Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
The Blue Jays are stumbling. Call for the Doctor.

Roy Halladay goes after his 100th career win, in Texas. At least Kevin Mench won't be around. And despite going winless in May, and falling to 13-16, the Jays are still ahead of the Yankees.

You take comfort where you find it.

Alas, the Cubs have a better record than the Blue Jays, which is always deeply disturbing to me. The Other Zambrano was involved.

Meanwhile, in the South Western Desert, a 43 year old left hander delivered a pitch. And a 48 year old first baseman hit it out of the park. There's something that hasn't happened before. Julio Franco, needless to say, is still the oldest man to homer in the major leagues.

And speaking of old folks...  the Braves and Red Sox both won last night, which they often do on Days Ending with the Letter "Y" - and the starting pitchers were John Smoltz and Tim Wakefield.

When's the TBBL starting up?

5 May 2007: Fearful Symmetry | 38 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Barry Bonnell - Saturday, May 05 2007 @ 09:40 AM EDT (#167277) #
After the Texas series we have a pretty important series at home with the Red Sox. There is a day off on Monday and the rotation sets up as Zambrano/McGowan/Okha. On the Jays website they had changed it to McGowan/Okha/Halladay with the assumption that Zambrano's start would be skipped with the day off and he could stretch himself out with a bullpen simulation.

But lo and behold Zam is apparently, according to Gibby, going to be starting the Tuesday game and with Wednesday's game listed as "to be announced" which means I guess that they are considering skipping McGowan's start. Unless of course they plan to throw Zam/McGowan/Okha at the Sox which would be insane.

Does anyone have a problem with these two scenarios? The Jays have messed around with Dustin enough and skipping his start might hurt his confidence. Why not let Zam take a bullpen session and let McGowan pitch?

Whatever happens though Doc must pitch the last game.

timpinder - Saturday, May 05 2007 @ 11:11 AM EDT (#167280) #

I have a problem with it!  Man, this is frustrating!  Don't bring up McGowan if you're going to give him one start against a great hitting team then dump him if he doesn't excel immediately.  If that was going to be the case then he should have stayed in Syracuse.  Why are Ohka and Zambrano getting nods of confidence anyway?  At least McGowan has the real potential to shut teams down, and he was great in AAA.  McGowan should be given Chacin's three starts, and if he falters he should go back to AAA to start for the rest of the year, then get called up in September to see if he can be a usable piece in 2008.  If he succeeds in his next two starts, then obviously he should stay.

Anyway, if Zambrano (even typing his name makes my blood pressure rise) is starting Tuesday, and Ohka is starting Thursday, you know, I wouldn't even be surprised if Thomson was announced as the starter on Wednesday.

timpinder - Saturday, May 05 2007 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#167281) #

I'd skip Zambrano and let him build up his arm strength in the bullpen, and throw out McGowan, Ohka (shudder) and Halladay on regular rest.

But that's just me.

AWeb - Saturday, May 05 2007 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#167282) #
If they start screwing around with McGowan already, it's definitely time to start a "fire the bums" movement. It didn't take a genius to forecast McGowan would struggle against a very patient and very potent Cleveland team. And the same might go for Boston. Skipping his turn to give Ohka or Zambrano a start? That would be an awful decision from both a development and an actual performance point fo view. And apparently the start of another long year of screwing around with the minor league pitchers (Janssen, McGowan, Marcum, Frasor, Rosario, Taubenheim last year), waiting for someone to burst on the scene and dominate, or giving up on them after modest struggles.
VBF - Saturday, May 05 2007 @ 11:37 AM EDT (#167283) #
I would do my absolute best to not have Ohka face the Red Sox for the third time this season. To his credit he pitched well the second time around which was a good sign, but a third time is asking for trouble in so little time.

Cleveland and then Texas. What is it about the Jays and these parks? Hopefully they can take two games out of this.

brent - Saturday, May 05 2007 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#167285) #

Photo from Naver. If you didn't see this yet- try. This baseball game in Korea faced the LG Twins versus Doosan Bears. After a homerun and a brushback pitch, the batter charged the mound. The pitcher completely stood his ground and flipped the batter. It is the best thing I have seen since Nolan Ryan vs. Robin Ventura.

Flex - Saturday, May 05 2007 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#167289) #
If I was the pitcher, I'd be a little uncomfortable about the position of that hand.
Dave Rutt - Saturday, May 05 2007 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#167290) #
TBBL = toronto bauxite baseball league? I've been wondering about that too. I wasn't in Toronto last summer, but I am now, bought a new bat yesterday, and am raring to go.
Maldoff - Saturday, May 05 2007 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#167299) #
According to Rob Neyer on his blog, JP Riccardi is already on the hot seat.....and today's revelation that he lied about BJ Ryan's injury isn't helping the situation.
Mylegacy - Saturday, May 05 2007 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#167300) #

The tipping point.

Today we are tied for second and at the same time tied for last place. Except for Boston all the rest are 6.5 games back.

Beneath our feet the abyss lies waiting; above us glory beckons. Which is it to be? I say, from this day forward... upward to glory.

Jobu - Saturday, May 05 2007 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#167301) #
TBBL? Yeah! What about that league!? When's that lazy so-called "president" gonna get off his... oh wait... that's me.

What I MEANT to say was thank you for asking Magpie!!

Last year's league was a complete success (the mere fact it existed was a welcomed surprise to me). We even had a rare and elusive MAGPIE sighting that we hope to recreate this year.  This year  therefore must be bigger and better!

We hope to add two more teams this year to bring the league up too.... well, 4 teams.  Hopefully the good people here at Da Box will see fit to grant me a registration thread as they did last season.  This season will be more on the fast track however, as we aim to be up and playing in 2-3 weeks and on into september. A splashy flash website is being made as we speak and should be up soon with more info.

Basic Info: We'll be playing at Smythe Park again thanks to the good people at YBA ( and games will be on Sat and Sun, early afternoonish.... yes I use the word afternoonish.

To send an interest in signing up, or for any questions, please feel free to click on my user name and then send me an email.
actionjackson - Saturday, May 05 2007 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#167306) #
Interesting that the Batter's Box front page picture features arguably the best pitcher (Halladay) and best position player (Hill) at this point in the season. Is it advisable to mess with the mojo of these two to try to get the rest of the team going, say Burnett and Frasor, or would that put Halladay and Hill at risk for unforeseen calamities? Spoken from a purely superstitious viewpoint, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, but when you're in a slump, sometimes you've got to shake things up. There's no empirical evidence that shaking things up gets you out of a slump, but as J.A. used to say: "Youneverknow".
Magpie - Saturday, May 05 2007 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#167307) #
Hopefully the good people here at Da Box will see fit to grant me a registration thread as they did last season.

Well, duh. We are at your disposal, Hillbilly Zombie.

Most frightening of all - my Saturdays this summer seem to be... what's the word... free? Which apparently means I'm supposed to actually...uh, play. (I'm pretty sure this is Liam's way of Piling on the Humiliation.)

So barring some major cardiac event in the meantime... big-time comic relief, coming your way.
Leigh - Saturday, May 05 2007 @ 07:50 PM EDT (#167317) #
Rotoworld coming through with the wit:

Vernon Wells is back in center field on Saturday after missing the last two games with the flu... [w]e suppose this means the Jays weren't covering up a broken leg.

ChicagoJaysFan - Saturday, May 05 2007 @ 08:10 PM EDT (#167318) #

I've stated where I stand on the lying issue, but I gotta admit, that's a pretty good line.

ChicagoJaysFan - Saturday, May 05 2007 @ 08:26 PM EDT (#167319) #
For those that watched the Rangers feed, what was the point of the interview discussing table tennis and soccer with random Chinese fans? 
jeff mcl - Saturday, May 05 2007 @ 09:07 PM EDT (#167322) #
For those that watched the Rangers feed, what was the point of the interview discussing table tennis and soccer with random Chinese fans?

I'm stuck in the US watching this one on  These Rangers guys like to do  pointless interviews with some random fan and miss a batter or two in the process.  Last night's equally lame talk with some country singer lasted about 3 batters.  I would find that pretty infuriating if I were a Rangers fan and had this as my regular feed.

Roy Halladay's 3rd inning was apparently his worst since 2002, also at the Ballpark in Arlington.
Barry Bonnell - Saturday, May 05 2007 @ 10:39 PM EDT (#167327) #
Confirmed by Jerry on the radio. Zambrano/Okha and Halladay against the Red Sox. McGowan's start is skipped.
GregJP - Saturday, May 05 2007 @ 10:56 PM EDT (#167330) #
This team is not making the playoffs this year.  JP, PLEASE give McGowan and Janssen 20 starts and bring up Purcey after the all star break for 10-12 starts.

Get rid of dead wood like Ohka, Zambrano, and Clayton and see who can help for next year when BJ and League are hopefully healthy and Lind and the young pitchers have another year of experience under their belt.

timpinder - Saturday, May 05 2007 @ 10:57 PM EDT (#167331) #
Skipping McGowan's start and messing with him again so that Zambrano and Ohka can pitch!?  The poor kid doesn't seem to have a chance as long as he's here.  Am I ever getting frustrated.
John Northey - Sunday, May 06 2007 @ 12:03 AM EDT (#167333) #
I'm getting the feeling that the Jays are looking to 'showcase' Zambrano and Ohka hoping someone who is desperate for pitching (namely 30 teams including the Jays) will decide they still have 'it' and are worth trading for.  Even a low level prospect would get JP something from the guys he signed last winter, although I suspect he is hoping to find a sucker who will give something worthwhile for them. 

Meanwhile the Jays short term thinking is costing long term goals (ie: leaving McGowan on the bench to rot, Janssen in the pen, Marcum in the pen, etc.).  This is starting to make me think of the final days of Gord Ash - those horrid years when the fight for 500 was more important than getting Vernon Wells playing time.  Chris Woodward being a solid OBP guy in AAA then getting bench time in Toronto behind (ugh) Alex Gonzalez, Homer Bush, and Tony Batista.  Josh Phelps tearing AA apart but not moving to AAA, instead getting bench time in Toronto, Escobar getting the McGowan treatment.

Lets just hope JP doesn't do the panic trades like Ash did (he who shall not be named for Young, Clemens for Wells instead of for top prospects, then Wells for Sirotka rather than for a package of top prospects, Green for Mondesi).
Mylegacy - Sunday, May 06 2007 @ 02:02 AM EDT (#167334) #
Freefall into the abyss...yikes!
ChicagoJaysFan - Sunday, May 06 2007 @ 02:14 AM EDT (#167335) #
I usually try to avoid the premature "the season is over" sayings (2004 would be the last time I said this so early), but at this time, I think the Jays are now at that point.  This team, when healthy for the entire season, is at best a .600 team which just squeaks into the playoffs.  After today's game, now that the Jays need to play .620 the rest of the way to stand a chance (95 wins), I think they're essentially done. 

I posted about a week ago (said it a bit further back) that if they didn't do anything to fill out their bullpen, they'd be giving the season away (the bullpen isn't the only fault recently though).  The last week, they've essentially done that.  To put in perspective to how well they have to play - no T.O. team, not even the '85 Jays have approached the level necessary for this Jays team to make the playoffs (we're talking 100-win season caliber baseball here).  By the way, I still contend the '85 edition is the best Jays team ever  - damn you Bobby Cox and the 3-man rotation.
Smaj - Sunday, May 06 2007 @ 09:31 AM EDT (#167336) #

I'm in absolute shock that McGowan is being skipped; defies logic & reaks of mismanagement.  Zambrano should be in AAA stretching out his arm not in MLB.  The Jays seem to be imploding with serious issues with the starters; the bullpen & some costly defensive miscues.   Coupled with JP's arrogant admission of concealing the truth........It reminds of the comment attributed to Charlie Finley "he holds the truth in such high regard he chooses to use it sparingly".  This is a rough time to say the least & certainly is creating a massive hole for this team to dig out from.

 Personally the BB's have me on the verge of calling The Hair Club For Men.  The pressure on Halladay to throw a complete game every start must be enormous right now.....I'm sure the losing is tearing him apart.

Let us hope for an Oakland Athletics type surge come June to make a wild card push.  Right now this is simply ugly.

John Northey - Sunday, May 06 2007 @ 09:51 AM EDT (#167337) #
ChicagoJaysFan... don't forget the miracle of '89

Jays started out 12-24 and the season appeared doomed to failure.  Then Cito Gaston came in and the Jays played at a 611 clip for the rest of the season with just 2 starters who had a 100+ ERA+ (a solid pen kept the ERA+ to 105 overall).  No one on the bench who had over 66 AB's had a 100+ OPS+, key backups included Tom Lawless (55 OPS+), Manny Lee (82), Bob Brenley (48 as the #2 DH), Lloyd Moseby was the CF at 86, Junior Felix in RF at 101, Borders was the backup catcher at 81.  Lots of big holes behind the key hitters Whitt (117), McGriff (161), Bell (123), and Gruber (119).

The '89 team was weak in many ways but still made the playoffs going at a heck of a clip after May 14th.  Maybe JP will give Cito a call this month and see if he can do it again.  :)

Barry Bonnell - Sunday, May 06 2007 @ 10:19 AM EDT (#167338) #
Interestingly game 2 against the Sox which had Okha scheduled has been revised to "to be announced." Could we possibly see McGowan starting and Okha's start skipped?
timpinder - Sunday, May 06 2007 @ 10:42 AM EDT (#167341) #
I sure hope so!  Although I'd also be happy if the Jays sent McGowan down to AAA to start every 5th day and called him back up later in the year if/once the Jays are clearly out of contention.  Who knows, though.  Nothing would surprise me right now.
mathesond - Sunday, May 06 2007 @ 12:05 PM EDT (#167343) #
Am I right in remembering a rule saying players signed as free agents cannot be traded within 6 months of being signed? If so, when would Ohka and Zambrano be eligible to be traded? Also, if the team is in fact looking to showcase someone for a trade, wouldn't it make more sense to have McGowan pitch every 5th day - he could very well bring the most in trade, and even if they don't move him, giving him regular work would surely help his confidence and career path.

I have to say I'm a little bummed - purely for selfish reasons - that there seems to be a plan to have Doc pitch vs.Boston. One of my reps gave me a pair of 10th row seats behind the Jays dugout for Friday's game, it'd be nice to see Halladay pitch up close.
Joanna - Sunday, May 06 2007 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#167346) #

Because everyone is a little bummed out, here is Vernon with some fun:

Magpie - Sunday, May 06 2007 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#167347) #
Who knows what they're thinking or what they'll actually end up doing.

But I was excited about the original Wednesday matchup - Ohka vs Matsuzaka. (For one thing, I'm working the game.) There will be an enormous press posse from Japan on hand to follow Matsuzaka's every move. And facing him will be the Japanese pitcher who: a) has actually won more games in the major leagues than every Japanese pitcher not named Hideo Nomo; b) gets absolutely no attention and respect in his own country despite that fact, and c) has something of a chip on his shoulder about it.
tstaddon - Sunday, May 06 2007 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#167348) #
According to that Sun article, the Jays are saving McGowan for the Tampa Bay series, likely trying to protect him from the Red Sox lineup. Sure, Zambrano's not likely to beat Boston at all, but this might be a situation where they're actually looking out for the kids' confidence. Plus, it allows Ohka to go up against Matsuzaka -- and you know he'll be jacked for that with all the media on hand. Another benefit to this line of thinking is that it splits Halladay and Burnett when Chacin returns. That might be beneficial to both Gus and AJ.

Anyway, I like the move. It balances the win-now mentality (start Halladay vs. Boston when possible) with an eye on the future (try not to get McGowan shelled by a second patient lineup in a row). Sure, Zambrano shouldn't be starting at the major league level (yet). But I'm Gibby will have the hook ready early the way he's been conserving relievers this weekend.

ChicagoJaysFan - Sunday, May 06 2007 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#167349) #
John Northey,

Unfortunately, a .611 clip the rest of the way probably won't put the Jays in the playoffs this year.  Those late '80 Jays lucked out by playing in the AL Least and didn't have to worry about passing Oakland or Kansas City each year to get in the playoffs.  We're in a different situation now.

I do think this team might have a chance if something major were to happen now or in the very near future, but I don't recall JP ever doing anything dramatic in a season, so I don't expect that right now.

A team with a rotation that only has 2 good starters (regardless of who we choose to fill out the other spots), a bullpen with two good relievers (Downs and Accardo) and a bunch that probably belong in the minors (two being Mayday Marcum (given up as many homers as all other relievers combined) and Frasor (lost the ability to strike people out and avoid the walk since he became the closer)), and a batting order with no leadoff hitter and two huge sinkholes (C and SS), is in need of much more than just a change of manager.
JustinD - Sunday, May 06 2007 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#167350) #
Don't know where to post this, Clemens just announced he will return to Yankees
timpinder - Sunday, May 06 2007 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#167351) #

The Jays' playoff chances are certainly looking poor right now.  The same can be said for the Yankees.  I said this before the season even started, but for the Jays to make it Burnett will have to be healthy and pitch well and the Jays would need for a young pitcher (McGowan) to come up early and throw like a true #2 or #3 starter.  It's not likely, but it's still possible.  I think Burnett will come around soon, and if McGowan could throw for the Jays like he did in AAA so far this year, Halladay/Burnett/McGowan could rack up a lot of wins.  It's a long shot though.

I must admit I feel a little bit better about McGowan starting against Tampa Bay, if in fact the goal was to shield him from Boston.  I certainly didn't have a problem when Lind sat to shield him against Wakefield.  If the intent was actually to ease in a young player with the potential to be a front of the rotation starter, then that's alright with me.

Maldoff - Sunday, May 06 2007 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#167353) #
Petey Baseball - Sunday, May 06 2007 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#167354) #
With the return of Clemens, the return of Mussina, and the return to form that Chien Ming Wang displayed yesterday, this is another blow to the Blue Jays chances of contending. I don't know how long it will take for him to make it back this season, but you can rest assured that Roger will be mentally and physically able to dominate hitters on the mound again before the all star break.

 A week ago, the Yankees seemed hapless and hopeless, flailing in the wind and there for the taking.  Only one week later the team has won five of six, welcomed two pitchers back into the rotation, and are about to have one of the greatest pitchers in Major League Baseball history pitch every fifth day for them.  It seems all but certain that New York and Boston are headed for another epic stretch battle for the pennant, leaving the rest of the A.L. East in their dust.  Its nothing new for Blue Jay fans who now hold out hope that somehow, some way, we can regroup and find two people to give us consistent innings from the #3 and #4 spots in the rotation.  Even then, it seems rather unfathomable that this will be enough in '07.  So again, its hard to say "wait till next year" on May 7th, but..........Clemens announcement certainly changes thing for the worse, even as things in Blue Jay land can't seem to get much more so.  Sigh.

ChicagoJaysFan - Sunday, May 06 2007 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#167355) #
Timpinder, I don't think adding another 2/3 starter is enough at this point (I'm giving Burnett the benefit of the doubt and thinking that the rest of the season he'll pitch like he did last season, so I was counting him as the 2nd good starting pitcher).  With this bullpen, unless the guy they add can toss complete games, the bullpen still isn't good enough to win.  What I think is currently more important to this team is to find at least 2 arms for the bullpen.  With League and Ryan pitching like last year, this bullpen was adequate, but without them, it's absolutely horrible and for that to succeed, you know a rotation like the Braves through the 90s - i.e. adding another pitcher on top of Burnett and McGowan performing like front-end rotation pitchers.

If Reed, League, and BJ were close to returning, then maybe we'd be close enough to the point that a minor pick-up would help.  But we're missing them for another 2 months and our current 5-12 run pretty much coincides with them going down, so there is a lot this team needs to add (I consider acquiring a BJ Ryan equivalent to be something big to add).  This team right now is much closer (in talent) to the bottom of the pack than it is to the top.
subculture - Monday, May 07 2007 @ 01:57 AM EDT (#167364) #
Well, I stated previously (as others did too) that I thought lack of depth would hurt this team and be a real weakness, whereas it was a strength the previous few years (well, for position players anyways).

Injuries to Reed, League, and Zaun would have been less painful with Catalanotto, Speier, and Molina.. and Hinske and chemistry-killer HIllenbrand around...  and though I like Thomas, he takes up the spot that hurting folks like Glaus and Wells could use when needing a break from the field. 

Losing BJ Ryan in any year would be tough, but for this team, it's a back-breaker (er, I mean elbow). 

Every time I see Clayton and Stairs, and to a lesser degree Jason Smith.... I think there's no way that this is a championship team... these are names that belong on the Royals, not our Jays...

If I were JP, I'd give these guys another month and a half to see if this season is salvageable, and if not, start dealing for next year (and I don't mean trade guys yet continue paying their future salaries).

5 May 2007: Fearful Symmetry | 38 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.