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I have a confession to make: I didn't watch this game. Not on TV, not on, not thru the magic of Gamecast or Gamezapper or Gamewhateveritsacraptasticsubstitutionfortv. Did I watch highlights? I did not. Did I read the Instant Replay on Da Box? I did not. Did I know there was a game? Well, that would be appear to be obvious. Nonetheless, all I have is the box score. So what did I learn?

• When you have zero knowledge of a game, singles really do look like line drives in the box score. More than that? When you're the only player not to get a hit, even if it's just two at-bats—or even, as in the case of Marshall McDougall, if you don't get an at-bat but have all sort of zeros after your name—it just looks very, very, very sad. Of course, when you're Eric Hinske, the one player besides McDougall not to collect a hit, compiling zeros next to your name in box scores is not exactly a new thing.

• Brandon League has returned to the majors, but was about as effective Saturday as he was in his prior stint. That is to say, not very effective.

• Aaron Hill has a .342 BA.

• Ken Huckaby (.148) does not.

• Kenny Rogers has a 2.54 E.R.A.

• Justin Miller (15.43) does not.

• Three RBI—attained by three different hitters—seems like a solid effort, until you see that somebody had six, which seems at least twice as solid. Nay, one might even say super solid.

• The Blue Jays had 15 hits, zero walks, a hit-batsman, and left five runners on base on the way to their 10 runs. That, kids, is efficiency. I think? Four other teams scored 10 or more runs Saturday night. Against the Twins, the Royals tallied 12, on 21 (!) hits and six walks, stranding 12 runners in eight innings. The Pirates put a handless-baker's dozen on the Mets (11 runs, if you don't get my attempt at "humour"), collecting 12 hits and five walks, leaving six runners on. My beloved Athletics used 11 hits and four walks to score 10 runs against the White Sox, while six of those baserunners failed to score. And, of course, the Rangers collected 15 hits and two walks en route to their 12-10 win. They left four men on base. What does all this mean? I dunno. It just seemed like an excuse to posit that a handless baker's dozen is 11.

• The 22 runs were scored over five different half-innings. Again, let's have a look at some other games from last night. In the Twins/Royals tilt, 20 runs were scored in seven half-frames. The Yankees and Indians combined for 15 runs, using eight different half-innings to do so. Over in Atlanta, the Brewers and Braves accumulated 15 runs, and they too did the scoring in eight separate half-innings. Fifteen runners crossed the plate in the Mets/Pirates affair, and they did so in seven half-innings. Again, what does all this mean? Not much.

• What number should come next in the following sequence? 13, 12, 11 . . . Well, duh. It's 10, right? Even an English major like me could figure that out. What if I told you, in this case, it's four? And, really, in this instance, nobody wants that number to be 10. Why? From where do I cull this numerical conundrum? Why, from the "batters faced" column. Scott Downs faced 13, Justin Miller 12, League 11, and Vinny Chulk four. What does all that mean? Even less than it seems.

What did I not learn from the box score?

• How the Jays are going to do without Roy Halladay. They've been here before, not very long ago, but the obvious differences between this year and last year are that 1) The Jays are skulking near a wild-card spot; 2) Halladay wasn't very good last year; 3) That's it, I have nothing else, but it's always best to use three points to emphasize your one point.

Just today, as my mom and I were watching Sportscenter, she remarked to me, "Is it me or are there more injuries this year?" I dismissed that out of hand, and if I had the energy to do the research, I'd back it up. But I admit: it seems there are more injuries this year, or at least involving high-calibre players. The Angels have lost their best hitter, their best reliever, and, at minimum, their second-best starter, and they seem to have weathered the situation fairly well. The A's lost their best starter, their closer, and a few other fellows, and they're back in the Wild-Card race. The Red Sox have been without their best starter, and now they're without their closer, and nobody thinks they're going to fold. In the National League, the Braves don't have . . . oh, forget it. Like anybody can explain the Braves. The Dodgers do seem to be taking their injury situation a bit harder than their neighbours to the more affluent south: they're crumbling, basically, without 2/3 of their outfield, their shortstop, their closer, and others. The Giants? Well, their injuries are not altogether surprising, and since one of them happens to be to the best player in the game, we can understand why they are reeling.

Look, injuries happen. They are part of the game. They (insert standard cliché here). Etc. One has to think the Jays can endure the loss of Halladay, especially if:

1) Ted Lilly continues to pitch well;
2) David Bush re-establishes himself at the big-league level;
3) They continue to get serviceable relief work from Jason Frasor, Chulk, and Miguel Batista;
4) Gustavo Chacin lowers his WHIP (1.40) or continues being either "lucky" or "clutch," depending on how you view such things, because the 3.57 E.R.A. he has now should go up if he keeps allowing that many base-runners. (Incidentally, if "clutch" is an unmeasurable intangible, isn't "luck" the exact same thing?)

The offence is going to need to do its share, as well. Only, are they able? Looking up and down the lineup, who's not hitting up to snuff? Ok, Vernon Wells, and possibly Orlando Hudson. It's tempting to say that Hinkse will get better, but the trend for his career is clear: down. And when Corey Koskie comes back, that can't hurt. But Shea Hillenbrand is due for his usual second-half fade and you've got to think Aaron Hill will slow down. And everyone else would seem to be at or near their expected levels of contribution. In other words, this is as good as it's likely to get, barring the unexpected acquisition of, say, Vladimir Guerrero.

Make no mistake: losing Halladay, even if he misses only seven starts, is a blow. He was not only on his way to the AL Cy Young, but he was also going to figure in the AL MVP voting, particularly if the Blue Jays turned it on and won the AL Wild Card. He's not as valuable to the Jays as Barry Bonds is to the Giants, but it's hard to find a player in the majors more valuable to his team than Halladay is to the Jays.

That said, I suspect the Jays will be fine, and when Halladay returns they will find themselves right around where they are now: on the cusp of contention . . . or not.

Which brings us right back to the beginning. The most important thing I learned about last night's game? You really can't learn much about a baseball game, its ancillary effects, and its future portents, from a boxscore.
Jays 10, Rangers 12: Inside the Box Score | 13 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
King Ryan - Sunday, July 10 2005 @ 04:21 AM EDT (#122124) #
Funny. I also missed the game, and had to judge what I could from the boxscore. As I was doing so, I thought: "Oh well, I'll learn the details of what happened when the Game Report is put up." Thanks, Gitz.

Really, it was a fun read anyways.
JayFan0912 - Sunday, July 10 2005 @ 08:24 AM EDT (#122128) #
There are all sorts of random thoughts I had about the jays:

Eric Hinske: I don't think he should take part in another game for the jays. If it is impossible to trade him with another team paying part of his salary, can't he be sent down to syracuse. Might as well help the skychiefs win some games.

Ditto for justin miller. All his HRs were no doubters, and I had serious doubts he would even be able to get out of the third inning.

I think that with halladay's injury there is no hope in contending this year. Right now, the jay's pitching staff is worse than the baltimore orioles, and inferior to the red sox and yanks. I hope they leave league with big league club, and call up bush and rosario (if healthy) to pitch the rest of the year. IMO, rosario has already proven he can handle AAA batters, and it would be nice to give him some development time when it didn't count.

Lastly, does anyone think we will get a big before the trade deadline ... Austin Kearns or Adam Dunn would be nice to have heading into next season.
Andrew K - Sunday, July 10 2005 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#122132) #
I missed the game too (too late for my timezone, and I didn't get a chance to watch it on archive). I'm glad.

It would be beneficial to go into the All-Star Break on a high. Time for Towers to throw a no-hitter.
Rob - Sunday, July 10 2005 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#122134) #
can't he be sent down to syracuse

No, he cannot. His last option year was 2004. It might have been earlier than that, if Oakland had him on their 40-man in 2001, but either way, Eric Hinske cannot go down to Syracuse this season or next. Unless he wants to, which I doubt.

And even if he could, Kevin Barker is ripping the hell out of the ball there anyway. JFG's slowed down a little, but he still has 17 HR.

JayFan0912 - Sunday, July 10 2005 @ 12:20 PM EDT (#122137) #
No, he cannot. His last option year was 2004. It might have been earlier than that, if Oakland had him on their 40-man in 2001, but either way, Eric Hinske cannot go down to Syracuse this season or next. Unless he wants to, which I doubt.

What if the jays try to send him and he refuses ... can they void his contract ?
Magpie - Sunday, July 10 2005 @ 12:48 PM EDT (#122138) #
JayFan0912 - what that means (he's out of options) means he has to be put on waivers to be sent anywhere. A player has three option years, during which he can be sent up and down to the minors as often as the team likes. His first option year is whichever season he was first added to a ML team's 40 man roster. Hinske was obviously on the Toronto 40 man roster in 2002 - I think he was probably on Oakland's 40 man roster in 2001. After three years as a pro, a player must be added to the 40 man roster, or he can be lost in the Rule 5 draft. As Hinske's 3rd pro year was 2000, I assume Oakland added him to the roster for 2001.

Waivers. Waivers are fun to figure out. There are four different kinds. Get back to you on that!

Mick Doherty - Sunday, July 10 2005 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#122139) #
Having been through Waivers 101 during the Ryan Drese Debacle here in the Metroplex, I can only imagine that the Blue Jays would be positively thrilled if Hinske DIDN'T clear waivers -- which he almost certainly would.

Still, Hinske could refuse the minor league assignment outright even after clearing waivers.
Magpie - Sunday, July 10 2005 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#122141) #
Hinske as a third year player could refuse the assignment and choose to become a free agent. Of course, he's need to be completely insane to do that...

A team request waivers on a player - the claiming period expires on the second business day after the request.

The four types of waivers:

1. OUTRIGHT WAIVER. Irreevocable - the waiver can not be withdrawn. Needed in order to outright a player to a minor league affiliate, without the right of recall. Remove him from the 40-man roster. Needed if the player is out of options. The waiver is good from around May 1 through August 31.

2. SPECIAL WAIVER. Same as the above basically, used from September 1 to the 30th, and good for 7 days.

3. UNCONDITIONAL RELEASE WAIVER. Also irrevocable. Means what it says.

4. MAJOR LEAGUE WAIVER. These are revocable - they are used either to option a player to the minors or outright a player to another ML club from August 1 through the end of the season. The waiver can be withdrawn by the requesting team, in which case the player can not be put on waivers again for another 30 days.

There's no getting rid of the Hinske contract...

JayFan0912 - Sunday, July 10 2005 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#122142) #
I know there isn't a way to get rid of his contract, but at his production, I don't think he deserves a spot on the 40 men roster.
Magpie - Sunday, July 10 2005 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#122143) #
I don't think he deserves a spot on the 40 men roster.

You'd still have to pay him. I have no idea what to do. Hope he has a hot streak, and someone bites on him?

JayFan0912 - Sunday, July 10 2005 @ 01:50 PM EDT (#122148) #
I think that it makes the most sense to send him to the minors. now.

From one point of view, it would be awful for the jays to pay the rest of his salary, while he plays for another team. From the other point of view, there are players better than hinske in the minors that should be on the 40 man roster. And he is a black hole in the lineup ...

In syracuse, for instance, he would be much more likely to get on a hot streak, and then traded. Not to mention that he would be helping the skychiefs win, and they didn't make the playoffs for a while.
CeeBee - Sunday, July 10 2005 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#122149) #
Filler material in a blockbuster trade if there's a GM out there who'd do it ... OR.... hope half the contending teams lose their 3rd basemen for an extended period of time.
King Ryan - Sunday, July 10 2005 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#122156) #
I think the only way to get rid of Hinske is if JP insists that another team take him as a part of another trade. For instance, say someone offers JP a player for Catalanotto, and JP says "I'll do this trade only if you guys take Hinske too." and then the other GM says "...okay. We'll take Hinske but you still have to pay 50% of his salary" To which JP replies: "Done."
Jays 10, Rangers 12: Inside the Box Score | 13 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.