Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
I know you I knew you
I think I can remember your name
Hello I'm sorry I lost myself
I think I thought you were someone else



- Beat goes on. Pirates 1, Jays 0, and the good guys fall five games under .500 for the first time since May 1.

Doug Mientkiewicz was the first star of the evening. Not that anyone gives a rat's about the game itself, or that anyone should, but if anyone wants to give someone the $*@^#%( treatment, Doug $*@^#%( Mientkiewicz is your man. He ended up 3-4 with a walk, the run scored and a couple of stellar defensive plays at third (neither of which required any kind of throwing prowess, unsurprisingly). In the top of the third, with two out and Rios on second, he turned a Wells double into an infield single, and both runners ended up stranded. In the sixth, he denied Rolen a sure double with an instinctive diving catch. Those two plays combined were worth about 18 points of WPA. And in the 12th, he managed to whack a two-strike Jesse Carlson breaking ball for a leadoff double, which is totally unfair to a manager in his first day on the job. He should've just walkoffed Carlson himself so the game could go into the history books as the Doug Mientkiewicz Game and not the much less catchy Cito Comes Back and Roy Takes a Liner Off the Head Possibly Signifying Disapproval From the Baseball Gods Game.

The good news: Doc is officially day-to-day. The ball only hit him above the right temple and he's expected to make his next start on Thursday against the Reds.

- Here's what all the moral arbiters and baseball astrologers have to say. Yeah, I think this bit is lame too, but given the surreal circumstances...

Dave Perkins brings the punditry: What Gaston is exceptional at is exactly what this team needs: someone to get talented players to play to their capabilities. ... Clearly this organization had been humiliated in the past 48 hours and needed to change the talking points. Ricciardi embarrassed himself with his radio screed about Adam Dunn who among us hasn't said or done things we wish we hadn't? and got ripped coast to coast across the U.S., where he cares what people think.

Rich Griffin brings the predictability: When asked at spring training this year about ever coming back, he said, "Teams know where to find me. If they want to give me a long-term contract, I can still manage." Hmm. Now Gaston accepts this "interim" managerial job with the Jays. It makes one wonder if maybe he has been promised something beyond this season by someone higher than the shaky GM.

Steve Simmons brings the predictability: Truth is, Ricciardi would have preferred to have kept Gibbons in place. He is stubborn that way. It wasn't that the two were friends, it was Gibbons provided something of a security blanket for Ricciardi's reign of mediocrity. ... Ricciardi had decided to replace Gibbons prior to the Milwaukee series.

Bob Elliott brings a touching farewell to Gibby: Regrets? "Funny, but I was thinking about that about half an hour ago and I wouldn't have changed a thing," Gibbons said. "I learned along the way."

Bruce Arthur brings a peppy, youthful take on all the Griffin classics: "... I share the blame, along with Gibby." - Ricciardi, June 20. Of course, today Gibby is the only one out of a job. When asked by one reporter Friday why he recently said Gibbons would stay through the end of the season, Ricciardi said, "If I turned around and told you that Gibby was probably in trouble at that point, it wouldn't be real responsible from my end." As we have learned, it's not a lie if J.P. knows the truth.

The voice of reason is silent for now, but he does bring quotes that bring the headscratching: "We didn't bring Cito in here to put a Band-Aid on [the season]," Ricciardi said. "We'll get through the end of the year and sit down and talk about it at that point."

Best for last, Stephen Brunt brings the scorn: The appeal of nostalgia is in comfort, in remembering simpler times, younger times, times when, in hindsight, it all made sense, when it seemed somebody had all the answers. But here and now, it's just kind of sad. ... This is an act of pure, cover-your-butt cynicism. ... [Finding a more plausible long-term solution] is what Rogers and company have to do, right after they finish playing baseball fans for suckers again.

Brunt's take on why the Jays brought in Gaston as opposed to anyone else is reasonable. They hired him primarily because of the PR points. Fair enough. But Brunt implies a few times that it's contemptible for some reason, like the front office thinks it's pulling wool over people's eyes, which I don't quite get.

Sure, the front office is keenly aware of the nostalgia kick people will get out of this, and you can even call it cynical if you want. But does it really matter who the interim manager is? Do you really think anyone thinks this makes the front office immune to criticism? Honestly, my ideal short-term solution would be a complete outsider who's a hitting specialist by trade. I think the merits of firing Gibbons are debatable, but replacing him with Gaston for the rest of the season makes sense on a number of levels. Including the cynical one. Sure, the move will defuse the Dunn controversy and take some heat off JP, and maybe even sell a couple more tickets, and the front office certainly knows it, but I think it's a bit of a stretch to act insulted by that. What are they supposed to do instead? Maybe I'm missing the point.

Much more insulting is the team's continued burial of Adam Lind in Syracuse, where he's put up a .353/.420/.594 line against RH pitchers. That indicates an unwillingness to field their best 25-man roster, which is really bad. According to Baseball Prospectus, Lind's cumulative line - in which about 30% of his PA are against lefty pitchers - is equivalent to a .295/.358/.479 at the major-league level.

Hey, wait - BulletJayFan has good news. Lind promoted! It's a start. And hey, maybe Cito will push for a six-man bullpen. That would be a nice touch. It's Paul Maholm tonight, a lefty, so don't bank on Lind starting. But it'll be nice to see him around, at least.

Game 2 is tonight. Litsch and Maholm at 7:05.
21 June 2008: Hello I Saw You | 63 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Chuck - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#187795) #

12 innings of shutout ball. Against the Pirates. Sigh. Plus ca change...

Now here's a fun story and a reminder that there are still things you can see for the first time on a baseball field, no matter how long you've been watching.

King Ryan - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 10:27 AM EDT (#187797) #
What a game.

Eleven innings without a run, Doc gets hit in the head, and the Jays lose on a John McDonald error.

I think probably every team, every season goes through a losing skid where every loss seems worse than the last.  No way are the Jays anything like this bad.  Eventually this nightmare stretch will end, and they will go back to being a pretty good team.  When the inevitable occurs, guess who will get all the credit?  Sports are funny...
Mike Green - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#187798) #
Should we talk about the weather?
Should we talk about the government?

The subtle advertising for me, with the added bonus of the memory of a great record,  is much appreciated, Alex.




Chuck - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#187799) #

More Saturday morning randomosities...

The Indians have plugged their Victor Martinez-shaped hole at catcher with the construction worker (or was it the motorcyle cop?) from the Village People.

The two players leading MLB in homeruns are second baseman. And their last names sound eerily similar.

Larry ain't hitting .400 any more. That was inevitable, but the plummet was a quick one. Last I checked, he was hitting .419 or something.

Who's on pace for more than 50 saves? Yes, you knew it all along, didn't you? George Sherrill.

Adam Lind is up. Who is down (or out)?

Chuck - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 10:37 AM EDT (#187800) #
Doc gets hit in the head

What a gamer. Instead of saying "oh dear, I may be concussed", his first instinct was to ask what happened on the play.
Alex Obal - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 10:38 AM EDT (#187801) #
He even had the baseball IQ to deflect it toward the Gold Glover in the infield, rather than one of the other three schmucks.

He's the best.
Alex Obal - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 10:49 AM EDT (#187802) #
Didn't even think of the chorus or politics or ... just the title and the first verse was enough. Great band, wonder why I never got into them earlier, wish they'd name an album after me too. "Monster" is close enough.
Magpie - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 12:18 PM EDT (#187809) #
Oh look. It's the end of the world as we know it.
Magpie - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 12:25 PM EDT (#187811) #
Mike Waters of the Syracuse Post-Standard also confirms the Lind news.

The word on Aaron Hill is not encouraging, by the way. Not yet symptom-free, he's being shut down completey for the next two weeks.

HollywoodHartman - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#187815) #
Remember when Hill was going to avoid the DL?
Dave Till - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 03:12 PM EDT (#187819) #
Is J.P. the World Leader Pretend?

Cito's hiring may have been a cynical marketing ploy, but Cito was also a convenient alternative - he's already employed by the club, and he's familiar with the personnel.

And some totally new manager would probably have asked for a complete set of coaches - and the Jays want to keep Butterfield and Arnsberg.

Bad news about Hill. The human brain is a fragile and strange thing.

ayjackson - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 05:34 PM EDT (#187823) #
Marcum hits the DL.
parrot11 - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#187824) #
Marcum is scheduled to see Dr. James Andrews. That usually isn't a good thing.
ScottTS - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#187825) #
Marcum is scheduled to see Dr. James Andrews. That usually isn't a good thing.

Good lord. Is this team under some kind of curse?

Mike Green - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#187827) #
Ack. <crosses fingers>
Magpie - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 06:32 PM EDT (#187828) #
Is this team under some kind of curse?

Yes, I said so years ago.

Hey, maybe it's his back?
Magpie - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#187831) #
Gaston just noted on the pre-game that he's got Tenace as his hitting coach, that Murphy was a hitting instructor and the minors, and that he himself used to be a hitting coach and was hopeful that between the three of them they could get something done.  Which got my attention, becauise I always thought one of the things his early 1990s teams had going for them was in fact the presence of three hitting coaches in the dugout (back then, it was Gaston, Tenace, and Larry Hisle.) Coaches are like teachers, and no one gets to everybody, no one communicates well with everybody - it doesn't matter how good they are.

Is the CBC crew not aware of the Shaun Marcum situation? Not a word, unless I missed it.
SK in NJ - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#187832) #
Man, talk about a buzzkill. Even next year will be a washout if Marcum ends up having TJS (or worse).

King Ryan - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 07:30 PM EDT (#187833) #
First Craig Counsell, and now Raul Chavez?  Egads, when will it end.
Gerry - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#187834) #
Can you have two headaches?  If so then Roy Halladay might be really hurting.
jamesq - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#187835) #

This quote is from Blair's article "Jays place Marcum on  DL".


"I'd rather take a ball off the head than give up two runs," Halladay said.




greenfrog - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 09:32 PM EDT (#187837) #
Gotta say it one more time. Worst Season Ever (TM).
King Ryan - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#187839) #
I propose that the double play be re-named to the "Overbay," and infield groundouts renamed to "Eckstein."

Actually flows pretty well.  "With the bases loaded, he hit an Eckstein to end the inning."  "Well, they had the momentum until they hit into a 6-4-3 Overbay to erase the tying runner."

Yes, no? 

Sigh, it'll be over soon, it'll be over soon...

Ron - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 09:52 PM EDT (#187841) #
If you're asking yourself why should I continue to watch the Jays on television, well the answer is in the booth. If Rance sees another Blue Jay take another 2-0 fastball right down the heart of the plate or let a first pitch fastball go by with runners on base, I'm afraid Rance might go off the deep end.  And this folks would be very entertaining. If the Jays games were aired on HBO, I'm sure Rance would have dropped several F bombs by now.


Chuck - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#187842) #

I wonder if Rance isn't interested in the potentially available hitting coach's job come next season. Now that there isn't an entrenched coach in place (to risk offending), perhaps he feels more comfortable making bold statements from the booth. He is about an inch away from blowing a gasket, but who can blame him? The hitters look lost in space. Alex Rios is looking like Major Tom.

greenfrog - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 10:11 PM EDT (#187844) #
Actually, I could see Overbay entering the general lexicon.

Overbay n. the consistent failure to effect a desired outcome that one might reasonably anticipate, particularly in critical situations.

Origin early 21st century baseball player who repeatedly grounded into double plays with runners on base.
King Ryan - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#187845) #
Chuck: "I wonder if Rance isn't interested in the potentially available hitting coach's job come next season. Now that there isn't an entrenched coach in place (to risk offending), perhaps he feels more comfortable making bold statements from the booth. He is about an inch away from blowing a gasket, but who can blame him?"

I was thinking the same thing about Rance today.  He made one comment in particular that I thought was pretty ballsy.  When Jim Hughson asked "how does the entire team catch the same aflliction at the same time?" Rance blurted out "Because they were all listening to the same guy!"  I don't know if he was referring to Denbo or Gibbons or maybe both, but I was a bit surprised at the candor there. 

I think that axing Mickey Brantley was a mistake.  This team is just poor offensively, and I think Mickey was getting all he could out of them.  You look at the change in approach that Rios undertook once Brantley took over for Barnett, and then watch him go back to smashing the ball into the ground this year.  Obviously it's tough to prove anything conclusively, but it's hard to believe how far this team has fallen from even the poor offense they had last year...
King Ryan - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#187846) #
When I said Mickey was "getting all he could out of them," I meant to say "getting all anyone could out of them."

Apologies for not catching this on the preview.  My kingdom for an edit.

Dr B - Saturday, June 21 2008 @ 10:57 PM EDT (#187847) #
I propose that the double play be re-named to the "Overbay," and infield groundouts renamed to "Eckstein."

Ooh. I am a bit late to play the six word game...but still

"Eckstein infield groundout, inning over. Gritty."
Gwyn - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 04:12 AM EDT (#187851) #
Gotta say it one more time. Worst Season Ever (TM).

How soon we forget the Season From Hell.  On 22nd June 2004 the Jays had a record of 30-40 and featured this lineup:
C - Zaun
1B - Chris Gomez
2B - ODog
SS - Chris Woodward
3B - The Dude (hitting cleanup)
LF - Howie Clarke
CF - Sparky
RF - Rios
DH - Josh Phelps

the rotation at the end of June 2004 was:
Doc
Ted the Tease
Josh Towers
Miguel Batista
Pat Hentgen

Chuck - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 07:38 AM EDT (#187852) #
Mench down, League up.
scottt - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 08:20 AM EDT (#187853) #
Mench was close to the Mendoza line anyway.

Brandon League is up and I have no idea who's taking Marcum's spot.

I think they'll just rotate the 4 guys left around the off Monday.

greenfrog - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#187856) #
"How soon we forget the Season From Hell. On 22nd June 2004 the Jays had a record of 30-40 and featured this lineup"

Oh, that was a terrible season. And a terrible lineup and back of the rotation.

But this year has a different terrible quality. Higher expectations (JP called this the best team he'd fielded in Toronto). Losing a slew of games in the most demoralizing and unlikely (now the most likely) ways. The slow decimation of the team via improbable injuries to Janssen, Rolen, Wells, Zaun, Wolfe, Hill, McDonald, Eckstein, and now Marcum. The complete collapse of the team's offense with runners on base--over half a season, and counting. (And really, not that great with the bases empty, either.) The regression of Rios and Hill, two of the the team's up-and-coming young stars. The team-wide power outage. The soul-crushing double plays. The GM losing it on the air. The manager and most of the coaching staff fired. The brief resurgence in May, followed by yet another deep swoon. The ascendance of of good young teams like Oakland and Tampa Bay into the upper echelon of AL teams, surpassing the Jays, who drop consecutive series to Seattle, Baltimore, the Cubs, and Pittsburgh.

Yes, this may be a stronger team than other Jays teams. And they won't finish with the worst record in franchise history. They might even turn it around a bit and finish around .500. But to me, this is the season where we finally have confirmation that the Emperor has no clothes--that things are going to get worse before they get better.
Mike Green - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#187858) #
An eight-man bullpen?  I hope that a trade is coming soon.

The report on Marcum was that the MRI was innocent enough.  The injury does give Cito the opportunity to reshape things, and gives Marcum a rest in the middle of the season.  He could still come back the 2nd week of July and throw 200 innings this year, which would be 40 more than his previous best,

China fan - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#187859) #
   It will be good to see Parrish get a couple of starts in the majors, if he is indeed the one who is called up to replace Marcum.   Since spring training, Parrish has done everything that the Jays have asked or expected of him, and he deserves a chance to see if he can be useful to this team.
Chuck - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#187860) #

It will be good to see Parrish get a couple of starts in the majors, if he is indeed the one who is called up to replace Marcum.

Insofar as League was called up, I'm wondering if Marcum's replacement in the rotation might be Wolfe. That would restore the seven-man bullpen and could be achieved without any roster moves. Or perhaps a starter won't be called up until Marcum's next turn in the rotation, at which time a reliever, Wolfe or League, would be sent down.

I've not heard any talk this year about Wolfe starting games and I know he hasn't started any in the minors since 2006, and before that not since 2003. I only bring this up because I recall some talk last year about Wolfe potentially becoming a starter. Frankly, I'd rather see Purcey get Marcum's starts than Wolfe or Parrish.

Marc Hulet - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 12:14 PM EDT (#187861) #

The issue with Parrish is that if you bring him up, you cannot send him back down: He's out of options. And a lefty with 10 Triple-A wins is going to have suitors so he is not going to voluntarily return to the minors. When you bring him up, you'd better be pretty certain you can find a permanent spot for him in case he succeeds.
Gerry - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#187862) #
The Jays have off-days on July 3rd and July 7th.  They could get by with four starters except for one date, next Saturday.  It could be they use the eight man bullpen to cover that start and wait for Marcum to come back after the 15 days, if that's what the doc says.
scottt - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 01:45 PM EDT (#187863) #
The closest to a spot starter in the pen right now is Tallet.

I'm surprised to see Scutaro starting. Eckstein has been hitting .300 for 2 months now.
It's nice to see Lind near the bottom.

They're winning this one unless McGowan has one of his awful road games.

scottt - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 02:38 PM EDT (#187864) #
Now, that was an at-bat.
westcoast dude - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 02:41 PM EDT (#187865) #
Adam Lind's AB was a game within a game. Three balls, two called strikes, six foul balls and a dinger.  A star is born.
Anders - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 02:49 PM EDT (#187866) #
Wow. All I can say is thank goodness for Adam Lind. As has been mentioned, that might be the best at bat I've seen from a Jays this season, as Lind fouled off about 4 or 5 pitches high in the strike zone with a 3-2 count then absolutely unloaded and lofted a ball high into right centre field. Thank goodness.
Anders - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#187867) #
A few other notes:

Overbay n. the consistent failure to effect a desired outcome that one might reasonably anticipate, particularly in critical situations.

Lyle Overbay leads the AL in GIDP's this year, one ahead of Vlad Guerrero. He has 14 in 244 at bats - or one every 17.43 at bats. Jim Rice had the best (worst?) season ever for GIDP's, with 36 in 657 at bats in 1984 - or one every 18.25 at bats...

Also, I would figure a start by committee for Marcum's one start... unless a trade for a reliever is pending.
westcoast dude - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#187869) #
Lyle redeems himself with a 2 out 2 run double cashing in Rios and Scutaro, then Rolen crushes one, breaking it open.
greenfrog - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 03:53 PM EDT (#187870) #
I missed Lind's HR (just checked the score), but that's great news. Should be a big boost to his confidence. And he has every right to feel confident: he has nothing left to prove in the minors, absolutely tore up AAA pitching this year, and is entering his prime. He now has two experienced hitting coaches on the major-league club to learn from as well.

Lyle does indeed redeem himself with a huge clutch hit. I don't mind Overbay, actually, some ill-timed GIDPs notwithstanding. His overall numbers aren't that bad, given the teamwide offensive woes.
lexomatic - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 04:25 PM EDT (#187871) #
thank goodness for lind having a big game 2/3 bb, hr.
here's hoping it's just what he needs to carry over AAA success to the majors.
Mike Green - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 04:47 PM EDT (#187873) #
Well, that's over.  Folks, I do believe that we are looking back at the nadir of the season, and man,  that was a Grand Canyon-deep bottom.
Dave Till - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#187874) #
I agree with Mike Green: it can't get worse than this. There was:

- A game lost by a three-run homer by ex-Jay Reed Johnson
- A game lost to ex-Jay Ted Lilly
- A game lost to ex-Jay Dave Bush, on a near no-hitter
- The Jays' #1 starter hit in the head by a line drive
- The Jays' #2 starter put on the DL with an elbow injury
- The GM making intemperate remarks about Adam Dunn on a radio show
- Oh yeah, and a manager and three coaches got fired

I didn't see the game - but nice to see Lind hitting. I'm worried that he might struggle up here - he didn't walk much in AAA, which suggests that a hacktastic experience awaits us viewers. But I agree: if you're hitting .328 in AAA, you've pretty much proven that you can hit there; Lind deserves a full shot. And it's not like he's taking playing time away from some other deserving candidate.

And it's ironic that Cito - the supposed veterans' manager - is the one giving Lind a shot.

Squiggy - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 06:45 PM EDT (#187875) #

Hopefully that was the nadir... what now? I think a playoff spot - while not impossible - is very unlikely, given all the leapfrogging that needs to happen, and soon. It will be interesting to see JP's approach to the trade deadline... he does have a few assets. Is it just me, or does this team (position players) look old all of a sudden? At least Lind  is up, about time too. His dismissal after just 19 AB is one of the strangest things about this season. Especially given that Mench/Stewart/Wilkerson put up such abysmal, powerless numbers in that spot.

scottt - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 06:49 PM EDT (#187876) #
The don't look as bad when they score 8 runs.

This has been a terrible month because they've gone 5-14 during what should have been their easiest month.


Magpie - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 07:19 PM EDT (#187877) #
An eight-man bullpen?  I hope that a trade is coming soon.

Although you know what popped into my head this afternoon? Scott Downs becoming a starter again. He's obviously a more polished and accomplished pitcher now than he was when he got his last ick at the starting can (and he didn't do all that badly on that occasion.) He's in a position where he can feel secure enough to give it a try - he's under contract for two more years, he doesn't have to win a job. In 1990, when Gaston found himself with more quality relievers than starters he moved David Wells into the rotation in mid-season, and quite successfully too.

I notice he's used Downs for two innings both times - Gibbons had him pitch that long exactly once all season. He may be starting to stretch him out already. It will solve the issue of what to do while Marcum's out, provide another option in case Litsch continues to lose or Burnett gets banished, get a lefty into the rotation...
Shane - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 08:17 PM EDT (#187878) #

Well, that's over.  Folks, I do believe that we are looking back at the nadir of the season, and man,  that was a Grand Canyon-deep bottom.

I'm sure you're just being hopeful, but why in the world Mike would you bother saying that? Based on what would anyone reasonably assume one game marked anything better to come. Seems silly. But again, you're probably just trying to be positive.

krose - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#187880) #
Based on what would anyone reasonably assume one game marked anything better to come.

Shane. Don't know if you watched the game on CBC, but Rance and Jessie have pointed out some substantial changes needed in the team's approach to hitting. As a team the approach today was much more aggressive. Several players were swinging at first pitches. Lind's aggressiveness has to be encouraging for his teammates to watch. There seemed to be less of the "work-the-pitch-count" approach. I'm not convinced that this will be the very good hitting team that we once hoped for, but it's not as bad as it has looked over the past three weeks.

One other encouraging change is to see the coaches and manager talking with the players in the dugout. Positive communication creates a dynamic that can't be easily measured. I've wondered for some time if there had been too much organizational emphasis on moneyball. Stats are invaluable, but so is a positive collegial environment. (Might Cito be a good compliment to JP?)
parrot11 - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 09:23 PM EDT (#187881) #
Magpie, Downs is an extremely mediocre starter when he has spot-started. Over the last 3yrs (not counting 2008), Downs is:
Starter: 5.23ERA 1.55WHIP 1.07HR/9
Relief: 2.80ERA 1.18WHIP 0.87HR/9

I'm sure you can find another pitcher that could give you that.

Mike Green - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 10:17 PM EDT (#187883) #
Downs has been getting both RHH and LHH out equally over the last 2 years.  He gets a whole boatload of ground balls these days, so if you are going to start him, it might be an idea to also start McDonald for Eckstein.  This could work.

Glevin - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 10:42 PM EDT (#187884) #
"Shane. Don't know if you watched the game on CBC, but Rance and Jessie have pointed out some substantial changes needed in the team's approach to hitting."

I think the problem has much more to do with the team's lack of talent than it does anything else. I have always though coaches and managers were overrated in baseball. Maybe a few times a year a coach can really help players out, but for the most part, you study the pitcher, you go up there and you hit. When Scutaro and Inglett are hitting 1/2 for you, you simply are not going to score a lot of runs no matter who the coach is. However, Lind is apparently up to stay and will play a lot which is very good news for the Jays as he is capable of being one of their best hitters immediately. (Which says as much about the hitters they have as it does Lind.) Free the rebuilding process!!
Magpie - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 11:05 PM EDT (#187885) #
Downs is an extremely mediocre starter when he has spot-started.

He hasn't done much to distinguish himself, but I think we might be about to find out if he's made any progress in that regard over the last couple of years. We may indeed see the Peter Principle assert itself, as it so often does. But we may see David Wells II. (Wells of course was 27 years old when he went from the bullpen to the rotation, Downs is 32.)

Actually, Downs went 4-3, 4.30 when he spent an extended time in the rotation in the second half of 2005; he was ineffective making random starts in 2006.
Matthew E - Sunday, June 22 2008 @ 11:46 PM EDT (#187886) #
Actually, Downs went 4-3, 4.30 when he spent an extended time in the rotation in the second half of 2005

And he was the only starter at the time, as I recall, who showed any kind of knack for striking out hitters.

Quwyetr - Monday, June 23 2008 @ 12:05 AM EDT (#187887) #
One other encouraging change is to see the coaches and manager talking with the players in the dugout. Positive communication creates a dynamic that can't be easily measured. I've wondered for some time if there had been too much organizational emphasis on moneyball. Stats are invaluable, but so is a positive collegial environment. (Might Cito be a good compliment to JP?)

Moneyball is not a managerial philosophy, but more of an approach to player acquisition. So the fact that the Jays follow the moneyball approach (however true or false that may be) should not matter when it comes to coach-player interaction. It is however still a good sign to see that in the dugout.
The_Game - Monday, June 23 2008 @ 07:54 AM EDT (#187890) #
 

Give me a break about the whole new hitting approach thing that Rance and Jesse were saying yesterday on the broadcast. The reason they were hitting yesterday was because they are a league average hitting team agaisnt right-handed pitchers (.731 OPS), and Ian Snell is most certainly one of those. Snell, apart from being a fairly mediocre right hander this year, was having elbow problems yesterday. Actually having Lind up and playing helps too, as he crushed righties during his time in the minors.

 The Jays have a league worst .642 OPS agaisnt lefties, which accounts for the massive suckitude that occurs every time they face one of them. It has nothing to do with taking pitches or being more agressive. This group of players they've put together just can't hit them, especially with Rios struggling, and Hill no longer in good health.

 

Anders - Monday, June 23 2008 @ 10:04 AM EDT (#187893) #
The reason they were hitting yesterday was because they are a league average hitting team agaisnt right-handed pitchers (.731 OPS), and Ian Snell is most certainly one of those.

Dave Bush (8 ip, 1 er), Ben Sheets (6, 2), Jason Marquis (7, 1) Sean Gallagher (5, 3), Felix Hernandez (8, 0), Carlos Silva (7, 3), Radhames Liz (5, 2), Jeremy Guthrie (7, 1) would like to politely disagree. Prior to the Snell game, the most runs the Jays scored off a righty starting pitcher was three, in five innings. They did worse against lefties, but still, I don't think that Ian Snell is right handed is the key here.

This is not to say that I'm buying the new approach thing, but everybody gets lucky sometimes.
The_Game - Monday, June 23 2008 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#187925) #

Dave Bush (8 ip, 1 er), Ben Sheets (6, 2), Jason Marquis (7, 1) Sean Gallagher (5, 3), Felix Hernandez (8, 0), Carlos Silva (7, 3), Radhames Liz (5, 2), Jeremy Guthrie (7, 1) would like to politely disagree. Prior to the Snell game, the most runs the Jays scored off a righty starting pitcher was three, in five innings. They did worse against lefties, but still, I don't think that Ian Snell is right handed is the key here.

And considering they are league average agaisnt RH, I could bring up the same amount of pitchers that they were able to hit, so what exactly is your point? Do you disagree that nearly .100 points in OPS isn't a significant difference?

And I recall actually attending a game in which the Jays scored 6 runs off Zach Greinke, a right handed pitcher. Where did you pull out the stat that they hadn't scored more than 3 in 5 innings off a righty?

Anders - Tuesday, June 24 2008 @ 02:38 AM EDT (#187951) #

And considering they are league average agaisnt RH, I could bring up the same amount of pitchers that they were able to hit, so what exactly is your point? Do you disagree that nearly .100 points in OPS isn't a significant difference?

And I recall actually attending a game in which the Jays scored 6 runs off Zach Greinke, a right handed pitcher. Where did you pull out the stat that they hadn't scored more than 3 in 5 innings off a righty?


My apologies if I was unclear. Those were the last 8 RHP the Jays had faced, and they struggled against all of them. Furthermore, statistics like this while true in aggregate, are much less helpful at predicting game by game results. My point, on the whole, was that hte Jays offensive 'explosion' was more likely a fluke than a product of their generally better skill against righties.

21 June 2008: Hello I Saw You | 63 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.