It's been a while since we've run a "Hijack central" thread, and it's going to continue to be the case, because in accordance with new FCC mandates, I've re-named it "Weekend Open Forum." While "The Thread Formerly Known As Hijack Central" was my first choice, the new title is much less violent. True, the FCC would rather me call this "Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows: Everything is Super," or "Your Mom Always Said That If You Didn't Have Anything Nice To Say, Don't Say It." But I have my limits.
I'll kick things off with this statistic: the Expos have scored 10 runs in nine games. Say that again. TEN RUNS IN NINE GAMES. For all of Bud Selig's evil machinations (as opposed to all those benevolent machinations), I don't know if we can blame Selig for this one. What the hell, let's blame him anyway.
The Orioles come to town to kick off the Jays' second homestand of the season -- which, by definition, will be much more successful than their first. Baltimore is currently part of the four-way logjam atop the curiously lethargic AL East of early April.
It's only fitting that a 4-4 club has overachieved and underachieved in relatively equal amounts. The starting rotation, which is likely to be the club's Achilles' heel throughout the season, has been shaky except for fledgling Jay-killer Matt Riley. The bullpen, in contrast, has been a significant asset thus far.
On the offensive side of the ledger, the Orioles are exhibiting the patient approach favoured by co-GMs Mike Flanagan and Jim Beattie, but have not hit for any kind of meaningful power, which has led them to strand scores of baserunners. Here, the exception has been Javy Lopez, who has been tearing the cover off the ball as an Oriole -- much like he did during his unexpected comeback season of 2003. Defensively, the O's are excited about Miguel Tejada's range and effort defensively, but jack-of-all-trades Melvin Mora is struggling to adjust to his new gig at third.
The Jays face a whole lot of inexperience on the mound this weekend, and will be countering with three pitchers with something to prove. Two wins out of three should gear the club up for Boston's first visit next week.
On to the Advance Scout!
Last year it was the Minnesota Twins who played all their games against the Jays in April.
Jason Johnson threw six shutout innings for the win on opening day in Skydome, but was roughed up in his next start by the Twins. Roy Halladay has April gopheritis again (5 homeruns allowed in 2 starts), but I don't read much into that. I expect Doc to shut down the Tigers as long as the interior defence plays well.
Question of the Day: Will Kevin Cash get the day off after a night game?
Once again there is no TV coverage for this game.
Another doubleheader was rained out for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, so the damp kitties will now be playing consecutive twinbills in mid-May; welcome to the Eastern League! Happily for Jays fans, the other three full-season minor-league clubs did take the field yesterday, including two doubleheaders. Here's what went down:
On September 27th, 2003, Will Carroll visited with about 50 or so of us a diehard seamheads. We had pizza, we had beverages, we saw Roy Halladay win his 22nd game, and everyone other than Jody Gerut and Brandon Phillips had a terrific time.
Now Mr. Carroll is coming back to Toronto!
It drives you crazy, sends you screaming for the door
Work there for a year or two and you can't get to like it
I don't work in supermarkets anymore
Rob Neyer doesn't pull any punches on his personal Web site, the eponymous RobNeyer.com
, starting out the obligatory FAQ with the simple question, "Who the hell are you, and where the hell did you come from?"
As an addendum to today's Ode to Kevin Cash
, it's time to pay up on another installment of Baseball's Hall of Names
. This time, let's determine the best team Money ... er, Cash ... er, a plugged Nickle ... well, you get the idea ... can buy.
We’re delighted to welcome another Blue Jays regular into the Batter’s Box. Thanks very much to Kevin Cash for taking the time to chat prior to a game last week at SkyDome. The rifle-armed rookie is off to a great start this season, taking his biggest step yet toward shedding the "good field, no hit" label with the first 4-for-4 game of his young career last night in Detroit.
The accompanying photos are by Aaron Reynolds. In addition to his important duties as the Blue Jays Cheer Club founder, "Named For Hank" is now the official photographer of Da Box.
Rain-outs once again limited the field for the Three Star Selection. Thanks to Banks and Co. in Dunedin, there were plenty of worthy candidates.
Fed on nothing but full of pride
Look at them go, look at them kick
Makes you wonder how the other half live
The Jays continue their quest for revenge - a three-game sweep of the Tigers in their park - tonight. Fans in Canada will have radio coverage to look forward to, or else pay nearly 6 dollars for pay-per-view. Our American colleagues with Extra Innings will have a chance to see the game for no additional charge. Gitz, I expect a full report.
Nate Robertson, who pitched very well in relief in Game #2 at Skydome for a 4-inning save, will make his first start of the season against Ted Lilly, a deceptive lefthander with a sneaky fastball.
Okay, since we need a topic for this space, we're going to have our first Batter's Box Improvisational Thread. I'm going to start with a short opening paragraph of a story; subsequent posters will add to the story with short paragraphs of their own, taking in whateevr semi-plausible directions eems appropriate, to create what will either be a masterpiece of improvisational community fiction or one big ugly mess. Keep it clean and fun.
As pointed out by a few people, there have been a couple of moves in the last 24 hours. Our Sports Central
reports that Sean Douglass
has cleared waivers and has been sent down to Syracuse. Jason Frasor
, recently acquired in the Jayson Werth trade, has been called up. This follows the move that sent Simon Pond
to AAA and Chad Hermansen
to the big club.
In short: Hermansen and Frasor up, Pond and Douglass down. What's your take? When will we see Pond and Douglass in Toronto next?
If you've been hanging around Da Box the last two weeks, you've no doubt tired of me talking about Extra Innings, and how great the world suddenly is because of it. (The Extra Innings package, that is, not my relentless jabbering about it.) Truth be told, it's a gift from my wife, who wants my transition from "carefree bum" to "father" to be as easy as possible when she gives birth sometime in July. No doubt the idea of me becoming a father sends shivers through loyal Bauxites, and in that we are kindred spirits, because not a day goes by that I do not shake with fear at some point.