Did this really happen??? You have just entered the ‘twilight zone!’ Do, do, do, do ….. do, do, do, do!
It happened in another parraell universe where the Jays didn’t go on a 9-game losing streak in late-May??? Instead, it was a nine game winning streak, and the Jays rode that momentum to the promise land baby!
What else happened in the parallel universe?
Now get ready to enter the crazy nickname zone! Do, do, do, do …. do, do, do, do!
Here is one that I didn’t even make up. It was a shame to hear that Jays middle-reliever, Dirk Hayhurst, will be out most of the season with right shoulder surgery – or as he puts it, ‘Ninjas attacking his shoulder.’ I have his Twitter, and the guy is hilarious! His book, “The Bullpen Gospels: Major League Dreams of a Minor League Veteran,” is scheduled to be released on March 30. He has an excellent imagination, especially the infamous bullpen ledgend of ‘The Garfoose.’ Hilarious story! A very interesting ballplayer, and I am waiting for his book.
I didn’t make this one up either, but I always thought it was cool! While Kevin Youkilus was thriving in the minors, Oakland GM Billy Beane had his sights set on acquiring him. Like no other, Youkilus fits the ‘Moneyball’ ideal of production, working long at-bats and maintaining a high .OBP (on base percentage). They called him ‘Youcules the Greek God of Walks’ for this reason, and salavated over him for good reason. Youkilus is a slightly under-rated ‘grinder’ in my opinion, and a huge asset to the Red Sox!
Everyone knows how much I love Japanese food, that is how this name evolved. And, it is fun to say! Try it … quite fun! I’ve always respected Matsui as a player. I think that he will missed by the Yankees next year. Matsui had a way of grinding out at-bats, and annoying opposing pitchers that tried to cope with the relief of not facing AROD, Giambi (in his prime) or Teixera.
Now, this might be the worst one of the nicknames. I call Bobby Abreu, ‘Booby Abooba,’ just because it is fun to say. The guy has abnormally large pectoral muscles. I can’t help that. God, this blog has just reached a new all-time low! Sorry Bobby Abreu. You are a very good player, and a key contributor to my keeper ‘fantasy baseball team.’ I’m just a weirdo!
As we get ready for Spring, I will end with one of my personal favorite Blue Jays. John MacDonald is an absolute delight to have on the Jays. He is always interacting with fans before the game, he does anything the club tells him to do in a utility role and although he is small, the guy gives 100% every time he is called upon. Mothers, like mine, all across Canada love this guy and can’t wait for him get on the field. You can tell he has a genuine love for the game, even though he has never been in primary role.
In essence, he is the ‘Tiny Tim’ of the low-market Blue Jays club. Would John MacDonald ever have any place on the Yankees or Red Sox? No way. He’d be weeded out by ‘big names,’ ‘big talent’ and ‘big money!’ However, it is guys like him that represent ‘the good of the game’ and keep me watching!
Anyway, thanks for reading and I hope I didn’t freak anyone out too much.
There is an unconfirmed report on ‘Yahoo Sports’ that the Jays are interested in signing Rafeal Furcal. Back problems cut down Furcal’s year last season. Although in the time he played, he did very well for the Dodgers in their late playoff push, hitting .350, with a .439 on-base and 5 homers in 143 at-bats.
The Blue Jay infield would look drastically different with Rafeal Furcal at short and Aaron Hill at second. Better defensively! Furcal is a dynamite shortstop with an absolute cannon
of an arm. This is not to take anything away from the crafty Prime Minister John MacDonald, Furcal has a fireball attached to his arm and range to boot.
We all saw how comfortable and effective Aaron Hill got at second base. We had some good production at second base last year (i.e. Joe Inglett). Hill, however, can wield a devastating bat if he is ‘locked in’.
In getting Furcal, the Jays could aquire something that they have never had before, or in a long time at least. This is a shortstop that can hit, and be a legitimate stolen base threat from the leadoff spot. We wanted that in David Eckstein last season but didn’t get it. It has been a long time since the Jays have had any stolen base threat, or legitimate lead-off hitter, for that matter. Although I must admit, Alex Rios was very impressive stealing bases last year.
Past Blue Jay shortstop list (I realize I’m probably leaving a lot guys out, I’m just concerned with the primary shortstops we’ve had): Manny Lee, Alex Gonzalez, Tony Batista, Russ Adams, Chris Gomez, Dick Scofield, Mike Bordick, Chris Woodward, Tony Fernandez, Alfredo Griffin (I don’t go back any further than him).
Okay, the latter two were pretty good in their day, but ever since Tony’s (??count them) 3rd arrival back to the Jays, we have had a lack of production from the shortstop position (Woodward had one good year, his defense was sub-par). Aquiring Furcal would be refreshing in this area; however, there will be a price, and there will be large expectations on him. Probably double that of what David Eckstein faced last season.
Looking at the Jays financial contraints, that by now have been well documented, we might only barely be able to afford Furcal. This doesn’t give us room to hunt down other free agents to fill team depth. Furcal might be all our ‘eggs in the basket.’ Just hope he is not another ‘bastaerd in a basket.’ Daniel Day Louis in There Will Be Blood