The Game In A (Non Run-On) Sentence

The Jays and Twins play something resembling a baseball game in Dunedin, at least for portions of nine innings– otherwise… who knows?


The Good

After multiple, albeit brief, torrential downpours in the hours before the game, the weather held off– just as Carol insisted it would– and as nearly the full crowd sang along to the pre-recorded instrumental version of O Canada, the sun peeked through the clouds for the first time, and held strong thereafter. Before he left with a sore throat, Dirk Hayhurst took this picture of an area we were standing in, and I assure you, it got much worse before it got better. So it turned into a gorgeous day for baseball-ish– though the Jays could have been a little more watchable after the first inning, when Emilio Bonifacio led off with a double, and Adam Lind put the home side up 3-0 with a moonshot off of Mike Pelfrey.


The Bad

It’s hard not to, but I think it would be slightly cruel of me to put Ricky Romero’s effort on the day down in the “ugly” category, especially since it’s still damn February, and his struggles are supposedly due to the fact that he was trying to throw sinkers– a pitch he went away from considerably in 2012, as Brandon Morrow supposedly pointed out to him, via Brooks Baseball. Neil Davidson of the Canadian Press, via the Globe and Mail says as much in his piece on the lacklustre outing, though the Globe’s own Jeff Blair gives a slightly different take, seeming as though he’s trying to pull back from the edge of sounding too many alarms, but evoking 2012 Brett Cecil and the “it’s early, everything is fine” song and dance that went along with his spring struggles a year ago. Of course, it is too early to portend doom for anybody, but rather than divert us from a simple sub-par outing, my sense is that the flimsy excuse-making coming from the Jays probably makes us focus undue attention on a relatively meaningless spring debut. Because, I tell you what, I was sitting directly pretty behind the plate, and if Romero was throwing sinkers all day, by the end they sure as shit weren’t sinking– they weren’t real close to the strike zone either, from my vantage. I can buy that explanation for the lack of velocity for now, but for me it’s certainly going to put more scrutiny on his next outing, not less. Though I guess that was inevitable anyway.

Hey, maybe next time he’ll try throwing all cutters– apparently Mark Buehrle is teaching him one.


The Ugly

I’m not complaining– it was baseball in the sun, and the expectations in the Grapefruit League naturally have to be lower– but just the whole game was a little damn sloppy. Bad throws, misplays in the outfield, pitchers not terribly sharp. It was almost like they’ve only barely started playing games.


The Additional Thoughts

I’ll have some more Dunedin stuff down the line, but that’s about it for today. Check-out time!

Comments (48)

  1. How long are you in Dunedin stoeten?

  2. Blue Jays!

  3. In all his years with DJF, I don’t think Stoeten’s ever done spring recaps before. It’s really a new era.

  4. I think it should also be good that Romero’s knees didn’t fall off.

  5. I am excited for the season but the insufferable trolls who show up are a pain

  6. I’m hoping Ricky’s 2012 was in large part due to the elbow surgery he had. I’m hoping a sluggish start by him is due to the sinker attempts. But what I’m really hoping, is that Ricky is not the pitching version of Adam Lind. It’s still early in his struggles but some of it is starting to sound eerily familiar.

  7. Just a general observation:

    I hate when people complain that spring training is too long. It’s not like you have to watch or pay attention. I’d much rather have this, than no baseball at all.

  8. I’m not going to pay attention to anything the pitchers do until they’re last few starts. To me Romero’s performance this year is not crucial if Dickey, Morrow, Johnson and Buerhle perform to expectations and stay healthy which is not too far out of the realm of possibility. If Romero can pitch well enough to be an above average back of the rotation starter, it’s great. If not, then I hope Romero isn’t given too long of leash and one of Happ, Lincoln, Jenkins can fill the #5 spot.

  9. Im with you on the sloppy, they have been in the first 5….too be expected to some lvl….but i think they need to get a handle on that right away…..and the two errors yesterday where by the 2 guys trying for the 2nd base job….not some scrubs we will only see in ST.

    The record by the end of March means nothing, but sloppy play as of april 2nd does……need to tighten it up boys……thats what its about.

  10. Looks like the Jays are going with what could be their opening day line-up today. Should be fun to keep an eye on.

  11. I read that Romero got quite animated after giving up the HR. I usually am in the camp that says “I don’t know these guys personally so how can I say what attitude is or isn’t right for them?” But at this point his dramatics maybe need to be toned down.

    If we’re not supposed to take these performances too seriously or read too much into them… then why is he?

    • That really depends on why he got animated, does it not?

      Was he angry that he gave up the home run, or was he more angry that he made a mistake in his delivery that he knew he shouldn’t have made?

      • I don’t know. I just think that (a) if you don’t want us to take it seriously, then calm yourself down as well and (b) when giving up home runs is a too-regular occurrence, acting like you are Verlander in a World Series game each time it happens is a little pompous. He’s a fifth starter and lucky to be that – a little humility and calm can’t hurt at this point.

  12. So more importantly, did Ricky look like he needed to seek psychological treatment during the game?

  13. I would definitely be comfortable with Happ as the #5 at the back end of the rotation. Anything Ricky can give us at this point is bonus.

    • i would be happy if Ricky goes 8-1 like last year…..if it keeps going, awesome, if not, agreed, nice to have Happ waiting in the wings.

  14. Rather than throwing new pitches like cutters and sinkers, why doesn’t Ricky try throwing any pitch that batters don’t hit the ball a country mile. Just a thought…

  15. Lincoln working on his batting practice pitch right now? 10 pitches…..4 for int walk….3 hits, 3 runs…….pour Lincoln…

  16. Thanks for coming out Lincoln. Hopefully you can figure out minor league players in Buffalo.

  17. ugh. i thought the pitchers were supposed to have the ‘advantage’ in spring training games??

    has their been any jays pitchers to find success yet? Santos maybe?

    • I always figured the opposite, believing that ST was always harder on pitchers (well, based on stats, anyway). It’s the pitchers who are trying to figure out their delivery or release points, trying to incorporate new pitches, trying to find a rhythm to their pitches, trying to loosen and/or strengthen their arms, ‘stretching them out’, etc.

      ST is basically FOR pitchers, but pitchers don’t “have the advantage” in ST games.

  18. Lincoln is shit. I know it’s spring training but he was bad last year too. Boggles my mind that he was fan favourite in Pittsburgh.

    • Really? Look at his number before last years trade, he was lights out in the bullpen. And truth be told, their season started to go down the tubes after that trade, their whole bullpen took a shit kicking.

      • Then maybe he can’t pitch in the AL.

        • Or maybe it’s a small sample size and you have no clue whether or not he can pitch in the AL.

          Actually, yeah, that sounds right.

          • Does Lincon have an above avg pitch??

            • His CB is a plus plus pitch. The problem is getting hitters to swing at it. If you are not commanding your FB or if you can’t throw a decent change, hitters are going to lay off the CB. As a starter, Lincoln should be sitting in the low 90′s with his 4-seam FB and I think he throws a 2-seamer also. He also throws a change. None are plus pitches. From the bullpen, he can tick his velocity and was hitting 95 last season in spurts. Having to cheat on the FB abit more, hitters are more prone to swing at his plus plus CB, which looks like a power 12-6 CB with lots of bite, and sits in the low 80′s. Nasty pitch.

              I am not in love with the idea of seeing the Jays wanting to see Lincoln return to the starting rotation. He doesn’t have a good track record as a starter beyond the double A level. The silver lining is that Lincoln will be starting in Buffalo. J.A. Happ is way ahead of him on the depth charts though. And quite possibly, a guy like Justin Germano might also be ahead of Lincoln. So in essence, Lincoln sits as the 7th or 8th guy on the starting rotation depth chart.

              If Lincoln makes anything more than a token start or two, then something seriously wrong is happening with the starting 5 at the MLB level (like a long DL stint PLUS another guy shitting the bed or injured). My thinking is that Lincoln gets called up but as a reliever. Assuming he is stretched and healthy, he could do a good job as a long guy.

  19. wow. yeah. best get working there fellas. spring training games mean nothing…but at the same time, getting your asses handed to you each game also doesn’t look good.

    • Early spring training games are a fucking joke. Regular guys get 1 or 2 at bats and then race out to play golf. They don’t even bother to stick around to watch the game.

      The only meaningful spring training games, if such a thing even existed, which means that it doesn’t, are the last handful of games a week or so before the start of the regular season. Pitchers work deeper into games and regular guys sometimes play 7 innings before being replaced by some double A guy no one has ever heard of before.

      I wouldn’t put any stock in early games at all. Guys just get their work in before heading out to play golf.

  20. Remember when we had the best record in spring training last year? That sure impacted the regular season.

    • yeah…but maybe there’s a difference between losing games and losing 7-2, 10-1…

      • Exactly true what you say

      • @ Tocher

        No, not really.Players are left in games when they normally would be pulled.Expanded rosters of minor leaguers getting looked at.Players making sure they don’t get injured before the regular season when they’ll dive into camera bays.And so on.
        I used to drive myself crazy over ST until I listened to what everybody was saying about it and it made sense.

  21. For fucks sakes guys,it’s spring training.
    Pitchers who have a spot on the team tend to work on new pitches and get the mechanics right.No established pitcher worries about ST.
    Pitching ain’t easy.That’s why they need to work on new pitches.There’s arm slots,grips,finger pressure,release points etc.
    People tend to think they learn the grip,try it for a week and they’re good to go.

    As far as ST records go,somebody posted ST records over the last 20 years and the correlation with the regular season record. There is none.( Where are the stats geeks when you need them?)
    If Lincoln does this every outing then maybe there’s something to be concerned about.

    • + billions and Billions Radar!

      • Thx Carl.
        I understand where everyone is coming from,I love the passion they exude.Just trying for some levity before anybody commits harikari ( harakiri or seppuku).

        • If they committed suicide now, it would not be seppuku. They would be no honour. Have I got that right?

        • +2 Radar.

          I used to get worked up about spring training results as well, but after watching the games I can see why it doesn’t matter.

          The pitchers are trying out new pitches. The minor leaguers are swinging at everything.

          The guy who hit the grand slam on saturday won’t be on the opening day roster.

    • Does that mean the Jays still have a shot at the post season. Phew!

  22. I know Lind sticks out like a sore thumb on this team but I wish we could get a black out on him. More donkey pointing!

    • In June of 2003, during the JP reign of terror, our team was mostly white. The Toronto Star wrote an article “Toronto White Jays”. It was awful, embarassing, and racist.

      Would they dare write an article now called “Toronto Black Jays”?

      If they can point out how JP appeared racist against blacks for having a mostly white team, would they suggest AA is racist against whites for having a mostly black team?

      Why is it ok for the Star to call them the White Jays, and not ok to call them the Black Jays?

      Personally, I’m grateful the team is back to it’s roots in the Dominican Republic, and I don’t think either JP or AA were racist.
      I don’t care about the colour of skin, as long as they can play.

      Just pointing out how political correctness is such bullshit and full of hypocrisy…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *