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Blue Jays are cunning birds. This is not widely known, or sufficiently appreciated.

(Author's Note: due to an utterly unforeseen and totally unexpected calamity caused by Mozilla Firefox, the following is reluctantly brought to you by... Internet Explorer? Yes, the dog ate my homework.)

When you lose the first game of the series... the dynamic changes. Winning three out of four now feels like a good thing, a consummation devoutly to be wished. Had they won the first three, and blown yesterday's game... there'd be some grumbles heard.

I have a couple of observations from the series, which I must now reconstrruct more or less from scratch, thanks to the treacherous and shocking behaviour of Mozilla Firefox. (I counted on you! You let me down!)

First - how about the Dude? The man's been an everyday player, and he expected to at least be a platoon regular this year. Went and learned how to play another position. Alex Rios' emergence as a star has turned the Dude into a bench player - a very well-compensated one, but guys want to play. He hasn't moaned, he's just been ready when they called on him. And taking Daniel Cabrera, of all people, deep for the homer that gave the Jays a lead they would never relinquish... that had to feel pretty good.

John Gibbons left himself open to all kinds of second-guessing yesterday afternoon, which is a manager's usual lot in life. And, as always, it's easy to take the test after you know the answer. Lilly was done after six innings - it was hot yesterday, and Lilly did work very hard in the middle innings. Schoeneweis got the first out in the seventh, then hung around to give up a run and leave a baserunner aboard. Frasor got out of the inning, but the second run scored to make it a one-run game. Speier got the first two outs in the eighth, and then gave up a triple to Jeff Conine. With the tying run on third , and Corey Patterson at the plate, Gibbons called for his big left-hander....

Brian Tallett? I imagine a few eyebrows were raised.

Mine were, but then I thought it through. There was no way that Ryan was going to enter the game in the eighth inning. Not after pitching two innings the day before. Fine. But the real pont of the exercise was this: Corey Paterson couldn't hit a left-handed pitcher if he took a paddle to home plate - he's hitting .205 against them this season, which is actually a large improvement on how he did agaionst southpaws in 2005. In this situation, Brian Tallett really is every bit as good as B.J. Ryan. He's just as left-handed.

Why wouldn't Baltimore just pinch hit? Because the only RH bat on the Baltimore bench was a backup infielder named Ed Rogers, a man with less than 20 career at bats in the major leagues. He's their Luis Figueroa, a minor leaguer filling in for the regular backup infielder (Chris Gomez).

You can be sure Gibbons had considered all of these factors as well.

By the way, Tallett was doing some long toss before the game started yesterday. He was in the left-field corner and his long-toss partner was right against the wall in dead centre, maybe a bit towards right field. Tallett's throws to centre field generally arrived on a couple of hops. Meanwhile whoever he was playing catch with was throwing absolute rockets. The ball was zipping all the way into Tallett's glove on the fly. It was like watching a really good outfield arm, a lefty Vlad Guerrero or something. He was so far away I couldn't tell who it was. So I asked the guy from to peer through his binoculars and tell me just who the hell that was out there. He looked and reported back to me: "It's Scott Downs."

The home runs by Alex Rios and Frank Catalanotto to begin Wednesday game were pretty nifty and not too common. The Jays have hit back-to-back homers seven times in 2006 - that's not such a big deal. But only once before have their first two hitters of the game both gone deep. So I refer you all to August 18, 1991. It was a Sunday afternoon in Detroit, as the first place Jays tangled with the second place Tigers. Devon White led off with a home run, and Roberto Alomar came up next and belted another. Bill Gullickson's response was either old-school or bush-league - he came in high and tight to Joe Carter, and drilled him in the shoulder. Joe started charging out towards the mound, and then stopped after a few steps, to reconsider his options. Deciding instead to remain in the game, Carter vented his frustration by stealing second base. And then stealing third. Ah. it was a memorable day at Michigan and Trumbull.

Moving along. Here is a tale of two pitchers, a couple of men with some passing similarities:

SPLIT        G    IP    H   R  ER  HR  BB  SO  W  L  P/GS  WHIP  BAA   ERA   GB    FB  G/F
Pitcher A   13  95.0   83  31  29   9  11  46  8  1  95.5  0.99  .236  2.75  156   67  2.33
Pitcher B   14 104.0  101  38  28  10  10  46  7  4  92.5  1.06  .258  2.42  153  113  1.35

Pitcher A clearly pitched a little bit better, mainly by virtue of being a bit harder to hit - but the similarities are startling. The K/BB figures, the HR allowed per nine innings. Both men are groundball pitchers (Pitcher A is an Extreme groundball pitcher) - neither strikes out a lot of hitters, both do a good job keeping the ball in the park, and both have fabulous control.

Pitcher A, of course, is Roy Halladay 2006 Edition.
Pitcher B, of course, is Josh Towers, second half of 2005 edition.

There has been a lot of discussion around these parts about Halladay's declining strikeout numbers - what does it all mean, should we be concerned. There has been worry and fretting, and there has also been mockery of the worriers and fretters. For my own part, let me testify loud and clear that Halladay's velocity is down significantly. He is not throwing his fastball nearly as hard as he has done in the past. On Tuesday night, he was throwing it generally at about 88 or 89 mph. Occasionally he hit 90 or 91. Kevin Millar saw the only 92 mph fastball of the night. Just last year, it was a remarkably consistent 94 mph, pitch after pitch after pitch.

As a matter of principle, the strikeout numbers worry me - frequency of strikeouts really is one of the few fairly reliable indicators of a pitcher's value going forward. There's a floor that almost no pitcher can fall below and still be successful, and that floor is around 4 Ks per 9 innings. Besides, as a practical matter, the more hitters you strike out, the less work needs to be done by the defense. It's much easier to be successful if your defenders only have to make 18 or 19 outs a game, rather than 23 or 24.

However - Halladay has stated firmly that these results reflect a deliberate decision on his part to forego the strikeout and try to put the ball in play, as quickly as possible. It's the Greg Maddux approach - Mad Dog has always said that his number one objective is to "Get the at bat over with."

It's worked pretty well for Maddux over the years. But it didn't work nearly so well for Dwight Gooden. Gooden did the exact same thing Halladay is doing now - he made a conscious decision to reduce the number of batters he was striking out, and try instead to get quicker and easier outs. The goal was the same - to throw fewer pitches. But Gooden lost a bit of his command in the process, and coupled with his personal issues (which, of course, were Legion), was never the same pitcher again.

Doc Halladay is not Doc Gooden. In addition to having a far more balanced and well-adjusted head on his shoulders, Halladay's mound arsenal is much deeper and more varied than Dwight Gooden's ever was. And it's still there. On Tuesday, he was content to throw 88 mph fastballs all night long - but two hours into his night's work, having already thrown 100 pitches, with two outs in the ninth inning - he had no problem suddenly zipping one in at 94 mph to Corey Patterson. Just like that. It's there if he needs it.

I think he's going to need it in the long run. He's benefitted from facing a comparatively soft schedule, and he's received much better run support this year than he'd grown accustomed to. He's been able to take it somewhat easy, or as easy as it gets at this level. I don't think he can be this successful all season long working this way - but I'm quite confident that he can make whatever adjustments he needs to make. If he finds himself needing to strike out some hitters - it's all still there. He knows what he's doing.

And speaking of Josh Towers...

You haven't seen the last of him. I guarantee it. Josh Towers has spent most of his professional career being told he didn't have the stuff to be a major league pitcher. He's been designated for assignment by two different organzations. He doesn't give up easily.

More to the point, it's clear that the Blue Jays have decided that they want to fix Towers, not forget him. He remains part of the plan - he is signed for two years, after all, and he did pitch better in 2005 than Lilly, Burnett, Chacin... anyone but Halladay, in fact. They want that guy back on the team. That's why he was dispatched to Syracuse, rather than being buried in the major league bullpen. They expect him to come back and help them win. And it's why, needing someone - anyone - to start the Wednesday game against the Orioles, they elected to have Towers stay in place and continue rebuilding his command and his confidence rather than haul him back up to the Show. Jordan Bastian reports what Ricciardi and Gibbons had to say on the subject:

"I don't think he had enough starts down there," said Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi, referring to Towers. "To rush him back for one game, it kind of defeats the purpose."

"We haven't put a number on it," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "Who knows? He'll get back here sooner or later. We think we're going to need him....He just has to get back on track. And it looks like he's doing that."

Towers is now 2-2, 2.48 with 17 Ks and 3 BB in 29 IP at Syracuse. Will he be back before the All-Star Break? I think if he has two more starts like his last two in AAA he could be back before the end of June. It's not like Ty Taubenheim has taken the job and run with it.

Meanwhile, no one is talking about the new Ted Lilly. This must change...

Ted the Tease. We know him so well, don't we? The erratic lefty with the good fastball and that big curveball that he sometimes falls in love with. Occasionally mixes in a slider and a changeup, somewhat half-heartedly. The guy who has nothing to learn from anybody. What happened to that guy? Haven't seen him lately.

Lilly made me sit up straight in the very first at bat yesterday. He made Brian Roberts swing and miss badly at a delicious changeup, and then struck him out swinging with the slider. The next batter, Melvin Mora, also waved in vain at the changeup, and also looked pretty silly in the process. In the second inning, it was Javy Lopez getting fooled and missing the changeup.

And with that off-speed pitch now very firmly in the hitters' minds - for there is nothing more certain to get hitters thinking about a particular pitch as making them look bad with it - Lilly then went to work on the Orioles lineup with the fastball. He had a dandy fastball yesterday - he was moving it all around the strike zone, getting hitters to swing and miss it, and his velocity (which is usually in the 89-91 range) was actually gusting up to 94 mph. And where was the big curve ball? Not quite in the shop, not quite on the scrap heap, but not utilized much for the most part. It was a pitch that he was just showing to the hitters, to remind them that it was there. It was not an important part of the toolbox. He threw one for a ball to Tejada on a 2-2 count. He threw one that Mora fouled off. He threw three of them outside the strike zone to Hernandez.

Of course with the bases loaded in the fifth inning, he threw one for a called strike three to Miguel Tejada to get out of the inning. That was sweet to see.

The four walks in six innings ran up his pitch count and forced him from the game after six innings - but even the walks seemed a discretionary choice at the time (but Lilly himself was very unhappy about them after the game - he thought if the hitters had battled and earned the walks, that would be one thing - but Lilly thought these ones came a little too cheap). It didn't really seem that way to me at the time. He pitched carefully to Miguel Tejada in the first and issued a walk, .. well, it's Miguel Tejajda, a guy who once drove in 150 runs. He pitched very carefully to Ramon Hernandez, and walked him twice - hey, Hernandez is Lilly's daddy (6-11 against him.). He wasn't going to let those two guys beat him, if he could help it.

Afterwards, Lilly also said he was trying to learn something from Halladay's example - trying to build his game around controlling the fastball. He didn't mention anything about cutting back on the strikeouts. If it's Halladay's mission to give the bullpen a rest, it may be Lilly's mission to give the fielders behind him a rest.

Anyway - I think Ted the Tease is on to something. I really do. I think he's putting something together and I would not be at all surprised if he puts together a 10-2 run in the second half.

I'm going to hear from Gitz on this one...

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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Dave Till - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 08:08 AM EDT (#149120) #
An excellent article as always.

I remember the Gullickson start vividly. He didn't just hit Carter in the shoulder: he threw behind Carter's head, which is not old-school but bush-league. Throwing behind a batter's head is the most dangerous thing you can do, as the batter's impulse is to duck away from the ball. From my vantage point in front of the TV set, it looked like a deliberate attempt to cause serious injury, and Gullickson was rightly ejected for it. My blood pressure still rises when I think about it.

Bruce Wrigley - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 09:04 AM EDT (#149121) #
I noted yesterday that every time that Lilly threw the hook for a called strike, the Orioles were looking back and mouthing off at the plate ump.  He had them completely bamboozled with that thing... clever of him to throw it only when he needed it.
Pistol - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 09:13 AM EDT (#149122) #

I think we've all had the 'dog eat our homework' at some point or another.  Highly frustrating.  Of course the 2nd version of this is 10x better than the 1st version of anything I do.

According to Blair, Glaus will be getting a lot of time at SS in interleague play, except when Doc pitches.  So apparently Gibbons feels that Hillenbrand, Glaus, and Hill is a better alternative to Glaus, Hill and Adams at 3B, SS, and 2B respectively.

The nice thing about interleague play is that the Jays get to use their whole team in the NL parks.  They're really pretty well built to play in the NL - more so than say the Yankees or Red Sox.  Ban the DH!

Jordan - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 09:23 AM EDT (#149125) #

Great report, Magpie, and terrific work recalling the only other back-to-back leadoff HRs in Blue Jays history. I was wondering, after Cat's homer, whether the Jays had ever done that before, but until this article, I had completely forgotten about the Gullickson incident, which was huge at the time. It got a ton of media play, and a great deal (more than was necessary) was made of Carter's "unselfishness" in not charging the plate, knowing that he would end up with a costly suspension in the heat of a pennant race. The Tigers-Jays rivalry was still fresh then, too, which added to the tension. Good times.

I remember being surprised and disappointed by Gullickson's actions at the time, because I had quite liked him when he was a solid innings-eater for the Expos in the '80s (Rogers, Lea, Gullickson, Sanderson -- that was a pretty darn good front four, with Jeff Reardon in the pen). I also remember liking him because he was a diabetic and had to overcome physical challenges to be a big-league pitcher -- which in retrospect, was condescending as hell towards people with disabilities, but I was 16 and didn't know much better. Gullickson was also one of the least handsome ballplayers I've seen -- his face looked like someone draped a sock puppet over a brick. He was out of baseball soon after the beanball incident, IIRC.

I was thinking last night that Halladay, plus a fresh Burnett, plus a refocused Lilly, with BJ Ryan waiting in the 9th inning, would be a very tough pill for opposing teams to swallow. But interleague games make me itch -- the Jays have always struggled with them. If the Jays can go 3-3 in Miami and Atlanta, I'd call that a big success.


Jordan - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 09:27 AM EDT (#149126) #

They're really pretty well built to play in the NL - more so than say the Yankees or Red Sox. 

Indeed. I'd like to see Boston try putting Mike Lowell at shortstop and David Ortiz at third base during interleague play.

Not that I won't be holding my breath every time a baserunner comes barreling down on Glaus to break up a double play. On balance, I think the gamble is worth it -- among other reasons, it send a very clear we're-here-to-win-ballgames message to every member of the team -- but keep those worry beads handy anyway.

Mike Green - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 10:18 AM EDT (#149131) #
The Red Sox will never play Ortiz at third base.  They might move Youkilis to third base and let Ortiz play first to give Lowell a few days off, here and there and surely so against a right-handed pitcher. Good management would see the interleague play as a useful opportunity to give veteran players a little break.

Kent Williams has a fine piece in today's THT. His comments about Russ Adams' mental state are particularly noteworthy.

Ryan Day - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#149132) #

 I don't know if it's really necessary to play Glaus at short, as much as it would help out my fantasy team. Tonight, for example, the Jays are facing a lefty, which is a good opportunity to sit Overbay, who's been pretty cool in June (200/281/280) and could probably use  a day or two off anyway. Tomorrow the Marlins are putting Brian Moehler on the mound, and I'm not real concerned about scoring runs off him. So that leaves Josh Johnson as the only pitcher likely to give the Jays trouble, and that's the day Halladay is starting and Glaus stays away from short.

 But it's a neat idea, anyway. I do like that Gibbons isn't afraid to try different things, even if they don't always work out.

Paul D - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#149134) #
Thanks for the memories of that Tiger-Jays game.  I remember listening to that game on the way to a cottage, the one and only time my parents rented a cottage for the family.   It was a nice way to get even more excited during the long ride.
#2JBrumfield - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#149135) #

He didn't just hit Carter in the shoulder: he threw behind Carter's head, which is not old-school but bush-league.

I remember watching that game on TV and I could be wrong (and probably am!)but I think Gullickson actually hit Carter on the top of his batting helmet.  I just remember being really shocked when it happened and how pissed Carter was.  I think Carter rightly deserved to be praised at the time for not going to the mound and pounding Gullickson into the ground with his bat.  That game really intensified my hate of the Tigers, which is now back in full swing after this past week-end and their sweep last August in Detroit that sent the Jays on the road to below .500.

Mike Green - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#149141) #
As for Lilly, he's really an oddity at this point.  Remarkably inconsistent from game to game, but remarkably consistent over a season.  His ERAs over the last 3 seasons are entirely deceptive, with the FIPs and expected FIPs better describing his modest seasonal fluctuations.  He's a league average pitcher, and this club could use a couple of more of those.  Lilly is perfectly capable of pitching a little better than his usual average self over a 3 month stretch, and going 10-2 with this lineup behind him. 
Magpie - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#149143) #
terrific work recalling the only other back-to-back leadoff HRs in Blue Jays history.

Credit where credit is due. It was in yesterday's Game Notes, as prepared and disseminated by Will Hill and his crack staff.
R Billie - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 12:43 PM EDT (#149144) #

They're really pretty well built to play in the NL - more so than say the Yankees or Red Sox. 

Would this be a bad time to point out the Jays were swept in their only series in an NL park this year?

Anyway, the frustration with Lilly is long documented.  I've always said Lilly should maybe throw his curveball 2 or 3 times per inning, not feature it as a regularly used pitch.  It has a lot of break but he has very little command of it and gets himself into deep counts, walks, and pitch count trouble because of it.  His changeup is a pitch that gets just as many swings and misses and is a much more reliable pitch to use, especially against righthanders as long as he doesn't throw it in a terrible spot.

I honestly do believe that story about Oakland not allowing him to choose his own pitches during a game.  Mostly fastballs with some changeups and a breaking ball here and there to freeze hitters not expecting it would be a great mix for him.  His command is another thing that's hard to understand.  If he consistently walked 3 or 4 guys a game it would be one thing.  But some games he walks 1 or 2, other games 50% of his fastballs miss by a foot.

One reason I like Ricky Romero a lot is he seems to have similar stuff to Lilly but with command and consistency.

rtcaino - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#149146) #

I was at Lilly’s start on Saturday. He was throwing his curve often in the opening couple of innings. Only problem it was not curving at all. IIRC the first time he got an Oriole to swing and miss was throwing the slider. He then effectively used his fastball, slider and change for the remainder of the 8 2/3’rds innings. I do not recall him throwing a single curve ball that broke properly the whole game.

Game notes or not, a very enjoyable read.

Gitz - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 01:13 PM EDT (#149147) #
Who's Kent Williams? Folks 'round here know him as Coach, and it's good to hear his voice again. Would that it were on Batter's Box.

True story: I didn't know who was pitching for the Jays yesterday when I looked at the boxscore after one inning, and was scrolling down, heading toward the pitchers. I didn't need to get there to figure it out. When I saw that the Orioles had two walks and three strikeouts after one inning, the answer was obvious: Ted Lilly.

Mylegacy - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 01:19 PM EDT (#149148) #

Oh Dear...

Glaus as a SS is a BAD move. We will regret this big time.

IM(H)O Glaus is like glass...BRITTLE. Hill touches him and he aches, he swings he aches, he runs to first he aches, lets face it the guy aches! He gets on base...he puts that rubber brace on below his knee. Glaus is a DH! He is just barely (physically) a third bagger.

What would you rather have, Glaus at SS for a few games or Glaus' bat in the middle of our lineup for the next three years? To me, that is a risk I'm not prepared to take. Shame on Gibby and JP for taking it!

Named For Hank - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#149149) #
As for Lilly, he's really an oddity at this point.  Remarkably inconsistent from game to game, but remarkably consistent over a season.

I had a fun conversation in an Athlete's World yesterday (I'll tell you why I was there in a second).  I had just come from Baby Day at the Rogers Centre, where Mrs. Hank, Baby Theo, Craig Burley, Mrs. Burley, the two Burley Children and Grandma Burley had a bunch of fun in the Baby Zone, which is coincidentally near one of the 200 level club seat bars.  Or maybe not so coincidentally.

Anyways, so I had Theo with me.  He was dressed in his road greys and I had my Hillenbrand All-Star jersey on.  An Athlete's World employee zipped over and asked who won the game -- I told him.  He asked how Ted Lilly pitched.  I said "He opened the first with two strikeouts and two walks."  Then we both said, nearly in unison, "Ted Lilly."

Bauxite help required -- I need a new cap.  Athlete's World didn't have anything that really caught my eye.  I am not retiring my baseball cap by any means, but I cannot really wear an MLB team cap down in the camera bay, and on Sunday I realized that the only non-baseball cap I had was recently vomited in by a certain toddling youngster who is related to me by blood.  Not that I blame him -- he loves caps, wears them,  carries them around, uses them as containers, sometimes throws them into the bathtub or attempts to put them in the toilet.  They are his favourite toys.  And so sometimes things happen to my caps.  My Jays cap, for instance, smells vaguely of baby shampoo.

But back on track -- I need a cap that is not a cap of an MLB team.  I'd prefer something similar to New Era's 5950 caps (their fitted ones) because I have a large-ish head and most adjustable caps look silly or too small on me.

Anyone have suggestions?  I thought about getting a World Baseball Classic cap (I really like the Venezuela one), but that may still be too close to home.  And I can't really wear the cap of another Toronto sports team.

I like out-there suggestions -- for instance, if I could find a Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation cap, I'd wear that.  My brother has a magnificent hat that says FUNK on it, which has something to do with agriculture (I think they're a seed company), but it's wool-lined.

I'm happy to order from the internet, as long as shipping doesn't take forever.  My sunburn from Sunday was magnificently horrible -- Burley saw my nose yesterday and can probably attest to the horror of it.  Ideally, I'd like to get something before the next homestand.
Named For Hank - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#149154) #
He gets on base...he puts that rubber brace on below his knee.

While they could have been lying about it, didn't the team say this was not a brace but a device like what you'd use to keep your pantlegs from catching in the spokes of your bicycle?  It doesn't appear to actually be large enough or placed in a way that it would serve a muscle or joint protection purpose.

The guy has really long legs, and therefore really long pants.
Magpie - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#149157) #
Glaus is like glass...

Of course the major problem he's had, that cost him chunks of the 2003 and 2004 seasons, was to his throwing shoulder. Switching from third to short shouldn't make a big difference there.
Magpie - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 02:03 PM EDT (#149160) #
do it now so when we do it again in the World Series...

This issue came up in 1993, and the player concerned (Paul Molitor) really was made of glass. Gaston considered giving Molitor some time at third base towards the end of the season, but decided instead that if Molitor was going to hurt himself in the field, he would actually hurt himself in the World Series.
Named For Hank - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#149167) #
It's not that they need to be fixed, it's that they're a pain when sliding.  They're not overlong, just long.

Regardless, it's hard to see exactly what kind of support value that little rubber band will have for a joint or muscle condition.  It's certainly not a knee brace.

I guess I'm just one of those guys who'll believe what the club says unless there's a good reason for me not to.  I can't see evidence that it's not to keep his pants from riding up while sliding.  I also haven't seen anything about knee or leg problems for Glaus, though that could be because I haven't looked.

Named For Hank - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#149168) #

Perhaps I'll ask the doc when she gets home what her opinion is -- it's her specialty, after all.
Paul D - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 03:05 PM EDT (#149169) #
Negro League Baseball Caps

Might I suggest a 1920s Cuban All Stars?
Geoff - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 03:16 PM EDT (#149170) #
Perhaps there's another reason the Jays were swept in Colorado: they saw what was coming.

Those gadgety Rockies didn't have as much of an unfamiliarity level as the Jays for reasons beyond having home field advantage. However, I think I recall some Jays using these Mac tactics back in Spring Training.
Mike Green - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#149171) #
Here's Glaus' injury history. Apparently in 2005, he had a tendon injury in his left knee with swelling, and three cortisone shots.
Tenobia - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#149172) #
IIRC, Jamie Campbell mentioned during a broadcast that Glaus wears the band to keep his knee from hyperextending when he slides.
VBF - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 04:49 PM EDT (#149177) #

NFH, an acquaintance of mine who works as a paramedic at the RC also had the same problem as you in that he couldn't wear his Jays cap in the building. However he does wear one of those black-on-black Jays caps where you can barely see the logo and as of yet hasn't had any problems with people telling him he can't. 

When will da box go the way of SoSH and come out with their line of t-shirts and caps?


Pistol - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#149181) #

Checking Extra Innings it looks like the game will be on tonight.  And given that it's the Marlin broadcast (because the Jay broadcast is, literally, never shown) the color guy will be Tommy Hutton! 

If only Fergie was in the dugout.....

Magpie - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 05:38 PM EDT (#149184) #
It would make a difference if he's running deep in the hole and then throwing across his body and trying to hurry his throw.

Then there are no worries! Glaus at shortstop is never going to reach a ball in the hole! The situation is not going to raise its ugly head.
Named For Hank - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#149189) #
VBF, it's not so much that I can't -- I can, and there's one guy who regularly wears a Jays cap as well as another who wears a Pirates cap -- it's just that it is exceptionally bad form.  No cheering in the press box, etc etc.

Thanks for the ideas, gents -- I'll certainly be looking at those Negro League caps.

As to Batter's Box merchandise -- the hard part is gathering the cash together to make the stuff and ensure that enough gets sold to recoup costs.  No one wants to lose their shirt on, uh, a pile of shirts.

Personally, I'd love to have a New Era fitted 5950 with a Box logo on it.  New Era does custom lots -- I should find out how much, the minimum order and then try to arrange pre-orders.  But I doubt they'd be less than $50 each.

StephenT - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 08:26 PM EDT (#149191) #
Dave Van Horne was in fine form calling the first couple innings on Marlins radio tonight (someone else is doing the 3rd inning right now).
Mike Green - Friday, June 16 2006 @ 09:03 PM EDT (#149193) #
Two days, two DUIs.  Today, it's B.J. Upton. The Rays may want to hire a social worker or two for Durham to counsel Upton, Young and Dukes. All the talent in the world, but....
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