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The Twins should be thankful they managed to take one out of four.  Roy Halladay and the offence were nails as the Jays creamed the Twinkies 9-2 Thursday night at the Metrodome.

This game was actually a pitcher's duel for the first six innings and the Jays gave Halladay a 1-0 lead before he took to the mound.  Marco Scutaro led off with a double against Francisco Liriano and came around to score when Alexei Casilla was given an error for dropping the relay throw after Aaron Hill flied out to right.  Minny tied it in the second when Michael Cuddyer and Brian Buscher were on the corners thanks to a pair of singles but Halladay got three consecutive force outs on the ground to keep the damage at just one run.

Toronto took the lead again in the fifth when Jose Bautista hit a ground rule double to left-centre and Hill delivered him home with a two-out single to right.  The Twins threatened in the home half of the fifth when Brendan Harris singled and Denard Span was plunked by an 0-2 curveball that he almost swung at.  Cito Gaston came out to argue but Roy had everything under control.  All he did was strike out Casilla swinging on a yellow hammer, got Justin Morneau on a high heater and Jason Kubel on the nastiest cutter I've seen since this guy

Halladay needed all of seven pitches to take care of the Twins in the sixth and the offence erupted with a converted touchdown in the seventh off the Minnesota pen.  Scutaro sent a Matt Guerrier offering over the wall in left for a two-run dinger, Craig Breslow uncorked a wild pitch that led to another run and Kevin Millar kept the good times going with a grand salami against R.A. Dickey to left for his first ding dong as a Blue Jay.   It only took four Twins relievers to get out of the inning.

Halladay overcame a long top of the seventh by getting three more outs before turning it over to lefty Bill Murphy in the eighth.  Murphy served up a long ball to Cuddyer but Jason Frasor pitched a shutout ninth to end it.  Doc gave up just one run on eight hits and plunked a man over seven innings.  He had a sterling 8-0 K/BB mark, 11 groundouts and threw 74 strikes out of 101 pitches.  That's pretty decadent as any major dude will tell you and he's our Batter's Box Jay of the Game.

Everybody had a hit save for Alex Rios, who endured another 0-for-5, and Scott Rolen but he had two walks.  Hill led the hit parade again with three hits while Scutaro, Vernon Wells, Rod Barajas and Bautista had two safeties each.  The Jays also drew five walks and racked up five two-out RBI.

Tonight, the Jays return home as lefty David Purcey goes against fellow southpaw Josh Outman and the Oakland A's at 7:07 p.m. EDT at the Rog Mahal.


In other TDIB notes.....

Cliff Lee picked a good time to regain his Cy Young form as the Tribe spank the Yanks 10-2 at the home opener at New Yankee Stadium.

*  Rays strand the potential tying run at third in the ninth as they fell to the Pale Hose 3-2 at the Trop.

*  Mets continue to struggle at Citi Field as they lose to the Padres 6-5.

*  Cubs lose 7-4 to the Cards and should lose Milton Bradley for the next little while after he gets persnickety with the home plate ump.

*  Nats Win!  Nats Win!  Nats knock off the Phils 8-2 to finally get in the win column.  It must've been their new blue uniforms that did the trick.

*  Marlins improve to 8-1 with a three game sweep of the Braves after a 6-2 victory.

*  Astros rally from a pair of two-run deficits to double up the Bucs 6-3 at PNC Park.

*  Finally, best wishes to former Blue Jay and current Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge, who is resting in hospital after suffering a heart attack.

Metrodome Massacre Complete! | 101 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Ron - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 01:25 AM EDT (#198456) #
I can’t believe the Jays are 8-3. I can’t believe how deadly the bats have been. Heck I can’t believe the Jays, Mariners, Royals, and Padres are leading their respective divisions. It got so ugly in the 7th inning, I actually started to feel sorry for the Twins.

It’s almost impossible to be negative about an 8-3 ballclub but I’m not liking this LF “platoon” with Bautista and Snider. I know Gaston doesn’t want to call it a platoon but it sure looks like one to me. I was worried when Gaston spoke glowingly of Bautista in Spring Training and I’m still worried today. Joe Inglett needs to be freed from Vegas and Snider deserves to face LHP. If I see Snider out of the lineup tomorrow because they are facing Outman………….
brent - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 02:02 AM EDT (#198457) # what does everyone think the Jays' true talent level is?

China fan - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 03:57 AM EDT (#198458) #

I think I trust Cito to handle Snider properly.   He's got a proven record of knowing how to break in young hitters.  If Snider keeps hitting, he'll definitely be facing LHP more often this season.  We have to remember how incredibly raw Snider still is -- the kid just turned 21 a couple months ago.  Last September, the vast majority of Bauxites felt that he wasn't even ready for a brief September call-up.  And in the off-season, many still said he should start this year in the minors.   As the season goes on, we'll see Bautista more often at 3B to give Rolen a break, and that's when we'll see Snider more often against LHP, if he continues to thrive.  I think Cito is handling Snider just right.   Snider is probably learning as much on the bench as he is on the field these days.  Keep the pressure low, let him adjust and then give him more playing time -- that's the ticket.

I agree, however, that Inglett deserves to be called up.  As long as John McDonald is nothing more than a glorified pinch-runner, let's get Inglett onto the team.  Griffin actually had a good line about McDonald:  at $1.9-million for the occasional pinch-running duty, he's the second-highest-paid sprinter in the world after Usain Bolt.....

Bautista might yet fade as the season wears on, but right now he looks like a smart pick-up by the Jays.   And how did the Jays manage to steal Marco Scutaro from Oakland for almost nothing?  Could the Jays have finally solved their perennial SS woes?

If we're going to quibble with anything in the Jays lineup, how about Alex Rios?  He still seems as sleepy as he has for years. 

How much of the credit for the Jays fast start should go to Gene Tenace?   There's a nice article about Tenace today in the Globe by Rob MacLeod, who points out that Tenace is never seen without a bat in his hands.  That's the kind of obsession I want in my hitting coach.   Here is the link the MacLeod article:

Richard S.S. - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 06:03 AM EDT (#198460) #
This run shouldn't stop.  Oakland is stuggling, offence is not so good, bullpen is not too bad, inexperienced starters are really poor.  Advantage Toronto.
Dave Till - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 07:20 AM EDT (#198461) #
This wasn't what I was expecting. 8-3? What the? I was expecting 5-6, or maybe 3-8.

Here's what I think is happening: the 2008 Jays' collective hitting approach caused them to be consistently late on fastballs. The "book" on the Jays became to pound them with hard stuff. Now, thanks to Tenace and Cito, the players are attacking fastballs. Eventually, the opposition will adjust. But it might take some time for them to figure it out, which means we could see a few more games like the last one. At least, that's my hope.

There's more to it than that, of course. The lineup has been upgraded offensively at 1B (Millar/Overbay over Overbay alone), 2B (Hill over Inglett), SS (Scutaro over Johnny Mac) and LF (Snider/Bautista over the ghost of Kevin Mench). Wells and Rolen are completely healthy, and there are no gaping offensive holes in the lineup. They won't keep scoring 7 runs a game, but they won't go back to where they were last year.

The worst-case scenario is still a run of horrible starting pitching - a lot of 5-inning 110-pitch outings, or a 10-day stretch in which everybody except Halladay gets bombed repeatedly, and the team goes 2-8. A couple of those, and discouragement will set in. We'll have to see what happens, I guess.

But J.P. has got to feel happier about himself these days. Consider:
  • Rolen is hitting (and fielding), and Glaus is on the DL.
  • Romero is looking really good out there, and Tulowitzki is hitting .231 in Colorado. (Admittedly, with three home runs and plenty of walks.)
  • Snider, Lind and Hill have all taken steps forward this year. (This is a lesson that is worth remembering: young players get better, older players stay the same or get worse. The Yankees are about to learn this the hard way.)
Dave Till - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 07:22 AM EDT (#198462) #
And I forgot to mention the improvement at DH (Lind over what was left of what used to be Frank Thomas).
brent - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 08:12 AM EDT (#198463) #
In the article, Cito says this kind of offense is sustainable. This is a really good one through nine lineup some days. Stats heavy people would call this madness though that they could continue. I wouldn't have thought they could do it in the first place, so why couldn't they keep it up for quite a while?
Chuck - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 08:20 AM EDT (#198464) #
Tulowitzki is hitting .231 in Colorado. (Admittedly, with three home runs and plenty of walks.)

Dave, I'll take a .231 average if it's part of a 231/375/654 batting line! Better that Romero be judged on his own merits than to be contrasted with Tulowitzki. I don't see that strategy ending particularly well.
Chuck - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 08:24 AM EDT (#198465) #
I wouldn't have thought they could do it in the first place, so why couldn't they keep it up for quite a while?

The team is at 317/354/540. They are hitting like the 1961 Yankees playing in Coors Field. How on earth that can be sustained?
Anders - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 08:44 AM EDT (#198466) #
No, this current hitting model is probably unsustainable - half the starters have OPS' above 1.000... However I think that in general Snider and Lind look pretty good an figure to be improvements over Lind c. 2008 and Thomas/DH fill ins. Additionally, guys like Vernon and Rolen have been good hitters in the past and struggled last year somewhat, I don't think its unreasonable to expect them to be a bit better, and Hill is finally not injured and still young - a breakout for him has been mooted for a couple of years now. Rios is a bit of a wild card I suppose... However I'm pretty sure that Barajas, Scutaro, Barrett, Bautista, Millar, Overbay will settle into the kind of prouction we've seen the last couple of years before too long.
Ryan Day - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 09:02 AM EDT (#198467) #
Of course this level of offence isn't sustainable. They've got six players hitting .340 or above, and that's not even counting Scutaro and his .619 SLG.

But Cito's definitely getting the best out of his hitters, and that could mean:
  • Scott Rolen isn't dead. (though he needs to avoid repeating last year's shoulder-breakdown)
  • Vernon Wells, All-Star is back.
  • Lind and Snider have fewer troubles adjusting.
  • Lyle Overbay gets his groove back.
  • Aaron Hill isn't hurt by the year off, and picks up from 2007.
It's April, so who knows. But if just a couple of those things happen, along with some general, modest improvements, it could mean good things for the offence.

Unfortunately, it seems Cito had to sacrifice Rios' swing at the altar. But it's working so far.

C Snoy - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 09:45 AM EDT (#198469) #
I drank beers and talked baseball with a guy from Boston for about an hour last. It was quite funny. I entered the room and asked if he knew the score of the Jays game (fully aware that Millar had just launched a 4 run shot). I let him know that they Jays were yet again rackin em up and asked him how the Sox were doing because I hadn't heard (teehee). Rather than make excuses he just said, "The Sox suck". Made for a much less hostile discussion.

I asked another Sox fan the other day whether he thought the Sox would finish ahead of the jays in 2011. He said not likely.

They are losing faith and we are gaining... That's half the battle, right?

Magpie - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 09:53 AM EDT (#198470) #
They are hitting like the 1961 Yankees playing in Coors Field.

Better, actually (the 1961 Yankees not being a particularly great offensive team - didn't even lead their own league in runs scored.)

I know you were being rhetorical! But we must enjoy these moments.
Chuck - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 10:02 AM EDT (#198471) #
Silly Magpie, I didn't mean all the 1961 Yankees, just some of them. Er, yeah, let's go with that.
Mike Green - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 10:06 AM EDT (#198472) #
Of course, the offence is not sustainable at this level, but the performance to date, particularly in Minnesota, is significant qualitatively.  The club faced 4 good starters, Liriano, Baker, Perkins and Slowey with differing strengths and weaknesses.  The Twins' starters pitched well overall, but the offence was able to do what was necessary (hit the hittable pitches from Slowey and Baker, and work the counts on Liriano) to make their way to the weakness of the Twins since the loss of Neshek, the middle relief.  I would give significant credit for the year-over-year offensive improvement to Gaston (who was always a fine hitting coach) and to Tenace. 

My before-season estimate of 720 runs scored is likely to be very wrong.  They've already scored roughly 25 runs more than I initially anticipated (making some allowance for the quality of pitching faced in the AL Central vs. the AL East).  More importantly, it now seems that I was wrong from the beginning to take any account of the Denbo/Gibbons era offensive performance as relevant to the current production.  It looks like 780 runs scored would have been a better projection initially.  Which means that I should probably have them marked down for 800 runs scored now.  That figure would include, of course, a recognition that one or two of the key bats will likely go down for a significant period with injury. 

One more thing.  It is possible, despite all the pitching injuries, that the club finds itself in the thick of things in July.  I would hope that the brain trust at Rogers is thinking about this, and considers seriously the possibility of making an investment then.

China fan - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#198473) #

Gotta love the pessimism of the Bauxites!    The Jays are playing well?  Unsustainable!!   Must be an aberration!   Can't possibly continue!

Of course the Jays offence will drift downward to something a bit closer to reality.   But at the same time, the pitching could improve over the course of the season too.  Litsch and Janssen could come back from injury, David Purcey could get his act together, Cecil or Mills could join the team, BJ Ryan could figure out his mechanical issues, etc.   Who's to say that a decline in hitting might not be counter-balanced by an improvement in the 2 and 3 slots in the pitching rotation? 

By the way, the Jays are already one-ninth of the way to the 72 wins that they were supposed to get this year.

C Snoy - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 10:21 AM EDT (#198475) #
China fan - I thought Vegas had them at 79.5?
Mike Green - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 10:25 AM EDT (#198476) #
The 72 win estimate was ridiculous from the beginning.  The estimate was predicated upon the Yankees being a great, great club with the Red Sox and the Rays not far behind.  There is a difference between the talent level on the three clubs at the top and the two beneath, but it was nowhere near what some forecasters had it.  I said at the beginning of the year that projecting the Yankees for 97-99 wins was crazy.
China fan - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 10:26 AM EDT (#198477) #

Okay, that was a rhetorical device on my part  --  72 wins was the most pessimistic prediction from several people on this site, and not necessarily the average of all predictions.    Still, to hit that 72-win prediction, the Jays would have to go 64-87 for the rest of the season, which seems rather unlikely at this point.

Magpie - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 10:29 AM EDT (#198478) #
the 72 wins that they were supposed to get this year.

Someone may have forgot to let the ballplayers in on that, but it's a widespread consensus. I told everyone in the press box at the second Detroit game that I would be shocked if the Jays didn't win at least 85 games, and that I wouldn't be all that surprised if they won 93. The people who work for the team all looked at me as if I was taking the wrong medication.

I said "roughly 100 more runs" than last year, at least 800, because I wanted to be conservative. (And I was even wondering myself if I was on the wrong medication, just thinking these things.) There will be some drop-off. Lots of it, in fact - they're currently on pace to score 1134 runs. But this is not last year's team. Trust me!
C Snoy - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#198479) #
Fair enough, thanks for clarifying.

I agree, rather unlikely. 87-64 is more like it!
Mike D - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#198480) #
Incredibly, last night's game could have been a significantly bigger blowout.  The Twins played much better defensively than did the Jays, and the Jays had at least four very narrow misses of home runs.
TamRa - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#198481) # what does everyone think the Jays' true talent level is?

I started out by predicting 86 (+/-3) and I based that on what I thought their talent level was - a "luck neutral" figure. (i.e. last year they were a 93 win team even though they didn't actually win 93)

it is VERY early but I'm tempted to bump that up 2-3 wins if this continues for 6 weeks or so.

dan gordon - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 11:28 AM EDT (#198482) #
Not only have the Blue Jays been playing very well, but the Yankees and Red Sox are starting to look like they have some significant problems.  Varitek and Ortiz don't look anything like the players they used to be.  Lowell is also a showing signs of age.  Matsuzaka has an arm problem.  Lester may not be quite as good as he looked last year.  Pedroia is a terrific player, but last year may have been better than what he will typically produce.  No more Manny.   In NY, it looks like Nady may be out for the year, and age is slowing down many of their stars like Jeter, Damon, Posada and Matsui, who has yet to show that he can fully recover from the knee problems he has developed.  Teixiera now has a wrist problem.  Of course, both are still good teams, but I don't see either of them as being out of the Jays' reach.   Getting Janssen back healthy would be a big boost.  Has anybody heard anything lately about his progress?
Mylegacy - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#198483) #

I'm slightly giggly about how we're doin'. Whereas normally I's just giggly.

However, soberingly - the game is pirching and defense. Our pitching is MUCH better than we had any right to suspect having lost three fifths of our starting rotation and with Janssen and Accardo no shows. HOWEVER - the season is a marathon and much uglyness could lie ahead.

The GOOD news is that FINALLY we've got some EXCEPTIONAL hitters. Led by outstanding stars like; Rolen, Lind, Hill and Snider with great support from Wells and Scutaro and workmanship contributions from everyone else except the tall dark handsome enigma wrapped in a riddle who goes by the name of Rios. Even though PITCHING RULES - if the other guys pitching falters for even a blink - we've got someone who will make them pay. In other words - we've become our very own - soon to be hated "Evil Empire North!"

Priceless, ab-so-lute-ly PRICELESS!

westcoast dude - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#198484) #
I hope I'm wrong, but I doubt Janssen will return and I'm pessimistic on Litsch, too, as well as Marcum and McGowan. but hope springs eternal. Nutrition and conditioning are key,  and too many young players are part of the Wonderbread generation (degeneration?) or second generation. Their rite of passage was the driver's license, not stooking bales of hay and stashing them under the barn roof on a hot summer's day.  I was the end of that era, now I'm an old guy with a good foundation and pectorals--and a sore shoulder.
Mike Green - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#198485) #
The other side of the game is going much better than one might have guessed.  The team FIP is below league average, and the worst part of that is the HR rate, and the team defence has been, as usual, good.  The pitcher's HR/fly rate is 18%.  While the offence will cool off, that HR/fly rate surrendered by the pitchers will also go down. 

Last night the club again brought out the starter with an 8 run lead in the 7th inning.  I don't really see the point of this with a 7 man pen.  It's true that Halladay's pitch count was not high, but I would much rather he be saved for innings like last night's 6th inning down the road.  Call it "leveraging greatness".
Thomas - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#198486) #
I agree with Mike. I'm sure Doc wanted to come out and pitch the 7th, but I would like to have seen Cito make the call to the bullpen at that point. The team could have had Murphy throw a second inning (or another reliever get an inning) without any real damage to the way the pen set up for the upcoming homestand.

An extra inning here or there may not be significant in the end, but it would make sense if the Jays are planning on keeping Halladay on a strict 5-day rotation, which is what I hope they are planning to do as long as he shows no signs of fatigue or injury.
Chuck - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 12:55 PM EDT (#198487) #

87-64 is more like it!

With 11 ties presumably?   ;)

John Northey - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 01:11 PM EDT (#198488) #

Don't forget how low Halladay still is with pitches.  7 IP with 101 pitches and in that 7th inning he faced the 8-9-1 hitters so it wasn't like he was going to have to work his guts out.  21 pitches total in that 7th inning so he came into it at just 80 pitches.  If Cito pulled Halladay after just 80 pitches I think a few would complain that we need Roy stretched out so he won't get hurt if he has to go 9 later on.

Btw, got it from B-R again. Their game summaries are great for details. You can sort by total pitches per AB for the game so I can quickly see that no hitter had more than 8 pitches (Lind & Barajas both did that) while Halladay's peak was 6 (single to LF in the 7th inning). There were 8 one pitch AB's, 6 by Toronto resulting in a single, HR (the grand slam), another run scoring, and 5 outs. Scutaro's HR was listed as the most victory important moment of the game (19% increase in winning odds for Jays vs the 5% for the grand slam).

C Snoy - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#198489) #
Not quite Chuck. That is for the remainder of the season. The 11 ties you speak of are actually this months 8 wins and 3 losses

95-67 is more like it!

Hows that?
MatO - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#198490) #

87-64 is more like it!

With 11 ties presumably?   ;)

I think he meant the rest of the season (they're 8-3 now 151 left to go)

John Northey - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 01:24 PM EDT (#198491) #

Just looking at the Jays stats...

Pitching: Everyone, even Murphy, has thrown in 2 or more games.  3 guys are at 5 (Carlson, Downs, League) while 3 more are at 4 (Tallet, Frasor, Camp) with Ryan the forgotten man in the pen at 3 appearances.  All but Ryan/Murphy have thrown between 4 and 5 innings except for Tallet at 7 2/3.  Now _that_ is keeping things even. 

Hitting: After 11 games only John McDonald is averaging less than a PA per game (and appropriately so I think we'd all agree) with Barret and Millar being the only others under 2 PA per game. 

Cito is obviously trying to get everyone into the games and is doing a pretty good job of it so far.  5 guys have been in all 11 games - Scutaro, Hill, Lind, Rios, and Wells.  Rolen has been in 10 with only Millar in less than 1/2 the games.

braden - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 02:09 PM EDT (#198493) #

In reading Rotoworld's piece on which pitchers are good fantasy bets for the upcoming week, I came across this line:

 I like Jose Contreras' first match-up this week, but I'm hesitant to recommend anybody against the Blue Jays right now.

I mean when was the last time you could read something like that?

92-93 - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#198496) #
Braden, I'd stay far away from the lefty Dallas Braden, the Jays are going to crush him.

Was looking over the Athletics team roster, and I'm simply amazed - their starting rotation costs slightly more than John McDonald and less than Jose Bautista.
VBF - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#198497) #
The offensive power certainly won't last with some players (Scutaro), but there's no chance Rios doesn't improve. When he does, I think it will help to offset the inevitable offensive decrease.

The roof was tested yesterday, and there's a good chance it's open tonight. Open roof, first place club, what a weekend to come down to the RC!

Mike Green - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 02:43 PM EDT (#198498) #
The A's are paying $5.25 million for Bobby Crosby and $4 million for Orlando Cabrera this year, and didn't get much for Scutaro.  Marco has hit .270/.348/.376 for his time in Toronto, and they're paying him $1.1 million for him this year ($1.5 last year).  On the Ricciardi scorecard, this acquisition has to go down as a big check mark.  It looks like it will end up as a bigger positive than the Royce Clayton signing was a negative.  Credit where it is due.
Magpie - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 02:59 PM EDT (#198499) #
Enjoying the moment, but it is just 11 games. I find it prudent to remember what Winston the Wolf said to Vincent and Jules.
C Snoy - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#198501) #
Am I the only one who does not know of Winston the Wolf?
Anyone care to fill me on what he said to Vinnie and Jules?
C Snoy - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#198502) #
Couldnt wait. Googled it. Boy do I feel silly. People keep telling me I should watch that movie.
LouisvilleJayFan - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#198503) #
A 3-0 Roy Halladay makes me officially excited about the season now. The best part about last night was that the Yankees lost in their new doubt prompting some to call for a complete tear down and rebuild of the structure.
Magpie - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#198505) #
Couldnt wait. Googled it.

And now you know why I didn't just give the quote!
scottt - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 04:20 PM EDT (#198507) #
The hitting is quite sustainable as long as they don't see better pitching. They will at some point, but it doesn't matter. They don't need to win every game by 7 or more runs.

I'd be quite satisfied if they just make the playoffs while collecting the Cy Young, MVP and ROY awards. That's certainly possible. ;)

Maybe Cito is doing the right thing with the Overbay/Millar Snider/Bautista splits. Someone will end up on the DL at some point and it will be easier to cover with backup players that have been playing regularly. Incidentally, there seems to be tons of lefties in the AL this year, or is that just me?

NDG - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 05:14 PM EDT (#198509) #
Can't believe no one's mentioned the best part of the game. After that 'hits batsmen' in the sixth (where Span barely checked his swing), Halladay proceeds to K the next three (3-4-5 hitters too) on ten pitches! And six of the nine strikes were the swing and miss variety.

A few years ago I remember making the comment that as great as Halladay is, throwing every pitch in the same general location is going to make it tough to get K's. That high 95mph four seamer to Morneau nearly brought a tear to my eye.
canuckiwi - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 06:28 PM EDT (#198510) #
China Fan must be the biggest pessimist of them all, not to mention one wearing blinkers as  well.

" But at the same time, the pitching could improve over the course of the season too.  Litsch and Janssen could come back from injury, David Purcey could get his act together, Cecil or Mills could join the team, BJ Ryan could figure out his mechanical issues, etc." You omitted to mention the possibility of the second coming in there too, while you were at it!] 
"Who's to say that a decline in hitting might not be counter-balanced by an improvement in the 2 and 3 slots in the pitching rotation? "

So what you are trying to get across, without having the stones to actually say it , is that you regard the 4 and 5 slots as chopped liver. So far, they've proved that they're anything but, and by the end of the season, the one with the chopped liver, and the serving of crow hamburger for dinner, might just be you.

China fan - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 06:55 PM EDT (#198511) #
No, I meant the exact opposite. The numbers 4 and 5 slots have been doing better than expected, obviously, so it's the numbers 2 and 3 slots where the improvement could come.
King Ryan - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 07:43 PM EDT (#198513) #
Is anyone else getting awfully tired of hearing Jamie Campbell tell us where someone "hails" from?

At least there are no Canadians in this series from him to slobber over. 

Sorry, that's all I have to say.   Getting a little frustrated.

zeppelinkm - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#198514) #

Somebody else asked - what kind of wheaties is Marco Scutaro eating? He is playing so far over his head he probably can't even see himself right now. For real... at least 4 HR's through 12 games for a guy who has never hit more then 9. The Cito factor?

I want to comment on Cito (and coaching in general) briefly... hence the Cito segway.. anyways.

We know Cito has a few coaching quirks - he doesn't like to PH the rookie for the veteran. He doesn't always follow the numbers when deploying his relievers. He doesn't juggle his lineup much. However, the more I watch the more I feel like you cannot evaluate a coach for his individual traits/decision making, you must evaluate the outcome as a whole because it is part of the entire package. There are simply too many moving parts to take them out and evaluate them in isolation. We can, and we do, and we will continue too, but I don't think we can conclude decisively as much as we would like when doing so.

While it might sound ridiculous at first glance, when Cito said (i'm quoting from memory, so please correct if inaccurate) "While we might lose a game here or there, I think we'll win one or two down the road that we wouldn't have by not doing that". Not doing that, of course is referring to PH'ing Snider for Bautista.

At first I thought this was ridiculous because it almost implies that Cito is willing to concede a game or two here to protect an ego. But the more I think about it, the more right he is. Snider is a rookie, and he is the hope for the future and he certainly would have been a better bet then Bautista in the 10th inning of a tied ballgame against a RHP. However, I'm coming around to the idea that its this style of coaching that makes Cito so effective.  How will this help them win more games? Read on, fair reader.

Players buy in to the things Cito says because they trust him. They trust him like there is no tomorrow. When first Denbo then Gibbons were let go last season, I got the distinct feeling that players were split on the philosophies these two coaches were trying to get their players to follow. As a result, you had a terrible offensive season from many players. Imagine going up there trying to hit with an approach you don't fully, truly believe in 100%.  They trust Cito because he shows them respect, and because he shows them respect, they play for him. They buy into what he says.  It's not that Gibbons wasn't showing respect, it appears he just didn't command it and receive it the way Cito does.

If Cito pulls you over and takes 5 minutes to talk to you about how he thinks pitcher X is tipping his change up you pay attention and listen, and walk away from the conversation eager to get your next AB. You believe what he says - he has your respect and your undivided attention. Or for bullpen usage - perhaps by not always playing to the numbers he improves the confidence of his relievers beacuse they know they will get a fair shot to sink or swim, and won't be put in for just 1 batter here and there as the numbers dictate, etc.

This is what I see with the Jays playing for Cito. It is not what I saw from the Jays last year or the year before playing for Gibbons. They all liked him as I'm sure he was a likable fellow. But I don't think they truly believed in him to the bitter end, which they do with Cito, and they play for him.

I think I've said enough but because I'm never really sure if I'm vocalizing my thoughts well enough, I will add one more example. Anyone on here who has played for a competitive team in any setting, or worked under the direction of someone in some capacity (think I've got everyone covered yet?) knows how vital trusting the person in charge is. I played competitive ball until I was 16 or so, and the difference between a coach I trusted and one I didn't was night and day. The coaches I trusted (almost all of them) I wanted to play for every day. The coaches I didn't trust (2 in total), well, I still wanted to play ball because I loved the game, but it wasn't the same. I wasn't playing for them anymore as much as I was for myself. So many times with the coaches I didn't trust I would question their advice, their coaching, their decision making. Whenever something didn't go right, it was their fault I would think. Perhaps this was wrong of me and it was just the ego of an "invincable" 14 year old thinking he ruled the world, but maybe not. Is it that much of a stretch to think this could be the case with the 2005 - 2009 Jays? Given the difference in just how it feels to watch them play?

lexomatic - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#198516) #
i don't care what scutaro is eating.. the man is projecting to a mantle year... i'll take that for a 2 week stretch fo the year. i think he's hitting too well right now for him not to have his best year with the bat.

just for fun... his projections from espn:

AWeb - Friday, April 17 2009 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#198517) #
Sheffield has managed to hit #500 tonight. It's a forgotten milestone it seems at this point, but it's still cool. Next up - Carlos Delgado, perhaps in September this year...after that, it might be a long while again. Three years for Guerrero, Andruw Jones if he's re-found his swing maybe in four-five years. Pujols seems like a lock eventually, and Dunn might make 5.5 years at his pace. Not only does he hit exactly 40 HR a year (4 years running), but his career 162 game average is also 40 HR.

westcoast dude - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 02:24 AM EDT (#198518) #
Romero and Richmond are solid behind Doc in the rotation. Now Tallet has to pitch the game of his life. He is auditioning to be the fourth man due to Purcey's issues which not only hurt the team but also tax the bullpen going forward.  Rei Gonzalez must be considered a legitimate near term option, but as of right now Brian has the mantle thrust upon him.
brent - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 04:51 AM EDT (#198519) #
As much as people are making the story about Purcey, the loss is still on League. Oakland's bullpen shut down the Jays. It happens.
brent - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 06:02 AM EDT (#198520) #

The guy from hit tracker weighs in at the Book Blog. Perhaps this explains Scutaro?

brent - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 08:40 AM EDT (#198522) #

Player                innings pitched           value (millions)            draft round        year         service time

McGowan             324                             27.7                                  2                       2000         2.113

League                 133                             1.9                                    2                       2001         2.145

Litsch                    293                              15.8                                 24                     2004         1.098

Purcey                   80                               4.7                                    1                       2004         0.069

brent - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 08:47 AM EDT (#198523) #
My first thought was that McGowan had a great year (value) last season. My second is that drafting a player as a reliever is foolish.
Frank Markotich - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 09:45 AM EDT (#198524) #
Brent, I don't know if you were referring to League in that last comment, but League wasn't "drafted as a reliever". He was a starter for the great majority of his minor league career.
Gerry - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#198525) #
Bastian is reporting that Michael Barrett is going on the DL, Chavez has been called up.
Thomas - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#198526) #
I wouldn't have brought League into that game, I don't think. I think that Cito wanted to show trust in him in an important situation and he wanted to keep as many relievers available for tomorrow as possible, but I would have preferred to see Frasor out there for a second inning and then go straight to Downs if the game was tied.
Glevin - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 11:36 AM EDT (#198528) #
"So what you are trying to get across, without having the stones to actually say it , is that you regard the 4 and 5 slots as chopped liver. So far, they've proved that they're anything but, and by the end of the season, the one with the chopped liver, and the serving of crow hamburger for dinner, might just be you."

Oh come on. They've pitched something like a combined 25 innings so far. Any fan should be happy with this start, but to pretend that most of these numbers are sustainable or realistic seems a little absurd. An ERA around 4.50 for both of those guys would be a success.
chips - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#198529) #
You might as well put Michael Barrett on the 60 Day DL because he is not coming back anytime soon with a torn shoulder muscle on his throwing shoulder.
christaylor - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#198530) #
I think this ought to go here.

So I am watching today's game. Nothing different there, I watch/listen to pretty much every game. Today I focus on Alex Rios' AB (and mute the TV because while I like Rance; he's weird and I don't understand his shorthand). The AB that just occurred (to end the sixth) Rios strikes out, lazily, on an 86 mph fastball (that's what it looked like) low and away.

My question is this (for people who have more data on Rios and seen him hit well this season -- I did catch his HR on TV during the WBC, btw and are more knowledgeable about hitting than I am (pretty much everyone, but I digress): What one thing would you correct in Rios' hitting approach and how would it help him a) hit for more power b) hit the ball more often?

Caveat: Rios will hit this season, it is that I think I am starting to believe something has to change in his approach, however minor the change might be (I'll even accept time but each game played gives one 1/162 less time for Rios).

Oh and yes, I enjoy the record. I am a happy the Jays are playing above their talent level. Knock on wood -- it'll happen all season, if not then no big deal, very few on this board or in the baseball-i-scenti did either.
Chuck - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 04:06 PM EDT (#198531) #
I would think that if you'd want to hear informed thoughts on hitting, just un-mute Rance.
HollywoodHartman - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#198532) #
(Time: Bottom 11) I need this game to end. I have a psych exam Monday I really really have to study for.
christaylor - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 04:19 PM EDT (#198533) #
I think I believe what you have to say about Cito. I just have a compare and contrast question.

1) Compare and contrast Cito v. David Wells and Gibbons v. Ted Lilly.

I, myself, don't see any difference there... really. Cito's great, don't get me wrong, he's my favorite Blue Jays manager (is there even another reasonable choice? Bobby Cox perhaps). But, I didn't buy the switch to Cito. I didn't buy that Ernie Whitt got the ax from Cito (who else did it? JP? I'm sure Cito had his choices on the coaching staff given what else happened at the same time -- I could be wrong).

2) I have another question, but let me set it up first. If Cito had earned so much trust from players and presumably had many player advocates (presumably they would advocate for him, given that they played for him and trusted him -- why did his shot with another team never come? (I don't really want to see the race card played, it might be a valid play for Cito, but we all know this argument has that card in the deck -- so it just ain't innaresting from my perspective).
christaylor - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#198534) #
Nice. I explained why I didn't want to listen to Rance and you felt the need to comment. So you think what you want to think and I'll think what I want to think and I'll be correct and you'll be something else, OK?
Chuck - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#198535) #
Er, okay. I wasn't trying to be persnickity. You said that Rance was "weird" and you said something about his "shorthand". I don't understand what that means, to be frank. Mulliniks is an astute commentator and far more equipped than anyone at this site to offer up opinions on hitting, the very topic you were seeking comments on.
China fan - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#198536) #
Wow, what a game!  Encouraging on many fronts.  Overbay seems to be finally getting on track, which could be huge for the team.  Ryan pitched a scoreless inning and might be on his way back to normal.  Tallet pitched five-and-a-third innings, gave up only a single earned run, 41 strikes among his 67 pitches, and he might actually be an effective answer to the Litsch injury for a month or so.   And the bullpen -- incredible.   They threw a one-hitter over almost seven innings.   I only hope they have something left in the tank for tomorrow.   The bats are going to cool off, but the Jays keep finding ways to scratch out wins.
Magpie - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 04:43 PM EDT (#198537) #
Compare and contrast Cito v. David Wells and Gibbons v. Ted Lilly

Gibbons and Lilly were jogging buddies. Gaston and Wells weren't. I mean, really? Your point?
Waveburner - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 04:45 PM EDT (#198538) #
This is too funny. The Yankees just gave up 14 runs in the 2nd inning. Wang's ERA through 3 starts is 34.50 and the poor kid making his MLB debut is at 81.00.
Mike Green - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#198539) #
It's too bad that CBC isn't running Jays games this year.  Mulliniks was doing the colour work and had a by-line on the CBC website.

The off-day on Monday could not come at a better time.  I wonder if the club will bring back Halladay on Tuesday on 4 days rest, and then continue with Richmond on Wednesday. 

scottt - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 04:57 PM EDT (#198540) #
Well, that worked out in the hand. I still like Overbay (as part of a plattoon).

Frasor is 2-0 and that's not undeserved.

I still think the hitting is not that different from last year. Snider and Lind where doing great in the minor. Rolen and Wells were doing the same when not injuried. Wells still can't hit much with running in scoring positions. Rios is still struggling.  Overbay couldn't hit lefties.

I seems like Cito has minor version of Tourette Syndrome that makes him say think that makes absolutely not sense. For example, that Snider is fine hitting 9th because of his speed. (What speed?) Or that Accardo would be his choice to get spot starts here and there if he was healthy.  This type of comments don't help him to get recognized as a good manager.

Wang is absolutely killing the Yankees. What about that?

Gerry - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#198541) #
Rios is trying to pull everything.  As a result he opens his front side too quickly which leaves him in a bad position to hit.  He needs to try and hit the ball to right centre to get his swing back.
Magpie - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#198542) #
I wonder if the club will bring back Halladay on Tuesday on 4 days rest, and then continue with Richmond on Wednesday.

Gibbons would for sure. I think Gaston will let Richmond go on Tuesday, Doc on Wednesday.
Magpie - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#198543) #
Wells still can't hit much with running in scoring positions.

Still? Since when? Last year he hit .302 with RISP. His career numbers:

	AB      H    2B   3B   HR  RBI   BB  SO  BAVG  OBP  SLG   OPS    TB    GDP  HBP  IBB  BAbip
Total	4299  1220  261   24  179  664  313  594 .284 .333 .481  .813  2066    112   25   16  .291
RISP	1130   317   68    6   52  475  125  163 .281 .344 .489  .833   553     38    9   16  .275

He did suck with RISP in 2004. It was the Season From Hell.
Jbar - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 05:22 PM EDT (#198544) #
Magpie I hope you're wrong on that since Tuesday is one of maybe 2 or 3 games that I'll go to all year.  I'd much MUCH rather see Doc than Richmond.  Richmond vs the Rangers offence does not inspire a whole lot of confidence in me.
Magpie - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#198545) #
Rios is trying to pull everything.

That's one problem - the other is that he has a complicated swing, which you often see with guys built like him. He's got a long body, with long arms, and there are a whole lot of things that can go wrong. I think his initial balance is just a little off, which throws off the timing of his stride and his weight shift. He's swinging with his arms and nothing else. He's hitting uphill.
scottt - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#198546) #
Do you have Wells' line for April last year? Maybe it's just a nightmare I had. 
Frank Markotich - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#198547) #
My theory on why Rios is struggling is that he's secretly been taking instruction from Gary Denbo.
Magpie - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 05:33 PM EDT (#198548) #
Magpie I hope you're wrong on that since Tuesday

You're in luck, I am wrong. Doc will go Tuesday, Purcey on Wednesday, and Richmond is pushed back until Thursday.
Magpie - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 05:39 PM EDT (#198549) #
Do you have Wells' line for April last year? Maybe it's just a nightmare I had.

No, and it's a nightmare Wells had. Most players hit with RISP roughly the same way they hit the rest of the time. Wells is no exception. Wells hit .250 last April, and .317 over the rest of the season.
Magpie - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#198550) #
Frasor is 2-0 and that's not undeserved.

Yes indeed, and there has been no bigger Jason Frasor basher than myself. But he's done exactly what Shawn Camp did a year ago - added a changeup. He's a new man.
China fan - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#198551) #
Scottt, I think you're misquoting Cito.   I haven't seen anything from Cito to indicate that he is putting Snider in the 9th spot because of his "speed", or to indicate that Accardo would be his choice to get "spot starts."   Do you have published sources on either of those quotes?    Cito has clearly said that Snider is batting 9th because of his youth and inexperience.   If you want to attack him for things that he has allegedly said, please provide the full quotes and the source, so that we can all judge for ourselves.
scottt - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#198552) #
I wasn't quoting, just pointing out some statements that confused a lot of people when he made them.

I don't know that anybody reported the exact words either.

Here's a link to the Accardo story from last month.

I probably saw the Snider comments on the Bluebird Banter.

And it isn't an attack, just a possible explanation for his lack of recognition even after winning 2 World Series. He doesn't seem to change his strategy much depending on the situation and occasionally makes absurd statements.

So far, his results are amazing and I think that if the Jays were to finish ahead of NY and Boston, he'd be a strong candidate for manager of the Year while J.P. would not get much credit. 

China fan - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#198553) #

 In his comments about Accardo last month, Cito merely said that he "wasn't ruling out" the possibility that Accardo could someday be a starter.   As Bastian himself said:   "All it means is Cito isn't ready to rule anything out ."   I don't think it's fair to describe this, or any other Cito quotes, as "absurd." 

By the way, you originally claimed that Cito was describing Accardo as "his choice" for spot starts.   Cito never said anything about Accardo being "his choice."  He just said that he wasn't ruling it out.  So, you misquoted Cito, and then you used your misquote as the basis for your claim that Cito says "absurd" things.

Magpie - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 07:42 PM EDT (#198554) #
So far, [Gaston's] results are amazing

Well, now they're 60-41 since The Return. Not bad.

A couple of thoughts. Gaston wasn't going to be fazed about losing Burnett and Marcum. After the 1992 season he lost David Cone and Jimmy Key. Who the hell are A.J. Burnett and Shaun Marcum? The 1993 team found a way to cope, and this one can as well. There's always something you can do...

The rotation shuffle next week interests me because I don't think it's all that typical of Gaston, who like to keep players humming along in their roles. Gibbons would bump the rest of the rotation every chance he got to keep Doc running on his normal four days. Gaston is bumping Richmond, and keeping Doc and Purcey on their regular rest. Now Purcey's the one who needs the vote of confidence more than Richmond - that's one level. The other level is that Richmond is the fifth starter so that's his role on the team. And the role includes getting bumped back a few days from time to time.

Gaston is far more likely to make his game decisions based on what a player's role on the team happens to be rather than any in-game matchup. He does not like pinch-hitting for anyone and he never has liked it much. Everyone has observed that he won't send Snider up to hit for Bautista, but the reverse is true as well. He's far less likely than most managers to send Bautista up to hit for Snider. He's managed several teams that had fewer than 10 pinch hits over the course of the season, and this might be another.

I didn't think he was the right guy to replace Gibbons last season. Like every successful manager, there are things he's very good at - but what I've always seen as his particular strengths didn't seem to match up very well with the specific needs of the team last June. There wasn't a pressing need to sort out the pitching staff and build a bullpen, which is something he's always been able to do. And while the 2008 Jays were hardly Team Chaos, like the 1989 model, in retrospect there was a little more lineup uncertainty and confusion than was good for the team, and Gaston did sort that out.

The biggest surprise is that Gaston seems to have a far better and harmonious relationship with his current GM than he did with his original one. Gaston was never Gillick's guy - he's simply not Gillick's type of manager, and he was almost replaced before the 1992-93 run. Gillick has very firm opinions about how a manager should run his clubhouse, and Gaston embodies none of them. Ricciardi generally seems content to leave that part of the job to the manager.

No one should get too bent out of shape over anything any manager says. They're required to talk to the press every damn day and most of them regard it entirely as an exercise in Damage Prevention. It's certainly not a forum for discovering what they actually think about anything.
scottt - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 08:03 PM EDT (#198555) #
Well, he talked about the Jays not having a long relief guy last year and how he would like to have one and then he went on to say that Accardo could fill that role. That does not sound more crazy than Accardo competing for a rotation spot.

I though Accardo had never started a game in his professional career. Actually, I see that he started 2 games in the minor last year, but it seems like he only pitched a single inning each time.

Spifficus - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 09:03 PM EDT (#198556) #

I though Accardo had never started a game in his professional career. Actually, I see that he started 2 games in the minor last year, but it seems like he only pitched a single inning each time.

Nothing to read into it. His starts came at the GCL and Dunedin during his rehab stint. It's not uncommon for relievers to start the game during rehab stints so they can make sure they get their work in. For example, Ryan made a start in his rehab stint last year.

brent - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 09:26 PM EDT (#198557) #

12 for 80 combined last night for the Jays and A's.  Yuck.

Does anyone know definitively why League was turned into a reliever in the first place as a 21 year old (of course his stats improved as a reliever as they should)? 

christaylor - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 09:31 PM EDT (#198558) #
Two managers, two left-handers.

Point of question: trust doesn't win games; any player can get p-o'ed for any reason, trusting of their manager or not. Trust was a which played a huge role in the post I was responding to...

To not see an analogy in the situation is to miss the obvious.
Magpie - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 09:42 PM EDT (#198559) #
Does anyone know definitively why League was turned into a reliever in the first place as a 21 year old

I always assumed it was because he didn't have enough different pitches to be a major league starter in general, and nothing off-speed in particular.
christaylor - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#198560) #
That's fine. I'm sorry for the lack of clarity. I just felt I'd headed off comments like yours with my comment -- that's what got my back up. Whether one likes commentators or not is a matter of taste. I will not argue about taste. I am not a fan of Rance's commentary. No big deal.

On people on this site and their knowledge of hitting: one needn't be a former major leaguer to know about hitting. In fact, there's an old maxim about those who know how to do something the best (in sport but it applies in many circles I've travelled in, often being able to teach it the worst.

To clarify what I mean by Rance being "weird" and his "shorthand". When he says, "that's how you play baseball the right way" - I don't know what he means; there are many ways to play baseball and the right one is the one that wins games most frequently which depends on context and what one's opponent is doing. I find his weirdness comes out when I hear him say things that if I tried to do them in a batting cage; I'd be lost. They are often just the most simplistic pieces of advice one can give - things like "stay back" and other banal platitudes.
christaylor - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#198561) #
Apparently (according to something I may be misremembering from the FAN590) it is a splitter but I've yet to see a good shot of what his hand is doing when it is in the glove. Either way, pitchers ought to try and add a new pitch every year... hmm... wait, I think most of them claim to each and every year.

Frasor, even last year, had more talent in his right arm than Camp. Results are a different story. We'll see how far this goes... Frasor, like many closers of the future, hasn't lived up to some of the good things said about him in the past. No reason for bashing.
Magpie - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 09:48 PM EDT (#198562) #
Two managers, two left-handers.

I still don't know what your point is. Two left-handers threw hissy fits on the mound. They were both wrong. But pitchers do that sometimes.

As it happens, Wells had far, far more cause to be upset over the Greenwell at bat than Lilly did during his meltdown against Oakland. Lilly's extremely sheepish reaction over the following days suggested that Lilly knew that too. But they were both wrong. You give the manager the ball and you get the hell off the mound. End of story. But meaning almost exactly nothing in the grand scheme of things.
Spifficus - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 09:50 PM EDT (#198563) #

Does anyone know definitively why League was turned into a reliever in the first place as a 21 year old (of course his stats improved as a reliever as they should)?

I'm going to go waaaay out on a limb and guess maddening inconsistency with his control and terrible secondary pitches. The scouts profiled him as a reliever throughout his ascent for these reasons and his triple-digit medicine ball.

If he can get on an extended period of non-suck, I would look to see what value a 'closer-of-the-future' tag has on the trade market.

christaylor - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#198564) #
There, you finally answered the original question. It was just compare and contrast question. No big thing. There was no reason to act thick, but if that's not what you were doing, no big thing either. Wells was also a better pitcher than Lilly and probably a more difficult personality to deal with as a manager. However, there is going to be a time when a player turns on Gaston. It isn't the highs that'll show his abilities to manage people, it will be the lows and during this time round, he's yet to have any lows. In fact, a real low (in my books) comes when a team is expected to win and doesn't.

If one is going to go out and start talking about intangibles (which people want to do with Gaston, it seems) then anything is on the table in the "Gaston as Manager" discussion, I'd say...

Gaston still has his problems as a manager. We'll see them and we'll see more of them as time goes on. His fans (I count myself among them) are aware of that (I hope). He's been successful since June 2008. No arguing with that... the final point is that the story is not and never was Gaston, unless a manager introduces new strategies to the game or shows clever/quick thinking (Billy Martin or the Ol' Perfesser) versus the old hat that most managers do, I'm not going to be convinced they are doing much of anything over a "managing machine". Currently, this team is playing as well as the 2001 team. I'm not sure which team is better at this point... again, no big deal. The 2001 team was more exciting in several respects and had more talent at many positions (I am starting to think RF is one of them).

Jdog - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 10:32 PM EDT (#198565) #
Why on earth are the Baltimore Orioles employing Adam Eaton?

They need to scout the Northern league. The guy is consistently horrible.
Magpie - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#198566) #
There was no reason to act thick, but if that's not what you were doing, no big thing either.

Wasn't acting. Sometimes I am thick.

Anyway, it was two really frustrated left-handers and one equally frustrated manager (that would be Gibbons!) We all remember Lilly deciding it would be interesting to mess around with a sidearm delivery and crapping away an 8-0 lead while he did so. Wells was mad because Gaston wanted him to throw a changeup to Mike Greenwell. Wells didn't want to (and Wells owned Greenwell), but he threw the changeup and Greenwell smacked it. Gaston came out with the hook and a furious Wells fired the ball down the left field line.

Gaston cut him some slack at the time. But that was possibly the last time David Wells ever did what his manager told him to do...
Mike Green - Saturday, April 18 2009 @ 11:44 PM EDT (#198567) #
Gaston has a number of attributes he brings to the table.  He is generally calm, and he knows hitting.  I thought that those attributes met the needs of the organization when he was hired last year.  The underperforming hitters early last year were not unmotivated,  they were lost.  That has changed, and Gaston deserves a good share of the credit.

John Northey - Sunday, April 19 2009 @ 01:35 AM EDT (#198568) #
OK, Wang is doing the impossible...
After 1 start: ERA of 17.18
After 2 starts: ERA of 28.93
After 3 starts: ERA of 34.50

Something is seriously wrong there.  To suck game one then suck worse in each start after that is just scary.  Wonder what happened - did the league finally figure him out (he was a low K guy, they tend to be 'found out').  Is he hurt?  Well, if we're lucky he'll keep going out and that ERA will reach 50+ before the Yanks give up :)

Alex Obal - Sunday, April 19 2009 @ 03:27 AM EDT (#198570) #
No one should get too bent out of shape over anything any manager says.

I thought this was precisely Cito's point. Leave it to the writers to miss it.
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