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With all the attention focused on the draft recently, it occurred to me recently to go back to Michael Lewis's famous baseball book, Moneyball, and look at the chapters on that year's draft (2002). Lewis dissects the draft, highlighting the players Oakland was interested in and the others who figured in to their picks. You could put together a pretty interesting all-star team from the players mentioned by name in that part of the book, and here they are:
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Sorry about the interruption.  We are running a customized, and old, version of geeklog software that does not appreciate a lot of volume.

The draft deadline is complete and in the next day or two the jury will render its opinion on the Jays draft, now that we know who is signing and who isn't.  The riskiest move of the day was Tyler Beede turning down $2.5m to go to college.  I hope it works out for the kid but unfortunately for him a lot has to go right to make it worthwhile financially.

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A brouhaha has erupted in the wake of an ESPN report that seems to implicate the Toronto Blue Jays in using some sort of relay (a now infamous "man in white") to steal signs, which would be in contravention of the rules of baseball. You'll note I say "seems to implicate," because ESPN doesn't have any sort of actual proof that the Jays have stolen signs illegally, more like rumour and conjecture; the article by Amy K. Nelson and Peter Keating is at various points subtitled "The Blue Jays deny they're stealing signs - evidence may lead to another conclusions" and "Baseball's Toronto Blue Jays under suspicion again of stealing signs at Rogers Centre."

The evidence offered essentially breaks down to anonymous player reports (seemingly from a single bullpen), statistical cherrypicking, and the extreme unusualness of the Jay's 2010 offensive season. None of these on their own are convincing, but according to ESPN when put together they mean that "every pitch to a Blue Jay in Toronto is worth watching" which is of course meaningless pablum, but which again seems intended to implicate that the Jays are doing something illegal or unethical.

So are the Blue Jays stealing signs illegally? I have no honest idea. I'm sure they are relaying pitch location from second base with runners on; plenty of teams do that, and the Jays seems to be at the forefront of that. I'm willing to acknowledge that it's within the realm of possibility that the Jays are even going farther than that - not especially likely, but not completely improbably either. Mostly though, I think it's unfortunate that ESPN decided to run with what seems like at best a highly circumstantial set of allegations that are not backed up by it's own reporting. Let's review.
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Bye, Juan.

In an odd, that''s-gonna-fail stab at  addressing a problematic hole in left field, earlier today the Los Angeles Dodgers acquired right-handed "hitting" outfielder Juan Rivera and cash from the Jays for a player to be named or cash. In a related move, to create roster space, LA OF Marcus Thames was designated for assignment.

In another thread, long-time Bauxite MatO captured this deal perfectly with the comment, "Who made the Rivera deal?  The bankruptcy judge? "

Now that we are at the '1/2 way point' (actually a bit past) I got to wondering if anyone is on pace for new records for a Blue Jay.
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Bauxite ayjackson was wondering

When was the last time we were in that situation?  With a 3-4 hole in the lineup as strong as its been since (ever?).  Certainly since Green/Delgado.

Is Bautista-Lind indeed the best one-two punch the Jays have had in their lineup since then?
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It was “even steven” on the farm Friday, but Pitchers were knocked around pretty hard and the bats were nothing to write home about.  So 3-3 on the night actually sounds a lot better than the performances turned in by the affiliates.

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Perhaps it was seeing the name Sam Horn appear, not once but twice, in the list of players who had hit grand slams against the Blue Jays that gave me this idea. (Horn hit just 62 HRs in his career, and most of them as an Oriole, by the way.)
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We all love AA around here, right? Okay, maybe not all of us love him enough to write a tribute song. But some of us do. Hope you enjoy!
And I won't let you choke
On the noose around your neck.

The Jays finish their 10 game road trip tonight in Dee-troit, a 6.05 start, making up for an earlier rain out. The Jays then get 6 at home (Pirates, Halladay's) and 7 on the road (Red Sox, Cleveland's) before the All-Star Break. Let's ruminate.


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This = Pitching. That = Hitting.

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With all the focus on the draft and the status of Brett Lawrie's third metacarpal the big boys continue their winning ways in Kansas City.  It wasn't a pretty victory, the bullpen tried to give it back, but an ugly win is still a win.

Today it's a day game at 3pm Toronto time.  Ricky Romero takes on Luke Hochever, the Jays have to be favourites in that match-up.

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Was there a game last night?  Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on your perspective, I had to go to a funeral last night and I don't mean at the RC.  By the time I came home the Jays had conceded twelve runs.  I got to see the Jays mount their comeback of a sort.

Kyle Drabek had been dodging bullets all season with his loose command but last night it came back to bite him in a big way.  I have to say the Indians impressed me with their willingness to go the other way with a lot of pitches in this series.  The question du jour, as per the poll on the left, is what to do with Drabek?  Was this just a bad game, or was it a reflection of his season and a sign that something has to get fixed?  It can be hard to fix things in-season but I am sure the big brains in the front office are trying to figure out what to do with Drabek today.

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After 54 games, 1/3 of the season, the Jays sit at 28-26. They've won four in a row, their second longest streak of the season (they also swept a 2-gamer with Boston, had Bautista unleash his 5 HR weekend against the Twins and took the first from Detroit.) After the next two with Cleveland (Mitch Talbot, 3.77 FIP, Josh Tomlin, 4.42 FIP) they travel to Baltimore and Kansas City for 3 game sets before a difficult stretch to reach the All-Star Break - 3 each against Baltimore and Boston, before a 10 game road trip in the NL, where they get one of if not the most difficult schedule - Cincinnati, St. Louis, Atlanta (plus a rain out against Detroit). They then get six at home against Pittsburgh and Philly, before closing out the first half with 3 at Boston and 4 at Cleveland. So, if you're scoring at home, after this upcoming road trip they play 6 games in 5 weeks agaisnt sub-500 teams, and those teams are a combined 8 games under. Suffice it to say, this is a make or break point in the season.

So, how's the team doing at the third mark then?

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We get to witness history this year.
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