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Sorry, no gloating over SoSH here. Too tired. Perhaps Magpie will have the transcript for us by 3:45 am...

Anyway, I missed the whole game. What was good about tonight's win over Boston?
Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 2 | 81 comments | Create New Account
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Ron - Wednesday, September 28 2005 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#129085) #
Scott Schoeneweis 2005 Salary: 2.5 million

Scott Schoeneweis Jersey Number: 60

Giving up 1 earned run in the last 19 appearances: Priceless
Magpie - Wednesday, September 28 2005 @ 10:34 PM EDT (#129086) #
Maybe I will... my goodness, but they are seriously unhappy in Boston. It might be worth sharing.

Good stuff? Well, I don't know if anyone else had noticed, but the Jays hitters had completely collapsed these past few weeks. I mean, everybody was hitting like Dave Berg. Cat and Koskie were the only guys even around league average for the month of September. So it's good to see a few balls leave the yard.

Four starters hit double figures in wins? That's OK, doesn't happen all the time. Can Gus or Josh get one more and break the tie?

Flex - Wednesday, September 28 2005 @ 10:36 PM EDT (#129087) #
Yes, please share the SOSH grumbling. I have to get the taste of Fever Pitch out of my mouth.
Named For Hank - Wednesday, September 28 2005 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#129088) #
What was good about tonight's win over Boston?



Triple
Home run
Double
Ground out
Ground out

That poor lady in Brantford must've had a heart attack if she was watching -- she was a Cat single short of being a millionaire.

Theo, who is refusing to sleep because tooth #3 just poked through this afternoon, sat on the couch with me and blew raspberries at the Red Sox batters throughout the late innings, with excellent results.

So, are Boston fed up enough with Toronto to create a shiny new rivalry?
Named For Hank - Wednesday, September 28 2005 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#129089) #
I have to get the taste of Fever Pitch out of my mouth.

My God, Mrs. Hank brought that movie home the other night because she likes Drew Barrymore. I tried to talk to her about it today because it was still bugging me (bizarre inconsistencies in Ben's character, among other things), and she said "I don't wish to spend any more time talking about that piece of shit".
Dave Till - Wednesday, September 28 2005 @ 10:45 PM EDT (#129090) #
That poor lady in Brantford must've had a heart attack if she was watching -- she was a Cat single short of being a millionaire.

The people who would have had to pay the million were probably having heart attacks too. :-)

If Cat had gotten a base hit in the 8th, Adams was probably on orders from the bench to stop at second on the play.

Twilight - Wednesday, September 28 2005 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#129091) #
I tend to think it's as simple as Jimmy Fallon = Not Funny. Quite lame. The Angels have a movie (Angels in the Outfield), the Cubs have a movie (Rookie of the Year), then there's that damned monkey movie, and now the Sox have a movie. Can we get the Jays a movie? :) The leafs have a song...how about a Jays song? No? Ok

Ted Lilly pitched well though he seems to struggle still with his control (5 BB, 1 K/BB) but hey where was all this offense? 3 home runs in 1 game by the Jays? Unheard of.
Twilight - Wednesday, September 28 2005 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#129092) #
I would also like to add that the Jays have prevented home runs from both Ortiz and Ramirez this series. :)
Named For Hank - Wednesday, September 28 2005 @ 10:55 PM EDT (#129094) #
I tend to think it's as simple as Jimmy Fallon = Not Funny.

I think he's funny, but I thought the movie was awful.
TJ Caino - Wednesday, September 28 2005 @ 11:09 PM EDT (#129096) #
"how about a Jays song? No? Ok"

OK (repeat). Blue Jays (repeat). Let's (repeat). Play (repeat). Ball!
VBF - Wednesday, September 28 2005 @ 11:11 PM EDT (#129097) #
The leafs have a song...how about a Jays song?

We actually have two. "OK Blue Jays" and "We fought the A's" which is sung to the tune of "I fought the law".

We fought the A's and the Jays won
We fought the A's and the, Jays won

We beat the White Sox in Comiskey
We beat the In-di-ans too
We....

I can't remember the rest. A friend of mine has it on tape.

rIbIt - Wednesday, September 28 2005 @ 11:15 PM EDT (#129098) #
Cat, obviously, stepped up. He's got a new fan in C.Berman, who called all of his ABs like it was the HR Derby. Cat will be gone in 8 weeks or so, but he's staying in the AL East.
Named For Hank - Wednesday, September 28 2005 @ 11:18 PM EDT (#129099) #
Is it no-question night on Wednesdays With J.P.?
SimonB - Wednesday, September 28 2005 @ 11:19 PM EDT (#129100) #
This is embarrassing.


I have the album.


Yes, the ALBUM. There are ten songs on it, it's been collecting dust for about five years now. I picked it up for five bucks when I was in grade school - I think it came out around the first world championship. It's made up of covers of classics performed by DJs with the lyrics 'cleverly' altered to reflect the Blue Jays.
Joe - Wednesday, September 28 2005 @ 11:25 PM EDT (#129101) #
Yeah, me too.

(Sung to the tune of 'Sloop John B')

I'm standing on the third base bag
Just waiting for a home run tag
The strikes and spares and misses all keep on keeping me from reaching end zone
I want to go home
Please let me go home

And all that's from memory!

Jonny German - Wednesday, September 28 2005 @ 11:26 PM EDT (#129103) #
Cat will be gone in 8 weeks or so, but he's staying in the AL East.

Ooh! Will he be part of the Jonny Gomes trade?

VBF - Wednesday, September 28 2005 @ 11:27 PM EDT (#129104) #
I called it a week ago, but Cat is looking like a fit in New York.
Ron - Wednesday, September 28 2005 @ 11:31 PM EDT (#129106) #
WWJP:

- Hillenbrand will be back next season
- No interest in that Japanese Catcher that was mentioned here.
- Hasn't had talks about a contract extension
- Has no interest in the Yanks GM position if Cashman gets canned.

Personal Note:

- It was another ass kissing fest from the callers:)

#2JBrumfield - Wednesday, September 28 2005 @ 11:42 PM EDT (#129108) #
It's not a Jays movie but the Jays were mentioned in "Big Daddy" with Adam Sandler. Near the end, Jon Stewart mentioned he went over the border from Buffalo and got hammered after Joe Carter's homer in the 1993 World Series. That led to him getting a woman pregnant, who gave birth to the boy Adam Sandler had to look after. The Jays were also featured briefly in "Major League 2", which was on the tube not that long ago.

TJ Caino - Wednesday, September 28 2005 @ 11:49 PM EDT (#129109) #
Yup, and Jon Stewert said our beer was like moonshine.
Joseph Krengel - Wednesday, September 28 2005 @ 11:58 PM EDT (#129110) #
Dammit, I wanted to mention Major League 2.

"At least they're not Canadian" was the Ueker line.

For what it's worth, there are actually TWO Blue Jay albums, and I have both.
#2JBrumfield - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 12:07 AM EDT (#129111) #
To follow up on WWJP, the team's record was 17-7 according to Mike Wilner when J.P. took to the airwaves.

I think I heard this correctly but J.P. also said Batista would be back next season. He said he was quite impressed with his 4 K performance against the Yankees on Saturday.

J.P. didn't comment on A.J. Burnett specifically but said they would do their homework on any player as far as character issues go. He said Burnett's relationship with Arnsberg is a plus but that doesn't mean they'll get him.

He also reiterated that the focus in the off-season may be on hitters who make contact and have plate discipline rather than 40-50 home run hitters. He also shot down any hope of bringing back Delgado from Florida thanks to his big contract. And as mentioned previously, he shot down any interest on the Japanese catcher and the international market as a whole because the players there are unknown quantities. Their concentration will be on free agency and trades.

I thought the best comment of the night from the callers was Russ from New York. He was criticizing O-Dog for his low OBP and not being selective at the plate but he also took a shot at Al Leiter, who he said could support a walk-a-thon for a cure for cancer. I believe J.P. responded by saying it's not a bad idea for the hitters to take a 3-1 pitch every once in a while and learn how to hit with a
3-2 count.

On a final note, why isn't Sportsnet not showing the Padres-Giants game? The Angels-A's game is meaningless and I guess SN Pacific is obligated to show the Mariners game.
Mike Forbes - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 12:47 AM EDT (#129112) #
Is it just me or is JP the most confusing (Or maybe confused) person in baseball? I mean, the guy seems clueless.. "Well, lets add another .280/15/75 guy instead of someone who can make an impact..." or, "We've decided not to try and aquire Albert Pujols because he once got sent to the office in school for not sharing his crayons in 2nd grade... He might upset the teams chemistry.".. I know the second one is abit sarcastic and all but, its time for JP to do something, he's not on a shoe-string budget anymore.. Bringing in another Shea Hillenbrand will not cut it this year.. I as a fan of the Blue Jays am hoping he is saying these things as a way of reverting away attention.. And, I'll leave you all with my favorite saying concerning these Blue Jays...

Average does not win championships.
Tyler - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 12:48 AM EDT (#129113) #
Boy the Jays have really screwed over the Sox this year. Damon's arm injury apparently all ties back to the first series at the RC, Ted Lilly only pitches well against Boston and if the Sox don't make the playoffs, the Jays can take a good chunk of credit with their 11-6. I absolutely loathe JP at the moment-he's built a team that isn't good enough to make the playoffs, but somehow has the unique ability to kick the crap out of my favourite team. Thanks a lot.

- It was another ass kissing fest from the callers:)

Geez, even GWB saw his insane approval rating fall at some point.

Tyler - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 12:55 AM EDT (#129114) #
I mean, the guy seems clueless.

Boy, this should go over well. I put the over/under on vicious comebacks at 5.5.

The only reason I can see for the statement that they're going to pursue more of these type of hitters is because that's what out there and there's no point acknowledging to the fans that you can't get what you need-tell them you need something you can get instead.

Ron - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 01:11 AM EDT (#129115) #
JP has mentioned in the last 3 WWJP that Ortiz/ManRam/Sexson etc... type hitters aren't easily obtained. He specifically mentioned a player like Paul Kornerko would probably take up too much of the payroll.

From everything that has been said, he's not willing to pool a lot of money towards big sluggers. He mentioned Jim Thome as how sometimes moves like that can backfire. He has mentioned the Jays could use a couple of more solid bats. I get the feeling if he had to decide between a 13 million dollar slugger or 2 solid hitters at 6.5 mil each, he would choose the 2nd option.

I guess the big question is do you feel like the Jays could compete for a playoff spot next season if he signed a 2 number pitcher (i.e AJ, Milwood, Morris, Washburn) and added 2 hitters like Hillenbrand?
Twilight - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 01:12 AM EDT (#129116) #
Where can I get these albums? LOL

I mean a legit song though, like Fifty Mission Cap by the Tragically Hip. Maybe Geddy Lee can write a song about the Jays? :)
Twilight - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 01:20 AM EDT (#129117) #
<i>I guess the big question is do you feel like the Jays could compete for a playoff spot next season if he signed a 2 number pitcher (i.e AJ, Milwood, Morris, Washburn) and added 2 hitters like Hillenbrand?</i>

I don't think so. They will get closer, but I don't think they can contend for a playoff spot. I wouldn't get rid of Hillenbrand for next year, but a team full of Hillenbrands and Koskies probably wouldn't get the job done.

What I think he is missing is the impact of having someone like Delgado on the team. At a time where the Jays just weren't getting it done, Delgado was keeping the Jays spirit alive in the fans. They have an ok team this year but so far nobody that will put AIS. (a--es in seats)
Tyler - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 01:38 AM EDT (#129119) #
What I think he is missing is the impact of having someone like Delgado on the team. At a time where the Jays just weren't getting it done, Delgado was keeping the Jays spirit alive in the fans. They have an ok team this year but so far nobody that will put AIS. (a--es in seats)

A rare chance to toot my own horn for getting something right:

_Tyler - Monday, November 29 2004 @ 12:01 PM EST (#11881) Just to make myself clear, your argument depends on people showing up at the stadium. I don't think Delgado pushes the needle either way to much on that, absent a winner.

Toronto's average attendance in 2002: 20,220

Toronto's average attendance in 2003: 22,215

Toronto's average attendance in 2004: 23,457

Toronto's average attendance in 2005: 24,696

Attendance data per ESPN.com. Don't get a big hitter to sell tickets, get a big hitter because he'll win you games. If JP thinks that this team needs more Shea Hillenbrands to win more games, get more Shea Hillenbrands. Just win games. Then you'll sell tickets.

By the way, the Jays ticket sales people probably deserve some credit for this year. It cannot have been easy to sell tickets with the Season From Hell in the background.

Craig B - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 08:33 AM EDT (#129121) #
"Maybe Geddy Lee can write a song about the Jays? :)"

Unfortunately, he already has - it's called "Beneath, Between and Behind".

Wait 'til next year!

Fabulous game last night. Terrific job by the pitching staff. I complain too much about falling behind hitters, and don't give them nearly enough credit for hanging in at-bats when they're behind in the count.
groove - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 08:33 AM EDT (#129122) #
The jump in attendance this year was definitely a reaction to the string puppets. I mean, come on, who can't resist such clever marketing? The kind that makes you want to throw a baseball through the tv so you can't watch in on tv anymore and you have to go to the game.


Jordan - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 09:22 AM EDT (#129124) #
From everything that has been said, he's not willing to pool a lot of money towards big sluggers. He mentioned Jim Thome as how sometimes moves like that can backfire.

Allow me to mention Miguel Tejada, Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez, Jim Edmonds and Gary Sheffield as big-money sluggers who haven't backfired on the teams that acquired them. If you're looking for low-risk, low-return investments, buy Canada Savings Bonds. If you're looking to build a championship team, take a freaking risk now and again.

And P.S. -- the Phillies are in the playoff hunt right to the last weekend, Thome and Billy Wagner notwithstanding.

He has mentioned the Jays could use a couple of more solid bats. I get the feeling if he had to decide between a 13 million dollar slugger or 2 solid hitters at 6.5 mil each, he would choose the 2nd option.

If this off-season's work consists of the second option, the Jays will finish third at best and that infamous B+ will be downgraded in a hurry.

Named For Hank - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 09:23 AM EDT (#129125) #
Bringing in another Shea Hillenbrand will not cut it this year.. I as a fan of the Blue Jays am hoping he is saying these things as a way of reverting away attention.. And, I'll leave you all with my favorite saying concerning these Blue Jays... Average does not win championships.

Considering that Shea Hillenbrand was either the best or second best hitter on the team this year (depending on whose metrics you like best), adding more of him would definitely upgrade the offense. In addition, I have put up the numbers three times this year so far -- he is decidedly above average at both first and third base.
                     AVG   HR   RBI
Shea Hillenbrand    .291   18   82
League Average 3B   .268   10   40
League Average 1B   .278   14   50
Named For Hank - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 09:25 AM EDT (#129126) #
"We've decided not to try and aquire Albert Pujols because he once got sent to the office in school for not sharing his crayons in 2nd grade... He might upset the teams chemistry."

Also, I missed him saying anything at all about team chemistry. Was I not paying attention, or did he actually say something like this?
Ryan Day - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#129132) #
I don't think you can entirely take Ricciardi's comments at face value. He's not going to show all his offseason cards right now by saying something like "We desperately need a huge bat" or "I'm really hoping to trade Orlando Hudson".

And "two good bats instead of one huge bat" doesn't necessarily mean two more Hillenbrands - it could be a Durazo and a Huff, who aren't elite but would still bring a sizable improvement to the team. Though even two Hillenbrands isn't necessarily a bad thing - if both Hinske and Rios had hit as well as Shea, the team would have been a lot better.
Chuck - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 09:49 AM EDT (#129135) #

NFH, not sure where you're getting the league average numbers for 3B and 1B, and I'm quite sure the numbers you presented are not the best comparative metrics.

At BP's site, sorting 1B by EQA, and setting 200 outs as the threshold, Hillenbrand ranks 23rd. It is true that he's been the best hitter on the team, however (a) with a sub-800 OPS that's not saying much and (b) being a 1B/DH, he should be.

Hillenbrand and his ilk get you to .500, not beyond. Adding more players who hit like him would help, if they did so at less demanding positions. Adding more players like him who are at best the norm at their position won't be a huge help.

MatO - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#129136) #
You guys take JP far too literally. He knows how hard it is going to be to get an impact bat so he's not going to set himself up for failure by saying that he'll get one. Hell, I'd do the same thing if I was in his shoes.
SK in NJ - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#129140) #
Yeah, I also don't think adding two hitters instead of one big bat necessarily implies JP is going after more Hillenbrand's. Ricciardi tried to trade for Aubrey Huff recently, but it failed. He could easily try to swing a deal there given Huff's lessened value. Or for Overbay, who is apparently on the way out of Milwaukee (due to the emergence of Fielder). Overbay is similar to Shea, but he walks a lot more, and is more likely to post an OPS near .850 or beyond. Personally, I'm hoping the Jays swing a deal for Overbay. He's not an impact bat, but high-OBP and 20 HR power guys are valuable.

Hell, JP has been raving about Nomar a lot over the years (when trying to show he isn't just about walks), so he could overpay Nomar on a one-year basis. It's unlikely Nomar would come to Toronto, especially to DH (to keep him healthy), but that's just one possible avenue to go to.

The point is, it's certainly possible to add two "lesser" players and come away with an offense that is good enough to legitimately compete. Especially since no Jays hitter (that the team will likely keep) has overachieved this season, so there's no fear of having 2-3 guys crashing back down to earth next season (see 2003).

Add another reliever, a #2-3 starter (Burnett/Washburn), and two bats (Overbay and someone), and it looks promising, IMO.
Rob - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#129141) #
I can't speak for NFH, but I get my league average data from here, where it says the following is true (and Hillenbrand's stats are from ESPN.com):
League Average 1B: .270/.342/.450
League Average 3B: .266/.329/.423
Shea Hillenbrand:  .291/.343/.449 

Yes, before someone points it out, that means Hillenbrand is an average first baseman. And "average" might or might not win championships, I'm not sure.

More Shea Hillenbrand types would improve this offense -- everyone here would take .290/.350/.450 from Alex Rios in a heartbeat, right? Hillenbrand is not the problem with this offense. Rios, Orlando Hudson (and at the moment, Russ Adams) are. Hinske is another below average hitter for his position, but is still the third or fourth best hitter on the team.

It's like the people who want to trade Wells for a Big Scary Bat. Why replace Wells when you could replace Rios? Or Hinske?

And while I'm here...
Toronto with RISP: .266/.338/.434, 0.41 RBI per AB
AL Average, RISP: .273/.348/.430, 0.39 RBI per AB

Mike Green - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#129142) #
It would be nice if Rogers conveys to JP the 2006-2008 budget figure prior to this year's free-agent season. Hopefully, this has already been done. An average of $70 million was allowed for 2005-2007. If the same average applied to 2008, JP would have in the $225-$230 million range to spend bearing in mind the $50-$55 million total for 2005.

It is hard to offer 3 year contracts to free agents if you do not know what the limits are.
Mike Green - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#129144) #
Actually, because Toronto is a hitter's park and Hillenbrand hits into more double plays than an average first baseman, he has been slightly below average at that position over the season. That's not the end of the world, but you wouldn't want to spend $4 or $5 million for that kind of production. It is really an economic question.
Named For Hank - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 10:38 AM EDT (#129145) #
Hillenbrand is not the problem with this offense.

Rob has it -- I have no idea why Shea Hillenbrand is considered by so many to be the goat of this team.

All season I've just been grabbing the numbers from Yahoo's fantasy baseball.
greenfrog - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#129146) #
I think JP's point about off-season acquisitions is that the Jays have a long-term plan, which they aren't going to disrupt by blowing a lot of cash on one player--eg $50 million on Konerko (say, $12.5 million x 4 years), or $36+ million on Arnsberg (say, $12 million x 3 years. I may be way off here--just some early guesses as to what it will take to sign these guys). He's already gotten burned, to some extent, on Batista and Koskie, his big signings of the last two years. So I'm guessing it's build from within, look for value signings, and maybe trade for or sign that star player when the opportunity arises; namely, when the market is more favourable.

Yesterday JP said "the future is bright," but that we might not be there next year.
Gerry - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 10:47 AM EDT (#129147) #
I think Arnsberg will sign for less than $36 million ;-)

AJ Burnett, I assume?
Craig B - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#129148) #
All you guys who spend all your time flapping tyour gums about salaries, free agents, and the GM - you all stink. I am sick and tired of never talking about baseball.
Named For Hank - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#129149) #
That's not the end of the world, but you wouldn't want to spend $4 or $5 million for that kind of production. It is really an economic question.

So the Jays should get rid of their best hitter, despite having a large amount of payroll space, merely because he's overpaid? I know that's not what you're arguing, but that's what this all boils down to. There are a lot of positions on this team that need to be upgraded before getting rid of Hillenbrand. I am not opposed to moving him as part of a deal that overall improves the team, mind you, but I'd rather improve a weaker position while retaining Hillenbrand, unless you're upgrading 1B/DH/3B as part of the deal.

And remember, we need a competent 3B who can hit the ball as long as Koskie is on this team -- how many games did he miss this year? Last year? The year before? It's a virtual lock that he'll miss some next year, though I'd be very happy if he didn't. Sure, Hill can play third, but Hill hasn't hit as well as Hillenbrand, has he? And might not Hill make the transition to 2B or SS if Adams or Hudson are moved?
Mike Green - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#129150) #
Hillenbrand was definitely not the goat of this team. The offence as a whole was a little below average, and that, like the Jays' run prevention success, was a team effort. If Hillenbrand were to be paid $2.5 million to get 300-400 PAs, mostly against lefties, he'd be a valuable piece of a contending team.
Named For Hank - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#129151) #
Hillenbrand was definitely not the goat of this team.

But for some reason he's the one who's always brought up in the what's-wrong-with-the-Jays conversations, which is what I'm reacting to.

The guy's not likely to be a Hall-of-Famer at this junction. I have no illusions that he's the reincarnation of Babe Ruth. But he's not the posterboy for what's wrong with the Blue Jays, despite constantly being painted as such.
Named For Hank - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#129152) #
All you guys who spend all your time flapping tyour gums about salaries, free agents, and the GM - you all stink. I am sick and tired of never talking about baseball.

OK, Craig, gimme someone to cheer for in the playoffs. Last year I picked Houston, but I didn't find them all that much fun. I was thinking of maybe Atlanta... is that wrong?
Pistol - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#129153) #
"It would be nice if Rogers conveys to JP the 2006-2008 budget figure prior to this year's free-agent season."

I thought I remember this to be the case when the payroll boost was originally announced.

Either way I'd be surprised if the team hiked up the payroll for a couple years to only push it back down shortly thereafter. That doesn't make sense. I'm assuming $70 million is the minimum team payroll going forward.


"You wouldn't want to spend $4 or $5 million for that kind of production (Hillenbrand). It is really an economic question."

You wouldn't want to pay that much if you didn't have to, but is there sufficient supply to not have to pay that much?

I think the market is being underestimated. Just about every team is maintaining or increasing their payroll this offseason. I think we'll see a noticable jump in annual salaries from last year's free agents.

The other thing about Hillenbrand that I think gets overlooked is that he can play reasonable defense at both 3B and 1B, and also doesn't seem to have a problem if he's the full time DH. Between Hillenbrand, Hill, and Johnson the Jays have enough versitility where an injury or two isn't going to severly hurt the team (well, except Zaun).
Named For Hank - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#129156) #
In honour of Craig's dissatisfaction with money-related gum-flapping, I promise that when the Jays make their first big free agent signing this winter I will punch the first person who cries out "OVERPAID" right in their flappy gums.
Craig B - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#129157) #
If you haven't seen the footage of Ronnie Belliard's incredible play last night (you can check it out here) go now.

Best fielding play I've seen all year. The little flip-throw was so perfect that Peralta almost drops it, because he isn't expecting Belliard to hit him right in the glove.

Craig B - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 11:08 AM EDT (#129159) #
NFH, I think the Indians are a great choice if they make it. Young ballclub, great players, lots of underdog types. Ronnie Belliard was one of my favorite major leaguers, even before last night. (I think I've finally decided that the Cleveland jersey I bought last year is going to have BELLIARD 20 put on it).

After the things people said about Scott Elarton when he was in Colorado, I think it would be great to see him starting in the playoffs.

If you're looking for an NL team, I don't think you can go wrong provided you avoid the Braves at all costs. The Cardinals are the ultimate professionals. The Padres are the Team That Nobody Loves, Who Don't Belong There. And I've always liked the Astros, and Biggio deserves a pennant.
Craig B - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#129163) #
If the Indians don't make it, in the AL I think you have to cheer for the Angels. The White Sox are just annoying, and the Red Sox and Yankees are the Red Sox and Yankees.

The Angels, though, have a lot of really fun and likeable guys - Cabrera, Vlad, Too Many Molinas... plus Colon, who is right up there on the Unintentional Comedy Scale. Also Garret Anderson, who no one in history has ever had a bad thing to say about. Plus Mike Scioscia is one of my favorite managers, and it's ALWAYS fun to cheer for K-Rod.
Chuck - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#129164) #
Hillenbrand is not the problem with this offense. Rios, Orlando Hudson (and at the moment, Russ Adams) are.

First off, while Hudson may be below league average as a hitter, as a total package (offense + defense), I'd be willing to suggest he is further above the norm at his position than is Hillenbrand at his. Hudson, while obviously the poorer hitter of the two, is still the one who pushes you further above .500.

Secondly, I believe that it is what Hillenbrand represents more than the player himself that is the issue. Yes, Hillenbrand, at his best, figures to be about a league average 1B, and would only that the Jays had league average players at any of a number of positions this season.

But, if the team insists on developing young players (and I don't dispute the merits of that), they figure to get below-average performance from those players while they develop. The performances of the lowly paid, below-average Rios, Hill, Adams, Quiroz, Gross, etc. need to be offset by above-average performances by the higher paid players.

If those higher paid players are no better than league average, then the offense is going to struggle. Ignoring the logistics of who the Jays can acquire and who is readily available, the team needs to ideally target players at a much higher level than the Hillenbrands and Catalanottos of the world, now that the money is available.

Is a league-average 1B worth $4M to a team that spends only $50M and is content with .500? Absolutely. Is this still true for a team that spends $80M and is targetting 90 wins while concurrently developing players? I'm not so sure.

Named For Hank - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#129166) #
I don't know why, I just don't like the Indians that much. Maybe it's Major League? I like the Angels, though Scioscia's freak-out at Frank Robinson has made me like him a little less. Vlad is an honorary Canadian, after all.

Maybe I'll root for the Padres. I love underdogs. And I saw them get their asses kicked by the Red Sox at Fenway last year on Pokey Reese's birthday. Oh, and they have a v-neck pullover jersey that they actually wear for games, gotta love that.
Pepper Moffatt - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#129167) #
I'll be cheering for whoever is playing against the Yankees. Even if it's the stinking Marlins, like it was a couple of years ago.

Schadenfreude is one of the ugliest emotions known to man. Except when it's at the minor sufferings of professional sports teams, in which case it's terrific. I'm not sure why I feel that way - maybe it's due to the inherent zero-sum nature of any sporting contest.

Matthew E - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#129172) #
Back to the music thing... the Rheostatics have a song called 'Alomar'.
Magpie - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 12:52 PM EDT (#129175) #
I don't think you can go wrong provided you avoid the Braves at all costs.

Not this time. Julio Franco, World Series MVP. This has to happen.

Mike Green - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#129176) #
It is possible to root for the Indians to win the WS over the Braves in 7 games, with Julio Franco going 14-30 with 3 homers and copping the MVP. 46 year olds of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your PSA test results.
Ducey - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#129179) #
"I'll be cheering for whoever is playing against the Yankees. Even if it's the stinking Marlins, like it was a couple of years ago."

That would be some trick given they are 7.5 games out of the wildcard with 3 games to play.

Poor Carlos. Takes a pay cut to $4 million so he can miss the playoffs, endure team turmoil, and lose his manager (soon). Just like old times.

Next year the Marlins start making $9 million a year on a TV deal only to have it all sucked up by Carlos' then $13 million dollar salary. It seems he is either going to be traded or will wind up on some pretty average Marlin's teams for the next 3 years.
Named For Hank - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#129180) #
Julio Franco, World Series MVP. This has to happen.

Magpie, you need to figure out how to get a Franco jersey out of someone in a bet.
Jordan - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#129183) #
It seems he is either going to be traded or will wind up on some pretty average Marlin's teams for the next 3 years.

I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Delgado in a Mets uniform next season. The one thing he had in Toronto that he didn't get in Miami was a no-trade clause.

King Ryan - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#129184) #
But for some reason he's the one who's always brought up in the what's-wrong-with-the-Jays conversations, which is what I'm reacting to.

Aaron, I think you may be misinterpreting what these people are trying to say. I don't think anyone is suggesting that the Jays' problem is having Shea Hillenbrand. What I think they mean is that the Jays' problem is that their best hitter is Shea Hillenbrand.

There is nothing wrong with having a guy like Shea on the team, but on a contender, guys like him would be playing a "supporting role" instead of being in the #4 spot. Is that fair?

VBF - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#129190) #
Aaron I know exactly why you're not feeling the Indians that much--and it's the same reason why others like them.

It should be us! We should be there! Man, in 2003 both teams were in stages of rebuilding and we won 86 and they lost 100. How did things turn out this way? We were supposed to make the playoffs before they did!

But on the other hand, it's comforting that a team with a low payroll that rebuilt recently can actually make noise, and it serves as inspiration to them.

Me personally, have got the envy bug.
Craig B - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#129192) #
the Rheostatics have a song called 'Alomar'

In Dave Bidini's book Baseballissimo there's a Chill Scene where he describes listening to the final innings of the 1993 Series while on tour with the Rheos, driving through (and stopping in) the Rocky Mountains. One of the best parts of the entire book.

King Ryan - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#129194) #
I like the Braves team a lot. I think this is the year they get to the World Series. In the AL, I absolutely loathe both Sox teams as well as the Yankees. I find Anaheim to be boring unless Vladdy is doing something. Therefore, it's Cleveland by default.
Craig B - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#129195) #
So like I was saying above, I have an Indians jersey and I have finally decided to put Belliard's name and number on it (finally beating out Grady Sizemore and Punchless Bob Wickman).

I know there are a lot of jersey mavens around... do any of you know a place that will do a decent job on a job like this? The jersay's your typical poly baseball replica jersey.
Named For Hank - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#129196) #
There is nothing wrong with having a guy like Shea on the team, but on a contender, guys like him would be playing a "supporting role" instead of being in the #4 spot. Is that fair?

Entirely. I like having him around to support 1B/3B and bat somewhere that's not #4.

Hey, with the Red Sox seeing the good parts of Ted Lilly all year, what are the chances of a Lilly-for-Manny swap?
Pepper Moffatt - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 02:53 PM EDT (#129199) #
Wow.. I like the way you're thinking.. very out of the box. (No pun intended)

Where would the Jays put Manny? Keep Rios in right and play Manny in left? Or play Manny in right? Or play Frank Cat in right?

Given the salary levels and personalities involved, would Epstein take a Manny for Frankie Cat swap? I suspect he might.
Pepper Moffatt - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#129200) #
Actually, Epstein would probably do handstands and go out for Thai food, given the size of Manny's contract. :)
King Ryan - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#129201) #
Well, if Ricciardi isn't interested in trading for Delgado's reasonable contract, I doube he'll be interested in Manny's albatross. ;)
MatO - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#129203) #
I remember Jeff Blair saying that the Jays actually took a look at Manny's contract around the time he was asking for a trade this season and they couldn't believe all the non-monetary extras Manny had in his contract. Unfortunately, he didn't elaborate at the time as to what they were.
Mike Green - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#129207) #
Manny would be a DH, and his pitchers might lose their ambivalence towards him (good for the W-L, bad for the ERA). He's got $57 million (plus $3-$4 million in deferred) coming to him. If the Sox would pick up 1/4-1/3 of it, you might even be able to work a deal. Not that they're likely to pick up much for a divisional rival.

Heck, if the spring rolls are good, the Sox could share those and earn a discount on their share.:)
Craig B - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#129208) #
Why ask Boston to pick up money? The Red Sox have what the Jays need - young players with talent who are ready to contribute. Instead of cash, have them part with some young talent that they won't want to use anyway.
Mike Green - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#129211) #
You could do that too, but I thought the budget wouldn't allow the Jays to pick up Manny's entire contract. Perhaps that isn't right.

My guess also is that the Sox would rather part with the cash than with one of their useful young prospects.
Pistol - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#129212) #
That'd be funny to see - Sox trade Ramirez and prospect to Jays for nothing in return.
GrrBear - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#129215) #
If we're going to dream about Manny, why not dream about getting Bonds in a Jays uniform? Delgado might not have had much effect on ticket sales, but I think it would be pretty obvious that at least the seats in right field would be sold out every home game if Barry was on the team. What would it take to convince Barry that Toronto would be a good place to play? "Hey, Mr. Bonds, come play in Canada, we're polite, eh!"
John Northey - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#129219) #
For the playoffs I'm going for Houston, who has been my #2 NL team for years and now is the #1 NL team for me with the Expos no longer in existance (no !@*# way am I cheering for a team that was stolen from Canada). The Atlanta and Cleveland teams will not get my cheers until they get rid of the nicknames and offensive mascots (Atlanta did get rid of that at least - Cleveland just blows my mind with the fact they get away with it). Boston finally losing the curse takes them off my light cheering list (always enjoyed seeing them come close just to have it taken away) and the Yankees are the Yankees (boo!). I dislike Tony LaRussa (the genius with 1 less WS win than Cito) so the Cards are out. SD would be fun especially if they finish sub-500 (lose all the remaining regular season games, then just sneak by in each series and they'd win it all with a regular season & playoff record of 90-91). The White Sox have a curse that was earned in 1919 and I'd like to see stay around forever (enhanced by their current owner's push to kill the 1994 season). Anaheim I could live with so they are my AL team.

Jeez, looks like I'll be booing more than cheering this playoff season. Ah well. Still a reason to watch :)
Mike D - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 05:50 PM EDT (#129220) #
To satisfy my own curiosity, here's Manny's contract situation.

2006: $19 million ($15 + $4 deferred). Plus a $1 million bonus for being traded (not sure whether the Sox or the new team would pay it).
2007: $18 million ($14 + $4 deferred)
2008: $20 million ($16 + $4 deferred)
2009: Team option at $20 million
2010: Team option at $20 million

Tyler - Thursday, September 29 2005 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#129221) #
But he's not the posterboy for what's wrong with the Blue Jays, despite constantly being painted as such.

He's the poster boy for the frustration I think I see people having with JP. That's why I think he gets slagged around here as much as he does.

As for the question of Manny's non-pecuniary extras, I'm reading Simmons new book and he talks about how there was a TV show in Boston documenting the Manny negotiations in 2001. After the money was done, Moorad approached the Sox to tell them that there was something else. I quote:

December 11: Moorad awakens to a morning phone call from Manny, who has a surprise annoucement: He's ready to accept Boston's offer, but only if they agree to hire (Cleveland clubhouse attendant) Frankie Mancini as well. There's comedy, there's high comedy, there's transcedent comedy, and then there's the moment when Moorad relays this request to his associates by phone and explains, "Frankie Mancini...he sets up the pitching machine for him...[realizes how ridiculous this is, starts giggling hysterically]...are you kidding me??? That's why he's Manny."

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