So we were hit with a bit of breaking news this afternoon while we were mid-live stream, as word of Brett Cecil’s demotion to Las Vegas came down, and while we managed to ramble something about it, a couple words:
It’s a mildly surprising, but deserved move. According to the Twitter (i.e. five beat writers all saying pretty much the same thing from Alex Anthopoulos’s comments), the team is less concerned with the lack of velocity than the lack of command, and think he needs to work out some things mechanically, which he’s probably better off doing in the minors.
The pitcher’s “angry outbursts in the dugout and sullen mood with the media did not provoke his demotion,” writes John Lott of the National Post in his story on the situation.
The club hasn’t named a starter for his spot in the rotation, which comes up Tuesday. Jesse Litsch would be the logical choice, except that, due to MLB rules, he can’t come back up so quickly after a demotion unless someone goes on the DL. Aaron Hill might be that guy, but apparently he feels better today, and the club isn’t going to put him on the DL unless they absolutely have to.
So, Brad Mills is a possibility for the start, though they haven’t entirely ruled out Charley Wholestaff.
Chris Woodward returns to Toronto as the reciprocal roster move, in part because the team needs some infield backup, and in part, according to AA, because he “knows the AL East.” Yeah, I’m sure his deep knowledge of how to shade Nomar and Jon Lieber’s arsenal of pitches will come in real fucking handy. Still, kinda awesome.
Now, obviously this Cecil development throws a bit of wrench in the plans of anyone planning the World Series victory parade down Yonge St. in late October, but… that was never going to happen anyway. Next year however… there’s a chance. And thanks to some comments today from Bud Selig, there may be an even better chance than we thought.
“I would say we’re moving to expanding the playoffs, but there’s a myriad of details to work out. Ten is a fair number,” the commissioner told the Associated Press. “The more we’ve talked about it, I think we’re moving inexorably to that.”
Now, I always kind of find it to be bullshit when fans want to look to the commissioner’s office to help the Jays find a way around the difficulties of playing in the American League East. And you worry about how long the season is already, and about further watering down the 162 games each team plays– I mean, it’s not just weather-related that there have been so many empty seats at stadiums across baseball this year– but… I think this could be done right.
Personally, I’m partial to the idea of having a short play-in series– say, three games in the home park of the team with the better record– for the Wild Card berth, then keeping the rest of the playoffs as is. Technically you expand the playoffs and keep more clubs in the race down the stretch, and you’re really only trivializing the Wild Card by putting it down to a best two of three.
Of course, I’d rather they do it fucking right and just balance the schedule and do away with divisions, but I’ll take what I can get.
And Now, To The Video Tape
And as promised, here are a couple highlights from today’s live stream at theScore.com, neither of which include us discussing this playoff expansion thing.