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Deep in the heart of Texas, where the locals have waited through the long, harsh winter for the chance to pay their respects to Jose Bautista.


Matchups? Why not...

Fri. 13 May - Dickey (1-4, 5.18) vs Perez (1-2, 3.51)
Sat. 14 May - Estrada (1-2, 2.39) vs Lewis (2-0, 3.20)
Sun. 16 May - Sanchez (3-1, 2.58) vs Ramos (0-2, 5.11)

Toronto at Texas, 13-15 May | 207 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Magpie - Friday, May 13 2016 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#322938) #
Yup, I'm watching the Raptors, too.
Kasi - Friday, May 13 2016 @ 09:08 PM EDT (#322941) #
Is Dickey pitching better tonight or just luckier? He doesn't have the high Ks but looks like he's controlling things. (Blacked out here)
Mike Green - Friday, May 13 2016 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#322942) #
The ball is not carrying at all.  Fielder hit one to centerfield that probably would have been a 2 run homer most nights.  Dickey is throwing strikes, and that is a big plus. 
Mike Green - Friday, May 13 2016 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#322943) #
Dickey is getting better as the game gets on.  The Rangers haven't squared up a ball since Fielder's long fly to center.
hypobole - Friday, May 13 2016 @ 10:14 PM EDT (#322944) #
Balls are carrying now.

Nice to see the Jays take a page from the Cubs and play Screw the Closer.
Chuck - Friday, May 13 2016 @ 10:31 PM EDT (#322945) #
Once the Raptors stopped scoring, the Jays started.
ComebyDeanChance - Friday, May 13 2016 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#322946) #
I hope Dickey is back for the 9th
greenfrog - Friday, May 13 2016 @ 10:55 PM EDT (#322947) #
Brilliant stuff. It must feel good for Dickey to dominate Texas so thoroughly, given his history with the Rangers organization. The starting staff has been terrific for the Jays this season.

I hope to see a productive Travis in three weeks, and a productive Pompey at some point this season. Those two developments could really help the team go on a run by adding some OBP, speed, defense, versatility, depth, and general peskiness to the team.
John Northey - Friday, May 13 2016 @ 11:05 PM EDT (#322949) #
I know Dickey was at 111 pitches, but he is a knuckleball pitcher so I'd have sent him out for the 9th. I can understand Gibbons wanting him to have a 'good night' and not risk hurting his confidence for his next start with a bad ending.

Giodo has thrown just 10 pitches in the past 4 days, so he could use the work I guess. Biagini really needs some work now (just 22 pitches in the past 8 days, 2 in the last 5).

The rotation is really looking good. If Dickey is past his usual bad start already the Jays should be laughing unless someone else falls apart.
pubster - Friday, May 13 2016 @ 11:06 PM EDT (#322950) #
Dickey has been solid in his 3 May starts.

Contract extension?
uglyone - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 12:04 AM EDT (#322951) #
girodo looks pretty good. he probably shoulda got first dibs at the bullpen over the leon/venditte/tepera crew in the first place.

i think there's a decent chance that girodo and biagini are legit quality mlb rps, which could make our bullpen pretty fearsome if cecil and storen can get it together.
hypobole - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 12:23 AM EDT (#322954) #
"Contract extension?"

If we couldn't afford Price, how can we afford Dickey?

Vulg - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 02:50 AM EDT (#322956) #
I wouldn't sign up for another year of Dickey at roughly the same price, maybe if they could get him much lower.

I still think he's due for a drop-off given his age, despite knuckle ballers lasting longer in general (but not always).

There was an interesting article on Fangraphs earlier this year where they interviewed Steven Wright, who gave some observations on other pitchers he'd studied. Naturally, Dickey was one of the two pitchers he highlighted and he specifically discussed the impact of throwing a 'hard' knuckler, which is what R.A. does. That he partially relies on velocity makes him more susceptible to a drop-off IMO.

Link to interview: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/wrights-stuff-talking-knuckleballs-with-a-knuckleballer/

Dickey's K/BB rate has steadily decreased as a Jay 2.49 > 2.34 > 2.07 > 1.87 (it was 4.26 in his Cy Young year). He also beats up his catchers and even Thole is having a hard time with the knuckler this year.

I think he gets unfairly roasted because of how good Syndergaard has become (D'Arnaud, now 27, just can't stay healthy), but I'd prefer looking elsewhere for the back of the rotation next season.
jerjapan - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 08:30 AM EDT (#322958) #
If Dickey has righted the ship and finishes the season the way he was pitching in the second half last year, he's almost certain to get a QO at the end of the year, and I could see him taking it.  I don't see this as a FO that walks away from assets like the comp pick or the reasonably affordable one year contract.
lexomatic - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 09:02 AM EDT (#322959) #
Age aside, I'm not sure if I've seen any studies on what Dickey lost  going NL to AL from facing pitchers.
I also always had the impression early on that he got squeezed by AL umps. But I'm not sure if the information is accessible to confirm that or not.
In the end, he's been totally fine, but inconsistent. I think he pitched better than his results, but I wouldn't re-sign him unless it was a good 1season at a time. I expect hutch to be in line for the back end of the rotation next season
Totally agree about the Thor factor on impressions.

Mike Green - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 09:06 AM EDT (#322961) #
In the youneverknow department, it is the middle of May and an opposing left-handed starter pitches carefully to...Justin Smoak and Darwin Barney?
hypobole - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#322962) #
Smoak's 165 wRC+ now leads the team, just ahead of Saunders and Donaldson.

No way I'd give Dickey a QO - he might well accept.
grjas - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 10:03 AM EDT (#322963) #
Hopefully Smoak's surge reflects his more regular playing time. Cola's loss may be his win.
SK in NJ - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#322964) #
I think regular playing time is a factor for Smoak. He also started last season off well but lost playing time due to Bautista's injury (which forced him to DH), occasionally Navarro, and then later in the year Colabello. The Jays definitely benefitted from Cola's suspension. Smoak can draw walks and has legit power. For whatever reason he has never been able to put it together but that tiny bit of upside has always intrigued me. At least now we will see what he is.
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#322965) #
Toronto leads the AL by a good margin in starter ERA, at 3.02. Next is 3.35, the White Sox. Toronto leads the majors in QS, with 27, with the Cubs next at 25. I don't know if it will be sustained but few if any predictions had the Blue Jays surviving on starting pitching this year.

scottt - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 11:01 AM EDT (#322966) #
Really hope Smoak is the next late bloomer who figures it out in Toronto.
grjas - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 11:16 AM EDT (#322967) #
Saunders plays like an all-star, Smoak turns it around, excellent starting pitching and a young closer showing no sophmore jinx. Yet the Jays still muddle along.

Strange game this baseball.
uglyone - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 11:17 AM EDT (#322968) #
yeah a smoak breakthrough would be awesome, but not totally shocking. And if Saunders stays healthy for the first time ever him being a 4-5war stud is a distinct possibility as well.

on a somewhat related note - pillar has stunk it up again since moving back to leadoff.
greenfrog - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 11:29 AM EDT (#322969) #
Some of the decisions Shapiro got slammed for in the off-season include:

Signing Happ
Signing Smoak for $3.9m
Trading for Chavez

The general theme was that he was chasing mediocrity instead of excellence. Things have been quieter around here on that front of late. Actually, almost every move Shapiro made in the off-season has worked out well so far: Happ, Estrada, Chavez, Floyd, Barney, Dickey, putting Sanchez in the rotation (although Sanchez pretty much forced the team's hand).

Trading for Storen has been the only move that hasn't worked out (had the Saunders trade been completed, that would have been another poor move).

All in all, based on the early returns, a very good (and team-friendly) series of moves.
BlueJayWay - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 11:33 AM EDT (#322970) #
Just before we get a little too crazy, I'll note that Saunders babip is .431 and Smoak's is .487.
jerjapan - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#322971) #
Nice to see Matt Bush has made it to the bigs - he's certainly a compelling story of perserverance, and hopefully of redemption. 

If Dickey pitches well enough to warrant a QO, then he is worth the higher yearly salary that comes with it in exchange for the club's flexibility on a one year deal.  That comp pick has too much value to ignore. 

There were a bunch of us (myself included) who thought no way for an Estrada QO (and the year before some who didn't want to extend him a contract).   some people who didn't even want to pick up Dickey's option ... or wanted to walk away from Smoak ... or decline Lind's option .... this aversion amongst fans to huge contracts is not a new phenomenon, and as long the cost of a win on the FA market keeps reaching staggering new highs, it's going to continue.  

ultimately, his performance and the market will dictate if Dickey gets a QO - math, not org-building philosophy. 

uglyone - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#322972) #
dickey has been replacement level, storen has been awful, by all reports shapiro was against sanchez in the rotation.
uglyone - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 11:42 AM EDT (#322973) #
and oh yeah he wanted bruce instead of saunders. and chavez is an expensive middle reliever.
John Northey - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#322978) #
If Dickey can have a sub 3 ERA the rest of the way (like the 2nd half of last year (2.80 ERA 3.29 SO-BB ratio) it'd be hard not to give him a QO, in fact it would be idiotic not to unless he broke his arm the last day of the season. Then spend the winter trying to find a catcher better than Thole who can catch him.

Matt Bush is not close to a good story - he was briefly a Jay but a month after coming in, he assaulted and berated a woman at a party in Florida. In 2012 he hit a 72-year-old motorcyclist, ran over the guys head and had double the allowed alcohol in his blood stream. He was found outside a strip club a few hours later after getting kicked out. He was also suspected in 2 other hit and run cases. That was his 3rd DUI yet he only got 51 months in jail he was released October 30th 2015. A disgusting man who I hope is out of MLB ASAP (the Rays swore he'd never play for them again, they were his team when he ran over the guy, I suspect the Jays and Padres also feel the same). Hopefully customs keep him out of Canada next time the Rangers come here.
SK in NJ - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#322979) #
If Dickey has a very good season (ex. a more sustained version of June-September 2015), then a QO is a reasonable gamble. Worst case is him coming back for a season at a little higher cost, and best case is him taking his chances on a poor FA SP class and declining. Given his age, he'd probably accept, but much like with Estrada, you minimize risk by bringing him back on a short term deal. Hopefully they move on from Thole in that scenario. Still too early to get a read on how Dickey will do the rest of the season. He's started off better than he did last year.

Saunders is in the same group. With Bautista on the way out and the FA market being poor, extending the QO to Saunders assuming he has a good/healthy season (3-4 WAR) is also logical. If he accepts, then you bring him back for a season and put Pompey in the other corner spot. Or maybe you work out a smaller extension (he's too big of a risk for that, IMO). Or he leaves and you get a pick. The downside is minimal.
Kasi - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 12:38 PM EDT (#322980) #
AA let EE go for nothing and was lucky enough to get him back. Sometimes the best move is the deal that falls through or you get a chance to take it back.

As for Chavez, inevitably one of the starters will get injured or Sanchez will hit innings limit and we will be happy to have a Chavez or Floyd as someone to step in instead of a Doubront, Jenkins or Diamond.
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#322981) #
I also don't rule out the possibility of a QO to Dickey - not because it would garner a draft pick, because that seems to me increasingly less likely with age. As jerjapan noted, this FO doesn't seem one to just dispose of value. It would depend though, on what possibility the team sees for competing in 2017. Another possibility may be a mid-season trade.
electric carrot - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#322982) #
Matt Bush is not close to a good story -

John I respect your opinion and I don't have any inside info in this case -- but my general feeling towards these kinds of stories is that it doesn't do us well as a society to punish people after they've served their time for the crimes they committed. He did some unethical, illegal things, he was punished, he did jail time -- he was punished. Let's let him try to live a productive life again without over-stigmatizing the man. We don't need to punish him over and over again for crimes he did jail time for.  Btw I feel exactly the same way about Michael Vick.
grjas - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 02:03 PM EDT (#322984) #
All in all, based on the early returns, a very good (and team-friendly) series of moves.


Yup agreed. I was skeptical at first but so far they have delivered and hopefully will continue to do so (other than the Storen deal who almost everyone including me bought into at the time.) The FO moves in the off season are not what ails the team right now, though they have generally been playing better of late.
Kasi - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#322986) #
Although TBH Revere isn't someone we've missed. He was injured for a month and is only now getting back into the lineup.
jerjapan - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 03:56 PM EDT (#322991) #
AA let EE go for nothing and was lucky enough to get him back. Sometimes the best move is the deal that falls through or you get a chance to take it back.

You've said this before Kasi, but I still fail to understand how you could fault AA for this - nobody really wanted Edwin when we waived him, the A's non-tendered him,  AA resigned him, was part of the decision to move him to 1b / DH where he flourished and then resigned him to a wonderfully team-friendly extension. 

AA wasn't foolish for letting him 'go for nothing', nor was he 'lucky enough' to get him back.  He got the undervalued player he wanted at the price he wanted to pay.  Home run. 
jerjapan - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 03:59 PM EDT (#322992) #
John Northey, I'm not condoning what Bush did at all - I only want to echo Electric Carrot's sentiments.  I'm sincere in my hopes that his is a story of redemption. 
Kasi - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 04:13 PM EDT (#322993) #
He could have just done that all without letting another team pick him up on waivers. The guy was a productive bat before that move, just didn't have a position. But yes I was talking about this more from a post move analysis. Pittsburgh was totally justified to trade Jose to the Jays, but don't you think they regretted it too once he went nuts here? All my point was is that sometimes a deal falling through can work out. (Rios to the Giants being another one that worked out fabulously for the Giants) Not critiquing AA in this case (believe me I have plenty of other things I'd rather criticize him on) just saying we got lucky Oakland let him come back to us.
Magpie - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#322994) #
Matt Bush is not close to a good story

I basically agree with the carrot on this one. I've known too many people who've carried the alcohol monkey on their back. It's a monster. Beating it for a day is a win.

Gotta admit - the Bush story does add a bit of context to the sins of folks like Chris Colabello and Alex Rodriguez.
Magpie - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 06:07 PM EDT (#322995) #
Just before we get a little too crazy, I'll note that Saunders BABiP is .431 and Smoak's is .487.

No kidding.

I seem to recall saying quite recently that while I liked Smoak, I didn't see the point in bringing him back as Colabello seemed to have earned a shot at taking the 1b job full time, and in the day of the four man bench, having a guy there who can only play first base didn't seem an ideal use of limited resources. What do I know?

What's most interesting to me is that this is Smoak's and Saunders' age 29 season, and that's exactly when both Bautista and Encarnacion broke through to a Higher Level. Neither of them leaped forward as much as Smoak and Saunders have so far - so far! -  this year. Encarnacion and Bautista were both better to start with, of course...

Through age 28

Encarnacion .260/.336/.453  =  .789
Bautista    .238/.329/.400  =  .729
Smoak       .224/.308/.392  =  .700
Saunders    .230/.301/.381  =  .682

Since then

Encarnacion .272/.367/.542  = .909
Bautista .266/.388/.549  = .937
Smoak .318/.458/.470  = .928
Saunders .321/.392/.554  = .946

Change!!

Encarnacion  .012/.029/.089  = .118
Bautista  .028/.059/.149  = .208
Smoak .096/.150/.078  = .228
Saunders .091/.091/.173  = .264
A very large part of Saunders' and Smoak's better production this year comes from that higher BAVG - they both have BAVGs higher than their career On-Base Averages - and the Goddess of Balls in Play is unlikely to love both of them that much and that long. It is striking that Saunders' slugging increase looks bigger than Bautista's, but that also depends on the BAVG leap. I know I tend to forget that the guy was a .230 career hitter coming into the season.
hypobole - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#322996) #
I'm with Northey on the Bush comeback. He almost killed a guy, not because he was an alcoholic, but because he didn't care about anyone but himself.

A standing ovation just seems a bit much.

John Northey - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 06:31 PM EDT (#322998) #
Luck is important for any GM. Many said JPR's biggest problem was he was unlucky due to things like the Jays consistently under performing their Pythagorean w/l record (2008 the Jays Pythagorean was better than the Rays who won the East that year). Often though luck is the residue of design and if you look at JPR's drafting record, how his trades were meh and he blew a big wad on a closer who was expected to break down by virtually everyone. Still, that would've been great if they won in 2008 eh? Halladay was here still, Cito took over early on from Gibbons.
Spifficus - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 07:07 PM EDT (#323000) #
Yeah, count me close to the Northey Train on Bush, too. There seems to be a lot of focus on making him a feel good story, and while it's a good thing if he's successfully overcome his addictions, it doesn't undo the dark side of what happened along the way. I haven't read enough yet about him trying to make amends for his past actions to feel good in any way about his saga. If he becomes a strong advocate against addiction and for the surrounding victims of addiction, then it could be a different conversation.
greenfrog - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#323001) #
Today's Yankees-White Sox game is a good example of how a dominant bullpen can help you win games. The Yankees eked out a 2-1 lead behind 5.2 IP from Nova and then held the White Sox at bay with the following performance from Betances/Miller/Chapman:

3.1 1 0 0 0 8

The Yankees have other problems, but that is a remarkable trio of relief arms. They'll no doubt be in high demand at the trade deadline.
Spifficus - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 07:09 PM EDT (#323002) #
Yeah, count me close to the Northey Train on Bush, too. There seems to be a lot of focus on making him a feel good story, and while it's a good thing if he's successfully overcome his addictions, it doesn't undo the dark side of what happened along the way. I haven't read enough yet about him trying to make amends for his past actions to feel good in any way about his saga. If he becomes a strong advocate against addiction and for the surrounding victims of addiction, then it could be a different conversation.
Magpie - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 07:21 PM EDT (#323003) #
it's a good thing if he's successfully overcome his addictions

But he hasn't. He's an addict, full stop. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I don't think staying sober for a day, a month, a year, merits a standing ovation, but I don't have a problem with giving him some encouragement. Though for all intents and purposes all he's trying to do is become a decent human being, what he's trying to do is hard for him.
jerjapan - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 07:41 PM EDT (#323006) #
A standing ovation just seems a bit much.

Good thing then that nobody is even remotely suggesting that.  For what it's worth, my original statement.

"Nice to see Matt Bush has made it to the bigs - he's certainly a compelling story of perserverance, and hopefully of redemption". 
hypobole - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 08:01 PM EDT (#323008) #
Not saying any posters here suggested a standing O, but anyone who watched the Jays last night heard a lot more than polite applause when Bush entered the game.
scottt - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 08:37 PM EDT (#323009) #
Gotta admit - the Bush story does add a bit of context to the sins of folks like Chris Colabello and Alex Rodriguez.

I don't see much in common between Matt Bush, Chris Colabello and Alex Rodriguez.

What's the context? Every drug violation is different?
scottt - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#323010) #
6 at-bats, 4 Ks.

I worry less about the high ratio of batted balls landing safely than about the low ratio of balls being put in play.

Spifficus - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 08:41 PM EDT (#323011) #
Sorry, yeah. 'Overcome' could be better phrased as 'found a way to make himself a function member of society while dealing with his addictions' or something in that vein. But either way, to me that's only part of the story necessary to make it anything close to a good one.
Magpie - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 08:57 PM EDT (#323012) #
Did Ryan Goins just hit a home run, or did I forget to take my medication?

Hey, that's a four game hitting streak! He was 4-61 before the road trip. Did someone tell him Devon Travis has started playing rehab games?
ComebyDeanChance - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 08:59 PM EDT (#323013) #
I should have never posted about how good the starting pitching has been.
Magpie - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 09:03 PM EDT (#323014) #
It's all your fault. Feel shame.
SK in NJ - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 10:05 PM EDT (#323016) #
This season is looking depressingly similar to 2008 with the surprisingly mediocre hitting wasting the very good starting pitching (until a very late season run to boost the win total). Hell, even Gibbons being on the chopping block is a similarity.

Since the playoff drought is over, I'm in the position where I don't really care where the Jays finish in 2016 as long as it's one of two extremes; a playoff team (preferred) or so far out of it that they trade vets at the deadline. I don't want a typical Jays team that hovers around .500 all season, which unfortunately looks like a possibility.

The 2015 offense with th 2016 starting pitching: we could only dream.
Petey Baseball - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 10:31 PM EDT (#323017) #
Except that Jays team didn't have the offensive track record this team has.

The Jays hit rockets all over the diamond tonight and had little to show for it. Even the Rangers broadcast was noting how fortunate Lewis had been in the middle innings.
Petey Baseball - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 10:45 PM EDT (#323018) #
So this is what it's like to
have the real Troy Tulowitzki on your team.
uglyone - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 11:00 PM EDT (#323019) #
it is still so early. not even the quarter mark yet, and the quarter mark is too early to give anything but first impressions.

this offense is gonna rake soon enough. if any of this starting pitching is for real this is gonna be a fun year.
Magpie - Saturday, May 14 2016 @ 11:16 PM EDT (#323020) #
Well, that's disheartening.
Jimbag - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 12:58 AM EDT (#323021) #
I don't find tonight's game disheartening - they battled back and tied it up in the 9th (on the road!), Estrada had one crap inning and settled right down to keep the team in the game, Tulo had a great game hustling out a line shot down the 3rd base line (something I wish Bautista had done as well....) and hitting the game-tying HR.

Speaking of which, early this week I posted something along the lines of "I don't know what's wrong with Tulo", and since then he's been ripping it up. So, if I may, I'd like to take this opportunity to say I don't know what's wrong with Donaldson.

Magpie - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 03:29 AM EDT (#323022) #
they battled back and tied it up in the 9th (on the road!)

Well, that's what made the last pitch so disheartening.

They're 8-5 in May. That doesn't sound like much? It's still .615 ball, which wins you 99 games out of 162. Cold hitters showing signs of heating up with the weather (Tulowitzki and Bautista both with a couple of extra base hits.) Better starting pitching than I anticipated. And 124 games to be played.
85bluejay - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 08:10 AM EDT (#323023) #
Everyone keeps saying encouraging things about the jays and maybe that's true but I see a team that can't get over the .500 hump and keeps falling further behind Baltimore & Boston - The Red Sox with the killer B's (Bradley,Bogaerts and Betts) emerging as stars who could dominate for the next 5-6 yrs are worrying & Boston has the farm system and payroll to significantly augment come July - it looks like big Papi will go out with a bang.
Dave Till - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 08:11 AM EDT (#323024) #
Tulo isn't out of the woods yet - he's just in a different part of the woods. Over half his hits in May have been for extra bases (4 singles, 2 doubles, 4 home runs), and he's stopped drawing walks (2 walks in 51 plate appearances). This suggests that he's trying to make adjustments, and possibly that he is still trying too hard. I don't recall him ever just meeting the ball and plinking it into right field for a single.

The odd thing about Tulo this year is that he isn't hitting lefties. At all. He's 2 for 30 against them with no extra-base hits. Like most right-handed hitters, he usually does better against lefties.

I think he'll still get at least some of his hitting mojo back, but the best we can hope for is his career road numbers (.272/.345/.462), not the Colorado Tulowitzki.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 08:12 AM EDT (#323025) #
At what point does upper management consider letting John Gibbons go? I'm not advocating one way or the other, and I like Gibbons as a person. Also I don't know how many games were won or lost due to his decisions. What I do know is that when a team is supposed to do well and they keep hanging around mediocrity level, then something has to give. As the old cliche goes, it's easier to fire the coach than the players.
85bluejay - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 08:29 AM EDT (#323026) #
While I'm meh on John Gibbons, I prefer him to his likely successor Eric Wedge.
Dave Till - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 08:54 AM EDT (#323027) #
I'm meh on Gibbons too - I didn't particularly like his dresses comment - but I can't really blame him for the Jays' .500 record.

Gibbons could be faulted for bringing Arnold Leon into a close game when there were better options available, but I find most of his other bullpen actions defensible. Cecil was great for the last part of 2015, and Storen was specifically acquired to be the new 8th inning guy - Gibbons might have gone to them too often, but at what point do you give up on a player? After that, it was just a question of working through the bullpen options until you start finding one that works.

As for the offense: all Gibbons can do is keep playing Martin and Tulowitzki until they snap out of it, as there aren't better options available. The Jays have started platooning Goins with Barney, at least.

No manager can win without good ballplayers. I don't think Eric Wedge could do better.
uglyone - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#323028) #
The Killer B's ain't got nothing on our Killer S's.
Dave Till - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 09:32 AM EDT (#323029) #

Everyone keeps saying encouraging things about the jays and maybe that's true but I see a team that can't get over the .500 hump and keeps falling further behind Baltimore & Boston

I'm worried too, but strength of schedule is a thing. The Jays have only played one weak team so far this year, and that was Oakland. Boston and Baltimore have also played Oakland, but Boston has had four games against Atlanta and six (!!) games against the no-longer-good Houston Astros. The Orioles have had five games against the rather non-good Minnesota Twins. That's at least half the difference between the Jays and these teams right there.

The most extreme case of soft schedule that I recall is the 2009 Jays, who started the year 27-14 by beating up on weak opposition. They finished the year 75-87 and minus their general manager.

The Sox and O's do look good this year, but I am going to wait until all the returns come in before saying that they're the best in the division.

BlueJayWay - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 09:39 AM EDT (#323030) #
So, if I may, I'd like to take this opportunity to say I don't know what's wrong with Donaldson.

Nothing much that I can see. He's getting babiped more than anything.
greenfrog - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 09:49 AM EDT (#323031) #
The Killer B's ain't got nothing on our Killer S's

Except that they'll be available to start games in September and October.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 10:40 AM EDT (#323033) #
I am not worried at all.  To my eye, this is an excellent club playing nowhere near its best.  It would be nice to be winning 40% of the one-run games though...

Cecil apparently "felt something" yesterday and is questionable for today. I do like the pitching matchup.

Mike Green - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 10:48 AM EDT (#323034) #
One more thing.  Jose Bautista has been very slow running out ground balls this season.  Five years ago, he'd get 10-12 infield hits a year.  I doubt that he's going to get 5 this year.  It's frustrating because with the shift and his pull pattern, he hits a fair number of ground balls that potentially could be infield hits even with his somewhat diminished speed.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 10:53 AM EDT (#323035) #
So...since the beginning of last year, including the playoffs and so far this year, the Jays are 18-38 in run one games. Hoo boy.
Kasi - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 10:57 AM EDT (#323036) #
We have four batters now doing the same approach. That being pull heavy, fly ball orientated. Fangraphs had an article the other day about Donaldson basically turning himself into EE. Tulo is doing the same thing. Problem being is that will lead to a lot of low averages considering fly balls often go for outs. Of course it should be a good amount of home runs too. Just a matter of keeping up the walk rate and not letting the batting average sink too low.
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 10:58 AM EDT (#323037) #
At what point does upper management consider letting John Gibbons go? I'm not advocating one way or the other, and I like Gibbons as a person. Also I don't know how many games were won or lost due to his decisions. What I do know is that when a team is supposed to do well and they keep hanging around mediocrity level, then something has to give. As the old cliche goes, it's easier to fire the coach than the players.

I suspect they've considered it from the outset, at least in a very general way. I'm not sure they will though, at least during the season. My own view is that Gibbons isn't a very good manager and largely got the job using loyalty club points when Farrell bolted with the coaching staff to the Red Sox. But I don't think he's to blame for the fact the team is, as one poster nicely put it, 'tethered' to .500. Expectations were probably much too high for the offence, and in addition to predictable regression from last year there is the decline of Bautista (35), Edwin (33), Martin (33) and Tulowitzki (31). A number of Gibbons' decisions haven't helped (I don't think we will see him pulling Stroman again at the first hint of trouble to show us that 'Gibby Bullpen Magic'), but they're not the fundamental problem with the team.

Boston is a very good hitting, young team. While strength of schedule may be a factor to some extent, they have great organizational depth and good hitters around the diamond. Travis Shaw is a big upgrade at third from free agent flop Pablo Sandoval, slashing .328/.404/.567. Xander Bogaerts is having a great year at short. He's 23. Jackie Bradley Jr. is having an all-star year in centre. Part of why Toronto is trailing Boston has to do with how well the Red Sox hit. And in Baltimore, Manny Machado is having one extraordinary season.

It's true that teams often fire the manager when they can't fire the team, and it's true that this is a year when expectations were greater than .500, but it could be that this front office isn't going to take the traditional 'fire the manager' route and will instead allow John Gibbons the dignity of playing out the year to see how it goes. That could well change of course, if the team heads into a tailspin.
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 11:24 AM EDT (#323038) #
Cecil to the DL with bicep strain.
uglyone - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 11:41 AM EDT (#323039) #
"Except that they'll be available to start games in September and October."

that would be SO Shapiro.

(don't hurt me, parker)
Mylegacy - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 11:43 AM EDT (#323040) #
AND - Dustin Antolin up. I remember - years ago it seems - that Dustin was considered a real seriously good prospect. Then - oblivion - or so it seemed. He's 26 now with an 11.37 K/9 rate in AAA.

Lightening. Bottle. Perhaps.
uglyone - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 11:55 AM EDT (#323041) #
Dave makes a necessary point about strength of schedule this early in the year. Jays have had one of the very toughest skeds in mlb so far with a .538 opponents' winning percentage, 2nd only to cincy at .540, both over 10pts higher than the next toughest. BAL and BOS are down in the bottom 10, with BOS at #24.

ESPN'S RPI (defined as "The basic formula is 25% team winning percentage, 50% opponents' average winning percentage, and 25% opponents' opponents' average winning percentage.") has the teams ranked like this:

3. BAL .534
5. TOR .529
8. BOS .521
11. TBR .513
20. NYY .492

That's right - they have us top 5 in mlb so far this year based only on our win loss record (there are no other underlying numbers included in the calculation).

Of course the underlying numbers also look good - top 10 in pythag (i.e. actual run diff) and top 10 in baserun win% (i.e. "deserved" run diff).

A .500 record 38gms in is dissappointing but this team still looks really good, even though they haven't played great yet.

ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#323042) #
In games when their opponent scores at least 4 runs, the Jays are 0-15. Sox are 8-10. O's 4-9.
uglyone - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#323043) #
"Boston is a very good hitting, young team."

Boston is hitting about as well as this jays lineup did the last 2 months of last year, which is amazing.....except that Boston is riding a ridiculous unsustainable .347 team babip to do it, while the jays had a league avg babip while doing it. That won't last very long.

The babips in their starting lineup: .415, .400, .398, .382, .331, .326, .326, .289, .276. On their bench: .533, .387, .313, .200. That's just crazy.


The team is also not all that young:

41: RP2 Uehara
40: DH Ortiz
39:
38:
37:
36:
35: BC Hanigan
34:
33:
32: 2B Pedroia, 1B Ramirez, BOF Young
31: SP3 Buchholz, SP4 Wright, RP5 Layne
30: SP1 Price, RP4 Tazawa
29: BUT Sandoval
28: RP1 Kimbrel, LF Holt, SP5 Kelly, RP6 Ross, RP7 Hembree
27: SP2 Porcello, BIF Rutledge
26: CF Bradley, 3B Shaw, RP3 Smith
25: C Vazquez
24:
23: RF Betts, SS Bogaerts
22:
21:
20:


compared to the ancient old jays:

41: SP5 Dickey
40:
39:
38:
37:
36:
35: RF Bautista
34:
33: C Martin, DH En'cion, SP4 Happ, RP4 Floyd
32: SP3 Estrada, RP5 Chavez, BUT Colabello
31: SS Tulowitzki
30: 3B Donaldson
29: LF Saunders, 1B Smoak, RP2 Cecil, BOF Carrera, BC Thole
28: RP3 Storen, BIF Goins
27: CF Pillar
26: RP6 Biagini
25: SP1 Stroman, 2B Travis, RP7 Girodo
24:
23: SP2 Sanchez
22:
21: RP1 Osuna
Kasi - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 12:27 PM EDT (#323044) #
Well they also have a top five minor league org and we're bottom ten so that's going to only look worse as time goes on.
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 02:42 PM EDT (#323047) #
UO, your chart shows exactly what I indicate - that Boston has a very good, young team compared to Toronto's. 5 of their regular position players are 26 or younger. The corresponding number for Toronto is 0, unless you count Travis and it's 1. Boston's 2 youngest players have are 23. Toronto's 5 youngest regulars are 25 (counting Travis), 27, 29, 30 and 31.
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 03:09 PM EDT (#323048) #
Including head-to-head match ups, Boston and Toronto have each played the majority of their respective schedules against the same teams, although Toronto has played more against Tampa, and there is otherwise some variance in the number of games against common teams. Toronto has played 26 games against common opponents, including head-to-head, and Boston 25. Boston is 15-10 in those games, Toronto is 12-14.
electric carrot - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#323049) #
Not happy to see Pillar leading off again.  I think there's a reason why Donaldson and Bautista have fewer RBIs than Encarnacion.
Super Bluto - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 03:13 PM EDT (#323050) #
Donaldson hasn't been running out grounders and in a really obvious way. I wonder if his leg is still bugging him and if that is having an impact on his hitting, too.
uglyone - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 03:20 PM EDT (#323051) #
Dean

23 and under

TOR (2): Sanchez, Osuna
BOS (2): Betts, Bogaerts

25 and under

TOR (4): Stroman, Sanchez, Travis, Osuna
BOS (3): Betts, Bogaerts, Vazquez

27 and under

TOR (5): Stroman, Sanchez, Travis, Osuna, Pillar
BOS (7): Betts, Bogaerts, Vazquez, Bradley, Shaw, Porcello, Smith
Kasi - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#323052) #
Yup certainly looks better for Boston there. Would be curious to see that not just by age but with years of control too. Also they have a much stronger farm so while we just have Pompey coming up they will have more.
uglyone - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#323053) #
vLHP

2016

Saunders: 180wrc+
Pillar: 104wrc+

2014-2016

Saunders: 135wrc+
Pillar: 95wrc+

2012-2016

Saunders: 111wrc+
Pillar: 94wrc+
Kasi - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 03:27 PM EDT (#323054) #
I agree there uo. Not sure why Saunders had been moved out of lead off. He certainly didn't do anything to lose the spot. I also have always felt Pillar gives a nice spark to the bottom of the lineup.
uglyone - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#323055) #
"Yup certainly looks better for Boston there."

heh.

"Would be curious to see that not just by age but with years of control too"

why do you think it would be interesting? the sox guys have been in mlb longer.
uglyone - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 03:30 PM EDT (#323056) #
for example, including porcello in there hardly even makes sense given he's making $20m per year longterm.
China fan - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 04:44 PM EDT (#323059) #
Jays making a bad pitcher look good again today.
China fan - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#323061) #
The Jays are having much more success against the Texas bullpen than against their starters.  Bautista had a good answer to the Texas boo-birds there.  But, as in the playoffs last year, the inning was kept alive by some inexplicably poor Texas defence. 
obo - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#323062) #
Tulowitzki is over .200!
Kasi - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 05:25 PM EDT (#323063) #
I wish we could play Texas all the time. We do seem to own them. Tulo with three hits finally gets above .200. Hope this continues. :)
King Ryan - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 05:29 PM EDT (#323064) #
Texas is doing basically everything they can to hand the Jays this game, and somehow the Jays are only winning by 2.
China fan - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 05:46 PM EDT (#323065) #
Pillar doing a good job of dispelling the myth that he only has good games when he is NOT in the lead-off spot.  So far today he has a single, double, sacrifice fly, two RBIs, a run scored and two stolen bases.  A useful day.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#323066) #
Barney looked badly overmatched against Bush.  It would also be nice to have Goins' glove out there.
China fan - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 05:56 PM EDT (#323067) #
The bullpen. Again.
King Ryan - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#323068) #
inherited runners all score, as usual.
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 05:58 PM EDT (#323069) #
What kind of a freakin' pitch was that? Lollipop curve over the heart of the plate ? No relief from the pen this year.
Kasi - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 06:03 PM EDT (#323070) #
Chavez has his uses, but he is basically a starter, aka best used as long relief for a couple innings. Not being brought in there with base runners on. Should have brought in Osuna there or almost anyone else they have. I'd be curious to see Chavez' numbers on brought in at inning start versus coming in with players on. I imagine the OPS difference is huge. (Tldr: when you need one out bring in a bonifide reliever, not the swing man)
Hodgie - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 06:04 PM EDT (#323071) #
Looking forward to reading later how this game is also Gibbons' fault.
Vulg - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#323072) #
Thank you Raptors, for sparing me from this pain today.

Can't wait for Raps vs. Cavs in the Eastern Conference Final!
China fan - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#323073) #
"....Not being brought in there with base runners on...."

Who else did they have, realistically, aside from Chavez?  You can't bring in Osuna in the 7th inning.  Chavez and Floyd have become the set-up men because Storen has been terrible and Cecil is injured.  Chavez is fresher than Floyd, who pitched (and lost) last night.  I'm sure Gibbons would have been criticized even more harshly if he had brought in Girodo, Biagini or Antolin in that situation.

And we need to dispel the idea that Chavez is the "long man."  He's a high-leverage one-inning pitcher now -- because of the failures of Storen and Cecil.
Kasi - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#323074) #
Then use him when his drawbacks are minimized. The guy can get people out and has a good K rate, but he is home run prone. And yes bring Osuna in and leave him in for the eighth. This is likely the biggest leverage situation in the game. Bring your best guy in. Even with the bad inning today Chavez is still having a good season, but I'd rather see one of the lower guys on the bullpen brought in if Osuna and Floyd aren't available. Obviously not Antonin though.
Kasi - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#323075) #
Looks like interesting stuff from the game going on. Take it Odor and Gibbons gets suspended, hopefully not Jose.
China fan - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#323076) #
"....This is likely the biggest leverage situation in the game...."

Oh come on, the Jays have a two-run lead in the 7th inning, and this is the "high-leverage" situation where you want Osuna?  That would be bizarre bullpen management indeed.
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 06:23 PM EDT (#323077) #
I wanna see another 12 bullpen moves. Teenybopper baseball!
China fan - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 06:26 PM EDT (#323078) #
I completely understand why Bautista was upset about being hit with a likely-deliberate pitch by Bush, but I don't think he should have hurt his own team by picking a fight with Odor, no matter how trashy the Texas behavior has been.  It was not only a rough slide by Bautista, but he popped up ready to fight Odor.  There are better ways to answer a beanball (as Chavez later showed). 
BlueJayWay - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#323079) #
3-10 in one run games.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 06:39 PM EDT (#323080) #
It would have made more sense to bring on Chavez at the start of the 7th.  That achieves three things.  Sanchez was not at his sharpest today and bringing him out after 6 would be reasonable.  Then you can plan for Chavez for 2 innings and give him a longer outing and put him in a situation which is more suited to him. 

Another tough loss. 

Gerry - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#323081) #
For those who don't remember, Odor was involved in a brawl with the Vancouver Canadians, and Shane Opitz in particular, several years ago. Odor seems to be a nasty piece of work.
Kasi - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 06:40 PM EDT (#323082) #
Two on though, why not bring in your closer? Especially since Osuna is capable of pitching in the eighth too.
King Ryan - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#323083) #
That loss hurts in at least 5 different ways.

Back below 500.
Magpie - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#323084) #
Rough Ned might not want to dig in next time.
China fan - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#323085) #
Odor is a nasty piece of work indeed, and the Bush pitch was provocative, but Bautista's response led to the ejection of himself and Donaldson from a one-run game, while only one of the Ranger players was ejected.  I don't think that helped the Jays at all.   Bautista essentially goaded Odor into the fight.  He took him out with a nasty slide, then popped up and goaded him further.  It was obvious that it was going to lead to a brawl.  Really not sure why Bautista thought that a brawl would help the Jays.  Or was he just unable to control his temper again?
King Ryan - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#323086) #
Also, can somebody please, please get Gregg Zaun the hell off my television? Good grief.
Vulg - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 06:44 PM EDT (#323087) #
Two on though, why not bring in your closer? Especially since Osuna is capable of pitching in the eighth too.

I agree with this completely. I believe one of these years, a Manager (not on the Yankees, since they can always afford 3 closers) will simply start doing this and finally challenge 'conventional' thinking.

Bring your best in for the most dangerous situations. I'd much rather have Chavez start the 9th with a 3 run lead.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 06:45 PM EDT (#323088) #
I think that's the 8th game they've lost when leading into the 7th or later. 8th!

Oh, and they still haven't won a game this year when allowing 4 or more runs.



Super Bluto - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 06:46 PM EDT (#323089) #
Baseball fights are so stupid. The solution? Let the two initial combatants go at it with all four umpires responsible for breaking it up. Anyone else who moves gets a 40 game suspension.

China fan - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#323090) #
"....Bring your best in for the most dangerous situations...."

Yes, I agree.  But when you have a two-run lead in the 7th inning, and you have two outs in the inning already, that really shouldn't be the most dangerous situation of the game.  Almost any outcome, except a HR, would have been manageable in that situation.  Chavez only needed one out.  That should be a situation that your set-up men can easily handle.  Otherwise they shouldn't be the set-up guys.  You save Osuna for a one-run situation in the 8th or 9th inning.
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#323091) #
It would have made more sense to bring on Chavez at the start of the 7th. That achieves three things. Sanchez was not at his sharpest today and bringing him out after 6 would be reasonable. Then you can plan for Chavez for 2 innings and give him a longer outing and put him in a situation which is more suited to him.

I couldn't disagree more. The common thread throughout so many of these blown games has been a preference for moves to the pen as opposed to letting the starter try to pitch his way out of it. Today Sanchez got the 'two-out in the 7th, men on, pulled" treatment that has cost Stroman two games. I'd much rather see Sanchez, a major league starter, try to pitch his way out of it than watch the magic bullpen show.
greenfrog - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 06:57 PM EDT (#323092) #
It sounds like Gibbons might have been managing "scared." We've seen it before. When he's afraid of a bullpen meltdown (not without some justification), he sometimes sticks with his starting pitcher for too long.

As for the brawl, I didn't see it, but the gif of Odor's punch makes him look like a total goon (actually, I have more choice words in mind but they're inappropriate for this site). I just hope Bautista wasn't seriously injured, either from a concussion or broken jaw or similar injury.
China fan - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 06:59 PM EDT (#323093) #
I'm also unsure why the Jays told Chavez to plunk Prince.  That's going to get Chavez probably suspended.  Why bother?  They've already had their brawl.  Bautista retaliated for the Bush pitch, and then Donaldson and Pillar retaliated for the Odor punch.  Why the further retaliation?  Again, it hurts the Jays more than their opponents.

And I must say that I'm skeptical about the notion that this will "fire up" the Jays for future games, or help the players to "rally" around the team.  Angry emotional players aren't necessarily any better at baseball than calm patient players.  This isn't hockey.

BlueJayWay - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#323094) #
Well, at least they're playing the Rays next. That should tranquillize them a bit.
snider - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#323095) #
Gibbons was already ejected so he wasn't making the bullpen decision.
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#323096) #
As for the brawl, I didn't see it, but the gif of Odor's punch makes him look like a total goon

Bautista's slide was textbook (2016) illegal. He went way past the base in an effort to take out Odor. Then he came back at Odor, and Odor threw a punch that will very likely cost him games. He squared up Bautista. There was nothing pretty there on either side, but it's sure not a 'bad guy, good guy' situation against Odor.
Four Seamer - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#323097) #
Bautista's act is getting increasingly tiresome, but were I a Rangers fan I'd be pretty embarrassed by Odor, too. A pox on all their houses. I agree though with greenfrog on the stupidity of exposing Chavez to suspension - the only purpose to Chavez trying to leave a bruise on Fielder's thigh was to give Luis Rivera the chance to make his managerial debut, since it meant Harle being ejected, too. The Jays did not reveal themselves to be the most cerebral of teams today.
Mike Green - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 07:06 PM EDT (#323098) #
I know you feel that way.  In my view, each game is different.  In this one,  Sanchez gave up the first home run of his career to a RHB on a high fastball to Beltre in the 6th and had so-so control prior to the 7th.  The 4 pitch walk to Holaday in the 7th (up 2 runs with 2 outs) was a sign that he had gone well past his point on this day. 

I am not saying that management made a mistake by leaving him in.  It was a judgment call and I would have played it differently.  I felt more strongly about the decision to leave Barney in.  At this point, I see a significant difference in the defensive capabilities of Barney and Goins, and with a 2 or 3 run lead, I want Goins in there.

King Ryan - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 07:10 PM EDT (#323099) #
I have to agree with China Fan. I of course didn't like that they beaned Bautista but it put the tying run on. Jose threw the game away.
ComebyDeanChance - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#323100) #
I know you feel that way.

Given our vintage, we've probably both read "The Last Pennant before Armageddon". In it, the manager (was it really 'Riggleman' or am I just imagining), is famous for being able to notice a minuscule drop in delivery that signals the end of his starter's effectiveness. How I wish it were so, instead of what seems to me to be a preference for moves to the pen over letting your best pitchers try to work their way out of any difficulty.
jerjapan - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#323101) #
Bautista's act is getting increasingly tiresome, but were I a Rangers fan I'd be pretty embarrassed by Odor, too. A pox on all their houses. I agree though with greenfrog on the stupidity of exposing Chavez to suspension - the only purpose to Chavez trying to leave a bruise on Fielder's thigh was to give Luis Rivera the chance to make his managerial debut, since it meant Harle being ejected, too. The Jays did not reveal themselves to be the most cerebral of teams today.

I agree that baseball fights - and all fights in sports - and fights in general, aside from MMA - are stupid. 

But it's tough to be an elite participant in sports where this tradition continues without being a tough guy sometimes. 

I didn't watch the game because, uh, Raptors!!!

But to me (via replay) it looked like Odor is the bigger jerk - easy for us to sit here and judge Bautista, Chavez, etc.  Harder for the individual player to somehow convince all their teammates to just walk it off and be the bigger man. 

I'd like to see them do it, but hard to see how that would work. 
Magpie - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#323102) #
Chavez may very well have drilled Fielder on his own initiative.

Bautista just on the TV. A little surprised he got punched, was probably expecting the traditional shove and curse. Says it was a good shot. He's actually more disturbed about the warning issued after he was hit by the pitch.
grjas - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 07:24 PM EDT (#323103) #
Looking forward to reading later how this game is also Gibbons' fault.

I do feel for Gibbons this year. He's tried at least 5 guys in the 7th and 8th and no one is getting it done consistently. And this in a year where few of their starters have prior 200 inning seasons. Hard to blame the manager for all these late inning debacles. The relievers are getting big bucks. Time to produce.
Jimbag - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#323104) #
Pretty minor point considering everything else that happened during the game, but I have to second this: "Not happy to see Pillar leading off again.  I think there's a reason why Donaldson and Bautista have fewer RBIs than Encarnacion."

Saunders proved he could handle the leadoff spot, and is still hitting very well lower in the order. Pillar hit well in the #7 spot, but has not seen the improvement follow him to the top of the order. Call it voodoo, wicca, magick, whatever - bottom line is 5 games of this experiment is enough. Yes, ridiculously small sample size, but I've seen enough. Gibby cut bait on Storen, so apparently he does watch the games - time to do the same with the Pillar at leadoff, too. Let the guys hit where they're comfortable.
eudaimon - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 07:46 PM EDT (#323105) #
The common thread to me is the bullpen's inability to perform in crucial situations. (Outside of Osuna of course). Part of it is bad luck but a lot is obviously bad performance. I have a hard time blaming Gibbons for failures by Storen, Cecil, Floyd, Chavez etc.

He's made a couple of questionable decisions (Leon for example). But to me most of the criticism is nitpicky. Armchair managing is easy, and taking issue with a move because it failed is even easier.

The bullpen is decent on paper. I still expect they'll round into form soon enough.
BlueJayWay - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 07:59 PM EDT (#323106) #
There was a recent article on bluebirdbanter about the Jays pen this year. Basically, the pen is recapituating its perfomance from last year: decent numbers overall, pitching its worst at the worst possible time.
Dave Till - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 08:02 PM EDT (#323107) #

Did Gibbons actually make the Chavez pitching change from the clubhouse, or did DeMarlo Hale make it?

I can't blame Gibbons (or Hale). The Jays just don't have anybody in the bullpen that they can trust, other than Osuna and maybe Floyd.

I re-watched the brawl on the Texas television feed. The slide was late; I don't think Bautista was deliberately attempting to injure Odor, so I don't think he will be suspended, unless MLB sees his slide as comparable to the Chase Utley slide.

Odor should definitely be suspended for punching Bautista in the jaw. Gibbons will likely be suspended for returning to the field after being ejected, which means that we will get to second-guess Hale's pitching selections instead of Gibbons'.

After the brawling was finished, I could hear the Texas fans chanting "USA! USA!" Um, er...

SBNation points out that Odor has no right to complain about harsh slides after having done this last year.

Predictions:

  • The World Baseball Classic 2017 game between Venezuela and the Dominican Republic will be interesting.
  • The Rangers are not likely to sign Bautista in the offseason.
Kasi - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 08:06 PM EDT (#323108) #
Yup, basically for the last year and this they've had a difference about one win a month between the adjusted ERA of the relievers and their WPA. It's cost them about a win per month, and that was true last year post trade deadline too. So either the Jays are just massively unlucky month after month or something else is going on.
John Northey - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 08:19 PM EDT (#323109) #
Having watched the video I'm at a loss as to Donaldson being ejected and Bautista too as Bautista only slid legally (otherwise there would've been a double play called) and got punched in the face. If Odor doesn't get a big suspension then the Jays better call up the hardest thrower they got next time they face the Rangers and tell him to throw at Odors head and hard since clearly trying to injure players is irrelevant. Might send a message that Jay players are not to be attacked again. Might.
Dave Till - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 08:21 PM EDT (#323110) #

Bautista only slid legally (otherwise there would've been a double play called)

There actually was a double play called, as Bautista went through the bag. I agree with you about Odor deserving a long suspension - there was a legitimate baseball reason for trying to break up the double play there. It wasn't as if one team was ahead 8-1.

SK in NJ - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#323111) #
Odor will get suspended (he's always been a dirty player), and possibly a few Jays players as well, while Bautista's ego probably took a bit of a hit. You had to know something like this would happen. Bautista isn't exactly an innocent victim here either.

At the end of the day, wins and losses matter the most. The Jays losing the series is the bigger issue here. The East is not starting off weak like it did last year. The Jays can't afford to be hovering around .500 right now if they want to make a real run at something other than the 2nd WC.
China fan - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 08:29 PM EDT (#323112) #
"....Odor should definitely be suspended for punching Bautista in the jaw. Gibbons will likely be suspended for returning to the field...."

Yes, I agree on those two.  But there's a definite risk of at least one Blue Jay player being suspended as well.  It could be Chavez (for deliberately hitting Prince Fielder despite the warnings from the umpires); or Bautista (for the deliberately illegal slide and provoking the fight with Odor); or Donaldson or Pillar for their aggression in the brawl.  If none of those players are suspended, the Jays will be quite lucky.  And if one or more of them is suspended, this episode will hurt the Jays lineup, at least for the length of the suspension.

It's true that Odor is a nasty player, and it's true that the umpires could have handled it better, as soon as Bush hit Bautista.  But I don't think the Jays handled it very well either, and it could hurt them.

One point that nobody has mentioned:  if Bautista hadn't done his rough slide into Odor, the Jays probably would have had a runner on first base and another chance to tie up the game, because I don't think Odor was going to get the ball to 1B in time.  Instead it was automatically called a double play because of Bautista's slide. How does that help the Jays?  Bautista needs to retaliate by winning the game, not by hurting his team with an unnecessarily illegal slide.
John Northey - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 09:11 PM EDT (#323113) #
Odor and Gibbons - no question with Odor getting a longer one I'd hope. If a Jays player gets more than a slap on the wrist (2 games or less) I'll be disgusted with the league office. Heck, if Bautista gets any penalty I'll be disgusted with them. Yes, he broke the rules with that slide but there is a clear penalty in the rules for it, and that does not include suspension. Has anyone figured out what Donaldson did to get ejected? I was away from the TV at that time (kids watching something else) and can't find anything online saying what happened to him.
Four Seamer - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 09:20 PM EDT (#323114) #
Bautista is a phenomenal baseball player, and I've been privileged to watch him in the home silks over the past several years. But days like today make me look a little bit forward to the post-Bautista era that seems fated to begin next year (or maybe earlier, if this team limps into the deadline). I've long appreciated his competitive fire, but it seems to be expressing itself in increasingly nasty ways on the field, while having a deleterious effect on his teammates (Donaldson and Pillar getting themselves tossed today, in the aftermath of a slide that was illegal, dangerous and very costly to his team).
James W - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 09:33 PM EDT (#323115) #
Donaldson said he doesn't know why he was ejected.
James W - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 09:43 PM EDT (#323116) #
I re-watched the brawl on the Texas television feed. The slide was late; I don't think Bautista was deliberately attempting to injure Odor, so I don't think he will be suspended, unless MLB sees his slide as comparable to the Chase Utley slide.

Well Utley's slide broke someone's leg, and had no intent at all at the base. Bautista was going after Odor, but Odor was able to dodge it. This is bad, but not nearly as bad as Utley, and Utley's suspension was quietly revoked in the off-season.

Regarding the USA chants... Texans are Texan.
jerjapan - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 09:54 PM EDT (#323117) #
Don't get the anti-Bautista vibe at all.  He plays aggressively, sure, but utterly within the norms of the game, as defined by the players.

I don't mean to suggest that anyone around here is doing this, but there certainly are questions to be asked about how the averag ball fan / commentator judges the Latin players.

Kasi - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 10:17 PM EDT (#323118) #
I have no issue with the bat flip or even with just playing hard. The only issue I've ever had with Jose is the constant whining, bitching and complaining he does at home plate in regards to balls and strikes. The funny thing is on over half of them he's right, but there is no point to showing up the Umps like that. They're not going to give him a call in the next at bat to make up for the one they just botched.
electric carrot - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#323119) #
Call me a homer but what did the guy actually do:

He got pissed when someone hit him with a 97 mile an hour fastball that would send most of us to hospital.
He slid hard. 
Then he got punched by hooligan in the head straight on in a way that would knock most of us on this site unconscious and make us miss a week of work.
Afterwards, he doesn't bitch and moan at all.

I honestly can't make sense of the complaints.

 
rpriske - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 10:47 PM EDT (#323120) #
How can any rational person blame Bautista for this.

YES he slid hard into second (which would have been legal last year) and YES it was because he was mad about intentionally plunked. And why wouldn't he be.

THAT didn't cause all of this to go nuclear. Odor PUNCHED HIM IN THE FACE.

Nobody is guilty of that except for Odor. He should be suspended ten games, easy.
John Northey - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 10:59 PM EDT (#323121) #
My only complaint with Bautista is that he should have the hang of this slide by now.
Kasi - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 11:00 PM EDT (#323122) #
Well China has a point in that if the point was to try and win the game then his move was not helpful. I don't think anyone is saying Jose didn't have the right to be upset for what happened or was bad for taking Odor out.
Four Seamer - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 11:15 PM EDT (#323123) #
Of course Odor should be looking at a long suspension. His actions were inexcusable, and he bears most of the responsibility for today's melee.

I'm not sure whether Bush was trying to hit Bautista; it's possible that as a rookie he put more value on proving something to his teammates than putting the tying run on with nobody out, although that logic is a bit hard to follow. But let's posit that he did - why can't Bautista just take his base, gratified that he's been gifted 90 feet late in a close game? And why does he than slide through the base, in a manner that is at least reckless if not an intent to injure, knowing full well that it means a likely double play and the end of the inning, plus whatever shenanigans might follow? And then, after Odor lives up to his name, why is Beltre the only player on the field demonstrating leadership and a clear head? I honestly don't know what Donaldson did, and maybe I've unfairly maligned him, but Pillar did appear to be living down to clubhouse expectations. Admittedly, Beltre's mature and dignified approach appears not to have had any effect on Odor, so maybe Pillar's idiotic display owes nothing to the example Bautista sets.

Alex Obal - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 11:21 PM EDT (#323124) #
Say your team gets has been hit by 8 pitches over a three-game series. None of the HBPs were intentional, but the opposition has been making a point of pitching inside, and as a result your hitters have eight bruises. Nobody on the other team has been hit. It's the 8th inning of the last game. Is it unethical to throw at one of the opposition's hitters? Does that actually make your guys any less likely to be hit going forward? Is that an OK justification for throwing at them? If you don't throw at anyone, does that just makes you spineless? When people say retribution is part of the game, do they mean that optimally leveraging your ability to injure the other team is part of the game?

... this isn't baseball.
Magpie - Sunday, May 15 2016 @ 11:38 PM EDT (#323125) #
This makes at least three AL teams that Odor is in foul odour with. (Couldn't resist, sorry.) Obviously, the guy who did this has lost all rights to complain about anyone else sliding into a base.

There seems to be a lot of speculation that Odor was trying to hit Bautista in the face with his throw.
JB21 - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 12:07 AM EDT (#323126) #
Agree that Odor shouldn't be complaining as there have been a number of videos/images posted today showing pretty hard slides into 2B by Odor. IMO though, that play was caused by the bad throw, if he fields it clean he's out of the way and Odor's slide is a pretty regular (for 2015) takeout slide.

Bautista looked to me like he was obviously frustrated and he tried to take out Odor pretty damn hard, which is an illegal play in 2016. Obviously that doesn't excuse Odor, you cannot punch another player, you just can't. I hope he's suspended at least 10 games.

Hopefully Jurickson Profar comes up and steals his spot...
Michael - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 02:07 AM EDT (#323127) #
I don't get the several people blaming Batista or excited to no longer see him on the team??

IMO Batista is pretty much blameless here. There were articles written before the series about how likely it was Bush was going to hit Batista. There were lots of way inside pitching from Texas this series and a lot of borderline intentional throwing at the batters. Yes Batista's slide wasn't great, but it was avoiding the throw and if he managed to hold on to the bag it likely would have been 2016 legal, and it was clearly 2015 legal (and it didn't have the spikes up, he had his legs bent, which helped the slide start around the base). If I were a GM or Czar of MLB Odor's punch would not only have a very large suspension (like 40+ games), it would also come with criminal charges. Playing baseball doesn't entitle you to assault someone. And you don't want a Steve Moore situation in Baseball, and you don't want your star players to get hurt.

Kudos thought to Beltre for trying to de-escalate it and hopefully keeping Batista out of any suspension.
rpriske - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 06:48 AM EDT (#323128) #
Saying tha Bautista should have just happily gone about his day or complaining (bizarrely) at Pillar's actions are just ridiculous.

These are people. Human beings. Bautista has taken heat from the Texas media and the Texas fans all through the series. This was being egged on right through and he KNEW it was coming. They waited to the last bat and then blasted him.

And for what? This absolutely archaic notion that it is wrong to celebrate your accomplishments and be excited about the game.

Bush instigated this (though, quite frankly, the benches should have already been warned because the hit on EE was definitely intentional). Bautista was mad and showed his displeasure it a way that DIDN'T HURT THE TEAM AT ALL. (He got a double play called instead of a double play that would have happened if he didn't slide hard).

It was Odor that turned this into something else. It is Odor that turned this into your average baseball scrum (where nothing actually happens but people get on the field and mill about) into something else entirely. I even excuse the push a certain amount (a CERTAIN amount), but the right cross was inexcusable.

THEN, someone criticizes Pillar? The only thing that sets Pillar apart from any other Jays players at that moment is that he was the first one to get there. They just saw their teammate punched so hard it knocked his helmet off. Any teammate who DOESN'T get in there to defend him doesn't deserve the title.

I will agree with one recent point. Beltre was great. He was also defending his team. The difference is, his team was in the wrong, and he probably knew it. (Heck, I saw a quote by Bannister that kind of implied that he knew it too.)

Don't fall into the trap of some internet 'fans' and blame Bautista because of his rep. Bush deserved ejection and should have been immediately. Maybe the next step wouldn't have happened if he had been. Bautista being ejected would have been iffy, but not awful.

Odor deserves suspension. 10 games minimum.
China fan - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 07:12 AM EDT (#323129) #
A lot of people here are missing the point of the Bautista incident.  Nobody is saying that Bautista's actions were as bad as what Odor did.  Clearly it is Odor who deserves the major suspension here.  And nobody is saying that Bautista deserves a suspension simply for a hard slide.  The issue, in my opinion, is what Bautista did AFTER the slide. He popped up from the slide and he was immediately facing Odor, confronting him and clearly preparing for a physical confrontation.  He stepped towards Odor (at the same time that Odor was stepping towards him, to be fair).  It was this eagerness for physical confrontation (by both of them) that precipitated the punch.  It doesn't justify the punch, but it was the provoking action that led to the punch.

Bautista could have done the hard slide and walked away.  If he had done that, nobody would suggest he did anything worse than an illegal slide.  But he didn't walk away. He jumped to his feet, already preparing for physical confrontation.  Bautista made it obvious that it was an illegal slide, intended as retaliation, and intended to provoke Odor.  He expected at least a shoving match, which would have almost certainly led to a brawl anyway.  The only surprising thing was that Odor responded with a punch, rather than a shove.  But Bautista knew that his actions (the slide and the confrontation) would trigger a brawl, so he bears some of the responsibility for the brawl.

In almost every previous instance of an illegal slide this season, the slider pretends it is legal -- he carries through the slide and walks away.  In this case, Bautista did something worse:  he made it clear that he was deliberately doing an illegal slide and he intended to provoke a confrontation. That's something that the baseball officials might not ignore.   I don't know what they will decide, but they could decide that Bautista bears some of the responsibility for what happened.

Finally, from a Jays standpoint, I think we have to note that Bautista was hurting the team by doing this.  Hard slides are often an instinctive or even half-accidental thing, but in this case, Bautista was doing it deliberately, and he must have known that it would lead to:  1) a guaranteed double play, preventing any chance of keeping the inning alive;  2) a brawl that would lead to ejections, thereby hurting the Jays chances of making a comeback in the game;  3) possible suspensions that could hurt the Jays in future games. 

I understand when a player wants to "stand up for his team" by following the "baseball codes" about retaliation.  (I might not agree with the tradition, but at least I understand that the tradition exists.)  But I think Bautista went beyond that.  It was an unusual play, even before Odor threw the punch.  That's my concern about what Bautista did.

And just for clarification: of course I don't believe that this means that the Jays shouldn't try to bring back Bautista next season.  He is a great player.  If they can sign him, they should do so.  He has a bit of a temper, and occasionally that hurts the Jays a little.  That's a negative, but it's far outweighed by all the strengths that he contributes to the team.

China fan - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 07:17 AM EDT (#323130) #
"....Bautista was mad and showed his displeasure it a way that DIDN'T HURT THE TEAM AT ALL...."

I don't see how you can be sure of that.  First, you don't know if Odor's throw would have been in time at 1B.  (Lots of seemingly easy DPs can be blown by a poor throw.)  Second, there wouldn't have been a brawl if Bautista had walked away after the slide. The brawl hurt the Jays.  It led to the ejection of two of their best players, plus the risk of suspensions. 

There are many ways for a "mad" player to show his displeasure without triggering a brawl.  Bautista chose a different tactic.  He lost his cool.  So did Odor, and obviously Odor was by far the worst villain here, but Bautista's actions contributed to ejections of two key players and an automatic DP.  It hurt the team.
SK in NJ - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 07:35 AM EDT (#323131) #
Bautista made an illegal slide that cost the team a win in Tampa, so yes, he should not have slid like that. He had every right to be upset about getting hit. Everyone knew it was going to happen. It was petty nonsense by the Rangers, but baseball is a pretty stupid game when it comes to things like this. At the end of the day, take the HBP that Stevie Wonder could have seen coming at some point, and try to help the team win. Odor will get suspended, and hopefully a ton of games. He's a very dirty player. That whole thing may have been avoidable, though. Guys like Odor are begging for a reason to do something, and Bautista gave him a reason.

In the end, Bautista's ego took a beating, and Odor will get what's coming to him via suspension (hopefully). No one was hurt, thankfully. Let's just hope this fires the team up. I'm more concerned that they're 5.5 games out (7 in the loss column) in mid-May. To put things in perspective, the Jays started 2015 with a 23-30 record, yet they were only 4.5 games back at that point (5 in the loss column). The East isn't weak. Still a lot of baseball to be played, but losing ground this early is getting old.
rpriske - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 07:55 AM EDT (#323132) #
"In the end, Bautista's ego took a beating"

How? By getting sucker punched? Ridiculous.

You all seem to think that the players shouldn't be human beings. Bautista did nothing unreasonable. Period.

(Also, if the ump had ejected Bush like he should have, I wonder if this would have gone away. Jose didn't look really angry until he reached first. I think it was when he realized that they very intentional pitch was not begin punished. If you are angry about something, you tend to get more angry if you think that they are going to get away with it.)
Jonny German - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 08:10 AM EDT (#323133) #
Thumbs up to everything rpriske has said here.
Jonny German - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 08:15 AM EDT (#323134) #
A friendly reminder that "provoke" has a rather broad definition for Odor:

http://m.mlb.com/video/v653616983/textor-barney-makes-catch-nabs-odor-at-third/?game_pk=447267
Parker - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 08:29 AM EDT (#323135) #
You all seem to think that the players shouldn't be human beings.

I'm not trying to defend Odor in any way (I think the guy is a wretch) but if an opposing player tried to take me out with an obviously illegal slide, then immediately jumped to his feet and took several steps towards me with an arm cocked back as if to throw a punch, I'd probably stroke the guy one. It seems like a human reaction to me, anyway.

Odor's clearly a bastard, but I don't think he responded unreasonably to Bautista's actions in this case.
Parker - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 08:43 AM EDT (#323136) #
Kudos thought to Beltre for trying to de-escalate it and hopefully keeping Batista out of any suspension.

Agreed - I have tremendous respect for the way he conducted himself - a mature and level-headed guy, and a future Hall-of-Famer to boot! Beltre's a class act all the way.
Jonny German - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 09:00 AM EDT (#323137) #
then immediately jumped to his feet and took several steps towards me with an arm cocked back as if to throw a punch

This description is not at all accurate.

Here's what happened:

1) Bautista slides, turning to face Odor as part of the sliding motion
2) Odor walks towards Odor while Bautista is still getting up
3) Bautista takes one step towards Odor
4) Odor shoves Bautista
5) Both cock fists, Odor lands the punch


This sequence is seen starting at 26 seconds into this clip:
http://m.mlb.com/video/v701420983/tortex-blue-jays-rangers-get-into-wild-melee/?game_pk=447435
SK in NJ - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 09:09 AM EDT (#323138) #
"How? By getting sucker punched? Ridiculous."


This thing is going to be replayed for a long time with the way social media works. Bautista getting clocked clean right in the face is going to bruise his ego more than his jaw (and he has an ego, clearly). I am not saying that he had it coming, if that's what you think, but just stating what I think is common sense. "Alpha" mentality, and all that stuff.
John Northey - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 09:35 AM EDT (#323139) #
Thought I'd check Texas papers for the viewpoint from the other side... here is a good one

Basically even home town writers admit that pitch hitting Bautista was on purpose.

Fun part is at the end....
-- Favorite exchange of day was this between me and Adrian Beltre:
Me: "Did you see the punch?"
Him: "Yes, did you?"
Me: "Did you hear the punch?"
Him: Looks at floor, stifles smirk.

Beltre is a player one can enjoy on an opposing team. There are always a few out there. I like how Bautista showed him respect by not trying to hit Beltre and just calming down after being held by him for a bit. A shame Beltre will retire a Ranger (signed through age 39) as he'd be nice here although I think I still prefer Donaldson even if he can get kicked out of a game and have no idea why. I'm surprised the Toronto papers haven't made a bigger deal about that - if I was the acting manager on the Jays at that moment I'd have been running out onto the field and screaming at the umps for that asking why 2 key Jays are kicked out while only one Ranger player was.
Magpie - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 09:38 AM EDT (#323140) #
Odor walks towards Odor while Bautista is still getting up

A typo, I presume. Odor is walking towards Bautista as Bautista gets up. And I don't think Bautista ever cocked his fists. His hand is generally obscured on the video, but this angle shows him with Odor's punch halfway to his face.

 photo gettyimages-531652620.jpg

I doubt his ego's as bruised as his ribs. Anyone ever been hit by a baseball? Thrown really, really hard? It hurts for days.
Beyonder - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 09:55 AM EDT (#323141) #
The fact that Bautista utterly failed to protect himself after coming at Odor does not make it a sucker punch. Bautista slid hard at Odor intending to send a message, and then took an aggressive step towards Odor as though he was itching for a fight. My own view is that when you escalate something like that, you have to accept the consequences if you come out on the wrong end. To his credit, I think Bautista has done exactly that.





Spifficus - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 09:58 AM EDT (#323142) #
The attempts to heap blame on Bautista for the brawl make no sense to me. The hard slide (but not injury-seeking slide - his cleats weren't high, it was at the bag, and it wasn't a roll-block or anything) into second is one of the accepted ways that a HBP target can show his displeasure. We can talk about the illegalities of the slide ad nauseum, but illegal doesn't automatically mean dirty. I've never seen a brawl-starting balk, for example. That brawl was on Odor (well, and the Rangers' handling of their retaliation to instigate everything). Bautista isn't driven-snow pure, but Jonny's chronology is right and he wasn't outside the bounds on this one.

On Beltre, yeah, he has that off-kilter elder statesman thing going on. I still can't figure out the head-rub aversion (is it real, or is he hamming it up given how often teammates seem to try to do it?), but he's definitely a fun player to watch even from the opposition... until he beats you. If I were Bautista, I'd send Beltre about 5 days worth of the vice of his choice, since that's probably what he saved him on a suspension.

As for Donaldson, his ejection might have come from his nearly successful attempt to launch himself through four rangers to get to Odor, who was hanging behind his teammates like the standup character we all think him to be. You get a hint of it at about 16s into Jonny's clip. The fast-moving wild man cutting his way through rangers is Donaldson.

Anyone know what happened to Leiper, and why he was ejected? Between that and the Sanchez-Gibbons-Iassogna affair, there was already a lot of interesting stuff going on in this game before the 8th inning kerfuffle.
China fan - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 10:01 AM EDT (#323143) #
"....Odor is walking towards Bautista as Bautista gets up....."

In my view, they were moving towards each other simultaneously, but Bautista wasn't doing this in response to Odor, he was already moving towards Odor when he came out of his slide.  Bautista basically popped out of his slide by immediately facing Odor and staring at him in a confrontational manner, and then they both began moving towards each other.  That's not the way a player normally comes out of his slide.  It was an unusual stance to take when coming out of a slide.  Bautista essentially popped up ready to fight.
China fan - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 10:05 AM EDT (#323144) #
"...Bautista slid hard at Odor intending to send a message, and then took an aggressive step towards Odor as though he was itching for a fight...."

That's exactly how I saw it too, in multiple viewings of the video.  It's true that Odor is moving towards Bautista at the same time, so they were both itching for a fight.  But it would have been easy for Bautista to avoid a fight.  He could have walked away, having sent his "message" with the illegal slide.  He wanted more than that.
Spifficus - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#323145) #
Oh come on, Bautista's still on one knee when Odor has already taken a step towards him, and two steps before Bautista is fully standing.
Magpie - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#323147) #
He could have walked away, having sent his "message" with the illegal slide.

Unless he was thinking "that guy just threw a baseball at my face." I don't know if I'd want to turn my back on a guy who punched another player for complaining about how he, Odor, had slid into second. Not unless there was somebody there to watch my back.
uglyone - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 10:31 AM EDT (#323148) #
there's no defending the punch. there's hundreds of plays like this, and there's never been a punch like that. and Bautista's slide wouldn't have even been questionable before this year.

also absolute chickenpoop to wait until the last PA of the regular season to throw at Joey.

that being said, I'm more upset about the loss. It's amazing how homer prone the bullpen has been. And to think people were actually angry at gibbons a week ago for not doing the "obvious" and going to jesse fricken chavez in high leverage situations. jesse chavez.
Magpie - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#323149) #
Anyone know what happened to Leiper, and why he was ejected?

Leiper was complaining that Ramos didn't come set with men on base - that every pitch was a balk, essentially.
China fan - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 11:00 AM EDT (#323150) #
"....Unless he was thinking 'that guy just threw a baseball at my face.'....."

As far as I can tell, even Bautista himself hasn't alleged that Odor was throwing at him.  Bautista talked quite freely to the media after the game and had plenty of chance to make that allegation if that was the reason for the fight.  He didn't say it, according to every report I've seen on his post-game comments.

I've never seen a runner pop up from a slide in fighting position before.  Bautista was quite acrobatic in doing that.
Jonny German - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 11:40 AM EDT (#323152) #
I think it's interesting to picture the play if it had happened with two Josť Bautistas - that is, if the 2nd baseman was a clone of Bautista with the same mindset and temperament. There definitely would have been a confrontation, shouting, probably some shoving, both players ejected. But I really don't think punches would have been thrown.

And conversely, if the play had involved two Rougned Odors there also would not have been any punches thrown - as 2nd baseman Odor would have a broken leg from the slide.
Thomas - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#323153) #
That's a really good freeze-frame from Magpie.

Odor is halfway to landing his punch and Bautista's arm isn't drawn back, his fist isn't clenched. He doesn't look like someone who is preparing to punch Odor, which is how several Texas scribes are portraying it. Bautista looks more like someone who is preparing to grapple or shove Odor back then someone who is itching to get into a proper fight. Unfortunately, I think he'll get a more severe suspension than I believe is warranted based on his past reputation, his dirty/aggressive slide and the fact he could be viewed as continuing to escalate the incident.

To engage in rank speculation, my prediction is Bautista gets 5 games, Gibbons, Hale and Chavez each get a game and maybe they give Donaldson and/or Pillar a game or two. I think Odor gets 10 games, Bush a couple of games and Bannister and/or Texas' bench coach gets a game. That's not the same as what I would do, but I don't think they'll come down as harshly on Odor as I'd like given that I think they'll conclude it was partially instigated by Bautista.
Jonny German - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#323154) #
"I've never seen a runner pop up from a slide in fighting position before.†"

And those of us with less vivid imaginations have still never seen that. Go look at the video again - Bautista has his hands down at his sides when Odor shoves him.
Dave Till - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#323155) #

After watching the plays again, my conclusions are:

  • Bush's plunking of Bautista was deliberate, and was ordered by the manager. Bush wasn't even on the team last year, and was in only his second game in the majors, so I can't see him caring one way or another about a bat flip. He wouldn't want to put the tying runner on base when he was in line for his first major league win.
  • The ground ball would almost certainly have led to a double play without the slide, since Justin Smoak was the batter, and he isn't very fast.
  • The slide was illegal according to the new slide rule, but it wasn't dirty - Bautista was sliding low, was right over the bag, and didn't have his spikes up. There was a legitimate baseball reason to try to slide hard - he was the tying run.
  • Bautista wasn't preparing for a fight involving actual punching when he got up from the slide.
  • Adrian Beltre performed excellent service as a peacemaker, presumably because he didn't want Odor beaten up or Bautista suspended, or both. The dude is really strong - Bautista had no hope of extracting himself from Beltre's grip.

Oh well. This time next year, Bautista will be a member of the Boston Red Sox or the Something Somethings, and nobody will really care what happened today.

sweat - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 12:30 PM EDT (#323156) #
Bautista might have tensed up, possibly to get ready to shove or be shoved, or maybe to throw a punch, but he didn't cock his fist.
All we really know is what Odor did. He threw a punch after shoving Jose first.
grjas - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#323157) #
Given all the press about this series and potential retribution for the bat flip, the umps should have warned both benches before each game that any pitcher caught throwing at anyone would be punted. Then the ump could easily have tossed Bush rather than issuing a warning, which was too late in the game to dispel tensions.
christaylor - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 01:14 PM EDT (#323158) #
From Bautista's bombastic bat flip to Odor's odious punch; I hope this whole kerfuffle is over.

If Bautista is suspended it really will be a bit of a travesty. If it had just been shoving, sure, but the punch changes things in my mind. He probably needs a night off tonight (as per Magpie's comment) and that's the sad thing. The Jays need to win, not fiddle about until they are 50-50 after game 100.
rpriske - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 01:15 PM EDT (#323159) #
They didn't even need to do it before the game.

Wilhelmsen's plunking of EE earlier was clearly intentional (and completely unrelated to the later mess). The benches should have been warned then.
#2JBrumfield - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#323160) #
As Gerry alluded to earlier in this thread, here is the video of that fight Rughead Odour started in Spokane against Vancouver in 2011.

I'm more pissed off with this bullpen. That's 13 losses for these pyromaniacs. What's worse, yesterday's winning pitcher should still be in jail and the save goes to a former Jay who would look out of place on this team, someone who's actually a good reliever.

Odour should get at least 10 games but I'm think the idiots at MLB will give him less than that. Happy effing Monday, everyone!
ISLAND BOY - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 01:40 PM EDT (#323161) #
Well, at least Chavez had a good target to aim at,namely Prince Fielder's considerable rear end. Although Fielder had a bounce-back year last season, unless his hitting picks up considerably, his present contract will turn into the horror show many predicted would happen when he signed it.
#2JBrumfield - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#323162) #
Well, at least Chavez had a good target to aim at,namely Prince Fielder's considerable rear end.

And even then, he couldn't even hit his fat ass. Chavez getting suspended would be a blessing in disguise at this point.
#2JBrumfield - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 02:08 PM EDT (#323164) #
Our prayers are answered. Jimmy Parades is a Blue Jay. Key bullpen acquisition here.
Four Seamer - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 02:22 PM EDT (#323165) #

With the Paredes news, one might almost suspect that the Jays are expecting some player suspensions, or something.  Well done, gentlemen.

eudaimon - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#323167) #
Shapiro probably just saw the possibility of maybe getting an asset for free, and took it. He's still young (27), has shown some hitting ability, and can field many positions (if none particularly well). He might be worth a flier, if only for the (hopefully) two weeks or so until Travis gets back. Might be a better use of a spot than Burns, particularly since he should probably be getting regular playing time anyways.

I'm not sure if he has options or not, but if DFA'd there's always the chance he passes and we get to keep him in the minors as depth.

King Ryan - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 03:22 PM EDT (#323168) #
Agree with the consensus.

Incidentally, Adrian Beltre might be my favorite player in baseball. He might have saved Bautista a suspension.
uglyone - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#323169) #
paredes has been a pretty solid league average hitter the past couple years, ages 25-26, and pretty even from both sides of the plate (98wrc+/96wrc+).

He's been all sorts of terrible defensively all over the field but hey, he hasn't tried 1B yet.

I doubt this had much to do with possible suspensions though now that I think about it. We have enough guys in AAA for emergency work.
uglyone - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#323170) #
Jason Stark guesses:

Odor 8gms
Bush 3gms
Chavez 3gms
Donaldson 2gms
Bautista maybe some maybe none
Thomas - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#323171) #
I didn't realize the last player to get 10 games was Erstad for bumping an umpire. In light of that precedent, I'd adjust my guess for Odor to south of 10 games and probably adjust Baustista down accordingly.
Magpie - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#323172) #
Vancouver in 2011

Aaron Sanchez and Andy Burns both played for Vancouver in 2011, but I don't know if they were there for Odor's fight.
jerjapan - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 04:07 PM EDT (#323173) #
A fun read on Jesse Litsch and his efforts to teach Dan Johnson the knuckleball.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/15/sports/baseball/a-veteran-retools-as-a-knuckleballer.html?ref=sports&_r=0
Mike Green - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#323174) #
that being said, I'm more upset about the loss. It's amazing how homer prone the bullpen has been. And to think people were actually angry at gibbons a week ago for not doing the "obvious" and going to jesse fricken chavez in high leverage situations. jesse chavez.

I won't cop to that one.  When Gibbons brought in Chavez to take over from Marcus Stroman with the bases loaded and a big lead early on in the season, I said wrong guy, wrong time.  Chavez will give up plenty of home runs.  You want as many as possible to be solo shots.  Bring him on to start the inning and let him pitch 2.  He isn't a bad pitcher, if you use him right.

It hasn't been easy.  Storen has been bad, and Cecil has been less than good and injured.  On the other hand, with Floyd and Osuna pitching well and the starters regularly going 7 innings, it shouldn't be that hard to do better than they have.  In his managerial career, Gibbons' clubs are -33 vs. Pythagoras (-4 this year).  It might be just exceedingly bad luck, but the odds of that diminish with each passing season. 
Magpie - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#323175) #
I didn't realize the last player to get 10 games was Erstad for bumping an umpire.

Babe Ruth also got 10 games. For punching the umpire. So I guess there's a historical standard there...
Magpie - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#323176) #
I miss Babe Ruth. He'd be so great today. Imagine his Twitter feed...
Mike Green - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 05:02 PM EDT (#323177) #
There's been a lot of inflation since the 20s.  Give him 50 games.
Magpie - Monday, May 16 2016 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#323178) #
The fine would be more than $100, for sure.
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