Tagged: Adam Lind

Deep Thoughts: How Baseball Compares to the World

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On occasion a ‘deep thought’ enters my brain.  These
thoughts, however, are not unlike the ‘Deep Thoughts’ by Jack Handy skit,
that were famously parodied in the early 90’s on Saturday Night Live.   This doesn’t really make them ‘deep
thoughts’ – just silly ones.

Now that off-season blogging has begun, I feel that I can now delve into a
little more creative writing – the initial goal of this blog.  All the off-season
speculation can get a little over done.  For instance, when you have blog
writers like me posting about topics that he nowhere near qualified to post
about.  I will just sum up my opinions on the Jay’s 2010 off-season in
some brief bullet points:

Alex Gonzolez makes the team better defensively at SS.  I
question Scutaro’s ability to play that position in the future.

– I think the Jays will get a hefty sum for Roy Halladay this off-season,
not unlike the offers we were presented at the deadline last year.

– Working Adam Lind in at first base is a very good idea.  Snider
in the outfield might become an issue.  I’m okay with Randy Ruiz
starting at DH this year, but don’t expect ‘the world’ from him.  Would be
a ‘great story’ if he excelled though after spending the majority of his career
in the minors! 

– We need a catcher!  Barajas likely won’t be back.  I hear talk of Yorvit
Torrealba
?  Almost not significant enough a move to talk about.

– Improved scouting and player development under GM Alex Anthopolous
Very good!  Thumbs up to him.  Hopefully, we will be able to freakin
SIGN some of his picks!!! 

How Baseball Compares to World History

Finding loose, comical
parallels in comparing the history of baseball to significant moments in World
History. 

 

Ancient History 

 

The ancient history
of baseball evolves out of a game played in
England called ‘Rounders.’  Rounders was game that took it’s form from
games such as Cricket and Polo.  In fact,
throughout the early history of baseball the game was constantly evolving and
improving to suit time.  This evolution
has not stopped, as today we see the implementation of instant replay, and
dampened baseballs in
Colorado for instance.  The evolution of
baseball compares to the natural process that is Charles Darwin’s ‘natural
selection’ theory.  We adapt, and improve
to conquer our surroundings.  From
bacteria, to
Australopithecus afarensis, to **** Erectus, to Neanderthal and so on. 
Baseball’s origins came from oddly unfamiliar relatives, just as
humans.  The early years of baseball saw
many different forms and improvements in the equipment, the uniforms, the rules
and the organizational structure. 
Baseball went from unorganized groups where games were played in
backyards with loose rules and little knowledge of what they were actually
participating in, to an international game played in billion dollar stadiums
employing millions of people.  Human kind
came from a group bipedal apes sitting around trying to find a way to keep
warm, crack nuts and keep nourished, to nations, cities, politics, commerce,
the internet, Shamwows and the Snuggies. 
             
       

 

Civilization and Religion

 

June 19, 1846
– Baseball became most similar to the way it is played today.  The innovations made on the Elysian Fields in
Hoboken, New Jersey
would set baseball on a path towards the great game that it is today.    There Henry Chadwick went on to become the
game’s preeminent reporter developing baseball’s statistics and scoring system.
He

elysian-fields-baseball-game.jpg

became known as “The Father of Baseball.”  I don’t want to compare Henry Chadwick, to
you know who, but the religion of baseball, still practiced today, lies in the
constant statistical work and reporting of the game. Whether you deny it or
not, this area is the Mecca of
baseball.  The New England, New York area
is/was home to Cooperstown, the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Giants, Babe Ruth’s
playing career and Elysian Fields, where many scholars agree is the ‘true’
birthplace of baseball, even though this is a debatable suggestion.  This area has influenced far stretches of the
baseball world, similar to the ‘Holy Roman Empire,’ except
this empire remains in baseball even to this day.  Some compare the United
States to an extension of the Roman
Empire, so I will use that logic for the sake of comparison.  The Roman Empire fell
in a way that compares to the way baseball’s great franchises in New
York lost themselves to expansion.  The Dodgers moved to L.A.
and the Giants moved to San Fran causing a collapse in the mecca of the New
York baseball during the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s.  The destruction of Ebbetts Field in Brooklyn
symbolizes this fall, only to gain strength later in a different form, Pax
Americana.  The in-between time saw
baseball prophets, icons, political leaders, heroines, kings, queens, martyrs
and cultural representations emerge. 

 

Branch Rickey …
Abraham Lincoln (freed baseball … freed
America)

 

Ty Cobb … Ivan the
Terrible

 

John McGraw (little
Napolean) … Napolean (both were truly great strategists)

 

Jackie Robinson …
Nelson Mandela

 

Dottie Hinson (A
League of Their Own character loosely based on Dottie Green of the Rockford
Peaches 1943 to 1947) … Cleopatra

 

Yogi Berra … Winston
Churchill

 

Pete Rose … Harry
Truman (great president … one big mistake. 
Great player … one big mistake)

 

Barry Bonds …
Machiavelli (use whatever means as long as you get the end result:  Steroids)

             

Rafeal Palmerio …
Richard Nixon (just despicable)  

That is all I got right now! 
Anymore?

 

Reform

 

Free agency, no-trade clauses, agents and big money have
made the game what it is today.  These implementations
have also expanded the game further than any thought it would have
internationally.  The gospel of baseball
took a dramatic turn with the advent of these measures.  The Protestant Reformation conducted by
Martin Luther in 1517, coinciding with the creation of the printing press allowed
for religion to be spread and interpreted all over the world on levels that it
had never seen before.  Baseball as an
institution could now be influenced by the players that play the game.  This is similar to the Protestant
Reformation, where people began to influence religion more than they had been
able to before in the era of the ‘Holy Roman Empire.’

 

Today

 

Baseball, along with life on this planet is moving now in
rapid speed.  The internet has created a
world where baseball can be covered, analyzed, broken down into a mirco-science
like never before.  Improvements to
scouting, statistics (with sabermetrics), reporting and promotion have
propelled baseball into the technological age. 
Teams know now to jump on the next best thing coming out of Cuba,
Venezuela, or Timbuktu
that throw 100 MPH.  We live in a smaller
world, and globalization has taken hold of baseball as well.  The World Baseball Classic is in its infancy,
but baseball is also expanding into unimaginable countries now.  Yet, the peace on a baseball field remains
untarnished despite the new world order. 
That is the beauty of it all.    

 

What is next?

 

I envision a game where humans
take on robots that can statically
compute information before every pitch. 
No, no really. 

 

Better yet, baseball games used to decide conflict, or
war?  If only we could get the Taliban to
agree to that??  It would be a whole lot
more fun than the alternative, I’m sure most would agree.          

J.P. Ricciardi: Successes, Failures and more Failures

I will not bash J.P. Ricciardi for the eight year job he did in Toronto.  The fact is we gave him two chances, through a pair of ‘3-4 year plans’ to make the Blue Jays a playoff team again.  His failures speak for themself, and it is easy to point to a number of decisions he made that did not work out for the team.  I won’t mock, gock, or make fun of those decisions, as it is so popular in ‘Blue Jay land’ to do … well not yet anyway.

To be perfectly honest, my opinion of J.P. Ricciardi is that he was a ‘mediocre GM,’ performance-wise that is.  His cocky, egotistical, know-it-all stance with the media led him into many mistakes ‘running his mouth’ on certain issues.  It is a well know fact, that if you can’t back up this attitude, you are going to fall … and fall hard!  Year after year, the Jaystoronto-blue-jays-gm-j-p-ricciardi copy.jpg would truly produce good baseball teams on the borderline of making the playoffs, yet the heat on J.P. swirled around him as if the Jays had finished dead last every year.  Fans, the media, even people supporting other teams on this blog site ‘dished out’ the heat on J.P.  Unfair?  Maybe, but if J.P. were to ever claim that, and I that bet he has, he should take a long look in the mirror because the man definately brought it on himself.         

At the start of his reign, J.P. was very open with media, took responsibility for his decidsions, and rarely shyed away from the truth.  This openess inevitably led to some embarrassment, as it became clear that J.P. was just not a very good liar.  General Managers in baseball have to make many very tough decidsions, and similar to politicians, they need to be able to avoid certain questions that might jeopardize them in a situation, or cause further embarrassment.  There were instances where J.P. would be hiding something, and then tell the media flat out that he was hiding something from them! 

Notable Failures With the Media (few listed here amoung many)

1. One of J.P.’s memorable quotes was:  “It’s not a lie if we know the truth,” about infamous back injury story made up for B.J. Ryan when the left-hander was actually having elbow issues.

2.  After enduring a season where the Jays endured poor offensive production, J.P. was asked if he would consider trading for Adam Dunn from the Cinncinnati Reds at the time.  His response was overly amped with ego, basically telling a caller on a sports talk radio show that the caller knows nothing about Adam Dunn, and that Adam Dunn “doesn’t even like baseball.”  To which Dunn replied the next day, “who is this goof?”

Oh well, I have started to bash J.P. a bit.  Here are some of the successes that have set the current Jays up some relative hope, but in hindsight, can also be coupled with failure.

Notable Successes Amid Failures 

1.  Some very good draft picks.  One of Ricciardi’s first pick-ups coming to the Jays was Aaron Hill.  Amid some injuries and positioning questions Aaron Hill has quickly become one of the best second basemen in Major League Baseball.  We would have liked to have him strong in 2007, and a key part of the team playing third base instead of Corey Koskie in 2005, but regarless of those questions around Hill – still a great pick.

2.  Adam Lind was also a very good pick J.P. made in the draft, but similar to Hill, had troubled road to the middle of the Jays order.  Lind was picked up in the third round of the 2004 draft, and quickly excelled in the minors.  It took a couple of years of Lind contending annually for the batting championship in the AAA International League for the Jays to realize that ‘this kid could hit.’  Under Manager John Gibbons (J.P. Ricciardi’s man for the Manager position), Adam Lind wasn’t given much of a chance after some early struggles.  The kid became so distraught with the Jays early evaluation of him, that Lind almost quit baseball altogether!  With the efforts of newly acquired Manager, Cito Gaston, Lind salvage the 2008 season and ‘turned a corner’ with his bat.  2009 sees Adam Lind contending for the Silver Slugger Award as a DH, we as Jays fans wonder what HUGE, MONUMENTAL waste of talent it has been keeping this guy locked in the minors and doubting his career!!!  Still, J.P. a good draft pick … lol Yes. 

3.  The Roy Halladay contract extension was a great business decidsion by J.P.  He made a couple other extension that did not work out so well (i.e. Vernon Wells and Alex Rios) but Halladay’s paid off in spades.  The Jays currently have Halladay set with the team for another year, and he is still arguably the best pitcher in baseball.  With deeply inflated contracts to guys like C.C. Sabathia and Johan Santana, J.P. extended Halladay to for what seems like a bargain compared to the two previously mentioned.  Jays fans should feel lucky that they are able to enjoy Halladay for this, and another year.  I commend J.P. for that move, but at the same time you can really fault him for tacking on the dollars, and the years, to Vernon Wells and Alex Rios. 

J.P.’s Inevitable Big Failure 

I’m of the opinion, shared by most analysts and people that follow the Jays, that the beginning of the end occurred for J.P. Ricciardi before the 2005 season where he drifted far from the ‘moneyball’ strategy that made him such a ‘hotshot‘ coming from Oakland to begin with.  Before this season, one of the Jays top advisors (sorry as his name escapes me), a man highly adversed in sabermetrics, and well respected in baseball cirlces left the team.  Coincidentally the Blue Jays expanded their payroll that year, and the money staying to fly as if we were trying to compete for free agents with the ‘big two‘ Yankees and Red Sox.  Many talk about the ‘beginning of the end,’ when the Jays dished out a terrible three-year 17 million dollar contract to Corey Koskie losing some draft picks in the process.  This aquisition baffled many?  Yes, Koskie was Canadian, BIG ‘freakin’ DEAL, most in baseball knew he was nowhere near deserving of that money.  The smart, ‘moneyball’ decision would have been to keep those picks, and move up and coming shortstop Aaron Hill to third base for his 2005 rookie season.  Koskie hardly played a year for Jays before succumbing to injury. 

Conclusion to this Mess

The point to remember with the Koskie signing is that it showed how far J.P. strayed from the his principles with the acquisition of more money, which in the Jays case, doesn’t always equal more value or production.  Like any good business, you need seek ways to produce at high levels, with being as cost-effective as possible.  Recklessly throwing money at problems works for some teams, but not most.  After Koskie, the Jays risked buying a #2 starter, A.J. Burnett, that is still somewhat overvalued and in the long run ended up hurting club because of injury.  We overpayed, and are still overpaying, for a supposedly ‘shut down’ c
loser with a bright future, in B.J. Ryan.  One might wonder what the Jays might have become if we pursue this spots through other means??  Closers are often grown through the system, and 15-game winners can be made also without having to overspend on a player that comes with injury baggage. 

J.P. Ricciardi came to Jays with a method, and it quickly turned into ‘money-flashing madness,’ that would make even the Yankees and Red Sox proud.  If you are going to spend, you better make darn sure that you are getting that production in return.  I wonder what J.P. thinks now when he sees Vernon Wells’ .311 On Base?                       

  

I’m Starting to Believe

I’ve pretty much been going through this early Blue Jay winning streak with a skeptical attitude.  I thought that our hitters could not keep up this torrid pace for much longer.  Something happened now to change my mind.  The Jays keep hitting!  We just don’t stop!  It is awesome! 

Every night I’m watching a Blue Jay lineup that is similar to some of the Red Sox and Yankee teams of the past 10 years.  That is, we have hitters 1 thru 9 that can give our pitchers a very good chance to win on any given day. 

The ‘Cito Effect’ is indeed correct, (referring to an earlier preseason post of mine).  Blue Jay hitters are dismantling the baseball right now.  It is more surprising that we are being led byBlue Jay hitmen copy.jpg some players that we didn’t have for the majority of last year. 

Aaron Hill is one best hitters in baseball right now coming back to the Jays after suffering a concusion that saw him sit out the majority of last season.  To me, Hill is right there with Kinsler and Pedroia among American League second baseman.  The man can flat out hit, and he is hitting everything right now, batting .339 with 10 homers and 32 RBI’s.  Slowly Hill is asserting himself as the strongest hitter in the Blue Jay lineup.      

Rod Barajas split time with Gregg Zaun last season.  Totally outplaying Zaun last year, the Jays decided to sign him, and part with the aging fan favorite Zaun.  Boy, are they are glad they did.  Barajas is now proving to be a plus .300 hitter with gap power for the 2009 season.  Rod has been a big surprise getting a lot of opposite field hits lately.  I never saw him hit that way earlier in his career?  Barajas’ success I attribute primarily to Gene Tenace and Cito Gaston.  Rod was also born in Ontario, California, so it must have been divine fate that he would succeed here.

Last but certainly not least is Adam Lind.  Lind was sent down early in the 2008 season because of a cold spell when he was called up to the majors.  Lind was hitting everything in AAA in 2008.  Whatever John Gibbons or the hitting coach was trying to do with Lind was not working.  Cito Gaston promoted Adam Lind right away at the end of 2008.  There was a big difference in Adam Lind’s approach at the plate.  He has carried that over into 2009, gained some muscle and is now hitting the cover off the ball in 2009.  Lind is hitting .324 with 6 homeruns and has driven in 32 RBI’s.  Love those numbers! 

So, here are three guys that we didn’t have the majority of last season.  Three guys that are now making a huge difference for the 2009 Blue Jay team.  I haven’t been able to compare those kind of numbers to a set of Blue Jay hitters in a while.  Let me tell you, it feels very good.  Can they keep it up?  I am starting to believe they can. 

The Jays have a three-game series upcoming in Fenway Park against the division rival Red Sox.  If we win the Boston series, my hopes for this team will go through the roof and I’m gonna start talkin playoffs – even though it is still very early.           

‘The Cito Effect’ in Full Effect

The Blue Jays have gotten out to an amazing start this season on the backs of a strong and surprising offensive output.  Adam Lind leads the league in RBI’s at this point, and the Jays have hit the most homeruns in the majors to this point.  Who would have thunked it???  Go Blue Jays!  I’m a homer, I’ll admit it! 

The pitching has, for most part, been solid behind a stellar bullpen.  With the exception of Brandon League and B.J. Ryan, the other notables in the pen (i.e. Scott Downs, Jesse Carleson, Brian Tallet and Jason Frasor) have picked up where they left off last season as one of the best pen’s in the league.  The starting pitching has surprising held their own despite some very high doubts coming into the season.  Newcomers Ricky Romero and Scott Richmond both got wins in their starts, and Roy Halladay has started the season 2-0, with a win over 2008 questionable Cy Young choice Cliff Lee in Cleveland the other night. 

Going into the opening week series against Detroit I got to opportunity to meet one of the better bloggers on MLB.  The famous ‘Happy Youngster,’ a guy that has made somewhat of a name for himself catching balls in Milwaukee.  He got 5 balls in Toronto, as the empty batting practice crowd gave him many opporitunities. 

DSC00719.JPG

 

I wore my Paul Molitor Brewers jersey to honour a great Brewer/Blue Jay that spent so many years in Milwaukee and had a couple very valuable years in Toronto for a Blue Jay World Championship team in 1993. 

After the game, me, Happy and my friend Charles took to Alice Fazooli’s (a nice restaurant near the Rogers Centre) on Adelaide Street in Toronto.  (Bam!  I want money!)  We had a good time talking baseball, among other things.  The highlights of the conversation included: border security, Teddy Higuera, the future fantasy value of Alicdes Escobar, Molitor and baseball’s caught during games.  Charles showed his amazing baseball knowledge, and shared his story about the only time he got a ball at game.  It was such a big moment for him; however, he unfortunately was obligated to give the ball he caught to a young man sitting near him.  That is just one of those moments where you have to ‘suck it up.’  I’m sure he will get another one.  My first ball was a foul ball hit off catcher Joe Oliver’s (then a Brewer) bat, pitched by Cleveland Indian Denis ‘El Presidente’ Martinez on a trip me and my dad took to Cleveland.  I’ll never forget it, as there was a man next to me resentful that I caught it because he said he’d been going to Indian games for years and never a had a shot at catching a ball.

Other than that, the Blue Jays played absolutely amazing in the first two games of the season.  Both games I was in attendence.  Here are some photo highlights of those games.

Docpoint.jpg

Although Halladay didn’t pitch particularly well on Opening Day, he did get himself a win.  Thus, here I am pointing to my Halladay jersey indicating that indeed – he is the man!!

 

Outfield.jpg

I find it amusing that between pitching changes out three outfielders Vernon Wells, Travis Snider and Alex Rios observe the crowd.  They try to get some amusment over a long and somewhat boring pitching change I guess. 

 
Trashfield.jpg

You’ll notice in the corner of the outfield a bunch of paper airplanes.  Opening day saw a lot those thrown on the field as usual, but a new one came out that I’ve never seen before: BASEBALLS!  Some very disrespectful dummies through baseballs onto the field and almost caused the Jays to forfeit the game.  They almost ruined my entire trip in the process.  Sometimes those Toronto fans, if you can even call them fans, get on my nerves.  Jim Leyland took his team off the field.  You can’t blame him at all for doing it.  You also can’t blame team President Paul Beeston for banning beer sales at the last game.  It is just a very bad situation if you are a Jays fan.  I hope this kind of thing stops, it makes me embarrassed.               

Looking Forward to the AL East in 2009 … Let’s be Positive Blue Jays Fans

The quartet in the A.L. East has just gotten a lot more powerful.  The expression, ‘beasts from the east,’ has never been more true than it is right now.  The Rays, Red Sox, Yankees and Blue Jays look to improve on strong years that saw each of them support very respectable final records.   

So, what do these teams have to look forward to in 2009?  Well, at least these are the guys I will be looking forward to seeing in 2009. 

The Red Sox have these guys.

RedSox.jpg

 

Probably one of the best left-handers in the game, Jon Lester, is only getting better.  Last year he showed what he is capable of.  A ‘big’ 2009 may be in the works for him.  If you were wondering who the guy tucked on the right is?  It is Lars Anderson, Red Sox first base prospect.  Anderson was only drafted in 2006, however, he has been killing the minors and should probably get a look at ‘the show’ this season.  Anderson’s future prospects were definately one of the reasons why the Red Sox did not pursue Mark Teixeria as aggressively as many might have hoped.  Last year’s American League MVP and all-around scrappy ‘little-big man,’ Dustin Pedroia, will be interesting to watch in 2009.  First of all, the guy is always getting dirty, putting his heart on the field and awkwardly swinging to stardom.  I love Pedroia’s game.  If watching the AL MVP follow-up on his amazing season is not enough, then watching him making diving plays at second, steal bases and try to ‘leg out’ a double on every ball he banks off the monster is.  He’s a small guy, but he plays very big and right now he ‘big in Boston.’   

 As if the Rays needed any more players young players.  They have David Price.

 
price.jpg 

The number-one-pick overall in 2007, and it is easy to see why.  He has wicked stuff.  The Rays had enough confidence in him to close out games in the World Series.  This year, he will likely be featured in an already steller pitching rotation that includes Scott Kazmir, Jamie Shields, Andy Sonnanstine and Matt Garza.  Five legitimate starters going into 2009.  Most teams would take any of these guys as their #2, if not at least #3 starter.  The strength of the Tampa’s rotation will be tested against a division that just got a lot stronger in the pitching department.  I’m really looking forward to seeing their young pitchers next year, especially Price (that god for MLBTV and MLB Extra Innings).

Now lets state the obvious shall we. 

Everybody, me among them, is going to want to see what these lunkers will do.

 

fishes copy.jpg 

Yes, the Yankees landed the ‘big fish’ in the free agent market.  Their team does look devastating on paper; however, as the old cliche goes: ‘games aren’t won on paper.’  These guys will compliment Arod, Jeter and Rivera in what the Yankees are hoping is money well spent.  I think everyone is going to be interested watching these three, after the contracts they just signed.  To be fair, the Yankees did have a lot of money coming off the books to facilitate this.

Now for the Blue Jays.  With all this looming above us (just scroll up), it is obvious the Jays will have a big challenge in 2009.  We are no longer big players in the free agent market, with financial constraints the Jays cannot even afford a top 10 free agent without seriously having to budget.  The Canadian dollar dwindling has hurt the club, there have been job losses in the organization (so much for me getting a job there) and we lost two of our top pitchers last season, Shaun Marcum (injury) and A.J. Burnett (free agency).  Most prognosticators will predict the Jays to finish 4th in the division – just like last year no doubt.  Some might even throw the Jays behind the lowly Orioles in the A.L. East.  A team that I didn’t even consider for this entry because I’m not really looking forward to seeing anyone on that team (hmm… maybe Adam Jones).

So, lets be positive, because none in the organization seem to be (i.e. Vernon Wells, Cito Gaston).  The Jays are going to get a very good look at some young and possibly emerging players this year.  Notably Travis Snider, Adam Lind, Dustin McGowan, Jesse Litsch, David Purcey and possibly even Ricky Romero, Brett Cecil, J.P. Arencibia and Scott Campbell.  Travis Snider might be a ‘stud’ in the making, and if only Vernon Wells and Alex Rios could remain healthy, that would give the Jays a very strong outfield.  McGowan staying healthy might actually lessen the burden of losing Burnett, Aaron Hill looks like he may be healthy and ready to get back to form, Jose Bautista and Rod Barajas are wildcards that may do well and we all hope that Scott Rolen has had enough time to rest his shoulder for a great 2009 campaign.  This all being said, it will probably take all these things for the Jays to be anywhere near competitive in the A.L. East.

                

      

He Made it There

A.J. Burnett has just about made it anywhere, and importantly, he has always done it his

Thumbnail image for Burnett copy.jpgway.  Swish!  Two Sinatra references in one sentence.  So here I am spreading the news because he is leaving today.

It is difficult not to love Burnett, because of the type of pitcher he is:  fearsome attitude on the mound, cocky, throws heavy duty heat and is just flat out never scared on the mound.  He knows he has the stuff, and knows he can back it up.  The machismo, the hook, the heat, racking up the K’s and taking no prisoners, Burnett was awesome and he definately was one of my favourites on the team over last few years.

However, for all these admirable qualities, there were a number of glaring inconsistancies with A.J.  The Yankees will need to have a better have a catcher than the aging Jorge Posada now with Burnett on the mound.  Burnett was always terrible out of the stretch windup.  His ERA inflatates out of the stretch, opponent’s batting average goes up and he is generally just very slow to the plate.  It is not often he gives up two hits in an inning, but when does, not being able to hold baserunners is a problem and it drove me crazy when I watched him pitch.  With the Yankees now battling Tampa for the division, I can see this being a problem down the road.       

An obvious inconsistancy, is the injuries he has withstood in the past.  In 2008, he spent limited time on the DL for the Blue Jays.  Having him here in Toronto last season, pitching very well, almost made the last two years worth it.  Burnett was limited by injury in those years posting 10-8 records in both seasons.  Those are some mediocre numbers for a guy oozing that much machismo.  Actually, when you look at Burnett’s whole career, with the exception of last season, he has never had more than an average pitching record.  Maybe a bit better than average some years. 

A number of general inconsistancies.  That is what Yankee fans will probably find with A.J. Burnett.  He can be absolutely amazing one day, then another day, runners will reach base, they will steal and manufacture runs, and Burnett will be rattled.  Struggling as he pitches out of the stretch all day.

Some believe the Jays are now heading in a new direction.  Saving the high free agent contracts to mid-level players, and only keeping the money for a few ‘big-time’ stars (i.e. Roy Halladay worth every penny!, Alex Rios worth it, and Vernon Wells??? not worth the injuries that is for sure).  I don’t know if I see that for the future?  J.P. still has to dump fairly high contracts to B.J. Ryan, Lyle Overbay, and Scott Rolen for that to happen.  Cost cutting, and restructuring could be good for the Jays.  Only time will tell, but now more than ever, we will see if the farm system that J.P. has been compiling can achieve the great things that some people foresee.  Adam Lind, Aaron Hill, Travis Snider, David Purcey, Jesse Litsch, Casey Janssen, Brett Cecil, Ricky Romero, Scott Richmond, Brad Mills and Dustin McGowan in particular.  Boys, it is your time to shine. 

A.J. Burnett meet Frank Sinatra.  I know you are more in to heavy metal and alternative music.  Maybe, you’ll grow a taste for hearing Frank at the end of the game?  Its up to you Burnett, Burrrrrnett!  Dun, dunna, dunna, dun, dun, dunna, dunna, Dun!           

 

Blue Jays need a Major League Comeback

With the team down and out, and the front office looking to replace many of the players.  This team needs to light a spark and exceed everyones expectations, a la the 1989 film Major League.  Since July 8th the Blue Jays have the best record in the American League.  New coach (Gaston), some new call ups (Lind, Purcey) and some old bats coming alive (Alex Rios), have got the Jays salvaging, at least, some respectability this season.  If the Jays could grab a playoff spot this season, it would be like something out of the movies.  Lets go Blue Jays, have faith “Jesus Christ can hit a curveball”.  

 

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