Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
How about that? The second Saturday game in a row that I didn't see.

Chuck made a good point regarding the Rockies in yesterday's TDIB thread. I don't have anything to add to it:
I wasn't even positive they existed until I saw them on TV last night. Even now I'm not entirely convinced the ballgame wasn't some CGI trickery.

Saturday Night, Executive Summary: Ty Taubenheim apparently pitched well enough for his ML debut. Fighting Jays had no fight. Jeff Francis was perfect through four and no-hitting Toronto until the sixth.

More on Taubenheim: He struck out in his only AB and as far as I can tell, aside from 17 AB with Huntsville (AA) last year, he hasn't hit since, oh, Edmonds Community College? He only had one quick inning and was pinch-hit for in the sixth by Eric Hinske, who doubled home one runner. Not two, one.

Yeah, the Minister of Getting Thrown Out! Well, I won't repeat my thoughts on Johnny Mac again, so let's move on. Russ Adams replaced him and made an error in the 8th.

You're Kidding Me: Yeah, I know. The one chance you get when John Freaking McDonald has taken away your job and you throw it away. I like Adams, I really do -- some of my best friends are shortstops who can't throw and leadoff hitters who can't get on base -- but I have more impatience this year than usual with players' mistakes.

Boxscore: Here you go.

Star Of The Game: I have no idea. The boxscore says Jeff Francis, but when a game isn't on TV, I have three options: radio, Gameday, or both. The first and third ones require me to listen to the Wilner-less broadcast team and the second one only works for so long until you can't stand the little outline guy who stands in against the red and green circles. Besides, in the time it took the Jays to get a hit, I was able to sit through the first boring hour of Match Point. The last half of that movie is okay, but man...it took a while to set up the [spolier removed] with the [spolier removed], am I right?

Who is Lyle Lovett? No, I'm serious.

Standing O? Barry Bonds "tied" Babe Ruth in Oakland last night, and according to what I heard on the Giants' radio feed, they applauded him. A lot. Go figure. I thought he was the Evil Lord of Baseball (hitting-wise, anyway; thank you, Mr. Loaiza). Oh, and I say "tied" because if you read Alan Schwarz's excellent The Numbers Game, you'd know that there should be 715 next to Ruth's name, not 714.

Closers Update: The latest results still have Jon Papelbon on top (1.9) with Chris Ray (1.2) and B.J. Ryan (1.1) behind. Fourth and fifth are Shawn Camp and Todd Jones, which makes me question this system just a little bit...

That's The Best Hit He Had All Day: Michael Barrett took exception to a baserunner actually wanting to run in the baseline and Steve Moore'd A.J. Pierzynski. MLB.com doesn't have a link to the highlight video on the Cubs' side of things, but the White Sox do. Funny stuff, if you're into that sort of thing. As if someone would take exception to AJP...

And How About Dave Bush? I suppose this is a bad time to note that his shortest outing this year is six innings. In the National League, where he could easily leave in the fifth for a pinch-hitter. Funny how well he can do when he's not pulled in the fourth inning every other game.

Before Anyone Says Anything: Yes, I like David Bush. No, I won't listen to your completely reasonable, objective criticism of him, since if I was a GM, he'd join Jae Seo and Paul Byrd in the rotation.
TDIB Sunday: Interleague Fever -- Catch It! | 37 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Gerry - Sunday, May 21 2006 @ 09:32 AM EDT (#147295) #

1.  It was Bob Davidson who made the wrong call on Johnny Mac at home plate last night.  Every time I see a game with Bob Davidson umpiring he seems to make a bad call.  Davidson was the umpire who made some high profile bad calls during the world cup.   How does a guy like that keep his job?  I thought umpiring jobs these days were awarded on merit.

2.  Watching Colorado the last two days leaves me impressed with their defense.  They appear to be strong all round the diamond.  Could it be that sinkerball pitchers and a strong defense are the secrets to success in Coors field.

Craig B - Sunday, May 21 2006 @ 09:47 AM EDT (#147296) #
He didn't Steve Moore him; AJ decided to give him another little shove after both of them got up and Barrett popped him.  Frankly I think almost every non-White Sox fan (and even some of those) probably gave a little cheer inside when AJ got dropped.  Publicly, of course, I disapprove of such things.
Craig B - Sunday, May 21 2006 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#147297) #
I should clarify; Pierzynski is totally blameless for the initial collision; Barrett was blocking the plate without the ball and deserved to get fustigated.  And there really is no excuse for someone clocking another player on the field (unless the clockee did it first).  But sympathy for AJ is the last feeling I'd normally have - I'm glad he wasn't hurt (I think).
Pistol - Sunday, May 21 2006 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#147298) #
While MacDonald was safe at the plate there was no way he should have been sent in the first place.  Hinske's hit was the third straight hit off of Francis and there were no outs in the inning and the top of the lineup was coming up.  He was going to score whether a risk was taken or not.



Named For Hank - Sunday, May 21 2006 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#147299) #
Who is Lyle Lovett?

Lyle Lovett is considered a country musician, though most of his albums are heavily blues / gospel.  I despise modern pop country music, but I adore Lyle Lovett.  Lyrically he can swing between the ridiculous (a song about a waitress that he fell in love with where he repeatedly has trouble writing anything to rhyme with her name, and then by the time he finishes the song she's left town with another man "and I'm stuck with this song I never will use") and the extremely sad -- I actually cried the first time I heard The Fat Girl, and it's about two minutes long -- it delivers a serious suckerpunch with its final line.

Lyle Lovett also shows up in a bunch of Robert Altman movies, usually as a creepy guy who doesn't say much.  In The Player, he's a cop obsessed with Todd Browning's Freaks (a very old, very creepy movie that also inspired The Ramones).  In Cookie's Fortune, he's the guy who scales fish on the back step of the caboose he sleeps in.


His band, particularly "his Large Band", which backs him up on a series of albums starting with "Lyle Lovett and his Large Band", is always fantastic.  If you're looking for an album to get you into Lyle, I strongly recommend "...and his Large Band", "Joshua Judges Ruth" (which is pretty gospel-y in parts, especially the magnificent second track, Church, which starts out acapella with a giant gospel choir before sliding into a kind of funk -- it's a song about a sermon that goes on so long that everyone starts to pass out from exhaustion and hunger), and I have a real soft spot for "I Love Everybody", a collection of mostly very short, very silly songs.  Apparently Lyle wanted to name the album after the song "Creeps Like Me", and his record label balked; on the spot he said that instead they should call it "I Love Everybody".  They thought he was making fun of them and got angry, so he told them he had recorded a new song called "I Love Everybody".  They were suspicious and asked him to sing it, so he made it up on the spot.

I love everybody
especially you
I love everybody
especially you
so if you feel lonely
remember it's true
I love everybody
especially you

Julia Roberts, who was his wife at the time (for three whole months!), sings backup on that song.

"I Love Everybody" also includes the immortal "Penguins", featuring Sir Harry and Sweat Pea from Was (Not Was) on vocals --

I don't go for fancy cars
for diamond rings or movie stars
I go for penguins
Oh Lord, I go for penguins

Because penguins are so sensitive
Penguins are so sensitive
Penguins are so sensitive
To my needs

Just typing out the lyrics doesn't do it justice, really.
laketrout - Sunday, May 21 2006 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#147300) #
For those who didn't see the game you missed Hinske execute the weakest slide into homeplate that I've ever seen.  Even Lyle Lovett could have stopped him from touching that plate.
Flex - Sunday, May 21 2006 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#147301) #
I'm a huge Lovett fan ó saw him live at Massey Hall years ago ó  and I just learned more about him in that post than I knew before. I love a baseball site that waxes poetic about the tragic bard of country blues.
CeeBee - Sunday, May 21 2006 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#147303) #

Apparently Johnny Mac wasn't sent but ran on his own. 2nd paragraph tells the story.

http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/gameday_recap.jsp?ymd=20060520&content_id=1462885&vkey=recap&fext=.jsp&c_id=tor

 

Named For Hank - Sunday, May 21 2006 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#147304) #
laketrout, even though I'm in Toronto and was home, I don't have Rogers Cable (long story involving frequent cable outages and an explanation that to fix it properly would be "too expensive", so I would just have to deal with losing cable every time the wind blew too hard -- needless to say, we switched to satellite almost immediately, and I always laugh when I see those "cable is better because there are no weather-related outages" commercials) so I listened to the game on the radio -- describe the slide!  What was weak about it?  Any other visual observations about the game would be welcome, too, from anyone who saw it.

How'd Taubenheim look?

Mike Green - Sunday, May 21 2006 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#147306) #
I love Wikipedia.  It tells me that Lyle Lovett was born in the East Texas county of Harris, and studied German and journalism at Texas A and M (who would've thunk it?).  Texas gives us good things like Lovett, Michelle Shocked and Joe Ely, and is home to our own Lucas and Mick.  Like Quebec, it's not as homogenous as outsiders perceive it to be.

John McDonald's decision to run through a stop sign down 3-1 with nobody out was very unwise.  In Coors, with the top of the order coming up, you probably have to have a 98% chance of success to make that a wise decision. Once there is a play at the plate, regardless whether the umpire's call was correct, it means that the runner made a mistake.  Outs, especially in Coors, are extremely valuable commodities.

smcs - Sunday, May 21 2006 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#147308) #
I saw a highlight of the MacDonald play at the plate and he definetely ran on his own.  He came to an almost complete stop after rounding third and then looked back to see where the ball was and then went for it.  However, I think that that was a great slide, much better than Hinske's. 

Watching the replay of MacDonald makes me think that he was safe, but I cannot be sure.  I don't think Bob Davidson should be blamed for making a bad call because the replay I saw was from behind home plate, as opposed to where Davidson was standing, in the batters box on the first base side.  From his view, the catchers glove probably blocked MacDonalds hand from his sight.  He might not be the best umpire, but I don't think he should be blamed for making another bad call. 

And to add something on the Chicago brawl, Barrett said afterwards that he was knocked a little groggy after AJP hit him at the plate.  When Barrett got up, he thought that AJP was coming after him again, and I think that AJP had to have said something.  Barrett's first reaction was to punch him.

Mike H - Sunday, May 21 2006 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#147310) #

I thought Ty pitched very well.  He walked a few guys, but he never seemed to lose control or let his nerves get in the way.  I don't mean to rake John McDonald over the coals, but he made two huge mistakes in this game.  Obviously getting thrown out at the plate (although he appeared safe on replay), but more he dropped a perfect double play liner, which resulted in two runs later in the inning.

I know this has been discussed before, but is John McDonald getting just a little too much playing time?  I understand Russ Adams has been struggling with the glove, but his bat has been warming up.  Jeff Francis is not an overpowering lefty, so I don't agree with the Adams is a lefty mentality.  I don't have any idea what kind of a player Russ Adams is going to be, but why doesn't John Gibbons try to find out?  Let him mature and hit against a tough lefty, especially since with the pitcher they're already down an offensive player. 

Flex - Sunday, May 21 2006 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#147314) #
One small thing I've been curious about, regarding the Gameday pitch locations device -- what happens when the umpire misses a call and calls a strike a ball, or a ball a strike? It probably happens five times a game, and I'm wondering if the Gameday data entry boys have a way of signalling that. A circle mostly outside the box, but coloured red for a called strike, say?





CaramonLS - Sunday, May 21 2006 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#147315) #
The ball could be 10 feet out of the zone and it would show it in the strike zone as high and tight.  They don't second guess umpires.

washington_jay - Sunday, May 21 2006 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#147318) #
Just a quick addition....I just checked out ESPN Gamecast. They are the only one that has an animated ball to indicate a hit. Otherwise it is the same, with a few layout differences.

I suppose it is best to take pitch location info with a grain of salt, but it is nice to have a guideline at least.
StephenT - Sunday, May 21 2006 @ 01:35 PM EDT (#147319) #

I saw the Rockies in person during SABR in Denver in 2003, so I can vouch for their existence.  I really liked the ballpark.  Don't listen to anyone who wants a pressurized dome built there.

At the 2003 conference, a lot was made of the Rockies having the most extreme home/road splits of any team (over the years).  I mean in terms of winning percentage, not just runs.  It's not a coincidence that the Jays swept the road Rockies a few years ago, but are struggling to win a game against the home Rockies this year.

More bad news: Supposedly, teams have a hangover effect after leaving Coors.  Dan O'Dowd (Rockies GM in 2003, not sure if he still is now), who admittedly was full of excuses for why the Rockies couldn't win, was pointing out that after the Yankees left Coors, even their offense slumped for a few games.  (I haven't checked the data.)  It wouldn't be surprising if the Jays' offense is unproductive next week.

andrewkw - Sunday, May 21 2006 @ 02:23 PM EDT (#147320) #
Anyone else think Hinske shouldn't have slid?  He was DOA and the slide right into the rockies catcher didn't help but running him over might have.  Of course seeing highlights of the chicago brawl may have influenced him
laketrout - Sunday, May 21 2006 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#147321) #
That was my opinion too. He should have made an attempt to jar the ball loose by coming in hard on Ardoin.  It was a very weak, feet first, with his hands up in the air, slide - when he should have been putting his shoulder into the catcher.  At that point of the game it was a real rally killer with Jays down just two runs and a chance to catch-up after going hitless for the first half of the game.  I'm sure this play was reason several callers on Wilner's show were of the opinion that Jays are not playing with passion this series.

Taubenheim was very composed for his debut and was locating his pitches very well.  He's got nice movement on his pitches.



Ron - Sunday, May 21 2006 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#147325) #
Sometimes I feel sorry for Wilner because of the phone calls he gets.

Some fan called in last night and said the Jays should get Willis for Chacin and Hinske.

I wish Wilner would take these types of callers to task. He should have fired back if you were the Jays GM would you accept Jeremy Reed and Gil Meche for Doc and Vernon Wells? Well there's your answer.


VBF - Sunday, May 21 2006 @ 04:15 PM EDT (#147326) #

That is definitely totally ridiculous, but it appears to be widespread also.

Various GM's say Toronto has what it takes to get Willis from Florida. Inside sources are saying that Toronto will give up McGowan, Rosario, Hinske, and Banks for Willis.

That's from www.mlb-trade-rumours.com but it comes with a warning that any Joe-Schmoe can send them trade rumours. I'm not sure what kind of authentication system they have, though the site appears to be a living tribute to Marty York. BBRRS of a hairball.

Ron - Sunday, May 21 2006 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#147328) #
There's no way the cheap Marlins would want Hinske and his contract.

Wilner said the discussions would probably start with Rios if a deal were to take place. He did say the Jays have better prospects to trade than the Yanks and Red Sox. Personally I feel like the Red Sox have better prospects than the Jays and the Yanks probably aren't far behind.

If Willis was put on the trade market I would be more than happy to offer Rios and any pitcher on the current roster or minor leagues not named Doc.



Original Ryan - Sunday, May 21 2006 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#147329) #
To this day I still remember one clueless fan who called up Scott Ferguson (this would've been in either 1999 or 2000) and asked if it would be possible for the Jays to make a switch (sic) for Roger Clemens.  Ferguson basically laughed and said that no, the Blue Jays would not be making a trade to get Clemens back.  I don't think I could be as polite as Ferguson was in that situation.

I'll never know why some people categorically refuse to take at least 30 seconds beforehand to think about what they want to say when they call into one of these shows.  It would save them a lot of embarrassment if they ever browsed sites like this one afterward.
Named For Hank - Sunday, May 21 2006 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#147330) #
Do the Jays need Dontrelle Willis?  Let's say they get him -- who do they eject from the rotation, remembering that Chacin and Burnett will both return.  I realize that right now they need a pitcher -- but it doesn't appear to be a hole that will last that long, does it?  I mean, if Towers hasn't turned it around by the time Burnett returns, he's done for.  There's no way that I can see the Jays sending Casey Janssen down to hold onto Towers if Towers is still underperforming.

So for the deal to make sense, they'd have to trade a current roster pitcher as part of the deal, right?  And who could they trade and still get an improvement out of the addition of Willis, who appears to be struggling so far?

Don't get me wrong -- I like Dontrelle Willis.  But isn't trading for him a very stop-gap solution?  And to trade away Rios would put a big hole out there in the outfield, both offensively and defensively.  I don't like that idea without an outfielder waiting in the wings or coming in from somewhere else.

Mike D - Sunday, May 21 2006 @ 05:31 PM EDT (#147331) #

Old friend Alex Gonzalez has hung up his spikes.

Ron - Sunday, May 21 2006 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#147333) #

You can never have enough pitching, especially of the starting variety.

I have little faith in AJ returning and staying healthy the rest of the season. Heís a major health risk. Towers has been awful this season and will probably be heading to the bullpen soon. That leaves the Jays with Doc, Chacin, and Lilly. I could live with Casey Janssen as the 5th starter and you would add Willis into another rotation spot. Letís say AJ comes back and stays healthy, than you could just send down Janssen to the farm.

BTW when is AJ returning to the rotation? Wilner last night said he had no idea. JP said AJ should be back before the all-star break although he didnít get more specific than that.

Trading for a proven 24 year old all-star calibre starting pitcher that wonít be a FA after this season, is hardly a stop gap solution. Itís a move for the present and the future.

If there was anytime to trade Rios, the time to do it is now. His trade value in the off-season was probably pretty low but now he has greatly increased his stock. I could live with an OF of Wells, Cat, Johnson, and Hinske this season if that means Willis is added to the rotation.

Ken Kosowan - Monday, May 22 2006 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#147346) #
Any potential addition of Dontrelle Willis would surely help the organization in both an on-field and promotional capacity.

Willis is marketable, and his addition to the starting rotation would bolster the rotation for several years.

I think the question at hand, is how much would JP be willing to give up for Willis, not whether he would be a worthwhile addition.

I also find it interesting that people are saying it would be "crazy" to trade Rios, when even this past off-season; many on this site claimed that having Rios in the outfield on a regular basis could hamper any Jay playoff hopes.

In my opinion, it's much easier to find a productive outfielder than a starting pitcher.



CeeBee - Monday, May 22 2006 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#147348) #

Is Willis hurt or just having a bad year?  That would be my number one question. And I'm definitely not in favor of including Rios in the deal unless there are more players coming this way and even then I would have a hard time with it.

w-l     era        IP        H      W      K

1-5    5.12      63.1     71     22    36

CaramonLS - Monday, May 22 2006 @ 04:00 PM EDT (#147354) #
I think it is fair to throw the win/loss record for a player on the Florida Marlins into the trash.

Other numbers though, are a bit of a cause for concern, not exactly his usual sparkling BB/K Ratio and his WHIP are quite high.  I'm not a professional scout (and I hope that if the Jays are scouting him right now, it is NOT the same people who tracked AJ), so I can't tell you what his problem is.

Not sure it could be just a run of very bad luck, their defense has been massively overhauled as well and he did have some really good fielders (Gold glove SS, 3B).

smcs - Monday, May 22 2006 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#147355) #
I agree that you can throw out the won-loss record, but Willis has been unspectacular this year.  His WHIP, SLG, OBP, AVG, BB/9 and H/9 are all up above his career average and his K/9 and K/BB are down.  This may be as a result of being on a bad team, but I think trading for him would be a mistake.
TDIB Sunday: Interleague Fever -- Catch It! | 37 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.