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Hey, for once, the Devil Rays didn't blow a lead!

Yesterday's Game, Executive Summary: Good pitching and a four-run sixth sunk Tampa Bay.

Star of the Game: Some might say John McDonald, but I say Adam Lind. Did you know he already has more doubles with the Jays than McDonald has all year?

Defensive Play of the Game: The double play started by Ben Zobrist would be the one. Though it took McDonald 4.56 seconds to reach first base; that's enough time to turn two, especially when Tomas Perez's throw was just a bit down the line...

Headwin: I don't know how Edwin Jackson survived that one. He doesn't even get credit in the play-by-play, either: "Adam Lind doubles (7) on a line drive to left fielder Carl Crawford." Perhaps Gameday should introduce the notation "In play, brain-damaging play".

And While I'm Here:
John Gibbons said something after Friday's game that, if true, made me shake my head and wonder what he could be thinking. Mark Polishuk, what was that exactly?

Gibbons said that denying Halladay a chance at the win by not sending him out for the 10th inning was "the toughest decision I've made all year," but the hurler felt it was the right move.

Come on. That was the "toughest decision" you've made all year? Your ace left his last start due to injury. He throws 110 pitches in the next one through nine innings. The bullpen is super-rested -- they all had the day off Thursday and only Justin Speier threw on Wednesday. The only other time Halladay went more than nine innings, he finished with 99 pitches and was cruising like nobody's business against our generation's version of the '62 Mets. If John Gibbons really had such a hard time deciding not to send Halladay out for the tenth on Friday...well, that's just wrong.

Elsewhere, the Red Sox and Yankees split a doubleheader, meaning that Boston and Toronto are now just one game apart in the A.L. East. The last time the Jays finished second, I was three years old, so this would be something new. When the same team wins the division every year, I guess you have to pick your battles.

As for the National League, I'll just point you to this quote. Dave Studeman's always-excellent Ten Things I Didn't Know Last Week article drove me to Balls, Sticks, & Stuff, where the line about the Phillies' playoff hopes is spot-on: the Phillies have continued to flirt with the National League Wild Card race the same way a twelve year old boy flirts with a girl -- able to pull the pigtails but not sure what to do once he gets the desired attention
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The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
westcoast dude - Sunday, September 17 2006 @ 12:35 PM EDT (#155516) #

Ted Lilly pitched a great game. Despite Mike Wilner's comment afterwards that Ted wouldn't be back,  he'll be back  if  Uncle Ted  opens the vault. Lily looks like the missing piece of the championship puzzle next year, if not this year. Doc, AJ, Ted and Gus--the lords of the ring--would be beyond nasty.

Glory days.

Mike Green - Sunday, September 17 2006 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#155518) #
I like this new play in the book- "pinch-run with Rios, Hill hits homer". 
Wildrose - Sunday, September 17 2006 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#155519) #
I think Lilly will explore all available West Coast options before signing with the Jays. Apparently his wife is in Vet School at Cal/Davis about  80 miles inland from Frisco ( lovely town my wife's Aunt lives there), so it may take a bag full of money to keep him out East.
Pistol - Sunday, September 17 2006 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#155523) #
Well, Lilly has to want to return as well as the Jays wanting him.  Given the supply and demand Lilly's going to do well this offseason.  The bidding will begin with Matt Morris money - 3 years, $27 million.  I'll predict that Lilly signs for 4 years and $38 million.

I'm not sure the Jays are going to be willing to pay that.  Lilly's seems to alternate good and bad years.  But if you want a starter you're going to have to pay for it.

Not considering money the Jays would appear to be in nice shape for the rotation next year if Lilly returns.  Both Burnett and Chacin seem to be healthy now after their elbow problems, Halladay's going to put up 235 innings and Marcum looks like a solid 5th starter (who has only given up more than 3 runs twice in 11 starts).
andrewkw - Sunday, September 17 2006 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#155531) #
Ted Lilly earning 9-10 million?  At first glance that sounds crazy, but its true its my opinon as well  there is no way he earns less then the 3/27 Matt Morris got.  I'd like to see Ted back, but at that price perhaps the jays should at least try to get Matsuzaka for 14 million or so (counting the posting price).  However, even if JP changed his mind its unlikely they could outbid Seattle, NY and Boston anyway.  That being said resinging Ted is probably the best bet even if it means outbidding the west coast teams.   Unless Mark Mulder is signed to an incentive laiden deal and magically rebounds to the pitcher he once was I don't think there is a better pitcher then Lilly on the free agent market that is also cheaper.  
CeeBee - Sunday, September 17 2006 @ 07:40 PM EDT (#155533) #
At least with Lilly the Jays know what they're getting. Well, they should know anyway, as they've seen him up close and personal for the last 3 years. What with the shortage on quality starting pitching around the majors, maybe 3/27 would be a good deal looking back a couple of years from now.
Skills - Sunday, September 17 2006 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#155535) # is reporting that neither the Mets nor the Yanks are interested in signing Zito this offseason. This is a bit difficult to believe, and I would expect both teams would at least test the waters. However, assuming this is true, might this drive down his price enough to put him on the Jays' radar (given the rumored payroll increase)?

I'm not saying this is likely to happen. I'm basically asking everyone which teams are likely to be in on the bidding. Thoughts?

greenfrog - Sunday, September 17 2006 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#155536) #
Lilly is relatively young (30) and could be quite good for the next few years. I think the Jays will make a decent bid (say, 3 years/$27 million) but that he signs elsewhere for various reasons (higher bids, his interest in the west coast, possible issues with management--the latter being purely speculative).

Part of the problem is payroll. It sounds as though Rogers is providing a sizeable boost, but a lot of that is going to be tied up in the back-loaded contracts from last off-season. Signing one or two of Wells, Cat, Lilly, Speier, Zaun, or a free agent from another team will probably max out the available resources.

The higher payroll is great, but JP is going to have some tough decisions to make.

Magpie - Sunday, September 17 2006 @ 08:15 PM EDT (#155538) # is reporting that neither the Mets nor the Yanks are interested in signing Zito this offseason.

Oh really?

Zito is very much a west coast guy - born in Vegas, went to school and university in California - and he might not be interested in coming east. But I will be astonished if the New York teams don't at least kick the tires on this one. It's not like they couldn't use an outstanding (102-68, 3.62), young (turned 28 in May) starter with a fabulous health record (Zito has never missed a start. Ever.) He's had one off-season (2004), and even then he chipped in 213 IP of league-average pitching. He is very likely to be a better pitcher in 2007 than any of the starters currently working for either the Mets or the Yankees.

I'll believe Minaya and Cashman aren't interested at the same time I see documented evidence that they've both Lost their Bleedin' Minds.
zeppelinkm - Sunday, September 17 2006 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#155542) #

Take what this what you will, but I take it that there is a good part of Lilly that does want to be a Blue Jay. I derive this from the fact that he talks as if he is apart of the team... not very scientific, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him back at a reasonable price, relatively speaking.

"Doc's really been, clearly, our most consistent starter and next year if we're going to compete and try to win this division then from a starting pitching standpoint, I feel like it's going to be a lot on our shoulders to go out there and every time out give our team a chance to win," Lilly said.

"That's not for certain but if I look at it and I'm here, we should have a good staff and if the guys pitch like we're expected to, I'm pretty confident we'll be right there at the end of the year."



Craig B - Sunday, September 17 2006 @ 09:17 PM EDT (#155547) #
If John Gibbons really had such a hard time deciding not to send Halladay out for the tenth on Friday...well, that's just wrong.

I'd have given seruious thought to sending him back out if he wanted to go.  Without any hesitation.  Halladay was pitching well and looked to be having a very easy time. 
Ryan C - Sunday, September 17 2006 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#155551) #
I agree with zep.  I dont want to make too much out of it but those comments certainly struck me as odd when I first heard them.

How often does a player who knows he's going to be a free agent in another month, talk about next year's team as if he's still on it?  That's not to say I think Lilly is going to be a Blue Jay next year, but his choice of language made me do a double take.
Pistol - Sunday, September 17 2006 @ 11:25 PM EDT (#155553) #
I guess I don't see anything odd about Lilly's quotes.  If anything he gives the indication that he wants to be back given how much he said 'we' and 'our' in those quotes.

Unless he and the Jays have begun negiotiations on a new contract (which there hasn't been any indication of) he should have some doubts whether he'll be back.  And I suspect the interview brought up that he'll be a free agent this offseason as well.

Magpie - Monday, September 18 2006 @ 01:22 AM EDT (#155560) #
I expect Zito to stay in California, but I expect the New York teams to be in the bidding. And I expect him to go to a team that looks like a winner. So I think the most likely, in order, would be Dodgers, Padres, Yankees, Mets.
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