Jays, Mariners, Rashomon

Wednesday, July 20 2005 @ 11:55 AM EDT

Contributed by: Jordan

In his team’s 12-10 victory last night over the visiting Seattle Mariners, Toronto Blue Jays’ first baseman Eric Hinske broke out of a lengthy slump by hitting two home runs, one of them off Seattle starter Aaron Sele, who had trouble locating his pitches. The home runs silenced the booing that Hinske has been receiving for several weeks, even though he says he hasn’t heard it.

Did you like that one-paragraph summary of the game? No? Well, you’re in luck, because the proliferation of technology and the presence of numerous media outlets means you don’t have to be content with one person’s description of an event. They report, you decide, so take advantage of the five different media sources that reported on this ballgame.

Here’s the decoding key, so that you know which reporter filed which report:

(AP) = Associated Press
(GB) = Geoff Baker
(MR) = Mike Rutsey
(SF) = Spencer Fordin
(JB) = Jordan Bastian, who covered the game for MLB’s Mariners page.

So, here are five questions about last night’s game, and the perspectives that each media outlet provides.

How Do the Fans Feel About Eric?

The crowd of 20,516 at the Rogers Centre booed loudly, as they have throughout this 2-3 homestand, when Hinske stepped to the plate in the second inning and popped out foul. (GB)

The local fans certainly didn't allow any leeway. Every time Hinske took a bad swing or a false step, they voiced their disapproval. That trend started in mid-June and intensified in July, giving the Jays a scapegoat in their own home stadium. (SF)

His lack of success and production have drawn the fans' wrath, they have booed lustily whenever he failed to deliver at the plate -- which was often. (MR)

Toronto's first baseman has been booed at home recently and general manager J.P. Ricciardi said he wouldn't rule out sending him to the minors. (AP)

Can He Hear All That Booing?

"They've been all over him," said Vernon Wells, Toronto's center fielder. "I guess it's a good thing he can't hear it, but I know I could hear it earlier in the year. I don't know how he's not hearing it. (SF)

"I've been hearing (the booing),'' teammate Wells said. "They've been all over him. I guess it's a good thing he can't hear it. I know I could hear it earlier in the year.'' (GB)

“It feels great to get it off my back and kind of get rolling,'' said Hinske, who claims he hasn't heard the booing. (GB)

So How Does Eric Feel?

“I haven't been hitting the ball very well. If I was a fan, I'd get on me too. I'm getting paid some money, so I need to perform. They expect performance -- but I don't listen to anything, and what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.” (SF)

“I'm going to enjoy the night, smile for once and just enjoy it,” said Hinske, who has been trying to block out the fans. “I haven't been hitting the ball very well, so if I was fan I'd be getting on me, too. I make some money so I need to perform.” (AP)

“It's always been, ‘What have you done for me lately?'“ Hinske said after his second homer of the night. “I'm going to go home tonight, with a smile on my face for once, then come back out tomorrow.” (GB)

Where Was That Pitch, Aaron?

“It was a fastball right down the middle,” Sele said. “I tried to throw it in and it started at his hip and ran back over the middle of the plate. That tells you how far the ball was running on me tonight.” (SF)

“You've got to be able to make your pitches and keep the ball down,” said Sele, who set a career-high with his fifth straight loss. (AP)

“I just didn't locate my fastball. I was just trying to stay ahead in the count and it was a little bit tough when the fastball is running all over the place,” Sele said. (JB)

Who Needed Those Home Runs, John?

“He needed it. We needed it,” Jays manager John Gibbons said. (GB)

“He needed it, we needed it, it was good to see,” Jays manager John Gibbons said of Hinske. (MR)

“He needed, we needed,” Gibbons said. (AP)

Note: To all our friends in the media — we’re having a little fun with you here.

So, has Hinske actually made a breakthrough? Has his work with Brantley finally paid off? Or is he hearing Corey Koskie’s footsteps and can’t be expected to keep up this pace? Chime in, Bauxites, and let us know if you see a real difference in the Jays’ first baseman and if you think it'll last.