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Like it or not, something wicked this way comes.

And this is definitely going to be something.

I'd like to look at the upcoming season separately from the “I love that this is back but feel guilty for enjoying it” perspective, or the "this just shouldn't be happening" argument (I agree) and steer it in a different direction.  The 2020 MLB season will go down, within the historical context of baseball, as a truly unique enterprise. Most apparently, a short 60 game season lends chaos to the imagination of any fan. The Miami Marlins could be terrible (as they will be, surely) but go on a 12 game winning streak and perhaps sneak into the playoffs. Competitive sport is competitive sport, and as long as the game is played fairly (*cough* Astros *cough*) there will be no asterisks as far as the players are concerned. Win first, let history sort it out later.

Thing is, this snack-sized season will be fertile ground for asterisks.

For instance, somebody could easily get hot for these two months and hit .409 for the whole season. Does that truly best what Ted Williams did in 1941? (the answer is no, but how does MLB approach something like that?) Would that player be considered a member of the .400 club, as it were? A whole season is a whole season. Beyond the logistics of actually making this somewhat work, somewhat safely, this entire season is going to be incredibly awkward for everyone. Historically, what is about to happen will stand out like a thumbtack in a thumb within baseball lore.

This is a game where so much of its appeal is in the marrow that strengthens its skeleton. When you watch Bo Bichette take an at-bat, there are multiple thoughts that cross your mind. The easy ones are: “man he’s good”, “love the hair”, “geez he does swing out of his shoes”, or leg kick stuff etc. But your thoughts also can occasionally dive deeper, and baseball gladly invites you down the rabbit hole. Say with Bo, you can think about how good his dad was (pretty solid player), then remember he played with Larry Walker, who of course played on the star-crossed 94 Expos team, a team which also had Moises Alou, maybe most famous to a casual fan for trying to catch the foul ball in the NLCS when Steve Bartman’s hand got in the way, but then the often forgotten miscue of that game is Alex Gonzalez’s botched double play ball that would’ve still saved the inning for the Cubs. Alex Gonzalez (The First) came up with the Blue Jays right around the same time as Carlos Delgado, infamously miscast as a catcher (yikes) and an outfielder before finding his home at first base. His presence indirectly ran John Olerud out of town (because Gord Ash forgot what a DH was... I mean really liked Robert Person) and so Olerud spent most of his great career elsewhere, eventually ending up on the 2001 Seattle Mariners, winners of 116 games (good luck beating that record, 2020). That Mariners team was so fun (rookie Ichiro, Bret Boone wiffing in the HR derby and just shrugging) and while they couldn’t get past the Yankees in the ALCS, one of their aces was a pitcher named Freddy Garcia, a curve/sinker fella who wound up on the 2005 White Sox and helped them win a title. Also on that 2005 White Sox team was a young shortstop named Juan Uribe, and sure he bounced around as a journeyman for a bit but at the end was a key contributor to some of those late 2010s Dodger teams that always catch our attention during playoff season. Uribe was then obviously, a teammate of Clayton Kershaw, the long time face of the LA Dodgers in this era.... and Bo Bichette hit two home runs in the same game off of him last year.

It is a cyclical game (especially when you invent your own cycles). I don’t agree with the way this wacky season really feels forced upon us, or any of the claims that baseball is what a wounded world needs. It will make an enjoyable diversion and fire up passion within its believers, as it always does.

Personally though, I'm more interested in the wackiness. Somebody bats .577... Tanner Roark has an ERA of 0.88 for the year... A team gives up 100 more runs than they score and wins the World Series. If you wanna get nuts then lets get nuts. Have at it.

The 2020 Season | 120 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Chuck - Tuesday, July 21 2020 @ 07:50 AM EDT (#388237) #
I have seen interesting talk around Kris Bryant, that he could potentially use this opportunity to steal back the 12 days of service time he was cheated out of in his rookie season and then opt out thereafter for COVID concerns. I'm kind of rooting to see this, actually.

As for the "season" that lies ahead, I'm on the side thinking this is an absurdity that displays a level of hubris that will surely not go unnoticed by the baseball gods. I am very curious whether sports fans are really jonesing so badly that the ensuing aberration will satisfy them.

scottt - Tuesday, July 21 2020 @ 08:21 AM EDT (#388239) #
Kris Bryant wasn't cheated out of anything and if he had wanted to turn pro earlier he should have signed out of high school. The real talk out of Chicago is the lack of  competitivity. They've looked terrible in exhibition play. They went 8-14 in the spring. That was the second worst performance in the Cactus League just in front of Seattle. Maybe it's time to burn it down and start another long tank. So, it might make sense to trade him during the winter, but less if he doesn't  play well in those 2 meager months.

My 9 year old grandson is playing baseball right now. I don't see anything insane about it, but the protocols are pretty extreme. It's certainly a lot safer than his day camp.

Airports are really bad, but players don't go through those. They charter planes.
What I find absurd is not having any minor league baseball.
How can players improve if they don't play?
And the reason for no minor league baseball is not health and safety.
It's because there is zero revenues and added expenses the clubs don't want to pay.
bpoz - Tuesday, July 21 2020 @ 09:09 AM EDT (#388241) #
Very well written Eephus. We should see some new "food for thought" things happening.

Obviously I will follow the youthful Jays. To the baseball world the Jays are unknowns. Vlad will hit some monster Hrs. Pearson will throw 100+. So the Jays will contribute HiLights to all baseball fans.

I am very curious about bullpens. There should/could be quite a few mediocre relievers on all teams. I expect monster Hrs. Also big comebacks and big leads lost.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 21 2020 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#388242) #
The Short Season has me in mind of Jim Brosnan, author of the Long Season.  Brosnan pitched in the 1961 World Series against the Yankees.  The Reds lost in 5 games and were full value for their loss.  It got me thinking about the Yankees' World Series appearances from 61-64, the end of their dynasty. In 1963, they were dominated by the Dodgers and went out in 4.  In 1962, the Giants outscored them 21-19, but they hung on for a 7 game win when McCovey lined out to Richardson.  In 1964, they outscored the Cards 33-32, but came out on the short end in the 7th game. I guess that evened up the league rivalry after the 1962 "injustice".  Jim Bouton came up golden for the Yankees in the 1964 series, won 2 games and had the highest WPA of any player.  Bouton said that he drew inspiration as an author from Brosnan.
Gerry - Tuesday, July 21 2020 @ 10:34 AM EDT (#388243) #
This season will have full asterisk's all over every aspect. Even the World Series winner will be asterisked in my eyes.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 21 2020 @ 10:43 AM EDT (#388244) #
My only interests in the season are that everyone stays healthy and that the young players get a chance to develop in some way.  I'm hoping that the Blue Jays are taking this year as an opportunity to teach Gabriel Moreno to play centerfield (I'd love for him to spend some good distanced time, wearing masks, with Devon White). 
scottt - Tuesday, July 21 2020 @ 12:01 PM EDT (#388247) # gave Moreno a 30 run grade.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 21 2020 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#388248) #
That was a joke, scottt.  It's the default catcher's run grade.  Moreno runs well and had 5 triples in half a season in Lansing (which is not a big park).   He also went 7-1 stealing bases. 

They probably had Danny Jansen as a 30 also. Jansen's an average runner, and Moreno is almost surely somewhat above average. 
scottt - Tuesday, July 21 2020 @ 12:53 PM EDT (#388249) #
The Jays have 38 players on a travel roster to Boston.

C: Jansen, McGuire and Joseph (taxi)

Infield: Bichette, Biggio, Espinal, Guerrero, Panik, Shaw, Tellez  and Tejada (taxi?)

Oufield: Alford, Fisher, Grichuk, Gurriel, Fisher, Hernandez, McKinney

Cole (still need a 40 spot)
Miller and Moran (taxi?)

The end of the Drury era?

scottt - Tuesday, July 21 2020 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#388250) #
Catcher to Center Field are extreme opposite.
A catcher should have a good arm, so could play anywhere near the lines.
Probably also more likely to pitch than to end up in center field.

It's probably easier to just trade a catcher for a center fielder.
Certainly, Jansen is currently not blocking anyone.

John Northey - Tuesday, July 21 2020 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#388254) #
There have been catcher to CF moves done successfully in MLB history - most famous might be Craig Biggio - CA for 4 years, then many at 2B, a couple in CF, back to 2B.  It isn't common due to the speed element, but it does happen.  CA to 3B is far more common (Ed Sprague for example), as is CA to 1B (Carlos Delgado).
christaylor - Tuesday, July 21 2020 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#388255) #
I literally laughed out loud when I saw there are blackout restrictions (as of 4:445 pm today) on the practice game between the Jays and the Red Sox that affect my subscription. I know that these are weird times but... c'mon. I'm not going to get a NESN sub. I'm not going to go to a bar with some pals. I'm going to perhaps see it somewhere if something else doesn't distract me. At each and every turn during these weird times, I can only help but feel MLB is accidentally or purposefully shooting itself in the face by trying to be pennywise but pound foolish. The decision could have been made to grow the sport (e.g., decide... There are baseball games in Korea! Let's get them on!) Today I realize that for the first time since 1989, I will not see in 2020 people in Jays uniforms play in real-time, either in person or via video play at the former SkyDome. It's not a huge deal. Life will go on, but in terms of those trying to pass on their love of baseball to their youngsters, it'll be a little more challenging this year and perhaps next year as well with labor unrest. Hockey's already lost me with their cancelled seasons and salary cap, but perhaps baseball ought to become just a thing we do among friends, the professional aspect be damned.
Chuck - Tuesday, July 21 2020 @ 05:24 PM EDT (#388256) #
most famous might be Craig Biggio

Dale Murphy may be more famous than that. He won 5 gold gloves.

John Northey - Tuesday, July 21 2020 @ 05:44 PM EDT (#388257) #
Doh! Forgot he was a catcher at first. Good catch Chuck.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 21 2020 @ 06:01 PM EDT (#388259) #
FWIW, Moreno was a shortstop who the Jay's moved behind the plate. A conversion to CF would be similar to Adam Jones with a detour at catcher.
christaylor - Tuesday, July 21 2020 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#388260) #
OK. Credit where credit is due. The Red Sox v. Jays game does not seem to be blacked out now in the Boston area.
greenfrog - Tuesday, July 21 2020 @ 07:35 PM EDT (#388261) #
BA speculates that 24-year-old CF Edward Olivares could make the Padres roster this year. Last year in AA he hit .283/.349/.483 with 35 SB, showing a nice progression from 2018 (more walks, more power, more steals). BA says he's been "stinging the ball in summer camp" this year.

He was a nice get for Yangervis Solarte, who posted a -1.3 WAR in his one season with the Jays.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, July 21 2020 @ 07:56 PM EDT (#388262) #
Not the greatest of starts for Pearson
John Northey - Tuesday, July 21 2020 @ 10:27 PM EDT (#388263) #
Fun watching the game - gave in and signed up for a year of Sportsnet (I cut cable a few months ago) - they switched from monthly to annual in the past week...grrrr...was going to just sign up for baseball season then let it expire, but now stuck for the full year. Got Sportsnet as my daughter loves hockey, and we both enjoy basketball too so this should be good. Solid picture quality, works fine on the phone, 85" TV, and computer. Much nicer than as no blackouts for the Jays (new 'feature' of this year) for $200 a year ($16.66 a month roughly).

For those curious - my kids haven't watched cable ever, they each enjoy either YouTube (my 5 year old) or Netflix/Disney + (the 14 year old) while I watch Crave (Doom Patrol/Dr Who), Amazon Prime (The Boys, American Gods), Disney+ (Mandalorian, all the new Marvel stuff coming soon), and Netflix (assorted). Who needs cable?
John Northey - Tuesday, July 21 2020 @ 10:40 PM EDT (#388264) #
Pearson 3 2/3 IP 5 K vs 2 BB 4 runs all in the 1st - 63 pitches. Showed some of what we want to see, but had enough trouble to justify leaving him down for 2 weeks to gain a year of control I suspect.

Tellez had a heck of a shot - dead center over the monster - not easy! Fisher probably locked in his spot with the 2 HR's. Romano did what we want to see from a reliever - needing one out to finish the inning and he did it perfectly. SRF did well too in the pen - I'm cheering him on to make it.

So my bet for the OF is Gurriel/Grichuk/Hernandez with Fisher getting lots of time too, Tellez the DH. I expect Hernandez/Tellez/Fisher to be in a 2 position platoon alternating who sits vs LHP between Tellez and Fisher. Hernandez reminded us of why he is a DH in waiting. I expect Alford to be a 5th OF/PR. McKinney is a wild card, I'd dump him at this point but who knows? I see McKinney/Fisher as the battle for regular time as the 4th OF. Davis has to be in the extended summer camp I'd think. Drury is out of the equation it seems.
uglyone - Tuesday, July 21 2020 @ 10:49 PM EDT (#388265) #
Go Rowdy Go.

No Jay's success would make me happier.
Shoeless Joe - Tuesday, July 21 2020 @ 11:11 PM EDT (#388266) #
I think Rowdy has earned some burn as the regular DH for the time being, but a three man split of RF/DH as mentioned seems likely.

85bluejay - Tuesday, July 21 2020 @ 11:23 PM EDT (#388267) #
I watched the first half inning - Vlad reminds me of a young Cecil Fielder - I am concerned that he's not prepared to do the work necessary to make full use of his immense talent, so I would not be surprised if others pass him by this season on the teams core players.
85bluejay - Tuesday, July 21 2020 @ 11:33 PM EDT (#388268) #
I was easily the top guy on this site on Edward Olivares when he was a jays prospect and was disappointed to see him go in the Solarte trade - it's nice to see him do well in San Diego.
John Northey - Tuesday, July 21 2020 @ 11:53 PM EDT (#388269) #
As I recall Tellez was known to do the work early on but who knows for sure outside of the coaches on the team. Between him and Vlad the Jays could win a MLB Sumo contest :)
rtcaino - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 12:54 AM EDT (#388270) #
they switched from monthly to annual in the past week...grrrr

Likely realizing that they had an unprecedented amount of content incoming and that understimulated folks were going to be chomping at the bit to catch it. Might as well upsell to the full year.

Parker - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 02:00 AM EDT (#388271) #
You let your kids watch The Boys???

Jesus, I hope you let them read the comics first.
Parker - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 02:03 AM EDT (#388272) #
Actually, I don't. I really don't.

Please, please do not your children watch Herogasm.
Parker - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 02:10 AM EDT (#388273) #
I guess this is where I unleash the whole libertarian thing.

Your government is wrong. You've never lived in a society where is this not true.

Keep talking as much as you want.
Parker - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 02:15 AM EDT (#388274) #
Sorry. "Please, PLEASE do not let your children watch Herogasm."

There is a LOT of questionable material from the perspective of people who don't actually read comics, and I'd really rather just keep everyone's idiot uncles focused on their equally retarded children whose morons force them to watch this garbage.

Parker - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 02:17 AM EDT (#388275) #
Sorry. "Please, PLEASE do not let your children watch Herogasm."

There is a LOT of questionable material from the perspective of people who don't actually read comics, and I'd really rather just keep everyone's idiot uncles focused on their equally retarded children who hopefully never force them to watch this garbage.
John Northey - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 02:18 AM EDT (#388276) #
Heh, I watch The Boys, not my kids - that is what I was saying. They each have their favorites, I have mine. Net cost for all of those including Sportsnet is less than I was paying for cable. Plus I was paying for most of them already anyways. I strongly encourage everyone to cut cable and go to online methods only if you have bandwidth (ie: have broadband of 50+ Mbps - I get between 70 and 100 here in London Ontario). Right now there are 3 streams going at the same time in the house and I got 70 on a speedtest. Nice.
Parker - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 02:24 AM EDT (#388277) #
Nice. My bad; I'm just trying to imagine doing a fun family night that includes some of the most objectional stuff I've ever seen on TV. I love torture porn as much as anyone, and I couldn't even imagine cueing up the "how do we kill him?" scene. The popcorn was awesome!

scottt - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 06:00 AM EDT (#388278) #
I missed the first half inning. Pearson was OK.
Lots of 85mph sliders. Fastball was mostly 92-94mph. I think I saw 97 once and 98 a couple of times but those were mostly overthrows off the plate.
Ironically, it seems like Borucki was throwing harder than Pearson.
I'm not sure the cutter will play off, but the changeup is still great.
Romano and Dolis looked great. Reid-Foley had one hitter and he did the job.
I think he was the only guy able to throw high heat for a strike. He did miss horribly on a couple of pitches.

Shaw didn't show anything. Guerrero was fine at first. Panik, I think, converted a double play ball into an infield single. Hernandez missed a ball on a dive, although it wasn't an easy one. Looked confused at the plate.

The Red Sox starter was a soft tosser but he didn' t throw anything straight and he was hitting the corners all night. The part I don't like is when a Blue Jays hitter froze on a slow pitch over the plate.
Happened a lot. Once on a curve from a guy who throws nothing but curves.
There was a 2-seamer that cut back to hit the inside corner that caused Fisher to dive out of the way.

scottt - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 06:24 AM EDT (#388279) #
It looks like Shi had a long article already prepared about how the Jays have no choice to but to start Pearson right away. Factually, this outing made it clear they can give him a couple of starts in camp to stretch him further and work on his mechanics. He's nowhere back to where he was in March.
Paul D - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 09:28 AM EDT (#388280) #
Obviously low on the list, but I'm hoping that the team creates some sort of hybrid hat for the Pittsburgh Blue Jays.
scottt - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 09:30 AM EDT (#388281) #
Yeah, that'd be cool.

Now, where would the banner fly if they win the division?

ISLAND BOY - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 10:55 AM EDT (#388282) #
On a pole ?
hypobole - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 02:27 PM EDT (#388285) #
It seems the Jays have the OK from the Pirates and MLB to use PNC, just need the OK from state and local officials.
greenfrog - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 02:30 PM EDT (#388286) #
Betts and the Dodgers are reportedly working on a 13-year extension.
John Northey - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#388287) #
This was perfect for showing that Pearson needs 2 weeks in camp to work out his nerves a bit - Fenway is intimidating (love that park) for a kid, but this is the bigs - every park will be intimidating. A week in Buffalo won't hurt him and will gain the Jays another year of control - he'd miss all of one start. That isn't going to hurt his career or the Jays chances. Only a moron would have him on the opening day roster imo.
John Northey - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 02:35 PM EDT (#388288) #
Betts staying in Dodger Blue is near perfect imo. If he signs there then no chance of him going back to the Red Sox or going to the Yankees. Plus in any realignment that might come the Jays won't have the Dodgers in their division.
PeterG - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#388289) #
according to Rosenthal, Pittsbugh deal falling apart and unlikely to happen as govt. won't approve. The team is actively pursuing other alternatives. What if no-one will take them?
85bluejay - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 02:56 PM EDT (#388290) #
As a last resort, a state with a "it's just the flu" Governor will take them - would be ironic & funny as hell if it's Georgia with AA's Braves
John Northey - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#388291) #
Bizarre - I figured the Jays would just agree to whatever the Pirates did in order to play and that would be that. Obviously not. Very bizarre, if I ran a hotel near the park that would've housed the Jays and now isn't getting business I'd look into suing. Assuming the Jays agreed to whatever the Pirates had to.

Baltimore appears to be next on the negotiation tour. Why the heck MLB and the Jays didn't check with authorities before anything else is beyond me. Guessing they thought it was a slam dunk, that as long as the Jays agreed to the basic terms then why would they say no?

Atlanta has many conflicts right off the bat. Geez did MLB screw up by not making sure every team had a home before doing a schedule. Guess that is the arrogance of billionaires.
85bluejay - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 03:33 PM EDT (#388292) #
Just play the entire season on the "road" as that's what they're doing practically speaking - for the "home" games, just get the last at bat in the "visiting" teams stadium.
scottt - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#388293) #
Not bizarre at all. As  I pointed out, the Jays and the Pirates are in different bubbles. This move brings the bad Florida teams to Pittsburgh.

Canada took over 2 weeks to say no. At least Pennsylvania is giving a quick answer.

Maryland? It's in the same bubble but who knows?

scottt - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 04:03 PM EDT (#388294) #
Buffalo will take them and New York state should be OK with that since they already have 2 New York teams. The mayor of Buffalo wants the Jays to play there and the politics trumps the health concerns.

It's just that the players don't like Buffalo.

scottt - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#388295) #
Every team has a home. It's just that the Blue Jays are Canada's team only when it's convenient.

I think option 3 and 4 are sharing with the Rays and Dunedin.

I doubt the players want to  be on the road all the time.
Some states could object to the Jays traveling twice as often and then they'd have to play doubleheaders.

Let's see who runs Maryland.

John Northey - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 04:39 PM EDT (#388296) #
Hadn't thought of the Pirates being in the Central division, thus only by the Jays being there would the 2 virus filled Florida teams be coming to town. So that makes some sense at least. The West has Arizona & 2 Texas teams - all 3 are hotspots. Right now almost all of the USA is a hotspot. MLB Really should've got to hub cities (one in LA, one in Chicago, and one in NY due to the number of ML teams in each)
BlueJayWay - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#388297) #
Things just keep getting weirder. Heyman reports there are last minute negotiations now to get in that expanded 16 team playoff that was offered by the players a few times back in May/June. The Jays are homeless, the season officially begins tomorrow, and now they might be changing the playoff format.
John Northey - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#388299) #
2020 is an interesting season and it hasn't officially started yet!

Vlad's home run was a thing of beauty tonight - you can see it go over the National billboard. When he came up I was saying 'hit it over the monster by a mile' and then he did. Last night I felt the same when Tellez came up - hit it dead center and be a massive shot. Dang, wonder which guy I'll be thinking that about on Friday? Bichette or Biggio. Although I would love another Tellez homer as he really needs them to hold onto a job.

A shame the game ended early. Ah well. Once Friday hits we have an official 2020 season no matter what else happens.
scottt - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 09:15 PM EDT (#388300) #
You cannot have hub cities in baseball. You need 15 stadiums  most day.
The NHL is a quick round robin to give a shade of legitimacy  to the playoffs.
Nobody cares that some games will be in the morning and nobody will be watching.
The money is in the playoffs.

What happens next year if things are looking like this?
I doubt it will be NHL  hubs starting in  December, while the players are confined during the holidays.

John Northey - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 09:59 PM EDT (#388301) #
1981 is instructive ... season split in 2 halves.
  • First half, Jays 16-42, 2nd half 21-27 - a sign of what was coming 2 years later (last in '82, 500+ in 1983-1993)
  • Best record: 36-21 LA Dodgers 2nd half
  • Worst outside of Jays: Cubs 1st half 15-37
  • Screwed over: Cardinals & Reds: best records overall but neither made the playoffs (played in different divisions then)
  • Biggest collapse in standings: Yankees from 1st to 5th, 607 to 490 winning percentage
  • Biggest collapse in Win%: Phillies from 618 to 481, then lost to the Expos in round 1

Lots of stuff that happened with a double short schedule. 45-55 games appears to be the range in each half for each team more or less, so similar to this season. In that ugly first half the Jays as a team hit 218/280/326, 2nd half was better at 237/295/349, but still very ugly. Cincinnati had the best one half offense at 272/340/409 in the first half so nothing too insane. Burt Hooton for LAD in the 2nd half had a 1.41 ERA in 10 starts. Houston was scary for pitching in the 1st half though - Bob Knepper 1.15 ERA, Nolan Ryan 1.37 both with 11 starts while their closer Joe Sambito had a 1.60 ERA, in the 2nd half Houston's closer was Dave Smith with a 0.76 ERA, while Don Sutton had a 1.75 in 77 IP.

This will be interesting to see what happens and how teams respond in the 2020/21 offseason contract wise - smart teams will know this isn't a full sample and the old 'crap happens' will apply, but the smartest will figure out who was for real and who wasn't, who had a bad 60 games and who is really finished. The Jays have a big advantage being so young, as they won't be fully quitting on any of the strong kids regardless of how 2020 goes, while an older team will have a lot of questions that are harder with the 30+ crowd as demotion to AAA for April isn't as easy to do. Roster questions will be a big issue - first big one is who to keep for the OF here (Fisher/Alford - neither can go down without being lost). Teoscar Hernandez could be screwed over due to having 1 option left, Billy McKinney has 1 left too. Quick source is here
scottt - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 10:18 PM EDT (#388302) #
The owners wanted the expended playoffs.
The union tried to use that to force  playing  80ish games.
That didn't work.
So now the union is trying to cash that chip for some other concession.
Maybe just more extra players playoff money.

StephenT - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 11:31 PM EDT (#388303) #
MLB players are among the few travellers you should actually want right now.

They're tested clean, bring in money, and they aren't attending the house parties in your area.

So the Penn states join the Canadian feds on my 'barking up the wrong tree' list.

Anyway, if the Jays just play in road parks, they only have 2 more hotel switches than they would have under the original Toronto plan -- 17 vs. 15.

e.g., their first homestand is actually a bit easier on the road; instead of flying to Toronto, they bus to Philadelphia.

Mid-September is especially easier on the road; they can stay 11 nights in a row in the same New York spot.

If they could just find a place for their 2 home weeks in August, they'd end up back at 15 hotel switches for the season (and just 12 if they were in Baltimore).
John Northey - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 11:44 PM EDT (#388304) #
I'm good with expanded playoffs - heck this is the silly year, do whatever - good time to try out anything pretty much.

Of course I need to see if there was a 16 team playoff how often the Jays make it (I'm sure I've done this before, but it is fun) - checking the era since the Rays were added, which would've been the ideal time for expanding.
  • 2019: Texas is #8 (78-84), Jays won just 67
  • 2018: LAA #8 (80-82), Jays won 73 and were #10
  • 2017: 80 wins (TB, LAA, KC tied) Jays 76 #11
  • 2015/2016 made it
  • 2014: NYY 85 wins #8, Jays #9 with 84...argh!
  • 2013: Bal/NYY tied with 85 wins, Jays #11 with 74
  • 2012: ChiSox #8 with 85 wins, Jays #10 with 73
  • 2011: Jays #7 with 81 wins (1 game up on Cleveland)
  • 2010: Jays #7 with 85 wins (4 up on Detroit/Oak)
  • 2009: Ray with 84 wins #8, Jays #11 with 75 wins
  • 2008: Jays #7 with 86 wins (5 up on Cleveland)
  • 2007: Jays #7 with 83 wins (4 up on Minny)
  • 2006: Jays #7 with 87 wins (1 up on Boston)
  • 2005: Jays #8 with 80 wins (1 up on Texas)
  • 2004: Cleveland with 80 wins (Jays sucked with 67 wins)
  • 2003: Jays #6/7 with 86 wins (tied up 3 on KC)
  • 2002: Jays #8 with 78 wins (up 4 on Cleveland)
  • 2001: Jays #8 with 80 wins (up 5 on Anaheim)
  • 2000: Jays #7 with 83 wins (1 up on Anaheim)
  • 1999: Jays #6 with 84 wins (6 ahead of #8)
  • 1998: Jays #4/5 tied with Texas at 88 wins (9 ahead of Baltimore who was #8)

Post 1993 even with 8 teams the Jays would've been out from 94-97 due to being really bad. But boy from 1998 to 2011 the Jays would've been in the playoffs all but 2 years - that would've been a lot more fun and might have kept Halladay and Clemens here (which again changes everything). But never higher than a #4 seed and most of the time #7/8.
StephenT - Wednesday, July 22 2020 @ 11:49 PM EDT (#388305) #
(I should've said just 14 hotel switches if they were in Baltimore in mid-August.  To make it available, MLB would have to do something like flip the Nats/Orioles series' locations.)
scottt - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 07:23 AM EDT (#388306) #
It sounds like the Orioles would agree to share their stadium, but none of their clubhouses.
I'm not sure how that's better than Buffalo.

Hartford is offering their new Dunkin Donut Park.
The  only thing this would  accomplish is ruin the relationship between Toronto and Buffalo.

bpoz - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 08:10 AM EDT (#388307) #
Thanks Stephen T and John N for your work and insight.

Time to start enjoying the season.

My wish list:

1) Fast start.
2) Playoffs.
3) WS championship.
4) Young players develop confidence that they belong in the Majors.
Glevin - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 09:32 AM EDT (#388308) #
"You cannot have hub cities in baseball. You need 15 stadiums most day."

This isn't true. You can play multiple games a day. Say, one game at 1 and one game at 7 and have plenty of time to clean thoroughly in between. You could even do non-traditional times, say 10:00 AM, 3:00 PM: and 9: PM. Not only that, many cities have multiple ML parks very close so you could do something like

NY-AL East
Baltimore/Washington-NL East
Chicago/Milwaukee-NL Central
Pittsburgh/Cleveland-AL Central
LA/SD-AL and NL West

You could easily have avoided all flights, avoided most travel, avoided switching hotel rooms, etc...and made everything much safer. by creating bubbles. Trying to have everyone play at home created a massive mess. Baseball handled this very poorly.
scottt - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#388309) #
By the same logic, the Stanley cup could  be handed out in 2 weeks. Just play several games a day.
Why have off days if there is no travel? Just expend the rosters.

Afternoon games don't generate revenues and the players want to be paid.
In the case of hockey, why did they wait so long?
They planned that the pandemic would be over by now.
At the cost of postponing the next season.

SK in NJ - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 11:13 AM EDT (#388310) #
If MLB was in the same position as the NBA, where they already finished 90% of their regular season and just needed to play a handful of regular season games before beginning the post season, then a bubble would have worked. However, starting an entire season from scratch in a bubble where 30 teams play practically everyday was never a realistic solution for baseball.

Also, the regional sports networks wouldn't want 10 am and afternoon games on weekdays. MLB makes a lot of money off local/regional TV, and those networks will want prime time games that are more appealing to advertisers and should have more viewers. I don't think MLB wanted that type of schedule either.

As far as the Jays current situation, we can debate the reasoning and whether it was right or wrong, but ultimately, the Canadian government screwed the Jays big time. It is out of the team's control so they just have to adjust with whatever is available to them, unfortunately.
bpoz - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 11:25 AM EDT (#388311) #
Agreed SK in NJ. The Cdn Fed govt took too long and that screwed the Jays. Now Individual states Govts in the USA are refusing the Jays. I do understand that protecting their citizens is a priority.
scottt - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#388312) #
Moran and Cole made the team.
Espinal, Kay, Hatch and Waguespack too.

Pearson, Borucki and Joseph are on the taxi-squad.

cascando - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#388313) #
I'm pleased that baseball is back, but much less so than I expected. A strange mix of excitement & indifference. This pandemic situation has shone a bright spotlight on how unimportant these games are in the grand scheme of things.

Personally, it's difficult to believe that I'll feel the same emotional connection to the Jays' wins and losses in the future that I did sometimes in the past. Or, more generally, that the demand for sports will return to what it once was. But I suppose memories are short. Here is hoping we can all obsess and argue over the same irrelevancies with similar vigour again soon.

The 30-man roster is going to give us an extended look at some players that were on the chopping block (Alford, Tellez, McKinney) and a first look at guys that were unlikely to make the majors this year (Espinal, Hatch, Joseph). Should be fun. Go Jays!
hypobole - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 12:02 PM EDT (#388314) #
Yeah, let's blame the Canadian goverment, rather than Florida's government where covid has spread like wildfire. Jays fly into Florida 3 times. Both Florida teams would have come into Canada as well. There's also Georgia where the Jays have a series. Their governor has sued to prevent mask mandates, and unsurprisingly had the 4th highest case rate in the US yesterday.
SK in NJ - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#388315) #
The Canadian government gave the Jays essentially a week notice. Florida was a dumpster fire weeks ago. If this decision was made a lot sooner, then maybe nothing changes from a stadium standpoint, but at least there would have been more time to come up with a safe and logical solution for the players and staff. Instead the decision came less than a week before Opening Day, and the team is scrambling. They are far more likely to settle on a less than ideal situation now (out of necessity) which puts the players/staff at greater risk and at a huge competitive disadvantage. Again, we can argue the rights and wrongs of Canada's decision, blame whoever you want, but the timing was definitely not right.
scottt - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#388316) #
Several states have COVID in check and still allow teams of players who test negative to come in for 4 days or less. Baseball players would have been quarantining. It's such a low risk that Faucy is throwing the first pitch.

We got foreign workers allowed in without testing and without monitoring and that's okay because they make less than minimum wage, so a few death here and there are fine.

The media ran with the story, made a big thing out of it, did some polled that showed the majority was against it without knowing any specifics and the Blue Jays were banned due to popular demand.
Expect to see players talking negatively about playing in Canada for years.

John Northey - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 01:34 PM EDT (#388317) #
I suspect the timing issue of the government was a mix of government and the Jays. The Jays hoping it would pass kept delaying, the government kept trying to find an excuse each way to sell the public on. In the end Florida made the choice for them. If Florida wasn't such an insane hot spot the Jays would probably be planning to play in Toronto right now. Instead they need to keep moving - Pittsburgh hit the same issue as the Canadian government had. The O's have an agreement now with the Jays, but will Maryland be OK? Higher odds since the O's play the same teams as the Jays.
scottt - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 01:55 PM EDT (#388318) #
I'm not sure why the lights are a big deal in Buffalo.
That shouldn't take months to fix and most of the games starts before 7:00.

I also don't understand why temporary clubhouses built on the concourse in Baltimore would be better than whatever they have in Buffalo--or why they can't built temporary facilities there.
I assume the Orioles wouldn't want to share showers, gyms and similar equipment.
Also, doesn't the RC has some of the worse facilities in baseball?

Playing on the road would mean they don't stay more than 4 days anywhere until mid Sept.
I could see many vets opting out just because of that.
It's a good thing Toronto has precious few.
Ryu seems extra classy. Grichuk hasn't been work the money and he knows it, so won't say a thing.
They went hard after Roark. Giles, Shaw, Panik, Bass, are all close to free agency. 

PeterG - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 02:48 PM EDT (#388319) #
Juan Soto has tested positive.

John is right about timing of government decision. Jays were willing to wait as long as there was any chance that it might go in their favour.
grjas - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 03:57 PM EDT (#388320) #
We got foreign workers allowed in without testing and without monitoring and that's okay because they make less than minimum wage, so a few death here and there are fine.

Farm workers are an essential service and baseball is not. Same reason truckers are crossing the border and not ball players.

If some players have a negative view of Canada because we protect our citizens, I don’t want them here.
Mylegacy - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 04:04 PM EDT (#388321) #
The champions of the 2020 MLB, NFL, NHL, etc., etc. seasons will end up being decided by which teams' key players come down with, or do not come down with, C-19.

I predict, je predis, predigo that at least one lousy team will finish way above their station and one wonderful team will be felled like an oak in Hampshire's New Forest just before the Spanish Armada was attacking England. (I'm curious if anyone knows what the f*ck that last bit means...).

The point will be, a ton of teams are going to have excuses why they were robbed and an equal number will have excuses why they surprised to the upside.

Play ball! While you can...

Wear a mask, social distance, eat raw garlic, pray daily to the deity of your choice. I'm leaning towards praying to Thor, I kinda like his hair do.
Mike Green - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 04:05 PM EDT (#388322) #
That migrant workers were brought here to work under deplorable conditions, with two young men dying as a result, isn't a good reason to do something less risky. That bar is way, way too low. If the feds and the province make a huge error, as they did, we don't want them to make smaller ones as a result. That's a theory that will get you in s lot of trouble in a pandemic.
Mike Green - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#388323) #
Praying to Thor, eh? " DeGrom and Stroman and pray to Syndergaard" doesn't exactly scan, so why not. Mets' fans do have plenty of need for whatever solace they can get.
Mylegacy - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 04:30 PM EDT (#388324) #
Mike, well sussed.
BlueJayWay - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#388325) #
Expanded playoffs are in for this season now...assuming the season actually gets that far. Apparently now the Jays have an agreement with Baltimore to play home games at Camden Yards, but that's pending the Maryland government's approval.
85bluejay - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#388326) #
There was absolutely nothing preventing the Jays from locking down alternative locations while awaiting the Canadian government decision - this disarray is entirely on the Jays and MLB.
Glevin - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#388327) #
I love baseball but it is pretty easily the worst run sport right now. It's so focused on making a little more money right now that they don't think long-term. Shut down minor league teams, shorten the draft, shorten the season and expand the playoffs, blackouts, don't build hubs, etc.... All to try to maximize revenue over the short term with long-term harm to the game. Now Soto is sick, how can they justify even playing? The NBA locked down completely and everyone tested negative. NHL built hubs. MLB had no plan. Just hope it works out.
scottt - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 05:20 PM EDT (#388328) #
NHL season was already over. They just have to do the playoffs.
Their solution was to delay until covid got worse in the US.
I'm not sure the US teams are so proud of the results.
Especially since nobody knows when or if they'll start the next season.
MLB could still do hubs for the playoffs. That's not a big deal.

scottt - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 05:47 PM EDT (#388329) #
Avoiding injury is always a huge part of baseball.
I don't really care about the asterix.
2020 is an Annus Horribilis.
I had a funeral for a friend in the first week and it hasn't improved.

John Northey - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 05:52 PM EDT (#388330) #
The Buffalo situation is an old short term thinking and being cheap. The Jays should've been prepping that park while summer camp was on just in case - worst case you end up with a better AAA park in 2021 thanks to the upgraded lights, improved lockers, and any other upgrades done. To not do that, and still to not be doing that, is the old short term savings for longer term costs.
scottt - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 06:03 PM EDT (#388331) #
They are doing some work in Buffalo and this is where the rest of the player pool will be practicing.

This explains the state of the park.

PeterG - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 06:30 PM EDT (#388332) #
Hartford on the radar now with a more modern park than Buffalo with better lighting. AP has reported that Jays on phone with Governor of Connecticut for an hour this afternoon.
scottt - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#388333) #
The Blue Jays got the OK from the Orioles.
They are trying to get the OK from the Maryland Stadium Authority.
If they get that, they'll bring it to the governor and the health department.


Starting Friday, masks will be mandatory in indoor public spaces in Baltimore.
Infection rates have doubled since they re-opened restaurants to half capacity a month ago.
They are now closing those restaurants.

So, yeah.

The players have said the don't want to play in minor league park, so Atkins is doing everything he can to please the players. I just hope the players don't choose Florida over Buffalo.

scottt - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 06:52 PM EDT (#388334) #
Connecticut has a flattened curve. Looks better than Ontario.

Lighting is a weird issue. It's not for the players, it's for the TV broadcast.
Hartford does not have the tracking system to show pitch speed.

The clubhouses might be a bit bigger.
grjas - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 06:53 PM EDT (#388335) #
There was absolutely nothing preventing the Jays from locking down alternative locations while awaiting the Canadian government decision - this disarray is entirely on the Jays and MLB.

I agree, particularly since the public's opinion on the issue has been clear for a while. Glad Trump hasn't made a big deal about it publicly though you never know. Will be interesting to see how much pressure is exerted on the government to open the borders especially as winter approaches

Agree also on how badly the government has managed the foreign worker issue. At least they finally have a plan for seniors homes if there is a resurgence. Of course it's the same plan the Aussie's put in place 4 months ago. They've had less than 30 deaths in the homes while we have had over 6,000.
scottt - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#388336) #
Connecticut is among 3 states restricting travelers from regions of the US with surging Covid-19 cases and requiring 14 days self-quarantines unless they have tested negative in the last 3 days. 31 states are on the list including Maryland, Georgia and Florida.

Hartford is in exactly the same situation as Toronto. Except their counts are lower.
Again, all political.

scottt - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 07:14 PM EDT (#388337) #
In Ontario, Mike Harris is on the board of the biggest, most mismanaged chain of retirement homes.
Also the chief of health was not too worried about death counts.
Certainly not enough to force Ford to move faster.

Any agreement they would have had with other states would have been canceled down the line.
Why would health officials waste their time reviewing political decisions for which the data was not yet available?

Canada gave an early yes to hockey because that the #1 sport and that's what the masses wanted.
Nothing to do with better planning. Toronto was not doing so good when they gave the approval.

ISLAND BOY - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 07:28 PM EDT (#388338) #
" Lighting is a weird issue. It's not for the players, its for the TV broadcast."

I was just listening to Buck Martinez on Tim and Sid and he said lighting was a big issue for the players. Lights in big league parks are a lot higher up than minor league parks and players are less likely to lose sight of high pop ups in the night sky. Improved lighting does help TV broadcasts but also allows batters to pick up spin on pitches and also react to batted balls sooner,too.

Also on the same show it was reported that Nationals Juan Soto tested negative on two rapid response Covid tests and that is probably why the Washington-New York game is going ahead tonight.
John Northey - Thursday, July 23 2020 @ 07:48 PM EDT (#388340) #
A reminder that we have a COVID thread for pure COVID talk - I posted there about the rates in the states the Jays are hoping to play in outside of NY which was a mess but is better now.

As to the Jays - just waiting to see if the government in Maryland will accept them playing there or not. I'm expecting a 'no' now and that the Jays will need to fix up Buffalo in the end, as I suspect the traveling roadshow option could be a problem too. A shame Florida is such a mess as Dunedin would've been the best US based choice if their cases were at a sane level instead of 10k a day.
hypobole - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 12:40 AM EDT (#388341) #
Rough 1st big league outing for Dany Jimenez. Came on with a man on 2nd and 2 out. Walk, walk, infield single, walk. Mercifully pulled with Mookie Betts coming to the plate.
StephenT - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 01:37 AM EDT (#388342) #
If the Marylanders won't accept the Jays' rent and taxes, MLB could alter the August schedule to have the 2 Jays/Baltimore series back-to-back, and the 2 Jays/Tampa series back-to-back.  Then the Jays would just have 15 hotel switches for the season, the same number as in the original Toronto plan, by just using visitors' clubhouses.  They'd have a 2-series stay in Washington, a 2-series stay in Baltimore, a 2-series stay in Tampa, and a 3-series stay in NYC.
John Northey - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 02:00 AM EDT (#388343) #
The playoff setup makes sense (top 2 teams in each division, plus 2 wild cards per league) as the divisions aren't playing each other so if you are stuck with a dominate team in your division, or have a very balanced one it will be hard to build up a strong 2nd place record or 3rd place. If one division is very balanced except for one really bad team it could provide both wild cards in theory but it wouldn't be easy.

Using 2019's records you'd have
NYY/Tampa AL East
Min/Cleveland AL Central
Houston/Oakland AL West
plus Boston (84 wins) and Texas (78 wins) with #9 being the Angels & White Sox at 72 wins

Atlanta/Washington NL East
St Louis/Milwaukee NL Central
Dodgers/Arizona NL West
plus Mets (86 wins) and Cubs (84 wins) with Philly having 81 wins and just missing by 3 games.

Now last year was odd with 4 teams over 100 wins and 6 more in the 90's. 2018 would've had the Pirates and Arizona 1/2 a game apart for the final spot, thus Pittsburgh would've had to play their missing game against Miami (I think).

Just interesting to see how it would've been in the recent past. This year will be weird no matter what though.

Jays have a real shot though, probably them and the Red Sox for 3rd in the AL East. A 500 record should do the trick. Play ball!
ISLAND BOY - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 07:33 AM EDT (#388344) #
With 8 teams making the playoffs in each league, standings are going to be tight and each game is important. Here is the way it would have looked after 60 games last year:


Division leaders - EAST- New York Yankees 38-22
CENTRAL- Minnesota Twins 40-20
WEST- Houston Astros 40-20

Next 5 teams- Tampa Bay Rays 37-23
Texas Rangers 32-28
Boston Red Sox 31-29
Cleveland Indians 30-30
Oakland Athletics 30-30

* LA Angels and Chicago White Sox both 29-31


Division Leaders EAST- Philadelphia Phillies 33-27
Atlanta Braves 33-27
CENTRAL- Chicago Cubs 33-27
Milwaukee Brewers 33-27
WEST- Los Angeles Dodgers 41-19

Next 3 teams- Colorado Rockies 31-29
San Diego Padres 31-29
St. Louis Cardinals 31-29

* Arizona Diamondbacks 30-30
Pittsburgh Pirates 29-31

** Washington Nationals 27-33

scottt - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 07:54 AM EDT (#388345) #
The real test will come when the roster go down to 26.
Tyler Rogers got hammered and he is a candidate to close.
The Giants are not a contender, but they'll need to get innings somewhere.

scottt - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 08:00 AM EDT (#388346) #
For the Jays, it's a matter of beating Baltimore and holding water against New York and Tampa.
Getting a winning record  against Boston would help..

Also, they need the Rangers to get some wins. Seattle is bad, but not Baltimore bad.
Detroit and KC should be weak enough to ensure 3 teams from the central make it.

christaylor - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 08:45 AM EDT (#388347) #
It looks like that Nationals have accrued a disadvantage of a false positive test in addition to a deluge of rain -- Soto's immediate 2nd test after his positive test was negative. I hope this post is baseball enough to for this thread.

False positives aren't a health risk, but they're going to disrupt teams from time to time and are likely to have a higher false-positive rate versus medical gold-standard tests. I'm glad to have baseball back, it was fun to watch Cole face off against the Nationals, I think this country (the US) needs more small positive distraction from the everyday news gloom and political tension.
scottt - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 09:56 AM EDT (#388349) #
Ryu vs Morton

The Blue Jays went 33-43 against division rivals last year.

Mike Green - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 10:13 AM EDT (#388351) #
Many commentators are making predictions with a degree of confidence that would be appropriate for a 162 game season not in the middle of a pandemic.  I think it's funny- luck obviously plays a much larger role this year than any in recent memory.

So my predictions for the Blue Jays, assuming the season is finished, and with a huge error bar- 36 wins and a division championship.  It's not the most likely outcome objectively (that would be about 30 wins), but subjectively that's what I think is going to happen if they finish the season.  That's a very big if.  The reasons for my "optimism":
- the 60 game season plays into their pitching talent- you wouldn't want to bet on Ryu, Shoemaker and Pearson being very good over a 162 game season, but it's a very different story over 60 (again with error bar in part due to COVID)
- the bullpen looks better than in a while
- the club was pretty close to a .500 team in the second half of the year when the kids were all up
- they are making moves like they intend to win- moving VGJ off third

I hope that they end up in Buffalo so they do have a home-field advantage.
rtcaino - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#388352) #
False positives aren't a health risk, but they're going to disrupt teams from time to time and are likely to have a higher false-positive rate versus medical gold-standard tests.

Of course, the Yankees benefit. Quelle surprise. This whole return to play is rigged in their favour.


Cracka - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 11:56 AM EDT (#388353) #
The new playoff format certainly isn't geared to help the Yankees or any elite team; previously division winners skipped the wild-card "round"; now they must play a best-of-three series (granted, with all home games). Short series = more upsets.

One takeaway from last night: AL/NL East aces were fully stretched out: Scherzer went 99 pitches, Cole went 75 and was lights out before the rain ended the game. But AL/NL West aces were not: Cueto went 4 innings on 63 pitches; May went 4.1 innings on 60 pitches (and Kershaw landed on the IL before the game). The Giants game turned on a couple of fundamental errors: The Dodgers scored the go-ahead run on a fielder's choice with the infield in. They ended up scoring two more runs after Tyler Rogers didn't try to turn an inning-ending double play on a comebacker. Then poor Dany Jimenez made his debut...

Both Ryu & Shoemaker should be ready for 90-100 pitches; not sure what we'll get out of starters beyond that.
PeterG - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#388354) #
According to Rosenthal, Jays will be playing in Buffalo.
uglyone - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 11:57 AM EDT (#388355) #
Buffalo Blue Jays it is.
rtcaino - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#388356) #
Probably for the best. At least the investments made into the stadium could pay dividends long term. I know the players wanted a Major League facility, but I didn't love the idea of squatting on another team's couch.

Hopefully, things improve and they can play at home come playoff time!

Gerry - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 12:33 PM EDT (#388357) #
Vladdy, Bo, Pearson and Biggio all sent back to Buffalo.
scottt - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#388358) #
I heard Charlotte, NC becomes the player pool home.
It's the White Sox AAA stadium, but they have their player pool at Schaumburg Boomers Stadium, a nearby Frontier League stadium.

Charlotte is one of the better AAA stadium.

scottt - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#388359) #
I think it's mostly a few vets like Shaw and Bass who wanted an MLB park.
For unmarried players who have already played there, I can't see why they'd wouldn't want Buffalo.

I'm sure starting pitchers prefer to have half their games in the same stadium.

SK in NJ - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 12:49 PM EDT (#388360) #
Not the ideal situation, especially for the players who wanted a big league stadium, but probably the right one if they can fix the stadium issues (lighting, space, etc). The Jays really needed a place to themselves, and unfortunately the Dunedin ST complex (which would have been perfect as a backup to RC) was not an option.

Buffalo Blue Jays actually has a nice ring to it.
scottt - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#388361) #
The early line ups looks like:
Friday: Ryu vs Morton
Saturday: Shoemaker vs Yarbrough
Sunday: Roark vs Snell
Monday: Thornton vs Annibal Sanchez
Tuesday: (bullpen game?) vs Austin Voth
Wednesday: Scherzer vs Pearson
Thursday: Strasburg vs Ryu

The Jays have one of the toughest schedule early on.

ISLAND BOY - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 01:26 PM EDT (#388362) #
I thought I saw or heard someone say that Thomas Hatch was starting Sunday. I must be wrong but has anyone heard that Hatch might be starting a game? Given that every game is important it doesn't seem likely but he is a starter and on the roster...
scottt - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#388363) #
Technically, Hatch is in the pen.
So are Gaviglio, Yamaguchi, Waguespack and Kay.
It would be a good time to use an opener or a bunch of starters on 2 or 3 innings each.

The numbers are funky, but Anderson, Luciano, Diaz, Font, Drury and Davis are on the IL and might not count if it's Covid related.
Valera is on the restricted list. Maybe he opted out?

hypobole - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 02:19 PM EDT (#388364) #
Valera can't get out of Venezuela. Not by choice, apparently.
scottt - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 02:37 PM EDT (#388365) #
Ah, yes. I forgot about that.

Washington DC has just announced a new order to self quarantine for 14-day when traveling from high risk areas starting Monday. Good timing.

So, I guess the Jays will play their 2 games quarantined in DC.
Maybe getting back to Buffalo won't feel so bad.

Lawmakers are exempted.

85bluejay - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 03:40 PM EDT (#388366) #
I can't imagine any ML player being happy about playing in a minor league park - will be interesting - if the Jays get off to a poor start and with the youth and tough schedule, I could see a dumpster disaster of a season with the players using the Buffalo park as an excuse - if the Jays get off to a decent start, home field advantage could become a thing as I expect all the visiting teams will be grousing about having to play in a minor league park..
scottt - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 03:54 PM EDT (#388367) #
Why not? The park was initially designed with the same dimension as Progressive Field.
It think they brought center field in a bit and maybe lowered the outfield walls.
It's not a launch pad and it doesn't hurt the Jays as a whole.
Also, it's real grass instead of turf.

It will suck on the road anywhere they need to self-isolate.
The players should be able to rent their own places and the team should pay for it.

I don't see why facilities built in the concourse of a major park are better than the one they'll have in Buffalo. They should just convert the corporate boxes into rooms for the players like they did in Boston.

PeterG - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 04:08 PM EDT (#388368) #
I also heard that Hatch was starting Sunday, with Kay piggybacking. Roark was supposed to be throwing simulated game in TB today unless that has changed.
grjas - Friday, July 24 2020 @ 05:05 PM EDT (#388372) #
Being a young team, Buffalo may provide a slight advantage for the Jays as a number of players know the stadium having played there in the recent past. Not many of their competitors will have recent experience with the field.
scottt - Saturday, July 25 2020 @ 08:02 AM EDT (#388382) #
They'll play 3 in Tampa, 4 in Washington, maybe 3 games in Philadelphia, 3 in Boston, 3 in Atlanta and then finally in Buffalo on August 11 in a park where many of them have never been.

They'll be exhausted and it won't feel like home.
Especially if they're in hotel rooms and the facilities are worse than on the road.

Grichuk has called Buffalo the worst case scenario.

For the first 2 weeks, the key will be to get comfortable on the road.

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