What Jason Hammel Said

The Toronto Blue Jays beat the Baltimore Orioles 4-1 tonight thanks to four solo home runs hit by Edwin Encarnacion, Rajai Davis, Brett Lawrie and Colby Rasmus off of opposing starter Jason Hammel.

Following the game, Hammel had this to say:

I don’t think you can take swings like that, not knowing they’re coming. There’s rumours and things like that, I don’t know. I can’t speak on that but they were taking very, very strong hacks on breaking stuff. It’s something I’ve never seen before.

Hmm. Is Hammel referring to the mysterious man in white story that ESPN: The Magazine reported on last year? You remember. The story that accused the Jays of going to elaborately laughable lengths to steal signs.

Well, his not quite accusations might have a bit more bite if, you know, it was actually his breaking pitches that the Blue Jays were bashing over the fence at Rogers Centre. All four of the solo home runs tonight were hit off of Hammel’s fastballs.

Overall, Hammel gave up nine hits on the night. Other than the four home runs, he gave up the following:

  • a double with 0-1 count to LHB David Cooper on a curve ball;
  • a single with 1-0 count to RHB J.P. Arencibia on a slider;
  • a single with 0-0 count to LHB Omar Vizquel on a fastball;
  • a single with 0-0 count to RHB Edwin Encarnacion on a fastball; and
  • a single with 1-1 count to LHB Omar Vizquel on a fastball.

So, of the 48 combined curve balls, sliders and change ups that Hammel threw tonight, Blue Jays hitters connected on two of them for base hits.

Let’s look at those two instances. The first was Cooper’s double, which came on a 0-1 count. So far this season, in that situation against a left handed batter, Hammel has thrown a curve 23% of the time, his most often used breaking pitch. The second was Arencibia’s single, which came on a 1-0 count. So far this season, in that situation against a right handed batter, Hammel has thrown a slider 22% of the time, his most often used breaking pitch.

While in both situations, it’s more likely that Hammel will throw a fastball, it’s hardly unbelievable that a smart batter, properly prepared for Hammel’s repertoire, wouldn’t have been looking for the pitch that was hit in that situation.

But we probably don’t even need to look that deeply into the individual outcomes to deem the Blue Jays innocent of stealing signs. Let’s just use some common sense: Is it more likely that a) a baseball team would have a secret way of stealing signs to alert batters to incoming breaking pitches; or b) a baseball team would follow analytics to know what type of pitch chains their opposing pitcher is most likely to throw in a given situation?

Comments (77)

  1. I feel like you’ve trolled me by not trolling in this article, Parkes. Well done.

    But yes, this is pretty laughable. Anyone want to put up some screenshots of the people sitting in centre field just so we can explore this some more like last time?

  2. But I’m the best pitcher on the 1st place team in the best division in baseball over the course of the first two months of the season! No one can touch my breaking stuff. There must be cheating going on!

  3. Jason Hammel: Putting the LOL back in OriLOLes

  4. Parkes nails it – just as the news breaks too. Well done. I may be high but that is impressive work

    • +1

      • : Ce que je veux que vous compreniez, c’est que c’est jemtusent plus grave car ils souillent le temple de Dieu et Sa Sainte pre9sence. Vous faites fausse route. Le Temple de Dieu n’est-il pas le Corps et le Coeur meame de chaque Etre Humain ? Y compris homosexuel ? C’est bien une Cre9ature de Dieu qui s’approche ainsi de l’Autel, que croyez-vous alors qu’il puisse y souiller vu depuis le regard de son Cre9ateur, qui l’habite tout comme il vous habite ?@Marc D. : le parvis d’une Eglise est une aire de Ve9rite9 et de ve9ritable Liberte9, pas une aire d’expression de ses opinions. Trop fort !Quoiqu’il en soit parler de provocation ici de la part des homosexuels me semble abusif, car dans cette guerre ide9ologique ils me paraissent en e9tat de le9gitime de9fense. C’est bien eux (et leur nature) qui sont conspue9s, calomnie9s, poursuivis, objets de tortures mentales et de menaces de vengeances e9ternelles par les tenants de l’autre bord, et ce depuis des sie8cles. N’est-il pas temps qu’ils rele8vent enfin la teate et osent faire face e0 leurs bourreaux ?

  5. I view it like a backhanded complement, like when people think my boobs are fake.

  6. Seems like an incredibly weak excuse for a poor pitching performance, but it’s good to know that the man in white may be in some pitcher’s minds when they come to the dome.

  7. Or C) that Jason Hammel just flat out sucks and should just accept that the horseshoe that has been up his ass so far this season is all outta juice.

  8. C’mon Parkes, analytics is cheating, especially for the oriLOLes.

  9. He couldn’t possibly have a tell when he throws his fastball? Lord in heaven no!

  10. Anyone look at Hammel’s PitchFX data tonight? Dude touched the happy zone more often than Jennifer Love Hewitt in the Client List. He should feel lucky it was only 9 hits and 4 jacks.


  12. Comming up this week on the Getting Blanked Podcast: Jason Hammel He’s just not that *cough* good anymore!

  13. Oriholes are still less annoying than Massholes.

  14. Hammel’s flukey, outlier start to the season is going to his head…

    his K rate his two full points higher than his career rate. his LOB% is 20% higher than his career rate. his GB rate is 10% higher. his whiff rate is way up on his four seamer and way down on his breaking stuff (which kinda refutes his own theory for the Jays). i guess he added a 2 seamer but Hardball Times says it doesnt really have the movement to call it a sinker.

    either way, the AL East is going to catchup to Mr. Hammel real soon.

    • EXACTLY. Funny listening to Tabby on last night’s broadcast proclaim that Jason Hammel is a front of the rotation starter. I nearly sharted. This is a mediocre pitcher that is having a great start and will soon regress.

  15. Yaaaaaaay.
    The best part of this is that, with Jason Hammel to hate on, we have a real live troll and can stop wanting to kill eachother!
    So much more fun to hate on the other teams/players. I’m gonna go troll an OriLOLes fansite, just for kicks.
    Or maybe just thank them.
    This feels soooo much better.

  16. Sore losers are pathetic. if your shit gets hit, your shit gets hit but don’t whine and complain like a little bitch

  17. This might be the most that anyone has ever cared about something Jason Hammel said. Way to go, Jason! The magic was in you all along!

  18. Here comes the Men in White!

    • The Jays should host a “White Out” at the Dome. That would be amazing.

      • Brilliant idea Julius ! We the fans, should come up with something that’s ours. (i know this sounds goofy) Like the Boston fans and their Youuuuuuk ! Or the NYY fans calling out to the players. Props to the fans of the Jets original team who started the whole “white” thing.
        Anyone have ideas?
        Great post Dustin.

      • but is should just be in that one section in the right center that everyone wears white, and we can have one guy with binoculars, and the the whole section can stand up and wave their hands when they signal a breaking ball.

  19. What’s next, the Texas Rangers accusing Seattle of stealing signs because of their pitchers’ collectively abysmal performance tonight?

  20. So he blames his outing to a fabricated story by ESPN last year that men were stealing signs in the outfield and letting the Jays hitters now what was coming . This coming from a pitcher thaats lifetime ERA is in the mid 4 and somehow this year is 6-1 with an ERA under 3 . Perhaps its because you actually are not that good of a pitcher you allowed those homeruns . At the end of the year you will be a below .500 record pitcher and yet again ERA near 5 like the pitcher you REALLY are .

    • intre9pide : non, nous n’allons pas passer la nuit sur ce sujet, mais lissaez-nous quand-meame vous re9pondre.Of9 avez-vous vu un seul appel e0 la de9sobe9issance lance9 par ceux qui disent avoir vu la Sainte Vierge ? Sur une telle accusation, nous aimerions des preuves, avant tout faux proce8s. Lisez les messages e9dite9s jusqu’e0 ce jour, vous n’en trouverez pas.Quant e0 l’e9veaque du lieu, nous lui devons respect et confiance, ne9anmoins il semble qu’il ait e9te9 un peu de9savoue9 sur ce sujet par le cardinal Schf6nborn dans son dernier livre, dans lequel l’archeveaque de Vienne a rappele9 que sa position n’engageait que lui (ce qui ne veut pas dire qu’il ne faut pas lui obe9ir).La position actuelle de l’Eglise est rappele9e dans ce billet, aussi serait-il plus prudent de s’y tenir oui, les pe8lerinages prive9s sont autorise9s ! en attendant toute e9volution dans un sens ou dans l’autre.Je remarque quand-meame qu’il est surprenant de voir autant de re9ticences passionne9es et meame parfois un peu hargneuses se lever de8s qu’on parle de ce sujet.

  21. the Jays should use this to their advantage, admit there is a man in white, blue, brown, orange and red, that we know your signs, that resistance is futile, that we also know your signs in your own park, you know why? because your wives and girlfriends are giving them to us, and so why fight it? Give in. Go ahead. Throw the 70 mph fastball down the pipe, get it overwith, that’s it, wasn’t that easy?

    • I agree – go with it. Let that be in the back of every pitcher’s mind that comes in here.

    • I have a old style black Joey Bats jersey. Will that help at the next game? Maybe I’ll wear a white cowboy hat…

  22. I’ve heard all this before. The Oriole/Yankees/White Sox need to get a life.

    Don’t look now, but Omar Vizquel is 7 for his last 16.

    • Vizquel has been a real surprise, at least to me. He also motors around the bases remarkably well for an old age pensioner. I was expecting a superannuated spare part only usable in emergency situations. Instead, he’s like a Mike McCoy who can hit.

    • I’ve noticed he pulled his brim down an inch or two, that makes him look a few years younger, maybe it makes him feel younger as well

  23. If the Jays really had a “guy in a white shirt” flagging signs, don’t you think they’d take him on the road and buy him a ticket?


  24. Like Romero never made excuses, it’s part of the game he’s just upset at himself.

  25. I think the more likely excuse is, as Drew has mentioned, Hammel was going to falter, and sure enough he did last night…

    • Just like Morrow did on his Texas outing. Maybe Hammel should take a look at the hanging breaking balls that he left to get dinged and work on keeping those down instead of worrying about some guy from the 70s at the ballpark.

  26. Sounds like his ass is still ringing

  27. Maybe Hammel is just setting himself up for a job in the White Sox bullpen

  28. I still can’t believe the rogers marketing peeps haven’t cashed in on this and held ‘men in white’ promos where they give out white blue jay shirts to every seat in the outfield and lower the price for that entire section. Atleast twice a year, and if you advertise it well and keep it on weekends, the people will come.

  29. Eduardo A. Encina, a blogger with the Baltimore Sun wrote:
    On Wednesday, Hammel, not known as a complainer, fell just short of accusing the Jays of stealing signs.

    “Fell short”? There was nothing veiled about Hammel’s blatant accusation.

    Jason Hammel needs to admit that he just didn’t have his best stuff and wasn’t making his pitches and move on. If he’d just kept a lid on his whining, he’d still be a great turnaround story with a 6-2 record and an ERA below 3.00

    Toronto’s fans are notoriously hard on their own athletes. If Jason Hammel was one of ours, the fans and the media would’ve told him to just shut up and pitch better next time.

    Here Jason, some more excuses you can use:
    “Waaaaaaaah! The _____________ made me pitch bad!”
    Fill in the blank with:
    Green Monster, Yankee’s pinstripe jerseys, B&O warehouse, empty seats at Tropicana Field, the big ‘A’ in Anaheim, the stylized letter ‘D’ in Detroit, the waterfall in KC, hot women in Chicago, the smell of BBQ in Arlington etc etc etc

    • i would’ve thought you could pic a slightly better place for hot women to distract him than chicago, like milwakee, or oakland

  30. looks like someone needs their mommy to give them their bah-bah of warm milk!

  31. Sooo the Man In White is still out there. But mysteriously is refusing to flash signs to Bautista? After their long and profitable relationship for the past two years I can’t believe the Jays would stop him tipping off the face of the franchise.

    What an asshole Hammel is. He’s wasted on the Orioles. He really belongs in a Red Sox uniform.

  32. Oh man, killer graphic from last night http://imgur.com/QZk3z

  33. Man in white is trending on twitter. We all know it. How else do you explain my pitcher giving up 3 home runs, then he comes into Rogers Center, and gives up 4 FOUR!!! home runs in 1 night? What comes around, goes around, Toronto..you just dug your own grave. MUHAHAHAH! GO ORIOLES GO!

  34. What a maroon!

  35. Thames and Lind are in AAA clearly because they weren’t reading the MiW’s signs well enough.

  36. Morrow got F#$%# torched for 6 runs in 0.2 innings on Friday and he didn’t complain that the Rangers Arlington Ballpark is cheating with high heat carrying the ball, small ballpark, or other men in white.

    Hammel can GTFO, please

  37. Sounds like a sore loser to me.

  38. erm, I believe waht Hammel’s saying is that the big swings on the breaking stuff is what makes him think they were stealing signs– moreso than the 4 homeruns. Obviously, knowing when a breaking ball’s coming or not means knowing when a fastball’s coming… just saying, that’s how I read it.

  39. Sitting in my living room with no view of the MAN IN WHITE, I predicted Hammel’s offspeed pitches correctly about 80% of the time.

  40. I want to know why Hammel wasn’t tossed out of the game for throwing that pitch to Jose down at his feet? Didn’t our guy pitch that exact same pitch last week and was given the heave-ho?

  41. @parkes when did you pic change? did you grow your hair out to cover the elf ears? I miss frodo

  42. I just looked up “Asshole” in the dictionary, and I saw the same picture of Hammel as at the beginning of this blog entry. C’mon, pay up and give Webster’s Dictionary it’s due credit and stop stealing photos.

  43. Who is Karim Garcia??

    This is so dumb, don’t you think that in a stadium full of 7000 people you could quote unquoute find this guy. It is retarded, the whole Batiusta thing last year, you don’t want the guy to hit a home run, don’t throw him a fastball, he doesn’t miss on the road either. Just annyoing, bottom line is the Jays have good hitters.

  44. Rasmus’ dinger was a slider down and in. As far as the Jays stealing signs goes, it’s total bunk. Weiters was flashing the 2nd set of signs all series. The OriLOLes can suck on it.

  45. [...] as Dustin Parkes at Drunk Jays Fans points out, using actual research, Jason Hammel is kind of an idiot.  All of the home runs that the Blue Jays [...]

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