Now it’s time for all the stuff I don’t figure on making full posts out of, with the spiffy ALTERNATE graphic by Matt English (aka @mattomic) that I just couldn’t keep letting stay dormant. It’s your Afternoon Snack… er… Afternoon Hangover… er… links!!!

Dispatches from the road: Holy fuck New York is a hell of a baseball town. I know you probably know this, but seriously. Partly it’s my friends– watched the Yankees and Rangers last night; a Yankees fan, a genuine Texan non-bandwagon *COUGH* Rangers fan, a Mets fan, me, and my lovely and extremely patient girlfriend– but partly it’s not. The customs agent when we arrived at the airport asked my occupation, and when I told him “sportswriter” (I always say that, just to make myself sound a little bit more respectable) and he saw my hat he immediately started chatting me up about Brett Lawrie and sent us through with as little scrutiny as I could imagine possible. Amazing!

In his latest look at the midwest league at Baseball Prospectus (paywall’d) Kevin Goldstein talks about the Jays hot young arms at Lansing, saying that Aaron Sanchez not only has the best stats, but the best stuff, and that some scouts have misgivings about Justin Nicolino. “It’s hard to get too excited about a guy throwing 87-91 mph,” one told him. “I really liked him, but it’s hard to see him as more than a No. 4 or 5 starter.”

Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star talks to the so-far-mostly-overlooked man in the bullpen, Casey Janssen.

Jays Journal points out a Baseball America piece in which Tony LaCava heaps praise on “sleeper” AJ Jimenez.

If you really want to relive last night’s shit show, at least take the positive view put forth by Mike Wilner, who liked what he saw from Kyle Drabek, and thinks the Jays have done well to still have their heads above water despite the sputtering offence– even if he goes too deep into cherry picking positives on Adam Lind.

Lastly, things may get worse before they get better. previews tonight’s game, in which Drew Hutchison is tasked with stopping Brian Matuz and the might Orioles.

Comments (59)

  1. Usually I just get shit from US customs agents when I wear a Blue Jays cap (as they’re typically Red Sox fans). You must have found the one good one.

  2. Despite the sputtering offence? We are bottom-dwelling in team pitching WAR at a mighty 0.2 for the year. Only reason we aren’t exploding is the 900 double play balls we’ve somehow gotten.

  3. Thunderstorms scheduled to roll into Baltimore around 8 PM tonight. Watch the Jays bats go apeshit only for the game to be called before it goes official.

  4. “Jays manager John Farrell has said in the past that handling his bullpen was an Achilles heel during his first season in 2011 and promised he would be better about assigning roles and letting his relief pitchers know what the deal was. Janssen was a test.” (Griffin)

    I don’t understand this. And Griffin doesn’t ever ask Farrell so there’s no supporting evidence.

    • What don’t you understand?
      Farrell didn’t handle the bullpen very well last year.He’s trying to do better this year.
      One way is assigning roles so the pitchers understand when they are to be used.

      • “Janssen was a test” ? What does that mean?
        Also why was he benched for 12 days or whatever length it was.

        Griffin seems to be implying he was being punished in some way. I dont’ get it.

  5. Really hope Wilner didn’t hurt himself on that reach regarding Lind.

    If you don’t count all the bad stuff he’s done, he’s actually been pretty good!

  6. Goldstein also heard some really, really scary reviews on Syndergaard. Apparently just a compete lack of any secondary offering.

  7. im not watching tonite.i feel another stinker coming.the one where there is nothing to fuckin cheer.i will wait til there offense gets firing and get more than 1 run in 2 games. where are all the trolls who said toronto should have went after pujols…..0-21 no homers yet.

    • real fans watch win or lose….if you wanna keep the jays in toronto you gotta keep watching, which unfortunately bumps roger’s ratings…but i guess you gotta take the good with the bad…i dont know about you, but i’d rather be forced to watch the joke that is sportsnet than see the jays moved out of toronto, no doubt to an american city. then theres no baseball in canada!

      • Seriously?

        • yes seriously…i would prefer the jays stay in toronto…you would prefer they move?

          or do you not think sportsnet is a joke? cuz it is. who else would hire the likes of sam cosentino!

          • No, I have a problem with this:
            “if you wanna keep the jays in toronto you gotta keep watching”
            And by extension everything else you said after that.

            There is no risk of the Jays leaving Toronto. None. Feel free to turn off your TV.

  8. I gotta ask, now that I am near the top of a thread, what the fuck is going on with the comments on this blog? Is it a result of the move to the Score and the increased popularity came with it? but it seems, quite suddenly, to be a very negative place. In fact, I feel like there is as much negativity with the so-called “informed fan” than with the uninformed-fresh-another-shitty-leafs-season G&M commenters.

    This is not a bad team. This is the team that came as expected to anyone watching this off-season. This is a young team who will have some issues at times. This is a 10-8 team in the AL East to start the season. All baseball players make mistakes. All players have good nights and bad nights. The fact that people are throwing in the towel after one home run or one error is baffling to me, and really makes me not want to ever read a game threat thread again.

    Anyways, my two cents. Chill the fuck out. Enjoy baseball.

    • They aren’t pressing pennies anymore so you have to give us five cents at the very least.

    • Tony -

      I think it comes with increased attention and the increased expectations that come with that attention. Not necessarily a bad thing. What is slightly frustrating is people lacking any semblance of perspective on the current team, its record and baseball (specifically the length of the season) in general.

      For example: if the Jays won 10 out of every 18 games they played for the entire season, in the exact same fashion as they’ve done now, they’ll have won 90 games by the time the season is done. Would anyone be upset with that?

      Will they do that? Probably not, but I agree that there’s no reason for the overly pessimistic to be shouting from the roof tops.

    • If you think these comments are negative, you should’ve been here in 2008.

    • I think most of us, including myself, are just fed up with the play of the Jays against teams like Baltimore. Maybe it’s a sign that their team has improved greatly, but I doubt it.

      It may still be early, but that doesn’t excuse awful play against awful teams. These games still matter in September.

      Hopefully the offense busts out soon.

      • Sure they are having some trouble against Baltimore, but they did sweep the Royals (not a big feat to be sure, but good nonetheless), and we’ll see what happens tonight and against the Mariners.

        It’s a long season, and it’s just tiring to read so much of this “frustration” on every bad play.

        • What you’re finding is that as the hardcore get more excited,it brings in the casual fan wondering what the buzz is, making the Jays an “event”,that everyone wants to be a part of.
          The casual fan doesn’t understand why the Jays don’t win at least 140 games every year so every loss means they aren’t that good.

        • @Tony

          Agreed about the frustration on every bad play.

          As an example, the misplay of Thames’ effort that resulted in a home run was totally pointless and was magnified way more than it should have been. If the Jays’ offense kicked in the way it should have that game, it would have been a source of amusement and not much else.

    • First, it’s somewhat unfair (not to say a tad snotty) of some veterans to lump all newbie posters together as ‘uninformed/Leaf fans/what have you,’ as though DJF was their personal fiefdom. I only recently started posting, for example, but have been reading DJF for a couple of years, and following baseball since the Expos first started playing. (That is not at all to suggest that I know what I’m talking about, but I didn’t just fall off the fucking Christmas tree, and have had an abiding hatred of all things Leafs my entire life.) Secondly, I think most of us understand the whole small sample size concept (shit, it would be difficult not to, the amount of times some feel compelled to lecture on the topic) but we still for some reason find ourselves wanting to comment on something that just happened in real time without always putting it into an historical perspective. We want to talk about tonight’s game/the current series/the last week/whatever now, not wait until the halfway mark/All Star game/off season to more reasonably give a staid and sober analysis, complete with graphs and statistics. We’ll do that when the time arrives maybe, but right now in the now, when we actually get to see baseball games we will over-react and get way too high, then way too low and get snarky and see doom and gloom and endure atrocious spelling/grammar and personal attacks and handle-stealing assholes, all the while having a damn fine time of it. We also at times will have the nerve to insist on being the ones to preach perspective in an attempt to calm the waters and dial down the diatribes and hyperbole of others–that’s part of the package too. Anyway, that’s my two cents in reaction to the thread, not to Tony. Cheers.

      • I’m not a veteran of this blog.

        I’m not telling you not to discuss anything.

        I am merely remarking on the general shitty attitude of a lot of people who are posting here.

        A missed play is not the end of the game.

        A home run for the opposition is also not the end of the game.

        It seems to be that the “Sky is Falling” crowd is in full force on this, and other forums to discuss the Jays. And I would expect a more educated baseball fan to not be so fatalistic about every pitch, play and at bat.

  9. Wow the Jays really need to pick it up tonight.

  10. Stoeten, I’m jealous that you got such little flack by US customs agents by “upgrading” (although not really) your job. When asked I, usually have to “downgrade” what I actually do because I invariably get asked a bunch of pointless questions otherwise.

    I’m inclined to see the silver lining with the pitching staff too, but they are still the youngest rotation in the majors and it’s likely there will be rocky periods. I just hope that the current period good of pitching coincides with better hitting before there is a regression.

    • “Upgrading” your profession to try to impress some slob working customs is sad. But I guess it beats admitting that he’s leading the life of a shitbeard blogger that curses at self-made strawmen

  11. Hopefully we see Bautista with his old swing tonight. He looks like he’s trying to hit 50 all at once on every swing these days. It used to be when he’d take a cut you’d think – ‘wow he JUST missed that’. Now it looks like he’s not even on the ball at all. He’ll come around – but some patience and a solid swing for a double would be a huge deal for him.

  12. And why does Rasmus swing at the first pitch all the fucking time? Who tells him to do that? Every situation – man on first? No problem, Colby takes a rip at the first pitch. I like the kid but I’m getting sick of watching him ground/fly out before the second pitch is thrown.

  13. wow lawrie batting second tonight!!

  14. Holy fuck, Lawrie batting 2nd tonight!!!!

    • Also, the exclusion of Lind tonight makes last night’s lineup look even dumber than usual. Why just not wait until today to put Lawrie at DH, Vizquel at 3B and EE at 1B? Is Farrell that desparate to hide Johnson from lefties?

      • I think you caught a mistake. Because if wanted to give Johnson an off day he could have waited done it another time, i.e. not when you’re giving Lawrie an off day forcing you to used EE at 3rd. EE should never ever play 3rd again.

    • And while we’re here…Francisco at DH in the same lineup that has Thames in LF? Is Thames really an upgrade on Francisco in the field? If so, Francisco has absolutely no purpose on this team.

  15. Anyone know why we let Tampa Bay claim Brandon Allen off of waivers? The Jays would have had to pass on him to get to Tampa and unlike them we actually need a first baseman! Pretty nice prospect and you could have dumped ben Francisco to make room for Allen.

  16. To be fair, the Jays arent the only supposedly good team that struggling right now. After starting off on fire, the Tigers have really struggled lately. I think they even got swept by the no shitty mariners. Its still early but im definitely not encouraged by the streakiness of the hitters on the Jays. And i dont care what anyone says about baltimore improving the Jays should beat them. The hitters are to blame for their failures in doing so.

    • ‘supposedly good’ is exactly the right way to phrase this. pretty much the jays this year are an abject lesson in ‘best case scenario’ thinking. almost at every position it’s either youth/inexperience, or quite simply a risk based on fluctuating histories of meager/decent past performance.

      wilner even said at one point he felt that jays could win the east. silliness. anyone that knows anything about the team could look at it and say that .500 would be a best case scenario. consider that romero, who is really not even a #1 on many teams in the leagues, is our ‘ace’ and it’s pretty obvious the team is going to have a rough ride.

      There’s just too many kids who are going to fade through the long season and our bona fide ‘stars’ are more a product of local media hype than actual, sustained, impactful production. eg. anyone who watched bautista’s second half last season could see plain as day that he was totally falling back to his career norms. this season it’s been almost painful to watch his at bats. reminds me an awful lot of vernon wells right now.

      add to all this just how godawful the ballpark is to look at, and you gotta see this team as in decline rather than on the rise. unless of course some cash is pumped into it, which seems unlikely and, even more startling, much of the fanbase (or at least this blog and guys like wilner etc) seems to endorse the idea of avoiding signing real stars.

      • Enjoy the game tonight. I won’t be drinking at your bar.

      • plus 1

      • How do you look at the ballpark when you are inside it? Is that a riddle?

        Name 10 teams where Ricky Romero is the number 2 starter.

        Quoting Wilner is “silliness”.

        How many starting players are there in the majors who have never fluctuated in their performance?

        What you are saying about Jose is just plain nonsense. His extended streak of two season worth of beyond exceptional play so far exceeded his “career norms” that you cannot possibly attribute it to anything except a change in his mechanics/approach. He learned how to do it better, and he can do it again. He probably will still lead the team in most offensive categories by the end of the season.

        • Philadelphia, Detroit, Tampa Bay, New York, Boston, LA, LA, San Fran, Seattle. That’s 9 no doubters, a few you could make a case about (Milwaukee, Washington, St Louis)

  17. I suspect Stoeten’s getting the rubber glove on his way back into Canada…

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