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  1. Remembering John Cerruti

    • Spencer Fordin:

        Still, most people remember him for his personality. Players loved to talk to him away from the camera, both for his empathy and sense of humor. Fans gravitated to him, and he seemed to have an endless supply of time and patience. His employers appreciated all those qualities and struggled to find words to express their feelings in the immediate aftermath.

    • Bob Elliott:

        He was a gentleman scholar from Amherst College.

        He had an almost regal cerebral bearing in a game often played by those whose idea of heavy reading is gazing at the back of two baseball cards.

    • Shi Davidi:

        "I know John had three loves," said Rick Briggs-Jude, Rogers Sportsnet's vice-president of programming, as his eyes welled up. "He loved baseball, he loved golf and he loved his family. 'It's really, really a shock to deal with this today."

    • Richard Griffin:

        Immediately when I learned about the tragedy from colleague Dave Perkins, a friend and golfing companion of Cerutti's for many years, thoughts turned to a similarly tragic event, on July 13, 1993. I was with the Expos when another classy TV analyst hall-of-famer Don Drysdale was found dead in his room at the Dodgers' team hotel, Le Centre Sheraton. The visiting team and staff were devastated.

        The Expos-Dodgers game that night went on as scheduled and the Dodger trip continued without a break. Those who worked with, played with and loved Drysdale soldiered on in sadness.

        Life doesn't take timeouts.

    • Allan Ryan:

        "I was talking to him in the hotel lobby (for) 15 minutes (Saturday) night," Patterson said. "This is too terrible. This was just too young."

    • Batter's Box - John Cerutti, 1960-2004


  2. Recaps of Yankees 3 - Jays 2: Boxscore:

    • Spencer Fordin:

        The final goal remained elusive, as had several of its predecessors. The Blue Jays could have clinched a winning record at home with a final victory on Sunday, but they dropped their last game by a 3-2 score against New York.

        "The guys played good. I couldn't ask for anything more," said manager John Gibbons. "Josh Towers stepped it up, and he really wanted that 10th win. In the end I thought we had some magic going."

    • Ian Harrison:

        Thanks to Bernie Williams, manager-for-a-day Ruben Sierra didn't need to use himself as a pinch-hitter.

        Williams hit a tie-breaking solo home run in the eighth inning as the Yankees wrapped up the 2004 season with a 3-2 victory over the Blue Jays on Sunday.

        "I hoped that situation wouldn't come up, but if I have to go in, I'll go in," Sierra said.

    • Shi Davidi (with a Batter's Box plug):

        There was no storybook ending for Carlos Delgado, just another loss and more bad news to cap a disappointing season for the Toronto Blue Jays.

        Delgado was left standing in the on-deck circle when the final out was made Sunday afternoon, robbed of a chance to prevent a 3-2 loss to the New York Yankees in what was probably his final game as a Blue Jay.



  3. Will John Gibbons be back as Manager?

    • Spencer Fordin:
        Take that tag away.

        The Blue Jays are expected to do exactly that on Monday, when John Gibbons moves from interim manager to permanent. The team scheduled a press conference for 10 a.m. ET, a time frame advanced by the skipper's travel plans. Gibbons has a flight back to Texas in the afternoon, so Toronto moved things up to accomodate the man of the moment.

        "I haven't been told anything directly, but I've got a good feeling," he said a few days ago. "We haven't won as many games as I'd like, but the guys responded and played hard for me. I didn't expect anything otherwise."

    • Mike Rutsey:

        John Gibbons has made the grade.

        The Blue Jays have called a news conference for this morning where Gibbons will be named as the 10th manager in club history, ending weeks of speculation that he had secured the job.

    • Tim Wharnsby:

        Toronto Blue Jays general manager J. P. Ricciardi will crown John Gibbons as the team's full-time manager and name Ernie Whitt as the new bench coach this morning.

        Gibbons was sworn in as the Jays' interim manager on Aug. 9, replacing the fired Carlos Tosca. Gibbons of San Antonio, Tex., guided the Jays home to an undistinguished 20-30 record.



  4. Will Delgado be back next year?

    • Mike Rutsey:

        There were no magic moments in Carlos Delgado's final day as a member of the Blue Jays.

        No final home run, no victory lap for the greatest slugger in team history.

        Surprisingly, there wasn't much of anything -- no prolonged applause in each at-bat, no visible signs hung by his long-time fans.

        The game would end in a 3-2 defeat to the Yankees, the final out by Vernon Wells leaving Delgado in the on-deck circle.

    • Tim Wharnsby:

        The storybook ending to Carlos Delgado's career as a Toronto Blue Jay was not meant to be written.

        There Delgado was in the bottom of the ninth inning yesterday, looking for one final at-bat in a Jays uniform and one final shot to knock in his 100th RBI for the season to reach the century mark for the seventh consecutive season.

        But,, with second baseman Orlando Hudson on first base, Jays outfielder Vernon Wells flew out deep to right field.

        Game over.

    • Geoff Baker:

        It wasn't the cheers greeting his final Blue Jays at-bat yesterday that told the story of Carlos Delgado and his achievements in Toronto.

        A more defining moment was his final appearance at Yankee Stadium less than two weeks ago, when Delgado was roundly booed as he stepped to the plate. It takes a lot for visiting players to continuously inspire such emotions on baseball's grandest stage and in Delgado's case, his notoriety had extended to pre-game batting practice, where he couldn't move without bumping into a microphone, a flashbulb or television camera.

        "Just a quote! Just a quote!" an irritated Delgado mused to Jays media relations director Jay Stenhouse after having fled to a private lounge area inside the visitors clubhouse that day. "Everybody needs a quote. Everybody needs just five minutes and a quote. Five minutes here, five minutes there. I don't have five minutes for everybody."



  5. Will Gregg Zaun be back next year?

    • Mike Ganter:

        In a best-case scenario, Gregg Zaun would be heading home with a contract signed, sealed and delivered with the Jays.

        Instead, Zaun heads home with no guarantee he'll be back.

        He does enter the off-season in a much better position after Zaun established himself as an every-day catcher for the first time in his 10-year career.



  6. One person who won't be back is pitching coach Gil Patterson:

    • Mike Ganter:

        But disappointment was the overriding feeling for Patterson, who took over as pitching coach for the Jays midway through the 2002 season when Mark Connor resigned in the aftermath of the Buck Martinez firing.

        "In general there is some (bitterness) because I thought the two people who knew me the most and what I stood for didn't stick with me when there is a light on the horizon," Patterson said, speaking of general manager J.P. Ricciardi and manager John Gibbons, who was Patterson's roommate the past three seasons.

        Ultimately, the decision lies with Ricciardi, but Patterson said he was disappointed his former roommate didn't at least go to the GM on his behalf and ask that he be retained.




  7. Notes Columns:

    • Spencer Fordin:

        If he knows, he isn't saying.

        Toward the end of Sunday's game, the fans reacted as if they'll never again see Carlos Delgado in a Blue Jays uniform, and he didn't do much to dismiss that sentiment after the game.

        "Maybe it's the last time," he said. "Maybe it isn't. You don't know."

        This much is certain: Delgado has spent half of his life with the organization. He signed as a 16-year-old in his native Puerto Rico, and he's spent the last decade rewriting the team's record book. He's the Jays' all-time leader in games played (1,392), home runs (336) and RBIs (1,057).

    • Mike Rutsey:

        Roy Halladay spent two stints on the DL this season with soreness in his right shoulder and as a result the ace of the Blue Jays staff will slightly alter his off-season conditioning program in the hope that it doesn't repeat in 2005.

        "There's probably going to be adjustments that I'm going to make," Halladay said. "I might cut down on the amount of times I throw off the mound before spring training.

        "I'll start my throwing program at around the same time but spend more time long-tossing and trying to build up arm strength that way. I just think it's less violent than throwing so much off the mound."



  8. Like Chris Zelkovich I was happy to hear "Cheek end[s] season on positive note":

      On a tragic day that ended the most trying season in Blue Jays history, it was fitting that Tom Cheek closed things on a hopeful note.

      After telling listeners on the Jays radio network that ``we'll all get together (in Florida) in the spring and do it all over again," Cheek then added, ``I've got a feeling they're going to come back that much stronger next year."

      It was a note of encouragement that was sorely needed on a day like this during a season like this.

      News of the shocking death of Rogers Sportsnet analyst John Cerutti was not made public until after the game, but listeners needed at least to know that their rock, Tom Cheek, planned to be back next spring despite his battle with a malignant brain tumour. After 28 seasons and more than 4,000 games, Cheek is as much a part of this team as anyone.


Jays Roundup | 65 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
_MatO - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#28761) #
Do we know which draft pick the Jays secured. I'm not sure how ties work since they had the same record as Milwaukee.
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 09:51 AM EDT (#28762) #
Do we know which draft pick the Jays secured. I'm not sure how ties work since they had the same record as Milwaukee.

I'm not sure what the tie-breaker approach is.

I'll be continuing my series of "What can we expect from an Xth overall draft pick" later this week. I've fallen way behind due to work commitments. It should give us some idea of what the Jays could expect to get.
_Ryan01 - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#28763) #
I think ties have traditionally been settled by some sort of lottery. I would guess that they will continue doing this under the new draft system. So it's either pick #5 or #6.
_alsiem - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 10:06 AM EDT (#28764) #
Was anyone at the game yesterday? No drum or banners to be seen. I was a great fall afternoon though.

Too bad Delgado didn't get that final at bat.
_MatO - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 10:38 AM EDT (#28765) #
I'm not sure I'd want him as a DH say but Juan Gonzalez's option wasn't picked up by KC (along with Randa). What was his injury this year?
Dave Till - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#28766) #
Under no circumstances do I want to see Juan Gonzalez in a Blue Jays uniform.
Thomas - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#28767) #
http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ap-bluejays-manager&prov=ap&type=lgns
It's official. Gibbons is hired for another year, terms not disclosed. Patterson and Breeden are let go, while Whitt is the new bench coach and Arnsberg is the new pitching coach.

That still leaves us without a first base coach.
_Sad Jays fan - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#28768) #
Jimmy Key's Christmas Lights,

He is friends with JP and he is cheap. Don't let trivial things like wins get in the way of this wonderful hiring.
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#28769) #
That still leaves us without a first base coach.

That sound you hear in the background is 1000 minor league managers typing their resumes into Word.
Pistol - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#28770) #
Similarly I don't know what Gil Patterson, perhaps the nicest guy on the team, did to get fired. Someone suggested it was because of the team era. Well, look at the era posted by Hentgen (6.95), Lightenberg (6.38), Terry Adams, Batista (4.80) and DLS (6.17) - most of last off-season's aquisitions.

But each of those pitchers pitched better last year and better over their career. They came to Toronto and regressed - some significantly.

I think the only move that could really be questioned was the Hentgen one. (regardless of salary KL shouldn't have been this bad)
Named For Hank - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 11:05 AM EDT (#28771) #
Was anyone at the game yesterday? No drum or banners to be seen. I was a great fall afternoon though.

I know some guys were up there -- I was down in the camera bay, but during Jeter's second at-bat there was a wonderful chorus of O-VER-RA-TED from the upper deck. One of the other photographers looked confused and kept looking back to see the source of the chant.

I was really impressed with the crowd over the last three games. Despite the number of Yankee fans, they did a good job of cheering for the home team. I love it when the Dome is close to full.

Hopefully taking two of three from the Yankees (and dropping the third one 3-2, a respectable loss) will rekindle some Jays love in the hearts of the folks who came out to the final three.
_Ducey - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 11:06 AM EDT (#28772) #
Re: Patterson

Speier also had a terrible first half, Miller had a brutal 2nd half (likely due to injury), & Halladay's injury - due to overwork? - happened on his watch. Presumably he also had a hand in the bullpen mismanagement.

It could be that Patterson did fine but the Jays just like Arnsberg better.
_Four Seamer - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#28773) #
That sound you hear in the background is 1000 minor league managers typing their resumes into Word.

The other sound you hear is Dan Rather reporting that they were typed on a rare, expensive typewriter in 1972.
_Prisoner of Ham - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 11:07 AM EDT (#28774) #
I think it was Patterson's inability to fix Batista and generally get the staff-wide walks problem under control that did him in. Ricciardi probably wants to see a firmer hand.

Hard to accept that Barnett kept his job, though, since it was the hitting that truly collapsed. I suspect it's because he sticks firmly to the Ricciardi hitting philosophy and acts as JP's voice in the batting cage.
_Ryan Day - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#28775) #
I don't see a huge difference between Barnett & Patterson's results. Both had a few successes and a few flops. Neither one, IMO, did a particularly outstanding or horrible job.

It could be the Jays simply thought they had a better option in Arnsberg, but no one stood out as a good replacement for Barnett.
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#28776) #
The other sound you hear is Dan Rather reporting that they were typed on a rare, expensive typewriter in 1972.

LOL. Ahahahahahahaha. Round up artist, give that man a cuttlefish!
_Wildrose - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#28777) #
Jays news conference on the Score as we speak.
Thomas - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#28778) #
Gibbons got a 1-year deal, btw.

Yes, there really isn't a huge difference between Barnett and Patterson's results. Hinske's regressed noticably, Wells had a good year and then regressed. Hudson's made some steps foward and so did players like Myers, Zaun and Menechino under his tutelage. However, Woodward never hit and nor did Cash. Phelps couldn't be fixed.

There's more successes here than Patterson, but there's still a number of failures.
Named For Hank - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#28779) #
Wildrose, is the news conference about the hirings and firings?
_Paul Z. - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#28780) #
Understandably no quote today. I'll try one.

Get this for a prize of Z-points (exchanged at a rate of one million Z-points to one standard point) and no picture of the artist (since I don't know the HTML for in-line pictures).

Suddenly, you were gone
From all the lives
You left your mark upon
_Wildrose - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#28781) #
Yes,but after 15 minutes they unfortunately cut away. Nothing really newsworthy said. Wilner did ask why Whitt was named bench coach when usually this is a spot reserved for the managers "buddy". Gibbons responded that he's known Whitt informally since 1999 and respects his ability particularly as a former "big leaguer".

Most of the panel looked shaken up, especially J.P. and Whitt who was a former teamate of Cerutti.
Pistol - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#28782) #
Gibbons got a 1-year deal, btw.

There's a vote of confidence in the guy.....
Named For Hank - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#28783) #
Most of the panel looked shaken up, especially J.P. and Whitt who was a former teamate of Cerutti.

I believe it. The VP of programming on Sportsnet who was on last night looked like he was going to lose it.

I feel awful today. I can't imagine how people who were close to him are feeling.
_R Billie - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#28784) #
To tell the truth, I would not have been surprised if both Patterson and Barnett had been replaced. Arnsberg does have major league experience though and he's a pretty good coach in his own right. I don't think it's so much Patterson being bad as the Jays thinking they might be able to do better.

Kind of like the situation with Reed Johnson. It's not that he's a bad player. But you're not in particularly good shape if he's your everyday outfielder and the Yankees and Red Sox are trotting out Sheffield, Matsui, Williams, Nixon, and others. As good and hard working a player as Johnson may be, the idea is still to beat the other team.
Coach - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#28785) #
Gibbons got a 1-year deal, btw.

So did Walter Alston. In fact, he got 23 of them in a row. Congratulations, Gibby.

Welcome to Ernie Whitt and Brad Arnsberg; hope you guys can be a big part of a winning club. Farewell and best of luck in the future to Gil Patterson and Joe Breeden. As to the first-base coach vacancy, I can yell "back" very loud and hold batter's gloves with the best of them, but for some reason, my candidacy isn't being taken seriously.
_R Billie - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#28786) #
Gibbons got a 1-year deal, btw.

There's a vote of confidence in the guy.....


At least we're not seeing the Jays set a precedent with a six month deal.
_Chris H - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#28787) #
Have been thinking for some time...if the Orioles non-tender Jay Gibbons (a definite possibility)...do the Jays sign him? He can play outfield, first base or DH. And isnt he the son of John Gibbons?
_Spicol - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#28788) #
And isnt he the son of John Gibbons?

John Gibbons was 14 when Jay Gibbons was born. So, I'm guessing no.

Jay is a left-handed hitter and the Jays already have one to DH or play the OF in Frank Catalanotto. It depends what Gibbons would sign for, of course, but I think the money is better used elsewhere.
_Wildrose - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 12:59 PM EDT (#28789) #
I must admit I've had some recent bitterness towards Ted Roger's for not upping the payroll to accomodate Delgado. After reading some of his comments however, even if the Jays could match money on Carlos, I still think he'd leave. Delgado like most veterans wants a shot at the Holy Grail. I think he'll sign with a team on the cusp of winning. Obviously the re-building Jays are not that team. If I were a betting man I'd put my money on the Dodgers.
_Caino - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#28790) #
Dodgers eh? I'd like that. So long as it isn't Baltimore. I'd break my heart to see him in Orange and Black a dozen sme odd times a year... Though could be worse. Could be the Yanks or the Red Sox.
_dp - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#28791) #
Hard to accept that Barnett kept his job, though, since it was the hitting that truly collapsed. I suspect it's because he sticks firmly to the Ricciardi hitting philosophy and acts as JP's voice in the batting cage.

Well, if he's JP's voice, then I think maybe we need him to go mute. I don't really care if a hitting coach can get results from a couple of journeymen on one year contracts. More important are the guys developed and invested in by the organization. Phelps and Hinske collapsed this year. The Jays shipped Phelps out, and Hisnke's penciled in as the regular 3B despite hitting like a backup shortstop. IMO, this is a serious problem. At this point, the Jays might be better off if JP didn't tell guys how to hit...

If the offense is moving a way from power/walks, does it make sense to have thw team start running more, maybe bring in a top-notch baserunning coach for next year and try to capitalize on the speed of Hudson, Wells, ect?
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#28792) #
If the offense is moving a way from power/walks, does it make sense to have thw team start running more

It makes even less sense than it did before RE: the walks. If you can't get guys on base, why risk the few you actually get on to getting thrown out, picked off, etc.

Stealing bases makes a lot more sense on a high OBP than a low OBP team, IMO.
Pistol - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#28793) #
http://www.baseballprospectus.com/iba/index.php
The Internet Baseball Awards are open for voting. COMN. Apparently 5% of all voters will get a 1 year subscription to Baseball Prospectus.
Pistol - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#28794) #
And if you already subscribe to BP you are eligible for a 1 year renewal.
_StephenT - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#28795) #
Anyone know if 2004 park factors are online anywhere? Will Robert being doing them again? Thanks.
_Magpie - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:38 PM EDT (#28796) #
Dave Perkins has a very nice piece on Cerutti. It ran on the Star's front page rather than the sports section. COMN.

I had all these plans for after yesterday's game. I actually brought home the pre-game notes (which I never do) - I was going to share some of the interesting and strange tidbits I found therein... a little later.
_dp - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:44 PM EDT (#28797) #
It makes even less sense than it did before RE: the walks. If you can't get guys on base, why risk the few you actually get on to getting thrown out, picked off, etc.

I don't see the problem if you can steal at a high percentage. Better to have a weapon than to not have it, especially when there are guys on the team who can run- Adams, Hudson, Wells, Johnson, Rios, Hinske. The way it's set up now, next year's team doesn't have much power. If you're going to hit a lot of singles, moving up with a SB is a good idea. And asthetically, I like it. If they're not looking for power hitters, then might as well turn some of the young guys loose on the bases.
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#28798) #
And asthetically, I like it.

Aesthetically I absolutely love it. But it doesn't necessarily make it a great strategy, no matter how much we wish it so.

I guess it all depends on what you think will be a bigger problem next season: OBP or SLG. I think the former while recognizing there are some really good arguments for the latter.

What the Jays need isn't too steal more. It's to get some guys who can hit the ball.
Joe - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:47 PM EDT (#28799) #
http://me.woot.net
Magpie's link was accidentally put into the E-mail box; this is the link he meant by COMN.
_Wildrose - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#28800) #
Stephen the ESPN stats page has park factors included. I'd link it except ESPN seems to want to always eat my computer somehow...?
_dp - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#28802) #
What the Jays need isn't too steal more. It's to get some guys who can hit the ball.

I agree about getting guys who can hit. But giving up on the running game seems like a waste of resources- when the Jays drafted Adams we heard about how lightning fast he was, but he wasn't running at all in Syracuse. I could be wrong, but it seems like there's been an organizational philosophy not to even teach basestealing. I just question the logic of that approach. Ricky Henderson would have been a ludicrously valuable player had he never stolen a base, but his ability to steal enhanced his value. During Alomar's years in Toronto, he stole at right around the magic 80% rate. It can help the team win, so I don't see the point of abandoning it.
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 02:18 PM EDT (#28803) #
It can help the team win, so I don't see the point of abandoning it.

Because it can also help the team lose. :)
_dp - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#28804) #
Because it can also help the team lose. :)

So can trying to turn power hitters into singles hitters, but JP has been fine with that...

Seriously, give people something to cheer for. No home runs, no running game, and a ballclub hovering around .500 isn't that exciting.
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#28805) #
So can trying to turn power hitters into singles hitters, but JP has been fine with that...

This is true. There are far, far more destructive strategies than just trying to steal a little too much.

Seriously, give people something to cheer for. No home runs, no running game, and a ballclub hovering around .500 isn't that exciting.

Quite frankly, no home runs, a running game, and a ballclub hovering around .500 isn't that exciting either. Particularly because I don't think the Jays have the horses to have more than a 70% success rate.
_Ryan Day - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#28806) #
Running's not a bad strategy if you can do it well, and there are several Jays who can. Rios is 15/18 this year, Wells is 9/11. Hinske wasn't very good this year, but he's shown in the past he can be an effective base stealer. Adams has good potential as a baserunner, too.

I'm not advocating a return to deadball baserunning or anything, but the Jays have a bunch of guys who could probably steal 20-30 bases at a good rate.
Mike Green - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 03:06 PM EDT (#28807) #
This team, and its minor league prospects, are not suited to reliance on the stolen base, now or in the future.

It would be nice if the hit-and-run and bunt were in the repertoire to be used as the situation allows. Alex Rios, for instance, might be a good hit-and-run guy early in his career (both as hitter and as a runner).
_Magpie - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#28808) #
Magpie's link was accidentally put into the E-mail box

That was no accident, just incompetence.

Because it can also help the team lose. :)

We saw yesterday afternoon how aggressive basrunning can help you lose baseball games.

Which is the same old story - if you run aggressively against Detroit and Kansas City, it helps you win ballgames. And when you run aggressively against New York and Anaheim, it helps them win ballgames.

Nevertheless, I do think the team has to think seriously about speed. One of the ways the game is still changing is that artificial turf is vanishing. But the Jays still play 81 games a year on that stuff, and you have to have some team speed just to play defense on it. They need to be faster than the opposition for that reason alone. And if you've got an advantage, might as well use it. That doesn't necessarily mean steal lots of bases...

We don't really need a new version of Otis Nixon.
Craig B - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#28809) #
Well, the Jays aren't all that slow, they just don't steal bases. And you only need to run fast in the outfield, not the other six positions, though it helps some at the two middle infield positions.

If you are arguing that the team needs better defenders, I agree wholeheartedly. This team needs two more good defensive players; one in a corner spot in the outfield (hopefully Rios can be that player) and one on the left side of the infield, because Hinske and Shortstop du Jour just don't cut it. But speed, in and of itself, is not the answer.
_Noah - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#28810) #
With the mariners firing Melvin today I say the Jays should dump barnett and bring in Molitor.

Since JP loves having back-up managers on his staff (see Tosca, Carlos and Gibbons, John) that way if need be he can fire gibbons and replace him with Molitor.
_The Original Ry - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#28811) #
J.P. also values coaches with successful track records in that capacity (either in the majors or minors). Molitor has very limited coaching experience, and in his one year as a hitting coach he oversaw the worst-hitting team in the American League. I see no reason to hire Molitor in any capacity at the major league level.
_Magpie - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 03:46 PM EDT (#28812) #
Well, the Jays aren't all that slow, they just don't steal bases.

And you only need to run fast in the outfield, not the other six positions, though it helps some at the two middle infield positions.


True. And true.

I think they need to start stealing some bases because they got absolutely killed this year by grounding into double plays. I think that's the best thing the SB can do - it can keep you out of the DP without (ideally) giving away an out.

The Blue Jays hit into 139 DPs. (The opposition hit into 119).

And its not like they had more guys on base than the other team. Quite the reverse in fact. IF you're hitting into lots of DPs because you always have people on base, well, c'est la vie. Its the price of doing business, of beating the opposition senseless more often than not.

But the Jays had 1438 hits, 511 walks, and 71 hit batters. Roughly 2020 base runners. The other guys 1505 hits, 610 walks, and 58 hit batters. Roughly 2163 base runners.

I don't think they should not have hit into 20 more DPs than the other guys.

Its not like this team has a GDP machine like Ed Sprague stuck in the middle of the lineup. (If you have one, you can always bat a basestealer in front of him and tell him to run every damn time he reaches first!)

The problem goes right through the lineup. Johnson and Wells led the way with 17 GIDP (Wells had slightly more plate appearances) - Rios and Hinske each hit into 14, Hudson 12 and Delgado 11.

Of course, this could very well be a defensive issue - the Jays may not be very good at turning the DP.
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#28813) #
Of course, this could very well be a defensive issue - the Jays may not be very good at turning the DP.

IMO it's not a defensive issue. It's just that the Jays have a lot of guys who hit the ball on the ground. Reed's G/F if 2.12, which I imagine has to be one of the highest in baseball.
Mike Green - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#28814) #
And Rios' ratio is even higher. Like I was saying about the hit and run...
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#28815) #
2.43?!? No wonder he doesn't hit homeruns!
_6-4-3 - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#28816) #
I really hope that the Jays don't hire Molitor.

First, he was blamed for Ichiro's slow start. Apparently, Molitor told Ichiro to try and hit for power more often. After that obviously didn't work, Molitor backed off and let Ichiro do his thing.

Secondly, because one story does not a hitting coach make, has there been any Mariner who has improved under Molitor's tenure?

Other than actually being a great hitter, Molitor doesn't have a great record as a hitting coach.
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:10 PM EDT (#28817) #
Top-100 G/F Ratios in MLB - Min 300PA

1. Luis Castillo 3.63
2. Ichiro Suzuki 3.29
3. Jose Castillo 2.44

4. Alex Rios 2.42

12. Reed Johnson 2.12
25. Josh Phelps 1.82
64. Orlando Hudson 1.47
68. Gregg Zaun 1.44
69. Chris Gomez 1.44

(Next Jay in line - Vernon Wells in 117th)

A couple questions:

1. How on earth can a power hitter like Phelps be in the Top 30 in G/F?!?

2. How did the Jays not hit into even more double plays than they did?
_Ryan Lind - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#28818) #
2. How did the Jays not hit into even more double plays than they did?

Because their team OBP was horrible.

The jays were 12th in the AL in OBP, yet 4th in GIDP. That's pretty wretched.
_Ryan Lind - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#28819) #
As far as team G/F goes, it's not really a surprise that the Jays were number one.

Top five:

Toronto 1.37
Seattle 1.35
Kansas City 1.31
Minnesota 1.27
Anaheim 1.27

Funny how the top three teams in groundballs were horrible, yet the 4th and 5th teams made the playoffs.
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#28820) #
That's pretty wretched.

Yep. Check this out:

Top 3 teams in G/F:

1. Pittsburgh 1.48
2. Toronto 1.37
3. Seattle 1.35

Their ranks in runs scored: 27th, 22nd, 25th.

If you think this is a case of selective endpoints, the next few teams in G/F are Milwaukee, Colorado, and Kansas City.
_Moffatt - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#28821) #
Funny how the top three teams in groundballs were horrible, yet the 4th and 5th teams made the playoffs.

Arguably they both made the playoffs based on their pitching. Minnesota was 10th in the AL in runs scored, Anaheim 7th. In ERA they were 1st and 4th.
_Wildrose - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#28822) #
Its easy to see why Rios doesn't hit for power .Its not a "man-strength" issue, its a result of mechanics. Besides having the second highest groundball ratio in the A.L. he also ( according to a spray chart I've seen )has 80% of his hits spanked to centre and right field.

To hit for power you generally need to pull and get some lift on the ball,two things he's very poor at. Can he change? Sure, but we might see some struggles during the transformation. One positive aspect is that he does make good consistent hard contact.
_Lefty - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 06:16 PM EDT (#28823) #
I just want to go on record - somewhere other than the John Cerutti rememberences and condolances thread - to say that was pretty nice touch Kent and the gang. John's smiling face on the Batterbox banner is very befitting.
_StephenT - Monday, October 04 2004 @ 10:14 PM EDT (#28824) #
Thanks Wildrose. The ESPN page seems broken (all park factors are zeroes), but Google's cache of it had them through Saturday, which is good enough for me.
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