9:40 AM Eastern

Before we get to the post, your daily reminder to PLEASE go vote Tom Cheek for the Ford C. Frick Award!  You have to be a member of facebook, unfortunately, but there’s a link on the front page of this very website, and here’s another one – www.facebook.com/baseballhall.  The vote totals weren’t as strong this weekend as they had been previously, so please get back in there and get voting!

Also, please join the facebook group “Send Tom Cheek to Cooperstown” for a daily reminder from me right to your facebook wall.  The response has been overwhelming to this point, but we need to keep pushing hard so that the Frick voters understand just how much Tom meant, and continues to mean, to all of us, and just how much he deserves this long-overdue honour.

Now then………….I don’t work on the High Holy Days and, in what I’m assuming is a tribute to all their Jewish fans, the Blue Jays have chosen not to go to work on the days after the High Holy Days.  I came back after Rosh Hashanah to see the Blue Jays get thumped 13-1 by Tampa Bay, and after they beat the Red Sox twice on Yom Kippur, I came back to see them get blanked 6-0 in the series finale, snapping the consecutive home run streak at 19 games.

It was what’s become a typical performance for a Blue Jays starter lately – cruise through a few innings, then hit an early wall.  Shaun Marcum was terrific through four, allowing only a Victor Martinez home run that’s likely a foul into the right-field seats in any other ballpark (unless it’s caught before it gets to the corner), but then got smacked around in the 5th as the Sox opened the inning with four straight hits and J.D. Drew belted a one-out, two-run (legitimate, non-Fenway) homer to cap a five-run inning and basically end the game right there.

After the game, Marcum said that the starters – who have the worst ERA in the majors in September – haven’t run out of gas; it’s the fact that the Jays have moved to a six-man rotation that has screwed them up.  Too much rest leaves them feeling too fresh and they’re not comfortable.  He added in his post-game quotes “I’m not Roy Halladay, so I don’t get what I want” taking what’s probably one last shot at the way things were run in previous seasons.  And it’s true, if Halladay were here, he’d be pitching every fifth day, chasing 20 wins or a Cy Young, and everyone would be slotted in around him – but that’s not a bad thing.

Marcum is right that he’s not Halladay.  That doesn’t mean he’s not the ace of this team and it doesn’t mean that he’s not a terrific starting pitcher.  What it does mean, beyond the obvious, is that he – like the rest of his rotation-mates – is in his first full season in a major-league rotation.  He’s coming off Tommy John surgery and had never thrown as many as 160 innings in a season before this year.  Ricky Romero had topped out at 192, Brett Cecil 142 and Brandon Morrow had never even thrown 125.  When that’s your deal, you don’t get to call your own shots like Halladay did.

The Blue Jays feel that the best thing to do for all these young pitchers, Marcum included, is to take a little heat off them in the last month of the season so they don’t have to shut anyone else down beyond Morrow, and it’s probably the right move.  Feathers may be ruffled, but the main goal is a healthy pitching staff in 2011 and beyond.  Next year, everyone (with the exception of Morrow) will be ready to throw at least 200 innings and in 2012, the gloves are off completely with all five members of the projected rotation (Marcum, Romero, Cecil, Morrow, Drabek) still under 30 save for Marcum, who will have just turned 30.

The Blue Jays are off today, but will be at the Dome for the final homestand of the season starting tomorrow.  It’s a nine-gamer that sees the last-place Mariners and Orioles and the first-place Yankees come to town.  Jose Bautista has a week and a half to hit the one big fly that will make him the first Blue Jay ever to reach 50 in a season, and hopefully the reception he gets will be outstanding.  And John Buck needs two more homers to give us a chance to see some more of the future in J.P. Arencibia behind the plate.  Arencibia was the DH in yesterday’s game, and had two very good times at bat and two that were not very good at all.

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

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And here’s the transcript from yesterday’s “Miked Up LIVE!”:

9 Responses to “For This I Came Back To Work? Part II”
  1. 1.

    michael,
    heard you yesterday and this morning re: various topics of discussion. ie. in particular this a.l. mvp voting and upcoming playoff b.b
    i don’t necessarily think that jose b. should be the mvp nor will, based on alot of the reasoning you’ve put out there. but the 1 thing i will say that perhaps opposes one of your logics is this. the idea that this ball team would have finished 4th with or without the slugger is very much most probably true but.. without him, instead of being a team that finishes this yrs. campaign in the toughest loop in b.b. with a very respectable winning record somewhere in the 80′s to the winning side they just might be have been a team that would have finished 10-15-20? gms below without him? maybe…
    but of course the argument of mvp to the league or to his team always rears it’s ugly head. so who knows. but just sayin’ is all on that one. the other item that intrigued me a bit was your thought on neither the rays or yanks wanting to win the division for the reason of then having to face those potentially nasty lee ridden rangers. true that. some merit there on that one no doubt.
    but i think the greater truth is both those teams are in fact looking to go all the way to the series and hopefully win it and based on that would perhaps take their chances on the 1st round opponent to get the home field advantage in the league final (and most likely vs. that other team in question)
    game 7 at home could be huge needless to say. think that’s how it’s work right?
    so take those thoughts bucko as arguments to the contrary…

    - darrell bishop
  2. 2.

    7 of the last 10 on Sports Net1???

    What a way to kill interest in the end of the season.

    I WILL NEVER PAY FOR LEAFS TV, RAPTORS TV, TSN2 (free here) OR SPORTS NETRIPOFF2 EVER.

    -killer of Leaf and particularly Raptor and Jays interest in Ontario.

    - Gary
  3. 3.

    HI Mike and welcome back to bad bench management.

    While I have a soft spot for the Cito “of the past”,he’s now driving me crazy with his old boys club style, leaving very promising players on the bench forwever, losing faith, while others chase personal records, FOR WHAT? I can see Bautista staying in the game, for his major accomplishments, but why not get other promising players in the game at some point? The season is over (often due to leaving stale players in the game), so lets see who’s promising for next year. C’mon!

    - Ken Gonyou
  4. 4.

    I am getting concerned about how the jays are handling JP Arencibia these days.If he is to be their catcher of the future starting probably next season should he not be getting a better look behind the plate this month? What is the point in him sitting on the bench while Buck and Molina play.One or both of them could be gone next year.We need to find out if the kid can handle the majors.

    - Paul
  5. 5.

    michael,
    i want to speak of one of the former jays that recently resided here, one mr. scott rolen.
    what an incredible season he’s having with the cinci’s huh? tearing it up in the 3 spot in both regards.
    god i loved that guy when he was here. and believe me i told him on many occasions in my seats down by the 3rd baseline. certainly a few interesting looks my way coming from him when i opined such a sentiment but that’s another story, doesn’t really matter….
    but no doubt one of my favourite ballplayers of all time that whirled thru here. and what an absolute SHAME the man didn’t want to continue on and fight the good fight with this team.
    hindsight, i don’t care, can you just imagine this team’s season with him everyday in the lineup down at 3rd in both fielding and hitting. move mr. jose to his rightful position in the order at clean up… wow. that would have been nice.
    and then even going forward to next season??
    obviously spilled milk here and a waste of time to ponder but i’m pondering anyway michael.
    and of course let’s hope that young p’s stewart and roenicke (and who knows maybe double ee too) make us forget in time what might have been.
    cause’ for my money, find this team a shut down, legitimate closer and another serious bat to place into this line-up (at 1b, dh. outfield) take your pick and this club might have been really something to witness even this yr. and no doubt next as his apparent and premature demise from the upper echelons of baseball have certainly seemed to have been greatly and more importantly, wrongly depicted in how good a ballplayer he would remain going forward. and with those other needed items on the to do list to be added… man that really coulda’ been something. too bad he hated us all and everything about this city as it turns out. oh well.
    and as for the yanks, rays. bo sox. don’t get me wrong they would have stayed competitive with us i’m guess…….
    whatever…..

    - darrell bishop
  6. 6.

    I really wish this organization had more gumption and sense. The Yankees drop Nova into the rotation in the middle of a pennant run, the Rays plug in a take your pick of newcomers, the Red Sox commit to Lowrie at shortstop and here we have the best of the lot in Snider and Arencibia, and neither of these two have gotten consistent playing time. Anthopoulos better prove next year it’s the end of the J.P./Cito conservatism or this organization will continue to be about useless fits and starts.

    - Will
  7. 7.

    Wow, Marcum sounds like a crybaby looking for an excuse.
    And Marcum will never be the ace of his staff. When healthy, he gets results, but his ridiculously stressful all-arm delivery will guarantee future injuries. I doubt he will ever throw 200 innings in a season, and would be surprised if he ever has back-to-back seasons of 175 IP.

    - terry the censor
  8. 8.

    Mike. I submit this just as Bautista at his first bat. Brady Anderson hit 50 on last game of 1996 that I attended. Orioles won game to I think sneak into playoffs(could be wrong). trivia question is- who was Blue Jay pitcher that gave up Brady’s 50th and also what other past or present(that day)Blue Jay likely Hall of Famer also hit homer that same day after taking first 2 pitches going 0-2 before he cracked it over right field fence. Bet Jerry remembers but I also bet you may know .

    - bob from burlington
  9. 9.

    Only listening to game intermittently as had to stop in at emergent job call on way home. Pat Hentgen was the pitcher for Anderson and I think a reliever was in for the then Oriole Robbie Alomar who his an 0-2 pitch to homer land. Series was memorable as a game or two earlier to Anderson/Alomar homers, Alomar spit into face of umpire. Fans booing mercilessly as Alomar hit the homer. Andersen alleged to be on steroids that year but as I recall he was a roly -poly fellow that I guess had some serious power for one year.

    - bob from burlingto
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