I wonder who would win a tussle between a Blue Jay and a Cardinal.
Tonight's matchup is Cory Lidle versus Jason Simontacchi, which should allow the Jays' bats to get back to their assault on the record books.
OK, if you're reading this, you're thinking "the site isn't down, I'm reading it right now." But actually, you're just lucky. (Relatively speaking. Not how-did-Ashton-Kutcher-become-a-star-and-date-Demi-Moore lucky, but lucky.)
According to an e-mail sent a moment ago by Technical Wizard Coach KW, "Rogers [the hosting service for this site] has been hit with a DoS attack. A bunch of frazzled techies are trying to keep everything alive, but I think it's going to be an intermittent problem all day, if not longer. The support engineer I talked to says that ... they are bouncing servers and routers trying to deal with this mess."
So some people, like me, can get in. And some, like Coach, can't. And before it occurs to you, NO, I don't know how to launch a DoS attack.
Meanwhile, please stay tuned for the re-launching of Da Box's new pinstripes-driven design. [Bahahahahahahahahahahhahaha!!!]
According to Coach: Rogers (who hosts this site) has been hit by a DoS attack, so people may have intermittent trouble accessing Da Box. The techies at their end hope to resolve the problem soon.
Me, I blame Bud Selig. :-)
Bud Selig picked up an "Urban Heroes Award" in New York last night (the award was for MLB's support of inner-city youth initiatives).
Who would have guessed that the Jays would begin interleague play with a better record than the St. Louis Cardinals?
Make no mistake -- the Cardinals remain an extraordinarily gifted and dangerous team. But they haven't yet amounted to the sum of their parts, even factoring for their various injuries. Although several of their hitters are having outstanding seasons, the Cards have been prone to collective off-days at the plate. Similarly, although the Cards are loaded with talented gloves, their play in the field has been spotty at inopportune times. And although they've had simply outstanding seasons from Matt Morris and Woody Williams, the back ends of their rotation and bullpen have been tragically Bostonesque. If the Jays can get to the St. Louis bullpen early, they will win games this series, period.
This will be a good challenge for the Jays' dominant hitting attack, who unfortunately draw both of the Redbirds' star pitchers in the series after a month of toying with AL starters not named Garland, Loaiza or (grr) Kennedy. The Jays may be forced to execute in more small-ball situations than to which they're accustomed, but given the roster-wide offensive production of late, just think of the bench they'll have most nights for pinch-hitting!
The Jays and Cardinals have obviously never met in meaningful games, but they do certainly have a bit of a spring training local rivalry. And there's always a great baseball atmosphere at Busch, so the Jays should be up for the series...
On to the Advance Scout!
MLB.com Draft Central
provides comprehensive coverage of today Entry Draft.
The MLB.com Draft Show will feature live video of the first few rounds as well as on-the-scene reports, and is available free of charge. An audio version of the entire draft is available from MLB.com Radio (for subscibers).
John Sickels has a new article
up discussing many of the likely first round picks. You're not likely to find as much good info in one place on potential draftees anywhere else online. Curiously, Brad Sullivan is not among those listed.
I'll invite readers to post their predictions for the Jays' first round pick.
That's what the crowd in St. Louis will be wondering. The Jays lineup features an anonymous rookie leadoff man (Reed Johnson, as Shannon Stewart is still sitting but not yet on the DL) followed by a singles-hitting utility man (not my description; merely a casual NL fan's impression of Catalanotto) and a sophomore CF who has yet to put up "three-hole" numbers. I'm sure they've heard of Carlos Delgado, and can appreciate the monster year he's having. But Greg Myers? Unless you're a devoted member of the ZLC -- and many of you were hard to convince -- he's that aging backup guy who hits .220, right? Very few Cards fans will know anything about Orlando Hudson, Howie Clark (starting at 3B against the nasty righty) or Chris Woodward, and while they might recognize Kelvim Escobar's name, I'm sure they aren't too worried about Drew, Pujols, Edmonds and Rolen teeing off three times each against a failed closer.
A Marlins pitcher being overworked? Say it isn't so! Tim Spooneybarger is complaining of being overused in relief. His arm is tired and he was "concerned" when he was asked to get warm on Sunday after throwing two innings Friday and one Saturday. He's on pace to make 84 appearances and throw 103 innings this year, but if he continues at the pace since Jack McKeon took over from Bobo Torborg, that pace would be 111 innings. Spooneybarger is 23, he's never really been worked hard before, so there might be a period of adjustment before he takes to the increased workload... or blows out his arm.
The top four teams in the Batter's Box Fantasy league had close matchups last week. First-place Gashouse Gorillas and second-place Billie's Bashers battled to a 6-6 tie, and after leading Baird Brain all week, my Toronto Walrus went to the Carl Pavano well once too often, coughing up three pitching categories on Sunday to lose 6-5. Ouch.
1. Seattle Mariners ------ 55 -- 37-18 -- 0.0 (6-0)
2. New York Yankees ---- 56 -- 33-23 -- 4.5 (4-2)
3. Minnesota Twins ------ 55 -- 31-24 -- 6.0 (2-4)
1. Oakland Athletics ----- 55 -- 32-23 -- 0.0 (3-3)
2. Boston Red Sox ------- 55 -- 31-24 -- 1.0 (1-5)
3. Toronto Blue Jays ---- 58 -- 32-26 -- 1.5 (5-2)
4. Baltimore Orioles ------ 55 -- 28-27 -- 4.0 (5-1)
5T. Anaheim Angels ------ 54 -- 27-27 -- 4.5 (3-3)
5T. Kansas City Royals --- 54 -- 27-27 -- 4.5 (1-5)
Projected Playoff Matchups: Minnesota vs Seattle; Oakland vs New York Yankees
Thanks to Geoff for alerting us to this in another thread. ESPN's Rob Neyer has plenty
to say about the Blue Jays, the four-man rotation and the "patently ridiculous" response of one Richard Griffin. Neyer explains, "In Toronto, J.P. Ricciardi has radically transformed the Blue Jays, both on and off the field ... and yet there remain idiots who simply assume that he doesn't know what he's doing."
There's also a zombie-like cult of statistical seamheads (we are grateful to Griffin for naming us) who get it, and appreciate it. Rob mentions he might have a new favorite team, and his rave review of the J.P. Jays will cause others to take notice of what's going on in Toronto baseball. Maybe even at the Star
With all three clubs off today in preparation fro inter-league games, this seems an approapriate time to compare and contrast the clubs battling for the division lead.Starting Staffs:
team ------- GS IP IP/GS RA ERA UER Outs% Krate Wrate BIPavg HRrate GB/FB
Yankees --- 56 370.0 6.6 4.33 3.89 18 .711 .194 .051 .310 .040 0.96
Red Sox ---- 55 315.7 5.7 5.53 5.16 13 .690 .180 .088 .304 .034 0.98
Blue Jays -- 58 341.7 5.9 5.56 4.93 24 .693 .143 .064 .302 .026 1.30
team ----- RApp RApp/G IP RA ERA UER Outs% Krate Wrate BIPavg HRrate GB/FB
Yankees ---- 117 2.09 139.3 4.52 4.39 2 .692 .177 .078 .320 .016 0.80
Red Sox ---- 141 2.56 178.3 5.96 5.55 8 .665 .163 .072 .325 .035 0.93
Blue Jays -- 180 3.10 170.3 5.23 4.86 7 .661 .188 .091 .301 .053 1.01
team ------ Games IP RA ERA UER Outs% Krate Wrate BIPavg HRrate GB/FB
Yankees ----- 56 509.3 4.38 4.03 20 .706 .189 .059 .313 .023 0.92
Red Sox ----- 55 494.0 5.68 5.30 21 .680 .174 .082 .312 .034 0.96
Blue Jays --- 58 512.0 5.45 4.90 31 .682 .158 .073 .302 .044 1.20
Roy Halladay threw seven excellent innings the last time he faced the Red Sox at SkyDome, striking out 10 and allowing just three earned runs, but he settled for no decision, as the April defence and bullpen caved in. Doc has a different team behind him this afternoon, and he's been a much better pitcher in May, winning all six of his starts. Boston, reeling from four straight losses, will counter with Tim Wakefield, who kept the Jays off-balance at Fenway earlier this year. It could be a close one, or the Toronto hitters might just continue to pound everyone.
I'll be at the game with an old friend from Halifax (I'm also looking forward to meeting Mike D for the first time) so I'll check in here this evening. Enjoy.
Spot the contradiction in the following excerpt from a CP report:
The Toronto Blue Jays optioned right-hander Josh Towers to triple-A Syracuse on Sunday to make room for an additional bat as they head into interleague play.
Catcher Ken Huckaby was recalled later Sunday and will join the team Monday.
I guess Doc gets his personal catcher back.
In other news: Doug Creek was moved to the 60-day DL, and likely needs elbow surgery.
Part II of my May report card - this time, it's the pitchers. This month's pitching report card isn't the Gallery of Horror that last month's card was. But beware of dark clouds, no larger than men's hands...