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And they ran through the brambles
And they ran through the bushes where a rabbit couldn't go
They ran so fast that the hounds couldn't catch 'em
On down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

Jays 6 - Yankees 3


  1. Recaps:
    • Spencer Fordin:

        As far as improbable endings go, this one has to rank high on the "Rudy" scale.

        Gustavo Chacin was the ultimate underdog on Monday night, a Double-A pitcher summoned to face the toughest team in the American League. Despite long odds, the rookie stuck to the unlikely script. Chacin made his first appearance memorable by pitching Toronto to a 6-3 win over New York.

    • Mark Feinsand:

        Chacin, who went 16-2 with a 2.92 ERA in Double-A this season, became the first visiting rookie to win his big-league debut at Yankee Stadium since Jason Dickson did so in 1996 with the California Angels.

        "He pitched well," said Derek Jeter, who left the bases loaded in both the eighth and ninth innings. "We really didn't know what to expect, but he had a good idea of what he was doing. He had command of his pitches. He did well."

    • Mike Rutsey:

        Chacin was sailing along but then couldn't retire a hitter in the eighth after giving up a walk, a ground-rule double and then hit Kenny Lofton to load them up.

        Miguel Batista, the Jays' new closer, came on at that point and allowed a two-run single by Alex Rodriguez before getting out of the inning.

        He closed it out in nail-biting fashion as with two out and the bases loaded, Russ Adams made a great play on a roller up the middle to retire Derek Jeter for the final out.

        Adams also did it at the plate with three RBIs including a leadoff homer in the first.

        The night, though, belonged to Chacin.

    • Ben Walker:

        The loss to last-place Toronto was the Yankees' fourth defeat in 15 games. They were coming off an emotional two days in which they battered Boston, outscoring the Red Sox 25-5.

        Alex Rodriguez reached 100 RBIs for the eighth straight year as New York remained 4 1/2 games ahead of Boston, which lost 9-6 to Baltimore.

        A crowd of only 10,732 saw a game rescheduled less than two weeks ago. This three-game series was supposed to open Tuesday night, but was pushed up to accommodate a makeup against Tampa Bay caused by Hurricane Frances.

    • Geoff Baker:

        Those tempted to use this as proof Chacin is the next great Jays mound hope should remember the last Toronto lefty to win his debut as a major-league starter at Yankee Stadium. That would be Chris Michalak, who'd made just a pair of big-league relief outings in a decade-long professional career before blanking the Yankees over 5 1/3 innings of a 3-2 win in 2001.

  2. Fordin Notes on Gustavo Chacin:

      Welcome to the big leagues, rookie. Now get out there and face Derek Jeter. If that sounds like an unfair assignment, you may have sympathy for Gustavo Chacin.

      The southpaw stepped off the minor-league shuttle on Monday and took the ball in Yankee Stadium, the home of the most decorated franchise in the history of professional sports. Twenty-six World Series winners have hailed from the Bronx, but just four have come in Chacin's lifetime.

    I didn't realize that 10 Jays made their major league debut this year. When Brandon League makes his major league debut the 2004 Jays will equal their franchise record in this regard.

  3. Rutsey Notes on Miguel Batista, Gustavo Chacin, and Frank Menechino:

      Frank Menechino was Gibbons' pick to DH last night. Why Menechino?

      "Reed (Johnson) has a tough time with (Javier) Vazquez," Gibbons said of Johnson who is 2-for-13 lifetime against the former Expos right-hander. But that isn't all.

      "Frank's a hometown kid," Gibbons said with a laugh of Menechino who was born and still resides in Staten Island.

  4. Allan Ryan talks to former Blue Jay General Manager Pat Gillick in "Gillick's ready to Stand Pat":

      Pat Gillick is perhaps best known as the principal architect of the Toronto Blue Jays' two grandest seasons, the World Series years of '92 and '93.

      For a spell, he was known as "Stand Pat" at least until his signature trade of December, 1990, when he dealt Tony Fernandez and Fred McGriff to San Diego for Joe Carter and Roberto Alomar.

      And, way before that, Earl Weaver, one of his managers during a brief minor-league career, had tagged him with "Yellow Pages" because of his uncanny memory and penchant for numbers.

  5. Tonight's 7:05PM EST: It would be tough to have a game that was more anticipated than last night's, but this one will top it. RHP Roy Halladay (7-7, 4.35 ERA) vs. RHP Esteban Loaiza (9-7, 5.52 ERA). More details in Spencer Fordin's game preview.

  6. I'm not the only one excited about Halladay's return. In "Halladay gears up for return to action" Larry Millson talks to the Blue Jays ace:

      Halladay, who won the 2003 Cy Young Award, has twice been on the disabled list this season because of the shoulder problem that first caused him to miss a start in late May in Seattle.

      And he will be on a pitch limit of between 60 and 65 pitches tonight.

      "But it doesn't affect your preparation or your game plan or anything like that," he said.

      "I feel good, otherwise I don't think I'd be trying to pitch."

Jays Roundup - Yeah They Ran Through The Briars | 79 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_Mick - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 09:33 AM EDT (#33955) #
Just remember, no matter who is fighting the Battle, it's properly pronounced "Nawlins." Ask any Loozyanan.
_Mosely - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 09:36 AM EDT (#33956) #
Damn. I couldn't come up with a segway quick enough - mine was going to reference the Horton in london. My old man used to torture me with that song and with "Sink The Bismarck". Great choice though.
_Ryan01 - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 09:40 AM EDT (#33957) #
COMN for a piece on Russ Adams from his hometown paper.
Named For Hank - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 09:51 AM EDT (#33958) #
So yesterday we were talking about creating a buzz around the new players, right? Was anyone listening to the Fan this morning?

The morning show guys have full-on Chacin fever. They mention him at every opportunity. They have a bizarre sound effect of a man's voice whispering "Chaciiiiiin" with heavy reverb on it that they play whenever anyone says anything that sounds remotely like Chacin. They are downright giddy about the guy.

Someone needs to capitalize on this. I couldn't tell you how, but here it is: the start of some buzz for next year.

Will Chacin make another start this year?
_Moffatt - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#33959) #
My old man used to torture me with that song and with "Sink The Bismarck". Great choice though.

LOL. My office mate was trying to torture me wby singing today's song to combat my off-key singing of Police songs as Happy Hour by the Housemartins. He seemed surprised that I'd know the song. I guess he has yet to learn about my vast knowledge of campy songs.

Anyhow, today's song was The Battle of New Orleans by Johnny Horton. Mick wins 100 million points, a picture of Johnny Horton:

and a picture of a Enchelycore pardalis (dragon moray eel):

_Moffatt - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#33960) #
RE: Chacin. I'd really like to see him make another start. So I can actually *see* it this time and not just watch the recap on Sportsnet.

Speaking of Sportsnet, was I only the one who forgot about Wilner's gig on Tuesday. I just caught the tail end of it (the part about the Expos) as I woke up. What else did MW talk about?
Named For Hank - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 10:16 AM EDT (#33961) #
The UPS guy just peppered me with questions about Chacin. And thanks to Batter's Box, I could answer them.
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 10:19 AM EDT (#33962) #
I highly recommend the Ryan article on Gillick. He has apparently decided to become a Canadian citizen. I'd have enjoyed reading why Pat and his wife have chosen to retire here, but the article answered quite a few of the other questions I had.

He's definitely a complex and interesting man, and a great GM.
_Fozzy - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#33963) #
Those tempted to use this as proof Chacin is the next great Jays mound hope should remember the last Toronto lefty to win his debut as a major-league starter at Yankee Stadium. That would be Chris Michalak

What in the holy Hell does this have to do with anything? No offence to Mr. Michalak, but to compare him with a 23 year old prospect is just insane. Typical Baker-style bashing - it's reports like his that the average fan reads and takes to heart. Why not just come out and say "it was a fluke win, and he'll be crappy the rest of his career? Don't cheer for this team, they'll only disappoint you with glimmers of hope, and then ultimate failure."

_Dan - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#33964) #
I agree with you Fozzy. No point in being so critical. Its alright to say this is a small sample size but already predicting he will have a crappy career. Obviously hes someone that sees the glass half empty.
Joe - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#33965) #
Whoa there, Dan and Fozzy. Baker isn't saying anything along the lines of "Michalak hasn't had success, therefore Chacin won't." He's saying "Temper your enthusiasm, because nothing's sure." Michalak looked decent for a while, but blew up. Nothing's saying that Mr. Chacin will or won't have the same fate.
_MatO - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#33966) #
I had the same thought guys. Why is Baker comparing Chacin to a soft-tossing minor league journeyman. It's nice to hear that Chacin was consistently around 90-91. A question to anyone who saw the game. Did Chacin maintain his velocity as the game wore on? I noticed when Kazmir start against Boston last week that by the 6th inning he was barely throwing 90. Against the Jays Sunday Kazmir's velocity would drop as the inning when on.
Pistol - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#33967) #
An interesting look at double plays at HT today, COMN.

Comparison of actual double plays to expected double plays:

Team DP Opps Exp DPs Act DPs Diff
CHW 1063 133 151 18
KC 1060 134 149 15
OAK 1095 145 155 10
CLE 1115 136 140 4
SEA 1133 128 131 3
MIN 1074 137 139 2
ANA 978 113 115 2
DET 1140 151 149 -2
TEX 1113 143 138 -5
NYY 1108 141 136 -5
TBD 1105 131 124 -7
BAL 1251 154 145 -9
TOR 1106 144 132 -12
BOS 1001 129 116 -13
robertdudek - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#33968) #
I noticed no drop in velocity at all. Chacin doesn't give the impression that he's putting everything into the pitch - after the initial hitch, his delivery is quite smooth.

Someone mentioned a David Wells comparison on the game thread - Wells has that great curve and Chacin didn't show a curve yesterday, so I don't think they are comparable at all.

The cutter doesn't have exceptional bite, but when he hit his spot with it the hitters weren't getting the good wood on it last night. The fastball might look a little quicker to the hitters than 90-91 because of the deceptive delivery. I really love the way the glove hand covers the spot the ball will come out of until the last instant.

Provided the arm stays healthy, all he needs is experience and he'll be at the very least a useful major league pitcher.
Coach - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 11:14 AM EDT (#33969) #
I'd really like to see him make another start.

We should actually see him twice more. After Doc tonight, Lilly tomorrow and Bush Friday, they could come right back with Chacin on Saturday, an excellent plan if Towers is still experiencing shoulder twinges. No matter who makes that start, Doc returns Sunday. If Towers was good to go, Chacin and Lilly (on another extra day of rest) open the Baltimore series, followed by Bush. The Sept. 30 game would be Josh's turn again, leaving Doc and the two lefties for the final home series against the Yanks.

If they do shut down Towers, Gus could make two more starts on the road trip and they plug in Glynn or Douglass next Monday or Tuesday and again on the last weekend. Selfishly, I'm hoping it will be Chacin vs. the Evil Empire, Part Deux.

Interesting game thread last night; sorry I couldn't participate. I do want to say to some of the armchair managers, as constructively as possible, that innings pitched and pitch counts are merely guidelines, and some of you seem to overlook what's foremost on the skipper's mind: where the opponent is in the batting order, and how the pitcher feels.

With Olerud and Lofton due up, if my lefty says he isn't tired, he starts the eighth. I get a reliever up, just in case, and I have no intention of letting Chacin battle Jeter and A-Rod for a fourth time. He's in there for three more batters, period. Now, I didn't see the leadoff walk, so I have no idea if Gus was tiring or just missed. It doesn't matter; he deserved a chance to get a ground ball from Cairo. And he did, except that Hinske missed it. Should have been one away and one on. Not the pitcher's fault, so there's still no hook. I did see a replay of the curve that slipped and hit Lofton, and won't argue anyone's conclusion that it "proved" either fatigue or that the rookie was rattled by the play not made behind him. My point is, he was coming out after that batter no matter what, and Gibby's strategy made perfect sense. The results weren't ideal, which always spawns second-guessing.

Moffatt, I've hated that song for more than 40 years and you put it in my head, I dare say deliberately. What's next? "Honey" by Bobby Goldsboro? You're in my doghouse now; don't be surprised if you're traded for a non-prospect.
Named For Hank - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 11:18 AM EDT (#33970) #
Hannah would like it if you traded Moffatt for Dave Berg.
robertdudek - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 11:19 AM EDT (#33971) #
I believe that Berg will soon be a free agent. Maybe Hannah will non-tender Moffatt and go after Berg in the open market ;-)
_Kevin Pataky - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 11:20 AM EDT (#33972) #
If anyone is interested - I have an extra ticket to tonight's Yankees/Jays game in the Bronx - Box 100, Row 5 - 2nd row from the field. Chat With Gabe Gross. These are the $45 seats - will surrender for as little as $35. Send me an email - maybe we can meet at the bat before the Stadium opens tonight?
Dave Till - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#33973) #
I have no idea whether Chacin is for real or not. I expect that there will be a few speed bumps along the way, just as for Bush. Still, there's lots worse ways to start your career than by beating the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

And it helps to have somebody from your home town as your catcher. Chacin and Quiroz made a good team, didn't they?
_Marc - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#33974) #
COMN for an interesting article from the New York Daily News about last night's game and Chacin's performance from the Yankees' perspective. If you've never heard the term "deadfish" used you gotta' read it!
_Moffatt - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#33975) #
Moffatt, I've hated that song for more than 40 years and you put it in my head, I dare say deliberately.

I had no idea you hated it. If I did, I won't have posted it today.

I would have done so months ago. :)
Craig B - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#33976) #
Dave Bush has been remarkably consistent to date for the Jays:

2004 ERA : 3.81

July : 3.64
August : 3.94
September : 3.86

What stands out for me is that righties are hitting .224/.265/.329 off him, but lefties have hit him well - .302/.354/.455.
Named For Hank - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#33977) #
From Marc's link:

"I thought our intensity was good," A-Rod said, "but the kid pretty much handled us."

Perhaps I'll find a photograph of A-Rod looking sullen from last night and make a framed print of it with that quotation underneath it and send it to Chacin.

Does this introduce a nickname for Gustavo "The Kid" Chacin?
_Magpie - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#33978) #
So was that the best ML debut ever by a Blue Jays pitcher? There are two other contenders.

Mauro Gozzo (8 August 1989) 8 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 4 K. Got the win in a 7-0 beating of Texas (Nelson Liriano had 3 hits and 4 RBI) as the Jays finally made it above .500 to stay and pulled to 2 GB the Orioles. I remember seeing this one on TV. He was never in anything resembling trouble. Harold Baines singled in the 2nd and 4th, Kunkel had a two-out 2b in the 8th. Ward pitched the 9th. In the Texas lineup that day: Rafael Palmeiro, Ruben Sierra, and Julio Franco.

Brandon Lyon (4 August 2001) 7.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. After a leadoff 3b by Anderson, and a Mora sac fly, Lyon settled down and outduelled Sidney Ponson. I was there that day, and he looked a lot more like a 10 year vet than a 21 year old kid. Alas, he was not bound for glory.

Lyon's game was a little better, but Chacin gets bonus points for Quality of Opposition. The Yankees, at the Stadium.

But I still have to vote for Goose Gozzo - it was the best game of the three, and the most meaningful as well.
_Ryan Lind - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#33979) #
Career ERA+

Gozzo: 76
Lyon: 93

Let's hope Chacin has a better fate...
_Magpie - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 11:53 AM EDT (#33980) #
More trivia:

The Texas game that Gozzo won: Kenny Rogers pitched the 9th inning.

Sammy Sosa, Juan Gonzalez, Jamie Moyer, and Wilson Alvarez also played with the 1989 Rangers. Alvarez ML debut (against the Jays on 24 July) was also memorable - it was one of the worst ML pitching debuts ever (he didn't record an out), and it was the first ML appearance by any player born in the 1970s.
_lurker - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#33981) #
That Adams play to steal a sure hit from Mr. Clutch was impressive. Originally I didn't think Adams could handle short because of the arm, but with that range and some work on quickening his release I don't see why he can't do the job.
_Jim - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#33982) #
I didn't think he 'pitches' like Wells. From behind he physically reminded me of Wells.
_Jim - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#33983) #
'With Olerud and Lofton due up, if my lefty says he isn't tired, he starts the eighth'

If my starter has to sit as long as Chacin sat in the bottom of the 7th, he's coming out when I've got a 5 run lead. It had nothing to do with a pitch count or innings thrown this season. It just SEEMS to me that long innings late in games like that cause pitchers to struggle when they continue.
Pistol - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 12:15 PM EDT (#33984) #
Someone mentioned a David Wells comparison on the game thread

I think the comparison was more of a physical comparison than what he's actually throwing. His delivery wasn't too far off either.
Coach - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#33985) #
Random thoughts and responses:

You can't ask for much more from Adams. Quality at-bats, obviously more pop than he was given credit for, and tremendous range. The occasional "sailed" throws are a nuisance, and if they can be corrected by hard work with Coach Butterfield, Russ is the complete package.

While I agree that Baker didn't have to cite Michalak in an otherwise positive piece, I enjoyed the rest of that story. What are the odds of two kids from Maracaibo, opponents in Little League and teammates on all-star squads, shutting down the Yankees as 23-year-olds?

I'm very impressed by how Chacin hides the ball way down low, behind his back, while he flings the glove, then his leg, then his arm and finally, here it comes. No wonder he can upset a hitter's timing. Whether major leaguers figure that delivery out or it serves him well for years remains to be seen. I don't think he'll be in Syracuse for long if he can pick up in the spring where he is right now. At worst, he'd be an asset to the Toronto bullpen and fifth starter insurance.
_Jordan - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#33986) #
Alvarez ML debut (against the Jays on 24 July) was also memorable - it was one of the worst ML pitching debuts ever (he didn't record an out), and it was the first ML appearance by any player born in the 1970s.

Alvarez was then traded five days later to the White Sox, along with Sammy Sosa and Scott Fletcher, in a deal that brought Freddie Manrique and the end of Harold Baines' career to Texas. In his very next start, the second of his career, Alvarez threw a no-hitter against Baltimore.
_Wunderbat - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#33987) #
This is pretty off-topic but I was wondering what happened to De La Santos and Estelella. Not that they would serve any purpose now I was just wondering, because as far as I can tell they have just dissapeared. Both, I think, were on the 15 day DL list, and I remember Estalella being put on the 60 day. But then we never heard from him again. And what about Myers? I remember out 2-3 weeks turning into 2-3 months, but he still should have been back a while ago.
Thomas - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#33988) #
Myers' rehab didn't go as well as they hoped. The injury simply wasn't healing as fast as they thought, and he think he decided, at least unofficially, to call it a career.
_Magpie - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#33989) #
I'll cut Baker some slack on this.

What he's really saying is: "Shhh. Small sample size, remember? Don't get too excited."
_Smack - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#33990) #
In terms of best ML debuts, what about Halladay's no hitter that was ruined by a Higginson solo shot, the only run he gave up that day.
Thomas - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 01:01 PM EDT (#33991) #
I highly recommend the Ryan article on Gillick. He has apparently decided to become a Canadian citizen. I'd have enjoyed reading why Pat and his wife have chosen to retire here, but the article answered quite a few of the other questions I had.

I agree; it's a very interesting read. Not only has he chosen to retire here, but he's got a home in Toronto, has recently bought another in BC and is buying a lot in PEI to build a cottage on. He's becoming a Canadian full out.
Thomas - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#33992) #
Smack, that was his 2nd MLB start if memory serves me correctly. So it's close, but it doesn't quite count.
_MatO - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#33993) #
Indeed that was Halladay's second start.
Thomas - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#33994) #
COMN for one of the funniest headlines to an article I've read in a while. Something about it strikes me as hilarious.
_Jim - TBG - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#33995) #
Pedro shouldn't be so paranoid. Besides, he'll be a Yankee in another couple of months.

So what to dub that start last night? Perhaps, to borrow from literature: "Chacin Steinbrenner"?
_Rob - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 03:00 PM EDT (#33996) #
I'm confused over this answer from the BA Appy League chat:

Chi Hung Cheng had a nice year and showed good command and decent breaking stuff, but he's 24 and was facing some kids who were 18. It's not really fair to either party there and it'd be nicer to see what he'd do against more advanced competition.

I thought he was 18 or 19. Isn't he the same guy from this (COMN) article?
_Jabonoso - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#33997) #
Some thoughs on Chacin MLB debut:
-If health issues spares him ( F-Jays coaching dispensing ) he will be 1/25th of your 2006 FJays
-His pitching year has been very long. My vote is to shut him down asap ( it's been a while he passed 150 innings in AA and he did tired in winter ball ). I do not think he has to show anything to anybody now.
-It surprises me nobody has bring Al Leiter to Gustavo's comps
-A nickname: Gustavo " Maracucho " Chacin.
-It delighted me to see that he ( and GQ ) controlled yesterday the urge to over pitch. His fastball and change up were remarkably constant.
-The alopesia issue: Curiosly enough, when in Canada i used to have alopesia( around 1980, a child just born, economical issues and most importantly a cultural environment so different ) it comes from too much strees for too much time. It brings me to one issue that i thing the FJays brass has a lot of room for improvement: Good and sound communication with the young players. very often we hear they do not know what are the plans and what they are up to. And that is source of stress for this young men...
_Ryan Lind - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 03:03 PM EDT (#33998) #
That is odd.

The chat's still going on, isn't it? Ask him.
_MatO - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#33999) #
The Blue Jays official guidebook lists Cheng as being born June 20, 1985. That makes him 19. The misinformation is from minor league web sites which listed him as 24. This is not unusual as they quite often have the wrong DOB. I think they had Thigpen as 24 also (he's 21) and numerous other errors.
_whizland2000 - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#34000) #
Chacin was terrific yesturday. Him with his start against the yanks and david Bush have really been some of the few bright spots for the jays this year. My question is how their stuff rates head to head. Who can throw harder and who has the most potential to succeed in the major leagues.
_Rob - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#34001) #
Okay, I'm about to ask this question:
In your first response, you said Chi Hung Cheng is "24 and was facing some kids who were 18." I thought he was a 19-year-old signed out of Taiwan.

Should I change anything? I'll submit it soon.
_Jordan - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#34002) #
Cheng was born June 20, 1985 (COMN). Baseball America is wrong about Cheng -- and not for the first time, either: when the Jays signed Cheng, BA derided the move on the basis that Cheng looked to have a "deformed arm." BA keeps making it difficult for their defenders to refute the charge that there's an anti-Ricciardi element in their editorial department.
_Jordan - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 03:17 PM EDT (#34003) #
Give 'em hell, Rob -- and give him the DOB too, 6/20/85.
_Rob - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#34004) #
New version:

In your first response, you said Chi Hung Cheng is "24 and was facing some kids who were 18." He's not 24 - he's 19, born June 20, 1985. This isn't the first BA mistake on his age -- understandable, since he is listed on some sites as being 24 years old -- but I thought Baseball America would get his age right.

Anyway, is his performance any better now that he's not too old for the league?
_Jordan - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#34005) #
Rob, tempting as that is, he actually might not answer it if it makes BA look bad. You were probably alright with your first version -- just include the correct DOB in your question.
_Magpie - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#34006) #
It surprises me nobody has bring Al Leiter to Gustavo's comps

I don't see it at all. The young Leiter threw much, much harder than Chacin. He just didn't have a clue where it was going.

And then of course Dallas Green had him throw 148 pitches in 5 degree weather on 14 April 1989 (10 Ks, 9 BB) and then traded him two weeks later, just before his shoulder exploded.

Anyway, Leiter was 32 years old and a New York Met before he managed to get BB/9 IP below 4.5

Chacin doesn't throw nearly as hard, and isn't nearly as big, but he throws a lot more strikes.

Actually, Ted Lilly might be a better comp...
_Jordan - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#34007) #
Or, try this:

Chi-Hung Cheng was actually born June 20, 1985, according to CBS Sportsline and others. In that light, how would you rank his performance at Pulaski?
Named For Hank - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#34008) #
-A nickname: Gustavo " Maracucho " Chacin.

Does he already have this nickname? What does it mean?
_Rob - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#34009) #
I sent in a hybrid of Jordan's last suggestion and mine, with the latter toned down for a family audience. ;)

Here's the link (COMN) if you want to see if Will Kimmey answers it.
_Jordan - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 03:32 PM EDT (#34010) #
Great work, Rob! Here's hoping he at least corrects his error.
_Jabonoso - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#34011) #
Maracucho: the boy/man from Maracaibo in Venezuelan slang. Very likely latino players call him already like it.
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#34012) #
By the way, Rob, if you need a non-Blue Jays source for Cheng's age, COMN.

Jabonoso, I'm glad you chimed in about Chacin. First off, let me congratulate you for being the first to tip Bauxites off about his improvement in winter ball. We've been paying close attention all year. Second, what does "Maracucho" mean?

You're probably right that between his winter league action and his innings in double A, triple A, the double A playoffs and this start, he's thrown enough for a 23 year old. We, as fans, have our own selfish interest in wanting to seeing him pitch again.

I also agree that it's a good idea for the organization to communicate clearly their plans to players. As I've said earlier, I'd support the idea of Chacin on the "Jimmy Key plan", 3 to 6 months in the bullpen to get used to pitching in the major leagues, and then if that goes well, a rotation shot. But, whether that's the plan or whether he's on the "Dave Bush plan"- 3 to 6 months in triple A as a starter, and then, if that goes well, on to the major league rotation does not matter as long as it is communicated clearly to him.
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#34013) #
I think I've got it..."maracucho=muchacho de Maracaibo" roughly.
_Rob - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#34014) #
Success! My question didn't get displayed, but...

Will Kimmey: Quick correction on Pulaski's Chi-hung Cheng: I check his age off The Sports Network's site while looking up his day-by-day stats. It said he was 24 when in fact he did turn 19 during the course of this season. That actually caused some confusion in the league as some managers even thought he was older and didn't give him a hard look. That said, his fastball was pushing 90 and he showed breaking ball command, both solid for a player of his age.
_Ryan Lind - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#34015) #
He still doesn't sound too impressed.

Almost like ... "Oh yeah, he is 5 years younger than I thought ... meh"
_Jabonoso - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 03:51 PM EDT (#34016) #
Magpie, i was thinking in Leiter in and after Florida: fastball, cutter, change up. He is larger as Wells is also larger, but with a similar repertoire. Chacin fastball may be harder but his starter stamina and effectiviness suffers, if he goes to the pen you will see him throwing harder and more power sliders from him...
_Rob - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#34017) #
He still doesn't sound too impressed.

No kidding.
Cheng struck out 11 batters per nine innings in Pulaski (74 in 60 2/3). For a 19 year old, in his first year in North America, that is better than "solid."
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#34018) #
If he can throw consistent power sliders (mostly against lefties) to go with the cutter (mostly against righties) and a fastball and a change, that's a real fine pitcher in the making. If he needs to spend some time in the pen to do that, why not?
_Jordan - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#34019) #
Great work, Rob!
Craig B - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#34020) #
We have a winner in the Last Annual Batter's Box Yankees September Third Baseman Prediction Contest (the LABBYSTBPC). Mark, as the only person to choose A-Rod, is the winner as A-Rod cannot now be caught for most starts at third base by a Yankee.

Mark's prediction of "A-Rod, all the games. Hey, they're the Yankees" has that wonderfully doom-laden ring that we're getting accustomed to in dealing with the Bombers. By the way, I heartily urge you all to go back and read the thread. Fun.
_Caino - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#34021) #
where'd did this chacin guys come from? i've been visiting the blog for a month or so (in spare time) and the first i heard about him as a legitimate prospect was after they won the championship.
granted i'm not a avid follower of the minor league; but that said, hoe long hads this guy been considered a possible major leaguer???

any comments would be much appreciated. thanks.
Craig B - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#34022) #
By the way, I need Mark to get in touch with me ( so I can send him his prize.
_John - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#34023) #
Jordan and guys, I enjoy your website; is one of my favorite fan sites, and I enjoyed chatting with some of you the last couple of years in my chats or in subsequent emails. I just wanted to clear some things up.

First, the Cheng age thing is an honest mistake. If we had just looked him up in our Blue Jays media guide, we would have gotten it right, but when Will Kimmey started working that league for his list, he and the first few managers he talked to were under the assumption that Cheng was older. That came from the minor leagues' official statistician. Anyway, Will was impressed with him; you can read what you want into his answer, but he feels bad about not getting an important fact correct.

Second, as for BA having some kind of bias against JP . . . think what you want to think; if you're disposed to believe we have a bias, a member of the editorial staff isn't going to change your mind. I've done the Jays Top 30 for four years, and I don't take personal shots (at least, I don't think I do) or have a bias. I covered college baseball the first seven years I worked at BA; if anyone here knows college baseball, it's me, and I think the Jays have done some good things under JP and some bad things as well. That's like ANY GM. If I were grading JP's tenure, I'd give it an incomplete; let's see what happens the next two years.

We didn't deride the Cheng signing when it happened; we reported on how other organizations questioned the signing, and the quote we used about the state of his arm was from a Taiwanese baseball source.

We'll just keep doing the best we can. We don't need "defenders," but I did want to address what was going on in this thread.
Craig B - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#34024) #
Second, as for BA having some kind of bias against JP . . . think what you want to think; if you're disposed to believe we have a bias, a member of the editorial staff isn't going to change your mind. I've done the Jays Top 30 for four years, and I don't take personal shots (at least, I don't think I do) or have a bias

John, I must admit I've said some catty things about BA in the past. FWIW, I think I was stupid to do that... BA doesn't seem to have an agenda, and paying more careful attention to what you guys say cleared that up for me. Besides, you guys aren't an indivisible unit; everyone brings different atttitudes and biases to the table.

Will Kimmey has nothing to feel bad about. We all make mistakes, and we all rely on published sources for facts... it happens.

Let me just say that you guys do incredibly deep and solid work covering the minors and the draft - and there's lots of room for everyone to disagree. Thanks for dropping by.
_Jabonoso - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#34025) #
Thank you John for your comments, looking forward for your next BJ prospects list ( hopefully you may give a line or two in the soon to be out BB prospect lists )
_Jabonoso - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#34026) #
Caino: Chacin is new for must of Bjs followers, and still no sure thing. He was thrown in AA at 19 and spend 4 unespectacular years there...
_MatO - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#34027) #
Caino. Chacin was never considered much of a prospect until about July 1 this year. He's been outstanding since then. It takes a while to build up a buzz on a player that has been sitting in front of your face for years at AA as opposed to someone who has been newly promoted to that level (eg. Josh Banks).
_Chris H - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#34028) #
Personally, I dont see how BA has a bias when they have ranked JP and the Jays 2002 draft as the best and the Jays 2003 draft as the 3rd best...

It will be interesting to see how they grade the Jays 2004 draft...

_Dean - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 04:52 PM EDT (#34029) #
As someone who has defended BA in the past I was just shaking my head at some of the posts today and am very glad John wrote in to clarify BA's position. Can't wait to see the New York - Pen list as I think there will be few Auburn players make that list, at least in the top 10. I'm not sure if Purcey has enough innings to qualify.
_Ducey - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 05:43 PM EDT (#34030) #
Correct me if I am wrong but BA does have a particular perspective or bias that does put them in contrast with the Moneyball/JP/Baseball Prospectus types does it not?

At least for me, BA tends to emphasize youth and tools when looking at prospects. The others tend to emphasize perfomance and statistical analysis. The result is that the Jays have college guys in Pulaski that BA doesn't rank as highly because of their ages. Will Kimmey's answer to the first question today says as much.

I think if anyone was talking about a BA anti-Blue Jay bias this is what they are talking about. The better terminology may be a difference in philosophy.
_Rob - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#34031) #
Cash is catching tonight. I guess he's the Henry Blanco to Doc's Greg Maddux.
Crozier also gets a start at DH vs Subpar Steve Loaiza.
_Matthew E - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 09:45 PM EDT (#34032) #
So was that the best ML debut ever by a Blue Jays pitcher? There are two other contenders.

What about Doug Linton's great game against the Orioles in the thick of the pennant race in... was it '92? I think that was his debut. Whichever year it was, it was arguably the key game of the regular season.
_Jordan - Tuesday, September 21 2004 @ 09:56 PM EDT (#34033) #
John, that's a classy response, and I apologize for jumping to conclusions.
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