Two Game Threats in a day? I’m not sure how badly I want to full-on do that, especially with so much still to take care of in the wake of yesterday’s Escobar stuff, and a follow-up unpacking of Drew’s interview with Alex Anthopoulos, plus whatever wrenches get thrown in my direction along the way. So… here’s all you get. For now.

Aaaand one piece of scuttlebutt, because Shi Davidi pretty much nailed it in his piece on Escobar at Sportsnet.

TV: Sportsnet One

And now the lineups, by way of the live box score at theScore.com. And for those of you who’ll be out and about, be sure to follow all the action on your phone with Score Mobile

Toronto Blue Jays

R. Davis RF
C. Rasmus CF
B. Lawrie 3B
A. Lind 1B
J. Mathis C
M. Sierra DH
O. Vizquel 2B
A. Hechavarria SS
A. Gose LF

H. Alvarez RHP

New York Yankees

I. Suzuki LF
N. Swisher 1B
R. Cano 2B
A. Rodriguez DH
C. Granderson CF
R. Martin C
E. Chavez 3B
R. Ibanez RF
E. Nunez SS

A. Pettitte LHP

Comments (114)

  1. Is it weird that in the Twilight Zone of the past 2 days, I’d completely forgotten that the Blue Jays are a baseball team, and that baseball is being played by them right now? It’s like the brain-jolt you get when Spring Training starts – “Ohhh, right. Curveballs… bunts… left fielders… baseball, that stuff. It’s coming back now.”

  2. According to the Globe, Rogers will be commenting today on Zaun ripping the Jays organization yesterday. That’s unusual, isn’t it? Maybe they’ll hand out another 3 game suspension.

    • Man, I’m so behind because I’m working on a big Anthopoulos Speaks from Drew’s piece. Still haven’t heard it, but like I said on Twitter, it’s Zaun, so it’s bound to be dumb.

      • All 3 hours of PTS yesterday are begging for a Today in Morons post.

      • Not only is it NOT dumb, it should be required listening for any baseball fan. The subtext that sabermetricians, with no experience in the ‘playing’ of the sport, have no place being general managers is priceless.

        • So then it is incredibly, incredibly dumb. Thanks, Norm.

        • yeah because the Texas Rangers run by that nerd Jon Daniels are a complete and utter disaster. and, in no way, a franchise the Blue Jays should emulate.

          and i can’t believe what a sabermetrician fundamentalist Anthopolous is! he’s so bad he has to fake us out by vastly expanding the Jays scouting department.

        • Did anyone counter Zaun with the GMs who have lots of success without having played professionally?

        • “The subtext that sabermetricians, with no experience in the ‘playing’ of the sport, have no place being general managers is priceless.”

          I think you are taking this out of context. Zaun referenced this in response to how a clubhouse should be managed and said that he gives Anthopoulos a pass because he has never had experience in a big league clubhouse, that ultimately the responsibility of a mis-managed club house should fall onto the shoulders of John Farrell. He was not implying that AA can’t do his job, and in fact identified his lack of experience did not prevent him from doing as such.

          While I strongly disagree with what Zaun has to say at times, I felt he did bring up a lot of good points in his interview.

          • I also liked a lot of what Zaun had to say – those on here saying Zaun said Alex isn’t qualified to be a GM because he’s a numbers guy are absolutely taking things out of context. He was talking about the clubhouse culture and how maybe Alex deserves a pass on those issues because he doesn’t have baseball experience as a coach or player in the clubhouse.

          • + uno

        • Only that is not what he said. He said that he does not exepect AA to understand how a baseball locker room works because he was never a player or coach.

          he never said he was not capable of being a gm

          do you people really want zaun to get dumped for being critical? you might not agree with him but fuck i love the fact that he doesnt seem to care what his coporate overlords say.

      • It was fucking Zau-ful (see what I did there, I combined Zaun and awful to make one Zauful word).

        They should can his sorry ass. #FireZaun

    • Quite unusual.

    • From the Globe article:
      “a stunt revealed only after the website Deadspin published pictures taken by a Toronto photographer.”

      Um…? I’m pretty sure about 20 sites had scooped Deadspin before they got around to posting about it

  3. in the name of helping the Jays rate their players for 2012 and with the urging of Small Potatoes I have come up with a 3 tiered categorization for FUKSTIKS who will be graded as Gold, Silver and Bronze just like gd gasoline.
    It will be open for discussion, we can kick it around and maybe fuckin Stoten can find s’thing to do with it like take it to Mccown or something
    First, some brief definitions according to my biased scale:
    Please note it does incl off field stuff so this whole esobar thing is not included. We might want to discuss if coaches s/b involved as well as rookies
    1. A Gold fukstik is awarded to those players who have performed extremely poorly for 3 consecutive years, are overpaid, are unwanted in trades or even in waiver claims w/o some kind of sweetener from the team trying to get rid of them. A rebound in normal ability is virtually unlikey ( EG Vernon wells)
    2. A silver fukstik is awarded to those players who have been poor to miserable for 2 years, not necessarily consecutive, are considered overpaid but for whom a rebound in ability is possible, although unlikey. ( eg aaron Hill). Not very tradeable w/o sweeteners.
    3. A bronze fukstik is for those new to these hallowed designations in that they have had one complete abysmal season ( which might be over 2 calendar years) are bordering on being overpaid if it continues . Still tradeable as there are fools who think they can fix them and a return to normal ability is still possible but heading in a current downward direction which is a bad sign. Sort of like a bad credit rating form Moodys with a negative watch going forward. EE w/h been a fukstik at one time but is no longer there obviously so the player can extricate themselves from this category
    I am also toying with a Platinum Fukstik or Hall of fame fukstik rating but haven’t come up with the parameters yet.
    So without further ado here are my ratings on some of the more prominent 2012 Jays: I will be dealing with just those palyers falling into Fukstik status and if not mentioned, EG Bautista, they are not fukstiks.

    Gold FUKsTIks:
    1. Rajai Davis: Had two poor years with the Jays preceded by one with Oakland. Steals bases wonderfully, but can’t keep track of outs, makes baserunning blunders and vies with Corey Patterson for the worst routes ever taken on fly balls. Currently giving bad advice to M. Sierra on how to catch flyballs on sunny days and avoiding being picked off on base. Untradeable so qualifies as GOLD
    2. Adam LIND:
    Hitting about .230, can’t run, throw, field very well, Hit for avg or think properly. Worst ranked 1B in baseball when he plays, worst ranked DH when he does that. No one even wanted him on waivers for free. Overpaid and a gold member of fukstiks. He even makes Lyle Overbay look like an option for f sakes. Perhaps we can move him for a pitching machine.
    3/ Kelly Johnson: What can you say about a guy who is hitting less than .225 for the third consecutive year, will strikeout about 200 times despite not playing every game, plays mediocre defence and has seen the power numbers go down every year of late and is way overpaid at 6.5m . He is on his way to platinum in my book.
    He will be put in the “remainder” bin at Chapters in the hope someone grabs his ass. Certainly no ne other than AA would trade for such a Fukstik

    Silver Fukstiks
    1. Kyle Drabek:
    Christ for a guy who came with so much fanfare he has been mostly dreck. For the second consecutive tear he has walked guys at a ridiculous rate while running up some incredible pitchcounts. Who can forget his effort in Minny throwing 100+ pitches in 4.1 innings? The cathers hate him as every 2nd pitch is a 55ft curveball that the batter won’t swing at and hopefully one of our catchers can block it. Seems to be thick as a brick and would qualify as Little Milton of Jethro Tull fame. Likely terminal and may never be seen in BJ uni again
    2. Jason Frasor:
    Mr home run ball himself. Basically looks like he is done, but his numbers were awful for Toronto last year and even worse for the Chisox after we traded him there .This year until he was hurt he was just as bad allowing a lot of inherited runners to score and let’s not forget the grand slams he gave up to the stiff Ibanex of the NYY to cost us a game, to Aramis of the Brewers which w/h have cost us another except for a miraculous comeback and the 14th inning pos HR to Hamilton which cost us yet another. Frasor does not bring relief –he brings heartburn and needs to go-definitely a FUKSTIK on the way to gold-please go somewhere else
    3. Brett Cecil- down to the minors for the 2nd consecutive year and less and less faith shown in him. Can’t seem to get the ball down avoid the HR ball and certainly no one wants him a trade. Can’t seem to progress at MLB level to acceptability of the BJs

    Bronze Fukstiks:
    1. Ricky Romero
    13 straight losses and counting, an ERA over 5.7 for the year and a team losing confidence in him. Leading the league in walks and pitches thrown, this guy looks in total breakdown mode. He may be able to recover and he still has some value in a trade although severely reduced.
    2. Henderson Alvarez:
    I know, great promise but the facts are his ERA is at 5 and at the moment he is nothing more than a batting practice PITCHER for the opposition most games-needsa strikeout pitch or he will move to silver and then likely back to the minors or whatever. The year has to be rated as poor for a guy who showed such promise early on-hope he gets it together.

    Colby Rasmus , I am holding off on mainly because he has good power numbers and w/b taken in a trade so he avoids fukstik status for now, but he better get er goin. Vizquel is an old man and is retiring so is pointless to rate him but really, not much there anymore really-Johnny Mac w/h been better
    Guys like Gomes w/b a fukstik at an avg of .176 but if the ever makes the big club for real then we will look more closely at him. Same with Mcoy.

  4. Please, please, please beat the Yankees. Thank you in advance.

  5. I’m already looking forward to the season recap from Stoeten on this disaster… which could only be aptly named “it’s only up from here”

  6. Colby breaking out the new mechanics — no leg kick.

  7. According to MLB trade rumours the Mets are going to shop Ike Davis in the offseason…fits AA’s target profile and likely wont command an army of prospects…thoughts?

  8. Rasmus and Lind’s batting lines are remarkably similar…sigh

  9. Yankees broadcasters thankful nothing written on Swisher’s eye black.

  10. I think Zaun is totally right. Its much more important to have a background in professional baseball because we all know that the most important things for a winning team are (1) good chemistry (2) accountable clubhouse atmosphere and (3) veteran catchers who lay down the law.

    I mean, name me one single successful GM that didn’t come from a professional baseball background. Brian Cashman, Theo Epstein, Jon Daniels, Andrew Friedman, Theo Epstein and Dan Duquette don’t count, of course.

    • Installing Zaun as GM and Mathis as Player/Manager is laying the foundation for a juggernaut.

    • cashman and epstein had/have payrolls dwarfing the Jays’. Daniels has Nolan Ryan behind him; AA has Beeston, Friedman is probably a genius and is a step or two ahead of the average sabermetrician (his understanding of the importance of fielding for example), Epstein you liked him so much you named him twice, Duquette has been around forever.

      • The dumbest.

      • Norm, you realize that there are more than two people in an organization, yes? What magical power do you really ascribe to Nolan Ryan?

        • andrew, why don’t you google nolan ryan and read some articles on said topic?

          • I know who Nolan Ryan is, champ. I’m just hoping you’ll offer some insight into the dumb things you’re saying.

          • Nose Snygen>Nolan Ryan

          • That was the best answer I’ve ever heard to

            Q: “Why do you think Nolan Ryan is magical?”

            A: “Read litterally anything about him and tell me I’m wrong.”

            We also would have accepted “why don’t you ask Robin Ventura.”

            Having said that, you’re a dumbass Norm. Playing has basically no impact on your ability as a GM. If you want to have that discussion about MANAGERS then I’d be with you.

          • my answer above ‘google nolan ryan etc’ should be self-explanatory. I would think that all baseball fans have heard or read of the level of Ryan’s involvement with the Rangers (see pitch counts controversy etc).

            But if the comments below are indicative of the level of obtuseness endemic to this site, let me just give up: you win. you all win. i don’t have the time or inclination to fight every (self-evident) point. i shall slink off like assumedly countless others have before, leaving behind the barren wasteland that is this site’s discourse.

          • So Norm if we all don’t blindly agree with you, you’re going to write off the site and never return?

            Sorry thats what the site is about, a debate about the Jays and opposing opinions.

            I know it’s hard to believe,but some people *cough*Stoeten* cough* even disagree with me.
            I listen to those opinions because someday they might be right and I ( gasp) might be wrong.
            Nah, that can’t be it.

          • To get Stoeten, Ray, and RADAR all joining forces against you requires an extra special level of stupidity methinks.

            This may be unprecedented.

          • @ IMW

            LOL
            I was thinking the same.

    • I watched Zaun last night from start to finish and, while he went off the rails a couple times, I think there was a little more nuance to what he said than that.

  11. Nick Swisher’s wife from Freaks and Geeks:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Evq57TI1NQg

  12. Mathis caught that like JPA.

  13. Oh and Rasmus is not an above average fielding centre fielder.

  14. I thought Zaun’s comments about No Consequence Clubhouse ™ were bang-on. Players make the same mistakes over and over and there are almost never consequences. Sierra didn’t use sunglasses and fucked up several times before figuring it out? Lawrie refuses to accept that he made a mistake, continues to make them? Rasmus and Davis keep fucking up? etc etc etc. IT IS COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE. You make a mistake, the coaching staff corrects you and you dont do it again. If you do you miss games or get sent down to AAA like Zaun did. Lawrie is fucking 22 yrs old and he already knows everything about baseball? How many word series has he won?

    • Good lord.

      • I’m sorry but you cant run a business that way and baseball is a business. What is the point of having a coaching staff if they aren’t helping make players and the team better?

        • There needs to be some accountability.

        • This is all nonsense getting magnified because the team has played so badly, mostly due to a severe lack of talent in the second half due largely to injuries. Are there issues that should be addressed? Sure. But people acting like they know anything about the clubhouse and insisting it needs to be blown up are, frankly, ridiculous.

          • I’ve played hundreds of games in MLB and have been in the Jays clubhouse for many of those games. How many games have you played Stoet?

          • You’re slightly off base on this one…the number of correctable errors that are being repeated (Sierras glasses, Lawrie/Rajai baserunning, Lawrie thinking he knows everything) is starting to add up to the point where a pattern is starting to form. There is something to be said for the so-called “intangibles” every once in a long while.

          • …and Escobar with everything (catching others pop flys, writing things, many times, on his eye black…what is this? Little League?), as another example of correctable shit that isn’t being corrected.

  15. Just looked at box score, should not have. Toronto has one guy above .300 OBP. New York only has two guys below. Gonna be a long game. 2013 please come soon.

  16. Alvarez certainly is the definition of a hit or miss pitcher this year. Unfortunately it looks like this has a got a good chance to be one of those “miss” starts, here’s hoping he rights himself. Out of his 28 starts he’s had 14 “quality” ones and in 10 of those starts he allowed 2 runs or less. That said, is this team going to prosper with a starter that’s only decent 50% of the time? You can throw Happ in the same boat even if he’s been slightly better than Alvarez. Still think that if this team ends up with Happ and Alvareze in the 4 and 5 slots there’s going to be continued problems next year.

  17. Adam Lind, everybody!

  18. Andrew, Radar et al: you do realize that by simply (and consistently) parroting the company line, you drive away numerous possible visitors to your site, right?

    • Or illogical arguments by trolls drive people away.Use some common sense and take off your” I hate Rogers” glasses.

    • People so thick-skulled as to think I constantly parrot the company line probably weren’t going to do well here anyway.

      It’d be nice to help you challenge the hopelessly ridiculous assumptions that the Gregg Zaun’s of the world would rather just exploit, but we need at least some level of willingness on your part for that kind of thing to work.

    • Hopefully they drive you away Norm!

  19. I want 3 losses out of this series and then of course, minimum 2 wins in Tampa (win that series, break the streak) and then the losing can be endless until the end of 2012

    Tank Nation

    and then I want Josh Johnson, Greinke, Ike Davis trade, Shin Soo Choo, a pony, lifetime supply of Count Chocula and milk, a Remington shotgun, 4 gold bars and a bomb shelter.

  20. fuck yeah Omar, great job – tie the Baabe

  21. Count Chocula is gross. Cap’n Crunch is delicious.

  22. Yankees television knob slobbing Pettitte. Look at the line up he faced, gents. Sour grapes probably, but it looks to me Ancient Andy got lucky.

  23. so Russell Martin went Florence and the Machine with his walk up music

  24. That Davidi article struck a nice balance. Escobar does need to learn to grow up, but it’s time for people to put their pitchforks away. Here’s hoping that’s the end of that.

    As for Zaun, I don’t agree with him about the management of the team, but I do agree that there needs to be more accountability for the younger players making the same mistakes over and over. Whether it’s Rajai or Lawrie fucking up on the basepaths, Escobar bogarting fly balls, or Sierra missing balls in the sun, someone, either a veteran or a coach, needs to kick their asses.

    IIRC, Tampa used to look like the Bad News Bears in the field.

    • I’m not sure if Escobar is neccesarily a dumb guy. He strikes me as more of a rube,what with the (only) $5 million contract after a 4 win year and now this.

  25. Henderson Alvarez, K-machine (after the horse left the barn of course, but still . . . )

  26. Regarding Davidis article I think it was spot on. I asked my wife last night whose first language is Spanish and she said the word does mean faggot but that it does. It have the implications that it does in English and can easily be used to refer to being a woos or pussy etc. she also mentioned that if a Spanish speaker were to try to insult somebody based on there sexual orientation that the word homosexual would be much worse than maricon as it has an accusatory connotation similar to if you called somebody a witch during the Salem witch trials.
    Also she told me that there is not a Spanish equivalent to the word pussy or woos or words of that nature and that maricon is the closest the Spanish language has. This is just some info to keep in mind before we go branding Escobar any further. Another thing to keep in mind is that there was no way MLB was not going to suspend him without looking like a bunch of bigots and that he was just used to make an example of.

    • Too late. Everyone already maximized their moral outrage. There’s no stopping the political correctness mobile.

  27. I’m sorry, but this whole bit about how Latino players casually using the word all the time somehow excuses this or makes it less offensive is just flat out disgusting.

    Instead of asking a bunch of other asshole homophobic baseball guys what they think of this, how about talking to some gay rights organizations in Latin America. I wonder if they think it’s hilarious and normal and cool when “macho men” talk like that and perpetuate the use of derogatory language in everyday life.

    • So in conclusion, Fuck Off Yunel, Fuck Off Shi Davidi, Fuck Off Jose Bautista, Fuck Off Ozzie Guillen, Fuck Off Omar Vizquel.

    • Most people who bring up this argument are doing so for the purpose of demonstrating that Escobar isn’t some sort of a raging homophobe monster that wants all homosexuals burned at the stake, they probably don’t mean to suggest that what he said wasn’t stupid and a massive lapse in judgment.

      The reality is that many people who use this type of language, whether they be Anglophones, Hispanic or whatever, do so because they don’t know any better. Not because they hate gays and wish to propogate hatred of the LGBT community at large.

  28. Oh who was the only guy on here blaming farrell the other day? I was called ridiculous for making such a suggestion and now zaun has backed me up.

  29. Justice for John Macdonald 5 years too late – interference call on AProd

  30. What is the point of the bunt? Down by 3, getting late in the game. Stupid call, imo.

  31. zaun’s love for lind is wild

  32. ANybody notice 7 K’s for Alvarez?

    New pitch? Please, tell me it’s a new pitch….

    • MLB.com shows he’s throwing Fastball, Change, Slider today..

      I’m not watching – but maybe someone else watching can comment on the effectiveness of the 3 pitches.

  33. Holy shit now lawrie is an idiot who won’t run on a base hit. How hard is it to look behind you and see where the SS is positioned?

  34. Kelly Penis!!

  35. Methusaleh!!!

  36. Motherfucking Omar – gangster – pimp

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueDjiAm5rzE

  37. Congrats, Omar.

  38. Gose growing up – nice walk

  39. so, uh, who’s gonna catch next inning?

  40. spoiling a Soriano Shirt Pull is just fine with this Tank Nationer

  41. Fucking Ichiro

  42. fuck this umpire

    another 1 run loss

  43. Fucking umps are garbage

  44. what happened? i’m at work

  45. bahaha…look at pitchFX for Swisher compared to Davis’ AB…..

    Unbelieveable.

  46. My dislike for Swisher is reaching critical mass.

  47. i have losing to the Yankees :(

  48. hate

  49. Whatever AA and the organization does, got to get some guys who don’t make outs at such prodigious rates.

  50. Damn good start by Alvarez even if the Jays lose.

  51. Where’s Escobar? Is he injured?

  52. I didn’t have access to the game. But the Alvarez line is pretty solid. I heard about a change-up he’s been using more or something? Was it a new Alvarez pitching today?

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