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Jays win Friday, 6-3. Thomas gets the key hit and subjects us to the 'Hurts So Good' type headlines.

TDIB 5 April 2008 - Weekend Edition | 26 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
FranklyScarlet - Saturday, April 05 2008 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#182194) #
Frank has not looked comfortable at the plate yet, until that big hit!
Today's lineups as per the Boston Globe blog:


SS Lugo
2B Pedroia
DH Ortiz
LF Ramirez
3B Lowell
RF Drew
C Varitek
1B Casey
CF Crisp
SP Buchholz


SS Eckstein
LF Stairs
RF Rios
CF Wells
DH Thomas
1B Overbay
2B Hill
3B Scutaro
C Zaun
SP Litsch 

Magpie - Saturday, April 05 2008 @ 11:50 AM EDT (#182196) #
I'll confirm those lineups for ya.

Reporting from the ball park, it's my home opener. Yes!
greenfrog - Saturday, April 05 2008 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#182198) #

I guess this means that John McDonald will be the starting SS behind Halladay tomorrow. I think Gibbons said that he would start a game in this series.

Thomas's hit was huge, but the pitch he "got around on" was a changeup in a bad location. Buchholz's repetoire may present more of a challenge for Big Frank.

HollywoodHartman - Saturday, April 05 2008 @ 12:41 PM EDT (#182199) #
Sean Casey? They were better off with Hinske...
Mick Doherty - Saturday, April 05 2008 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#182203) #
HH, interested to hear your case on Hinske over Casey. I went to BBRef to make sure I wasn't misremembering anything, and Casey is better than Hinske in everything. He's a better glove man, better hitter -- I'd guess that a guy nicknamed "The Mayor" isn't much of a downside in the clubhouse either.

Hinske is probably a little bit more of a power threat these days, but over their careers, Casey has more career home runs and roughly the same homer/AB ratio than Hinske, and betters him in career bests in power categories, too.  Besides, aside from the homers, Casey has always been more of a doubles-power, gap hitter. Hinske is, too, as their doubles ratios are almost identical (I am glancing at totals, not calculating those rates) ...

THe only place Hinske has an edge is age, I guess -- he's 30 while Casey is 33, but at 1B, that's not such a big whoop.

Seriously, I see your point -- Casey is not the guy you want at 1B if you're chasing a ring. But I think he's almost inargubly better than Hinske!

uglyone - Saturday, April 05 2008 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#182206) #

It's hard to even say it anymore without sounding facetious....but in all honesty, David Eckstein is honest to goodness GRITTY, GRITTY, GRITTY. I'm not sure if we can overstate it at this point.

On another note, I think we all really like Blair's writing in the Globe, and look at him as a pretty intelligent and objective writer. Which is why it seemed weird this spring that he obviously had such a grudge against Eckstein (he seemed to have  a bit of a crush on Johnny Mac), and to a lesser extent, Thomas.

So have Thomas and Eckstein's early good starts make Blair feel a wee bit silly for calling them "abcesses in the lineup" 2 games into the season?

ChicagoJaysFan - Saturday, April 05 2008 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#182207) #
So have Thomas and Eckstein's early good starts make Blair feel a wee bit silly for calling them "abcesses in the lineup" 2 games into the season?

According to, Eckstein is hitting .238 right now with one BB and Thomas is at .235 with one homer.  I don't think Blair has to eat crow just yet.

Sister - Saturday, April 05 2008 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#182209) #

Where in the world is Brandon League? Did I miss something?
uglyone - Saturday, April 05 2008 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#182210) #

According to, Eckstein is hitting .238 right now with one BB and Thomas is at .235 with one homer.  I don't think Blair has to eat crow just yet.

true, but 7 runs and 9rbi between them in the first 5 games is pretty good for a couple of abcesses.

brent - Saturday, April 05 2008 @ 05:52 PM EDT (#182212) #
In game 5, Zaun, Overbay, Tallet (2) and Eckstein (2) were the heroes. Only Stairs was a letdown today.
SheldonL - Saturday, April 05 2008 @ 06:15 PM EDT (#182214) #
Sister-woman (Ah Cat on a Hot Tin Roof!),

before today's game, Frasor, League and Wells hadn't pitched. The game was tight early on so they went with the go-to relievers like Tallet and Wolfe. So once the game was clearly won, there were only two innings to go and I think it's just random luck that League was not chosen to pitch.

I think they wanted Wells to get in just to get the first major league appearance and its accompanying nervousness and such out of the way.
We'll probably see League soon... no worries!
Sister - Saturday, April 05 2008 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#182215) #
If the starting pitching keeps up maybe we can actually have an 11 man pitching staff and, to me, a more well rounded bench.

5 games in and 2 pitchers still have not pitched and 1 got his first inning of the year.


And then there is Ryan. If the Jays starters keep going at this pace it is waste having the 7th bullpen arm pitching 1 game a week.

timpinder - Saturday, April 05 2008 @ 08:37 PM EDT (#182217) #
Does League have options left?  The Jays want to keep Wells so they don't lose him.  Accardo, Downs and Tallet aren't going anywhere, and Frasor doesn't have any options left.  With Ryan coming off the DL soon, somebody has to go.  If League has options, he might be on his way to AAA.  Benitez just struck out the side in Dunedin today, so he might come along too.  A trade is a possibility with the Tigers in a lot of trouble.
92-93 - Saturday, April 05 2008 @ 08:48 PM EDT (#182218) #
I would not trade a reliever to the Tigers. I view them as our main wild card competitor and I wouldn't want to be helping them out.
sweat - Saturday, April 05 2008 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#182220) #

Doesn't Wolfe have an option?  Benitez could be kept down there all year, and moved for the right return.

StephenT - Saturday, April 05 2008 @ 11:23 PM EDT (#182224) #
2008 Final Standings as predicted by Team Payroll ($millions):

NYY 209, BOS 133, TOR 97, BAL 67, TAM 43
DET 137, CHW 121, CLE 78, KAN 58, MIN 56
LAA 119, SEA 117, TEX 67, OAK 47

NYM 137, ATL 102, PHI 98, WAS 54, FLO 21
CHC 118, STL 99, HOU 88, MIL 80, CIN 74, PIT 48
LAD 118, SFG 76, SDP 73, COL 68, ARZ 66

Magpie - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 01:22 AM EDT (#182225) #
Does League have options left?

I think he might have one left. He was added to the 40 man in September 2004, and they definitely used an option on him in 2005 and 2006. But I don't think they did last year. He was never optioned to the minors in 2007 - he was on the major league roster, or the DL, or on a rehab assignment the entire year.

I'll try to remember to check that out tomorrow.
Timbuck2 - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 01:24 AM EDT (#182226) #
Can't keep Benitez all year.  He has an opt-out if he's not in the Majors by May.
HollywoodHartman - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 01:29 AM EDT (#182227) #
Does Benitez even have a work visa yet?
The_Game - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 05:13 AM EDT (#182228) #
I'm pretty sure he couldn't have pitched for Dunedin without a work visa.
Mike D - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 03:01 PM EDT (#182246) #
So have Thomas and Eckstein's early good starts make Blair feel a wee bit silly for calling them "abcesses in the lineup" 2 games into the season?

According to, Eckstein is hitting .238 right now with one BB and Thomas is at .235 with one homer. I don't think Blair has to eat crow just yet.

OK, how about now?
Alex Obal - Sunday, April 06 2008 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#182247) #
Maybe they're clutch abscesses.
ChicagoJaysFan - Monday, April 07 2008 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#182307) #
OK, how about now?

I don't like being put on the spot to say things aren't going well when we're off to a 4-2 start.  I like things as they are.  However, I still think it's early to say Blair needs to eat crow.  Let's check in again after at least 15-20 games into the season.

However, I think some reality needs to be used to view their performance so far:

A 67 OPS+ from Eckstein and a .304 OBP doesn't make Blair look anything but correct.
Thomas looked great yesterday - hitting the ball really hard.  He's had 2 games where he looked like he could lead the team in OPS+. He's also had 4 where he looked the part of "abcess."

Again, I like the way we've played - I just think it's really early to start saying that Blair should feel silly.
zeppelinkm - Monday, April 07 2008 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#182309) #

But don't you think Blair was premature himself in declaring Thomas and Eickstein's abcesses in the lineup? If anything the onus should be on Blair if he's making a statement that contradicts 10 + years of performance. Thomas is a far cry from the machine he was in the 90's and early 00's but he was still a well above average hitter last year and it's not fair to say all of a sudden he's going to suck, when time and time again he's shown he doesn't.

And while Thomas didn't look good in game 1, he scored one of our only 2 runs. Then game's 2 and 3 against the Yankee's he looked bad.

However, he was very good in game 1 against the Sox (he was the one who hit the big double), and good again in game's 2 and 3. Better then the 2 good games you've given him credit for.

Eickstein while off to a slow start, played key roles in both game 1 and game 2 against the Sox. While he has a 67+ OPS it's to early to be looking at a statistic like that, where 2 games of going 0 - 5 can really put a damper. Look at what he's done in the games so far, and it is easy to see he has helped the Jays win a couple of games already. Additionally, we'll take what he did in the game 3 loss to the Yankees anytime, 2 -4 with a 2 out RBI and a run scored.

Additionally, with Eickstein, he has 5 RBI in 5 games and 4 runs scored. 1 good game from Eickstein and he could be sporting a .300 average with a .350 OBP. Again, it's too early in the season to cite batting averages and OBP where you can absolutely huge swings in just one game. Look at what you've seen and look at all the results, not just the ones you wantt o use to support a pre established conclusion.

To put it plainly: I like what i've seen so far from both Thomas and Eickstein. Thomas especially - while he might still have a slow start compared to how he finishes, if his slow start this year means a .250 average with power and some timely hits instead of a .190 average with nothing, - I'll take it.


uglyone - Monday, April 07 2008 @ 12:45 PM EDT (#182316) #

Well, I didn't really want to make all that big a deal about it, because I do like Blair's writing. I have no desire to say that he deserves to eat crow after two series, because there's still a very good chance he's right in general. I'm just a bit surprised that he was so utterly dismissive of two players with proven track records, both coming off very good years - based only on Spring Training. I mean, it was just Spring Training. Especially since Thomas looked so bad for a whole two months of the regular season last year - you'd think the guy had earned at least a bit of patience from the fans and media, at least enough to last through Spring Training.

I do find it interesting, though (actually dissappointing might be a better word for it), that after both Eckstein and Thomas play key roles in the Jays impressive sweep of the WS champ Red Sox early in this young season, Blair chooses to write an article today titled: "So the Red Sox are Swept - So What?".  And yes, even though he makes it clear in the article that there are some good indications here for the Jays, the main gist of the article follows the headline.

Of course, he's probably right to take the skeptical approach - but I'm a bit surprised by his outright grudges against these two players early in this season, and in his unusual negativity so far.



Geoff - Monday, April 07 2008 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#182317) #
I'd defend Blair's hand-wringing about Thomas at this point of the season. Thomas has had two horrible starts to the season in the last two years. Horrible to the point that he shouldn't be playing regularly for a contender hopeful if he's not going to be more productive. 

And as for Eckenstein, the little engine that could is arguably not a leadoff hitter and is inarguably not John McDonald, beloved son. An OPS+ of <75 (or 90) does not a leadoff hitter make.

And I marvel at how little David makes his throws to first. I half expect them to dribble their way to Overbay's feet. That said, the little scrapper hasn't shown to be an embarrassment of a signing, such as a Royce Clayton. Yet.

TDIB 5 April 2008 - Weekend Edition | 26 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.