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The Canadian invasion of T-Mobile Park in Seattle takes place this weekend as the #BlueJays take on the Mariners. #LetsGoBlueJays #TrueToTheBlueJays

Series Schedule / Probable Starters

Friday at 10:10 ET - Justus Sheffield vs. Trent Thornton
Saturday at 9:10 ET - Felix Hernandez vs. TBA
Sunday at 4:10 ET - Marco Gonzales vs. TBA

This is Players Weekend so all MLB teams are wearing nickname jerseys as a result.

Not surprisingly, the Jays were swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers with the last two games being walk-off losses. Toronto is at 52-78 for the season and are in a battle with 52-75 Pittsburgh for the fifth overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft.  Detroit (38 wins), Baltimore (41), Kansas City and Miami (45 each) are pretty much out of reach.

Seattle is at 54-74 after winning two out of three in each series of their road trip that took them through Detroit, Toronto and Tampa Bay. They've used a lot of players this season.

With September looming, do not expect a lot of call-ups according to Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun.

Up Next - Two games against Alex Anthopoulos' Atlanta Braves at the Dome Tuesday.
Blue Jays @ Mariners - August 23-25 | 135 comments | Create New Account
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Chuck - Friday, August 23 2019 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#380290) #
The Canadian invasion

When Canada sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're sending people with lots of problems.

Chuck - Friday, August 23 2019 @ 02:17 PM EDT (#380291) #
Some, I assume, are good people.
Mike Green - Friday, August 23 2019 @ 02:32 PM EDT (#380292) #
Current Blue Jay sprint speeds per Statcast (average is 27 ft/second): Derek Fisher 29.1, Teoscar 29, Bichette 28.5, Biggio 28.3, Grichuk 28.1, Gurriel Jr. 27.6, McKinney 27.3, Jansen 27.3,  Drury 26.8, VGJ 26.2, Tellez 25, Smoak 23.5.  It's not a team weakness any longer.
Shoeless Joe - Friday, August 23 2019 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#380293) #
Brito was probably the fastest player the Jays have had in a decade at 29.8 ft/sec.
Mike Green - Friday, August 23 2019 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#380294) #
For fun, I ran a Play Index for Gerrit Cole for age 28 comps.  I used ERA+ between 118 and 128 (Cole's is 123) and IP between 1100 and 1200 (Cole's is 1146) over the lively ball era.  I got the following names, in order of no. of strikeouts:  Lester, Tiant, Jered Weaver, Bob Gibson, Roy Halladay, Hentgen, Ewell Blackwell, Tommy Bridges, Jimmy Key, Howie Polet, Jim Barr.  Polet was a wartime pitcher and not relevant.  Key and Barr were not strikeout pitchers and are not relevant either. 

Of the remainder, Lester, Tiant, Gibson, Halladay and Bridges pitched very well in their early 30s- and Gibson was exceptional.  Jered Weaver had one very good year at age 29, and then two fair ones.  And Hentgen and Blackwell were done. 

I tried it another way, using just age 27-28 performance with WAR between 8 and 12 and IP between 350 and 450.  The top 10 comparables by strikeouts were: Sale, Cone, Scherzer, King Felix, Colon, Hamels, Kluber, Bedard, Appier, Harang. Sale is just 30, but of the others most were good in their early 30s, but there were definitely a couple of blowouts. 
scottt - Friday, August 23 2019 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#380295) #
September callups?

Maile is on the 10IL. He's more a release candidate if you ask me.
Beau Taylor is in Buffalo. No reason to call him up.

None. They're already all in Toronto.
Travis is on the 60IL. I don't see him coming off of it. He probably gets outrighted over the winter.

Alford and Davis.
Gurriel is going to come off the 10IL.
That's probably it, unless calling Alford helps him getting another option.

Buchholz is going to come off the 60IL soon. They're going to use him unless he ask to be released.
Tepera should come off the 60IL soon.
Luciano might come off the 60IL
I have no idea where Merryweather is and what he's doing.
Nick Kingham might go the 60IL
Clayton Richard might go to the 60IL, come off the 10IL or just be released.
Yennsy Diaz, Patrick Murphy and Hector Perez are not ready. Could Murphy be an AFL candidate?
Kay and Zeuch could be called up if they decide to add them to the 40 now.
Those are the 2 guys I would like to see.

PeterG - Friday, August 23 2019 @ 06:33 PM EDT (#380297) #
Good summary Scott. The only slight change I would forecast is that Luciano will definitely have to come off IL in September to fulfill the rule 5 claiming rules. I have always felt it was a phantom injury to begin with. He will be activated and will pitch. I agree that Murphy is an AFL candidate. I too hope to see Zeuch and Kay.
scottt - Friday, August 23 2019 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#380301) #
Ideally, yeah, but I haven't see any report that Luciano is getting close.
It wouldn't be a huge deal if he's on the team for 3 weeks in April.

Yeah, Murphy is not going to reach his inning target otherwise.
Not sure who else is a candidate.

Players who can play winter ball in their home countries are excluded from the AFL but Venezuela Winter ball is banned for affiliated players this year. Maybe those guys will just play in the Dominican or Mexican leagues?

PeterG - Friday, August 23 2019 @ 08:14 PM EDT (#380302) #
Atkins was interviewed on At the Letters podcast last week and mentioned that we would see Luciano in September.
Magpie - Friday, August 23 2019 @ 08:47 PM EDT (#380306) #
[Maile's] more a release candidate if you ask me.

Managers always like to have three guys around who can catch, so once the rosters expand there's no way he'll get released if he's healthy enough to play (and if he isn't, you really can't release him.) Besides, chances are you'll need a position player on the mound at least one more time before the season is over and I'd much rather it be Maile than anyone else.

Marc Hulet - Friday, August 23 2019 @ 09:06 PM EDT (#380307) #
If you take those 3 players off the 60-day, you have to cut 3 other players. The Jays roster is full. Or cut Kingham and add Richard and Merryweather to the 60-day.
Gerry - Friday, August 23 2019 @ 09:22 PM EDT (#380308) #
On Saturday Font will start (be the opener) followed by Brock Stewart. This will need a roster move.

On Sunday Clay Buchholz will start. This too will need a roster move.
Gerry - Friday, August 23 2019 @ 09:44 PM EDT (#380310) #
Ryan Tepera pitched an inning in Buffalo today. He is probably a few days away from returning too.
christaylor - Friday, August 23 2019 @ 09:59 PM EDT (#380311) #
The uniforms today remind me of Spy versus Spy.
John Northey - Friday, August 23 2019 @ 10:04 PM EDT (#380312) #
I'm expecting a lot of the floatasm on the roster will vanish over the next few days (AAAA guys) so the others can return. Buchholtz is an attempt to let him audition for a release (seems odd but the way the silly new rules work) which will help the Jays in recruiting another injury guy who they hope to trade mid-season next year.

A third catcher is a must in September. Every team has one. Maille if healthy is perfect - pure defense, no offense, only gets used when the other 2 are used already or need rest. Pinch hit for him if one of the other 2 are still on the bench.

FYI: This is the last year of up to a 40 man September roster. Next year it is reduced to 28 and all teams will be required to have 28 for all of September. Next year also has a 26 man active roster for the rest of the year.
Magpie - Friday, August 23 2019 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#380313) #
On Saturday Font will start (be the opener) followed by Brock Stewart. This will need a roster move.

On Sunday Clay Buchholz will start. This too will need a roster move.

Urena before the Saturday game (unless an infielder gets hurt tonight) and Stewart after the Saturday game.
rtcaino - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 12:55 AM EDT (#380314) #
Bichette looks like a Stormtrooper while at-bat.
85bluejay - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 06:34 AM EDT (#380316) #
A great night - Pittsburgh & Seattle, the 2 teams immediately ahead of the Jays in the overall standings won.
scottt - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 07:20 AM EDT (#380318) #
McGuire and Jansen should  be getting all the playing time behind the plate, so the third catcher is moot.
Usually, you want to reward the AAA catcher with a call up, but currently, that's Beau Taylor.
Maile's arbitration eligible, so he should get released. Like Carrera/Goins, he's probably going to get a minor league contract somewhere where he'll have to show he can hit in AAA.
With the oblique injury, it's not clear when he would be able to play and they can certainly use the roster spot.

Thornton seems to be working himself out of a job.
The curve is his best pitch, but he's not throwing it at the knees where he'd get swinging strikes.
It's either down the middle early in the count or in the dirt for a ball.

The slider/cutter isn't working for him.

I still don't like Drury's work at the plate.
He doesn't have a first pitch approach in which you look for a pitch.
Yesterday he swung at a breaking ball nowhere near the strike zone.
Pat said he must have been thinking fastball. Sure, but don't swing if that's not it.
He also doesn't seem to have a 2 strike approach.
Guerrero, Bichette, Biggio are all able to protect the plate with  2 strikes.

hypobole - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 09:00 AM EDT (#380321) #
Not looking good for Mike's BGs. 4 under .500 in the 2nd half, and after this weekend the 17 game death march begins.
bpoz - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 09:07 AM EDT (#380322) #
Gurriel's power has improved a lot this year. In 49 more ABs his 2B has more than doubled and his Hr is close to double.
Chuck - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 09:09 AM EDT (#380323) #
Gurriel's power has improved a lot this year.

As has that of his older brother. Cue the conspiracy theorists.

bpoz - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 09:21 AM EDT (#380325) #
Based on J Northey's post I checked the 40 man roster. It is full. Buchholz, Tepera and Luciano coming off the 60 day DL soon means that 3 players will be removed.

Cracka - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#380329) #
They have 4 catchers on the 40 now with Beau Taylor, so I expect one of them to be DFA'ed, probably Maile, because Taylor has options remaining for next season. Then it's probably the two oldest journeymen pitchers: Boshers & Ramirez. Neither seems like a part of our future...
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 10:17 AM EDT (#380331) #
Lourdes Gurriel Average Exit Velocity / Hard Hit % / Average Launch Angle

2018: 90.3 / 45.5% / 10.4
2019: 90.1 / 44.5% / 13.0

There is no conspiracy, Lourdes and Yuli both increased their launch angle.

scottt - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 10:26 AM EDT (#380332) #
I listed a lot of release options. Buchholz himself, can be released before Luciano is activated.
If he does well, someone else could grab him.

hypobole - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 10:44 AM EDT (#380333) #
Facts have no place in conspiracy theories.
scottt - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 10:56 AM EDT (#380334) #
There's a lot of players with increased power this year.
There's a bunch just on the Yankees.

hypobole - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 11:54 AM EDT (#380335) #
Might have something to do with this years super-juiced baseball.
bpoz - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#380336) #
It is widely believed that building a good rotation is the hardest thing to do. Atkins is working on that now.

For my part I want to set/establish a standard for the rotation candidates. Some kind of high standard that will grade this year and next year. Number of good 6,7 or 8 IP starts. At the moment none on the team have met the standard. Stroman did.

I am ok and even pleased with the Stroman return. I have serious doubts that I would be pleased/ok if Kloff was traded for Stroman one for one. I know that could not have happened because we owned both.
scottt - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 01:23 PM EDT (#380338) #
Shoemaker is the only guy so far with guaranteed spot in the 2020 rotation.


are all guys who will compete for some of the other spots.

Pearson will start in Buffalo.
There's room for only 4 of the above guys in Buffalo.

What that means is that they can add 1 or 2 free agents to the rotation.
I think 1 would be enough because there's also Pannone in the mix.
He could start in Buffalo, be in the pen in Toronto or even start if he's having a great spring.
Also, all these guys are on the 40 roster and they also need spots for the relievers.

grjas - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 01:29 PM EDT (#380339) #
It is widely believed that building a good rotation is the hardest thing to do. Atkins is working on that now.

Well you do need 9 or so starters and I guess he has 6 thru 9 set....
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 02:15 PM EDT (#380340) #
I think Zack Wheeler is the pitcher I would go after if the Mets do not offer him a qualifying offer, as I think hes undervalued.

The Jays are going to have to sign at least one or two second tier free agents like Kyle Gibson, Ivan Nova, Jake Ordorizzi, Michael Wacha or Alex Wood.

dan gordon - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#380341) #
Would like Wheeler. Probably they end up getting one of those other guys. The battle for rotation spots is going to be fierce in Toronto and Buffalo. If the Toronto opening day rotation is, say, Shoemaker, Borucki, free agent, Waguespack and Godley, then for Buffalo, you've got SRF, Kay, Pearson (to start the season), Zeuch, Thornton, Merryweather, Pannone, and the NH guys like Hatch, Murphy, Diaz, Perez and Murray, all of whom are in line for a promotion. That's 12 guys for the Buffalo rotation, and doesn't include Stewart, Kingham and Sopko. No doubt there will be a couple of injuries, and guys like Pannone are probably relievers, but still, there are going to be lots of guys who deserve to be in AAA who will be in AA. Fairly soon, there will be the next group, with SWR, Castillo, Winckowski, Pardinho and Manoah needing to be moved up to AA. The team is going to have to start figuring out who they want to keep and who they want to let go. Maybe they use some tandem starts to help the situation.
Vulg - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 04:53 PM EDT (#380343) #
I think Zack Wheeler is the pitcher I would go after if the Mets do not offer him a qualifying offer, as I think hes undervalued. The Jays are going to have to sign at least one or two second tier free agents like Kyle Gibson, Ivan Nova, Jake Ordorizzi, Michael Wacha or Alex Wood.

The Jays have under $30M in total payroll committed in 2020 (29th out of 30 teams), and almost half of that is retained (Tulo's $14M). They're dead last in 25 Man Payroll by a significant amount.

I sure as hell hope they'll invest in the rotation. Again, this doesn't have to be contracts that are long in term. I would just like to see less dumpster-diving in the $2-$4M range and some more shots in the Charlie Morton range (2 years, $15M per).
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#380344) #
Charlie Morton was one that looked like a bargain from the beginning.
bpoz - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#380345) #
Z Wheeler sounds good. He is strong/healthy enough to eat some innings. Shoemaker may stay healthy. The multitude of others do seem like #6-9 of a "good" rotation.

Maybe 2 of the #6-9 group will perform well. Borucki sure looked good.

Nigel - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 06:22 PM EDT (#380346) #
If we assume that 2021 is the first realistic time that the team will be competitive, then I’m pretty agnostic as to signing stopgap pitchers this offseason. The team probably needs to find 10-11 new pitchers by then (from the current roster). I’d be just as happy to see them keep rotating through the arms in the system to see what sticks to the wall. Now, if they could sign quality arms this offseason (Cole) and leverage their ridiculous absence of payroll next year in order to do so, then that would seem like a solid plan. I do expect a couple of mid level/stopgap signings this offseason though.
hypobole - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#380347) #
Charlie Morton was one that looked like a bargain from the beginning.

He lives a half hour from Tampa and being close to family was important so they had the inside track from the start.

Gerry - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 08:39 PM EDT (#380348) #
Stewart recalled, Urena optioned. Score one for Magpie.
Magpie - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 09:51 PM EDT (#380351) #
Well, they said they were going to talk about Felix Hernandez and the Hall of Fame. In the meantime, I will.

Obviously, it would help him enormously if he recovers enough of his old form to make it to 200 wins. If not - well, Hernandez did win a Cy Young as a starting pitcher with a 13-12 record, so it would be right up his alley. Right now, his career looks quite a bit like Jim Hunter's. Hunter was a very different kind of pitcher, of course. But like Hunter, Hernandez was very, very god in his 20s (significantly better than Hunter, in fact). Like Hunter, he was worked very, very hard in the process and he started seriously breaking down at age 30. I think Hernandez has always been a popular player. I can tell you that Hunter was practically beloved, even in opposing ball parks. They both won a Cy Young - Felix was a runner-up twice, Hunter once.

What Hernandez doesn't have is Hunter's post-season resume - Catfish played for five World Series winners, was a crucial part of four of them, and has a good case for the 1972 series MVP.
Nigel - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 10:23 PM EDT (#380352) #
I’ll acknowledge my bias when I say the following: without getting into whether Catfish Hunter should have been inducted into the HOF, but if Hunter is a HOF’er then so is Dave Steib. Having watched both in their prime, Steib was considerably better. I actually think Steib and Hernandez are quite comparable.
John Northey - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 10:25 PM EDT (#380353) #
King Felix has some ground to make up to make the HOF imo. 50.4 WAR is low, so he needs some crazy peak stuff to make it. Never getting 20 wins, leading in wins just once (with 19), just 2 ERA titles, just one Cy Young award, twice 2nd, once 4th, 6 times getting votes. 6 All-Star games.

For comparison....
Dave Stieb 56 WAR, no win titles, 1 ERA title, just 4 times getting Cy votes (robbed in 1983 with 0 votes despite 7.0 WAR, no one else who got votes had more than 5.5). 7 All-Star games.

Not saying Stieb is a HOF'er, but he is very comparable to Felix. Neither led in K's, both made a lot of ASG's, neither had much luck in the wins department, both came up short of the usual 60 WAR level needed for HOF unless you did something 'wow'. Stieb's last full season was age 32, then 3 short seasons and one final shot at 40. Felix is in his age 33 season, his last ERA qualifying season was age 29, 3 straight years of sub 100 ERA+'s. If he isn't done he is darn close. Sad to see he never pitched in the playoffs.
John Northey - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#380354) #
Coke to Nigel for thinking of Stieb vs Felix at the same time but posting quicker.
Magpie - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 10:43 PM EDT (#380355) #
The shape of Hernandez career is very similar to Hunter's - they were in a major league rotation as teenagers on a very bad team, had their last really good season at age 29, and began breaking down. In terms of quality, yeah, Hernandez is much closer to Stieb than Hunter. Felix was not as good as Stieb, but close.

Hunter's in the Hall because he won 200 games before he was 30 years old, because of his post-season work, and because everybody really, really liked him.
Nigel - Saturday, August 24 2019 @ 11:52 PM EDT (#380356) #
I only typed faster because I didn’t bother to add any facts like you did. I just led with a rumination based on vague memories:)
Magpie - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 12:26 AM EDT (#380357) #
Another reason Hunter's in the Hall - there was no backlog of overqualified candidates in 1987, like we have now.

Hunter went in on his third year on the ballot, along with Billy Williams (sixth year.) Jim Bunning just fell short. Bunning was better than Hunter, but that wasn't immediately obvious in 1987. Hunter was 224-166, 3.26 - Bunning was 224-184, 3.27. Hunter also had his post-season exploits and his personal popularity. Bunning had neither of those things. So Hunter edged him out.

And elsewhere on the ballot were just five guys who would eventually make the Hall and you could argue about all but one of them. Besides Bunning, there was Orlando Cepeda, Bill Mazeroski, Joe Torre, and Ron Santo and Santo's the only clear-cut one to my mind, although the voters waited until he died first. You can argue about everyone else and you can argue about some of the other names on the 1987 ballot: I think Minnie Minosos should be in, and Roger Maris, Tony Oliva, Dick Allen all have their supporters. But at any rate, it was a very different ballot than the kind of choices we see year after year these days.
scottt - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 06:46 AM EDT (#380358) #
Hernandez does have 2500 strikeouts.
Shoeless Joe - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 09:17 AM EDT (#380359) #
Sine he came back from the minors on June 6th Teoscar Hernandez has hit 0.246/0.326/0.552 and by WAR has been the 9th best player in CF since that time with 1.3 in 60 games. His walk rate is up, his strikeout rate remains the same and his power is way up. Does anybody think this is a young player improving or this is just a hot streak from a hot/cold player? To put things in perspective Kevin Pillar has been the 6th best CF in this time with 1.8 WAR.
hypobole - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 09:19 AM EDT (#380360) #
That Grichuk to Biggio to Bichette play at 2nd seemed to me a huge play at the time.

I think it shows a key difference between the minors and majors. In the minors, with the ball getting to Bo in plenty of time, just holding the glove down will almost invariably get the out call. But the majors have replay and force infielders to actually apply the tag.

It also changed a 2 out man on 3rd to 1 out 2nd and 3rd. Don't know if the overturn messed with Stewart's head, but he served up the 3 run shot pretty quickly.

And as much as has been said about Vlad's offensive turnaround lately, since July 1, Teoscar has been excellent as well. 147 wRC+ vs Vlad's 144. 13 HR's and his 11.3% BB rate also surpassing Vlad. Striking out a ton, but if he can keep the patience and power combo, it can still work.

Shoeless Joe - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 09:35 AM EDT (#380361) #
Looking through statcast rolling stats with Hernandez shows his power has been trending up since July 1st, with his current 75 PA rolling average for hard hit% a very high 53.3%.

His k% is also trending up, and perhaps he needs to be an aggressive hitter to succeed in the majors.
christaylor - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 09:35 AM EDT (#380362) #
Hm. This board is not the right crowd, but as much as I loved watching Steib as a kid and as good as his stats were -- it's a hall of fame and always will be and that's a good thing for a hall of fame and museum, such a museum of baseball does not include Steib regardless of his stats.

Steib's career is a one that is a long long way from one with fame. In conversations that I've had with long-time baseball fans here in Boston whose peak baseball fandom was around 86 (to hear tell of their stories and memories of the era) Steib barely registers. These same fans recall Bell and Barfield's arm, and the Jays comeback at Fenway in 89 (iirc).

I don't really have an opinion on King Felix but he was pushed as the face of baseball for quite some time and is most certainly makes the fame cut. Ditto for Hunter.

Here's a silly analogy and total digression, but I think it works tl;dr -- fame matters in our histories.

Here we go: a friend of mine wrote a book about the 60s counterculture here in Boston. Van Morrison was here writing his best album (Astral Weeks). The Velvet Underground played Boston regularly. There was a slew of bands who are subjectively as good as any of the San Francisco psychedelic bands. There was a venue that was, given the talent that played there regularly and came through, as good as the Matrix. There was and still is, non-violent, but still creepy cult lead by a figure who had some Manson qualities and proclaimed himself god. Is Boston famous for being a 60s hub outside of Leary and LSD. Does it get mentioned in docs on the 60s outside of Leary? Nope.

Apologies for the long digression, but I'm personally swayed by "fame" playing a large part of who is in the Hall of Fame. Does anyone, other than Blue Jays fans, want to go to the hall and see Steib memorabilia? I doubt it. Memory is a funny thing and memorials doubly so, but something rings hollow when Steib is brought up in HOF discussions on this board... the mention is understandable, as this is a Jays place, but there is something hollow about it never the less.
Chuck - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 10:02 AM EDT (#380363) #
First off, it's Stieb, not Steib.

Second, is the HoF meant to confer fame on its greatest players (whether John Q Public knows them or not), or to celebrate those who were simply famous?

If it's the latter, then the rules for entry need to be replaced entirely. You can be famous for anything, taking drugs, betting on baseball, beating your wife, talking to the baseball...

I prefer a HoF that is educational. Obviously most of the game's greats will be famous because of their achievements, but those on the periphery of HoF merit may not be as widely known. It should be incumbent on fans, if they really are fans of the game, to learn about the great players they missed, especially in their own lifetime.

Magpie - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 10:04 AM EDT (#380364) #
There was a slew of bands who are subjectively as good as any of the San Francisco psychedelic bands.

That's an exceedingly low bar if you ask me. If any of the San Francisco bands even dreamed they were as good as The Remains they should apologize right now.
Magpie - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 10:10 AM EDT (#380365) #
One more thought about Hunter and Bunning, whose career totals so closely resembled each other as they fought it out on the 1987 HoF ballot. Both threw perfect games, back when a perfect game was an extremely unusual accomplishment. Bunning's in 1964 was just the fifth ever thrown (since the mound was moved back in 1893) and the first in National League history. Hunter pitched his just two years later (he's still the youngest pitcher ever) and it was just the seventh ever. It was a big deal.

Whereas now... well, we came within a Jim Joyce blown call of having three perfect games in the same month a few years ago.
electric carrot - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 10:11 AM EDT (#380366) #
Fame is ephemeral and fickle. Every century had a favorite Shakespeare play. Was Jim Morrison a great poet? Uh ... no. But he's famous for being one. So it means nearly nothing to me.
Switching up a bit. For the first time in a while I'm getting a little revved up by this team. I think they can compete in 2020 and I want them to spend heavily on great pitching starting tomorrow. I mean, time to open that vault of saved up money. Let's have a fun season next year.

scottt - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#380367) #
Felix was throwing first pitch middle of the plate fastball followed by a bunch of curves to most hitter.
First time through, only Bichette and Teoscar went after it.
When the opposing pitcher goes through the first inning with only a few pitches, you might not want to put the first pitch in play, but I don't think that's something for a guy like Grichuk, for example, to worry about.
Tellez watched an 89mph fastball over the middle on a 3-0 count.

There are times to be aggressive and times to be patient.

Nigel - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 10:24 AM EDT (#380368) #
I’m a small HOF guy so I would have no issue if none of Stieb, Hunter and the class of ‘87 were inducted. But if “fame” were a key criteria then it would be the Hall of Large Market Players. The reason Stieb may not be as famous as Hunter to mid 80’s baseball fans is that the only out of market games that a Red Sox fan would have are seen would generally involve one of the Yankees, Dodgers or Cardinals. Even though Toronto was a perennial powerhouse, they rarely played on nationally televised US games. It’s the same issue as the current Raptors treatment.
scottt - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 10:39 AM EDT (#380371) #
I'm not sure that Red Sox fans are watching those Yankees games.
Maybe when they play against top teams, hoping that they'll lose.

uglyone - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 11:26 AM EDT (#380373) #
Yeah the fact that it's the Hall of Players That Boston and NY Are Aware Of is exactly the problem.
Dewey - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#380374) #
Chris, you’ve been caught waaay off base here. You’re talking about a Hall of Celebrity. Yes, you did say it was a silly analogy and total digression. In many people’s minds now, it seems, the word “famous” means the same as the word “infamous” or “notorious”. Poor education, poor vocabulary. By these criteria, Trump is a great President. Poor education, etc.

(You’re also in danger of becoming a Bostonian, I fear, and believing in its own self-promotion to Center of the Universe.) Tsk.
scottt - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#380375) #
Fame, renown, distinction, eminence, prominence, preeminence, repute, prestige, acclaim, standing, stature, etc...

There's quite a reluctance to admit players associated with misdeeds;  Shoeless, Rose, Bond, Clemens, Schilling, etc.

In French, it's called the Temple of Fame, which, I think, capture quite well the veneration associated with the nomination.
So yeah, it makes sense for a Mariners fan to have Hernandez in the Hall of Fame.
If not, they still have Ichiro, no? (Martinez was the previous generation.)

hypobole - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 02:05 PM EDT (#380376) #
After today, all our games are Eastern Time Zone. No more waking up to find out the final score.
hypobole - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 02:57 PM EDT (#380378) #
Buchholz and Giles activated. Shafer and Stewart optioned. Kingham DFA'd.
Magpie - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#380379) #
The reason Stieb may not be as famous as Hunter

Was because Hunter started 9 World Series games. Which is a lot.
Magpie - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 04:31 PM EDT (#380380) #
the Hall of Players That Boston and NY Are Aware Of is exactly the problem.

Luckily, they do seem to be aware of all the great players who had nothing to do with Boston and New York. Even a cursory glance at who's been selected over the last two decades demonstrates that. (Sure, Jim Rice is marginal but I doubt he's as marginal as Harold Baines or Bill Mazeroski.) I don't think I'm buying that.

Even fifty or sixty years ago, when New York was the absolute center of the baseball universe (far more than it is today), Stan Musial somehow managed to do better in MVP voting than anyone, Mays and Mantle included. There's actually an argument to be made that New York has historically been under-represented in awards voting when you consider how successful their teams have been.
Magpie - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 04:46 PM EDT (#380381) #
The website has an item that points out that the 2019 Twins have the highest team slugging percentage... ever.

Which is true, I guess. Here's the top three:

2019 Minnesota .499
2003 Boston .491
1927 New York .489

Any time you're out-slugging the 1927 Yankees... you're doing okay. Except for one thing. Those Yankees sent their pitchers up to hit. More than 500 times, in fact. (Well, they weren't trailing too often.) Remove the pitchers, and the 1927 Yankees slugged .511 as a team.
Nigel - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 04:54 PM EDT (#380382) #
It’s true the 9 WS games are a big difference but the bigger part was that he was on every damn Game of the Week broadcast. It’s why, as a pre teen/teenager in the 70s I knew way more about Cey and Garvey than I did about Morgan and Bench. I was watching the Dodgers seemingly every week but the Big Red Machine only in the playoffs.
Magpie - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#380383) #
That was a very aggressive send by Rivera, telling Fisher to continue to third. No one out, the team trailing. Close play. Fisher and Teoscar probably the only guys on the team with a chance of making it safely.
Magpie - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#380384) #
every damn Game of the Week broadcast.

Yeah, I don't really remember them. (I remember they were on, but that's about it.) I do remember the World Series (and Cey and Garvey were in lots of them, too.)

Hey, it's all about the time zones. We see the teams in the Eastern time zones with their 1:00 starts, and then the teams in the Pacific zones with the 4:00 starts. Everything in between is Flyover Country!
Nigel - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 06:08 PM EDT (#380386) #
Man, that was a terrible throw by Fisher. I hope that isn’t indicative of his arm in general.
John Northey - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#380388) #
Magpie - the issue with the HOF is marginal NY & Boston players are far more likely to do well than marginal ones elsewhere. Stan Musial is far from marginal. Jim Rice has no place in the HOF but got in thanks to being 'feared' as a Red Sox, while Tim Raines (who made many All-Star teams and had a fantastic few moments in his career that were nationally broadcast) needed to wait until his last year to get in despite being far, far, far better by any measure beyond 'prime in NY or Boston' and 'home runs'. Baines and Maz needed very favorable HOF veterans committees to get in so they aren't part of the discussion. Guys who clearly weren't deserving but stayed on the ballot like Guidry and Mattingly lasted for a long time thanks to a NY bias, but better guys like Will Clark got one ballot.

No HOF will be perfect but using 'fame' as a measure to get in is silly imo. Fame is based on where you play and quality of teammates, not quality of the player himself.
lexomatic - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 08:56 PM EDT (#380390) #
To be fair Mattingly sad on a good pace and hurt his back. He stood out significantly more in his era than someone like Garciapara, who isn't a bad comparable.
JohnL - Sunday, August 25 2019 @ 11:14 PM EDT (#380391) #
Haven't seen this posted... Vlad (Jr & Sr) made the front page of the Sunday New York Times, or more specifically, Vlad Jr's grandmother, Altagracia Alvino.
I've seen stories of how she cooked for her son, Vlad Sr, when he played, and now for her grandson, but this story gives a lot more interesting (to me) info.
She'd first started cooking for Wilton, and by now her cooking is so well known, she makes huge batches that Vladdy takes to the RC, and they're distributed to Jays & visiting players. (Just be sure to wash and return the plastic container!). She goes to every home game as well... and gives Vlad advice on how to behave.
Magpie - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 12:14 AM EDT (#380392) #
Guidry and Mattingly lasted for a long time thanks to a NY bias

Is that why Dave Parker and Dave Concepcion lasted the full fifteen years while Guidry was gone after nine years and Fred Lynn after two years?

Someone also needs to explain how the Boston-New York axis has kept Luis Tiant on the outside all these years.
John Northey - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 12:34 AM EDT (#380393) #
Parker 40.1 WAR, very comparable to Jim Rice - 339 HR 1493 RBI 2712 Hits vs
Rice 47.7 WAR, 382 HR, 1451 RBI, 2452 hits.

One is in the HOF (via writers), the other probably will never be.

Concepcion 40.1 WAR, key part of 4 WS teams (2 titles).

Fred Lynn, 50 WAR but sub 2000 hits, 306 HR, 1111 RBI's so traditional voters wouldn't have thought much of him, played 7 years after his last ASG at a meh level. I am surprised he only lasted 2 years on the ballot to be honest, but his last decade was away from Boston so that would've cut down his big market advantage a LOT.

Luis Tiant 66 WAR 229 wins vs 172 losses - there is the story right there. He was on the ballot from 1988 to 2002, so he never was evaluated by modern writers who have learned there is more than W-L record to evaluate pitchers. The fact at least 12 voters his last year on the ballot picked Jack Morris over him says everything about how dumb the writers were during his time on the ballot. 4 years later those same writers put in Bruce Sutter (!!!) who is easily one of the worst picks ever. Saves and wins are everything don't ya know.
Lylemcr - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 01:44 AM EDT (#380394) #
I was at the game Saturday night. Jays fans are dreadful. In the movie "Bull Durham", Crash Davis said "You don't respect yourself, that is your problem. You don't respect the game, it is my problem."

The drunks were one thing. Also, 2/3 of the stadium were Jays fans. Ok. That is all good. But when people started heckling and dissing The King in his first start(and possibly his last against the Jays), I was so pissed off. They were only doing to get under other Mariner fans skin. I was watching the mariner fans leave, even though they were winning! All the season ticket holders did not show up. It was a dreadful game. Jays fans are possible the most disrespectful fans in the game!

How dare we come into someone's ballpark and disrespect the lone superstar they have had for the last 10 years. No respect at all. I was so ashamed to be wearing a Blue Jays jersey and I left the game early.

Today, I am still mad about it and questioning my allegiance with this team. The only thing that gives me a warm glow is that I am 100% sure we will have a Stanley Cup parade here in Seattle before Toronto (or Vancouver) ever does.

I sure hope the Expos come back...
dan gordon - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 03:01 AM EDT (#380396) #
I don't pay much attention to things like the Hall Of Fame which depend on votes. They're popularity contests to some extent, and many of the voters don't really have a solid enough understanding of the statistical aspects of the game. It did bother me to some extent when I saw Jack Morris get selected for the Hall, but not Stieb. I probably saw the majority of Stieb's starts in mlb, and he was a dominant pitcher, much better in his prime than Morris was in his. Stieb has 4 seasons of at least 6.8 WAR, and Morris has never come close to that. Stieb's career WAR is 56.5, compared to 43.5 for Morris. His career ERA was 3.44, compared to 3.90 for Morris. If Stieb hadn't developed arm trouble in his early 30's and been forced into early retirement, he could have pushed that WAR number into the 70's. As far as fame is concerned, he missed one of the most incredible accomplishments in mlb history by an eyelash in 1988, when he very nearly threw back to back no hitters, losing both with 2 outs in the 9th on a bad hop and a bloop that was almost caught by the 1st baseman. Next year he missed a perfect game with 2 outs in the 9th. I'll always remember Morris for his terrible performance the 1992 post season, when he had ERA's of 6.57 in 2 ALCS starts and 8.44 in 2 World Series starts. The Jays were 7-1 when anybody else started that post season, and 1-3 when Morris started. Anyway, that Morris/Stieb dichotomy is the kind of thing that makes me pretty uninterested in the Hall Of Fame.

I would say that heckling of star players in the kind of thing that happens everywhere. I would also say that the Leafs are legit Stanley Cup contenders right now. They have a very strong team, with a boatload of very good young players. A very exciting team to watch.
Magpie - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 04:18 AM EDT (#380397) #
He was on the ballot from 1988 to 2002

Exactly. He went on the ballot right after - like the very next year - Hunter and Bunning had been inducted with very similar records.
scottt - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 07:46 AM EDT (#380398) #
I don't know. The King had an excellent game and is shown leaving the stadium to a standing ovation.
He's been in Seattle long enough to not be affected by the Jays fans.
His pen blew his win. Not the Jays fans' fault.

Overall, Bichette and Guerrero were great over this trip with OPS over 1 for both.
Next is McKinney who went 4 for 11 with 2 doubles.
Fisher was OK, 3 for 14 with 2 walks.
Tellez and Hernandez, were just OK because they each had a homerun.
The others hitters had no luck.
Drury was terrible. He was in 5 of the 6 games, went 1 for 17 without a walk.
I didn't watch the LA games, but his ABs in Seattle were bad, watching fastballs over the plate and chasing breaking balls outside the zone.
I'm not too surprised that the one game they did win is the one he watched from the bench.
Pat said on Sunday that having a player like Drury who can play several positions is *so* valuable.

ISLAND BOY - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 08:28 AM EDT (#380400) #
There's an interesting piece on the Sportsnet site on Cavan Biggio by Shi Davidi. Apparently Biggio is already a leader to some of the younger Jays, and he learned a lot being around major league clubhouses when he was growing up.
scottt - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 08:34 AM EDT (#380401) #
Looking at the bWAR value for the remaining Blue Jays:

2.1 Guerrero (98 games))
1.7 Bichette (25 games)
1.6 Gurriel (79 games)
1.3 Biggio (73 games)
1.2 Hernandez (100 games)
1.1 Jansen (96 games)
0.7 Grichuk (123 games)
0.2 McKinney (63 games) (bad defense)
0.2 Drury (101 games)
0.1 McGuire (12 games)
0.0 Urena (18 games)
-0.1 Alford (1 game)
-0.4 Fisher (20 games) (bad  defense)
-0.4 Tellez (85 games)


1.8 Giles
1.3 Waguespack (10 games)
1.2 Shoemaker (5 starts)
0.9 Thornton (26 starts)
0.7 Shafer
0.5 Font
0.5 Adam ( I think he can fill the Biagini role, minus the puns)
0.5 Mayza
0.4 Gaviglio (really fading)
0.3 Stewart
0.1 Law
0.1 Romano (5 games)
0.0 Reid-Foley (9 games)
0.0 Boshers (nice curve though)
0.0 Godley
-0.2 Ramirez
-0.4 Borucki (2 games)
-0.5 Pannone (really faded)

JB21 - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 11:21 AM EDT (#380402) #
I was also there Saturday night and did not experience that at all Lylemcr. My section had both Jays fans and M's fans and they were getting along with no problems whatsoever.

I've been to the last 4 Jays games in Seattle and the Jays fans certainly drink more than the locals, but that's b/c most of the fans are making a vacation out of it and don't have to drive home. Overall, a fun experience for me.
uglyone - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#380403) #
yeah there's always good and bad, especially at the rowdy games.

sometimes you just happen to sit beside a group of idiots.
uglyone - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 11:48 AM EDT (#380404) #
Somebody posted sprint speeds the other day but i dont remember where.

Where does vladdy rank in sprint speed?

I've been wondering if we should maybe try and move him back out to the OF, given the abundance of young SS-but-probably-3Bs in the system (groshans, hiraldo, orelvis)
Mike Green - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#380405) #
26.2- modestly below average, UO- it's been improved since he has had more of his grandmother's good cooking.   The thing is that the club has plenty of corner OFs, and by the time Groshans and the others are ready, Vladdy will probably be a little slower. 

I don't know quite what to make of Derek Fisher.  He runs very well, hits the ball hard, puts it on the ground a lot and doesn't pop up much.  A guy like that should have a .246 BABIP.  His W, K and IsoP numbers are all pretty decent.  It's strange that the club hasn't tried him more in centerfield. 
Shoeless Joe - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#380406) #
Vladdy ranks in the 36th percentile among all major leaguers for sprint speed at 26.2 ft/sec. Some comparable players for speed who play OF are Framile Reyes, Stephen Piscotty and Jose Martinez.

If he were placed in left field he would rank in a tie for 64th out of 71 qualified player, last in center out of 63, or 45th out of 53 in right.

Honestly his tools fit more in line with an infielder as he ranks 34th out of 53 at 3B, and would rank 24th out of 53 at 1B.

Shoeless Joe - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#380407) #
Mike I was thinking the same thing about Fisher, as he has the speed for center but not the arm for right. To me the only reason that the team wouldn't play him more in center is if they actually think Teoscar has a future there.
Gerry - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#380409) #
Who forgot about Danny Barnes? He pitched an inning for the GCL Jays today.
Mike D - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#380410) #
I want to get back to a comment Magpie made yesterday. I'm not sure exactly what you meant, Mags, about Musial doing better in MVP voting than Mantle and Mays...Stan's three MVPs all came before either Mickey or Willie debuted. Or do you mean more robust runner-up support?

Also, Musial was a damned impressive hitter and an odd poster boy for an anti-coastal bias argument. He was top ten in OPS+ 17 times. Seventeen! First in that stat six times to go with seven batting titles.

And that was with missing his age-24 season to military service after winning the MVP in his age-22 season and deserving to win it in his age-23 season.

And he was just as dominant post-integration.
Nigel - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 01:09 PM EDT (#380412) #
re:Fisher as a CF - on the day that the deal was made Shulman was in Houston doing an Astros game. He was discussing the deal on air and said something to the effect that "his Astros teammates think he's a corner OF not a CF but there's a ton of power in the bat". That sentiment echoes almost all of the prospect scouting reports on Fisher. Like most things this season, I would be in favour of trying him in CF to see what sticks but when your own teammates don't like your defence that's usually a bad sign.
GabrielSyme - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 01:49 PM EDT (#380413) #
I think the Teoscar as CF experiment is looking pretty good right now. UZR and DRS don't love his range in CF, but Statcast suggests that he's been even (I compared a cached version on June 17 with the current version, capturing most of his CF time), and both FRAA (Baseball Prospectus) and DRA (you can find it on Baseball Gauge) has him as positive in the field.

Even if you take DRS and UZR as accurate, it only has him roughly as bad as he has been in the corners over his career - which is obviously more valuable. And both measures have his value in CF weighed down by a poor throwing components - which strikes me as probably an artefact of a small sample size.

I'd say things look pretty good for Teoscar in Centre Field - if his offence remains where it has been this season, I expect he'll be the regular CF for the next couple years, and he should be.
SK in NJ - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 02:25 PM EDT (#380414) #
I don't think it's an issue. Between Hernandez, Grichuk, and Fisher, the Jays have three players who can cover CF, and those three plus Gurriel could rotate between the OF and DH everyday next season. None of them will play CF like Pillar, but if they can be around average defensively, then that's acceptable as long as their bats make up for it. With Alford out of options, he might end up the 4th OF (assuming he stays in the org), so that's another CF.

Hernandez has been very good since coming back from the minors in June (10 BB%, .300 ISO, 122 wRC+). He will strike out a ton but if he can walk over 10% of the time and hit for power, then there's a chance for him to be a productive hitter. Fisher is showing a similar profile (walks, hits for power, K's a lot). Hopefully the launch angle can be improved on. His speed should make his grounder tendency less of an issue (than say Morales), but would still like to see more balls in the air/line drives.
GabrielSyme - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#380416) #
On Teoscar's current performance, I expect his strikeouts to come down a bit. His pitch selection, swing and contact rates are very similar to Bryce Harper, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Yoan Moncada - who have strikeout rates of 26, 26 and 28%.

Unless there's something missing, I'd expect a little regression if he can keep his contact and plate discipline rates where they've been this year. As a side note, his contact and plate discipline have improved marginally since he returned to the majors in June.
PeterG - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 02:51 PM EDT (#380418) #
With a 26 man roster next season, only 13 of whom can be pitchers, there is an excellent chance the team will carry 5 OF's, 6 INF, and 2C with one of them rotating through DH.
Chuck - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#380419) #
When Bichette and McKinney each reach 10 HR, the team will have (or have had) 13 such players. That seems like a lot. Any idea what the record on this is?
DH - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#380420) #
On the surface of it, having the OF+DH covered by Hernandez, Grichuck and Gurriel + Fisher seems doable. However there's an additional wrinkle caused by Vlad's knees and his defense at third. If he doesn't stay there, and moves to 1st/DH, we add Rowdy and Vlad to that pool of potential OF/DH bats. All that said, the likelihood of one of the above burning out is very high so this problem likely disappears before we know it.
PeterG - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#380421) #
Vlad is not going to be moved to !st but McKinney might as over last 30 games he has a substantially higher OPS (.801) than either Tellez or Smoak.
Mike Green - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 03:31 PM EDT (#380422) #
In answer to Chuck's question, it appears that 13 players with 10+ homers would be a major league record.  The Astros tied the league record in 2015 with 11, according to an piece, and the Yankees last year had 12.  The way things are going the record (if set this year) will be broken in 2020...
dan gordon - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 03:52 PM EDT (#380423) #
The Twins and Yankees currently each have 11 players with 10+ HR's as well. The Twins don't really have any other likely candidate to reach 10, but the Yankees have a few. Encarnacion has 9 since the Yankees acquired him, and has "resumed baseball activities", so he should be back before season's end. Maybin has 8, Ford and Romine have 6 each.
Magpie - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#380424) #
Or do you mean more robust runner-up support?

Lylemcr - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 05:32 PM EDT (#380425) #
I think you missed my point. I do think that I had the unfortunate circumstance of sitting beside a bunch of idiots. Also, I was a bit emotional because it was likely to be the last time I saw Felix pitch. But....

Safeco Fields is not your home. So, don't come here and piss on it. The Jays fans have a bad reputation. (see links below) I have never been on the other side until now. It is shameful. The reason the stadium is only 1/3 Mariner fans is because most of the regulars hate come when the Jays fans are here. (see below). Scaring people away from the game is not respectful.

How would you feel if the Yankees filled up Roger's stadium and laughed at our heroes?

"Who the hell is Roy Halladay? Was he the idiot that crashed his plane? He wouldn't be in our top 10 greatest pitchers and the Jays applaud him like he is a god. Oh yeah. That is because they have sucked since 1993, no wonder they thing he is great. He had to go to Philadelphia to get a pennant."

I am a little mad. That is all. Telling me that "It is just a couple drunks", doesn't make it better

There are many articles around supporting this.

scottt - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 06:38 PM EDT (#380426) #
I thought the Mariners fans stayed home mostly because they raise the prices when the Jays are in town.
The Jays fans include a lot of families with kids.
As for beers, in Seattle, they go for 9 bucks.

It's not any better in Boston.

Just from something that happened this year.

scottt - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#380427) #
As for Halladay, anybody can say what they want, that doesn't hurt me.
The only thing that I can't swallow is that he's not wearing a Blue Jays cap.

John Northey - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 07:23 PM EDT (#380428) #
Yankee fans at Rogers Centre often are very drunk and impossible to be around. I went to a Yankee vs Jays game here a few years ago and had to move seats as I was there with my teenage daughter and the way those fans acted there was no way we could enjoy the game. She hasn't been to a game since. Luckily my 14 year old still enjoys going - but now I spend extra to sit on the lower level where there are fewer drunks, we also went to a game in Minnesota where the Jay fans outnumbered Minny fans it seemed and had a blast. The train (like our GO train) stopped right at the park which was nice.

Can Jay fans be bad? OF course they can. The simple solution is to ban alcohol at sporting events but we all know that won't happen.
jerjapan - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 10:33 PM EDT (#380433) #
It's just road fans - people making a weekend out of their trip and letting loose.  I have had the same experience that John had several times with Yanks fans, Red Sox fan too .... I've seen Dodgers fans get into in SanFran. 

It's annoying, but if anything really crosses the line, just let security know.  Chances are you won't be the only person annoyed. 
Magpie - Monday, August 26 2019 @ 11:29 PM EDT (#380434) #
The simple solution is to ban alcohol at sporting events

The public here actually spent years clamouring for beer at the ballpark. (As always, be careful what you wish for.) And of course, American fans often have a hard time adjusting to Canadian beers, being used to their own domestic product (memorably described by Eric Idle as like "making love in a canoe," a joke I dare not explain.)
Jonny German - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 05:57 AM EDT (#380437) #
Someone here should know - is the BBFL still alive and well?
Magpie - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 06:09 AM EDT (#380438) #
Someone here should know - is the BBFL still alive and well?

Here's the website. (Ducks I'm sorry, I'm a terrible person.)

Hey, speaking of Red Sox fans on the road.... was this cool or what? I have previously described the Padres as easily the dumbest MLB organization of my lifetime, but this commands respect. A truly expert piece of trolling the visitors.
uglyone - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 09:01 AM EDT (#380447) #
Better solution - sell marijuana at sporting events.
mathesond - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 09:02 AM EDT (#380448) #
All 3 divisions of the BBFL are up and running. I may cede my spot in Barfield once this season is over, however.
Jonny German - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 09:09 AM EDT (#380449) #
Thanks mathesond. Next question: Who do I ask to get my name on the waiting list?
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 10:06 AM EDT (#380453) #
I was thinking about the possibilities for a 26 man roster for next year and beyond.  Having a third catcher who can hit, like Alejandro Kirk, would be more useful than previously.  Having a great defensive outfielder who can pinch-run,would also be more useful than previously. 

I'd love to see a club run with 14 position players and 12 pitchers- it's not likely to be the 2020 Blue Jays because getting innings from pitchers will almost certainly be a group effort. 
Nigel - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#380457) #
I totally agree Mike. I think the roster construction starts with a decision about whether an AL team carries two 1B/DH only bats (like Smoak and Tellez). If they do, then most teams will opt to add another super utility guy like Drury. As the Jays don't have two useful 1B/DH only players (they may actually have zero), I think they have way more flexibility. Someone mentioned yesterday that teams might carry 5 OFs. That's one scenario that I still don't see happening. Teams might have 5 guys who can play the OF in a pinch (like a Drury) but not 5 OF only players. I suspect the Jays will carry 13 pitchers, 4 true OFs (say Gurriel, Grichuk, Fisher and Hernandez), 4 true INFs (Vladdy, Bichette, Biggio and Tellez/FA) and 2 catchers. That leaves 3 spots. My best guess would be two super utility guys like Drury and Urena and then a specialist of some sort. The ideal scenario for this roster would be a third C who could hit and be the semi regular DH (with others rotating through the position).
Chuck - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 12:16 PM EDT (#380461) #

(What would Weaver do?)
Magpie - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 12:19 PM EDT (#380462) #
Have they settled on the other new rules for next year yet? As I recall, the 10 day IL is gone (back to 15), there will be a cap on the number of pitchers on the active roster, and restrictions regarding position players pitching (you can qualify as both by meeting certain playing requirements.) I seem to think it was all happening but not all the details had been determined.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 12:42 PM EDT (#380465) #
What did Weaver do in the DH era?

Well, the 1979 Orioles would be a good example.  Weaver worked with a 9 or 10 man staff (reliever Dave Ford was called up in late July), and rode Dennis Martinez and Mike Flanagan hard to get his innings.  Martinez led the league in innings pitched with 292. Flanagan was 3rd with 265.  Sammy Stewart threw 117 innings- 24 in 3 superb starts, and 93 in relief (28 outings) to help fill in most of the innings left by the other 3 starters.  Weaver had the very successful Roenicke/Lowenstein platoon (that certainly becomes more of a possibility with the new rules), two backup infielders, and a few extra players off the bench who could hit a home run (Pat Kelly, Benny Ayala, Terry Crowley).  Roenicke was only 24 so played 25 games in centerfield to give Bumbry some days off. 

Earl always loved the walk and the 3 run homer.  There are worse things.
Mike D - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 12:58 PM EDT (#380466) #
Not-so-fun fact:

Thanks to his time in the NL, Zach Godley has by far the most plate appearances among Jays pitchers this season. He is 3-for-19 with three walks.

His OBP of .273 is 12 points higher than Brandon Drury's.
Magpie - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#380467) #
What did Weaver do in the DH era?

The idea was always to have extra bats hanging around that you could use to get yourself a platoon advantage in a game situation.

Tony LaRussa, more than anyone else, developed the counter-move - arms in the bullpen that you could call on, for just one hitter if necessary, to negate that. Guys like Terry Crowley aren't nearly as useful if there are a couple of southpaws hanging out in the team's bullpen. And because there is no shortage of useful relief pitchers (I need to copyright that phrase by now, don't?), everybody found it much easier to emulate LaRussa's approach. And run with it, right off the bloody cliff.

The proposed legislation, which would eliminate the LOOGY completely, does make the old Weaver thinkable, at the very least.
Jevant - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 01:17 PM EDT (#380468) #
I'd love to be on the waiting list as well. If there's enough for a Delgado division, that could be another option? :)
Chuck - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 01:51 PM EDT (#380473) #
Guys like Terry Crowley

Just looked this up. Crowley played almost exclusively for Weaver in his career save for a couple of years in the middle and one at the end. A match made in heaven.

Chuck - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 02:04 PM EDT (#380474) #
His OBP of .273 is 12 points higher than Brandon Drury's.

What is Drury's fate on this team? A few things seem to be working in his favour. He can play 3B which seems useful, if only as a placeholder, if the organization is not sold on Guerrero at the position. He sometimes hits home runs. He can play second base as well.

To my mind, better to just go with Urena who will likely never hit either but can at least play shortstop as well. Who even is the backup shortstop at the current moment? Or in a world of shifts, is this kind of question quaintly anachronistic?

Hopefully the weeding process will commence in 2020. It will be time to cut bait on a few fronts.

rpriske - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#380476) #
I think Drury has a spot on the team because it isn't just a back-up they need, but someone who will start at 3B 50-60 times, even without injury.

I don't think you want Urena doing that. So it is Drury or find someone new.

Mike Green - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 02:34 PM EDT (#380477) #
Mike Ford hit 2 homers last night for the Yankees, and now has 8. He, Cameron Maybin and Edwin all could reach the double digit mark with the Yankees, which would make for 14 players with 10 or more homers.  Giancarlo Stanton is not one of the 14, but his injury opened up spots for Tauchman and Maybin...What a ridiculous ballclub.
Chuck - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 02:54 PM EDT (#380479) #
but someone who will start at 3B 50-60 times

I don't get that. Either your 20-year old third baseman is a third baseman, in which case you want him playing 140 games there. Or he's not a third baseman in which case you want his replacement to play 140 games there.

I don't see Drury as a 140-game guy. And if it's just 20 games you need him for, maybe get somebody else who can also help you in other ways.

It would be another matter if your third baseman were 33 and of inconsistent health. Then I could see the need for a caddy.

budgell - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 03:08 PM EDT (#380480) #
"Quaintly Anachronistic" is my my second favourite band name.
Mike D - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#380481) #
I also think Drury has a spot on the team, because apparently atrocious hitting is in no way an impediment to regular and long-term playing time on the club. At least he has put up 0.2 defensive WAR, bringing his overall WAR to 0.2.

Years of control, baby. Yeeeeears of control.
Mike Green - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#380482) #
Drury has 0.4 fWAR and 1.1 bWAR over his career (1500 PAs). He just turned 27 six days ago and is arb-eligible this year.  Hopefully, the FO has the understanding that years of control are not relevant to a player who may or may not be non-tendered. 
James W - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 04:12 PM EDT (#380483) #
Well now I'm curious what your favourite is.
bpoz - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 04:38 PM EDT (#380485) #
I don't know if I will ever understand how close or far in value Grichuk and Drury are. We can compare this year. Grichuk is a regular and Drury is getting ABs at 2b, 3b and OF. I think the availability of ABs this year has helped Drury get playing time. Hanson failed his ML and AAA test and has left the org. Brito failed his ML test but IMO he comes up for a 2nd try in Sept because he is doing well in AAA. Bat speed, approach and all that other stuff.

Grichuk is the only one under pressure because he has a long term contract.
Chuck - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#380486) #
Grichuk is the only one under pressure because he has a long term contract.

Technically, that should mean he is under no pressure at all. That money is guaranteed. The organization may feel pressure to continue sticking with Grichuk because of the commitment.

Grichuk is a second-half tease. His first-half/second-half splits:

  • 2016: 712/826
  • 2017: 678/854
  • 2018: 700/895
  • 2019: 708/779

Maybe don't play him until game 82?

budgell - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 04:51 PM EDT (#380487) #
Favourite is still unclaimed and copyrighted.
Nah...just enjoying Chuck's diction.
And a poor attempt at humour...Get Smart anyone?
scottt - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#380491) #
I'm not against managing Vlad's load. He's clearly one of the guys who will take a turn at DH.
Drury is a kind of super utility because guys like McKinney don't defend very well.
It helps that the other infielder can hit left handed.

There's already a room for guys who can hit but can't field. It's the DH.
The 13th player should probably be an elite defender, because that's easy to utilize.
Defensive replacement is not a new concept.
For a pinch runner to be valuable, I think you need a real burner who can steal with a 90% success rate.
Roemon Fields is 16 and 7, so Alford at 21 and 7 has him beat. I'm a bit surprised there.
Still, Alford is the best they have and he ticks a lot of the boxes.

A third catcher is completely useless. All it does is soothe the fear that the starting catcher will get hurt and have to come out early  in the game, as once you're in the bullpen you can just pinch hit.
As long as you don't hit the DHing catcher 3rd or 4th, which the Jays aren't doing, it's a tiny risk.
The other thing with the 3rd catcher is that he would need to catch a bit here and there, maybe late in games with the bullpen. I'd rather have Jansen and McGuire get all the playing time for now.

The other possibility for the 13th player is to go ahead with a pitcher regardless.
That's now called a two-way player. There will be some rules for that, but they might not be clear yet.
Not ideal for the Jays, as they plan on having Gurriel in left field which seems to be the obvious spot.

dan gordon - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#380493) #
Every once and a while, a team I follow seems to get fixated on a non-productive player, and keeps playing him despite the preponderance of evidence indicating he's simply not very good. One of the 1st players the Blue Jays did that with was Danny Ainge, who went on to become an NBA player. The latest is Brandon Drury. I don't get what they see in him. Never have - right from the day they traded for him. I think he should be non-tendered, but I expect the Jays will keep him around. To me he's a bit better hitter than Ryan Goins, and a weaker fielder, but somebody in this front office thinks the evidence presented by his 1st 1,500 career plate appearances isn't yet enough to change their mind about him. If the plan is to use him for 40-50 games at 3B next year and DH Vladdy, then what are really doing, as far as your batting order is concerned, is using Drury as your DH for those games. If Vladdy can't play 3B, move him to 1B and get a 3B who can hit.
scottt - Tuesday, August 27 2019 @ 06:03 PM EDT (#380498) #
The Yankees went after Drury because he's a right handed batter with power to the opposite field who could potentially rake in their stadium and maybe in Boston too. Hasn't happened.

They tried again with the NL batting champion. Much  better idea.

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