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Anyone watch Monday Report last night?

Rick Mercer reported on the SkyDome name-change, saying that "Rogers Centre" narrowly beat out the alternate name "The Upper Canada Centre For Losing".

What else is out there? Seems like the quiet before the storm, or at least the quiet before Spring Training.
Make Your Own Roundup: February 8th | 122 comments | Create New Account
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_Ryan Day - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 09:54 AM EST (#273) #
http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Baseball/MLB/2005/02/07/923540-ap.html
Everyone from George W. to Rafael Palmeiro calls Jose Canseco a liar. COMN.

Will anyone come up with a libel lawsuit against Jose? They'd probably have a pretty good case... unless, that is, Jose has evidence.
_DeMarco - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 10:04 AM EST (#274) #
I think Canseco is telling a version of the truth. I have no doubts that all of the players he has mentioned did use steroid, but the manner in which they took them may be exaggerated.

As Dave Stewart said 'I don't like Canseco, I don't hang out with him, I didn't like playing with him, but I've never known him to be a liar'

I still believe that many people are in denial of the drug problems in sports.
Named For Hank - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 10:07 AM EST (#275) #
I'd feel a whole lot better if someone, anyone, stood up and said "I have never taken steroids, and for the good of the game I will publicly take this drug test and publicize the results." Yeah, I know, it's not a solution, or even a good idea.
_Smirnoff - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 10:09 AM EST (#276) #
All it would take is someone with credibility to out their teammates. The problem is that wouldn't make him the most popular guy in the clubhouse. :)
_Cristian - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 10:09 AM EST (#277) #
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=citadel-2_350363_325&prov=citadel&type=lgns
COMN for a Dick Scott interview that Braby21 found. It's probably the most discussion worthy article around at the moment--lots of juicy info about prospects and how the Jays handle their minor league operations. Great find Braby21.
_Cristian - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 10:10 AM EST (#278) #
Personally, I'll be more interested in this thread if we can avoid Canseco related topics.
_DeMarco - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 10:11 AM EST (#279) #
Problem is, that most of the stuff they took was undetectable or they are no longer taking the drugs and it would not show up in a test.

"I categorically deny any assertion made by Jose Canseco that I used steroids," Palmeiro said in a statement. "At no point in my career have I ever used steroids, let alone any substance banned by Major League Baseball.

This is a common statement from players, I believe they don't think what they took was steriods, and since baseball had no banned substance their last comment is correct.
_Matthew E - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 10:17 AM EST (#280) #
Rick Mercer reported on the SkyDome name-change, saying that "Rogers Centre" narrowly beat out the alternate name "The Upper Canada Centre For Losing".

I saw that. The Jays and their fans have to kind of grin and bear it, but if I felt any allegiance to the Argos I'd be seething mad about it.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 10:19 AM EST (#281) #
Here is today's Griffin article on steroids. Note the ads by Google on the side of the article.

Griffin's article put me in mind of two things: a wonderful piece by Bill James on the rise and fall of Chuck Tanner in one of the abstracts, and the Dubin inquiry. While Griffin's insinuations may or may not be warranted, there are fair questions to ask about who knew what when, and why nothing was done.
Joe - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 10:39 AM EST (#282) #
http://me.woot.net
I like Rick Mercer, but I cannot sit through Monday Report. I've even cancelled its recording on my PVR. He's had some good moments, but by and large his monologues are filled with awful, unfunny stuff that turns me off the rest of the episode.
Craig B - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 10:39 AM EST (#283) #
We're seeing the Curtis Strong/cocaine pattern all over again now with this steroid thing. It's interesting that no one has brought it up.
Named For Hank - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 10:59 AM EST (#284) #
Joe, I toughed it out, and the last three episodes have been pure gold instead of the previous hit-or-total-miss. Consider it New Show Growing Pains. Another example: I know that Darren Jones can be funny, but his first half-dozen roving reporter bits were terrible. The last few, especially getting the focus group of old women to play Grand Theft Auto ("Should I kill the pimp?" asks one. "Yeah, shoot 'im!" responds another), have been great.

Two weeks ago I thought that they pulled off their first episode where not a single segment collapsed and died.

"And in other news, last week thousands of cartons of chocolate milk were recalled. I didn't know that Chrysler even made chocolate milk."
_Lefty - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 11:45 AM EST (#285) #
Just reading rotoworld. It mentions that Pittsburg is now targeting the A's Eric Byrnes saying that they don't have enough to secure Huff who they would only have rights too for two more years.

I would have thought with the Cruz Jr. trade, Huff would have been off the market. Speculation?

I wonder if the Jays have given T-Bay a ring. Huff in left would sure be sweet.

Also noted from same source, only $6 million is guaranteed to Maglio Ordonez. Still though, that is one massive contract.
_Paul D - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 11:45 AM EST (#286) #
I have a wild theory not related to steroids. I've been thinking about the draft in MLB and the Blue Jays.

I believe that the MLB collective agreement expires in 2007. At that time, I think that the owners will push for an entry level salary cap, similar to the NHL, NFL, and NBA. I think this would help the Jays.
On the other hand, in the majority of cases, they seem to be holding entry level salaries down without any collective bargaining help.

So, here's my theory. For the 2005 or 2006 draft, the Jays should increase the amount they're willing to pay for players in the draft. By alot, say $10 million or so.

In the first round, you take a Stephen Drew or a Jared Weaver type player. In the second round, you hope one of those guys is still available and take him. In the third, fourth and fifth round, you take the guys that have second round talent but first round contract offers. In the later rounds you take high school position players, or college sophmores or juniors, players that while talented, other teams will pass on because of the leverage they have.

You then make an effort to sign everyone of those players.

I'm not saying you should overpay anyone. Just that you take the best talent each round, regardless of what you think their contract demands are.

If you can sign these players, you've then had a historically great draft. This aslo upsets the rest of MLB, who in turn push even harder for an entry level cap, which ends up benifitting the Blue Jays.

Any thoughts? Am I completely out to lunch?
_Lee - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 11:45 AM EST (#287) #
Everyone from George W. to Rafael Palmeiro calls Jose Canseco a liar.

In general, I agree; Canseco is not exactly the sort of person one should implicitly trust (though neither is Dubya). That said, from what I've heard of his claims in the book, in this case he's probably telling the truth.

I saw that. The Jays and their fans have to kind of grin and bear it, but if I felt any allegiance to the Argos I'd be seething mad about it.

Don't mind Mercer, he's an idiot.
_Lee - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 11:48 AM EST (#288) #
Here is today's Griffin article on steroids. Note the ads by Google on the side of the article.

Hmm, Griffin's first column since the Jays' announcements, and not a mention of the payroll hike or anything else. Looks like Griffin's at a loss for words... :)
_Rob - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 12:10 PM EST (#289) #
http://www.cbc.ca/mondayreport/
[Mercer's] had some good moments, but by and large his monologues are filled with awful, unfunny stuff that turns me off the rest of the episode.

Do what I do: watch it at the CBC.ca. That way, you don't have to sit through the bad monologues, the unfunny headline bits, or his equally unfunny fake commercials. COMN. At least he doesn't do that moronic Talking To Americans anymore.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 12:11 PM EST (#290) #
Paul D, the object is to win, not to attempt to influence the collective bargaining process (the Jays but small players anyways). So, would there be anything wrong with signing Alex Gordon, say, if he demands more than slot money? Of course not. He's probably worth it. The trick is to "not overpay", and this has little to do with the terms of the collective agreement in 2008 and later. The terms are, in any event, entirely unpredictable.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 12:12 PM EST (#291) #
Oops, try again.

(The Jays are but small players anyways)
_Paul D - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 12:24 PM EST (#292) #
Mike, I understand that. However, I think that influencing the collective bargaining process would increase the Jays chances to win, as would signing the Alex Gordon's of the world. In fact, the two go hand in hand.

I agree that you shouldn't overpay for a player, but if every player you draft is worth more than slot money, you could pay them accordingly.
_Matthew E - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 12:25 PM EST (#293) #
There's a good book on Canadian comedy, Stand and Deliver by Andrew Clark, that argues (among other things) that Mercer is a unique and revolutionary figure in Canadian comedy, in this sense: while there have long been Canadian comedians who have done political commentary and criticized the status quo and so on, Mercer's the first to do so as himself instead of creating a fictional persona to do it through.
_Morgana The Kis - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 12:32 PM EST (#294) #
At least he doesn't do that moronic Talking To Americans anymore.

PUUUUUUHHHLEASE!
That was some of the funniest stuff on TV, and, from what I've experienced first-hand in dealing withh Americans, quite accurate in portraying their knowledge of Canadian affairs.
_The Original Ry - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 12:36 PM EST (#295) #
"Congratulations Canada on legalizing VCRs!"
_Tyler - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 12:40 PM EST (#296) #
That was some of the funniest stuff on TV, and, from what I've experienced first-hand in dealing withh Americans, quite accurate in portraying their knowledge of Canadian affairs.

At least they know their own history-Canadians generally perform abysmally on those historical knowledge surveys that the papers do every year. Not to mention, Canadian knowledge of America isn't exactly stellar either.

If it doesn't matter to us, we generally don't care. For the vast majority of Canadians, America doesn't really matter in their day to day lives, and vice versa. No need to make a documentary calling a nation stupid.
_Matthew E - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 12:44 PM EST (#297) #
That was some of the funniest stuff on TV, and, from what I've experienced first-hand in dealing withh Americans, quite accurate in portraying their knowledge of Canadian affairs.

Well, it doesn't match my experience of Americans, but the more important point is that this sort of thing is, or ought to be, beneath us as individuals and as a nation. Canadian patriotism doesn't require that we look for reasons to look down on a perfectly good country who also happens to be a longtime ally, right next door, and with whom we share any number of cultural characteristics, just because it's also more prosperous, powerful and influential.
_Morgana The Kis - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 12:44 PM EST (#298) #
I vehemently disagree. With the amount of exposure American affairs get through both the Canadian media and spill from US media, average Canadians have a far greater working knowledge of what's going on in the US than vice versa.
Mercer simply exploited that, with often hilarious results.
Gitz - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 12:45 PM EST (#299) #
At least they know their own history-Canadians generally perform abysmally on those historical knowledge surveys that the papers do every year.

Meh. The same things happen in the U.S in terms of geography. Such-and-such number of people can't place the USA on a map, Joe and Judy Lunchbox don't know where their home state is, etc. etc. It gets even more embarrassing (not that not knowing where your own country is doesn't qualify as embarrassing!) when international locales are involved.
Gitz - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 12:47 PM EST (#300) #
A baseball note: did the Jose Cruz trade fly under the proverbial radar? I don't think I've seen Bauxites commenting on Cruz's newest team.
_Matthew E - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 12:49 PM EST (#301) #
My friend was in an OAC Geography class with a girl who couldn't find Canada on a globe.
_Jobu - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 12:51 PM EST (#302) #
http://www.bluejayscheerclub.com
My friend was in an OAC Geography class with a girl who couldn't find Canada on a globe.

Who could blame her? All small and tucked away down there
_Matthew E - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 01:07 PM EST (#303) #
http://www.lizardpoint.com/fun/geoquiz/index.html
I think it's about time I provided this link (COMN) to accompany our discussion...
_Grand Funk Rail - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 01:11 PM EST (#304) #
I don't think I've seen Bauxites commenting on Cruz's newest team.

It's laughable that Cruz is still employed by a ML team. In my opinion he has to be the Worst Blue Jay* EVER, tied for that honour with Woodward.

*everyday players only

Grand Funk out
_Thaskins - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 01:11 PM EST (#305) #
http://bluejays.mostvaluablenetwork.com/
Someone mentioned it earlier but the article with Dick Scott is pretty good over at Scout.com. I was hoping to get more info on what the plan is for Brandon League but it doesnít get into too much detail other than they want to see him work on his pitches. Iíd like to see the Jays take a Johan Santana approach and leave him in the bullpen for 1-2 years to get his feet wet. Then, move him to the starting rotation once he proves he can handle the bigs. 175 innings as a starter is a lot more valuable than 70 out of the bullpen. Thoughts?
_The Original Ry - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 01:12 PM EST (#306) #
My friend was in an OAC Geography class with a girl who couldn't find Canada on a globe.

This isn't quite as bad, but during my fourth year of university (fall of 2001) there was a girl in one of my classes who had no idea who Sheila Copps was.
_Matthew E - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 01:15 PM EST (#307) #
I've heard of one girl, a university student, who didn't really know what people meant when they said the world was round. She knew it *was* round, but could only picture a flat surface with a dome over it, and didn't know, for instance, how the Apollo rockets penetrated the dome on their way to the moon.
Pistol - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 01:22 PM EST (#308) #
I was hoping to get more info on what the plan is for Brandon League but it doesnít get into too much detail other than they want to see him work on his pitches. Iíd like to see the Jays take a Johan Santana approach and leave him in the bullpen for 1-2 years to get his feet wet. Then, move him to the starting rotation once he proves he can handle the bigs.

My impression from the interview was that the plan for League would be to use him in the bullpen.

If he was as effective as a starter as a reliever than I'd want League as a starter.

But if he'd be an average starter or an excellent reliever the choice is tougher to make. In that case he might be better off as a reliver.
Craig B - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 01:22 PM EST (#309) #
That was some of the funniest stuff on TV, and, from what I've experienced first-hand in dealing withh Americans, quite accurate in portraying their knowledge of Canadian affairs.

Yes, but doing 50 streeters and putting up the five dumbest ones is shooting fish in a barrel.

If found TTA pretty funny, but it's cheap, cheap laughs.

average Canadians have a far greater working knowledge of what's going on in the US than vice versa

The appropriate test is not Canadians' knowledge of the U.S., but of a country such as South Africa, or Mexico, or Poland. Which is... um... not very good.
_Morgana The Kis - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 01:27 PM EST (#310) #
The appropriate test is not Canadians' knowledge of the U.S., but of a country such as South Africa, or Mexico, or Poland. Which is... um... not very good.

Fair enough.
Ask the same thing to some Yanks.
I still think we're up one.
Craig B - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 01:27 PM EST (#311) #
Canadian patriotism doesn't require that we look for reasons to look down on a perfectly good country who also happens to be a longtime ally, right next door, and with whom we share any number of cultural characteristics, just because it's also more prosperous, powerful and influential.

Matthew, are you talking about what Canadian patriotism is, or what it could be?

For all intents and purposes, Canadian nationalism tends to define itself negatively vis-a-vis the U.S. This is a sad state of affairs, yes (particularly since much of what Canadians admire about Canada is indeed borrowed from the U.S.) but it is true.

However, it's the mouse-elephant syndrome and I don't see any way of changing it. Better to define oneself negatively, I suppose, than not define oneself at all.

But this is far afield from baseball.

So back to baseball...

Zack Grienke. Real deal, or waiting to be cruelly exposed?

I think he's for real, but I can certainly understand the contrary view.
_Thaskins - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 01:27 PM EST (#312) #
http://bluejays.mostvaluablenetwork.com/
Agreed. I was hoping for a more forward looking plan. But, I agree League will most likely spend this season in the bullpen. Hopefully he does well enough to warrant a shot at the starting rotation down the line. Either way, heíll be a very interesting guy to watch this year.
Craig B - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 01:28 PM EST (#313) #
I still think we're up one.

So you seriously believe that Canadians are smarter and better educated than Americans?

I find this not just silly, but risible. The differences are vanishingly small if they exist at all.
Craig B - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 01:30 PM EST (#314) #
League will most likely spend this season in the bullpen

I still don't know what the team plans to do. I think the path of least resistance is to keep him in the bullpen, which his stuff and makeup seems better suited for.

Does anyone know what the success rate is for bullpen-to-starter conversions at the MLB level? It can't be good, but it may be muddied by the selection bias.
Gitz - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 01:33 PM EST (#315) #
As someone who can pull random names out of his fanny, I'm curious, Craig, how you picked Zack Greinke. I mean ... he's compelling and all, but ... Zack Greinke! For whatever reason, that just seemed like a random shot in the mid-winter pseudo-sunshine.

And oh, yes, I think he's for real, too: a cross between Bret Saberhagen and Bob Tewksbury.
_Matthew E - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 01:36 PM EST (#316) #
Matthew, are you talking about what Canadian patriotism is, or what it could be?

For all intents and purposes, Canadian nationalism tends to define itself negatively vis-a-vis the U.S. This is a sad state of affairs, yes (particularly since much of what Canadians admire about Canada is indeed borrowed from the U.S.) but it is true.

However, it's the mouse-elephant syndrome and I don't see any way of changing it. Better to define oneself negatively, I suppose, than not define oneself at all.


I'm saying that Canada is a sufficiently great country that you don't need to be anti-American to be a patriotic Canadian, and anyone whose patriotism manifests itself as anti-Americanism is a bad patriot.

I admit that Canadian identity is an abstract and nebulous enough thing that it's hard to use it as a support for one's patriotism. But that's no excuse for resorting to stuff like 'Talking to Americans' as a substitute.

There's nothing wrong with criticizing the U.S. There's nothing wrong with being against, or possibly even hating, specific aspects of the American experience, past or present. But our two countries are so basically similar that anyone who claims to love one and hate the other, period, is a hypocrite. (Not that anyone here is claiming this.)
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 01:44 PM EST (#317) #
Z is for Zack. Y is for Yhency...

Fortunately for Greinke, he's closer to Saberhagen than to Tewksbury. With the fences having been moved back in KC, you'd think that the major issue with him is arm health. I say that, if he's healthy, he's one of the top 5 pitchers in the league in 2010.
_John Northey - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 01:53 PM EST (#318) #
http://www.lizardpoint.com/fun/geoquiz/usaquiz.html
The test Matthew E posted was fun (COMN). I aced the Canadian test but only got 108 on the US test (out of 150). I was close in a lot of cases on my first guess, but some I just couldn't find.
_Matthew E - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 01:54 PM EST (#319) #
The Caribbean one is hardest. (Except for maybe the Chinese one, which I haven't tried.)
_DeMarco - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 02:15 PM EST (#320) #
I've heard of one girl, a university student, who didn't really know what people meant when they said the world was round. She knew it *was* round, but could only picture a flat surface with a dome over it, and didn't know, for instance, how the Apollo rockets penetrated the dome on their way to the moon.

Sometimes girls like to make up stories for fun. She may have been playing a game with you.
_Matthew E - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 02:19 PM EST (#321) #
It was a professor who told me about this girl.
_Skills - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 02:22 PM EST (#322) #
I'm American and I aced the American one and got 31 of 39 on the Canadian.
_DeMarco - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 02:23 PM EST (#323) #
Still, it's not uncommon for girls to pretend they are really dumb, to either make fun of the person they are talking to, or for some weird game they like to play. It's one of those, 'will this guy really believe that someone is this stupid' things.
_Matthew E - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 02:33 PM EST (#324) #
No, the way I heard the story, I believe it.
_Chuck Van Den C - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 02:39 PM EST (#325) #
It's one of those, 'will this guy really believe that someone is this stupid' things.

A friend and I once intentionally drove a fellow know-it-all dorm resident nuts by feigning stupidity (well, feigning that we were more stupid than we actually were). We left him apoplectic. It was great fun.

Within his earshot, we discussed how pudding cups were filled (the metal ones with pull tab lids). We said that the metal containers were manufactured as one piece and that the pudding was loaded via a syringe through a small hole made in the side of the tin, cleverly hidden by the pudding cup's label. To further authenticate to truth of our claims, one of us claimed to have read that this is how it was done.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 02:43 PM EST (#326) #
Here's a baseball economics question. What is the value of a 70s style relief ace, who might throw 2 innings if the game is tied or if his team has a one run lead in the 8th? He might very well throw 120 innings, with a significant leverage index. I'd guess that it is worth $9-$10 million per season.

If that is true, and the Jays felt that League was suited for that role without much further minor league development, it is understandable why they might prefer the relief ace approach over the perhaps greater uncertainty involved in working on a third pitch in the minors.
_MatO - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 02:44 PM EST (#327) #
147 out of 150. I could barely see Rhode Island on the screen. Screwed up Nebraska. Canada perfect.
_Matthew E - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 02:46 PM EST (#328) #
If you guys want a real education, try the parts of that quiz that relate to the other parts of the world. Some of those continents'll drive you nuts.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 02:52 PM EST (#329) #
See, Skills, we Canadians are no good at clicking. I knew where Rhode Island was, but it's just a dot on the map and I missed.

Anyways, the fairer test would be Canadians and Americans doing European or African geography. I am guessing that the averages for African geography would be appallingly bad in both countries.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 02:53 PM EST (#330) #
MatO, as my kids used to say before they left public school, jinx.
_Jonny German - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 03:02 PM EST (#331) #
Here's an interesting Zack Greinke factoid: He pitched 145 innings in 2004 without giving up an unearned run. KC's average was 1 unearned run every 15.3 innings, or 9.5 in 145 innings.

Is this a record, or close to one?

I'm saying that Canada is a sufficiently great country that you don't need to be anti-American to be a patriotic Canadian, and anyone whose patriotism manifests itself as anti-Americanism is a bad patriot.

Nicely put. Couldn't agree more.
_JayWay - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 03:09 PM EST (#332) #
Yes, but doing 50 streeters and putting up the five dumbest ones is shooting fish in a barrel.

Not when two of those five are a mayor and an Ivy League professor.

Oh, and the president. But really, who's suprised by that one?
_Jabonoso - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 03:19 PM EST (#333) #
Was it supposed to do USA and Canada? Those were the only ones i did not try ( too easy ) Perfect in Caribbean, South America and Europe, good ( two and three mistakes in Africa and Asia )
_MatO - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 03:19 PM EST (#334) #
Europe 110 out of 111. Damned Latvia.
_Matthew E - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 03:21 PM EST (#335) #
Perfect in Caribbean? I'm impressed. I wouldn't have thought that was possible for anyone other than Captain Blood.
Named For Hank - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 03:23 PM EST (#336) #
Geoffrey Thorpe knew his way around there, too, you know.
_Matthew E - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 03:25 PM EST (#337) #
There is no Geoffrey Thorpe. The only true Sea-Hawk is Sir Oliver Tressilian.
_MatO - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 03:27 PM EST (#338) #
Africa. Stop this senseless slaughter.
_Moffatt - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 03:27 PM EST (#339) #
The only true Sea-Hawk is Sir Oliver Tressilian.

I dunno. Steve Largent was pretty good back in the day.
_JayWay - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 03:32 PM EST (#340) #
Well, it doesn't match my experience of Americans, but the more important point is that this sort of thing is, or ought to be, beneath us as individuals and as a nation. Canadian patriotism doesn't require that we look for reasons to look down on a perfectly good country who also happens to be a longtime ally, right next door, and with whom we share any number of cultural characteristics, just because it's also more prosperous, powerful and influential.

You honestly believe this?

Do you also believe Canada has failed the Unites States as a friend and ally and that we should be ashamed of our cowardly actions in not jumping to their side in Iraq?

The United States is the lone super-power in today's world. As you rightly point out, its power and influence eclipse that which any other nation could possibly lay claim to. This is both for good and bad.

But as the lone super-power, the States are also prone to a hefty amount of hubris and arrogance. Like many Canadians will accuse Toronto of seeing itself as the centre of the universe, the same could be said of the States.

This probably isn't so much a symptom of the United States itself, but of the position and power it has adopted.

Having said that, as the one country with a truly day-to-day up-close view of how the States tends to see themselves in relation to the rest of the world and how their inflated (probably justified) sense-of-self can distort their view (or lack-thereof) of the world not directly situated outside their front door, I think Canada has a responsibility to take the piss.

It's natural for those with lesser power to see those in positions of authority through a humourous lens. Workers do it with their boss, citizens do it with government, and certainly, in terms of the international scene, it's only natural for smaller countries to expose the folly of that country with all the marbles.

Hence, for Canada, situated directly beside the States, to not use its proximity to expose the often laughable arrogance and ignorance that comes as a result of its power, would not be proof that we are secure with our selves or that we are not elitist... The only thing it would prove is that we have absolutely no sense of humour.

The United States isn't necessarily defined by the ignorance or arrogance it might show... but that doesn't mean it's not there. And since it's most likely a symptom of their powerful place in the world, to point out these faults is not to blast the United States directly, or to say that the United States is a flawed country. All it's saying is that those in power are often prone to certain unfortunate side-effects - common amongst those are arrogance and a lack of knowledge about anything that doesn't directly effect them.

It's merely carrying on the comedic tradition of taking the piss out of those in power. As America's neighbours, we have the ultimate opportunity to do so. To turn it down would say more about us then it does now that we have done it.
Pistol - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 03:33 PM EST (#341) #
I got a 33/39 on the Canadian quiz. Of course some of that was helped by answering wrong and the quiz telling you what you answered wrong so when that one came up later on I knew it.

I struggled with the eastern part of Europe. A lot has changed since I was in school.
_JayWay - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 03:33 PM EST (#342) #
Ugh. Forgot to turn it italics off.

I wish this board had an edit function.
_Tyler - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 03:33 PM EST (#343) #
Oh, and the president. But really, who's suprised by that one?

I read a story about that in the Washington Post after it happened. They discussed how Mercer had added the name of Russian President Vladimir Putin to that of Jean Chretien, in order to come up with Jean Putin.

I guess they're ignorant too.
Gitz - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 03:35 PM EST (#344) #
Hey!
Gitz - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 03:36 PM EST (#345) #
Italics police? Where art thou?
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 03:37 PM EST (#346) #
A second volley for the high-end artillery italics masher.
_Matthew E - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 03:43 PM EST (#347) #
You honestly believe this?

I believe that's why (some) Canadians derive such pleasure from the foibles of Americans. Mercer's not doing any 'Talking to Bulgarians'.

Do you also believe Canada has failed the Unites States as a friend and ally and that we should be ashamed of our cowardly actions in not jumping to their side in Iraq?

No, I don't. I think Canada acted responsibly.

It's merely carrying on the comedic tradition of taking the piss out of those in power. As America's neighbours, we have the ultimate opportunity to do so. To turn it down would say more about us then it does now that we have done it.

That's not a bad argument. I just don't like the satisfaction (some of) us seem to be getting out of it. It's unseemly and does not reflect well on our national self-image, to the extent that there is such a thing.
_Jabonoso - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 03:53 PM EST (#348) #
A Caribbean series report ( hope you enjoy )
Contrary to a common commentary here in da Box, there was some baseball going on, somewhere South ( hope you can nail all four countries ).
Actually on Sunday there were four games in the same stadium spannining 16 hours of decisive games.
Mexico won the title with good pitching. As expected Campos, Campillo and Ortega delivered ( four starts with era below 1.0 and that could well be 0.25 if Campos is pulled out after inning eight in the final game, he was 0 runs 2 infield hits, 12 S0 and 0 bbs. In the 9th , he got another hit, one BB, was pulled out and both runners came in to score ). Dessens and Loya got decent starts ( around six innings one earned run each ) and the pen were responsible for 8 more runs. Campos was choosed as MVP of the series, and better, Anaheim is interested in him so will make a trade with White sucks.
In the last 4 years Mexico has won two and has been 2nd in the other two, so some sort of renaisance is going on. In the other side of the spectrum Puerto Rico has been last and just snapped a 12 games losing streak.
There is very little pitching down there. And many stars do not enjoy playing in winter ( four years ago Beltran, Valentin and others came to play in Mexico ). Talking loudly about many things( there is always a lot of talking going on ) i asked a group of PRans about Negron and they are deeply dissapointed by his lack of progress ( he had a poor winter ) they all are sure Rios is a superstar in the making. Among this people was the scout that signed Beltran for KC, so i take their word for granted.
About BJ's players: Miguel Batista had a very good outing as starter, and a very bad one as a reliever.
Gronkiwiecz (sp? ) had just one inning relief and was good.
Josue Matos a horrible start ( for PR ) two or three innings a ton of hits...
_Jdog - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 04:07 PM EST (#349) #
149/150 here...very proud of myself....Kansas sucks
_Jabonoso - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 04:16 PM EST (#350) #
The statistics have not been updated, they may be still celebrating.
The all-star team selected is :
RHP Francisco Campos ( no brainer, looking for a chance in the bigs )
LHP Ricardo Palma ( a good and young Venezuelan pitcher, a star in winter and looking for a job in summer. Being similar but more advanced than Chacin it is worthwhile a try )
1st base Alex Cabrera ( personally i would go with Pedro Feliz )
2nd Miguel Flores ( mexican, veteran, actually a golden prospect from same generation as Karim Garcia, with whom shared ROY, with many disabled years after )
SS Miguel Tejada
3rd Vinny Castilla
LF D White
CF R. Reyes
RF A. Romero ( this one dedicated to M G )
C A Castillo ( who is hitting better than ever )
Named For Hank - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 04:18 PM EST (#351) #
There is no Geoffrey Thorpe. The only true Sea-Hawk is Sir Oliver Tressilian.

While the novel of Captain Blood is astounding and infinitely superior to the (great) film, I found the novel of The Sea Hawk to be plodding and dull and filled with far too many misunderstandings that could be cleared up with one or two words. Bleah.

I was really looking forward to it, because I'm a huge, huuuuuge fan of the film. I think it's by far the best thing Errol Flynn ever did and is a better film than Captain Blood. Maybe it'd be easier if you just regarded the film of The Sea Hawk as being totally unrelated to the novel The Sea Hawk, since it really is. As far as I can tell the film takes its inspiration from a single line right near the start of the novel.

I spent nearly a decade trying to find The Sea Hawk on LaserDisc, finally finding it three or four years ago. I'm hoping the new DVD looks even better.
_Thaskins - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 04:18 PM EST (#352) #
http://bluejays.mostvaluablenetwork.com/
Regarding the earlier comment on the relief ace and if League could fill this roll. Well, we really have no idea if he could fill this roll but I do agree 115 or so innings of lights out pitching in a relief roll would be great. But, I do think itís a little early to think he could handle this. Pitchers just arenít raised to pitch like this anymore and Iím not sure if the kid would be ready. Now, 2-3 years from now after heís pitched in the bigs for a while he might be able to handle this. Heck, with the way the Jays have been handling him this might be the plan anyway. If League or anyone else the Jays can bring in can do this, I am all for it.
_Matthew E - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 04:30 PM EST (#353) #
NFH: Basically I'm a big Rafael Sabatini fan and don't have much time for Errol Flynn. I agree that Captain Blood's a better novel than The Sea-Hawk.
Named For Hank - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 04:51 PM EST (#354) #
Matt: my dream project is to do a photographically illustrated version of Captain Blood. I'm working right now on a photographically illustrated short original novel (not written by me) that I'm hoping to complete by the end of summer.

But how can you not love Errol Flynn??
_Lefty - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 04:55 PM EST (#355) #
Regarding the earlier comment on the relief ace and if League could fill this roll. Well, we really have no idea if he could fill this roll but I do agree 115 or so innings of lights out pitching in a relief roll would be great. But, I do think itís a little early to think he could handle this.

Thaskins, I agree with the conclusion to your thoughts on this and as evidence I have four words,

Remiro Mendoza; Julian Tavarez.
_Jacko - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 05:01 PM EST (#356) #
Hijack:

Roberto Petagine signed with the Red Sox for 750K.

That's a very nice signing...

jc
_Rob - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 06:02 PM EST (#357) #
Talking To Americans was not funny the first time. Not the 17th time, nor the 875th time. Like we don't have idiots in Canada? For all we know, he could have walked up to whatever notable public figure and said, "Hey, do you mind saying this on camera?" Yes, he got Bush to say something about PM Jean Poutine. Hilarious...

I got a 33/39 on the Canadian quiz.

Not bad. Probably the territories that messed you up, right? Or it could have been the NovaBrunsLand blur on the East Coast. For me, 147/150 on the US test, and perfect in Canada. 89/111 in Europe, not knowing anything east of Italy, other than Greece.

I'm really high on David Bush, and Greinke had an amazing walk rate, pitched more innings and was almost four years younger. So I would have to say he's for real.
Craig B - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 06:25 PM EST (#358) #
What is the value of a 70s style relief ace, who might throw 2 innings if the game is tied or if his team has a one run lead in the 8th?

Are we talking about the guy who survives, or the guy who doesn't?

Career longevity for 70s closers wasn't exactly terrific. Usage patterns, I would wager, had everything to do with it.
Craig B - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 06:29 PM EST (#359) #
Yes, but doing 50 streeters and putting up the five dumbest ones is shooting fish in a barrel.

Not when two of those five are a mayor and an Ivy League professor.


See above. When you do 50, it's easy to find dumb ones.

for Canada, situated directly beside the States, to not use its proximity to expose the often laughable arrogance and ignorance that comes as a result of its power, would not be proof that we are secure with our selves or that we are not elitist... The only thing it would prove is that we have absolutely no sense of humour.

So how does that relate to Kids Say The Darnedest Things... I mean, Talking To Americans?
_Vernons Biggest - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 07:01 PM EST (#360) #
http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/tor/fan_forum/swing.jsp
There will be a Blue Jays Fan Fest this year! This one will be February 26 @ the Eaton Centre and have player autographs, J-Force, and other acticities. COMN for details.
_JayWay - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 07:08 PM EST (#361) #
See above. When you do 50, it's easy to find dumb ones.

I don't care if they approached 1000; when a Harvard professor signs a petition demanding a stop to the bombing of East Timor and West Edmonton, it's funny.

So how does that relate to Kids Say The Darnedest Things... I mean, Talking To Americans?

I'm not sure how to make it any clearer.
_JayWay - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 07:10 PM EST (#362) #
What's the J-Force?
_6-4-3 - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 07:35 PM EST (#363) #
If they're the people that I'm thinking of, in games they were called the Jays Force Breakers, and they were the people who danced on top of the dugouts, usually during late-inning pitching change.

Good to see the Jays doing something to kick-off Spring Training.
_CaramonLS - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 07:49 PM EST (#364) #
Freddie Mitchell of the Eagles had no idea who the first president of the United states was. He went to College for 3 years.
Gitz - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 07:54 PM EST (#365) #
Freddie Mitchell of the Eagles had no idea who the first president of the United states was. He went to College for 3 years.

That's what you get for going to UCLA. If he had gone to a less formal environment like college, instead of College, he may been relaxed and been able to learn more.
_CaramonLS - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 08:14 PM EST (#366) #
Does JP's Excel sheet not include Japanese leagues?

Roberto Petagine signs a minor league/750k if called up deal and this is for the Japanese HR champ?

This would have been really nice if we could have snagged this guy, to fill our giant hole at 1b (and DH hilly), not to mention he wins Gold gloves too.
_Vernons Biggest - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 08:19 PM EST (#367) #
What's the J-Force?

They're a group of dancing people who go around and try to get people excited/make noise, etc. Personally, I think it's pretty lame, and something that wouldn't be found in any other tradition baseball park anywhere.
_Matthew E - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 08:40 PM EST (#368) #
But how can you not love Errol Flynn??

Errol Flynn is the proof that, contrary to popular belief, you really can make ham out of wood.

I remember the dialogue in Captain Blood. It was taken from the book, and therefore written so as to be spoken in an Irish brogue. Which Flynn doesn't have, and didn't even try to fake. God, it was awful.

Then there was The Adventures of Robin Hood...
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 08:51 PM EST (#369) #
70s relief aces. I refreshed my memory about the relief aces in the American League in 1975. There was Lyle, Hiller, Fingers, Doug Bird, Bill Campbell and Goose Gossage who might be said to have occupied the role. All of them had at least 3 or 4 nice seasons, with Fingers and Gossage having many more than that. I was simply wondering what the economic value of one of these seasons is.

Actually, the injury rate of the 1975 American League aces was typical of relievers. It's not at all clear to me that bringing back a closer back on 4 consecutive days for all or part of the ninth inning (i.e. heavy workload for the modern closer) is easier on the arm than the ace pitching 2 innings on 2 consecutive days and then having a day or two off.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 08:59 PM EST (#370) #
Jabonoso, thanks as always for the report on the Caribbean series. The Alex Romero All-Star selection was simply icing on the cake.

I imagine that the celebrations in Mazatlan are still going on.
_Jdog - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 09:36 PM EST (#371) #
Who Is this Alex Romero? I only know the Jays farm team mainly from what i read here in the box and everything else on the web...I look on a recent thread 2005 Minor League update where Gerry was filling out the minor league rosters and I didn't see no Romero other than the pitcher.......but i do remember hearing reports last season ..so who is this guy and where did he play last year ?
_Lefty - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 09:46 PM EST (#372) #
Silva will make $1.75 million this year and $3.2 million in 2006. The buyout of the option for 2007 makes the deal worth $5.05 million.
Silva can earn an extra $100,000 each year: $25,000 each for 195 and 200 innings, and $50,000 for 210 innings. There is a $4 million club option for 2006 that would rise to $4,325,000 if he has 360 innings pitched in the first two years, $4.75 million with 380 innings, $5 million with 400 innings, $5.25 million with 420 innings, $5.5 million with 430 innings and $5.75 million with 440 innings. If Silva is traded, or has 205 innings in 2006 or 410 innings in the first two years, it becomes a mutual option


The above from Rotoworld.

Is this the MLB equivalent of piece work?
_H winfield Teut - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 10:20 PM EST (#373) #
Off the wires....

Released LHPs Joey Charron, Brad Esarey, Chris Neylan and James Pidutti, 1B Shawn Fagan, RHP Bryan Gale and Travis Thompson, C Tim Land, OF Felix Rincon and 2B Willie Rivera.

No big surprises, Neylan and Fagan once carried lables, but nothing much noted.

Bougknight, Sandy Martinez, Prokopek, and Dan Reichert all appear in the latest of Baseball America's minor league transactions.
_Grimlock - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 10:37 PM EST (#374) #
http://202.221.217.59/print/sports/sports2004/sb20041201a1.htm
Does JP's Excel sheet not include Japanese leagues?

Roberto Petagine signs a minor league/750k if called up deal and this is for the Japanese HR champ?

This would have been really nice if we could have snagged this guy, to fill our giant hole at 1b (and DH hilly), not to mention he wins Gold gloves too.


Me Grimlock agree, but didn't Petagine take a SUBSTANTIAL pay cut to come back to North America? According to some Japanese baseball website, he made 72000 man last year! According to the Japan Times (COMGN), the Yomuiri Giants offered him $3M. Anyways, me Grimlock don't believe he woulda come here, even if given a similar offer.
_CaramonLS - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 10:52 PM EST (#375) #
I'm not sure Grim, I think hes thinking long term Career move, which means he was just looking for a way into the major leagues.

Still I would have given this guy at least double what Theo gave him. Heck even 1.5 Mil garenteed would have been a steal, with all the money we have floating around low risk, high reward.

Me thinks Millar might be looking for a new home?
_6-4-3 - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 10:55 PM EST (#376) #
http://ussmariner.com/index.php?p=2248
I don't think Millar's going anywhere.

The Seattle blog USSMariner had a post on Petagine (COMN), which notes that his slugging fell 122 points last year, and that he has creaky knees, and that Boston looks at him as being a bat off the bench, albeit a "lead-legged" one. If Petagine took a paycut, it's because he was released from his Japanese team because his production fell off a cliff last year.
_greenfrog - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 10:58 PM EST (#377) #
Scott and Ricciardi may well be right about League, although he did seem to be making good progress as a starter in the minors. In the meantime, League will have to overcome the legacy of the Jays' misguided Escobar bullpen experiment. I remember when the Jays moved Kelvim back to the 'pen after some excellent starts and Gary Mathews saying on a radio broadcast 'this guy should be a starter.' But it took a while for everyone else to clue in.
_CaramonLS - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 11:02 PM EST (#378) #
Reading what Grim posted, it looks like he wasn't 'released', but they did offer him a paycut and he chose to leave. He was also playing hurt most of the season which could very well account for his drop in production.
_groove - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 11:17 PM EST (#379) #
149 out of 150 on the U.S.A test only because Rhode Island is the size of a freakin pixel.
_Ryan Lind - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 11:38 PM EST (#380) #
I scored 54 on the USA test. Yeah, 54 out of 150. Oh well, I never claimed to know American Geography.
_MatO - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 11:39 PM EST (#381) #
For the 90th time, Escobar was only moved back to the pen because of numbness he was getting in his arm after a few innings when he was starting. They never did find out what was wrong.
_Ryan Lind - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 11:43 PM EST (#382) #
LOL, I only scored 34/39 on the Canadian one, too.

Social Studies/Geography was always my worst subject in school.

Pretty cool though. You could learn a bunch of geography just by taking all these tests over and over until you have all the countires memorized.

Uhh...Go Blue Jays.
_Braby21 - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 11:50 PM EST (#383) #
YEAH I murdered Ryan....56 on the States quiz...haha...oops
_Braby21 - Tuesday, February 08 2005 @ 11:52 PM EST (#384) #
And 36 on the Canada one...I gotta work on my Geography I guess.
_JayWay - Wednesday, February 09 2005 @ 12:33 AM EST (#385) #
Does anyone know what Jays are expected to appear at this Fan Fest? Is it the entire roster?
_Braby21 - Wednesday, February 09 2005 @ 01:22 AM EST (#386) #
Shouldn't they all be in Florida on the 26th?
_6-4-3 - Wednesday, February 09 2005 @ 06:34 AM EST (#387) #
Actually, yeah. All the Jays should be in Florida on the 25th.

Maybe this is all an elaborate ruse to set up a book signing for ex-Jay Jose Canseco?
Pistol - Wednesday, February 09 2005 @ 08:51 AM EST (#388) #
http://www.battersbox.ca/archives/00002443.shtml
JDog - COMN for Jordan's top 30 prospect list. Romero's in the middle.
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 09 2005 @ 09:22 AM EST (#389) #
Nope, wrong Romero. Alex, not Davis.

A switch-hitting small outfielder, Alex went .292/.387/.405 with 54 walks and 47 strikeouts in 434 plate appearances in 2004 for Fort Myers, Minnesota's high A affiliate in the pitcher-friendly FSL. He was 20 years old, and turned 21 in September. Here is his career minor league record. The scouts tell us that he runs well. He has played centerfield, but is ideally suited to be a corner outfielder. He has fine range, and the arm for right-field, if required.

And, if you believe Baseball Prospectus' future projected runs above replacement stat, the best hitting prospect in the FSL. Since then, he has hit well in the Venezuelan Winter League and been an All-Star at the Caribbean Series (with significant major league and high minor league competition).
_Jabonoso - Wednesday, February 09 2005 @ 12:22 PM EST (#390) #
JP clearly stated that he is concentrated in taping from some college leagues and some indy leagues. He felt that trying to be in too many places at the same time was counterproductive. This means that new BJ players will be either drafted or selected from other teams 40 men drop outs ( high minors ). Blue jays are not present in other minor minors leagues where diamonds like Romero or Palma or Campos or Campillo, or Alex Cabrera can be found. What would Campos could bring to the Jays? a better starter than Bush, at least as good as Batista ( if MB comes back to his previous level ) for say a million bucks salary and one of the fifth starters to be traded to ChWS. He is more a sure thing than Rodrigo Lopez, for instance,but he is not in the jays radar.
Miguel Flores, selected as all star 2nd base, was the best hitter in the series. Beat Cintron 2nd best hitter in the series, best for PR, Furcal, best hitter for Dominicana and Luis Rodriguez, Twins AAA farmhand best hitter for Venezuela in the series. And clearly his fielding was heads above everyone else. So there you have an utility guy ready to step up. For peanuts ( 350,000 peanuts,mind you )...
A. Romero, beat M Cepicky a Nationals 40 man, Gomes, Tampa bay, listed as Portugues, and named signing of the year in MPWL ( something like ROY for foreigners , shared with many illustrious players like Curt Schilling 15 years ago ) and Raul Gonzalez PR.
_Jdog - Wednesday, February 09 2005 @ 01:09 PM EST (#391) #
Thanks for the help guys...so what your saying is that ALex Romero is in the Twins system.....It seemed from what i was reading that he was in the jays system....needless to say i was a little confused
_Jabonoso - Wednesday, February 09 2005 @ 01:28 PM EST (#392) #
he was available in rule V. that is why we started to follow and like him...
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 09 2005 @ 01:39 PM EST (#393) #
Thanks, Jabonoso, for the handy prospect report. I'll keep my eye on Miguel Flores and Campos especially this upcoming year.
_greenfrog - Wednesday, February 09 2005 @ 09:27 PM EST (#394) #
MatO: Escobar spent a *lot* of time in the pen during his career with the Jays; it wasn't just because of arm numbness, which was a temporary thing in 2001.

1997: pitched in 27 games; 0 starts
1998: 22 games, 10 starts
1999: 33 games, 30 starts
2000: 43 games, 24 starts
2001: 59 games, 11 starts
2002: 76 games, 0 starts
2003: 41 games, 26 starts

You can argue the shuffling was because of Escobar's inconsistency, or indecisiveness on the part of Jays management. I think it was a combination of these. But you can't say Escobar only pitched in the 'pen because he had some arm numbness.
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