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Well that was no fun.

This one seemed to be over before it started, like the 2005 playoff bandwagon. The Tigers just exploded on poor Dustin McGowan in the first Inning. Placido Polanco lined out to left to start things off, but then it all went pear shaped, there were four runs on the board before the next out and seven before the inning was over, as the Tigers sent 12 hitters to the plate. McGowan obviously didn't have his stuff and was leaving bad pitches over the plate. As Jordan noted in the instant replay thread it's an encouraging sign that he stayed in the game and steadied himself a little, taking a few innings for the team just like Josh Towers did in May against the Twins.

The Jays hadn't allowed a homer in 55 Innings prior to this weekend. I guess they were due. Carlos Pena certainly thought so, he had an awesome series:

Pena	9	4	4	3	6	0	1

Pena obviously had a few points to prove after a stint in the minors, shame he couldn't have waited a few days. There has never been any question of Pena's talent, but in his age 27 season this year he's hitting just .199/.319/.360.

So what went wrong this weekend? well, Griffin writes a largely positive column about the team and they immediately going on a three game skid, I'm just sayin'. Maybe its some kind of weird reverse Griffin mojo. That being said the Jays were beyond the reach of even the most sophisticated positive mojo this weekend. POTD mojo, gamechat mojo, ageing Irish rock star mojo - all were tried and all found wanting.

The Jays are on the losing end of swept series this year 5 sweeps to 6 times swept. Although, they might be level, as one of the losing sweeps was a two gamer against the Yankees, I'm inclined to rule that that doesn't count (and not just because it was the Yankees). Interestingly, all the Jays winning sweeps have been at the RC.
Losing Sweeps

April 20-21	New York
April 22-24	Baltimore
May    6-8	Chicago
June  10-12	Houston (away)
July   8-9	Texas (away)
Aug   19-21	Detroit (away)

Winning Sweeps
April 26-28	Tampa Bay 
May    9-11	Kansas City
May   24-26	Boston
Jul   19-21	Seattle
Jul   26-28	Anaheim

The next four days would be a really opportune time for the next sweep of the year, just a suggestion.

During the game chat we touched briefly upon who have been the Jays scariest opponents recently. A year or two ago I hated it when the name Tampa bay popped up on the schedule, recently any mention of the word Texas has had me reaching for the strong liquor. I had a look and since JP took over this is the record against the rest of the AL. Texas should clearly be transferred to the NL, or contracted or something.

Team		win	loss	diff
Baltimore	41	29	12
Boston  	28	40	-12
Chicago		11	17	-6
Cleveland	10	12	-2
Detroit		18	10	8
Kansas City	16	9	7
Anaheim		16	11	5
Minnesota	8	17	-9
New York	28	37	-9
Oakland		16	19	-3
Seattle		18	13	5
Tampa Bay	36	33	3
Texas		10	27	-17


Nothing earth shattering came up in a brief scan of the usual sources, but here's whats out there. Anyone have any good links I missed?

"Not out but definitely down". Allan Ryan looks at yesterdays game and the state of the Jays place in the wild card race. Gibby refelcts on McGowans day: "Someday ... he'll be able to look back on this ... and laugh."

Canada's Little League World Series entrant from Whaley, B.C dropped to 1-1 for the tournament with a 5 zip loss to Guam yesterday.

Patrick Mooney examines the new smarter Josh Towers at the official site, and comments on Hill's first game at second.

The Devil Rays , who were 28-61 before the break, have gone a pretty incredible 23-12 since, only Oakland have been better. Rich Lederer breaks it down, and predicts "... the Devil Rays are on the verge of putting together a highly competitive team over the next three-to-five years".

Tigers lots - Jays not so many | 20 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Monday, August 22 2005 @ 09:46 AM EDT (#126250) #
Alas, Rich Lederer's analysis of the Devil Rays' pitching begins and ends with Scott Kazmir and Joe Borowski. There's no question that the Rays' offence figures to be good in 2007. That was true at the beginning of 2005, and nothing has changed except that Cantu has proven that he can hit, and Delmon Young has made pretty clear that his rookie year will be 2006. Otherwise, the questions about the D-Ray pitching now and in the future remain. We'll see if they can convert some of their offensive depth into pitching.
Maldoff - Monday, August 22 2005 @ 10:06 AM EDT (#126251) #
I never thought I'd say this, but I actually wonder what the Devil Rays will be doing with their "glut" of outfielders next year. They will for sure have Carl Crawford in the outfield, and most likely Rocco Baldelli (assuming he's healthy) playing every day. After that, it seems likely that Delmon Young will have the third spot, leaving Aubrey Huff, Joey Gathright, and Jonny Gomes without spots in the lineup. One can assume Gomes will be the DH, Huff maybe at 1B, and Gathright at the 4th outfielder spot. But if BJ Upton can't handle the infield, where does he go?
Thaskins - Monday, August 22 2005 @ 10:07 AM EDT (#126252) #
Does anyone know if we can expect to see a roster move from the Jays today involving Brandon League being sent down and someone else coming up? Clearly League can not get ML hitters out at this time and we could use another arm in the BP. I wouldn't mind seeing Justin Miller get another shot to see if he can stick.
brent - Monday, August 22 2005 @ 10:08 AM EDT (#126253) #
off topic but I thought seeing McGriff quotes was interesting
We used to talk all the time about all of this, but it's not anything you wanted in the press," said first baseman Fred McGriff.

"Myself personally, I would laugh when I'd see these guys hit these long home runs. I mean, basically, we all came up at the same time and had about the same power.

"But before you knew it, they were hitting 50, 60 and 70 home runs. I'd just be amazed at how far they were hitting them. Steroids were everywhere, but I'm not going to pull a Canseco. I'm not going to whine or cry or bash those guys. A lot of them are good people."

The saddest part is that nobody ever cared. The union didn't care because of the fat contracts players were getting. The owners didn't care because it drew a whole lot of fannies to the seats. And most of the players didn't care because you had the individual choice to stick a needle in your posterior and make the big money, or not use steroids and risk being out of the game.

"The union didn't want strict testing, and the owners couldn't care less, not if the guy was hitting 50 to 60 homers for them," McGriff said. "And if something happened later in life to one of them, it was like, 'That's OK, we'll send some flowers and cards.' "

If the commissioner's office, owners and player's association truly cared about the welfare of their players, they would have added amphetamines to their new drug testing program. Go ahead and ask your own doctor. They'll tell you amphetamines "greenies" can be a whole lot more dangerous to your heart than steroids. Then again, if you ban amphetamines and suspend everyone that tests positive, there won't be enough players to field a league.

"I don't understand it," McGriff said. "I would tell some of these young guys (who use amphetamines), 'Come on, you got to get fired up to play a baseball game? If you got to get fired up to play baseball, why play it?' "

Baseball looks the other way. It wouldn't have done anything about steroids if not for the BALCO case. Major League Baseball officials already announced they have no plans to investigate any of Canseco's allegations. The truth is they hope the media loses interest before the first spring training game, and pray that at least a few months will pass before someone tests positive.

"The random testing they had before was a joke," McGriff said. "The guys that needed to be tested, weren't being tested at all. And guys like me and (pitcher) Andy Ashby, we were tested almost every time. It's like, 'Guys, does it really look like I'm on steroids?' "

Maldoff - Monday, August 22 2005 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#126255) #
So beacuse I wasn't exactly sure what these "amphetamines" actually were, I looked up what they were on I found it interesting that essentially amphetamines are a big part of the drug ecstasy. So if a player were to use that drug, and get tested, they would be OK also because amphetamines are ok. That's ridiculous!
Jordan - Monday, August 22 2005 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#126256) #
We'll see if they can convert some of their offensive depth into pitching.

Funny, I can think of an AL East team that has a lot of young pitching depth and could use a slugger in the major-league lineup.

Mind you, the Devil Rays are reportedly one of the toughest clubs to make a deal with. Ever since they fleeced the Mets of Kazmir, they evidently think that's how all trades should be conducted.

Pistol - Monday, August 22 2005 @ 11:51 AM EDT (#126260) #
You know, I actually like that the Devil Rays ask for a lot in return for trades. This year many people acted like they should have traded Baez, Huff and Lugo just because they had a bad record. If you're not getting an impact player in return what's the point?

And not that these were major trades, but the Jays have made two trades with the Devil Rays recently getting Gaudin and Speier for Cash and Hendrickson (with Kennedy in Colorado), so it's not like they're impossible to deal with.
Marc Hulet - Monday, August 22 2005 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#126261) #
Do you really think Justin Miller needs another chance? I mean, he's failed more than five times in the past. Why not give a shot to someone like Spike Lundberg, who has always put up solid numbers and will do anything to help his team win. I definitely think both League and McGowan should be sent down for fresh troops today. This New York series is a big one.

If the Devil Rays are smart, they'll have Baldelli play winter ball to show he's health and then trade him. Numbers-wise, I have always felt he was overrated due to hype.

Baldelli's OPS
2003 .742
2004 .762

Catalanotto's OPS during his breakout campaign, which earned him a modest two-year deal and a platoon role.

2003 .823

Baldelli is better defensively and steals about 20 bases a season (assuming his knee is back to normal) but I wouldn't be surprised if these injuries make him even less effective.
Jordan - Monday, August 22 2005 @ 12:21 PM EDT (#126264) #
Strictly speaking, the Hendrickson trade was with the Rockies, who sent Speier to Toronto; Colorado then turned around and sent Hendrickson to Tampa for Kennedy.

The Gaudin-Cash deal, which still looks like a steal for Toronto, is an example of how the Rays, a bad organization, overrate some players while underrating others. The Rays will fight tooth and nail for the players they think are valuable, but apparently will happily give away players whose value they don't appreciate.
Thaskins - Monday, August 22 2005 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#126265) #
Fair enough. But I don't think Spike is on the 40-man right now. So, they'd have to make a roster move. I'd like to give Miller the shot to see if he can make it. If not, then we could always cut bait after this year.
Marc Hulet - Monday, August 22 2005 @ 12:37 PM EDT (#126266) #
Miller isn't on the 40-man either though. He had to pass through waivers the last two times he was demoted.
John Northey - Monday, August 22 2005 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#126270) #
Interesting quotes from McGriff (where is that article btw?). I wonder how many of the writers who are saying that they won't vote for Palmeiro due to steroids will avoid voting for McGriff due to his not getting to 500 HR's? So, don't use steroids and I won't vote for you, but if you use them I won't either. Pre-steroids McGriff's numbers would've been viewed as a lock but now, due to the number of 500+ HR hitters who may or may not be on steroids he isn't. Hrm.

Btw, McGriff lost at least one HR title to steroids - 1988 (Canseco #1, McGriff #2). One wonders if McGriff might have won more titles (be it HR or RBI) if stiffer testing was in place way back then, and if so if he'd be a better HOF candidate today.
dr. haque - Monday, August 22 2005 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#126275) #
Sorry this might be slightly irrelevant to the current topic about Mcgriff but I just wanted to ask something about Mcgowan's performance from yesterday. I noticed this yesterday and albeit it was the Sportsnet Radar Gun and they dont show velocity for every pitch that his velocity stayed at about 89-91 during the 3rd inning and 4th. Now I am pretty sure this happened before but I cant be sure but can this indicate that Mcgowan is not quite in full stamina since his surgery or is this how its always been? And is it something to worry about?

The reason I say this is because I watched Smoltz pitch last night and I did note that his velocity was the same throughout the game? So if anyone who has seen him pitch can they give me some insight about it?
Lefty - Monday, August 22 2005 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#126289) #
Unfortunately for the Rays Baldelli will not be able to play winter ball. In addition to his knee injury he underwent Tommy John surgery on his throwing arm in July.

So I think the Rays are going to be cautious in their outfield projections for next season.
Chuck - Monday, August 22 2005 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#126294) #
Baldelli's OPS

2003 .742

2004 .762

Catalanotto's OPS during his breakout campaign, which earned him a modest two-year deal and a platoon role.

2003 .823

The numbers above require some context. Baldelli's two seasons were at ages 21 and 22. Catalanotto's came at age 29. Forecasting performance on age alone, Baldelli is on the way up (with several years of growth ahead of him) and Catalanotto on the way down.

Further, as you noted, there is a defensive difference. Baldelli plays a purportedly decent CF while Catalanotto plays an uninspiring LF.

It will be interesting to see what Baldelli's injury does to his ability to play CF, and whether or not he's forced to an outfield corner. That said, TB seems reluctant to make the speedy Crawford their center fielder, presumably because of his arm, so CF should be there waiting for Baldelli, whenever he returns.

Jordan - Monday, August 22 2005 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#126295) #
Gotta say, Rocco Baldelli has New York Met written all over him, sooner or later.
Mike Green - Monday, August 22 2005 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#126296) #
You don't think that he might not end up as the next Yankee centerfielder? George has probably seen him enough times in Tampa, and he would definitely help sell tickets. Anyone seen "A Bronx Tale"?
Chuck - Monday, August 22 2005 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#126297) #
An Italian center fielder in New York. What blonde actress would he have to marry?
Jordan - Monday, August 22 2005 @ 04:37 PM EDT (#126301) #
Naw, I think Baldelli will be sufficiently injury-plagued and superficially valuable (steals, batting average) to make him tremendously attractive to the Mets. The inevitable DiMaggio chatter in the NY Post will ice the deal. Plus, I don't think the Yankees will have anything to offer the D-Rays for two or three more years.
costanza - Monday, August 22 2005 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#126303) #
Beltran, age 22 - .293/.337/.454 99 OPS+
Baldelli, age 22 - .280/.326/.436 100 OPS+

Coincidentally, Beltran's age-23 season was also essentially a washout, thanks to injury (.247/.309/.366, 68 OPS+). Beltran's development was impressive, especially his strike zone judgement, but still...

On the surface, Baldelli didn't improve much in his second season, but his K/AB and K/BB ratios improved significantly. I think there's good reason to be optimistic about Rocco's future, even if I do see him achieving a Jeter-like overratedness, if put in the right situation. Jeter maybe the most overrated player in the game, but he's still a fine ballplayer...
Tigers lots - Jays not so many | 20 comments | Create New Account
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