For the first time since the day after he wore a homophobic slur written on his eye black, Yunel Escobar returns to the field at Rogers Centre, starting at short, as usual, for the Jays tonight, and batting cleanup, as a constant reminder that fuck this season.

The big question of the day, I guess, is how he’ll be received by Jays fans when he takes the field and makes his first appearance at the plate. The Jays didn’t take batting practice today, so there wasn’t a chance for any reporters to hound Escobar with questions about how he thinks he’ll be received, which is probably for the best, given that all we can do is wait and see– and especially because it turns out that the team met with Patrick Burke of You Can Play this afternoon, and Escobar specifically met for 45 minutes with Burke and openly gay NCAA track athlete Jose Estevez, according to a tweet from Shi Davidi.

“He understands whatever comes his way is part of process,” said Alex Anthopoulos according to another Davidi tweet. “He made a terrible mistake and is going to have to be accountable.”

Asked about it yesterday, John Farrell was evasive about whether Escobar would even play today, as John Lott outlines in the National Post. Also in the piece, Lott refers to an online petition that has been circulating, urging the Jays to make a video condemning homophobia in sports, and urging them to make a LGBT-positive video, in much the way that the San Francisco Giants tackled the issue last year with an issue for the It Gets Better Project.

The Jays and Escobar sound like they are, at least, taking steps in the right direction. At the very least they know enough to try to say the right things. Now we just have to see if they continue to follow-through in the coming months and years, as they should, regardless of whether Escobar remains with the team or not. They need to make emphatically clear that they’re inclusive of all of Toronto’s many communities, and that appears to be starting tonight in earnest.

Scuttlebutt

In the form of a team release, the Jays announce the winners of their 2012 R. Howard Webster Awards, which go to the most valuable players at each of the clubs minor league affiliates, and this year include Adeiny Hechavarria, Justin Nicolino, and Javier Avendano.

Lastly (or… y’know… secondly), for your between inning viewing pleasure, here’s today’s edition of Getting Blanked. (Audio here). (Subscribe on iTunes for audio and video).



TV: Sportsnet One, TVA

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

B. Lawrie 3B
C. Rasmus CF
E. Encarnacion DH
Y. Escobar SS
A. Lind 1B
J. Arencibia C
K. Johnson 2B
M. Sierra RF
A. Gose LF

B. Morrow RHP

New York Yankees

D. Jeter SS
I. Suzuki RF
A. Rodriguez DH
R. Cano 2B
N. Swisher 1B
C. Granderson CF
R. Martin C
R. Ibanez LF
J. Nix 3B

I. Nova RHP

Comments (101)

  1. Brett obviously likes saying obviously.

  2. I’m guessing there will be a mild smattering of boos when Escobar somes up to bat, and then that’s it.

    • I guarantee most people don’t even know what he said

    • He will have his detractors. It will be interesting to see if he has vocal supporters.

      • I predict there will be vocal supporters. I have no faith @ all in this city. The last time I went to a game, I heard a lot of homophobic language being tossed around as insults [fans insulting other fans, to clarify].

        • I didn’t at all mean that you’d have to be homophobic to support him, but I take your point.

          • I don’t understand the word homophobic. Do people who hate gays have a phobia? We don’t use the same terms to describe racists.

          • True – that’s my bad I guess for assuming one would have to be homophobic to support him. I’m watching on the YES feed + I didn’t hear if there was support or booing. Can anyone confirm what happened?

          • FUCK ALL happened.

          • “I don’t understand the word homophobic. Do people who hate gays have a phobia? We don’t use the same terms to describe racists.”

            I’ve always viewed homophobia thusly:

            It’s less about being afraid of gays, and more about being terrified that you are one.

        • Bean Weasel – you need to travel. If you think Toronto is homophobic and ill-mannered…

          (But oh yes, that doesn’t excuse homophobia… a little perspective, please)

          • I’ve traveled pretty extensively. And yes, many other places are worse – but that doesn’t mean that Toronto is some sort of paradise.

          • Thanks for missing my point, right on cue. You demean every millimetre of social progress ever made with an attitude like that. If you think that people are going to support Escobar because they’re homophobic, you have managed to actually display the kind of ignorance Bob McCown only feigned.

            Disappointing.

        • Homophobia isn’t even close to what you speak of. Homophobics are people that actually hate gays. Using the word faggot doesn’t make someone homophobic, that is just fucking foolish. It may not be right to use the word, but unless they are actually degrading a gay person by calling him that word, than it is simply using a term in (foolishly and disrespectfully) in a different context. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong to use the word, just saying it does not make someone a homophobic person.

          Homophobia – the hatred or fear of homosexuals. Just because I called a random guy cutting me off the other day coming out of my driveway a faggot, does not make me homophobic. If it was my gay neighbour who disgusted me with his homosexual actions (hypothetically), it’d be a different story. So all you people on a righteous trip, maybe think before you label someone. Asshole, idiot, inconsiderate, immature does not equal homophobic…just sayin!

  3. of the 8 teams headed for 90 losses 4 have been or will be fired so far

    indians, houston, boston, miami

    does alex have the balls to fire farrell?

  4. wow listen to that outrage! I could only hear mccowan and beeston.

  5. Uhhh…. Anthony?

  6. holy fuck did Gose ever get a horrible jump on that fly ball. HORRIBLE fielding play. WTF was he doing…sleeping? that ball was hit sky high.

  7. what is a typical GO / AO ratio? Lawrie is at 1.46 this year. Seems hugely high.

  8. Ugly K there by Sierra. Brutal.

  9. Maple Boner goes deep.

  10. it only took lawrie 320 more ab’s to hit 1 more home run than last year.

  11. Holy shit, Gose.

  12. Gose is a beauty!

  13. IS THAT DEVON WHITE OUT THERE!!!!!! WOW

  14. and I make up for it with a great catch in left centre that turned into a DP. yeah!!

  15. I could have caught that.

  16. I could watch that play all night long, but the finger-eating…not so much.

  17. Hey Everybody

    Make sure to read Shi Davidi’s Episodes of the Vagina Monologue, where I explain how it’s the Blue Jays’ fault that I can’t hit shit.

  18. Jays are looking sharp tonight

  19. gose having a game here eh boys

  20. Cletus done good.

  21. So nice. So good.

  22. Recipe: 1st pitch strikes and speed keep other team off-balance

  23. Fuck you Nova you Yankee-prospect poster boy, Girardi won’t even let you eat innings the week before the playoffs you ass-faced baby fat chunk fuck…

  24. Man I can’t wait to watch the Sportsnet documentary on the 92 World Series team! Just like when they shoved it down our throats in their magazine. I don’t know about anybody else, I mean 92-93 was the best years watching baseball of my life…but can Rogers just fuck off force feeding these memories down our throats when our team is set for a 70 win season? It all just seems a little fucking ridiculous to me. Just like everything else they do, (Rogers commercials, Brett Lawrie ball washing, Buck and Pat being eomployed, the Rogers Center itself) I find it really fucking annoying.

    • Agreed. It’s sad that the team hasn’t had any success since 1993. When I first started following the jays in 2008 they had flashback fridays to try & relive the glory years.

      I am fascinated to see what marketing plan they have for 2013.

      If they go out & acquire some starting pitching & a solid DH like Ortiz it will be fun.

      If it’s minor improvements, no one will take them seriousley.

  25. So–Morrow has a 4-0 shutout happening against the Yankees into the 7th, and no one seems to care. Is this apathy or Tank Nation at play?

  26. Oye Señor Brad Lincoln, will Shi Davidi ever craft a three-part saga about your middling ass?

    • I’m waiting for Geoff Baker’s interview with Brandon Morrow. I’m sure Geoff will shit on everyone involved.

  27. JP might still have some trade value after all. Fingers crossed!

    • Of course he does. A decent defensI’ve catcher who prob would’ve hit close to 30 HRS? That’s got value

      • We don’t need two #1 backstops, so I’m encouraged by his resurgence.

        • Let’s wait & see what TDA does in Buffalo next year under normal weather conditions with a new league before he gets brought up to the team.

          I think JPA would be foolish to trade JPA until he knows what DA can do at the MLB level.

          I see both of them with the team unless AA has to trade TDA or JPA for starting pitching.

          • Fuckit, roll the dice. Most of baseball agrees that D’arnaud is going to be a beauty. If you can get a good starting pitcher for JP, I do it in a heartbeat.
            When baseball analysts are largely in agreement, the kid usually turns into what they are projecting. Travis Snider was more an exception to the rule. If we start getting gunshy and not believing in our talent, or the people who assess our talent then we’re lost. D’arnaud has nothing left to prove in the minors and has a more complete game. Arencibia was touted, but the evaluators said (and nailed it in my opinion) that his only PLUS tool was power. I believe D’arnaud will excell at every other facet, so turn JP into a pitcher and clear a path for the best prospect we have had in decades.

          • Amen Smasher.

          • No edit feature.
            AA would be foolish to trade JPA until TDA proves he can perform at the MLB level.

          • I’ve got no problem holding on to both til they figure out how TDA’s knee is. I suspect thats why Mathis was re-signed. Then if everything is good turn JPA into a pitcher. If TDA has problems, the pundits said Jiminez is pretty good anyway.

      • Yeah I like that. Given some time he’ll develop leadership skill too. He’s a great “team” guy. I almost hate that he’s such a prime candidate for a trade.

        • Wouldn’t TDA have more trade value as a “can’t miss prospect” than JPA?

          I think AA will have to trade high value prospects to get starting pitching.

          • FFS, oakville69, 3 minutes ago you insisted that TDA has to prove himself at the MLB level. Which is it?

          • I am referring to the media consensus that TDA is “a can;t miss prospect”

            If the Jays want to keep TDA & JPA then they have to see how TDA does in Buffalo & Toronto next year before they trade JPA?

            It depends on the relative trade value of TDA & JPA.
            JPA or vice versa.

          • You needn’t worry about falling off the fence, what it up your crack so far.

    • I think a combo of JPA/Mathis is a good one. Why you would get rid of a proven MBL-level talent like Arencibia who is improving defensively and putting up solid power numbers is beyond me. Trade D’arnaud for pitching…

  28. Morrow is gonna finish top 3 in cy voting next year

  29. Do you happen to need a messiah?

  30. Hold on Andrew Neigh the news guy. Best broadcaster next to Mike Wlner

  31. Mike Newman Fangrapsh prospect chat:

    Comment From Mr. WhiskersMr. Whiskers: ]
    Do you think the Jays system stock is up, down, or basically the same as it was in the beginning of the year? They added a lot more high upside talent via the draft and a lot of their top prospects took steps forward, but a lot of the lower level guys disappointed many
    Thursday September 27, 2012 5:21 Mr. Whiskers
    5:21 Mike Newman: Most likely the same or a little higher. Their 2012 draft might wind up being the best of the bunch.

    [Comment From jeffjeff: ]
    how would you rank toronto’s big 3 pitching prospects of nicolino, sanchez, syndergaard?
    Thursday September 27, 2012 4:15 jeff
    4:15 Mike Newman: Sanchez, Syndergaard, Nicolino from what contacts tell me.

  32. That’s pretty awesome by the way, with so many players that will no longer be rookie/prospect eligible if it’s true. The rankings this time could be pretty wild with new ones moving into the top 10 and a lot in the top 20 range.

  33. So, a little concern for Anthony Alford. He is not starting at QB for SMU this week because of a knee injury (no idea how bad it is, but someone should probably follow-up – not great news for a speedster). He has not played well, and was booed the game prior to being knocked out with the knee injury.

    http://www.clarionledger.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012209160335&nclick_check=1

    Hey, he has lots of time to grow as a QB but really, with the Jim McMahony story on ESPN.com this week (where he said he wishes he had chosen baseball over football given his current memory problems which he fully believes are football-related) and his play and knee injury, I hope AA the Younger is considering his options before he wrecks a chance at baseball. The guy is an amazing athlete (first time ever for a player to be both the top football and baseball player in Mississippi), someone on the Jays should be checking in with their very young asset and making sure he talks to a few ex-QBs about post-football life. AA the Younger is at least concussion-free, thus far, I think (hope for his sake).

  34. If all works out, maybe Ricky Lloyd is the best thing that happens to the Jays, by taking the QB job at SMU and putting AA the Younger in a safer position for a while. Go Ricky!!

    http://www.cardchronicle.com/2012/9/25/3408410/freshman-ricky-lloyd-expected-to-start-at-quarterback-for-southern

  35. I genuinely enjoy reading through on this internet site , it contains good articles . “Wealth and children are the adornment of life.” by Koran.

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