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Yeah, so it was all my fault. 2006, I mean. Seriously. It's why I've been so quiet lately.

Before we get to that, though, I have to say that sometimes it sucks to be Kenny Rogers: his third baseman and his own throwing ability picked a fine time to leave him, and very quickly the Jays were up 2-0 in the first. The good guys went on to score another pile of runs, and the Tigers made it interesting by mounting a late comeback against the Jays' pen, but B.J. Ryan did the job he's paid the big dollars to do.

So now let's talk about how this season was my fault.

I'll admit that I'm a little disappointed by the season. I'll also admit that this is the first season in forever where I could reasonably feel disappointed by the outcome, so I suppose that's a good thing. But actually, disappointment is the wrong word. What I feel is "responsible".

Those who were reading Batter's Box during the Season From Hell will recall my cursed cap. For those who don't, here's a brief summary:

In January of 2004, I found a Jays cap in my old closet at my parents' house. It was virtually brand-new, as it had never fit me properly as a kid when my dad bought it for me back in 1985 at Exhibition Stadium. I figured that since 1985 was a good season, the cap must be some kind of good omen.

I wore it throughout the remainder of the winter and through spring training. I brought it to a game that I photographed in April, hidden in my camera bag.

A funny thing happened: the team stunk, except for Kevin Cash. And that's when I realized that the cap was responsible: when our own Coach had sat down to interview Cash for the Box, I had taken pictures of the two of them, and Cash was sitting right next to my camera bag, right next to the cap. Somehow he had absorbed some evil power from the thing that was benefitting him but killing the rest of the team.  It was like that stupid Kryptonite that makes everyone else strong while making Superman weak.  Well, except backwards.  Or in whatever way that doesn't imply that Kevin Cash is Superman.

I had to do something -- but what? I tried everything short of destroying the cap. I figured if I burned it, the changes might be permanent. By the time I realized what needed to be done, the season was in ruins.

My wife and I moved into a new house the following winter, and I found a nice, dark closet and squirreled away the cursed cap at the back of it, buried under soft odds-and-ends, just like it had been back at my parents' house. It seemed to work.

And then, a few months ago, a terrible thing happened: we insulated the roof.

We needed to do it. And it never occurred to me what evil would be unleashed as a result. How was I to know that the very closet that was containing the evil cap was also the only access point to the attic? I had to take everything out of the closet. Actually, like something out of a Stephen King novel, I didn't recognize the cap at first because I had no memory of putting it in there, but as soon as I touched it my memories came flooding back.

Oh Jesus Christ, I thought. Why am I touching this? WHY AM I DISTURBING THIS?

I had to -- the guys were there in their workboots with their scary insulation hose. I had to take it out of the closet. I didn't touch it with my hands -- I ran down to the kitchen and got my barbecue tongs. I tried burying it under clothes and jackets, but it didn't work. As soon as the insulation guys were done, I put the cap back in the closet precisely where it had been, but it didn't work. The Jays immediately went on a soul-crushing losing streak that effectively destroyed their playoff chances. After about two weeks of horror at what I had done, it occurred to me that I needed to put the cap into a new closet; as soon as I did, the team righted itself.

So there you go, Jays fans -- it's all my fault. I wanted a warmer bedroom this winter for the new baby, and my selfish thoughtlessness cost the Jays their first playoff berth in a decade.
Jays 8, Tigers 6: His mother called him Kenny, but folks just called him yellow | 49 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 09:59 AM EDT (#156207) #
Dave Studeman reports in today's THT Daily that the Mariners have indicated in an open letter to season ticket holders that Bill Bavasi and Mike Hargrove will be back as General Manager and Manager.  The good folks at USS Mariner are not impressed.
js_magloire - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#156209) #
This quote from Wells makes me happy:

"I never said I wanted to play there [in Texas]," Wells said.

"Things are pointed in the right direction," Wells said. "We played well this year.

"It would be nice to see what would have happened if we had A.J. [pitcher Burnett] the whole year. Everything is positive around here, everybody has a great time around here. It's a situation that I'm happy to be in for a while."

And apparently, wow, Greg Zaun is tickled by the fact of a catcher making 3 years and 9 million. Eek, I like Zaun, but isn't that a little much for him?

Pistol - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#156214) #
If I were Zaun I'd be more impressed that Molina got $5 million from the Jays when he's pretty clearly the better player.

Zaun is a middle of the pack starting catcher.  He's certainly worth at least $3 million/year.  He won't get three years though - what are teams are going to want a 36 year old catcher who's expecting to start?  It'll probably end up being similar to his last deal - one year with a vesting option based on PAs.  The Jays have the leverage on this one - Zaun wants playing time and Toronto is the best place for him to get the most.  If Zaun gets two years guaranteed he's a great agent. 

Mike Green - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#156215) #
Zaun's hitting ability is quite hard to assess, because his off-field issues of several years ago interfered with a normal career progression.  If you look at his 2000-01 hitting record, you might very well conclude that the power surge of the last couple of years is no fluke.  One thing we do know is that you don't want him to catch more than 90 games or so.

My own personal opinion is that Zaun is going to be an effective part-time player until he's 40.  Age is one measure, but for catchers, games caught is probably more important.  In Zaun's case, he's well below the danger zone for his knees. I hope that the organization and Zaun can come to an arrangement.

Pepper Moffatt - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#156217) #
Gee and all this time I thought it was my fault when I secretly replaced Josh Towers' pitching talent with new Folgers Crystals.

Glad to hear it was all your doing.

Named For Hank - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 12:40 PM EDT (#156218) #
It may be subtle, but there's a double music lyric trivia challenge up there -- obviously it's too subtle, because Moffatt just posted and he didn't notice it.
Mick Doherty - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#156219) #
Nah, Moffatt's just too much of a coward to guess and possibly be wrong. Maybe the biggest Coward in the whole County, even!
Mick Doherty - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#156220) #
And a double challenge? Could that be the sly reference to the Tigers' new third baseman, "Lucille" Infante?
Mick Doherty - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#156221) #
I suppose it goes without saying that both "Lucille" and "Coward of the County" were (the original) Kenny Rogers tunes? Kudos to you for not making a "gambler" reference!
jjdynomite - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#156222) #
1. I forgot that the Blue Jays' #1 Rush fan won a ring with the Marlins.  That gives the Jays 4, if I'm right: Bengie and Mighty Troy, obviously, and AJ (sort of).  Is there anyone I'm missing?  Hopefully this will change in 2007 ;-)

2. I wouldn't say Zaun is "clearly better" than Molina.  Sure the OBP is 49 points higher, but BA and SLG are a wash, and Zaun's 12 HRs and 40 RBIs in 285 ABs (1 HR per 23.75 AB; 1 RBI per 7.13 AB) are at a more-or-less equal pace to Molina's 19 HRs and 57 RBIs in 428 ABs (1 HR per 22.53 AB; 1 RBI per 7.51 AB).  Is OBP really such a difference maker?  It's not like either are Pudge in the field.  Also, given both of their MLS service time (Zaun 916 games, Molina 831 games) I feel that handing either a full-time role at this point is a risky proposition (see: Varitek, Jason).  It's too bad the Jays can't afford both of them again.

3. Enough with the numbers.  Hank's sad tale reminded me of my own mind games my Dad and I play.  We often swim in the pool to the sounds of Jerry, Warren (ugh) and Mike on the portable radio.  We try not to "jinx" the team by going out to swim while the Jays are rallying, or leave the pool when the Jays are in the lead or rallying.  You can therefore blame me for Milton Bradley's walk-off homer off BJ on July 30 as I had a birthday party to go to.
Pepper Moffatt - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#156223) #
"It may be subtle, but there's a double music lyric trivia challenge up there -- obviously it's too subtle, because Moffatt just posted and he didn't notice it."

Ugh!  I suck.. I *totally* missed it.

I'm going to listen to The Cure and Depeche Mode and sulk for the rest of the afternoon.
js_magloire - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#156224) #
Can anyone verify Keith Law's opinions on the Jays?

Jamie (Ontario): Hi Keith, do the Jays have anyone from within the organization that can have an impact next season? It seems that JP hasn't developed much talent internally. Is their farm system that weak? Have the past few drafts been that bad? Is there any hope for the coming season?

SportsNation Keith Law: (1:12 PM ET ) Adam Lind is an impact bat in LF, a well above average hitter with a small chance to become a star. But beyond him, there's very little; the farm system is one of the worst in baseball, and is particularly thin in pitching. As for hope for 2007, of course there is. Even if they ran the same team out there, they'd win another 84-86 games next year (given some regression from guys like Overbay and Reed Johnson who are having career years), but we now know that Uncle Ted is going to up the payroll again, so there's a good chance they'll improve their talent level some more. The one thing I'd worry about is Halladay's arm. Forearm problems often are precursors to elbow problems. That would be a shame, though - he is one of the most enjoyable pitchers in baseball to watch.

Named For Hank - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#156225) #
Leave it to Mick to nail a Kenny Rogers lyrical challenge within seconds.

I'll admit it, I could hear Jerry Howarth in my head saying that Kenny's defense had picked a fine time to leave him.  And it made me giggle uncontrollably.

I'll also admit that I initially tried to work about 25 Kenny Rogers songs into this game report -- I realized that I was pushing it too far when I suggested that people shouldn't fall in love with Kenny in their fantasy leagues -- he'll always take you in, but just when you think you've really changed him he'll leave you again.

Named For Hank - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 01:18 PM EDT (#156226) #
Don't worry, Moffatt -- if you had won it I'd be making fun of your deep knowledge of Kenny Rogers songs right now.  It was lose-lose.
Barry Bonnell - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#156227) #

If Zaun gets two years guaranteed he's a great agent. 

I fully expect Zaun to sign a 2 year deal with the Jays with an option for a 3rd year. Including the option it will probably be close to 9 milion. It has as much to do with his talent  as it does the Jays wanting to reward a veteran clubhouse leader.

  I don't know if I'd want to give Loretta a multi-year deal: He's 35, and he's got no power to speak of - 286/345/358 this year, 280/360/347 last. Plus he's not a shortstop anymore.  Maybe I'm still clinging to desperate straws, but I think Russ Adams can do much the same job for a lot less money.

If Adams gets 175 hits next year I'll eat my shorts. Anyways, if he does it won't be with the Jays. I can't imagine the Jays not picking up a SS in the off season.

Can anyone verify Keith Law's opinions on the Jays?

What do you mean verify? He said it so I don't think it needs verification. If you mean whether or not what he says is true just take a look at any recent ranking of team farm systems. The Jays consistently rank in the 25-30 spot.


Named For Hank - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 01:32 PM EDT (#156228) #
Anyways, if he does it won't be with the Jays. I can't imagine the Jays not picking up a SS in the off season.

In a game last week on the radio, Ricciardi said that the team was very interested in picking up a shortstop, but that they hadn't given up on Adams -- they just felt he still wasn't ready.
Mylegacy - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#156229) #

An ode to NFH.

It was a cold April day and a lonely Jay's fanatic from BC was at his first game at the RC. Friendless and distraught I sought out NFH who had been forced into the photographers bay down the third base line. He showed me right field, left field and the bit between those two. I felt better. Then in the seventh inning we made eye contact and he took my picture, emailed it to me and now it's my desktop. My desktop from NFH. 

Could this be the same guy that doomed the Jay's in 06?

Say it ain't so Hankster, say it ain't so!

The guy wot coulda been my brodder from a different modder, say it ain't so!

js_magloire - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 01:46 PM EDT (#156230) #
Well there's a few opinions that I meant to discuss (verify wasn't the exact right word). I do not necessarily believe Overbay and Reed Johnson will regress, and I bet Rios does pretty good too. I think he means our farm is thin on batting, but yes I am aware of where it stands. But can't these things change year to year pretty quickly? BUt the thing I was most concerned about was Roy Halladay's forearm thing. DO forearm strains usually lead to something worse? Is he overworked, at an age that is unlikely to be bit by TJ surgeries, etc.? The fear is understandable, Roy is the franchise, case closed,  period.

Mick Doherty - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 02:06 PM EDT (#156231) #

Don't worry, Moffatt -- if you had won it I'd be making fun of your deep knowledge of Kenny Rogers songs right now.  It was lose-lose.

Um ... thank you?

Mike Green - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#156232) #
I don't quite agree with Keith in a couple of respects.  If 2007 was played right now, I would have the Jays marked down for 89-91 wins.  The 2006 club had average luck in most respects, but was very inefficient on offence (compared with 2005's extreme efficiency).  I also like the 2007 club's chances of modestly beating their Pythagorean projection with a full-season bullpen of Frasor, League and Ryan at the front end. 

I also do not share the view that the club's pitching prospects are as poor as he or others suggest.  There is no one of the caliber of Phil Hughes or Homer Bailey in the system.  That much is true.  Projecting pitching prospects is however notoriously difficult.  The club does have quite a number of pitching prospects who reasonably could emerge over the next year, as Brandon League did in 2006, and the talent at the major league level is adequate now.  I am actually more concerned about the absence of middle infield prospects in the system.  An ill-timed injury there could be devastating. 

ScottTS - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 02:13 PM EDT (#156233) #

What do you mean verify? He said it so I don't think it needs verification. If you mean whether or not what he says is true just take a look at any recent ranking of team farm systems. The Jays consistently rank in the 25-30 spot.

While that may be true, in the past 3 years the Jays' farm system has produced (off the top of my head) Aaron Hill, Alex Rios, Reed Johnson,  Dave Bush, Adam Lind, Brandon League, Gus Chacin, Shawn Marcum, and Adam Lind, all of whom are at the very least useful major league players, and some of whom (Hill, Rios, Lind, possibly League) could be much more than that.

And that's not including guys like McGowan, Janssen, Rosario and Davis Romero - all of these guys have spent time with the big club this year.

Granted, there are no obvious superstars in the bunch, but that seems like a pretty good list of players to come up in the last 3 years. I'm no minor league expert, though, so I don't know how this performance compares to other teams.

js_magloire - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 02:14 PM EDT (#156234) #
I agree about the inefficiency, which seems characteristic of the Blue Jays. But how much is dumb luck, and how much is controllable. I mean, you can't just tell the hitters to hit in better situations. Is this really a result of a poor manager? Because that is so unquantifiable that it is not even funny. Maybe the inefficiecny thing will level out? And also, don't managers tend to exert more influence on bullpen usage and such, while the hitting comes down to less consequential decisions, such as bunts, etc.

Though, I haven't liked the way Gibbons has employed hit and run type strategies. Take that hit and run with a .220 hitter or so (bad contact), with 2 slow guys on base (Phillips, and some average guy I forget, maybe Overbay). This hurt the team a lot at the beginning of the year. Stealing bases is overrated I think too, unless your sending Rios, Wells, or some other moderately fast guys.

VBF - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 02:21 PM EDT (#156236) #

I hope that at some point in the future, Sportsnet or ESPN does an hour long feature on Gregg Zaun. I mean, what a story that would make if he ever won the World Series as a starter. Going from some alcoholic punk with no respect for anyone, to one of the best spoken and well carried personalities in Toronto sports isn't something alot of people can do.

I wouldn't hesitate a minute to give Zaun two years guaranteed. He represents what is good and right in the world.

Mike Green - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 02:36 PM EDT (#156237) #
As I said, the team's offence was overefficient in 2005, and under in 2006.  A good part of the variation is likely luck, although it is certainly possible that some of the personnel changes led to a loss of team speed, which might explain part of the decline in efficiency. Still, my bet is that they will be neither significantly underefficient nor overefficient in 2007.
John Northey - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#156238) #
Zaun isn't as bad a risk at $3 mil per year as some might think.  $3 mil is the average for the Jays this year (25 players, about a $75 mil payroll) and will be below average should they go to a $90-100 mil level next year.  Zaun is at the least a solid backup and should continue to be such for 3 years with little difficulty (backup catchers can last a long time, see Pat Borders for an example).  Ideally a 2 year deal at $6 with a 3rd year based on playing time for $3 more.  If the Jays get him for that I'd be happy.  Wouldn't eat too much payroll should he be injured badly and he'd probably still be a good (if overpaid) coach should the worst happen.
R Billie - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#156239) #

I think with this year's team it's hard to say whether it's an inefficiency of offence distribution or for whatever reason a huge split between home and road performance, particularly in the power department.  This has produced 50 home wins against just 35 road wins with 3 games to play on the road against the Yanks.

Home cooking:  .295, .356, .505, 187 2b, 17 3b, 121 hr

Roadstop dining: .275, .343, .422, 155 2b, 9 3b, 75 hr

You've got a +60% homerun advantage on home turf.

If you look at the players who play nearly everyday and are expected to provide the bulk of the power then the split becomes even more pronounced.

Glaus, Wells, Overbay, Rios, Molina at Home = 25 + 24 + 17 + 12 + 12 = 90 hr

Glaus, Wells, Molina, Rios, Overbay on the Road = 12 + 8 + 7 + 5 +  4 = 36 hr

So your power hitters who take regular at bats have hit almost 3 times as many homeruns at home.  And each and every one of them have a very significant home and road split for power.  This doesn't SEEM like bad luck in run distribution so much as a clear advantage of hitting in Rogers Centre which they aren't carrying to the road.

If it weren't for the very significant improvement in the overall pitching staff in the second half, the road record might be even worse.

SK in NJ - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 03:39 PM EDT (#156244) #

I don't think there's any question that Zaun will get two guaranteed years. He's been very consistent from 2004-2006, and presents a veteran presence with not a lot of catching mileage on his body. A two year deal at $6.0 million total wouldn't be too bad. Zaun is probably overachieving in the power department this season, but I think he's a safe bet to provide a .350 OBP or better plus good defense in 2007 and 2008. He'd be a solid starter next year, and if all goes well, a good platoon partner/mentor with Thigpen in 2008. That's assuming of course that Zaun even re-signs with the club. After signing Molina this year, who knows where Zaun's head is at. He single handedly saved the Jays catching situation in 2004 and 2005, and his reward was becoming a back-up in 2006. Hopefully the bridge hasn't burned.

As for SS, I'd rather the Jays get an actual short-stop, instead of acquiring a 2B and moving Hill to short. If Loretta can be an adequate SS, I'd be open to signing him, but I'd hate to have two 2B parading around in the middle infield again. Maybe there are some good trade options available? Omar Vizquel only has a year left on his current contract, and he'd be a great veteran to have on the club for a year. Don't know what it would take to get him, if he'd be available at all. I do think Adams should start the year in AAA. He'll be good insurance in case of an injury.

Mike Green - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#156245) #
What I mean by inefficiency is simply scoring fewer runs than the team BA/OBP/SLUG line would suggest.  It's all neatly summarized in THT's team batting stats.  Six teams are averaging over 5 runs a game- the Yankees, Tigers, Indians, White Sox, Red Sox and Rangers.  The Yankees have had the best offence in the league and have scored the most runs.  The other five teams have had less impressive BA/OBP/SLUG lines than the Jays, in some cases by a wide margin, and yet have scored more runs. 

As I said, it's not all luck.  The team hits into an above average number of double plays, and has below average team speed, but then again, none of the teams are really blessed with too much in the way of speed.

Ryan Day - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#156246) #

 Loretta hasn't played more than a handful of games at short since 2000, so unless three different teams are completely blind to his abilities, I don't think he's the best option there.

  A real shortstop would certainly be nice, but I don't know who's available.  Lugo's the only clear-cut upgrade available by free agency, and as such he'll probably be pretty expensive. If the Angels are sold on some of their prospects, Orlando Cabrera might be a nice pickup.

VBF - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#156247) #
I don't think a career .250 hitting catcher, with 10 homers per year turning 36 should be worth 3 million dollars per year.

Categorizing him as a .250 hitting catcher is technically correct, but you fail to see he gets on-base at about a .360 clip. That's really good for a catcher only making 3 million.

He may be 36, but this isn't like he's been playing full time for 15 years. He's been a full-time catcher reecently, so injury shouldn't be as much as a concern compared to a catcher averaging 500 ABs for the last 15 years. He has had minor injuries, but nothing significant and isn't showing much age.

Now factor in the fact that he handles the pitching staff well, offers a much needed veteran presence and has fantastic communication skills (absolutely necessary).

He's the leader of the team and there's no better options available. Find me an .800 OPS catcher with the same leadership qualities for under 3 million.

Paul D - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#156248) #
I realize that Zaun hasn't played full time since he broke into the bigs, but it's not like players are batteries, who have a certain amount of juice in them, which can be distributed however you'd like.  Catching is a touch position, and 35 year olds are more likely to break down than younger players.  I think you need to be cautious of signing a catcher over 35 for more than one year, particularly if he doesn't hit well enough that he can become you DH (the Piazza solution).
Mike Green - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#156249) #
Both career games caught and age are important for a catcher.  I am not sure if a study which exactly addresses the point has been done, but my sense is that a 33 year old catcher with 1500 career games caught on average has less left in the tank than a 35 year old with 1000 career games caught.

If Zaun continues to hit as he has this season, he can certainly DH in a pinch.  That's a big if.

Ron - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#156250) #
At Zaun's age, it's extremely risky to sign him for more than one season. Assuming he comes back next season, I wouldn't be surprised if his production completely drops off next season. While Zaun has a nice OBP, he has trouble throwing out base stealers.

I prefer the Jays to have a 1/1A catching situation next season (basically what they had this season). I certainly don't want to see a combo of Zaun/Phillips as the Catching combo.

The FA class is extremely thin for catchers.  Because of this, the Jays may have no choice but to offer him a 2 year contract.

greenfrog - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 06:45 PM EDT (#156263) #
Re Law's comments. I mostly agree. This was not a banner year down on the farm. If you take away Lind and Snider, not much exciting happened this year.

However, the major league club has quite a bit of good young talent (acquired through trades and draft picks). Rios, Johnson, Hill, Chacin, League, Frasor, Accardo, and Lind collectively bode well for the future. And we have several stars (or very good players) in or close to their prime: Wells, Halladay, Burnett, Ryan, Overbay, Glaus.

So the situation is not as dire as it could be. Still, it would be nice if a couple of the touted arms--McGowan, Purcey, Janssen, Banks, Romero, Rosario--would get on track next year.  

CaramonLS - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 07:22 PM EDT (#156264) #
I'd do 2/5 or 2/6 with a team option for the final year with a 500k buyout.

Yes, Zaun is 36, but I dare say in catcher years he is a young 36.  He hasn't nearly had the battery of work that some catchers have had.  It also should be noted he showed up in the best shape of his life as well.

3 million is perfectly fair for a catcher of his ability, and it sure as heck beats paying the 1-dimensional Molina say double the money?  (that dimesion is hitting LHP)

It also should be noted that Zaun does something not many catchers can actually do, and that is be productive vs. RHP.  It is a heck of a lot easier to find a backup who hits lefties (oh, what do you know, we have one by the name of Jason Phillips) than someone who isn't a complete tool vs. RHP.

deep dish - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 08:51 PM EDT (#156268) #

I do like Zaun, and he seems to be the captain of the team so losing him would be a great loss.  I don't mind him getting a few at bats at DH when he is on a hot streak, but Zaun is a 90-game catcher.

His salary expectation is reasonable but the length of contract is a bit long.  Catchers tend to hit a wall and decline in an awful hurry - like Darren Fletcher.  It is impossible for us to judge the wear and tear on his body and when that accumulated wear and tear will just be too much. One year and option is a good contract and I think it would be okay to overpay Gregg Zaun slightly - I have no doubt his maturity  and attitude towards being a backup/role-player was a good influence on Eric Hinske and possbily others.

By the sounds of it Zaun isn't too interested in the discussion right now, but JP could make worse moves than tabling some scouting or coaching post when Gregg hangs up his spikes.   Zaun right now is Mr Blue Jay.


Named For Hank - Friday, September 29 2006 @ 11:24 PM EDT (#156270) #
Um ... thank you?

Mick, it's okay for you -- you're in Texas.  Moffatt votes for the Green Party, fer chrissakes.

You're asking yourself, what does voting for the Green Party have to do with Kenny Rogers?  I will leave that for Moffatt to explain.  And it has nothing to do with Kenny's botched eye surgery (which makes him look distinctly Asian) or the failure of his chain of restaurants in Canada.

I will say that I only know the lyrics to a bunch of Kenny Rogers songs because in 1982 my father got a K-Car with a tape deck in it, and we had no tape deck in the house.  This meant that he bought only a few tapes, and we listened to them over and over and over and over whenever we drove to Barrie or Orangeville or Port Elgin or Owen Sound to visit relatives.

The tapes were:

Kenny Rogers' Greatest Hits
Jim Croce's Greatest Hits (to this day I ask myself, Salon or Saloon?  What the hell does that mean?)
Father Abraham in Smurfland

The other seven spaces in the tape box held packs of gum, and later a copy of Roll On by Alabama.

My brother, who is three years younger than me, evidently absorbed much of this music subconciously -- the first time I heard his band play, I came up to him afterwards and said "Your band sounds like Jim Croce", and he was quite surprised.  But then he had to admit that they did.  I was sad when that band never really gained any more success than a weekly gig at The Snooty Fox and a Breakfast Television appearance.

I am apparently rambling.  I have been up since four a.m. since Theo is cutting all four canines at the same time and is in some discomfort.  Maybe Joe should set up the site so that I can't post when it gets too late at night.
Pepper Moffatt - Saturday, September 30 2006 @ 10:45 AM EDT (#156274) #
You're asking yourself, what does voting for the Green Party have to do with Kenny Rogers?

Neither one has ever been in my kitchen? No.. that doesn't make any sense.

I'm more of a Johnny Cash fan (who isn't?), but I could picture Al Gore listening to Kenny Rogers, and we both belong to the same club RE: green issues.

Mike Green - Saturday, September 30 2006 @ 11:10 AM EDT (#156276) #
From Kevin Cash to Johnny Cash in a day.  Very good, gentlemen.  You may pick your next challenge: Jeff Nelson to Willie Nelson or Jason Jennings to Waylon Jennings. 

Is it just me, or is this year's National League the weakest league in memory?  The Mets are good, but not great, and every other playoff team looks to me to be at best a tiny notch above average.  That weakness, of course, does not reliably predict the outcome of the World Series; the 87 Twins won with not much.

bird droppings - Saturday, September 30 2006 @ 09:22 PM EDT (#156284) #
A few quick things as the season comes to close...

September has been pretty good for the Jays and it's kind of what I had imagined to happen this year as a whole. It's too bad it didn't all come together over the entire season. ie. Pitching stank when hitting was good and vice versa.

When Burnett is on, he's almost as fun to watch as Halladay in his Cy Young Season. Not that Halladay's not fun to watch now, but he is a different pitcher.

It's nice to see that at least two of Hill/Adams/Rios (for the most part) worked out. It would be nice to be greedy and have them all here in the future but obviously that's just not in the cards.

BJ Ryan is worth every penny. The guy reminds me of happiness.

Finally, my total congrats goes out to both Zaun and Johnson. These are two guys who the Jays have partially taken a gamble on and have both worked out in too many ways to list (most of the reasons are in the above posts).

Final thought... opening day starter 2030 opening day starter... Theo Reynolds.

js_magloire - Saturday, September 30 2006 @ 10:00 PM EDT (#156285) #
Jays clinch 2nd place for first time in 13 years.

VBF - Sunday, October 01 2006 @ 01:03 AM EDT (#156293) #

The Jason Grimsley List has been revealed in a federal agent's affidavit:

-He lists three players as taking "athletic performance enhancing drugs".

  • Roger Clemens
  • Andy Pettitte
  • Miguel Tejeda

-Two other names, Jay Gibbons and Brian Roberts were also mentioned.

-Orioles have no comment, while Houston denies the accusations.

Normally I'd be very weary of one guilty player dragging names through the mud, but this is the second time a player has accused Tejeda of using performance enhancing drugs.  I sincerely hope the media blows this story up instead of rejecting it as they sometimes do with the NFL.


actionjackson - Sunday, October 01 2006 @ 01:04 AM EDT (#156294) #

Re: pitching stinking and hitting rocking early on, only to have the roles reversed post all-star break, I wonder about the role of the closed dome and the opened dome. Would the Jays not be better off telling the fans to bring their woolies early and late in the season, and use the roof only on the extremely cold days and nights (say below 5 or 10 degrees celsius) and otherwise just to shield off the rain? Would the season ticket holders revolt, or would a winning team, with good pitching warm the cockles of their hearts? (as well as the $4 coffee and hot chocolate-hey, it's half the price of the beer!). The HR rate early on for both the Jays and their opponents was freakin' ridiculous. Or do the Jays continue to stockpile GB pitchers to compensate for the shooting gallery effect of the closed dome?

Maybe I'm imagining things, but it seems like every year there are huge slugfests early in the year which knocks the pitching staff into complete disarray and fires up the old Syracuse-Toronto shuttle and makes JP lose patience and try multiple options. It's not as bad as Coors Field, but it shouldn't be, we're not a high altitude city. Something has to be done to combat this effect, if it in fact exists. The effect at the moment is based on my foggy memories, but nonetheless the Jays never seem to get that big start that would really help in this ridiculous division. Magpie, does anyone keep track of win-loss records and runs scored and allowed with the roof opened and closed?

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