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It's Pinch-Hit day again at Batter's Box, and we're happy to provide you with another special guest report from one of our regulars -- or in this case, two of them. My instructions from Rook Rob are to introduce this one as follows: "Today's Pinch-Hit comes to us from regular Bauxite Jobu, with an assist from his loser friend Rick." Enjoy.


I feel it necessary to preface this Game Report with a warning of sorts, for a number of reasons, the first being you donít even know who I am. I am the one whom some of you may know as Jobuís "loser friend Rick." Jobu was supposed to write this Game Report, and as usual, he was gracious enough to allow me to help.

Now let me assure you, he had a real fancy-dancy idea for this one, complete with pyrotechnics, dance numbers and lion tamers, but the whole operation was done in by technical difficulties. As such, the two of us started something of a running commentary through the game as we tried to brainstorm a suitable replacement idea.

Unfortunately, as the game progressed, Jobu started falling prey to some sort of awful sickness that brought forth increasingly alarming fits of delirium (seriously, he looked awful), leaving me to transcribe my thoughts and his throughout most of the rest of the game. At the end of the game, with him babbling in some obsolete vernacular, I was left to sift through odd streams of consciousness and indecipherable rants, not to mention whatever he had to say. The end result is the following, for which I have nothing left to say except that I hope you enjoy it.

1:35 "The Jays face a tough test in Bruce Chen." Remember when that was a joke?

1:40 "Brought to you by Swiss Chalet, where honey garlicís back ... SWEEEEEET." (That there is the sound of Jamie Campbell being handed a sack with a dollar sign).

1:42 Mickey Brantley: Token '80s police chief or token character actor in an '80s science fiction movie? You decide.

1:44 "Bruce Chen is in the zone".... Iíd buy that album. And thatís a 1-2-3 inning.

1:48 OVER the head of Hudson? Donít you have to hit a home run to hit it over the head of O-Dog?

1:48 Castro is so tiny ... I donít know how he ever took over a whole country.

1:51 Strikeouts are fascist. Castro is Communist. Castro struck out. Morpheus doesnít even bother trying to sort that one out.

1:55 Bruce Chen throwing a NO-HITTER after one.

1:59 Let me take this time to mention once again how much I hate Eric Byrnes ("the inept henchman"). Why must my reports feature this roving error?

2:01 2nd and 3rd no out. The death scenario for the Blue Jays. Please stop... youíre making me cry.

2:03 A RUN! A RUN! BALL IN PLAY!! Oh ... weíve broken the curse! Thank you, Willow!

2:03 Hey, itís Chris Gomez. Look at his eyes. You know he misses the Hammer.

At this point, Jobuís continued descent into delirium becomes evident in his increasingly cryptic messages

2:11 I made a new list for Nixon: Eric Byrnes, Curt Schilling, Boomer Wells, Derek Jeter, Mike Mussina, Roger Clemens, Phil Cuzzi, Loaiza, Bobby Holik, Phil Mickelson, and Mike Peca.

In the next 20 minutes, during his descent into madness, Jobu filled 5 pages with unintelligible nonsense, much of it in a language he seems to have made up)

2:32 At this point in the afternoon, Jobu began stroking his beard and calmly threatened to not go on stage unless he was given 1,000 brown M & Mís in a brandy glass. I thought it best to take the computer from him and let him deal with his demons.

2:34 Zaun comes up. I think heís been teaching Hill how to grow that sweet mullet of his. Even Jamie and Candy are commenting on Zaunís sweet hair. "Rockstar Hair" is what they call it. As it is, it may have already won the Jays one game when he tried to call time against Tampa because it was blowing in his face.

2:41 Jobu has been screaming the lyrics to Duran Duranís "A View to a Kill" for the past ten minutes. Without warning, he stops abruptly, stays absolutely still for a minute, whispers, "Why is runners on and no outs such a disadvantage to us?" then jumps right in to "Hungry Like The Wolf."

2:44 I need some statistics on how many portable phones V-Tech has given out over the years. Havenít they supplied everyone in the GTA with one by now? How do they stay in business like this? Then again, Iíve never won one. Maybe it's just the same five people who keep entering and just have stockpiles of portable phones in their house. Jobu wakes up and yells ďBastards!Ē at that comment.

2:48 Nice play by Koskie. Jobu rises from his delirium long enough to say, "He is so good at making those plays on the slower hits to his left."

2:49 Really, I know this has been said before, but what is with those puppets? I donít get it. The movie commercials idea was a good one, even if the execution is disappointing, but I have no idea -- none -- what the puppets have to do with anything. "The Call" is already atrocious without them, but they ruin Vernonís quality acting job (even if they still could have done more with that one). In conclusion: no more puppets.

2:56 One of those Murphyís Law moments happen when the illustrious Mr. Campbell commends Chacinís effort in not allowing a hit since the opening batter Brian Roberts, and Javy "Iím funnier than George" Lopez lines a single.

2:59 What can I say but beauty pitch to strike out Friere. Heís a crafty one, that Morpheus.

3:03 At this point, while mistaking a bag of Cheetos for someone willing to listen, Jobu recounted his trip to Sightlines. More on this later, but the following seemed topical: "I know they arenít a power team, but the Jays have really seemingly forgotten how to hit home runs lately. Last week, when I went to Sightlines, the guy at the front told me that I get a free piece of cake for every Jays home run. Needless to say, I never got to have any cake."

3:07 Have I mentioned how cool John Gibbons looks with those stylish glasses?

3:09 Chen just made Rios look foolish with a high "fastball" that he just blows by him. It's really scary that Iím tipping my hat to Bruce Chen. Is this the first sign of the apocalypse?

3:21 I just missed a few batters due to a phone call. Woe is me, and my lack of Rogers TV On Demand, where I can pause and rewind live TV at the press of a button. Or so I am told. Jobu just physically threatened me because "somewhere, somehow, Corey Feldman is on TV, and Iím missing it due to your lack of Rogers TV On Demand."

3:25 Well, I did not miss that lovely pitching to Tejada, who might just dislocate every bone in his body if he continues to make ridiculously hard swings like that. I half expected his body to become separated at the torso on that one.

3:29 Couldnít Rayís first name be Ricky, so I could make a CFL reference? How much more Canadian can you get than a CFL reference? That's it, Iím forcing in more Canadiana into this.

3:33 Koskie just struck out looking. That's not what I meant.

3:40 So the Jays havenít been two games under .500 since some "Black Day in July." (That's what I meant).

3:42 A meeting with Arnsberg and the infielders commences at the pitcher's mound. How can I not think of Bull Durham at moments like these? Too bad Batista isnít pitching -- otherwise, the boys would have gotten a dissertation on the difference between justice and law. He may not be the best closer in the world, but I love his eccentric and quirky nature. Does he recite poetry to his teammates? I imagine him wearing a toga, sitting the younger guys around him, and lecturing on the true nature of their existence.

3:44 John Gibbons gives us a look at that distinctive saunter of his as he comes out to remove Chacin. No argument from Chacin, but then again, how can you argue with someone who looks as cool as Gibbons with those glasses of his? You donít mess with someone who looks like that. Then again, Chacin can give anyone a run for their money in the cool sunglasses department.

3:47 By the way, did I mention Chacin pitched wonderfully? Hopefully, this is the first step on his way to wresting control of the Rookie of the Year award from the rest of the pack. Then again, good old Russell might have something to say about that. Maybe even Aaron.

3:55 The dreaded Two On and Nobody Out situation again, and The Dude is up to bat as well. I expect only disappointment, but The Dude, contemptuous of my lack of faith, comes through with a single.

3:59 Kline puts up quite the fight before being pulled by Perlozzo. Heís not happy about being pulled, because he clearly brought his A-game today. After all, he managed to load the bases and bring in a run while only getting one out. Magnificent performance. Then again, Perlozzo doesnít have sweet sunglasses.

4:03 Iíve never seen such a nice catch ruined like that. I mean, what was that? I never went from "AH DAMN" to "AH YEAH!" so quickly in a baseball game. Not sure why Newhan got the error on that one, since it was the brain cramp of the first baseman, who for some reason thought it was a good idea to go to the pitcher's mound to prepare for the cutoff to home when there was no chance for a play there.

At this point in the commentary, I was drawn away due to some unexpected circumstances, and I felt comfortable with leaving Jobu to finish off, since his delusions were seemingly becoming less obtrusive. When I returned, I found a page titled ďAn Ode to Vinnie ChulkĒ, but I was able to gather the following from his rants.

4:16 Apparently, SS LOOGY managed to pick off Roberts, who was trying to steal 2nd at the time. This allowed a runner to score, but no matter, Jobu was pleased. He actually used the phrase "Mucho Gusto." 4 - 2 Jays.

4:28 Jays tacking on runs in the 9th. I love David Wright.

As promised earlier, I will now elaborate on the story Jobu was recounting to the Cheetos bag. Here it is, in an e-mail he sent to NFH, as he felt said experience was necessary to add here.

Wanna hear a cool story? Yesterday was a special day for Lady Jobu and I, seeing as how it was like the last day we both had off before school started. So I made reservations for Sightlines (we'd both never been) and we were going to go to Casa Loma before the game because she loves that stuff. So the reservations were for 6:30, and we get to Loma around 4:30 and the parking guy says Loma closes at 4:00. We're slightly bummed, so I ask, "Can we just park and walk around the outside?" and the guy says "Sure," but with like that "Why would you want to?" voice. So we give him $2.75 and start to walk around the back and we see that it's all fenced off, so you can't actually walk around the exterior. But I was wearing my glasses that day and I say, "Hello ... looks like that lock isnít locked." Sure enough, we moved the lock, opened the gate, and were in the large garden paths in the back.

So we stroll around the gardens taking pictures, and we come up the path to the back patio, but there's a wedding party posing for photos that I accidently get in the background of. So we double back and come up to the patio a different way. Then we see some cool-looking doors, so she poses beside them for a photo op, but this worker comes by and says, "Those doors are closed, you have to exit through the main hall where the wedding is," so he points us over and we walk into the hall with all the reception tables nicely covered, and this waiter comes by to offer us champagne, which we of course accept before I sample some shimp-kebobs. I write our names in the guestbook under "Mr. Orlando Hudson and Mrs. Shea Hillenbrand," and we notice the stairway up and of course take it.

So now we're just wandering amongst all the rooms of Casa Loma after hours, completely unsupervised. Had we been lesser people, the amount of things we could have stolen was appalling. We made our way up both towers, climbed over barricades into rooms we shouldnít have been in, hopped over velvet ropes for classy photo ops on expensive linens. So after hanging out in the round room for a while, we notice it's time to make our way to the RC. As we're walking down the stairs marked "Exit," we notice the stairs are boarded up and wonder just how we'll get out of there. Then a lady who works there sees us and says, "Hey! What are you doing!? You're not allowed to be up there! Are you touring!?" to which Lady Jobu replies, "No, we're the photographers' assistants. The idiot sent us up to get an overhead shot, but we can't see anything. Do you know where he is?" She replies "Oh.... no, hold on, let me get a walkie." So she leaves, we make for the grand exit (I grab another shrimp-kebob), we jump in the van and we're off to the game.

At first I'm worried that I'm underdressed for Sightlines, but as I'm waiting in line to say, "Jobu, party of 2," the guy in front of us says "Buffet? We just want to sit and have some beers," To which the hostess pauses and says, "....Okay...." So suddenly, Iím not so concerned about the swankiness of the place. The views at Sightlines are just fantastic. I love watching the game from there. The food was only okay, but if I were rich, I'd watch a lot of games there just for the view. I was staring down at 518 but there didn't look to be any activity. I wonder what Windows is like.

For those of you have actually read the above in its entirety, I commend your patience, especially considering how verbose I can be, and I thank you. As it is, this Game Report is akin to giving Sancho Panza his own novel. Scratch that, as that would be awesome. Iím no Sancho; at best, I am a mere Burt Ward. Now I return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

The Castle and The Dome | 12 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
rtcaino - Tuesday, September 06 2005 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#127468) #
Good pinch-hit boys.

I have a topic for discussion. Which pitcher has a higher ceiling, Dave Bush, or Gustavo Chacin?

I see them as being fairly similar.

In terms of pitches they both have high 80's/low 90's fastball. Both have a cut fastball, change and curve. Chacin I believe throws a slider. Bush has one, but doesn't use it much any more.

Both rely on their defense for a lot of outs, posting modest K/9 numbers. Both tend to give up about a hit per inning, and try to keep walks down.

Going into this year, a lot of people looked at Bush as our #3 guy. This never panned out as he was soon sent down to AAA.

Chacin took over that #3 spot. And then proceeded to take the number one spot due to injuries.

So, Bauxites: Who do you guys have a higher ceiling long term? Who is more likely to perform better next year?

P.S. Whoís the lass? Sheís quite the philly.
Christopher - Tuesday, September 06 2005 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#127469) #
Who isn't funnier than George Lopez?
Joseph Krengel - Tuesday, September 06 2005 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#127472) #
Dave Coulier

There, I said it.

Anyone else really troubled that the last two games the Jays have managed to win, they only won because the other team gave them runs? Games like yesterday's only do more harm than good... especially since Hinske will probably get another three or four starts as a result. You know, even if the guy is hitting .900 this month, when was the last time he drove in a runner from third or had an extra base hit? Unfortunately I can't read a scorecard, but I CAN tell you that he hasn't had an extra base hit in his last 8 games.
Mike Green - Tuesday, September 06 2005 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#127475) #
The odd thing about Hinske is that his maximum trade value is as a third baseman. If you combine his 2005 offence with his 2004 defence at third, you've got yourself a perfectly adequate player at basically market rates. He's like Joe Randa.

Anyways, the club's run differential is at +54. The club is below .500 due to a poor record in one-run games. The bullpen has been maybe a titch below average, and this contributes, but mostly it has just been bad luck. Oakland and Cleveland have had below average one-run records despite having fine bullpens, for much the same reason.

So, what do you have? A young team with a significantly positive run differential. There is plenty to be optimistic about.
R Billie - Tuesday, September 06 2005 @ 04:33 PM EDT (#127490) #
Bush versus Chacin is really a tossup. I might give Gus the edge only because he's shown he can dominate lefties while Bush hasn't to this point. To be honest, I don't see much reason to see either guy getting much better than they have been so far. Though considering they each have a career ERA under 4.00 in about 200 innings that's not bad at all.

I think both guys are #3 quality starters. Gus has more room to improve with his command but in terms of raw stuff they're both quite similar. They both need their location and movement to beat you. I think they will also both have rare days where everything is working for them and they give you double digit strikeouts or 8 or 9 quality innings.

I'm not about to critique Bush for struggling his second time through the league until we see what Gus can do next year. It's really hard to predict what any pitcher is going to do from season to season but it looked like it took David a lot of innings to get his delivery, arm strength, or stuff that he was used to have last season.

It's not easy to go through a 200 inning season for the first time in a career and then come back the next season and be better. These guys aren't the arm strength to spare type. But if the Jays go into next year with these guys in the #4 and #5 slots then they're doing quite well.

I think the real question now becomes what will the roles of Towers and Downs be on the team next year? Because between these four guys have given the Jays 80% of a respectable rotation without Doc or Lilly around so if those guys come back and you add yet another starter, you have more options now than anticipated.
Named For Hank - Tuesday, September 06 2005 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#127494) #
2:03 Hey, itís Chris Gomez. Look at his eyes. You know he misses the Hammer.

Good thing no one told Baltimore that if you want him to hit a home run you just have to send him a text message.
rtcaino - Tuesday, September 06 2005 @ 05:51 PM EDT (#127498) #
Dayn Perry chat transcript.

""Rob (Canada): Should the Yankees and the BoSox fear the Jays next year? They got money to spend and prospects to deal to go with what they currently have

Dayn Perry: Yeah, somewhat. Without knowing how the winter will play out, I'd probably arrange the standings this way:

1. Red Sox
2. Blue Jays
3. Yankees
4. Orioles
5. Devil Rays

Halladay must stay healthy, and Vernon Wells needs to have something resembling a strong first half. Koskie's presence complicates things a bit, and I doubt that Gregg Zaun has another nominally productive year left in him. The big question at this point is where the power is going to come from. Still, wouldn't surprise me a bit if they finished ahead of the drain-circling Yanks in '06.

And speaking of Toronto, looking forward to attending the Film Fest this weekend.""

VBF - Tuesday, September 06 2005 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#127500) #
I would put money on Tampa surpassing the Orioles next year.
Ducey - Tuesday, September 06 2005 @ 06:11 PM EDT (#127501) #
This from Baseball Prospectus re: Colorado's Ryan Shealy:

"Hindered by rickety knees since college, Shealy is probably destined for another team, unless the Rox pull a Ryan Howard and bury him in the high minors well past his "use by" date; Shealy turned 26 recently, and has nothing left to prove in the high minors. His major-league time ended when Helton was activated from the DL August 10th--he should get recalled sometime during roster expansion--but the guy can mash:

2002 R 231 .368/.497/.714 .341
2003 A 341 .299/.391/.519 .217
2004 AA 469 .318/.411/.584 .260
2005 AAA 407 .324/.388/.597 .268

In the majors so far, he's hit .333/.412/.507 in 85 PAs, good for a .303 EqA and an ISO of .173. Shealy ranks eighth on the team in VORP (7.4) after just 85 PAs, which speaks simultaneously to the strength of his performance so far and to the relative paucity of major-league hitters in the Rockies lineup (of the 16 players who have more than Shealy's 85 PAs, nine have OBPs below the league average, and four have OBPs below .300--with Coors Field as a home park, remember). Shealy probably isn't that good--his PMLVr is one of the highest in the majors, and while he's shown that he can hit, he'd give some BA and OBP back over the course of a full season in MLB. Even with that in mind, he still projects as an above-average big league first baseman in all three offensive rate stat categories.
Barring an injury or a Helton-to-the-Mets trade (as was the rumor earlier this year), Shealy's first full season isn't going to be in Colorado. He won't displace Helton, but he's hit at every level he's played, he's done pretty well for himself in the majors (both his home runs were hit on the road, so he has yet to have his stats padded by Coors), and so he makes for a nice trade chit. Denver/Colorado Springs-inflated numbers didn't scare Jim Bowden off, but it'll nevertheless be interesting to see if Shealy alone could net the Rox something useful in exchange, or if he'll have to be packaged with another young player or two to persuade a GM to send some goodies to the Mountain time zone."

Future Jay power hitter?
Matt - Tuesday, September 06 2005 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#127502) #
Question... Any reason that the IBL championship didn't get coverage this year???
Thomas - Tuesday, September 06 2005 @ 07:40 PM EDT (#127503) #
Matt, I handled the IBL Championship last year and was going to this year, but I was actually away on vacation when it occured this year. Hopefully that won't be the case next year and I can preview it again.
slitheringslider - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 01:50 AM EDT (#127525) #
Neither Bush nor Chacin have eye-popping stuff that would make people salivate over their potential. As of this moment, I think Chacin is a better pitcher, but I don't know how much better he's gonna get. If he could sharpen his command and continue to develop as a intelligent soft-tossing lefty, he could develop into someone like Jamie Moyer. Bush on the other hand I think has a little bit more zip on his fastball, and a much better curveball than Chacin, which is a pitch that could potentially make hitters look foolish. My verdict is the Bush has the better stuff, which equals to potential, but would he ever reach that potential is another question.

Ducey, that looks like a guy we could perhaps make a gamble on, he can't really be worst than Eric Hinske. I don't know how much he would be worth, but given the lack of hype about this guy, all we have to do is ruin a couple of young pitchers career by sending them to coors and I think we could get him.
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