by the jays for unknown reasons” so it isnt just my opinion. it is fact until someone gives a reason otherwise. all you or anybody from media has to do is ask JP what the reason is. cant you ask anyone on the team “off the record” what the real reason is? surely somebody has an answer.

    MW: I was going to respond, but there’s no point. OK, maybe – you’re saying that something that you made up is fact until someone gives a reason why it’s not. Do you fully understand the sheer ludicrosity of that statement?

    - vinny
  23. 23.

    Why do you think Buck Coates wasn’t called up? Is he in a dog house? He had a decent year in the minors and based on speed/defence should be the 4th OF next year…why not give him some experience?

    MW: He’s going to play for the U.S. in the World Cup of Baseball next week.

    - Neil
  24. 24.

    Cory:

    Toronto is the fifth largest city in North America (according to CMA, or City Metropolitan Area) behind New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, respectively.

    - Andy Mc
  25. 25.

    I dont know what your definition of stat significant is but rios for his career hits 36 points lower in slug with risp. I would say that is significant.

    carl crawford for his career hits 67 pts higher in slug. If that is not significant then I dont know what is.

    MW: You need to take a stats course. Statistical significance is a real, measurable thing, and those things don’t qualify.

    - vinny
  26. 26.

    Do you think payroll will be increased this season?..Why?

    We have seen many teams spend glorious amounts of money to finish with a whimper..Just ask the 2008 Mariners..

    Almost 120 million spent to finish dead last in the AL..Save the hapless Nationals, they finish dead stank last in MLB..

    The Cubs are spending 134 mil this season and are struggling to stay around .500..Baltimore busted a major wad of dough in 2007..93 million for 93 losses..

    This years loser is the Mets..150 mil for 59 wins..

    Increasing payroll doesn’t mean you will win anything..The Jays need a new direction..Build your team first and add later..No way the Jays are ready to spend money with with the minuscule talent left in their farm system..

    Humm..It will take a miracle for the Jays to finish .500 this year..Are you still sticking with your 80+ win season for the Jays?..I figured (as posted in the archives) they would win 75 this year..Looks like we were both wrong..They may win under 70..

    MW: They may indeed. Stop the presses – I made a prediction that didn’t turn out to be true. It’s awesome how I was getting ripped for the 80-85 win prediction when they were 27-14, and I’m now getting ripped for it when they’re 59-72. I don’t know if they’ll increase payroll next season but you’re exactly right – money spent doesn’t equal success. The money has to either be spent wisely (and you have to get lucky) or there has to be so bloody much of it that it doesn’t really matter.

    - ray b
  27. 27.

    mike, you are right paxton’s 350k is 35% more than what the jays offered but it’s also 0.35% of what is owed to vernon for the next 5 years. in the big picture it is an immaterial amount.

    MW: It depends on the picture.

    - vinny
  28. 28.

    The $212 Million that Balsillie wants to spend on the Preds could be spent making this team instantly competitive. A top-end 3rd baseman, a solid DH and resign Marco at 3 years and whatever the market rate is and either re-sign Barajas or find a good catcher to spell until Arencibia is ready to rock (1-2 seasons). Compete in 2010 and Doc re-signs. If not, trade him and the other big-namers away for a whack of upcoming talent and compete in 2014/15.

    At least that’s my two cents.

    MW: But wouldn’t Balsillie have to spend that much (or more) just to but the team without figuring in the payroll?

    - GoJayz
  29. 29.

    I may read too much into this but where is Randy Ruiz these days? Is this another guy that Cito doesn’t like so he just refuses to even bother with him?

    I think what too many people forget here is that the 1989 Blue Jays already had a lot of solid players who had been there a few years. The World Series teams included these and added free agents like Morris, Cone, Carter, etc. – players that had an above average skill level and baseball knowledge, plus plenty of experience and probably independence. What I mean by that is that they were probably pretty easy to manage.

    The years post 1993 up to Cito’s departure were not good ones and do we forget that this man was fired because the Blue Jay teams of those years, for lack of a better word, sucked? And I’m really having my doubts believing that he is the right manager for this team in 2009.

    His game management has drawn criticism from many, including yourself. Now we see these tactics (if the rumours are true) that Accardo is getting his by being stuck in Vegas and Ruiz is riding the bench for some unknown reason. Is Cito’s pride getting in the way of putting the most deserving people on the field?

    J.P. is high on my list too, don’t get me wrong. But let’s pack up Cito first and start fresh in the spring with someone else. We’ve had our little sip of nostalgia – now on with the show.

    And the whole business of “shutting down” pitchers seems incredible. What would Bert Blyleven think of that?? Will we be reaching a point in ten years where 150 innings will be the max for a pitcher in a season? It just seems silly. At this point the team is not going to make the playoffs, so why not let them at least aim for 5 or 6 innings a game, they might only get four more starts each. Will another 20-30 innings hurt them? I believe experience means a lot at this point and the more they get the better.

    MW: The people who study such things say it’s really, really bad to let a young pitcher exceed his innings total of the previous year by more than 30, hence the shutting down.

    - Rob M
  30. 30.

    MW: I’ll never understand the whole “looks as if he doesn’t want to be here” thing. Bautista is the same guy he’s always been, and he’s contributing some spectacular defense in the outfield to boot. Did Scott Rolen – who ACTUALLY didn’t want to be here – ever look as though he didn’t want to be here? Exactly. Hayhurst has the same argument as Accardo, though Accardo does have a 30-save season in the majors under his belt. I wouldn’t bet on Wells getting a couple of days off this month, it’s not Cito’s style.

    I see your point, but Bautista is just too weak at the plate, I bet he is not here next year.

    Interesting turn of events this morning…Cito sounds mighty ticked off at Vernon, lets see if he is finally going to bench him!!!

    MW: Wells wasn’t in the starting line-up on Wednesday night. Cito didn’t sound all that ticked off to me, though – you can hear the audio of Gaston with Landry and Stellick this morning in the Audio on Demand section of the website.

    - Steve
  31. 31.

    Mike…thanks for responding to my questions the other day. On the question about managers calling pitches are you telling me nobody in the Angel dugout is not telling the catcher what to call. When the Angels catchers are constantly looking into the dugout and their Manager is sending in a series of signs and the catcher then drops his fingers to call their pitches your telling me that the manager has an itch? Come on Mike give some team managers more credit then that….not all these guys just sit and wait for their team to come up to bat to send in plays. With the age and inexperience of most of the Jays pitchers wouldn’t it be a help to our pitchers if Arnsberg helped then during games in progress…..not all pitchers have their stuff working in each inning and sometimes you need to react to what’s working and what’s not….if you watch the Boston catcher, Variteck and Martinez sometimes they are watching how the batters are setting up in the box before they drop their signs…I think Zaun used to do that from time to time. I just think the Jays pitchers are getting killed out there and any extra help for these kids can only help with their confidence down the road.

    Mark

    MW: You should really cut back on the tone, especially when you’re completely wrong. Most managers will call pitch-outs and throws over to first from the dugout, hence the catchers always looking over, but not the actual pitches. As for the Jays pitchers getting killed out there? The Blue Jays went into Wednesday night’s game tied for second in the league in quality starts.

    - Mark Feeley
  32. 32.

    re comment 26..

    I wasn’t ripping you..I was wrong too..Your predictions were looking good early on..But the house fell in when they started blowing chunks against the Yanks and the Sox..I am not surprised they have played so poorly against them..Too many rookies pitching against too many experienced hitters..You would have to go back to 04′ when they won 69 games to find such a poor record against the East..

    They have feasted on the rookies and the bullpen…

    - ray b
  33. 33.

    Hey Mike,
    Don’t you think that pressure situations (like hitting when it counts – i.e. with runners in scoring position) can change a player’s ability to hit? I believe that the true all-stars in any sport are able to control their nerves in these situations and therefore historically have better career numbers in stats such as RISP. It’s the same as if the stats were recorded for NBA players’ ability to hit free throws in the fourth quarters of close games compared to their percentage made in the first three quarters. Stress and pressure make a difference in MLB players’ ability to pick up the movement of the ball and produce a smooth swing. The good players are able to block this pressure out. The only argument I can forsee is to say that hitting with RISP is not a pressure situation (the old saying of the pressure being on the pitcher), but the batters definitely feel it. Sure players don’t “choose” when to get their hits, but their mental ability to block out the pressure and focus on the ball sure can choose for them.

    MW: You may believe that, but it’s been proven otherwise.

    - John
  34. 34.

    Mike I tried to play the video about you talking about Rolen dishing the Jays/Toronto but couldnt get it to work.do you mind a quick rehash?

    MW: I wrote about it on a blog post a couple of days ago – the one called “Please Accept My Apologies”, I believe.

    - Dennis
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