It's true, we're easy to please here in Blue Jay Nation these days. Coming off two consecutive victories over Kansas City, the hometown Graybirds want to make it an unprecedented three wins in a row at home this year. To do that, the bats will have to continue their renaissance and the pitching will have to be solid against the White Sox. It's a holiday season matchup tonight, as Jon "Christmas" Garland takes on Ted "Easter" Lilly. The Blue Jays hope the end of the game will be cause for Thanksgiving! Okay, that's enough of that.
Rick Adair is the pitching coach for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. When some Bauxites visited the Cats in Erie recently we talked with Rick about The Blue Jays organization, Leo Mazzone, and some of the Blue Jay prospects.
One win, three fairly ugly losses and an injury to one of the organizationís best prospects; could we have a night where the big club and the little clubs all do well?
Sleeping dreaming such a simple thing
I think of things that I might be
I see my name go down in history
One of my all-time faves from listening to Blue Jays Baseball over the years was the Benjamin Moore Paints "Where are they Now" segment. Today, we take over from Tom and Jerry, with the story on Blue Jays 1982 First Round Draft Choice (2nd Overall) Augie Schmidt. But rather than telling you of Augie's travels and travails myself, I'll simply pass along the amazing journey
, as told by Pete Jackel of the Racine, Wisconsin, Journal-Times
. I'm sure I speak for many Bauxites in wishing Mr. Schmidt all the best (and a successful NCAA tournament to cap his impressive season!)
A year ago, Aaron Hill was leading Louisiana State's drive towards the College World Series. Now, he's in AA after only 65 professional games last season. One of a handful of highly-touted college hitting prospects in last year's draft, Hill was chosen 13th overall by the Blue Jays. Many expected Toronto to take a pitcher with their first selection, particularly since the Jays took another college shortstop in the first round the year before - Russ Adams. Despite the expectations carried by a first round draft choice and the competition within the organisation, Hill seems unperturbed by it all.
In honour of Cinco de Mayo, but a propos of nothing in particular, I rated the current MLB managers this morning over on Primer in response to a question. Thought I'd share it with you all and invite your ripostes, comments and abuse.
With open arms to welcome you
Beware the masked pretender
An early lead, a sustained rally, a little power, a gutty starting performance, and some last-minute bullpen heroics -- the Blue Jays looked a lot more like themselves last night, and it paid off with a win they needed like nobody's business. Gunning for their second consecutive win at home for the first time this year (eep), the Jays are sending Doc Halladay to continue to build momentum, going up against KC's Brian Anderson. This team isn't yet firing on all cylinders -- but they're already firing on more than half, and that should keep them rolling.
For 2004 I have been tracking start by start statistics for all minor league starting pitchers. I have been adding this information to the prospect pages such as the one for David Bush
. But how do we compare a Josh Banks
start for Dunedin to a Dustin McGowan
start for New Hampshire? To do this I turned to Bill James and his game scores. Bill developed game scores to answer this specific question.
With the contraction spectre coming back in a couple years, Jays fans need to find a way to make the Skydome experience fun and entertaining for other fans, so they'll come back more often, and so MLB gets rid of some other team instead of our Blue Birds.
One way to create noise in the Skydome is with those blue horns. But those have been maligned as being annoying and "non inclusive". So let's come up with things which are inclusive, such as the "Moooookie" chants from the 1980's. Named For Hank's crew came up with an idea yesterday:
Through the latex breeze
Synthetic fibre see-thru leaves
Fell from the rayon trees
Last night's loss could easily have been a win for the Blue Jays, and they did show gumption (a word you don't hear often enough) in coming back to the tie the game with two runs in the 9th inning. The team is in better shape today than it was a week or ten days ago: the starting pitching has invaribaly been solid, the batters (with the exception of VW) are coming around, and the bullpen is slowly gathering steam. The turnaround could start anytime, and facing Darrell May and his 7.32 ERA seems like a good place to start. Pat Hentgen, sporting a comparatively stingy 5.96 ERA, is just the guy to lead the renaissance. This team is very close.
Another bottom-heavy day for the Jays' system. Toronto and Syracuse lose, New Hampshire is rained out, Dunedin wins, and Charleston sweeps a double-header. Winning percentages by level so far this year: .308 (MLB), .423 (AAA), .500 (AA), .577 (Hi-A), .833 (Lo-A).