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Nothing.


This series we have just watched has been one of the most thrilling and most important in recent Blue Jay history. Nothing I can write can possibly add to the excitement of the series, the craziness of Shea's Rebellion, the Most Satisfying Regular Season Home Run Ever, the ballboy going nuts, the futility of John McDonald's swings, John Gibbons' bizarre bullpen management on Saturday, and so much more. (Moving A-Rod to DH on Saturday could not have worked out worse, by the way. His defensive replacement was not good, to say the least, and his offensive replacement -- himself -- didn't hit a fair ball all day.)

Fittingly, the series ended with The Joe Torre Throws His Hands Up In Disgust Game, which I insist must join The Travis Lee Game and The Mike Napoli Game in Blue Jays lore. (Jamie Campbell: "If you're keeping score at home, you're likely exhausted.")

So rather than write a couple of thousand words, include a couple of data tables, and try to write something that will measure up to the four games we just saw, I won't even try it. Playoff baseball is not something I'm used to from the hometown nine. This series felt very much like that, and it was the first time all season I felt that this team was not going to finish in third place. That may be overreacting to four games, but so be it. Vernon Wells said "You start looking at the standings -- where we are and where they are -- this was a big series. I think everybody had the same idea. We had to play good baseball."

Yes, this was a series that the Fighting Jays needed to show up for. And they did.
Jays vs. Yankees: What Can I Say? | 97 comments | Create New Account
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Chuck - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 08:39 AM EDT (#151355) #
Torre deserves credit for even keeping his island of misfit toys in the pennant race. And now ARod appears to be playing hurt. It will be interesting to see how Daddy Warbucks deals with this situation.

Did I miss Myers this series, or did he not pitch? I would have figured to have seen him at some point against Catlanotto or Overbay.

Prediction: Speier in pinstripes in '07 (isn't that always the best bet for FA relievers?).

Reincarnation watch: Chien-Ming Wang is a RH Kirk Rueter. Rueter's career K/9 was 3.8. Wang was at 3.6 last year and at 2.8 this year. He is keeping the ball in the yard which explains his low ERA. As much as he seems to look like a pitcher, precious few survive too long striking out so few batters. It's not impossible (mid-70's Randy Jones even won a Cy Young, if I recall and Kirk Rueter forged an entire career out of guile) but it ain't likely.



mathesond - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 09:09 AM EDT (#151357) #

"You start looking at the standings -- where we are and where they are -- this was a big series. I think everybody had the same idea. We had to play good baseball."

Let's hope they maintain that attitude through the next few series. There are few things in baseball worse than taking a big series from an important rival, and then giving back those gains the next few days.


Joanna - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 09:28 AM EDT (#151358) #

I was there live on Friday, and I had a great time.  The Jays out hitting, out pitching and out playing the big boys, plus Tony Fernandez (!!!) made for a very cool game. I was hoarse from booing and cheering, and I even had Yankee fans throw peanuts at me. I've been to live games about 5 or 6 times.  I went in '92 when I was 11, and  the place was vibrating with energy and excitment.  Of all the games I've been to since, only Friday's game started to match that energy.

And Vernon Wells, in case anyone forgot, is a man among boys. 

What a series. Carry on, boys, carry on.

Pistol - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 09:32 AM EDT (#151359) #

The White Sox have hit a bit of a skid - 3-7 in their last ten games - and now are 4.5 games ahead of the Jays for the wild card.  The Jays trail the Red Sox by 4.5 games as well and it sounds like the GM thinks the Jays will be buyers at the deadline.

Rios is off to Syracuse for a rehab assignment today and could be back for the Oakland series.  When he does return it sounds like Cat will DH, Johnson will play in LF and Hinske will go back to his reserve role.

Chuck - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 09:44 AM EDT (#151360) #
Hopefully Rios will be able to pack on some pounds. I saw footage of him taking BP and he looked absolutely gaunt. Not sure how a staph infection translated into weight loss, but apparently it did. Maybe it was just the hospital food.
Maldoff - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 09:57 AM EDT (#151362) #

Long, west coast road trips seem to have the Jays number in recent years (for some reason Oakland and Texas give the home nine fits).  Let's hope them Fightin' Jays can keep this momentum going through Seattle and Oakland, and dump the Yanks again next week!!!!

Speaking of the Seattle series, the pitching matchups actually look somewhat favorable for the Jays.  Tonight's game features Janssen (6-9, 4.77 ERA) vs. Piniero (6-8, 5.79 ERA). Somewhat of a wash. Tomorrow is Doc (12-2, 3.08) vs. Meche (9-4, 3.83). Winnable. Finally, the series ends with Burnett (2-3, 4.17) vs. Moyer (5-9, 4.10). Again, winnable. I think that 2 of3 is definately possible, with a sweep at somewhere around 25% chance.

Jim - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 10:08 AM EDT (#151363) #

Rueter's career K/9 was 3.8.

I can't wait for Wang to fall apart.  Look at Rueter's seasons.  The good seasons were above 3.8, the bad ones below.  I can't stand Wang because the Yankee fans I'm surrounded by have annoited him a good starter.  I am going to relish when it all falls apart.

js_magloire - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#151364) #
Mcgowan is being scouted. Hm. I somehow don't like the idea of getting a player for 2 months and giving up your top prospect. I almost think that right now, the Jays might be best to not make any moves, at least not a major one. But I like Tony Armas Jr., Julio Lugo (the old, we cant improve our weakness, so lets strengthen our strengths), or bullpen help. Lugo seems to like it in Toronto, but I wouldn't sign him in hopes of fitting in that 5 year/62.5 million dollar contract Vernon Wells will get.

Aside from Gibbons questionable bullpen management sometimes, like putting Scot Downs in high leverage situations, I really have a problem with him pitching his only injury prone high-money investment to 120 pitches, yet with all the other starters he yanks early. It happens all the time. He should be trying to squeeze as many pitches out of his healthy starters as he can (if they're doing well, I"d say upper limit of 110, not 100), and that might save an inning here, and inning there, of bullpen use. He can do this for all, except for Burnett, who I'd rather see have a 100 pitch limit. It just doesn't make sense. It also happens when Gibbons pulls guys too early even if theyre pitching OK. Like Jansen's last start against Seattle, he pitched only 4 innings and let up 3 runs, but remember how those 3 runs were scored? Off of 2 botched double plays in the first when Aaron Hill was short stop. That is all, just more patience from starting pitchers, because sometimes they settle down after trouble and the benefits of pitching them long into games are great because the bullpen can rest and no one gets hurt.
Jordan - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#151365) #

Blair's blog entry is mostly heartening. It's very good to hear JP is looking to buy -- the team stood up to the Yankees (this was a sweepable series) and sent a message that they were a group worth reinforcing with more talent. Accardo is a good addition, though I suspect he'll pay more dividends down the road than this year.

I like what we have in terms of position players. Now, I want to see guys like Eric get some at bats, said Ricciardi.

This is an interesting quote for a couple of reasons. One, it seems to counter the now-relentless rumours of a Lugo acquisition (though JP could be dissembling in the media to improve his trade leverage -- youneverknow). I'm open to that kind of a deal, but I'd hate to see the team lose Marcum, McGowan or Rosario in a deadline trade -- especially either of the first two.

As Blair says, the '07 relief corps is going to need good arms, and I don't want to see Riccardi spending next winter chasing the latest incarnations of Rheal Cormier for the pen. And I really think Marcum is going to be a keeper -- he's a step up from Janssen, who's pretty darn attractive himself. I know you have to give value to get value, but for a potential three-month SS rental, I'd rather the Jays pay no more than Rosario, if possible. Ricciardi has to think '07 and '08 as well as '06. We'll see.

Second, it suggests that JP thinks Hinske deserves more playing time, although the MLB report indicates that Johnson will remain a full-time OF, Cat will DH and Hinske will sit. I think that's probably the best combination -- especially on defence -- and JP's opinion aside, regular play was starting to expose Hinske's shortcomings. But Cat has never performed great at DH, and they really need him to hit well in the 2-spot.

But what are you going to do? Johnson has caught lightning in a bottle this year, and you can't let a .360 hitter sit on the bench most days. Personally, I'd consider giving Hinske a few starts at the infield corners -- resting Glaus and Overbay, as Hillenbrand was meant to do -- and sitting Johnson against the toughest right-handers now and again. The team has prospered because the bench guys have been active -- I don't want to see Adams and Hinske get buried down the stretch.

Here's an interesting question -- where does Alex Rios hit upon his return? Johnson is obviously doing a great job at leadoff, and Rios had developed too much power for that position. Batting him 6th against RH and 5th against LH might be the best solution. If he turns back into Alex Rios 2005, of course, the Jays' playoff hopes take a serious blow.

Does anyone else think Jeff Blair faintly resembles Matthew Perry?

Mike Green - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#151367) #
Wang is an interesting study.  An extreme groundballer who doesn't walk many, doesn't strike out many and controls the running game (13-11 SB/CS over the last 2 years).  A little bit like a right-handed Tommy John in his later years. The double play is an important part of his game.

You would think that the ideal lineup facing him would tilt heavily to the left, and would do a lot of hitting and running.  I'm not so sure that he would have fared well in the National League of the 70s and 80s, but in the current AL, he's got a chance to be successful for a number of years.

Pepper Moffatt - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 11:02 AM EDT (#151368) #
If you look at Wang's combined line over the last two years, you certainly get something that looks like it came out of the 1970's

WANG: 40G, 38GS, 19-9, 255.3 IP, 91K, 66BB, 19HR.

He looks a little like the second coming of Jim Barr. Is that even possible in this day of age?  I'd suspect not, but it's not exactly a small sample size.
Mike Green - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#151369) #
Thanks, Pepper.  Barr is an excellent comp, and you proved me wrong.  Candlestick was actually a hitter's park in the mid 70s, year after year, but Barr succeeded.  When you get 65% of your balls in play on the ground, as Wang does, your worst enemies are probably artificial turf and a poor infield defence.  But the big, strong power hitters are not so bad (cue Jimmy Cliff).
Pepper Moffatt - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 11:22 AM EDT (#151371) #
Heh.. I never saw Barr play.  I just remember looking at baseball cards I had of him, and remembered that he never seemed to strike anyone out.
Maldoff - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 11:59 AM EDT (#151374) #
I completely agree with Pistol.  I think a part of trading for Lugo is that we will most likely get draft choices when he leaves.  That said, I would leave the MLB roster as is (maybe trade Adams if we're picking up an SS), and would basically have McGowan as the only untouchable at AAA, allowing guys like Banks, Rosario, etc to be the trade bait.
Pistol - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#151375) #

for a potential three-month SS rental, I'd rather the Jays pay no more than Rosario

I'm not convinced that the Jays are looking at pitchers over Lugo now, despite the Blair entry.  You can improve in two ways - score more or prevent the other teams from scoring and Lugo would be a pretty big upgrade on John McDonald - he's hitting .310/.374/.511 this year (and translates better than that).

I wouldn't want to see the Jays trade anyone off the major league squad for Lugo, and Rosario is just the player I had in mind as well to give up.  McGowan would be a tough decision.  But if it was Rosario and say an A baller, like Fowler or Ray, for Lugo I'd probably pull the trigger.  Even though Lugo would be rental (most likely) the Jays would end up with a couple of picks for Rosario so the only real cost in a move like that would be time (in that the prospects you would be replacing the traded players with would be 2-4 years behind reaching the major leagues) and money.

Any pitcher the Jays acquire I imagine would cost a similar package as Lugo.  And the pitcher wouldn't necessarily be a big upgrade (the names out there are ugly) and I can't imagine being able to get draft picks like you almost certainly would with Lugo.

Pepper Moffatt - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#151376) #
"When you get 65% of your balls in play on the ground, as Wang does, your worst enemies are probably artificial turf and a poor infield defence."

This makes a lot of sense.  Ross Grimsley won 20 games on artificial turf with Wang-esque stats for the Expos in the late 70s, but  he also had Gary Carter, Tony Perez, Chris Speier, and Larry Parish on D.
jjdynomite - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#151377) #
I don't know the answer so that is why I am asking: would it really be ruining the Jays' budget to resign Lugo? Lugo/Hill up the middle is pretty good for a contender.  And the Jays just junked a 12 homer .800-.900 OPS guy with poor defense who cost $5.8 mil.  Is Lugo, a 12 homer .800-.900 OPS guy with good defense at a more critical defensive position not worth ~$6-7 million over the coming season(s)?  The Jays' farm simply does not have talent at the SS position to fill from within for the foreseeable future.

Even if he is extended in the offseason, Wells' megazillion dollar contract won't kick in until 2008 unless JP rips up the current one (the contract of which I'm sure would be *more* than 5 years $62.5 million -- Wells certainly should be making more than Johnny Damon).  Unless Godfrey/Rogers are welching on the $85 million payroll for 2007.
Mike Green - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 12:26 PM EDT (#151378) #
I haven't heard much about the CBA negotiations.  My understanding is that the current CBA expires at the end of the World Series, and that the owners have taken the position that different rules for free agent compensation should be in place for the next CBA.  Whether there will be compensation, if Lugo is offered arbitration and refuses, does not seem clear, unless my understanding is incorrect.

Peralta is interesting too.  The Indians might see his contract as more of a detriment than a postive at this point, but it is affordable.  Teams have been known to blame poor results on the disappointing performance of a young player, and if this is the case, Peralta might not cost in players as much as one might think.



Mick Doherty - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#151379) #
Barr was an interesting pitcher ... I was just looking at his BBRef page and noted that he was selected in six separate amateur drafts. I wonder if that's a record?
Pistol - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#151380) #

the owners have taken the position that different rules for free agent compensation should be in place for the next CBA.  Whether there will be compensation, if Lugo is offered arbitration and refuses, does not seem clear, unless my understanding is incorrect

Good point - I had forgotten about that possibility.  Of course, last CBA they wanted to get around to changing draft pick compensation and ended up pushing it off and never changing anything.  It'd be too bad if they changed it significantly.  With all the free agents the Jays would have a lot of extra picks in a draft class that's considered pretty good.

Regarding signing Lugo - it's almost certainly out of the budget.  The payroll right now for next year is at $62 million for 7 players (Towers being one).  There's 6 free agents and Overbay, Rios, and Johnson will jump up a bit next year.

NDG - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#151381) #
My couple cents ...

Wang is interesting, it's really Brandon League in disguise.  I was really surprised by how often he was reaching 94-95 with his fastball.  I had no idea that he threw that hard.  This is quite different from Rueter, and really maybe shows what's possible with League.

I don't know if I'd want to give up Rosario.  He really seems to have fantastic stuff.   Of course, maybe it doesn't matter.  One thing I've learned this year is that pitching motion is not given nearly enough credit.  Guys like Rosario, and IMO Chulk seem to have nasty stuff, but struggle.  Yet Ryan blows people away with quite honestly average stuff.  Even Halladay, ever since he became good, he's had someone on the staff with better 'stuff' (Escobar, Batista, Burnett), yet he's the one that dominates.  To me, the immortal Kevin Frederick is the poster boy for this.  Watching him on TV, I couldn't fathom how anyone could hit him.  He threw very hard, with so much movement.  Yet it was done. Time and time again.

js_magloire - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 12:50 PM EDT (#151382) #
Re: Wells contract. Just because he *should* be making more than Johny Damon, does not mean he is going to. The Yankees overpaid for Damon because they are the yankees. And Johny Damon looked to get the most he could find. Though some parts of me point to Wells maybe leaving, there is definitely a chance that he stays. That depends on: 1) how good the Jays and Rangers are, if Wells is happy here, happy with the squad, and they're doing well and winning, I can see him staying. The Rangers need pitching, but who wouldn't want Vernon Wells? 2) Sometimes players still get a boatload of money, yet in a way, give their team a bit of relief, a hometown discount. IE: Roy Halladay. His extension was 3 years, $40 million, certainly good money. But if he really really wanted to, he could hit the free agent market and get maybe $15 million from some team like the yankees, or whatever. Paul Konerko signed for 5 years/$60 million. If the Jays can afford to, in 2008 give him $12 million per year for like 3 years (that being the "compromise" between max dollars and marginal hometown discount), despite owing about $45 million to Ryan, Burnett, Halladay, and Glaus, then maybe he can stay. That's $57 million to 5 players. I don't think Wells is worth more than $13 mil per year, even if he is a gold glover. It's just that Johnny Damon is overrated.

Also, bluejays.com mentions an important point about the upcoming road series in the Seattle preview: how mediocre the Jays have been on the road and how it often kills their momentum. They know this, and will be playing hard accordingly. 
Mike Green - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 12:52 PM EDT (#151383) #
Curiously enough, Barr also had Chris Speier playing shortstop behind him in his golden years (72-76).  The 72 club also had Garry Maddox in centre, Bobby Bonds in right and Ken Henderson in left.  Not many balls found the outfield gaps.  Maddox hung around til 74.  Check out Ron Bryant.
Newton - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 01:00 PM EDT (#151384) #

Peralta would be an absolute steal as a young shortstop with tremendous OPS potential.   If his price is even remotely close to the price for Lugo we should go for Jhonny boy.   This guy is a potential cornerstone, I'd be shocked if he were available, but if JP gets even a sniff he should doggedly pursue it. 

Peralta, Hill and Wells would make for a truly dominant middle of the diamond on both offence and defence.

I was at Saturday's game and was impressed with Wang despite his poor K rate.  The kid throws suprisingly hard (consistently around 95, if the Rogers Center radar gun can be trusted) for a guy with such a low K rate and locates the ball exceptionally well (I counted 3 shattered bats).  He'll have the odd inning where he gives up 3 or 4 consecutive groundball hits but this kid is going to be around for a while, and I expect his K rate to improve if he develops better secondary stuff. 

Mike D - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 01:04 PM EDT (#151385) #

Rob, I don't know if you intended this double entendre, but "Shea's Rebellion" is a particularly fitting description in light of Shays' Rebellion, which involved a farmers' revolt in Massachusetts prior to the drafting of the U.S. Constitution in 1786. 

I'd like to give a shout-out for Gregg Zaun for his four walks yesterday.  Is that a Reverse Golden Sombrero?

Named For Hank - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#151387) #
The reverse golden sombrero should be some kind of golden footwear, but not a running shoe -- perhaps a golden flip flop?  A golden Rockport?
slitheringslider - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#151388) #
Lugo reportedly wants $8million over 4-5 years. I would say he is dreaming but there will probably someone be desperate enough to give that to him.
MatO - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#151390) #
As I recall, there was a proposal in this CBA for a revamped draft but in the end it was shelved and the old system was kept.  The proposal was something like an 8 round draft which would have included international palyers and there was to be no compensation for FA losses.
Mike Green - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#151392) #
Do you have a link, MatO?  I looked, but couldn't find much.
CaramonLS - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#151393) #
One other thing about Wang, he throws pretty hard too, I know the other game he was hitting 93-94 pretty consistantly on the gun. 
Thomas - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#151394) #
Thomas "Nasty" Mastny's contract has been purchased by the Cleveland Indians. Mastny, if you recall, was the players the Jays traded to get John McDonald (the first time).
MatO - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 03:14 PM EDT (#151395) #
No Mike.  I'm doing it from memory but I'll see if I can find something.
MatO - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 03:21 PM EDT (#151396) #

Here's a link from that time.  It looks like I got the number of rounds wrong but I was hedging my bets there.

http://www.businessofbaseball.com/summary2002cba.htm

 

MatO - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#151397) #
Not to beat this to death but there are other summaries of the CBA from that time which indicate that the FA compensation system would be retained, so I guess it all depended on which version you read.
China fan - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 03:42 PM EDT (#151398) #
   Is there a chance that Reed Johnson can get enough at-bats in the rest of the season to break into the league's official batting leaders?  He might even have a chance at the batting title.  How many at-bats would he have to average per game for the rest of the season to be eligible for the batting championship?
Ron - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#151399) #
I had a great time watching ManRam being ManRam yesterday.

First he decides to slide to block a ball but ends up kicking further back. And then in the 8th inning he trys to bail out a terrible attempt to catch a ball by Crisp with a barehanded throw. Of course we're talking about ManRam so once he's set to throw, the ball slips out of his hands and goes backwards. ManRam then pointed out the ball to Crisp for some reason.

BTW the scorekeeper at Safeco was really generous. There were 2 errors on Betlre's inside the park HR but they were ignored.



Mike Green - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#151401) #
Congratulations to Vernon Wells on being named AL player of the week.

To qualify for seasonal batting leadership, a player must have 3.1 plate appearances per game, or 502 per season. Sparky has 283 PAs so far, and therefore needs 219 in the remaining 64 games.  As John Gibbons has said that he will be playing almost every day, he will likely meet the requirement. 

Craig B - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#151402) #

Johnson (hitting .352, about 25 points behind Joe Mauer) currently has 283 PA.  A batting title qualifier playing for Toronto right now would need 304 PA.  To qualify at the end of the season, Reed will need 502 PA assuming that the Jays play all 162 games, as seems likely.  So he needs 219 more PA in the team's remaining 64 games (3.42 per game), which he should do easily.

If the season ended today, Reed would be 21 PA short... the rules provide that for batting title contenders that fall short of the required number of plate appearances, you can add the number of PA they are short to their at-bats.  Reed's BA with an extra 21 hitless at-bats would be .325.

VBF - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#151404) #

To qualify to be a batting title contender, a player needs to have 502 PAs per season. Reed has 247 PAs through 98 games.

Basically, Reed would have to average 4 at-bats per game to qualify as a batting title contender. It's anybody's guess as to what the Jays decide to do with playing time when Rios returns, but if Reed can play regularily until the end of the season, he could do it.

VBF - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 04:14 PM EDT (#151405) #
Whoops! Craig has it right, though I believe Reeder has 247 PAs :)
VBF - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 04:18 PM EDT (#151406) #

For you kids at home, don't do what VBF does and mistake ABs for PAs.

Wedding Singer - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 04:21 PM EDT (#151407) #

I don't think I'm the only one who has noticed - but the Jays have played 14 more home games than road games at this point of the season, while the BoSox, who play extremely well at home, have played 7 more road games than home games.

Also, ESPN is reporting that the WhiteSox are extremely close to acquiring Soriano. This would make the fight for the wildcard that much tougher.

Maldoff - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#151408) #

According to ESPN.com, the White Sox are "very close" to acquiring Alfonso Soriano from Washington.  Not sure where he'll play, but damn that Kenny Williams for almost always being able to pull off the big deal!!!!

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2528494

Maldoff - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 04:32 PM EDT (#151409) #
Chicago has also apparently traded for Mike McDougal from the Royals for 2 minor league pitchers.
CaramonLS - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#151410) #
Richard Rodriguez was suspended today for 50 games.  He played for the Jays in the VSL.
CaramonLS - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 04:46 PM EDT (#151411) #

According to ESPN.com, the White Sox are "very close" to acquiring Alfonso Soriano from Washington.  Not sure where he'll play, but damn that Kenny Williams for almost always being able to pull off the big deal!!!!

I'd assume since Podsednik was a full time CF when he was with the Brew Crew, that he would move back there and Soraino would play LF, effectively making sure Makoviack and Anderson don't take any more ABs.  Although Makoviack really has done pretty well this season vs. RHP, definately not a liability out there.

Mike Forbes - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#151413) #
Podsednik would likely slide over to centerfield while Soriano became the leftfielder. It's a defensive downgrade but the offense gets a huge boost, replacing Brian Anderson with Soriano.
mathesond - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#151416) #

Or, Chicago could play Soriano at 2nd and have Iguchi as a valuable bat off the bench...

Seriously, though, with all the talk of Bowden wanting a team's top 2 prospects, and then some, for Soriano, this seems like a bit of a drop. I also wonder how serious the Sox are about trading McCarthy for what would likely be a 2-month rental. Are they that down on him, did they simply puff him up last winter to boost his value, is there farm system that deep, and couldn't Juan Pierre be had for less? Of course, Soriano is the shiny toy most every GM covets - and if he's a SouthSider, then he's not a Tiger or a Twin

Also, Pods at CF doesn't seem like like the gaping wound in the lineup that he is as a corner OF. (If you follow such principles, of course)

DiscoDave - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 05:17 PM EDT (#151417) #
5 minor leaguers are hit with a 50 game ban

Richard Rodriguez of the Jays is one of them

Ron - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#151420) #
http://tsn.ca/mlb/news_story/?ID=172213&hubname=

The Jays payroll will only be about 75 million next season. I always thought it was going to be more.

I have a tough time picturing the Jays going out and signing an impact starting pitcher next off-season.

Doc, AJ, Glaus, Ryan, Wells, Hinske, Overbay, Rios, and Johnson will already be pushing the team over 60 million next season.

I hope Uncle Ted gives the 3 year rolling budget to JP before the FA period begins.

You could argue the Jays play in the biggest market in the Majors. The majority of baseball fans in Canada are Jays fans. There are the only team in MLB to have a national cable tv contract.

My worst fear is the Uncle Ted goes back to the 50-55 million payroll.



ken_warren - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 07:26 PM EDT (#151421) #
Mcgowan is being scouted. Hm. I somehow don't like the idea of getting a player for 2 months and giving up your top prospect.

 I know you have to give value to get value, but for a potential three-month SS rental, I'd rather the Jays pay no more than Rosario, if possible. Ricciardi has to think '07 and '08 as well as '06. We'll see.


JP has to make up his mind whether 2006 is the year, or is he going to maximize the Jays' chances in 07 & 08.  He can't have it both ways.  Pat Gillick was at his best in 1992 and 1993.  He went for the win in both of those of seasons paying no regard for the future at all.  And it paid off big time.  Maybe he knew that Labatts was being sold to a Belgian company and the payroll "tap" would be turned off in 1994.

Only JP knows what the Blue Jays payroll budget situation is for the remainder of 2006 and down the road.  Are the Jays stuck at the $75 M level?  Is the payroll going up or down in future seasons?

One thing for certain is that the Yankees and Red Sox will be able to reload in the off-season and may not be as vulnerable in 2007 as they are now.  On the other hand the Blue Jays  would have little hope in a series against the Tigers, unless the Tigers' pitchers can't stand the heat of playoff pitching and the Jays' pitchers can.  Halladay, Burnett, Lilly, and BJ Ryan have never really pitched in a big playoff deciding or pennant deciding game in their lives.  How will they do?  And Bill James' studies showed that strong pitching teams do much better in the post season than strong hitting teams do.  It also appears that the White Sox are about to land Soriano for this season.  I also can't see the Blue Jays being much of an obstacle for the White Sox either, if they are anything like last last fall's version.

ken_warren - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 07:36 PM EDT (#151422) #
Is Lugo, a 12 homer .800-.900 OPS guy with good defense at a more critical defensive position not worth ~$6-7 million over the coming season(s)?

Let's all calm down a little bit.  Lugo's career OPS (before this season) is .740, and since his rookie season in 2000 (.797 OPS) it is lower than that.  Additionally he will be 31 next season and in decline as a shortstop.

Certainly a nice solid player, but definitely not an .800-.900 OPS guy.
zeppelinkm - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#151423) #
And I haven't heard good defence and Julio Lugo go together too often in a sentence either...



Craig B - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 07:52 PM EDT (#151424) #

I don't know why you haven't.  Lugo made his rep in Houston as a glove man, not a hitter.  He's a great athlete, with great speed and great arm strength, he sometimes tries to do too much and makes about 25% more errors than average.  But he makes tons of plays "out of zone" - especially deep in the hole against slow runners and up the middle on hard shots past the pitcher, and he's very graceful at turning the double play and quite effective too.  He's not quite in the Everett/Wilson/Cabrera/Uribe golg glove territory, but he's solidly in the class below with the Crosby, Tejada, Renteria, Reyes territory.

ken_warren - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#151425) #
Though some parts of me point to Wells maybe leaving, there is definitely a chance that he stays. That depends on: 1) how good the Jays and Rangers are, if Wells is happy here, happy with the squad, and they're doing well and winning, I can see him staying. The Rangers need pitching, but who wouldn't want Vernon Wells? 2) Sometimes players still get a boatload of money, yet in a way, give their team a bit of relief, a hometown discount.

I can't imagine Wells being a Blue Jay after 2007.

1) He's pricing himself out the Jays' price range
2) His GM publicly criticizes him publicly while he is having a MVP type season
3) HIs best friend was traded to Texas and is now a star there.
4) He doesn't live in Toronto
5) He has never even hinted that he would like to finish/continue his career in Toronto

Things might be a lot different if Gord Ash didn't feel the need to acquire Loaiza for the Jays' dramatic playoff run in 2000.
jjdynomite - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#151426) #
Holy negativity Ken-man.  In order:

1) So what's "within the Jays' price range" to get an MVP-caliber player?  They somehow managed $19 million a year for Delgado between 2002-2004 and will be paying Doc $14 million a year.  But they can't pay an everyday stud like Wells around $15-16 million a year, a more complete player than Carlos?
2) Supposedly JP worked things out with Vernon.  And even if not, it's not like he deals with him everyday a la Hillenbrand and Gibbons.
3) Boo hoo Michael Young's in Texas.  And Green and Delgado cry in the dugout each day they can't play together.
4) Uh, what Jays player or manager makes their home in Toronto?  Did Alomar in the Skydome Hotel count?
5) Unless you are a Maple Leaf, not too many players in the local sports scene promote Toronto as the place they want to retire.  Doc makes one.  Next comes.... silence.

One thing in which you're right is that there will be no hometown discount; Doc's hometown team is the Rockies so he was in a rare situation in which the grass is currently greener.  I think the chances are good Wells will be resigned if the Jays make the postseason.  Winning solves a lot of problems unless you are unstable like Shea; thankfully V-Dub is not.
Mike Green - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 08:31 PM EDT (#151427) #
Alex Rios is in the Syracuse lineup tonight as the DH. He's gone 1-2.  Francisco Rosario threw 3 shutout innings.
VBF - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 08:35 PM EDT (#151428) #

Point 2 has almost no effect on a players decision of venue. Perhaps if it was Gibby who said it, but players don't need to have great relationships with general managers to be content. I think people are greatly overrating point 3 and money, winning, and location will have a greater impact on decision-making than having friends in Texas.

As for Point 4, unless your name is Marty Pevey, nobody in management or player personnel lives in Toronto year-round. That's crazy talk :D

As for fears of rogers lowering payroll, there is no business sense in it. The Jays ranked third in profits last year according to Forbes Magazine (30 million) and saw a 30 million dollar increase in payroll expenses this year. Attendance is up, and television ratings are up significantly which should put the Jays back in the profit range. Sure Ted could lower payroll to maximize profits in the short-term, but the long-term effects of having a crappy team would result in losses in the long-term. A lose-lose situation.

Rogers would not have let JP sign four huge contracts with the intent of lowering payroll before those contracts are up. (I say that at the risk of someone screaming "Jeffrey Loria!", but look at what you just said and see the ridiculousness of comparing anyone to him).

Ron - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 08:46 PM EDT (#151429) #
I don't want to be telling Ted how to spend his money but I wonder if Ted would be able to make money if the Jays payroll was in the 100 million range. I'm sure a lot of this would depend if the team made the playoffs and how much success they would have.

I cringe whenever I read or hear from fans living in the US that Toronto is small market team.

MLB is swimming in cash. MLB recently signed huge tv contracts, a satellite radio contract, and streams games through mlb.com

I would be a little bit disappointed if Ted announces the next 3 year rolling payroll is 210 million.





ken_warren - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 09:12 PM EDT (#151430) #
After another offensive explosion by the Blue Jays yesterday I started to wonder how much credit should go to the batting coach, Mickey Brantley.

Zaun - ISO:  2004 - .124; 2005 - .122, 2006 - .204

Molina -  2004 - 276/313/404;   2005  -  295/336/446;  2006 -  277/318/412

Hillenbrand -  ISO  -  2004 -  .154;  2005 -  .158;  2006 -  .179

Overbay -

2004 - 579 AB - 16 HR - .177 ISO
2005 - 537 AB - 19 HR - .173 ISO
2006 - 362 AB - 16 HR - .207 ISO

Hill - 2005 -  274/342/385;  2006  -  307/357/401

Glaus -  2005 ISO - .264;  2006 ISO -  .286

Catalanotto -

2004 - 17/33 BB/K - ISO .097 - OBA  .344
2005 - 37/53 BB/K - ISO .150 - OBA  .367
2006 - 41/20 BB/K - ISO .150 - OBA  .427

Johnson -

2004 - 28/98 BB/K - ISO .110 - OBA  .320
2005 - 22/82 BB/K - ISO .143 - OBA  .332
2006 - 22/34 BB/K - ISO .174 - OBA  .435

Wells -

2004 - 536 AB - 23 HR - .200 ISO
2005 - 620 AB - 28 HR - .194 ISO
2006 - 367 AB - 26 HR - .302 ISO

Rios

2004 - 426 AB -  1 HR  -  31/84  BB/K  -  .097 ISO
2005 - 481 AB - 10 HR - 28/101 BB/K  -  .135 ISO
2006 - 270 AB - 15 HR - 24/47  BB/K  -   .255 ISO

Hinske

2004 - .312 OBA  -  129  ISO
2005 - .333 OBA  -  168  ISO
2006 -  .360 OBA -  261  ISO

Every hitter except Molina and Adams are doing significantly better than their recent past.  Several players have shown incredible improvement - Zaun, Wells, Rios, Johnson, and Catalanotto.  Kudos to Mickey Brantley......maybe the most valuable Jay in 2006.





ken_warren - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 09:28 PM EDT (#151431) #
Holy negativity Ken-man.  In order:

It's not "holy negativity".  What's the big deal with signing Wells anyway.  If he leaves we either get to deal him for some nice prospects or get a first round pick as compensation and get to spend the $16 M on some other stud.  Let's say Andruw Jones, Tejada, or Berkman for example.

So we deal Wells for Jones (or the equivalent) and two great prospects with no impact on payroll.  Nothing wrong with that.  I don't think JP lies awake at night wondering if Wells will re-sign or not.  Maybe he actually prefers that he doesn't.  Anyway there has never been a hint from Vernon that he wants to stay in Toronto.  Unlike guys like Zaun, Halladay, Hinske etc



1) So what's "within the Jays' price range" to get an MVP-caliber player?  They somehow managed $19 million a year for Delgado between 2002-2004 and will be paying Doc $14 million a year.  But they can't pay an everyday stud like Wells around $15-16 million a year, a more complete player than Carlos?

This was an idiotic signing and paralyzed the Jays for six years.  Even when they had the chance to let Delgado walk after three years, Ash just threw more money at him, as if there were no other first basemen in the world.  What was he got for Olerud again?   Oh.......never mind.




Stellers Jay - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#151432) #
I'm not sure how much the Rays expect back for Lugo, but they seem to have an extreme interest in athletic and "high-upside" players.  Combine that with their obvious need for pitching.  What about David Purcey straight up for Lugo?  Is that a fair trade or has Purcey's stock fallen with his continued inability to control the strike zone?
ayjackson - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#151433) #

I don't think the chances are great that Texas could land Vernon.   I don't see what they have to offer.  JP would be looking for major league contributors with upside who are in their first six years.  I see the Angels as the likely destination for Vernon if he doesn't want to re-up with TO.  The likes of Santana or Weaver, Mathis and Rivera/Cabrera coming the other way.  I also wouldn't be shocked if it happened this week.  But the way Vernon's playing right now, I don't think JP will rock the boat like that.

But what does the Box think of an offseason deal of V-Wells and Ismael Ramirez (eg) for Ervin Santana, Jeff Mathis and Orlando Cabrera???

ken_warren - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 10:03 PM EDT (#151434) #
But what does the Box think of an offseason deal of V-Wells and Ismael Ramirez (eg) for Ervin Santana, Jeff Mathis and Orlando Cabrera???

When you take into account the amount of payroll budget it would open up, it could be a very good deal for the Jays.  A young catcher for the future, a nice proven young pitcher, and an established shortstop.  Rios goes to CF and the Jays use the money they save to find a right fielder.
Magpie - Monday, July 24 2006 @ 10:03 PM EDT (#151435) #
Halladay, Burnett, Lilly, and BJ Ryan have never really pitched in a big playoff deciding or pennant deciding game in their lives.

Of that group, Ted Lilly has the one post-season start. It was a beauty, though - game three against Boston in 2003. Seven innings of two-hit ball.
Maldoff - Tuesday, July 25 2006 @ 09:01 AM EDT (#151438) #
I think last night's game showed that Janssen isn't quite ready yet, and that if the Jays want to compete or go on one of those long winning streaks we've all been clamouring for, they need to pick up some back of the rotation help. Oh, and Vernon can't sit out with a back sprain.
Chuck - Tuesday, July 25 2006 @ 09:26 AM EDT (#151439) #
Oh, and Vernon can't sit out with a back sprain.

His replacement hit two homeruns.
js_magloire - Tuesday, July 25 2006 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#151440) #
Well the good news is that, if Chacin really returns by August 9th, then he takes up Jansen's third start from now. In other words, until Chacin gets back, Jansen has 2 more starts to go, which isn't that bad. One against Oakland, and one against CHicago (gasp). But so what, I have confidence in Chacin (maybe he pitched poorly because of his arm discomfort), and I also have confidence in the other 4 guys in the rotation now, as they have all been churning out the quality starts, and even Marcum, who I think, thanks to Mike Green, is a more complete rookie right now than anyone else in the Jays farm system to start. I just hope JP is on the same page.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 25 2006 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#151441) #
It's just possible that with Wells in the lineup, Gibbons would have elected to play Johnson in right with Zaun catching instead of Molina and Hinske DHing. 

Last night was tough.  More hits. More power.  Fewer baserunners removed by double play, caught stealing et. al..  But fewer runs.  The boxscore said: "LOB- Toronto 9, Seattle 1" and that told the story.

Maldoff - Tuesday, July 25 2006 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#151442) #
How did Janssen look last night (I went to bed, damn West Coast trips)? Was it light singles into the right areas, as per usual? What about control?
Four Seamer - Tuesday, July 25 2006 @ 10:03 AM EDT (#151443) #

It's just possible that with Wells in the lineup, Gibbons would have elected to play Johnson in right with Zaun catching instead of Molina and Hinske DHing.

I'm pretty sure I heard Jamie Campbell say that Hinske was not originally in the starting lineup.  I may be misremembering, however.

js_magloire - Tuesday, July 25 2006 @ 10:18 AM EDT (#151445) #
Other good news to look at is Rios is returning, Wells will be back, and I hear that Ituris is a trade possibility, and according to Blair, that Lugo is being asked for too much (a top prospect, where JP wants to give Purcey), and he's looking at Corey Lidle, who is making $3.3 million now, and is not that good. Maybe Ituris is not a bad idea. He has a .980 career fielding percentage, decent fielding...and though he has no power, his career average is 20 points above McDonald's, with a couple of more stolen bases. That's about the only difference. Is a trade worth the marginal upgrade?
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 25 2006 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#151446) #
Fair enough.  At this stage, it's not clear to me why Zaun would be DHing against a right-hander when Hinske is an option.  If he's tired, why not give him a complete day off, and if not, why not let him catch rather than Molina?
Maldoff - Tuesday, July 25 2006 @ 11:23 AM EDT (#151448) #
How about Jon Lieber from the Phillies? Apparently everyone there is available, and it won't take all that nuch to get him.
Maldoff - Tuesday, July 25 2006 @ 01:36 PM EDT (#151458) #
OK, trade deadline is 6 days away. What do you think the Jays biggest needs to fill are?

My list is as follows:
1. Starting pitcher (1)
2. LOOGY to replace SS (1)
3. Setup man (1)
4. Shortstop
js_magloire - Tuesday, July 25 2006 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#151459) #
Is SS tradeable? I'd cut him or get rid of him.
John Northey - Tuesday, July 25 2006 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#151460) #
My list is...
Shortstop
Starting Pitcher
More pen help
Anything else that is an upgrade

I like John McDonald as a defensive replacment but with a 222/265/287 line and his potential replacement in Adams hitting 226/280/337 it is hard to keep things going.  While 4 guys are over 900 in OPS (Wells, Johnson, Rios, Hinske) and another 4 are close (Cat, Overbay, Glaus, Zaun all over 870) it is hard to picture them keeping it up and a black hole at short will hurt eventually.  Hmm... move Hinske to short?  (dives for cover)

Now, who is available at short?  I doubt the Yankees are insane enough to dump A-Rod in our laps, same with Baltimore and Tejada.  Looking around the majors I don't see many good hitting shortstops on poor teams so there really isn't much out there.  Lugo is about as good as is available I suspect unless Baltimore really gives up and makes Tejada available at a reasonable price (really doubtful).

What about second?  Could Baltimore dump Brian Roberts (just 28 and hitting 307/380/405)?  I doubt that'll happen, as I see Tejada going first and the fans screaming loudly.  Vidro in Washington is always tempting (303/367/408) as I doubt there is an untouchable there.  Still, hard to see anything that is available and tempting enough.

Must be hard being a GM.  Finding a quality player who will hit at least for a 750 OPS at SS or 2B shouldn't be this hard but it does appear so.  Makes A-Rod at third seem even more of a shame.

js_magloire - Tuesday, July 25 2006 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#151461) #
I am browsing through TSN"s future players report, and seeing that the best teams, ie: Angels, have many of their young prospects as "undrafted signed free agents." How exactly does a team get their hands on these guys? I guess they have to find out about them, and then win the bidding war. It seems like teams with the best young core are those that did well outside of the draft.

What's more, I know this is a stupid question, but I don't really follow the minor leagues. How does it work exactly: are all the young guys from an organization (ie: Angels) on the same team, or is there ever an instance where a minor league team has different organization's players? Where else do the players come from: just high school and college, and then theyre drafted and go to the minors????
Ron - Tuesday, July 25 2006 @ 02:29 PM EDT (#151463) #
I would trade McGowan for 2 months of Lugo and the comp picks. I'm no longer a believer of McGowan. He was awful in his short stint with the Jays this season and hasn't been good at AAA. The Jays had a SP spot open for him this season and he blew it because of his own poor performance. It's time to sell while he still has trade value.

The Jays should either make a strong push to make the playoffs or become sellers. The worst thing the Jays can do is stand pat.

One name that has recieve little interest in the trade market is Mark Redman. He's pitched well recently and I saw him shutdown the Red Sox at Fenway. I doubt the Royals expect a prime prospect in return.

I was looking over the Jays farm teams last night and where are all the positon prospects? I don't recall the last time the Jays farm system was this weak.


js_magloire - Tuesday, July 25 2006 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#151465) #
Seth McClung sucks. 2-10, 6.81 ERA. I don't see how thats an upgrade at all. More walks than strikeouts.
Jordan - Tuesday, July 25 2006 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#151473) #

The latest from Jeff Blair:

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays asking price for shortstop Julio Lugo remains too high. They want one of the Toronto Blue Jays premier young bullpen arms Shaun Marcum, Brandon League or, down at Triple-A Syracuse, Dustin McGowan. The Blue Jays are thinking more along the lines of David Purcey, the 16th choice in the first round of the 2004 draft, and sources say they have given the Devil Rays a list of pitchers from which to choose. 

That should come as no surprise, since the Blue Jays face issues with their middle relief next year. Both Justin Speier and Scott Schoeneweis will be allowed to leave as free agents and the Blue Jays would rather not spend much time this winter scouring for middle relievers. Purcey, a left-hander, is expendable because he's stagnated a bit. 

Lugo is eligible for free agency and the Devil Rays have no interest in retaining him. The Blue Jays, for their part, would only view him as a short-term proposition and let him go this winter in return for compensatory draft picks. The addition of Lugo would give the Blue Jays a deep lineup from top to bottom and also mean that manager John Gibbons won't have to walk a late-inning line strategically something he has to do with nifty-fielding/light-hitting John McDonald, his current shortstop. 

The Blue Jays have had some conversations with the Chicago Cubs about Todd Walker, but he's a second baseman and they'd rather leave Aaron Hill at second. Among the starting pitchers that J.P. Ricciardi is said to have some interest in is former Blue Jay Corey Lidle, who is expected to be dumped on the market by the Philadelphia Phillies.

Gerry - Tuesday, July 25 2006 @ 05:23 PM EDT (#151477) #
I don't think that Janssen will make his next start, he needs to go back to AAA and reset.  I think McGowan might get the call.  The other starters at AAA, Banks, Scobie, Towers, Vermilyea and Rosario, each have something holding them back.  Alternatively the Jays might try to make a deal before Saturday.
Joanna - Tuesday, July 25 2006 @ 07:45 PM EDT (#151490) #

Jannsen looked panicky last night.  He's rushing a bit and was getting under the ball rather than on top of it, leaving it up in the zone.  From what I understand, one of the problems with "drop and drive" pitchers is that if there is a bit of a flaw in their delivery, it's harder both to spot and fix.  I call Jannsen's flaw (based on what I've read and things Jannsen himself has said) "Casey's Ass Collapse".  I think the boy, nice as he seems, needs more time on the farm to fix "Casey's Ass Collapse".  He seems to know what he is doing but needs more time to mature.  Marcum, on the other hand, has been good fun.  I love his aggresiveness.  Could they maybe think about a 4 man rotation until Gus comes back?

Also, I don't like all these assumptions that it is a given Vernon won't be back.  He might be back.  I believe!!!

Thomas - Wednesday, July 26 2006 @ 12:19 AM EDT (#151507) #
I agree with the consensus - there's basically no chance that Janssen makes his next start, imo. He's not done as a major leaguer, but he's done as a starter this year. The Jays can't afford to have Janssen, as we've seen him recently, in the rotation.

VBF, Marty Pevey lives in Toronto year-round? Really? I had no idea.

Also, I wouldn't dismiss McClung. He struggles with his command and throws a hard mid-90's fastball and has a nice curve. He's always been a case of "when will this guy put it all together and become an average major leaguer pitcher?" There have also been bullpen rumours about him for a while, because of his fastball. Now, a lot of time these sort of guys never develop or turn into, well basically McClung so far. However, there's little harm in acquiring him and letting him try to sort things out in AAA and maybe he can contribute to the bullpen in September or next year. He shouldn't be a major part of a trade, but I'd rather take a shot with him over some other marginal Devil Rays.

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