Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
The calm after the storm sees the Jays top the Aís in unremarkable fashion.

Star of the Game: Vernon claims the honour for his 2-run homer in the 5th. The Jay attack was very democratic, with the 8 different hitters contributing one base knock.
Unsung Hero: A.J. Burnett battled without his best stuff to keep the Jays in the game and give the bullpen a little rest.
 
For the Athletics: It doesnít just feel like Mark Kotsay has been a Jay killer this year; the numbers bear it out, to the tune of .360 / .448 / .600 in 29 plate appearances. This from a guy hitting .269 / .326 / .386 overall. Last night he doubled twice. Jason Kendall doubled and singled.
 
Boxscore: Here.
 
Elsewhere in the AL: Kenny Rogers tossed 7 shutout innings at the White Sox for his 4th consecutive good start after a very rough July. The Twins fell to Baltimore, leaving Detroitís Central rivals 7.5 and 8 games back with 41 games to play.
 
The Red Sox lost their 6th straight, falling 4-3 to LA of A. Dustin Pedroia made his big league debut as Alex Gonzalez went on the DL with a strained oblique. Bostonís shortstop-of-the-future collected a single and starting a twin killing. The Jays are now 2 Ĺ back of the reeling Sox.
 
The Mariners snapped their 11-game losing streak and felled the Yankees as Adrian Beltre homered twice, including a walk-off solo shot served by Ron Villone. Bobby Abreu is loving New York, hitting .388 / .495 / .553 in 85 Empire at-bats. Craig Wilson not so much, batting .254 / .279 / .407 for his 59 AB.
 
Today: Gustavo Chacin makes his return from the DL, opposed by Steve Loaiza. The degree to which Chacin shows himself to be healthy and effective over the remainder of this season will go a long way towards the amount of optimism this Jays fan has for 2007.
 
Toronto 4, Oakland 3 | 65 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
js_magloire - Wednesday, August 23 2006 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#153882) #
The degree to which Chacin shows himself to be healthy and effective over the remainder of this season will go a long way towards the amount of optimism this Jays fan has for 2007.

A very huge statement.Considering there are only 2 locks for next year's rotation. TWO!!!! One less extra spot to worry about would be fantastic.

----> Looking back, the Abreu for nobody deal was very very unfair. They got him for nothing and he is a difference maker on the Yankees. I hope they do not win the World Series, but they're the favorites rightnow.

-----> The Rangers eagerly look to lock up their free agents by the end of the season, including Gary Mathews Jr, and Carlos Lee, as well as Adam Eaton and Kip Wells.

-----> Vernon Wells homerun last night was a very very nice looking homerun. He pulverized/demolished that ball.
braden - Wednesday, August 23 2006 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#153883) #
This is the second consecutive start in which Burnett hasn't dominated with the strikeout.  Two last night and only one last Thursday.  Ironically, he has won both games.  Can this be seen as Burnett learning to 'pitch' as opposed to just trying to blow everything past hitters or is he just getting away with so-so stuff against two weak hitting teams?
Chuck - Wednesday, August 23 2006 @ 10:26 AM EDT (#153884) #
Can this be seen as Burnett learning to 'pitch'

With 12 baserunners allowed in 6.2 innings, I prefer his chances with the high strikeout totals.
Maldoff - Wednesday, August 23 2006 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#153885) #
Per the Burnett strikeout conversation, his last 2 starts have been against Minnesota and Oakland, two of the harder teams to strikeout in baseball.  Minnesota has struck out 661 times as a team this season, lowest in the majors.  Oakland has struck out 753 times as a team, ranking 10th lowest in the majors.
Craig B - Wednesday, August 23 2006 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#153886) #
Player of the game in my book was Reed Johnson, who doubled, took a pitch, scored, drove in a run, and made the game's most important play.  If Reed doesn't gun down Swisher, then the A's lead 2-1 and still have two men on.
braden - Wednesday, August 23 2006 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#153887) #

Per the Burnett strikeout conversation, his last 2 starts have been against Minnesota and Oakland, two of the harder teams to strikeout in baseball.  Minnesota has struck out 661 times as a team this season, lowest in the majors.  Oakland has struck out 753 times as a team, ranking 10th lowest in the majors.

The Minnesota game was actually three starts ago (and he struck out 1o).  His last two have been against Tampa Bay and the A's.

the mick - Wednesday, August 23 2006 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#153892) #
The Jays, despite the bungling, the inconsistency, the recent embarrassments, hang just 6.5 back of the wild card. The Jays would need to win 70% of their remaining games to have a chance, and this would require the teams in front of them playing .500 ball. The Jays have yet to go on a tear and if they did, it would get very interesting very quickly. Just what is this team made of? Can Gibby help get them there? Or is Rocky III just around the corner, with another player, about whom it will be said, "Three different scenarios?" Winning is the ultimate palliative.
90ft_turnleft - Wednesday, August 23 2006 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#153894) #

It was interesting to hear the fans boo so vociferous when Gibbons came out the 1st time to talk to A J,cheer when he left without yanking him then cheer yet again moments later when he came out with the hook.Talk about caught between a rock and a hard place.

In the tv interview after with Rod Black he was asked about the reception he received and he commented how the fans can be 'frontrunners' but it was their right to do that as well.In that small moment I got the sense that Gibbons was really hurt by the boos,I think the first he's heard as manager.

I understand he was part architect of this fiasco but I as a fan am willing to have him chalk this bad moment in his tenure as part and parcel his own personal learning curve as a manager in the bigs.I know he struggles with his emotions,namely anger,and hopefully he can learn if there is another 'confrontation' with a player he will handle it with much more aplomb.

I choose to extend him the benefit of the doubt here but will also find it difficult to do again anytime soon.

I've always thought of Gibby as a players manager but it is also apparent that he has areas that he needs to improve on if he is to have a long career here or anywhere in the bigs.

When Rod Black asked him if he had a talk with his team after the dustup he said no.If ever there was a time for a team meeting yesterday was that time if for no other reason than to apologize and reassure all that he was as much if not more at fault than Ted.Gibbons needs to do a better job at communicating with all his players or estrangements and fractures 'may' develop where there need not be any.

Enough I guess with not only beating this poor equine but bordering on exhuming and doing an autopsy on it as well.

Mick Doherty - Wednesday, August 23 2006 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#153899) #

The Mariners sent OF Adam Jones to the minors and called up OF T.J. Bohn and P Cha Seung Baek.

I raise this item simply to point out that it is now impossible to accuse the Mariners of lacking Baek-Bohn.

Named For Hank - Wednesday, August 23 2006 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#153913) #
I got the impression that they were booing the decision to pull Burnett when the Jays were up by three runs.  That impression was reinforced by the gigantic cheer that erupted when Gibby left the mound without pulling Burnett.

I don't think that the crowd was going "Boo, Gibbons, fistfight guy, we hate you!"  Not at all.

Grimlock - Wednesday, August 23 2006 @ 01:30 PM EDT (#153915) #

Me Grimlock heard a bunch of fans in me Grimlock's section booing Gibbons and saying things like, "Don't start a fight, Gibby!"

Maybe it was a combination fo both booing Gibbons and booing the decision to possibly pull him. Me Grimlock felt the cheer for Burnett was cheering him for a pretty good start (now 4 in a row).

 

Dave Till - Wednesday, August 23 2006 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#153947) #
In a post a while back, I was starting to worry about Halladay because his strikeouts are down. Normally, a low K rate is a bad sign. But Halladay is special: not only can he dominate hitters, he can dominate hitters without striking them out. He can carefully locate his wondrous bendy pitches in locations which are (a) irresistible to the hitter and (b) lead to ground balls to second that are so easy to field that almost any of us reading this could throw the runner out. (Except, perhaps, me.) Virtually nobody else can do that, but greatness makes its own rules.

I'm not worried about Burnett just yet, assuming he's healthy. Strikeout rates vary from start to start: in particular, Burnett's K rate will depend on whether he's getting outs with his big curve ball. If he goes a month without striking people out, then we can start to worry.

Magpie - Wednesday, August 23 2006 @ 11:02 PM EDT (#153965) #
I was starting to worry about Halladay because his strikeouts are down.

And some of us were worrying because his velocity was down. He's since demonstrated to my satisfaction that he can throw just as hard as he ever did. He chooses not to. He is one smart fella.

Young men become pitchers because they can throw really, really hard. They blow their fast ball past high school hitters. They sting the radar guns, and the scouts drool. They turn pro. They throw the fastball and get minor league hitters out. If they get in trouble, they throw the fastball a little harder...

That approach just doesn't work in the major leagues. And when you try to get more on the fastball, it almost always straightens out. If you throw a major league hitter a straight fastball, 100 mph isn't enough to save your butt.

But try to tell a young pitcher that when he's in a jam, what he needs to do is let up and take something off the pitch that got him this far... he may nod his head and say sure, but he's not likely to believe you. Not enough to actually act upon it. Not in the heat of the moment, out there on the mound, with the runners dancing off the bases, and the crowd roaring, and the batter stepping in, and the adrenaline surging.




VBF - Thursday, August 24 2006 @ 05:11 PM EDT (#154037) #

And why, oh why, is it considered a bad thing if a manager chooses to yell at a pitcher who is doing an unbelieveably stupid thing on the mound?

This new pitch-experiment thing is complete news to me. If that's in fact the case, I'd definitely be upset as a manager.  If it isn't the case though, seeing a manager begin cussing out his player long before he even comes near the mound--or before Lilly has anything to say--looks alot like bullying to me. Maybe Gibbons isn't a bully, but he sure acted like one. And while we don't see everything that goes on in the clubhouse, the two incidents that we have had some knowledge of indicate that Gibbons will go to the furthest extent possible to defend his cause. The first time, the cause was valid and noble. The second time...the jury may still be out.

And yea, people get yelled at in the workplace. All the time, and it's been going on for centuries--but it doesn't make it right. John Oesch, professor of OB at Rotman School of Management said in the Toronto Star last Wednesday:

An explanation is hugely powerful in management. A lot of times there's what we call an `illusion of transparency,' where their boss assumes the employee knows what he's thinking.

I think that's a totally relevant way of assessing the incident. You could clearly see the expression of "What's going on?" in Lilly's face upon Gibbons ripping him on the mound. Gibbons totally lacked any competent communication skills. Upon realising the direcion Gibbons was going with the coversation, Lilly held onto the ball not necessarily to be a jerk, or to show him up--but for some reasoning. If Lilly was being a fool with his pitch selection that's something to discuss in the dugout with cool heads. But the minute you start the conversation on the mound, you invite Ted to plea his case.

I have full confidence that had Gibbons not said anything, Lilly would have walked to the mound and sat on the bench, ready for a discussion with himself, Gibbons, and Arnsberg. Instead Gibbons put Lilly on teh defensive and things escalated to a point they never should have gone.

In a somewhat relevent and amusing incident last night. Jeremy Accardo brought one of those cosmetic practicing heads you see in high school into the bullpen yesterday and dressed it/her up to be (the single) Brian Tallet's girlfriend. I guess a little bit of Monday rubbed into them as Tallet made this poor cosmetic head his personal punching bag.

Magpie - Thursday, August 24 2006 @ 07:24 PM EDT (#154050) #
This new pitch-experiment thing is complete news to me.

Lilly is always doing this sort of thing. His problem, which baffles everybody who has to deal with him, is that somewhere in his heart of hearts he really doesn't believe his own ability is sufficient for the task at hand. This is not always the case - when he's facing the Red Sox in Fenway he's generally full of confidence. But all too often he doesn't. So he starts with the free-lancing. He once decided he wanted to be Jamie Moyer - I kid you not - and began throwing his fastball 84 mph. He thought it might work for him.

Sometimes he does this stuff in the middle of the game, and waiting until he gets back to the dugout is really not an option. For one thing, the other players who would like to win the game wouldn't think much of it.

As for the respect in the workplace issue - in baseball, it's an upside-down workplace. The rules you and I live under don't quite apply. If you and I don't respect the boss and do what we're told, our butts are out the door. If Roy Halladay and Vernon Wells don't respect John Gibbons and don't follow his direction... who do you think is going to get fired? In baseball, respect for the boss and following his direction is optional. And the manager pretty well always has to demand it, because the players generally won't bother to give it to him unless he actually makes an issue of it.

Man, I've never had a job like that.
Toronto 4, Oakland 3 | 65 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.