Brett Lawrie finally comes home tonight, making his Major League debut on Canadian soil tonight– an event that, like the tide being shifted by a full moon, has so disrupted the rhythms of our natural world that we can almost see the physical manifestation of its energy. Example? The horseshittingly-awful leading questions asked of Lawrie at the start of his pre-game scrum of the earth with reporters Tuesday at Rogers Centre, which surely couldn’t actually be serious questions educated journalists would ask anybody without being enacted upon by some kind of phantasmagorical spell of hackery. (“Hey Brett, could you please finish my heartstring-pulling patriotic shit swirl story with a stock quote straight out of your PR-counseling handbook of meaningless gibberish on how much the maple leaf means to you?”)

OK, so one voice might be from an actual child reporter (not sure, but not ruling it out), who can be forgiven for the questions completely lacking in depth. Aaaaand I do understand that this is how these sorts of things go. It’s just… Jesus. Some of it really is godawful stuff that I can’t possibly imagine anybody ever wanting to read about. Fortunately, things got considerably better by the end, and Lawrie proved to be a rather articulate interview. You can find the full audio at Sportsnet.ca, or go check out the mp3 here.

Some lowlights:

Brett likes Canada. He feels good playing here. Rich Harden is also Canadian. He’s just going to go out there and play his game. His friends and family have been calling and texting and tweeting him.

And some highlights:

Credit where it’s due: the moment the whole thing started to turn around was when Richard Griffin spoke up, and actually respected Lawrie enough to not try to feed him an answer with the wording of his question, asking if he remembered the first time he’d been to the Rogers Centre in uniform. Lawrie’s answer wasn’t particularly interesting, but at least it moved the scrum beyond the outskirts of Dullardtown– or… at least, that’s how I heard things… maybe I just hate the fucking maple-horseshit angle…

Anyway, Lawrie explained a little about the work he’d done with Brian Butterfield to get adjusted to the turf– an issue he didn’t expect to be too troubling, given the shitty surfaces he’d been playing on in the PCL. He then revealed that the dirt he’d taken from the then-SkyDome when he was 9-years-old– the story being that he promised he’d put it back when he made the majors– is at his parents house, still in the Glosette Raisins box he’d originally put it in.

He also had all the right things to say about being looked up to by kids, having to work hard, and wanting to just go out there and have fun– and that coming into his first Major League camp with a new club he really wanted to try and make a good impression, and wanted to keep his ears open an learn from veterans like Bautista and Johnny Mac.

Griff really provides the clip’s peak, though, pulling the most out of Lawrie by asking, “With all due respect, what happened to the Brett Lawrie who, the day of the trade, said ‘I’m done with the minor leagues?’ ”

“Um… I think just growing as a professional, growing as a teammate, and growing as a person,” Lawrie replies. “I think it’s one of those things where you’ve got to look at yourself and just kind of wonder where you’re at, at your life and at your game. And I think just playing with the Toronto Blue Jays and having all these people in my corner– it’s been a while since I’ve had a lot of people in my corner– and it kind of feels like I’ve found a home here, and it’s kind of what can change you as a person and as a professional.”

Take that, Milwaukee Brewers!



TV: Sportsnet One

And now the lineups, by way of the live box score at theScore.com

Toronto Blue Jays

Y. Escobar SS

E. Thames LF

J. Bautista RF

A. Lind 1B

E. Encarnacion DH

C. Rasmus CF

A. Hill 2B

J. Arencibia C

B. Lawrie 3B

B. Cecil LHP

Oakland A’s

J. Weeks 2B

C. Pennington SS

H. Matsui DH

J. Willingham LF

C. Jackson 1B

D. DeJesus RF

K. Suzuki C

R. Sweeney CF

S. Sizemore 3B

R. Harden RHP

Comments (110)

  1. I’m trying to figure out Farrell’s thought process about batting Thames second.

    I figure they want to get him a lot of at bats because his performance doesn’t merit being in the 2 hole. But that could be countered by batting Lawrie low in the lineup as he’d need at bats for the same sorts of reasons Thames would.

    Then I figure maybe it’s because they want Colby to be more of a run producer (whatever that means) by having him bat sixth.

    So I’m not sure what Farrell’s reasoning is behind it. Maybe he has alluded to it in the local media? Or is this just Farrellball at its finest?

  2. Can’t admit that sending down Snider was the wrong decision… wants to justify him being up on the team over Snider…   Thinks you need a lefty in the 2 hole and doesn’t understand the concept of OBP?

  3. My ex is at the game tonight with my son. It’s his first game like it was mine a couple weeks ago. He gets to say he saw Lawrie in his first game at home. He is also going to see Henderson’s start tomorrow, but I got to see the Jays get crushed by the O’s, Bautista beaned in the head, and Corey Patterson’s last game as a Jay. That will be tough to beat.

  4. Maybe Edwin should take Lind’s cleanup spot…

  5. That was a real weird swing by Rasmus.  Almost looked like his front hand slipped off the bat.

  6. Aaron Hill celebrates his return to the lineup with a pop up.  We missed that contribution on Sunday.

  7. Lawrie’s stance reminds me of a right handed Delgado stance which just looks like a homerun stroke. Coincidentally Snider’s stance when he first came up looked like a deadringer for Delgado. I hope he gets that swing back. 

  8. fuck you guys bitch a lot.  

  9. Eric Thames – Poor Defender.

  10. How the fuck has Cecil been so good recently? Half his pitches are 88 mph fastballs high in the zone.

  11. rich harden is the jays closer of the future.

  12. Hill is ultimately not a cleanup hitter on a contending team.  He’s more of a 5 or 6 hitter.  Right now he’s the best candidate (besides bautista who should actually be the cleanup hitter).

    Once lawrie gets his feet wet, this is what the real lineup should look like (against rhp)

    1. Lawrie
    2. rasmus
    3. escobar
    4. bautista
    5. lind
    6. encarnacion.
    7. Thames
    8. JPA
    9. anyone with a pulse that can play 2b.

  13. Give Farrell a bit of credit. Escobar has turned into an excellent leadoff man for the Jays. Good to see his patience and bat control after an uncharacteristic season last year. 

  14. because he has been doing a good job keeping his change down and busting his cutter/slide piece down and under the hands.  88 vs 91 mph?  does it really make much of a difference?

  15. Hill is ultimately best suited to being out of baseball.

  16. Eric Thames is also pretty close to getting demoted.  He is not hitting at all and shows ZERO selectivity at the plate.  Remember the mudpie vs Tom Jackson battle about regression to means and BABIP?  looks like tom jackson was correct as usual

  17. Yeesh…Thames didn’t heap honour upon himself there either…

  18. Righetti’s question about Thames made me think about how many things we see that are “received wisdom” that we can’t quite fathom because we see baseball by the numbers.  Nothing in Thames’ regression makes me want to bat him second, and because I spend so much time reading stats, it would NEVER occur to me to think, ‘he batted second earlier in the year and mashed! I’m putting him back in there…’.  Yet, I would say, that putting Thames back in the 2-spot might be the thought process of 100% of baseball managers…

  19. When Hill comes to the plate, he should get no walkup music.  There should just be the sound effect of birds chirping.  Walk up music is for closers. 

  20. I think he is being put second in the order simply because they believe he will receive better pitches to hit there than down in the lineup batting infront of the lower hitters

  21. Wow, Hill almost got it to the warning track with that one!!  Good try Aaron!

  22. Wow, that was a fucking ridiculous catch

  23. Hill’s walkup up music should just be a blast of piercing white noise. Feel that would best prepare the home crowd for what’s to come. 

  24. I’d add “nice fucking stretch” for Lind there (even if it is off message for Rogers to talk about someone other than Lawrie)…

  25. Nah, a baby crying for the post-pop-up tantrum Hill throws

  26. umm. yeah, i think he might be able to play third

  27. why do pitchers get strikes called on lawrie a foot out of the zone?

  28. Hey Brett, you cant just throw change up after change up after change up.

  29. Snider just got demoted, so he can’t be recalled for 10 days (I think).

    So expect to see Thames in there for at least another week and a half.

  30. This reminds me of the HR that Mills gave up the other day on his third consecutive change-up…

  31. I doubt Snider would get called up even if Thames got sent down. They might give Cooper another shot or bring up Loewen to give him a taste.

  32. Was Thames always that “noisy” in the Batter’s Box.  I thought he was having a seizure…

  33. Seriously – Bautista’s stance is different now than it was early int he season.

    He’s holding his arms lower.

  34. If Bautista didn’t have a history of going through these month long homer droughts, I’d find it awful tempting to point my finger at the homerun derby as the causation behind this recent bout of shitiness.

  35. He’s also swinging at junk outside of the strikezone. Both he and Lind are struggling pretty hard right now. 

  36. We have no chance against this guy.  we are late on his fastball and ten years early on his splitter. we are making him look like rich harden from five years ago.

  37. I’d say the same if he lasted any longer than 5 minutes in the derby.

    I’m gonna go with “the ankle is still bothering him”.

  38. Are we going to start calling Cecil “way back” Brett?

    Seems like the only way he give ups runs these days is with homers.  I guess this is what you get when you rely on so much junk.  When you miss, the hitters dont

  39. I didn’t realize it was based on mechanics. I thought it was one of those intangible “jinxes” whereby just appearing at the HRD fucks you. Something like talking about a no hitter when one is being thrown.  

  40. come back would be nice.

  41. I fucking hate Aaron Hill

  42. Ah yeah Aaron Hill and a mile high infield popup. We should bat him second in the lineup and see if we can’t get his confidence back. I’m sure it would work. 

  43. Fucking Hill.  Just sick of this guy.

  44. By no means am I some sort of batting stance guru.

    What I’m noticing is purely anecdotal.

  45. DFA Arencibia please

  46. some on this board would welcome him back next year for a mere five million dollars

  47. Arencibia is having a similar year to Hill’s year last year. Some homerun pop and not much else. At least you can say he’s a rookie not sure what the fuck you can say about Hill.

  48. lol I got my own doppelganger

  49. How awesome is it that E5 is our best hitter and seems to be the only guy outside of Escobar who seems to have a plan at the plate that doesn’t involve maniacal free swinging?

    Had just about enough of Hill though.

  50. This isn’t exactly hot news but OMG Hill is terrible. I’m coming around to the school of thought that just wants him out of there — put in McDonald, move Escobar to second, whatever. Good God he’s bad.

  51. fucking 3/2 changeup.  what a fag.

  52. fuck off

  53. Eh, Arencibia’s a rookie who spent most of the offseason focusing on his defence. Plus he’s got some pop and the potential to get better. Let’s not go nuts here. Hill on the other hand, I mean, I wouldn’t see the point in playing him the last two months of the season except for the fact we’ve got nobody to replace him.

  54. We should have kept that guy (i forget his name) who we lost on waivers to the mets.

  55. It doesn’t get easier tomorrow.  We face Gio Gonzalez who in 19 Ip vs the jays has given up only 9 hits and struck out 18. 

  56. The jays are expected to face Santana/Haren/Weaver vs. the Angels, too.

  57. I agree. Arencibia has been a league average hitter (within a point or two of wrc+) as a rookie at one of the crappiest hitting positions. Its going to be interesting to see how he defends his position as starting C vs D’arnaud over the next few seasons. 

  58. Nice Thames. Great hustle as well.

  59. It’s been a long day, and I’m too tired to see sarcasm…but are you seriously advocating for the return of Russ Adams?

  60. I’d love to see a comparison of Lind’s swing now vs the start of the year too.

    He always appears to be dropping low to swing at pitches, rather than “standing tall” in an athletic stance. 

  61. I think he was talking about Emaus.

    Emaus went to the Mets in the Rule V draft….  but was returned back to the Jays.  The Jays then turned and traded him the to Rockies.

  62. excuse me? no actually he wasn’t correct. I never said thames would or wouldn’t regress. oh wait he got a double tonight.  it’s too bad you write guys off as soon as they go into a slump.

  63. hill’s music should be the russian death march.

  64. Anybody else see that fan take a swipe at the ball when Thames doubled? Fucking stupid people.

  65. …Brad Emaus

  66. That’s a relief…in that Adams was actually worse than Hill this year in AAA, and then he retired…

    I thought I must have missed something…

  67. DFA Mudpie please

  68. lol

  69. Anybody else want to see Encarnacion at second next year? Eh? Anybody? Come on, who’s coming with me on this one? 

  70. Wait – Teahen over Davis why?

  71. Anybody else want to see Encarnacion at second next year?

    Sure. The other four teams in our division.

  72. Yes, Emaus, he might be a solid, cheap stop gap type of player that would be perfect to replace the piece of shit known as Aaron Hill

  73. Id honestly pinch hit Teehan for hill

  74. hill’s up, oakland is bringing the entire outfield in to defend the popup

  75. If only he wasn’t standing on first….

  76. HEY he got it out of the infield..way to go Aaron!  (stated as a soccer mom would to her really shitty 8 year old kid who usually strikes out but managed to get lucky and make shitty contact)

  77. Emaus got returned to us, and then we traded him to the Rockies.

  78. the only really good second baseman that we developed was jeff kent.  that is pretty sad given the team has been around 30+ years.  ONE second baseman. oh, and  he hardly even played here.

    we had alomar of course, but he was a trade.

    here is the black hole that is the jays 2b position:

    hill, adams, homer bush, menechino, tilson brito, nelson liriano, manny lee (before he played ss), damaso garcia, im sure im missing some more shitty players.

  79. ORLANDO FUCKING HUDSON?????????

  80. You cretins went and chased Isabella away.

  81. Im getting frustrated with the jays offense. Harden is a decent pitcher but hes not as good as he showed today. There is just too many players who aren’t patient and dont value the walk. When Edwin Fucking Encarnacion is the best hitter then you know theres a problem. Even Bautista has gotten away from being pateint and taking walks. The reason why the yankees and red sox offenses are so good is because they never sway from the patient approach. That leads to more long term success. Thats something AA needs to address if they are going to compete in this division. Maybe they need another hitting coach but thats debatable as to how much impact he actually has.

  82. From Elias: The Phillies are now 40-15 in games that Roy Halladay has
    started. They have won more than 70 percent of his starts and broken a
    record that has stood for more than 100 years.

    The Phillies’ .727 win percentage behind Halladay is the best team win
    percentage in a pitcher’s starts among those who debuted since 1900
    (min. 50 starts).

  83. anyone notice when the camera pans the dugout aaron hill is never seen? he’s never talking to anyone.  I’m actually thinking that even if the jays offer him a contract he’ll turn it down.  he knows he’s a shitty hitter who has to hit against the yankees, red sox and rays 60 odd times a year.  why bother? go to the NL where he’ll have a much easier time and can boost his numbers for a better contract.

  84. very good point. Bautista & Lind were disappointing last night.

    lawrie seemed to be nervous at the plate.

    It’s sad that no one is excited when Hill comes to the plate. He needs a new team for his own sake.

  85. Yes i did notice that. He seems completely lost & with the new team dynamics of Colby,JPA,Lawrie, he doesn’t fit in.

    JMAC seems more involved in the games in the clubhouse than Hill.

  86. Thames bats second to get more fastball strikes.

  87. Oh, Andrew…

    p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; line-height: 14.0px; font: 11.0px Lucida Grande; color: #0034cc}
    span.s1 {text-decoration: underline}

    http://espn.go.com/espn/otl/st

    Go get ‘em, Stoeten.

  88. I don’t know what the fuck happened there. Anywho, take a look at the article. 

  89. Hah that’s hilarious.  A mysterious “man in white” relaying signs from centerfield.  This will become the baseball equivalent of the gun smoke from the grassy knoll.

  90. What a crock of shit. God damn mother fuckers must be bored writing stories about sucking the Red Sox cock so they’d thought they’d try a different route. You can also see a video of this story on EPSN, with some cunt talking like she thinks she knows a fucking thing about baseball.

    Cock suckers.

  91. Really? I dont know if it’s true or not, but I would not just dismiss it because we like the Jays.

  92. No, I would dismiss it because it’s fucking ridiculous.  Apparently there’s a man in centerfield, signalling with his arms so the batter at home plate 400 feet away can see him, and nobody has actually noticed this?  No players, fans, reporters, umpires, nothing?  For years and years?  Just four unnamed bullpen stiffs who have no proof whatsoever and will not give names. 

    I’ve been out there.  You cannot see catcher’s signals without binoculars.  So now we’re up to an invisible man in white with binoculars that no one has ever noticed, somehow decoding the other team’s signs and relaying them to the hitter in time.  Oh, and it’s helped the Jays to a .500 home record, as opposed to a .500 road record. 

  93. Go suck a dick cocksucker. With the turnover of Jays players in the last year, particularly disgruntled ones. You’d think one of them would blow the whistle on the Jays.

    tldr; stop gagging on Red Sox and Yankees cocks, this is a smear from ESPN cause the Jays are Canadian.

  94. Well if you wanna go name calling, you  fucking cunt muscle,  the article doesnt say the fucking dude in the outfield is actually reading the signals, he is RELAYING them you dumb fuck.  And I didnt say the article was right, just that it is so  fucking typical for the fans of the team to just say “BULLSHIT” and move on, but if this were being written about the yankees, YOUR pin dick ass would be the FIRST person leading a parade of torch bearing cretins to the doorstep of Yankee stadium.  So shut the fuck up.

  95. Yeah, the huge quantity of disgruntled former blue jay players from last year.  I forgot about that army of fictional characters. 

    Who would this be? John Buck? Oh yeah, if we WERE cheating, you think he’s going to say something since he had the best year of his career?

    Vernon Wells?  Im sure he would just LOVE for Angels fans to know that his resurgence last year was all based on knowing what pitch was coming and his SHIT performance this year is all the angels fans have to look forward to.

    Kevin Gregg?  Why would he say something?  He parlayed his closer role here into another year of closer compensation.

    Lyle Overbay?  Im sure he would want the Pirates to know the 5 million they flushed down the toilet could have been prevented had they simply realized he cheated.

  96. Several Jays had extreme splits in 2010. Bautista, for example, had a 1.118 OPS (on-base plus slugging) with 33 homers at home but an .879 OPS and 21 dingers on the road. First baseman Adam Lind had a .759 OPS with 15 homers in Toronto but a .660 OPS with eight bombs on the road. Second baseman Aaron Hill? His home-road OPS split was .730-.605. 

    Lookout, guys! Amy K. Nelson just discovered home/road splits and is ON THE CASE! Ha ha ha!

    I took a look at Derek Jeter’s home/road splits in 2010. His OPS at home was .790. His OPS on the road was .633. Since this is a greater split than Lind or Hill, I can only conclude that in the few tenths of a second Jeter has to make a decision on whether or not to hit a ball, he is able to identify hand signals of a man sitting 260 feet away at New Yankee Stadium. Possessing the gritty heart of a champion, this is even more impressive when done in New York, because 90% of all Yankee fans are “clogging the signal” by giving each other the middle finger. 

    Astonishingly, Jacoby Ellsbury’s home/road splits in 2010 were .304/.556 in favor of playing on the road. Now, I should mention that Ellsbury only played 18 games last year, but making wildly retarded conclusions based on complete fucking nonsense that is obvious noise to anyone with a fourth-grader’s knowledge of baseball would seem to be “in bounds” for what Ms. Nelson came up with here. 

    I fucking love how a profession — baseball writer / sports reporter — that literally could not have cared less when steroids were making a mockery of the game is now suddenly sounding the alarm, throwing elbows and putting the gumdrop on the police cruiser because Black Dad looked at the miserable lineup he was left with last year and told everyone to swing for the fences. You don’t get a Sports Pulitzer for figuring out why Jose Bautista became the best player in baseball “suddenly,” assholes.

  97. Of course I would – they’re proven cheaters.
    If the fans aren’t going to defend the team, then step aside son, cause you’re standing on my dick. Smear article is smear. Nothing more, move along folks nothing to see here.

  98. The jays also hit over 100 homeruns on the road last year, so there’s that.  It’s not as if they were a punch and judy team on the road and suddenly went ape shit at home.

  99. JP Arencibia tweeting on the “sign stealing” – awesome:  Just read the dumbest article on ESPN about us getting signs? I’m hitting 200 and we get signs at home, that makes sense? #clowns

  100. just because you know what is coming doesn’t mean you can hit it.

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