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Games like that make us all crazy.

Consider. When it was over, Liam texted one word to me: "Unbelievable." What did I text back? This:

Death to Carlson. Death to Wolfe.

A bit over the top, no?

I mean, really - why the hell should I care? It's not my job, or my livelihood. I'm not the one staring at an imminent trip to the minors and the accompanying 85% pay cut that goes with it.

Nevertheless, I found myself in an uncomfortable emotional place - I was trying to do some work here and I couldn't seem to give it my full attention.

So I decided a nice bicycle ride in the rain was required. This is a diversionary tactic -if I ride long enough, the motorists will eventually provoke me to the point that I start yelling at them. My anger is thus transferred from the baseball game to one of life's everyday irritations, and dissipates naturally. (As a cyclist, it is my theory that there are only three kinds of vehicles on the road: 1) buses and big trucks - they can't see what they're doing, so there's a good chance they might hurt you; 2) taxis - they don't care what they're doing, so there's a good chance they might hurt you; 3) ordinary cars - they don't know what they're doing, so there's a good chance they might hurt you. The lesson is, be always on your guard.)

Anyway, if anyone has any anger management strategies of their own to share.... now would be a really good time.
Anger Management | 31 comments | Create New Account
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Mike Green - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 08:54 PM EDT (#200617) #
Pumping iron.  I reached the gym just as Aaron Hill was about to drive one out of the yard in the 11th and missed the debacle that followed. 

When Brett Cecil watched ball after ball take flight last week, I was watering the garden.  I guess timing is everything.

Mylegacy - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 09:24 PM EDT (#200620) #
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. Uh - it didn't work.

Two things come to mind - I didn't make an entry on the earlier thread 'cause my Mother always told me if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all - and - I didn't want to get banned for using the "f" word sixty-three times in two sentences.

I am beginning to calm down. We didn't lose today - we were humiliated. We had our faces rubbed right in the dirt and it didn't feel good.

THIS IS THE BOTTOM - NO QUESTION. Either we stay here, more or less for the rest of the season - or we pick ourselves up and get crazy freakin mad and yell, "We're not going to take it anymore!"

Being the well known pessimist I am, I am positive we'll bounce back - STRONG. SERIOUSLY - I would NOT want to be Boston - they are gonna have a first class ass whoopin' put on them by a flock of bloodied Blue Birds going BESERK!

Is it Friday yet?
6-4-3 - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 09:35 PM EDT (#200621) #
I go for loud, angry music.  Groups like The Stooges, Afghan Whigs, L7, Black Flag, stuff that makes me say "yeah, I'm mad, but not *that* mad." 

If that fails, cooking. 

As for the game, when Hill homered, it sounded like we'd won the World Series.  Finally the streak would end, the Jays would take 2 of 3 from Boston, everything would be great again.  And then I asked "so who's going to close this out?"  When I realized that it was Ryan, I joked that the Jays needed to score two more if they wanted to win the game.  I hated to be proven right.  This is more painful than when Hentgen was starting.  This is more painful than Kerry Ligtenberg's reign of terror.  This is more painful than Dave Berg, DH.  I thought for sure that Halladay would end this streak, so by my reasoning, there's four more losses to go.

greenfrog - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 10:29 PM EDT (#200625) #
You know things are bad when even the fans have to physically train to cope with the losses...
Mylegacy - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 11:43 PM EDT (#200628) #
Do you realize that with the Sox losing and NY winning they are tied for first and we're - wait for it - 1.5 games back. After our worse 9 game losing streak in team history we're 1.5 games back and 4 games over 500. They say - what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

The effect this losing streak is having on ME is to get me realizing how CLOSE we are to actually getting back into this thing and winning. I'm gonna be very interested in this Sox series. I'm VERY confident right now. Bring it on!

Mylegacy - Wednesday, May 27 2009 @ 11:49 PM EDT (#200629) #
By the way - this losing streak is a downer - BUT - NOTHING in our history compares to 1987 when with 7 games remaining, and leading the AL East by 3.5 games - we lost ALL 7 games - lost all 7 games by ONE run and the Pennant by 2 games!
brent - Thursday, May 28 2009 @ 12:14 AM EDT (#200630) #

It's different having the whole day to ponder over the game at work. I think the years and years of playing .500 baseball kind of keeps me from getting too high or too low at what they have done over the past 9 months. I just think the Jays need more game theory. Wells should just drop a bunt here or there to keep the defenses more honest, or some of the pitchers should throw some more balls when the teams wise up to them pounding the strikezone, IMO.

Ducey - Thursday, May 28 2009 @ 12:18 AM EDT (#200631) #

So those comments like: "If someone would have told me the Jays would have been X games over .500..."  are not working, eh?

Just admit it fellas, they sucked you in.  You knew they were not that good.  You told yourself this was just a development year, expect a poor record.  The TEAM themselves even told you they were going to suck!

Then they get off to a hot start and yeah, they got ya.

Its like an episode of Star Trek, I hope we all learned something about the human spirit.

Just lower the expectations to being last in the AL East, look for development of some young guys, hope that JP can package Wells and BJ for someone who is breathing, and wait 'til next year!

TamRa - Thursday, May 28 2009 @ 01:02 AM EDT (#200632) #
I took the Baltimore series off

originally because I figured if they won it was expected so i wouldn't get that pumped and if they lost it wasn't something I wanted to endure.

I'll skip Wakefield for the same reason.

As for the overall emotion -0 I look at is as a hard correction as opposed to the sort of "soft" correction in which you spend a month going 10-20 or something.

In the end, once it's over, I prefer the hard one because you get it out of your system faster.

They were not a .650 team of course, but netiehr are they this bad.

I still think they are a mid-to-high 80's team that's more likely to be in the race in September than to finish under .500

I still think they have a better than even chance of finishing ahead of TB and a decent shot at finishing ahead of N.Y.

But I'll sure be glad when the storm is over.

Ron - Thursday, May 28 2009 @ 02:06 AM EDT (#200633) #
I jinxed the Jays. Ever since I left for Vegas, they haven't won a game yet. I'm still keeping the faith. I put money down on the Jays winning the World Series.
Every team goes through at least one terrible slump during the season, I hope this is it for the Jays.

christaylor - Thursday, May 28 2009 @ 05:28 AM EDT (#200634) #
Thanks Mylegacy, I had very nearly blocked 1987 out through many years of drugs, alcohol and higher education... and now, you just brought sadden, dejected feelings of a 10 year old Jay fan flooding back.

At least that streak could be blamed on untimely injuries to Whitt and Fernandez.

The one positive (from the box score I didn't catch it) was at least the offense seems to have risen from its slumber somewhat.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, May 28 2009 @ 05:36 AM EDT (#200635) #

Blue Jay relievers pitched 23 of 75 IP in this 9 game debacle.  That's excessive (30.67%) for this team.  The batters will do what they do (still missing the big scary bat).  The starters will do what they do, or be (Castro, Mills, Purcey, Cecil,Ray) replaced.  Having the best bullpen in the majors last year is an asset that doesn't disappear the next year.  In 9 games Downs, League and Camp pitched 2 times each;  Wolfe and Frasor 4 each; Carlson and Ryan 5.  Apparently the Pitching Coach should have more say in who pitches when.  Starters were pulled much too early in Atlanta.  This team needs better Bullpen management.

B. J. Ryan: does he have any place on this team, that cannot be better filled by anyone else?  Jeremy Accardo: doesn't do the team any good in AAA.  Call him up or trade him.

rpriske - Thursday, May 28 2009 @ 08:36 AM EDT (#200638) #
The starters were pulled too early in Atlanta because of stupid interleague play.
Magpie - Thursday, May 28 2009 @ 08:36 AM EDT (#200639) #
I haven't noticed any of the usual baseball journalists pointing this out: Sonia Sotomayor, Obama's Supreme Court nominee, is the judge who ended the 1995 strike. She issued an injunction against the owners, ruling that that their actions during collective bargaining with the Players Association had been in violation of federal law.

So I like her already.

On the other hand, she is a Yankees fan. Of course she is from the Bronx, so that might be forgiveable. Maybe.
Jevant - Thursday, May 28 2009 @ 08:58 AM EDT (#200640) #
Agreed.  The fact that the two leagues play with such dramatically different rules is abysmal, and MUST be changed.  Must be.
mathesond - Thursday, May 28 2009 @ 09:45 AM EDT (#200642) #
I dunno, Mags, since Obama introduced her as the judge who saved baseball, and Mike Lupica has already written a "she only saved the season, not the sport" screed, I've seen her impact referenced in many places.

Then again, I have a boring job and spend close to 6 working hours a day surfing around for keep me occupied
Mike D - Thursday, May 28 2009 @ 10:41 AM EDT (#200643) #

Hey, I'm surprised nobody has yet mentioned finding a locked room and crying soft, but bitter, tears. 

Um, it's not like I do that, it's just surprising, is all.

Mike Green - Thursday, May 28 2009 @ 10:51 AM EDT (#200644) #
Bitter tears fog up my rosy-tinged glasses.

Amazingly, the Jays are 1 and 1/2 games out.  They have a better run differential than either the Yankees or the Red Sox.  I thought that the Red Sox and Yankees (and the Rays) were better clubs at the outset of the season, but that the difference was nowhere near what some thought.  Sometimes the underdog wins.

katman - Thursday, May 28 2009 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#200645) #
There is no point in calling up Accardo until he has shown a good split-finger pitch again, or something to replace it. He helps the team by working on that in AAA, creating a possible future addition that may be very important.

Our problems are in the offense and bullpen.

On the offense front, the production spots in the order (Wells & Rios) suck. I suspect a league-wide comparison would be ugly - any takers? That gap was camouflaged when Adam Lind, Travis Snider, Aaron Hill, and Rod Barajas carried the team offensively. We are now left with Aaron Hill. The results show. There's a fair bit of season left to go. But I'm not as confident as some that those 2 will finish where they're expected to by season's end.

This week, our bullpen has become a source of concern, too. Which is not good, because it could have longer term implications.

BJ Ryan is not currently a major league pitcher, let alone a late-inning guy. He may become one again, maybe even a very god one. But he is not one now. I might be inclined to replace him with Cecil. Key question is whether it's better for Cecil to face major league hitters as a reliever than to get regular starts. Didn't seem to hurt Jimmy Key any when he first came up.

The other Ryan replacement option is Fabio Castro, who could not be worse. That would give Fabio a big-league shot, without disturbing Cecil's development.

Jesse Carlson has also been consistently terrible this week. Just a blip, or has the league figured him out? If they have, and he doesn't adjust quickly, we may need Tallet back in the bullpen for a while to give us one viable lefty option there. That is a 3rd way this team could bump Ryan to the minors - Tallet to pen as lefty, lefty Ryan down, other starter called up.

Camp isn't an ideal member of the pen, but until Accardo is ready, he's here.

Frasor wasn't good this week, but the addition of the extra pitch gives us a viable righty setup option. He'll be good most of the time.

League is what he is. He's an inconsistent middle reliever, until he proves otherwise. He could be very much more, of course, but right now he isn't showing signs of becoming that.

Unfortunately, that set of assessments basically destroys our closer options after Scott Downs. Whom we may not be able to re-sign. Lets hope someone else emerges this year.
John Northey - Thursday, May 28 2009 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#200646) #
Nothing the Jays ever do could reach that painful final week.  Jimy the (#&!(! idiot who kept putting Garth Iorg in the lineup throughout the season - watching him make a weak out to end the season while Ernie Whitt was on the bench hoping to be allowed to swing the bat (yeah, yeah, left handed bat and all that - but nothing would be worse than Iorg who had a 44 OPS+ over 342 PA's. 

Ugh.  Just looked up that last box score.  5 guys with an OPS under 700 (1 was better as a Jay but his overall stats were horrid) were in the lineup that day.  On the bench we had Fred McGriff (881), Willie Upshaw (715 and had 577 PA's at 1B for some reason), Kelly Gruber (77 OPS+ but at least better than Iorg), Mulliniks (871), Leach (776).  All were left handed except Gruber but c'mon - a 44 OPS+ (Iorg) vs a 127 (Mulliniks)?  You really think Tanana was _that_ good vs LH?  If you ever want to see how a manager can cost a team a playoff appearance this team is the example.  Cecil Fielder - 197 PA's with a 133 OPS+ while Willie Upshaw had 577 with an 87 (McGriff had just 356 PA's with his 130 and Rance Mulliniks 372 with his 127).  Williams determination to platoon and even play RH batters when viable left handed hitters were around killed the team just as much as that final week.

The wall of shame...
Iorg: 342 PA 44 OPS+
Gruber: 368 PA 77 OPS+
Moore: 125 PA 74 OPS+ (3 rookie catchers were around and got a total of 49 PA's - never understood why Stark never got another shot as he always hit in the minors and got just 12 PA's in the majors after killing the ball that spring). 

Why Gillick never went out and got another catcher, or release Iorg at some point (Iorg was over 81 for OPS+ just once in his career) is beyond me.  Other oddities are Luis Leal doing well in AAA then being released rather than a shot, Tom Filer similar stuff, Don Gordon & Dwayne Ward left in AAA.  Of course, the staff had a 121 ERA+ despite Joe Johnson sucking for 14 starts (never did figure out why they got him) and having Jose Nunez as a rule 5 pick in the pen all year.  The 104 team OPS+ could've been soooo much better so easily.

Grrrr.  That team was just so annoying at the time.  Didn't help that I worked with a guy who was a big Detroit Tigers fan at the time.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 28 2009 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#200648) #
There were many frustrating things about the 1987 club.  Iorg/Mulliniks was one obvious one.  The Upshaw/Fielder/McGriff situation was the other.  Does anyone know what happened to Upshaw?  If you look at his career line, you'd swear that he must have had some kind of injury (a back or shoulder perhaps) which sapped his power. 

The team went a long way with Upshaw.  His 1985 season was OK for a first baseman, but nothing more.  His 1986 season was poor.  He improved some in the first half of 1987, but then completely collapsed in the second half.   He was only 30 and was a better defender than either McGriff or Fielder, so one can sort of understand what happened.

John Northey - Thursday, May 28 2009 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#200649) #
I was 18 in 1987 and remember clearly wondering why Upshaw was in the lineup, as did everyone I knew.  He clearly didn't have it by any measure (OPS+, avg/HR/RBI, slg%) and had been in clear decline since his peak at 26 in 1983.  No idea why Cleveland bought him from the Jays then played him everyday in 1988. 

Checking 1987 he actually was good in the first half though - 261/333/449.  OK, he wasn't horrid.  Still, hitting 220/331/306 after that should've got him benched a lot more often.  Especially with McGriff and Fielder and Mulliniks sitting on the bench so often.  Kind of scary looking back at that 1987 team and seeing just how thin it really was outside of that pitching staff. 

3RunHomer - Thursday, May 28 2009 @ 03:47 PM EDT (#200650) #

Stay focused on the tyrants. Death to the Yankees and Red Sox!! Ignore games with the Orioles and Rays -- they're the Jays' brothers in arms.

Ryan Day - Thursday, May 28 2009 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#200651) #
Hey, I'm surprised nobody has yet mentioned finding a locked room and crying soft, but bitter, tears.

I do my crying in the woods like a real man, thank you very much.
Glevin - Thursday, May 28 2009 @ 06:02 PM EDT (#200654) #
" Our problems are in the offense and bullpen."

Who is the Jays #2 starter? Ricky Romero? The Jays have problems everywhere. The last game of 1987 lineup didn't make much sense. Tanana was a lefty, but his fastball was about 43 MPH. The Cecil Fielder CS was pretty strange as well. It was an incredible finish but heartbreaking for Jays' fans.
Dave Till - Thursday, May 28 2009 @ 07:08 PM EDT (#200655) #
I've been coping with the recent slide by not thinking about baseball at all. I fast-forward through games on my PVR, and I haven't been reading anything Jays-related. I had no idea that the Jays were only 1 1/2 back until I read this thread.

I'm assuming that the following things are true:
  • At least one local columnist has used the words "free fall".
  • Someone is demanding Cito's head on a platter. Or J.P.'s. Or (insert name of today's goat here)'s.
  • At least one nationally-based writer is wondering whether the Jays will trade Doc or Vernon or Rios because of spiralling attendance due to the downturn.
Does anyone know what happened to Upshaw?  If you look at his career line, you'd swear that he must have had some kind of injury (a back or shoulder perhaps) which sapped his power. 

I recall that he had a severely pulled stomach muscle, and never got it together after that. My memory may be playing tricks on me.

What I remember most about 1987: being out with friends and listening to the second-last game of the season on the radio. The Jays and Tigers were tied then, and that game went into extra innings. I recall wondering whether they couldn't just call it a tie, somehow, and let both teams into the postseason. (As I recall, the Jays' 3 1/2 game lead, before tanking, was the largest distance between the two clubs all summer. They were pretty evenly matched, at least before Whitt and Fernandez went out with injuries.)
John Northey - Friday, May 29 2009 @ 09:35 AM EDT (#200659) #
Oh that Fernandez injury.  The injury that lead to his career shifting from HOF to HOVG (at least in my mind).  He wasn't as good as '87 for a long time after as I recall, then got beaned just as he started to hit again in '89 iirc. 

My biggest memory would be how the Jays/Tigers games in the final couple of weeks would always go to the team that didn't score first with only one exception - that (#&! final 1-0 game.

katman - Friday, May 29 2009 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#200661) #

Our starting pitching is a potential issue, though it's not all that bad even now, if you compare it with the rest of the league. More to the point, it's not a longer-term issue. Some of the youngsters will pan out. Tallet is a solid starter, if need be. Marcum ad McGowan will return, adding to the depth. I don't worry about our starting pitching in 2010.

An offense with Rios and Wells 3-4, and Wells in center field, has me less enthused. I would be delighted to be proven wrong there, but their histories strongly suggest guys who can play good supporting roles but come up short of star-level, core of the order expectations. That's a long-term, structural problem, whose +/- effect will be magnified as Wells' defense slips further. The circumstances at the beginning of the season camouflaged that, but we can't expect those circumstances on a regular basis.

Our bullpen is also a potential long-term problem. If Downs leaves, we have no closer - and Downs himself has yet to prove himself as a strong full-season guy in that role. If Carlson can't get it together, we also have a lefty problem. We need someone to show they can close - Ryan, Accardo, League, even McGowan - and a strong lefty for late innings, or 2010 can slip away even if the other pieces fall into place.
Moe - Friday, May 29 2009 @ 01:07 PM EDT (#200663) #
If Downs leaves, we have no closer - and Downs himself has yet to prove himself as a strong full-season guy in that role. If Carlson can't get it together, we also have a lefty problem. We need someone to show they can close - Ryan, Accardo, League, even McGowan - and a strong lefty for late innings, or 2010 can slip away even if the other pieces fall into place.

Downs is signed for 2010. As far as the bullpen is concerned, I'm not too worried. In the past years J.P. has always found some useful arms. Plus, if the rotation is doing its job, the pen has less work to do and will be more effective.
Glevin - Friday, May 29 2009 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#200664) #
"Some of the youngsters will pan out. Tallet is a solid starter, if need be. Marcum ad McGowan will return, adding to the depth. I don't worry about our starting pitching in 2010"

I worry about it a lot more than I worry about the bullpen. Tallet is not a solid starter. He's started 14 games in his career and only 8 this year. Maybe he has evolved into a decent starter, but you certainly cannot count on him at this point. As for "Some of the youngsters will pan out" I have no doubt that this is true, but pan out how? If these guys all pan out as decent 4th and 5th starters, that's not a whole lot of help especially in this division. In the AL East, the Jays will need a couple of pitchers to turn into #2 starter types and that's far from guaranteed. So, for 2010 you have Halladay and then at this point a bunch of unproven guys and guys coming back from missing an entire seasons with injuries. That is worrisome to me.
China fan - Saturday, May 30 2009 @ 04:55 AM EDT (#200670) #
Glevin, I would question the mythology about "proven" starters and "proven No. 2 starters" etc.    Aside from a tiny handful of Halladay-type horses, there are very few "proven" starters who are guaranteed to give you a 3.50 ERA every season.  The truth is that very few pitchers can be "counted on" for excellence every year. The vast majority of pitchers are plagued by injuries, inconsistency, mysterious declines, sudden spurts of greatness, equally sudden collapses, etc.  If you look around the league, even the best teams are cobbling together their rotations with one or two good pitchers and a bunch who are inconsistent.  The Jays began the season with a bunch of unknown starters and have managed to stay within two games of first place in the toughest division in baseball. I think I'd rather stick with young promising pitchers who are likely to improve, rather than "proven" veterans who could be entering the decline phase of their careers.  As for the 2010 season, the Jays have a tremendous asset in their pitching depth, and I think I'd rather have the depth of 10 or 12 young-and-improving starters, rather than 4 or 5 veterans who could be prone to injury or decline.
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