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If you'd said on Opening Day that the Jays would be sending their only undefeated starter to the mound tonight in New York, a tall right-hander, then the odds were pretty good I wouldn't have guessed that would be Tanyon Sturtze. And yet here he is tonight, the former Devil Ray who's already matched half his 2002 win total. And Sturtze didn't rack up easy wins against cream puffs -- the Red Sox and Twins can hit a little. Yankee Stadium, of course, is a whole different stage.

Matched up against him is Jeff Goldblum-lookalike Andy Pettitte, so it will be interesting to see how many lefty-hitting regulars Carlos Tosca will sit tonight. Hopefully, none -- I'd personally like to see Hinske and Catalanotto both start, as Pettitte isn't exactly Randy Johnson (mind you, neither has Randy Johnson been so far this season). Sturtze's biggest contribution tonight might be to give the bullpen a rest: Tosca has to be hoping for at least six solid innings, preferably seven.

It's early in the season, but Toronto really has to make amends for their wipeout against the Yanks in the opening series. If this squad wants to be taken seriously as an up-and-coming presence by their chief divisional rivals, they need to start right now. Start spreadin' the news....
Lucky Game 13: Yankee Stadium | 86 comments | Create New Account
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_Jordan - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#90557) #
Tonight could also be a big night for Batter's Box -- if we get enough traffic during this evening's matchup, we'll record our 50,000th hit. Recall that around the same time that JP was acquiring Cory Lidle from the Athletics, the Batter's Box counter was around 2,000. Enjoy tonight's game, and thanks for dropping by.
Coach - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#90558) #
Jordan's got his wish -- Hinske and Cat are getting a chance to face the Tough Lefty, so it looks like they are finally becoming everyday hitters. Berg is in for O-Dog, batting ninth, but no sign of Bordick, who's been on fire and hits southpaws well. Call that a nod in Woodward's direction. It's a very tough assignment for Sturtze; lots of lefty power to pitch around, with the dreaded short RF porch looming. Let's hope he can fool them with some splitters and keep his fastball away.
_Jordan - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 07:11 PM EDT (#90559) #
Passing observation as they're playing the anthems -- Oh Canada just sounds right on an organ, and The Star-Spangled Banner just sounds right in full orchestral arrangement. I don't know why that is, but it says something about our respective cultures, I think. Personally, I've been leading the effort to have Hockey Night in Canada declared the anthem -- it's the de facto national song already, and there's nothing more bilingual than an instrumental tune, after all. Heck, let Molson sponsor the national anthem and you've paid for a lot of health-care reform right there.
Gitz - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 07:16 PM EDT (#90560) #
Jordan, I agree re: "The Star-Spangled Banner." Before USC football games, the Trojan marching band would play it, and, in the spirit of the context of a football game, it kicked ass.

I'm listening to the game via the Fan; I can't stomach the Yankees' broadcasters.
_Jordan - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#90561) #
The defence is not off to a sterling start tonight. Soriano was HBPed to lead off the game, then was safe on a stolen base attempt when Wilson's throw tailed away. Then on a grounder to third, Hinske failed to look Soriano back sufficiently and tossed an arc over to first. Alfonso took off for third and made it with ease. Runner on third, one out, from where Giambi's single scores him. Not bad play, per se, but any crack in the door is enough for an opponent like this to come charging through. This is, in microcosm, how really good teams beat mediocre ones on a fairly regular basis. 1-0 Highlanders.
Coach - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#90562) #
Sturtze finished an adventurous first inning by getting ahead of Posada with the fastball and fanning him with a knee-buckling off-speed pitch.

Pettitte really had Stewart guessing at 1B after his leadoff base hit; Shannon was leaning the wrong way on more than one pitch. Even if the Jays wanted to run on Andy, it would be tough. The Wells GIDP was on a 2-0 pitch; Vernon continues to show patience.

Delgado crushed a live drive off the wall in RF, as hard a single as you can hit, and Mondesi excited the crowd by showing off his arm. Good job by Phelps to lay off the 2-1 hook and get his pitch; bad luck that his hard shot was right at Ventura. Wilson, hanging tough, will take the broken-bat single. Hinske looked like no match as Pettitte got ahead 0-2, but Eric battled back into the at-bat before a great slider got him. The Jays are making Andy work.
_Jordan - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#90563) #
Pettitte's got the sinker working tonight. DP grounder from Wells to end the first, and a would-be DP grounder from Phelps became a fielder's choice only because of an uncharacteristic bobble by Ventura. Delgado had ripped a long single against Pettitte, by the way -- this is looking more and more like a vintage, hit-all-comers Carlos season. Wilson then flared a broken-bat looper into left field to put two on with one out.

Nice observation by Tom on Hinske, who's hitting a dollar and change: his six hits consist of five doubles and a homer. He'll be okay, but not right now, striking out after fouling off a bunch of 0-2 pitches. He's a frustrated young man, and that's probably just making him press even more. Intense guys usually have to go through a period of learning that getting progressively angrier really doesn't help anything.

Woodward then popped out to shortstop. That's three runners wasted in two innings, and I can tell you that you don't get away with that too often in New York.
_Jordan - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#90564) #
Coach, I'll turn play-by-play over to you for a while -- gotta run, my government's collapsing.
Coach - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 07:56 PM EDT (#90565) #
Hinske let a Mondesi bouncer play him for an error, then almost compounded it by making an unneccesary throw. The mighty Yankees used the sac bunt, something you won't see from the Jays. Sturtze, again flashing some leather, made a great pitch to Johnson and started a beautiful 1-2-3 double play to get out of the jam.
Coach - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#90566) #
Woo-hoo! Wells slams a double into the right-centre gap, and Cat, who reached on an infield bobble, scores from first; 1-1.
Craig B - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#90567) #
That double from Wells leaves 90% of big league ballparks, but it's 385 out there in the RCF alley...
_Jurgen Maas - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#90568) #
E-5. I'm "watching" on Gamecast... how bad was it?

TwinsGeek has an interesting note at the end of today's blog, questioning the Jays' fundamentals, and wondering whether Tosca is on the hot seat.

It's an interesting outsider perspective, and certainly he makes a valid point. I hadn't thought of Tosca being on a short leash. Certainly within the GTA he's portrayed as J.P.'s man, and everyone was up front about this being a rebuiding year. But the team is showing much more potential much faster than I think many people expected, and I wonder if there will be more pressure for the team to speed up the learning curve.
Craig B - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 08:04 PM EDT (#90569) #
And now *terrific* hard, aggressive baserunning from Wells to score from second on a misplayed Delgado grounder to first. It'll probably be scored a single, could easily be an error.
Coach - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 08:05 PM EDT (#90570) #
Great heads-up coaching by Butter and running by Wells; Jays lead 2-1.
Coach - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 08:15 PM EDT (#90571) #
Tanyon is nibbling, and has now walked five and hit a batter. It's understandable -- these guys can kill you if you make a mistake. Posada, waiting for the pitch that got him last time, crushed it for a 3-run HR; Yanks lead 4-2.
_Cristian - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#90572) #
What you call nibbling, I call the umpire not giving Tanyon the outside of the plate. If he drew a more friendly umpire, Tanyon would have twice the Ks by now.
Coach - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 08:40 PM EDT (#90574) #
83 pitches through four innings for Tanyon, who is just not going to concede with a fastball down the middle. He's not going to go more than another couple of innings; 7 BB is a career high already, but I'd say Tanyon's been more careful than wild.

Nice bat control by Woodward to steer a soft leadoff single into shallow left-centre. Berg hit a 2-2 pitch on the nose, but to the cavernous straightaway CF. After Woody alertly took second on the Pettitte wild pitch, Stewart calmly cashed him in; 4-3.
Coach - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#90575) #
Cat is a tough out even against a lefty. I thought the 3-1 pitch was high and tight, but Frankie yanked the full count serving into right, where Mondesi booted it, allowing Stewart an extra base. That's all for Pettitte! Young righty Jason Anderson, who didn't get anyone out the last time he faced the Jays, is coming in to face Wells.
Coach - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 08:48 PM EDT (#90576) #
No problem -- Vernon smacks the deep sac fly to tie the score. Cat tagged up and hustled into second; now Delgado is being walked to get to Phelps.
_dp - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 08:53 PM EDT (#90577) #
Do you hit for Wilson here? I say of the drawbacks to not having Huckaby or Werth on the roster is that if you PH you have no backup C.
Coach - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#90578) #
No Myers pinch-hitting this time, and Josh comes through! After a huge swing on the 2-0 heater, Phelps guessed wrong on a hittable fastball, but laid off the slider in the dirt. Full count, spoils one off, takes the walk. Wilson, with the sacks drunk, makes the kid work and gets two close calls. A called strike looked low, then Anderson misses by a mile. Tom draws the RBI walk -- 5-4 Jays!
_Joe Morgan - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#90579) #
This team need to be more aggressive. Teams never score by sitting there drawing walks all day You just gotta take your bat off the shoulder and swing.
Coach - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 08:58 PM EDT (#90580) #
That's four lead changes so far in an entertaining affair, and now Contreras inherits a tough situation. Posada muffs a called strike; he's no glove man. Hinske drives a hard single into left, and it's now 6-4. The Jays have batted around.
Dave Till - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 09:01 PM EDT (#90581) #
Re "The Star Spangled Banner": Dave Barry once wrote that America would be a much better place if the national anthem was "Land of 1000 Dances".
_Cristian - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 09:04 PM EDT (#90582) #
I just saw the Jays commercial where Halladay and another Jay (I couldn't tell who it was) attempt to give a Gatorade bath to a coach. Unfortunately the Gatorade has frozen and the coach gets a frozen cone of Gatorade upside the head.

Best commercial of the bunch. For me it just beats out the one with Butterfield sneaking a swig of maple syrup in the dugout.
Dave Till - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#90583) #
Tom Cheek just called this "a dilly of a game".
Coach - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#90584) #
Staked to a 2-run cushion, Sturtze goes right after Matsui early but Godzilla works the count full and singles to right. Posada just missed tying it up -- they can't give Jorge anything else middle-in. A great splitter, a wasted heater, high and away, then Tanyon freezes him with a perfect #1 on the black. Two more good splitters put Ventura in a hole; Robin flies harmlessly to left on a fastball. But Mondesi ties it, drilling a 2-run HR on a hanging slider.
_Jordan - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#90585) #
Wow, that's pretty annoying: I was listening to the Fan online the first couple of innings, ducked out for a hour or so, and when I came back the Web feed was gone, replaced by a notice: "Due to league restrictions, the FAN590 broadcast is currently unavailable online." What, did MLB GameDay suddenly notice Tom and Jerry on the Internet in the third inning? Muy irritating.
Coach - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 09:16 PM EDT (#90586) #
Enrique Wilson golfs a lazy liner to right off Aquilino and runs on Cat's arm, getting into scoring position. Lopez vs. Soriano, two out, tie game: the rookie's biggest matchup of the year. Alfonso beats out a single despite a nice backhand and strong throw by Hinske. Aquilino goes right after Nick the Stick, although he's very conscious of the runners at the corners. He shook off Wilson's call on the 2-1 and froze Johnson with the slider, then finished him off with an even better one. Poise, and stuff.
Dave Till - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 09:18 PM EDT (#90587) #
The worst part of hearing Mondesi hit a home run against the Jays is that Toronto is still paying for most of his salary. Plus the guy is probably trying harder now. Argh.
Dave Till - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 09:20 PM EDT (#90588) #
Tom's called it "a dilly of a game" again.

Is John Hirschbeck a hitter's umpire?
Coach - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 09:29 PM EDT (#90589) #
So much for the tough lefty hitter, Aquilino doesn't care. But even I don't leave him in to face Giambi, Bernie and Matsui next inning, we'll probably be up a Creek.

Berg, left in to face the righty, starts the seventh with a solid single the other way and gives the top of the order a chance. The Cuban has lots of movement but lacks command; he's gone full with all breaking stuff to Stewart. Shannon lays off to draw the free pass, and here's Cat, 2-for-3 with two runs scored. On the 2-2 count, Frankie throws his bat at a great pitch to stay alive, then fans on a high slider. Another GIDP for Wells, inning over.
Coach - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#90590) #
Wow! Lopez gets Giambi! This is quite a surprise, as Tosca loves the L-L matchup. The rookie is pumped; he blows the 2-1 cutter past the slugger and just misses with the slider. Hirschbeck robs him on the full count pitch -- it was perfect, for ball four.
_Elijah - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#90591) #
When did John Hirschbeck's strike zone shrink to almost normal size? It used to be about 32" wide at least.
_rodent - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#90592) #
What a great stroke!
Coach - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#90593) #
Quickly ahead of Williams -- his third straight lefty hitter -- Lopez wastes an 0-2 fastball up and away then a slider in the dirt (neatly blocked by Wilson). Bernie fouls off a fastball, works it full, and walks. Matsui makes Lopez pay, smashing an upper-deck 3-run bomb to give the Yankees a 9-6 lead. A tough test for Aquilino, and he's on the hook for the L.
Coach - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#90594) #
Trever Miller walks his first hitter (Posada, turned around) and that's the tenth BB of the day allowed by Toronto pitchers. Robin Ventura skied one to right, so now it will be Tam to face Mondesi. This one's not over -- the Yankee "stoppers" are hardly invincible. Hockey game going to overtime; must get picture-in-picture TV in this room.
robertdudek - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#90595) #
I'm sorry but you cannot walk these guys. Let them hit 7 solo homers if they can BUT DO NOT WALK THEM.
Coach - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#90596) #
Shannon Stewart just dropped a line drive that was right at him. Cerutti is making excuses about the lights; it was just ugly.
Coach - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#90597) #
10-6; a hard Soriano grounder in the SS hole cashes the runner Stewart's muff allowed to advance.
Coach - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 10:13 PM EDT (#90598) #
Hinske cashes in a run with a single to left; 10-7. Still nobody out and Woodward comes up to face Osuna as the tying run.
_Spicol - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 10:16 PM EDT (#90599) #
Hey Sportsnet, no one cares about the ancient Yankee fan who reacts in disgust to every call. Show the game!
_Jordan - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#90600) #
I feared this might happen to Aqualino -- and I noted it earlier today. The advantage of breaking Lopez in slowly, which appears to have been the game plan up till now, is that it builds up his confidence bit by bit, so that he has a good supply of it in reserve when he eventually gets shelled. Which is why I simply don't understand Tosca's moves tonight. After treating Lopez with kid's gloves his first few times out, he throws him to the wolves: his first prolonged exposure to left-handed hitters is in Yankee Stadium, to guys named Giambi, Williams and Matsui? Tosca might as well have pantsed Lopez on the mound, for all the good this is going to do the kid's self-confidence. Unless Lopez is made of remarkably stern stuff, every left-handed hitter for the next several weeks is going to look like Godzilla -- in both senses of the word.

I suppose Tosca felt he had no choice, that Lopez had been his only effective reliever lately, but I still don't see the point of letting the Rule 5 pick immolate himself on baseball greatest stage -- in an inning, I might add, that will be on highlight reels on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. I want to see the Jays beat the Yankees as much as anyone, but I seriously question Tosca's far-sightedness tonight.
Craig B - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#90601) #
Yeah, with the Yankees, not throwing strikes plays right into their hands. They *want* you to be cute; this team thrives on the 3-1 pitch.
Coach - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 10:22 PM EDT (#90602) #
Sorry, I forgot Phelps' fly ball. One away, but another terrific AB for Woody. Nine pitches, fouling off four tough two-strike fastballs, finally drawing the walk. Here's Myers to pinch-hit for Berg with the bases loaded. Greg is punched out looking, and doesn't like the call. Huge AB for Stewart; Osuna challenges him with high heat and Shannon fouls two away. Takes a v-e-r-y close one. Strikes out swinging, to the delight of the crowd.
_Sean - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#90603) #
This game is a train wreck--morbidly entertaining and waaaay too long. I've been using PIP while watching the Canucks get brutalized by some of the worst NHL officiating imaginable--three phantom calls against them by my count--and the 7th inning is underway at the 3 hour mark.
Craig B - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#90604) #
It's everybody's favourite Blue Jay!
_Spicol - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#90605) #
Creek is coming in. I need a drink.
Craig B - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 10:26 PM EDT (#90606) #
The Yanks made the Jays throw 140 pitches in the first six innings. Yow.
_Jordan - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#90607) #
The MLB Gameday graphic is too perfect: Jason Giambi's photo shows him with a wickedly feral grin, while Doug Creek's face is that of man watching a freight train bearing down on him.
_Jordan - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 10:28 PM EDT (#90608) #
And yet....
_Jordan - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#90609) #
Nick Johnson: eight runners stranded tonight. I keep looking for a carriage there, and I keep seeing a pumpkin.
Craig B - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 10:37 PM EDT (#90610) #
Jordan, would this be the guy with the .400 on-base % this season?
Coach - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 10:38 PM EDT (#90611) #
Creek popped up Giambi on the second pitch, then got away with hanging a 2-2 curve to Williams and finally punched him out. He stood up Matsui with an inside fastball, then just missed on the full count pitch for the 11th Yankee walk of the game. Doug stumbled and hit Posada, angering the spectators and putting another runner on, but escaped by popping up Ventura. It wasn't pretty, but he did his job.
Craig B - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#90612) #
I like it offense, yes, but this is ridiculous.

Again, that Delgado hit was a home run in 90% of ballparks.
Craig B - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#90613) #
I like it offense, yes, but this is ridiculous.

Again, that Delgado hit was a home run in 90% of ballparks.
_Spicol - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#90614) #
Change of topic: Mogilny + Blood = bad, bad, bad
_Jordan - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 10:44 PM EDT (#90615) #
True enough, he's off to a fine start this season, but I'm still a skeptNick. His BB/K last year was 48/98 in 378 AB, and he had almost as many HBPs (12) as homers (15). I know he's still young, but I'm not convinced he's going to be more than the next Lee Stevens or Ben Grieve. G'night, all.
Craig B - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 10:47 PM EDT (#90616) #
Great non-avoidance by Phelps to get the HBP.

Re Johnson, I don't think he'll ever get back to where he was before the wrist injury, but Lee Stevens and Ben Grieve were very useful players in their prime.
_dp - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 11:09 PM EDT (#90617) #
Still alive. How many chances are they gonna waste tonight? A homer ties it, and the Yanks have run just about the entire pen out there.
Coach - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 11:10 PM EDT (#90618) #
Ninth inning rally time... no quit in these guys.
Coach - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 11:13 PM EDT (#90619) #
Chris Hammond's lefty junk can be tough for Cat and Delgado, so the Vernon Wells at-bat between them might be the ballgame. It's taking forever, but it's been fun.
_dp - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 11:14 PM EDT (#90620) #
wish my roommate wasn't watching crappy tv- this is a yanks game so i could actually watch it
_dp - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 11:17 PM EDT (#90621) #
_Sean - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 11:23 PM EDT (#90622) #
Bad time for a double play. Almost as bad as the officiating in the Canucks-Blues game. Sigh.
Craig B - Monday, April 14 2003 @ 11:57 PM EDT (#90623) #
Offtopic : the Leafs' fans are the worst fans, easily, in all of hockey. I could not believe how silent the crowd was with five minutes to go in a 3-3 tie in a playoff game... the eerie, deathly silence with three minutes to go in the first overtime was spooky as well, as if someone had emptied the building on the sly. And the team was playing well...
_Jurgen Maas - Tuesday, April 15 2003 @ 12:09 AM EDT (#90624) #
Ugh. Hockey. Waaay off topic. At least make a connection between crappy Leaf fans and crappy Jays fans.
_M.P. Moffatt - Tuesday, April 15 2003 @ 07:58 AM EDT (#90625) #
Honestly, I think God gave Toronto the worst sports fans on the planet to compensate for how otherwise amazing the city is.

One thing I can't believe is how many Leafs fans there are between the ages of 25-30 in Southern Ontario. I'm in that age group and I remember as a kid that NOBODY cheered for the Leafs. I didn't know a single Leaf fan growing up. Everybody cheered for Edmonton, the Islanders, and a few other teams like the Flames. It was because the Leafs were so truly awful. I can understand why nobody wanted to see them. But now there seems to be *millions* of Leafs fans in that age group who claim to have lived and died with the team their entire life. Surrrrrre.

It'll be interesting to see what happens to Leaf attendance when they go through a 2 or 3 year playoff drought.

As for Jays fans: Do what I did this summer. See a few Jays games, then go to Philadelphia and see a few Phillies games at the Vet. I think you'd be amazed at how much different the crowds are.

Mike D - Tuesday, April 15 2003 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#90626) #
I'm in that demographic, M.P., and I was truly an island of Leafs support in the early-to-mid '80s among the other kids. However, through the magic of all-corporate ticketholding, no amount of slumping will ever drop the Leafs' attendance. Talk about all the bandwagon-jumping 27-year-olds you want, but they ain't going to too many games.

Not only that, but the true fans among us have a proudly shared history of irrational optimism that will forever prevent us from developing Leafs apathy. I *still* think Mike Ridley will bring a Cup to Toronto...
_Cristian - Tuesday, April 15 2003 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#90627) #
Some of us are still Oilers fans. It probably has something to do with me being raised in Edmonton and all. It's nice that Sportsnet is not showing tonight's Jays game so I can suffer another Dallas/Edmonton heartattack.

What really gets me about the Leafs fans is that they aren't hockey fans, just Leafs fans. I'm shocked when the supposed hotbed of hockey tolerates all that clutching and grabbing. THAT'S NOT HOCKEY. I swear, the Leafs don't need hockey sticks considering they spent the entire game hugging the Flyers.

To get back on topic, I was shocked that Hudson made that horrible baserunning mistake in the ninth when he trotted in from third on the double play thinking the dp would end the game. How many days benching do you think he would have received if he trotted into a game ending triple play?
robertdudek - Tuesday, April 15 2003 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#90628) #
Mental lapses seem to be in ample supply early in the season, but on the other hand, are we witnessing the emergence of the 2nd or 3rd best offence in the AL this year?

The Jays' ability to reach base is encouraging.
_Jurgen Maas - Tuesday, April 15 2003 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#90629) #
So, back to my question, RE: TwinsGeek, nobody thinks Tosca will be fired this year?
robertdudek - Tuesday, April 15 2003 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#90630) #
I don't think he'll be fired unless there is rampant insubordination.
_R Billie - Tuesday, April 15 2003 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#90631) #
As encouraging as the offence is, it's NOT very encouraging to continue to score 6, 7, 8, and even 9 runs and still lose games. I suppose this should mean we'll match up very well with the average and below average teams, but I was hoping for a much better showing than this.

Outside of the bullpen and the back of the rotation, the Twins have less talent than the Jays. But they took them to school on fundamental baseball...the plays that teams SHOULD make. And when I see plays that have to be made costing the team runs and wins, it's very hard to swallow.
robertdudek - Tuesday, April 15 2003 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#90632) #
Well, we've faced some pretty good hitting teams. Minnesota isn't a good hitting team and we shut them down in the Metrodome. We played very poorly defensively in the Skydome series. The starting pitching has been good.

The problem is the bullpen and poor defence (not really a lack of range, but a lack of sure-handedness). Those two problems are probably the easiest to solve.
Craig B - Tuesday, April 15 2003 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#90633) #
So, back to my question, RE: TwinsGeek, nobody thinks Tosca will be fired this year?

Well, I don't think so, but as I stated elsewhere before the season began, Tosca is the easiest sacrificial lamb if the team is playing .400 baseball at the all-star break. I don't doubt for a minute that the front office would pull the trigger; managers are at least somewhat fungible. Tosca's a good guy, seems to be a good manager, and I like him. I am sure that J.P. feels similarly. In business, though, people are sometimes let go for the wrong reasons and management need to be ruthless when ruthlessness is called for.

My bet is that Tosca will still be the manager at the end of the year, provided the team wins more than 70 games. If the team wins 70 or fewer, I'm sure more than a few people will be calling for his head anyway...
Coach - Tuesday, April 15 2003 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#90634) #
How many days benching do you think he would have received if he trotted into a game ending triple play?

I don't know why it's any less of a bonehead play because he got lucky. I am starting to grow impatient with Orlando. He's "too" intense, he "tries too hard" and he cancels all his spectacular tags and forays into RF by muffing routine plays. He deserves to be platooned, until he shows he can concentrate and relax. Unless he's trade bait -- then play him every day and hope someone bites with a young pitcher. I'm convinced that Russ Adams and Dominic Rich are both upgrades, and neither is far away. Apart from the bullpen, the infield D is killing them, so everybody: "Free Mike Bordick's glove!"

I'd start O-Dog tonight, but he'd know he was on probation. There are two guys on the bench whose heads are into every pitch; both are hitting better and playing better defence than the scatterbrained Mr. Hudson.
Coach - Tuesday, April 15 2003 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#90635) #
Tosca is J.P.'s man and he's doing a fine job. He's not going anywhere. Sure, we nitpick and second-guess him; that's one way of showing off our knowledge and our passion for the home team. Every decision a manager makes is debatable, but Carlos gets plenty of them exactly right.

The room has a good vibe, his bench players love him and his regulars aren't complaining. He handles his players well on and off the field, and sticks up for them. A sacrificial lamb won't be needed -- our boys are playing very well, they would be just pounding a lot of clubs and their starting pitching would also be keeping most other teams in check. The bullpen, especially, will benefit from some confidence-building appearances against the weaker teams.

Like infield coach Brian Butterfield, Tosca is considered a teacher -- they're an ideal partnership to develop the young Toronto talent. All that remains to be seen is how Carlos does when expectations are higher; maybe in 2004 he'll have to prove he can win, or J.P. will start to consider his options.
_Chuck Van Den C - Tuesday, April 15 2003 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#90636) #
Coach: I am starting to grow impatient with Orlando.

Couldn't agree more. The last player with his head so consistently up his ass is now batting leadoff in Cincinnati. The organization seems to have a pretty clear position on such players and Hudson should start getting worried.

In retrospect, it's too bad that Hudson wasn't thrown out at home. The repercussions could have done him some good in the long run. He appears to be a player who only responds to tough love.

Not only should Hudson worry about minor leaguers Adams and Rich, but he should be aware that JP could even move Catalanotto back to 2B and swap for a RF or promote someone like Gross.

With respect to Hudson's daring do on the bases last night, should third base coach Butterfield not have instructed Hudson, in plain and simple English, to absolutely stay still and lodged at 3B except for a hit to the outfield? In fairness, perhaps he did. Perhaps Hudson's mad dash home was his own idea.

In my earlier sandlot days, it was not unusual for us to communicate clear, simple instructions to boneheads who managed to find their way to third base. For example, we'd clearly spell out that they tag up on a ball hit to the outfield, even if the likelihood of the ball being caught was remote. The rationale being, of course, that once the ball landed, they could easily waltz home. Nothing more frustrating than seeing a man halfway between third and home have to retreat to third after a ball was caught, thereby eliminating the possibility of a sacrifice fly.

I'm always amazed at the frequency of baserunning gaffs in the majors, not that a good many ballplayers aren't dumber than posts, but because the base coaches, presumably, aren't.
robertdudek - Tuesday, April 15 2003 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#90637) #
I think Hudson made a good play and a bad play on that batted ball. When the ball was hit weakly back to the pitcher (why is there no criticism of Cat? He must have known a changeup was coming and what he did was absolutely the worst thing he could have), Orlando strolled off third with the intention (as it appears to me) of getting in a run-down and thereby nullifying the chance of a DP. You could see that Hammond almost fell for it, before remembering that the DP was the key to getting out of the inning. Had Hammond hesitated for a moment longer, it's possible that either Cat or Stewart would have been safe.

Hudson was probably indecisive about what to do next: go back to third or try to score. I don't know why he was running so half-heartedly home. That was clearly a mistake which almost cost Vernon Wells a chance to tie the game.

Most of Hudson's other mistakes have been physical errors: not catching a throw at 2nd and fumbling ground balls. I think it's a bit premature to be calling for his head.
_DS - Tuesday, April 15 2003 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#90638) #
As encouraging as the offence is, it's NOT very encouraging to continue to score 6, 7, 8, and even 9 runs and still lose games. I suppose this should mean we'll match up very well with the average and below average teams, but I was hoping for a much better showing than this.

The scary thing is that only 3 other teams have quality pitching of the same calibre as the Jays have faced so far (Angels, A's, Mariners). Once the Jays get into the weak sisters of the AL (I'm talking to you, Al Central!), I would expect this team to put up some real awesome run totals.
_Jurgen Maas - Tuesday, April 15 2003 @ 02:12 PM EDT (#90639) #

I agree with your assessment that Tosca and Butterfield have reputations as teachers, but seeing the club routinely bungle plays has me starting to think differently... something TwinsGeek articulated. I guess there's only so much they can do with Canseco--I mean, Catalanotto--but Woodward, Hudson, and Hinske don't seem all there in the field.

I believe Hinske will come around again--or at least his bat will enough to justify putting him out at the hot corner. But having Berg and Bordick, (and Cat, once the team gets a real RF) available to play up the middle is looking less and less like a good backup plan, and more and more like the new plan A until the next round of kids are ready.

That said, for a team that reputedly prides itself on fundamentals, the Twins do keep fielding Luis Rivas and batting Jacques Jones leadoff.
Coach - Tuesday, April 15 2003 @ 02:50 PM EDT (#90640) #
I'm not calling for O-Dog's head, just suggesting he start using it. One reason some Jays are pressing is the opposition; nobody really expected them to be in first place during the infamous 20 games, did we? Tosca and his coaches have to be psychologists, not just drill sergeants -- getting some of these youngsters through the fielding yips and sorting out the bullpen will take time and patience. The growing pains will continue through this series and the next one. Let's see how everyone's doing at the 40 game mark, still just 25% of the season. And let's hope the ace steps his game up tonight on the big stage. Doc's about ready to dominate somebody.
_R Billie - Tuesday, April 15 2003 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#90641) #
I'd like to see if the Halladay of old who showed up for the last five innings of his Twins start will be out there again tonight.
Gitz - Tuesday, April 15 2003 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#90642) #
The "Halladay of old" got strafed for nine runs per while he adjusted to the majors after never having dominated the minors, except for posting a good E.R.A.

I'd settle for the Halladay of Recent, that is to say, last year and the second half of 2001. And maybe it's me, but does his wind-up still look a bit awkward?
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