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When you have a lineup that’s really struggling to score runs, a young pitcher with dynamite stuff who chooses this night to put it all together, and a home-plate umpire who doesn’t feel like squeezing the strike zone, this is the kind of result you’re going to get: a 6-0 whitewash by the Orioles of a Blue Jays ballclub that’s stumbling down the stretch.

Aside from a couple of happy debuts for Blue Jay rookies, it’s the sort of night where you tip your cap to the opposition and bundle three of your buddies into a cab downtown to The Crab Shack, or wherever it is ballplayers go for post-game beers in Baltimore after being shut out.

I didn’t get to see most of the game, so I can only make a few comments on what I did see.

* Ted Lilly’s stuff hasn’t disappeared – he was throwing some wonky and occasionally nasty stuff up to the plate there. But he apparently had no clue where most of his pitches were going, not surprising for someone who hasn’t faced a big-league lineup in two months. We should wait to see his final couple of starts before passing judgment, but if Lilly wanted to reassure the Blue Jays that he could be counted on for the 2006 rotation, this was an inauspicious start.

* This is what the Orioles have been looking for in Daniel Cabrera: a 6’7” power pitcher with a 95-mph heater and tremendous off-speed stuff who can throw everything for strikes. Cabrera brought neither this command nor this consistency to his previous three losses to the Blue Jays this season, when Toronto played him like a pinball machine. Tonight, he had the kind of game that gets O’s fans thinking about contention in '06.

* Shaun Marcum has to be the oldest-looking 23-year-old rookie I’ve ever seen. Seriously, he looks like he’s 35 and spent too many years playing under dim stadium lighting in Class-A Tuscaloosa. He needs to get his uniform pants tailored, too. Tough dude, though. That 11-pitch battle against Miguel Tejada with two on and two out was classic, something he can tell his kids about – he would not and did not give in. Great debut. Kudos to Tejada, too, for giving a little clap of acknowledgment to the pitcher after Marcum finally struck him out swinging. That guy’s a class act. Congrats to John-Ford Griffin as well, who doubled in his major-league debut.

* The Blue Jays should think seriously about resting their key players more often during the season in 2006. Vernon Wells received what I think was just his second non-childbirth-related game off all season last night, and I get the feeling Shea Hillenbrand could have used a few more games off in July and August as well. Hopefully, the Jays will have a stronger and deeper bench next season – with an 11-man pitching staff, if all goes well – so that the team can carry at least five bench players, each of whom can start 10-15 games without hurting the club.

I don’t have much else for you today – I’m doing the Game Report for tonight’s match as well, and I’ll be writing something more substantive for that one. So I’ll content myself today with trying to amuse you with this game I came across a couple of years ago. I refer to as “Luke Is,”after the McSweeney’s feature that inspired it. The author entered the phrase “Luke is” (in quotes) into Google and hit “Search.” The results formed the little mini-biography contained in the article. We did something a little similar here at Da Box a couple years ago.

So last night, I entered the full names of the Blue Jays’ regular starting lineup, along with their five-man rotation and closer, into the “Luke Is” machine. I then picked through the results to create little four-sentence mini-biographies of each player. The biographies bear only a glancing resemblance to the truth, of course, but then, so does the Internet – it’s really just a massive collection of opinions which may or may not have any grounding in reality.

The references I used come from all sorts of sources, different time periods, and occasionally refer to entirely different people. I’ll let you decide which are funny, which are dumb, and which have more truth to them than you might expect. And afterwards, you can insert anyone else’s name and come up with mini-bios of your own.

Russ Adams is

… struggling to find a comfort zone at shortstop and at the plate
… not intimidated by White Sox ace Jon Garland
… going to start seeing a lot more action against left-handers
… the executive director of the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability

Frank Catalanotto is

… day-to-day with a groin pull
… probably done for the season with a broken hand
… off the DL but not healthy enough to play in the outfield
… one of the nicest people I've ever come across

Vernon Wells is

… a steal at what he makes
… one of those players that puts up good stats but doesn't contribute very much to a team winning
… the mack diggity
… memorable as the villain, “Plug Head,” aided by Special Makeup Effects

Shea Hillenbrand is

… amazing. Can you imagine how hard it is to hit Major League pitching when you lack the fundamental ability to gauge the path of a pitched ball?
… not going to be able to put up the same numbers as Carlos Delgado did
… batting .402 and making better contact than Eva Longoria on a manhunt
… an All-Star third baseman

Corey Koskie is

… willing to re-sign with the Twins for less money
… a good guy who will be missed by the Twins and their fans
… the starting third baseman for the team he grew up watching
… out

Gregg Zaun is

… from Catcher Gap: cheap-yet-overpriced shoddy merchandise subject to high demand from walk-in traffic customers who don't know any better
… a decent platoon player and could do well if used that way
… decent defensively and an underrated hitter
… enjoying perhaps his best season in the majors

Alex Rios is

… a STUD!
… on fire!!!!
… something to get very excited about
… a huge fan of Quiet Riot and it started with an album cover

Eric Hinske is

… named Rookie of the Year in the American League
… willing to move to first base to account for the signing of 3B Corey Koskie
… proving that his first season’s power numbers were an anomaly
… feeling left out

Orlando Hudson is

… a savvy, athletic player with a personality all his own
… worth the price of admission no matter where you sit for Blue Jays games
… day-to-day with a strained left hamstring
… ready to make himself a nutritious, refreshing fruit smoothie

Roy Halladay is

… the man every five days.
… the AL Cy Young Award winner
… the best pitcher in baseball right now
… expected to miss the remainder of the season due to a broken left leg

Ted Lilly is

… another NY Yankees rising star pitcher
… the one major injury concern in the A’s rotation
… headed to the DL
… like a box of chok’lits, you never know what you’re gonna get

Gustavo Chacin is

… surpassing expectations
… off to a blistering start in his rookie year
… not thinking about adding the AL Rookie of the Year award to the collection of trophies prominently displayed in his locker
… funny looking

Dave Bush is

… coming off an impressive rookie season and will likely open the 2005 season as the No. 4 starter in the rotation
… available for speaking engagements at any and all home inspection schools
… leaving logging to the experts
… co-author of the book Living with Florida's Atlantic Beaches: Coastal Hazards from Amelia Island to Key West

Josh Towers is

… Josh Towers, no more no less. Not that there's anything wrong with that
… starting to fulfill his promise
… perhaps one of the smartest pitchers in baseball
… taking nothing for granted

Miguel Batista is

… working on writing a novel about a kid serial killer
… pure poetry
… a mediocre pitcher, as a poet I don't waste my time reading anything he writes
… the last resort in Toronto's bullpen

Batter's Box Is.... | 28 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Craig B - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#127530) #
That guy’s a class act.

A class act, a wonderful man, an inspirational leader, and the best ballplayer in the American League.

Did I just say that?

Oh yes. The best.

The Orioles don't deserve him, and Tejada doesn't deserve the Orioles. There is no player in baseball that I admire as much as Miguel Tejada. He's the only man I've ever hero-worshipped who's younger than me. :)

Incidentally, Tejada says he plans to break his streak of consecutive games played (currently 894) sometime this month, which is a shame.

Pistol - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#127532) #
Frank Catalanotto is … day-to-day with a groin pull … probably done for the season with a broken hand … off the DL but not healthy enough to play in the outfield

Despite averaging 100 games played the last 6 years Cat's made it through the year (so far) without getting injured.

Christopher - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 10:35 AM EDT (#127534) #
Gabe Gross is

... a tremendous hitting prospect who could be a future .300/30/100 hitter in the majors
... due up
... his own prospect
... going to be an outstanding quarterback
Named For Hank - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#127537) #
Okay, had to do it...

Craig Burley is...

...likely to make his debut at Tannadice as Dundee bid to climb back into third spot in the Ban of Scotland Premierleague
...definitely out, according to Sky Sports, with a virus

Kent Williams is...

...running for state senator in the June 8 Democratic primary election American painter, illustrator and comics artist
...a junior who will no doubt return to Southern Illinois next year

Mike Green is...

...5th in the WHL for assists with 34
...not in the all-time top 50 in any major category
...not a member of any public groups

Aaron Reynolds is...

...the author of several picture books
...responsible for the overall profit and loss for Medica's business operations
...likely to have been an horrendous, tragic accident
Named For Hank - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#127540) #
Mike D is... love (with you)
...also a member of the Latch Brothers who created the soundtrack to the Jet Set Radio Future videogame
...on the line with Portland Indymedia Web Radio right now

Mick Doherty is...

...a television character, a brief recurring role in the first season of the award-winning Australian crime drama Blue Heelers accomplished performing and studio musician, specializing in traditional music as well as composing for theater, video and film
...a PhD student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York

Joe Drew is...

...checking with the people at the university in Toronto and will tell me once he knows anything more
...the answer
...threatening to sue the village for overtime he believes is owed to personnel in his department for overtime

Gotta go eat breakfast and do photo of the day. Who wants to do the rest of the Roster?
Craig B - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#127541) #
Doing some of our beloved readers instead...

StephenT is...

...not a member of any public groups.
...jó adag egóval áldotta meg az ég, úgy döntött, ha már nem ő lesz az első, aki deszkával lejön az Everestről, előáll valami újdonsággal...

Caino is...

...the same as free. the city Carchemish.
...being refurbished.
...a Staff Psychiatrist in our Garden City outpatient office.

King Ryan is... astronaut. Academic Letterman. love-god.
...correct in saying that he is one of the Black Riders from the first film.

Keith Talent is... misogynist.
..."modern, modern, modern."
...the Creme Brulee Question.

R Billie is... well, nothing, actually. Surprisingly.

greenfrog is... becoming a pioneer not only in marketing solutions but also in putting clients in complete control of their advertising investment, whether they want a turnkey marketing plan, a brochure, a corporate identity program, or original market research.
...available from Polo [D] for 176 Deutschmarks.
...the place to be an argassi.

Craig B - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 12:23 PM EDT (#127547) #
By the way, Nate Silver's piece on the Detroit Tigers at Baseball Prospectus today is an absolute MUST read for everyone with an interest in the long-term strategy of being a real-life GM.

Simple but deep. Sound. Brilliant.

His points number 2 and 3 are the most relevant to the Blue Jays in their current incarnation. The most important fact about the J.P. Ricciardi Blue Jays are (1) that they actually have a plan and have executed their strategy in concert with it; and (2) a large part of the overall strategic plan is to raise the level of the in-house talent needed to provide a base for a winning team. It's impossible to understand the way in which J.P. Ricciardi has drafted, traded and signed players without understanding this element of the overall plan.

Rob - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#127548) #
Nobody followed up on the article title?

Batter's Box is...
...a Peńa.
...officially adopted March 2, 1874. impressive, 352-page anthology of essays contributed by 31 contributors.

Named For Hank - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 01:27 PM EDT (#127549) #
Rob is...

...capable of much better (as he has proven with his band)
...a small robot which sits on your desktop or floor, etc
...often interviewed for or quoted in articles about South Florida real estate
Pepper Moffatt - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#127550) #
...a small robot which sits on your desktop or floor, etc

LOL.. That's not Rob, but R.O.B. or "Robotic Operating Buddy" for the NES - one of the strangest video game peripherals of all time:

Named For Hank - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#127552) #
Mike Moffatt is...

...going to call Kevin Hunt about the dugout pads situation
...really, really skinny
...the guy I play pool with
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#127553) #
Pepper Moffatt is...

-an unusual British meat pudding
-a revolutionary tennis machine that has helped millions perfect their return of serve
-working hard on his rugby.
jsoh - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 02:11 PM EDT (#127555) #
jsoh is...

* right, and the other guy is wrong.

Seems 'bout right to me :)
Named For Hank - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#127556) #
Gwyn Price is...

...enthusiastic about the scheme
...the senior lawyer for American Express activities in Europe, Middle East, Africa and the Indian sub-continent
...scheduled to give birth to twins
Mike D - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#127557) #
Reed Johnson is...

...a throw-back player to a grittier time.
...a member of the National Council of Exchangors.
...Senior Fellow and Principal Economist at Research Triangle Institute.
...hit by a pitch leading off the inning.

Scott Downs is...

...just picking up the slack.
...a native of Atlanta, GA.
...better than this, and I'm inclined to give him the ball.
...a man of numerous quotations, many of which adorn the walls of the high school wrestling room to provide a source of motivation for the athletes.

Zach Jackson is... good as you are going to see probably anywhere in the country.
...finally ready to start his pro baseball career.
...obviously very strong.
...considering the purchase of a "sport" motorcycle, which apparently is not much different than riding a bike.

Ricky Romero is...

...the father of Mark, Jay & Chris Youngblood.
...still 20 years old and just two months removed from the draft.
...a graphic designer who has been specializing in design, 3D graphics and animation for over 3 years.
...on the lookout for some runs.

John Gibbons is...

...from London originally.
...the grandson of Euell Gibbons. accomplished artist who studied painting, drawing, calligraphy and ceramics in Osaka, Japan. of three former federal judges from New Jersey who filed US Supreme Court briefs opposing detention without judicial review.
VBF - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 02:39 PM EDT (#127559) #
The Cheer Club... for girls of all ages has its own location
...was formed initially to involve students in the evening basketball game between the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Department and The Prodigy Club students

go figure.
Jobu - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#127561) #
Patrick Swayze is...

A team leader
Cheap-shotted by Racki
Avenged by Rob Lowe
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#127562) #
Davis Romero is...
...gaining weight on the Adkins diet
...set to take the Eastern League by storm in 2006
...the lead singer of the Yo-Mamas

Chip Cannon is...
...destined to be the first to hit the target at the Rogers Centre of a few good men
...Intel's new product delivery method

Josh Banks is...
...the star of a running gig on Wednesdays at Second City in Chicago
...never willing to issue a free pass
...curiously unable to profit from the work of others

R Billie - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#127563) #
R Billie is... well, nothing, actually. Surprisingly.

I guess I'm about the right age to be having an existensial crisis.

Matt - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#127566) #
Ahhh, JFG gets the call... I remember a certain Richard Griffin piece on the contray to that notion.

Whoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooops - I believe is the apropriate phrase...
Jordan - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#127569) #
Here's a pretty cool trivia question ... name the nine (9) first-round draft picks with the Toronto Blue Jays right now.

Be warned, it's a double trick question.
Pistol - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 04:42 PM EDT (#127570) #

I think that was on the Oriole broadcast the other night.
Mike Green - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#127572) #
I thought that League was a second-rounder, while McGowan was a supplemental first-rounder. Yup, I checked and that's what it was.
Jordan - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#127574) #
And I lifted it from the Sun today. Very close, Pistol, but League was actually a second-rounder -- the 9th guy is John-Ford Griffin, drafted in the first round by the Yankees. I think it's neat that Gibbons and Arnsberg were also first-rounders.

The other trick-question aspect is that Dustin McGowan, strictly speaking, isn't a first-rounder -- he was a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds, and so doesn't make the list. It's debatable, though.
Cristian - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#127577) #
Out of vanity I'm going to do my own name to see what turns up.

Cristian is stable
Cristian is a serious young man, confident and responsible
Cristian is like other boys his age
Cristian is quickly charming

So far so good. Then this happens...

Cristian is arrested for Tico's murder
Cristian is sentenced to life in prison

It's always the ones you least suspect, isn't it? In my defence, I'm sure Tico deserved to die--whoever he is.
Jordan - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 05:30 PM EDT (#127578) #
I just want to say that I'm ever going to be cast as a villain, "Plug Head" is a terrific name.
Jim - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#127579) #
Isn't Tico the drummer in Bon Jovi?
Rob - Wednesday, September 07 2005 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#127580) #
I had this list of 8:

which apparently covers only seven of the nine, as McGowan was a sandwich pick. I knew Gibby was a first-rounder -- he was taken right after Billy Beane if I have my 1980 first round memorized, which I don't. Arnsberg was new to me. In both cases, I thought Jordan meant players, but I forgot that every question ever posed at Da Box is a trick question.
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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.