romeromonochromeFAES

The line for Ricky Romero didn’t look particularly horrific today. Not great, mind you, but not absolute disasterfuck. He tossed three innings– was scheduled for four– giving up three runs on five hits, and two walks with four strikeouts. The issue, however, as it’s been since the end of Spring Training last year, was his ability to throw strikes.

By Wilner’s count it was 62 pitches, 32 of which were strikes. Which… is not good.

Last season Romero threw the eleventh-most balls among qualified pitchers, on the fewest number of pitches of anyone in the top 30 save for Barry Zito, and with the fewest number of strikes thrown among the top 45, save for Tommy Hanson. Which… is not good.

In an excellent piece of work over at Getting Blanked, Drew suggests that a move to the other side of the rubber might, at the very least, help him throw strikes– a la Alan Webster of the Red Sox, or Jaime Garcia of the Cardinals. What I’ll simply suggest, however, is that we give up the fucking consternation over this, and take a second to take note of the fact that every statement that every fan makes about what the club ought to do with last year’s Opening Day starter is qualified with a giant “if.”

For the moment the club has been steadfast in its insistence that Romero will begin the year in the rotation, no matter what. But as I pointed out when I last tackled the issue, a mere three days ago, that was precisely what they said about Brett Cecil last spring, before his performance made the idea of taking him north completely untenable. It’s also exactly what you would say if you were trying your best to prop up the flagging confidence of a once-valuable pitcher who doesn’t appear to have anything physical that’s keeping him from not being one of the worst starters in baseball.

So, for one, let’s please not talk as though the Jays will be completely unwilling to bend on this. If– and there’s that word again– Romero continues to have a devil of a time finding the strike zone, they know better than to simply endure it just to spare his feelings. I mean… obviously.

The same goes for the notion that they’re going to give him some kind of infinite, Adam Lind-like amount of rope if they do happen to take him north when the season starts.

Understanding that, there is simply no reason to be arguing about what to do with him when we’re still so far from the point where a decision actually has to be made.

For two, let’s also please not talk about it in terms of J.A. Happ’s fucking spring results. Yes, he’s looked pretty OK in his nine-point-one-inning sample, but… it’s fucking 9.1 innings, and in the last two weeks (i.e. 6 1/3 of the nine innings), here are the batters he’s faced: Alexei Casilla, Manny Machado, Nolan Reimold, Conor Jackson, Steve Pearce, Lew Ford, Yamaico Navarro, L.J. Hoes, Luis “Tony” Exposito, Brett Gardner, Jayson Nix, Kevin Youkilis, Juan Rivera, Francisco Cervelli, Matt Diaz, Melky Mesa, Thomas Neal, and Jose Pirela.

Not exactly a murderer’s row. In fact, not exactly a murderer’s row in Triple-A, save for Youkilis, Gardner, Machado and maybe Reimold.

I mean, I entirely understand how “it’s early” rings a bit hollow given that Romero hasn’t looked all that much different than last year, but let’s not go assuming that Happ, coming off consecutive seasons of 5.35 and 4.79 ERAs (albeit with better peripherals), is some kind of massive upgrade that fans of the club are being fiendishly denied– or that he’s going to be denied the club forever. And let’s also not forget that– sorry– it’s early. Romero may well not get his shit together, but acting like it’s hopeless on March 15th is ludicrous. Similarly so is acting like the club will blindly herp-derp their way through excuse after excuse for his performance in perpetuity.

So… let’s maybe just see how this plays itself out before anyone starts making emphatic, impassioned statements one way or the other on it, hoping– for no apparent reason but to incite argument– that no one notices the gigantic “if” in the corner of the room. Sound good?

Comments (162)

  1. Actually, yeah, sounds good.

  2. I agree with most of this, except I don’t understand why they have to pretend to guarantee him a spot. Are you saying he can’t psychologically handle the pressure of possibly losing the #5 starter job?

    • No, but they seem to think there’s a mental aspect to his struggles, so why add pressure to the equation when he’s trying to get back to where he was, and obviously the far, far superior pitcher when at his best?

      Y’know, until the point where you have no choice.

  3. Tl;DR people:

    8⅔ IP. Take a deep breath and step back from the edge.

  4. How awesome is it that the biggest thing we have to wring our hands about this spring is the club’s fifth starter, for whom there is totally a qualified replacement waiting should the worst happen?

    This team is going to be fucking great.

    • This.

    • I can’t speak for anyone else but I think there are other things also to fret about, eg Bautista’s wrist, Lawrie’s oblique/rib, Janssen and Santos’s health. This is just the topic du jour and, unfortunately the topic of 5 jours ago as well.

      • How about not fretting and just enjoying the ride, particularly since we haven’t pulled out of the driveway yet.

    • +1.

      However, if this was last year, Jays fans would be pulling out their hair if the #1 starter was pitching the way Romero is now.

      Have the Jays ever mentioned whether or not Romero is seeing a sports psychologist? Is this a “taboo ” discussion” in MLB.?
      I am concerned about Ricky’s performance so far.

      • It’s definitely not something I can recall seeing be made public, for good reason, I think.

        • My only point is that I think the club means it when they’re essentially guaranteeing Romero a spot; I don’t buy it’s a psychological ploy. Which sucks if you’re JA Happ but as a Jays fan I’m fine with it.

        • Frankly, every Athelete should be seeing a sports psychologist on a semi-regular basis.

          Seeing one Isn’t some form of weakness… Its a way to get a leg up on the competition. I mean, does anyone think. Anything less of a world class downhill skier, after watching them visualize the race course. The moments before they leave the gate? That’s sports psychology at work.

          Most olympic athletes work with them. If Romero was, I can’t see why there’d be some taboo silence around it, unless he was seeing a psychologist-psychologist and had an actual medical mental Issue (depression, anxiety, etc.).

          • Even if he was seeing a psychologist-psychologist that shouldn’t be taboo either in this day and age. If Ricky has something mental going on, and he very well could have since he doesn’t appear to have any lingering physical issues that have been mentioned lately, I would hope he is dealing with it by getting professional help. Anxiety is a real thing and it can be crippling for his career if it isn’t dealt with – see Dontrelle Willis, but it can be dealt with – see Zack Grienke. I’m not saying for sure that this is the case for Ricky, but if it is he needs to get help to deal, for his sake and the team’s.

          • I will try to track it down later today, but a study was done in golf a few years back that actually found in their data that visualization hurt the player. Obviously golf is a different beast entirely but the point remains that sometimes its better to think about mechanics than it is to dream about outcome.

            I don’t think I have a point here. I just found the conclusion they reached interesting because I was raised by my father to be a ‘visualizer’.

        • OK that makes sense. It’s sad for Ricky going from opening day starter to fighting to keep his job on the team. I am hopeful that he recovers.

  5. Annoying that Yankees scoop up Brennan Boesch even though he’s not that good. Couldn’t some other team take him so that the yankees would be forced to use Ben Francisco regularly?

  6. Love the slam-downs to the various panic brigades. Thanks.

  7. I don’t know that it’s about expecting Happ to be an ace as it is sympathy for the way he got gypped…given that Happ was almost as good as Romero was in his age-26 season, which just happens to have been slightly longer ago, he has a fairly legit gripe. But these things tend to work themselves out, so no one except the players themselves should be tearing hair out over it.

    • The only thing I’m sympathetic about is that it would suck to be told Romero’s going to be in Toronto and you’re going to be in Buffalo unless someone’s hurt. Doesn’t make sense as a statement of fact nor as a feint to protect Ricky’s fragile psyche.

    • The word gypped is a discriminatory slur and it shouldn’t be used in any context.

  8. “@KButter5: so hype about these sweats with suspenders attached I got today, wearin them around the hotel room. lol” @LeighEllis #TOTWarmy

  9. Jesuscristo brought this on eh stoeten?

  10. I think i could get a hit off romero, if not at least a walk.

  11. Aside from injury, there is no circumstance in which Romero’s exclusion from the rotation to begin the season makes sense. I like J.A. Happ and believe he is a MLB starter, but this is Ricky fucking Romero, he’s going to start and he’s going to be on the MLB roster unless he completely shits the bed in real games.

  12. I was in Lakeland today. Ricky is fucken awful. All the Jays fans agreed. He has no confidence, he’s fucked up mentally. You have to send him down to Buffalo and get his head straight. No major league team would put him in their Starting Staff now. He is awful

    • Sign Lohse before we give the season away.

      • Dumbest thing I’ve read here today….congrats

        • It won’t be dumb when Morrow goes down with injury and Romero is sent to Buffalo.

          • Sign every free agent every year!

            Uh… you really think, if in some where world Rogers was ponying up in mid-March to sign a replacement for a guy on a long-term extension who already has a cheap replacement in house, Kyle Lohse would come here to maybe be starter number five, with two guys behind him to look over his shoulder for? Would you be willing to do it for the mult-year deal he’d want? Tie yourself into $30-$35-million per year for fucking Lohse and Buehrle for the two seasons after this, with guys like Hutchison, Nolin and eventually Sanchez kept out of the rotation?

  13. You know spring training is too long when it’s been 5 weeks since camp opened and official end of Winter is still another 6 days away.

  14. Hey Radar, do you know where nurse Karen left the meds? This is going me a headache.

    Nice post Stoeten. Not that you give a shit, but I agree completely.

    • Nurse karen has hidden the good stuff,but still has the Advil in her hip pocket,which she will dispense at 30 paces with extreme accuracy.Yes,she’s that good.
      Stoeten is correct.
      Something I think gets forgotten.People assume RR shittiness is an extension of last year. When the Jays were out of true starters,RR pushed himself to finish the season even though,according to Drew,his arm was “barking”. He had corrective surgery in the off season.It may take a bit for him to get back to form. AA and his team realize this and will make the right decision.
      As recently as 2 days ago,AA has stated he will take the best team north. Thats regardless of feelings or options or anything else.He’s not interested in development of young players at the major league level at this time.He’s in win NOW mode and if RR the best option then he’ll be with the team. If he’s not the best option then AA will put him on the DL to rehab the surgery.

  15. I’m pretty hopeful this organization is going to take more of a ‘What have you done for me lately’ approach this year.

  16. As of right now we potentially have a #5 starter who is capable of being a #2 on almost every team in baseball.
    I think we’d all agree that he’ll most likely be better than last year. If and when he is, how could he be a worry???
    What’s the worst case scenerio? He does the same as last yr right? If he opens up the yr 0 and 5 with a 5 ERA and 4BB/9 then I’ll worry.
    Hmmm, maybe we could go w a 4-man rotation and really get or worth outta Dickey. Maybe stretch him out to 300 IP’s???? Just kidding fellas.

  17. Pleading with the crowd for…for some kind of sanity….

  18. I’d like to see him reach his innings target at least once in ST. Guy throws 30 pitches per inning.

  19. Ive never been big on Romero but the guy pitched 3 straight years of quality ball before 2012′s suckfest. Even the best players have a couple shit years. Cliff lee was garbage before he turned the corner and went apeshit. Give him 10 starts and if he sucks it up go to happ. And if happ sucks, make a move at the deadline if youre close. Romeros earned at least as much rope as jojo Reyes

    • Totally. And it’s much easier for all involved to stick with Romero and give it to Happ if you eventually have to instead of doing it the other way around, and yo-yoing the both. Especially since you’ll eventually end up with the better pitcher in the rotation anyway.

    • 10 starts? So you think we can get 2 wins out of his 10 starts? Can the Jays afford to just throw away that many games in a tight race? You know the answer, so get ready for the fact that Rickey is not breaking with the team to go north…unless the Jays want Happ to get one start in Buffalo before the first scheduled start for the #5 starter happens. Rickey can warm the bench till Happ’s turn to pitch. Bye Bye Rickey

      • How do you know its a tight year. You also know the jays are going to lose at least 70 games right?

        Going 2 for 10 is probably right around what the average 5th starter gets. Relax

        • I think the answer is contained in your comment. Jays lose 70 games and that may be enough to finish 1st in their division. If they lose 2 more games its wild card city, or wait thill next year. I can’t believe I have to point out that there is parity in the AL East, but at the risk of being obivious, the Yanks, sox, Rays and Oriles are all in the hunt

      • What makes you think happ will be any better than Romero? The only way Rickey won’t head north come opening day is if he blows out his arm. You can take that shit to the bank

    • JoJo Reyes is a false analogy.

      If this was a “building” year, by all means, give Romero a ton of rope like Reyes received.

      But clearly the primary goal of this year is contention. It supersedes player development.

      If Ricky needs some fine tuning (which he might) he shouldn’t get the rope Reyes received. Even though Romero has proven far more.

  20. I wonder how bad his knees actually are? For sure it could be his confidence, but a pitcher with no leg strength is fucked.

  21. Jays open 18 days from today. A lot can happen between now and then. It all just has to play itself out. No use getting knots in our knickers just yet.

  22. He gave up a double and a triple to Detroit’s lead-off batter, who, up to today was hitting only .182. No one’s hair is on fire yet, but keep the matches away please.

  23. This topic bores the fuck out of me. Wake me up when April comes.

  24. Maybe it would help people to think of Romero as a prospect… there isn’t great visibility into how he is going to perform this season. All we can be sure of is that he is a pitcher the Jays control with pretty good upside if things work out well.

    Do people seriously want to send him to Buffalo now without waiting to see whether or not he can return to form? 2011 Romero with Dickey, Johnson, Buerhle and Morrow would be fucking ridiculous. If he sucks he’ll be removed from the rotation anyway.

    • Damage may already be done by then.

      • There is no difference between losing a couple of extra games because Ricky was in the lineup vs. losing an extra couple of games because Happ was in the lineup and a better Romero wasn’t given the chance to play at all.

        There is a potential opportunity cost to keeping Romero out of the rotation.

      • Or not pennywise

  25. As one of the people who may have caused this post. I will refain from pulling my hair out when I see people posting how the Jays need to dump him now, and go with stud pitcher JA Happ.

    End….

  26. Thank you for this. Kinda sad it was necessary but well done.

  27. P.R. 4
    U.S.A. 0
    6th inning

  28. Meh.

    There is obviously too much hyperbole coming from people who assume Romero is done.

    But the concept that Romero has to prove he can throw more strikes before being given his first regular season start on a team with playoff aspirations isn’t without merit.

    Hopefully he can do it by the end of spring training.

  29. Hapster should be given the chance to break camp if Romero can’t turn it around before his last spring start . I see no reason with Jays investment to risk setting team up to lose every 5th day at start of season if Romero’s not right. A lose is April counts the same as a lose in Sept. With that said if Ricky pitches 6 innings his last start and gives up a couple runs I say give him his first start but short leash.

  30. “With that said…”

    Jesus, Dwayne31. WTF is wrong with you?

  31. So just let Happ pitch against the yankees. That’s pretty much their lineup

  32. By now Rickey should be getting comfortable with all his pitches and there is little time time to wait for him to prove he belongs. Happ is the next best thing, so let move forward with him. Ricky can get his mind together in Buffalo, or in Lansing for all I care. Watching Ricky’s slow demise is painful to watch and the Jays are going for a Championship. Pull the trigger and lets start plying winning baseball from the get go.

    • This is ridiculous. I may not have the same notion of “rope” that others do in regards to Romero, but putting him in Lansing right now is fucking idiotic.

      • …”for all I care”.

      • That’s the salient point? Lansing? The point was let Rickey straighten himself out somewhere other than Toronto…fuck who cares where – send him to Tuscaloosa.

        • Although extreme, I hear what you are saying. This is not supposed to be the same Org. as the last 20 years. Built to win with no bullshit. Fuck the long season crap and all it entails, that’s why we wanted AAA in Buffalo…right. Put up or be put down.

          Most of the crap here comes from those who have never known the way a championship calibre club is run.

          • Please Tom W. Enlighten us as to how a championship club is run.

            If Romero (hopefully) can start throwing more strikes and everything is deemed okay in terms of velocity, mechanics and the rest, he should start the year in the rotation ahead of Happ.

            Only in the extreme case where he can’t find the strike zone should a demotion to AAA to start the year be a consideration.

            • Romero will be the 5 th starter on the team. Our number one starter last year will be going against other teams 5th starter. Give him some leeway. He doesn’t have to be perfect, he just has to be average. The Jays have a good offensive line-up and I assume they would put up 3-5 runs on average against another teams 5th starter. Keep Romero in until it is obvious that he shit the bed and can’t clean it up

              • Rickey has earned nothing. In September, when we are in a race to finish first, you will remember every Romero start and the subsequent lose. Bad knee’s, high # of walks, mental breakdowns, empty promises of improvement and pitiful sound bits after each lose. If you want to win, it starts April 1. Jays time is now, and there are no trophy’s for teams that want to reward poor performers

        • @Birddawg

          The key point is obviously your assertion that “Happ is the next best thing, so let move forward with him”.

          There is no way this decision should be made in the middle of March.

          • @Jays2010 What purpose would there be for ST if it were not to gauge the quality of players? This year is not a run for mediocre BS it’s a run for a play-off spot at least. AAA is now across the block in comparable terms so might as well use it.

            Romero absolutely needs a send down in my opinion, just based off no improvement off of last year. Look and listen, the man looks bewildered for fuck sakes.

            Anyways, hope I’m wrong.

            • As I’ve said, if Romero looks like a complete mess by the end of spring training, by all means, send him to AAA.

              But it’s too early to make that determination.

            • Also, the purpose of spring training for established major leaguers is to get their bodies prepared, get their timing down etc. It doesn’t just happen by snapping one’s fingers.

          • @ Jays2010, my point is based on both last year and this Spring. Your #1 starter in 2012, is now your #5 pitcher – and his health (knees, mind) continue to erode. Rickey’s talents are in decline, and if you are Gibbons or AA, and you lose going to the post season by a game or two, then there will be no where to hide. As long suffering fans we deserve to field our best 5 starters and allow our emotions to cloud our judgement

            • Exactly Birddawg!

            • I’m not going to just believe Ricky’s talents are in decline because you say so Birddawg.

              It’d be simpler if I just committed to either the “Cut Romero!” or “He’s proven give him a ton of rope!” camp.

              But I’m confident there is a grey area inbetween where one of the rational outlooks lie.

              And I can say with absolute certainty that the decision should not be made on March 15.

              • You know very well Rickey is a troubled man. You keep giving Rickey this long rope and you know what the outcome will be – you are the most unkind man here Jays 2010

                • I don’t believe I’ve ever heard giving someone until the end of spring training described as a “long rope”.

  33. Romero will be the 5 th starter on the team. Our number one starter last year will be going against other teams 5th starter. Give him some leeway. He doesn’t have to be perfect, he just has to be average. The Jays have a good offensive line-up and I assume they would put up 3-5 runs on average against another teams 5th starter. Keep Romero in until it is obvious that he shit the bed and can’t clean it up

    • Sorry about the duplicate

      • The only thing that you are discounting is that this probably applies to the first couple of series. After, you factor in off-days for teams, 2, 3 games vs 4 game series etc there is no chance that Ricky will consistently pitch against #5′s of opposing teams.

  34. I’m stoked to see his strikeout numbers are up so far – even against shit hitters, it means his stuff isn’t as flat as it was last year. If he can manage to stay in the low part of the zone, he’s good as gold.

  35. P.R. 4
    U.S.A. 3
    Bottom of 9th
    Honkbal Abides

  36. 1. “spring training is meaningless”.
    Bullshit blanket statement on so many levels but I’ll keep it to just the Romero topic.
    I don’t care if he’s pitching against 10 year old little leagures. Spring training or not, you can use this to track his ball/strike ratio, his mechanics, his velocity, his movement, and command. So far…. not too good.

    2. The guy was our ace before last year’s train wreck. The team has a lot invested in his success. If they think he has the ability to right himself in the show, keep him here until May. He deserves 5 starts to right himself (unless the first 3 go unfathomably wrong). I hope he starts with the club, and Happ is in Buffalo. Big fan of Happ and think he’s good. He’ll be needed this year.

    3. If after 5 starts he’s awful, I would send him down and not just to AAA. To Lansing. His problem is he can’t throw strikes. So put him in the low minors where he can work on throwing strikes, and not worry about AAA hitters knocking him around shattering his already frail confidence. Start him at the bottom where he’ll dominate for 2 games, then New Hamp for as long as it takes. He sounds like a guy who will feel better about himself with some dominance, even if it is low minors. I really believe it’s psychological and he has no idea how good his talent is. Give him the Roy H treatment.

    4. What I can”t understand is why some people are not only too quick to write this guy off, they seem to be dancing on his grave. It’s almost like they take delight talking about a guy who appears to have mental issues. If anyone ever needed the “think positively” mantra, it’s this guy. With Lind, I understand the hate when the guy brags he doesn’t exercise or work hard. With Romero, this is sad and concerning.

    That is all.

  37. Ummm reality check here guys…….
    YOU DO NOT SEND A PLAYER FROM THE MAJORS DOWN TO “A” BALL. Obviously you are clueless

    • See Halladay, Roy

    • Fucking hilarious.

      This is how the Jays developed their best pitching prospect not named Steib. They sent Halladay down to the minors, and this was AFTER he threw a one hitter against the Tigers.

      The fact you emphasized your cluelessness with capitals makes your post comedic gold.

      Reality check: Get a clue.

    • Ok, got a little put off by the obnoxious reality check and clueless comment.

      Now that I’ve regrouped, I will explaiin why RR needs to do it in A ball.

      If a rookie is struggling in the majors, send him to AAA for more seasoning. If it’s a not ready for prime time player, send him to AAA. If he’s just not that good, or rehabbing, send him to AAA.

      For a player like Rickey, he is not a guy who needs seasoning. He’s proven he can be good and what he needs is very different from a guy who needs seasoning.
      This is a guy who’s more messed up in the head and too hard on himself. He needs confidence, so go back to low minors, dominate for a game or two. Start feeling good, then move up to AA. Work there for a few games, then hopefully right back to the show.

      For those of you who don’t buy the lack of confidence truth, then the problem with him is that he can’t throw strikes or locate his pitches. He has to work on his command.
      While working on that, the coach might have him just throw it down the middle of the plate and then if that’s good work on moving around the plate.
      The last thing you want is to send a guy with fragile confidence trying to work on throwing strikes to get hit around by good hitters in AAA. Some guys down there can really mash, but they’re not in the show because they suck at defense.

      All you want RR to do is focus on throwing strikes and locating the ball. He needs to work on this in Low minors if he continues to fail going into May (5 starts or so)

  38. Ricky’s problem is his fucking penis. End of fucking story. Ricky get laid. Ricky throw strikes. Ricky no get laid, Ricky throw balls. JP and Red Bull need to take him out every 5 nights so he can murder some pussy. Ricky will get his mojo back.

  39. Reading Parkes’ chat with Morosi.

    Morosi try to have a legit conversation. Parkes is right.

    Parkes can’t be right in a conversation without being a massive douchebag.

    It’s embarrassing.

  40. Spent the evening having a couple pints and hanging out with the old lady, only to go check out the interweb and see that I’ve been transported to this alternate universe where I’m a fucking Red Sox fan. We’ve got people making psychological assessments on the guy, people who can tell his mechanics are out of whack by listening to the games on the fucking radio. People going off the deep end on March god damned 15. It’s cause he’s getting no pussy (I’ll bet he’s doing just fine). Send him to the fucking gulf coast league (cause it worked for one other player). We can’t afford to let him lose the fifth game of the season…it’ll fuck us over big time.
    I love to see the renewed excitement in the team, but Christ this is getting unbearable. Is it just me or do most of the comments sound like they were copied and pasted from sosh?
    The Jays have a solid team put together. Whether Romero starts as the fifth starter or Happ does won’t make a fucking difference. So much will happen between now and September. Enjoy the ride.

  41. I get home wasted to come across a 100+ comment thread. How the fuck am I supposed to read them all? Do you guys remember when Romero was the #1? Puts this entire conversation into perspective. I’m a genius

  42. Team USA just rolled over quicker then a Kardashian in a sex tape.

    Go DR, love watching Reyes.

    • Man, I wish i lived in Ontario.

      and nothing is good for the wannabe intellects

      • Ya, you’d think you’d get 100 posts about our allstar shortstop who owns a donkey, hits triples and shits smiles but instead it’s 100 posts about the woes of our fifth starter.
        We just went from 73-89 to a world series contender, some folks just need to complain I guess.
        Me, I’m gonna raise a toast to Jose Jesus Reyes, the Dominican God of Triples and the man who should have been appointed our next pope.

        #RiggedConclave

        • Yeah I was impressed with the Dominican wizard Reyes, but I’ll be dammed, I didn’t see his donkey at the game though, and that’s bullshit.

          I thought JP caught The Dickey well…………. You?

          I cant wait for the season, do you want to see a Boston Jays series with me so we can ask how easy Farrells mom is?

  43. The only person who could fix Ricky died almost two years ago.

  44. This is not a knock on the players who actually played for Team USA. Good on them.

    Overall though, I’m disgusted in general by the Americans lack of interest in the tournament.
    They walk around thinking they’re the best at baseball, yet don’t even make a real effort to field their top team.
    The players owe the sport. The sport has given them the life they have.
    Their attitude that “we’re so good the WBC is meaningless” is beyond nuts.

    Baseball is no longer an Olympic sport so this is a chance to showcase it around the world. This is the only chance Team USA has of actually proving that they are the best baseball nation. Instead they treat it like a joke. They are making a mokery of the national pastime.
    If the Americans don’t care about baseball enough to showcase it on an international stage, why should the IOC consider reinstating it?

    Every Canadian hockey player knows how important these tournaments are. I don’t follow hockey, but I’ve always respected how hockey players seem to understand more than any other sport how the game is bigger than they are. After a grueling season that’s unbelievably taxing on their bodies, those not in the playoffs go off to Europe to represent their country and promote their sport.
    American ball players won’t even compete internationally when it’s on their soil, played by their rules, and held while they would be in spring training anyway so it’s not on their personal time.

    If Americans want the world to respect baseball, it has to start with their players showing respect for the game.

    • I was certainly surprised at the size of the crowd.

      But Team Canada too could have fielded a better team. I think the tournament need more work and promotion, but to it me it is a jem.

      Perhaps it should be played in more deserving places with fan interest such as the Caribbean.

      • They do need better promotion.

        I’m wondering what the crowds will be like in San Fransisco. Without the USA, it’s bad enough. Then they’re playing in a city where they’ve won a few world series lately so the locals aren’t exactly starved for good baseball.

        The Canada-Mexico brawl showed passion.
        The Dominicans jumping around celebrating shows spirit.
        I just watched a film on Roberto Clemente they had on TSN and talked about how he was so important to Puerto Rico baseball, kids grew up in the 70′s playing baseball. Guys like Ivan Rodriguez, Carlos Baerga? and Carlos Delgado were influenced by him and did the country prowd. Now baseball in that country is dying, so this win was huge for the sport there.
        You know Japan and Cuba care.
        There was even a spygate scandal involving Korea and China over scounts pretendying to be umpires.
        These countries care.

        If the USA took it as seriously, for their own national pastime for crying out loud, then they could help grow the sport.

        This tournament has a chance to be awesome. Sudden death baseball games for the pride of a country? Awesome.

  45. Spring Training evals = Adam LaRoche leading the team in HRs.
    Ricky will be fine until his first start ends, then we’ll see if he started off ’13 like he ended ’12…

  46. The Jays team that starts the season will be different than the one that finishes.
    According to Griff,the Jays have used no less than 11 different starting pitchers each of the last 3 seasons.
    Most teams will use 7 to 8 starting pitchers during the season.
    There will be changes with the positional starters during the year,due to injury.
    And as always,some players will under perform and some will over perform.
    It’s a long season.

  47. Dustin McGowan – 5th starter

    sheeeiiiittttt

    Yes, he’s injured all the time…..Yes, he’ll start the season on the DL…..but, what happens if he does become a pitcher?

    The praise AA gave McGowan on PTS the other day- talking about him having the best stuff in the org – how the staff where blown away by his latest throwing session – how his arm/shoulder felt great – how they don’t know yet if he should be starting or releiving – all leads me to wonder if the talk should be about McGowan replacing Romero when he unavoidably shits the bed.

    Romero and Happ both have options, no? If/when DM is ready to pitch, do you want to release one of the out of option releivers? How nice would it be to have both Romero and Happ in AAA for depth?

    Dustin McGowan as fifth starter….maybe?

    • Stoeten believes that one of AA’s worst moves was signing McGowan to a near league minimum three year contract. If he is able to come in and pitch half a season as a #5 and help take the team to the playoffs then that contract was totally worth it.

      • It would actually be interesting to see McGowan flash good stuff at the end of spring training and the Jays try and send him down to the minors.

        Would a team such as the Rockies attempt to claim him on waivers?

        The entire scenario is a longshot; but it would fully vindicate the move because an arm like McGowan’s will always get chances.

  48. Jack Morris sounds bored.

    I miss Mike and Dirk.

  49. Watching DR vs PR and Erick Aybar steps to the plate and playfully taps the catcher.
    With his bat, to the top of the head of the catcher.
    He did it with a smile, so you know he was joking around.
    But it wasn’t a light tap, and you could hear the boom of the bat on the catcher’s head.

    Catcher’s reaction was hilarious. He looked stunned, then shock his head, then grabbed a bunch of dirt and tossed it at him.
    They laughed, but I can’t imagine a playful bat tap to the top of the head is much fun.
    Aybar’s lucky the catcher didn’t fold like a Milwaukee sausage.

  50. Having 7 or 8 starting pitchers during the season doesn’t mean that you initial selection of the #5 guy in April isn’t important….it may be the difference between having a post season and not having one. Right now, Happ is better than Rickey. Picking Rickey as your #5 guy can’t be justified on his performance from last year and this Spring. Picking Rickey is based solely on emotional reasons and his seniority.
    I want this team in the playoffs….let Rickey join us in July when he regains his prowess. Start Happ in April so he can win those games that a sub-standard RR would lose

  51. I’m not sure why anyone is getting their knickers in a twist over this. Ricky is no longer the #1 starter on a team full of ‘we’ll sees’. He works out, fine. He doesn’t work out, we’ve got Happ in the wings and they can send him down to the minors to get his head straight if possible. It’s all good. The team is the important thing here (finally) not the individual players.

  52. There are 5 starts for the #5 starter in April, and there are few options for the Jays for the #5 guy to start the season – RR or Happ. So the question is which pitcher will have the least amount of suckage. From a GM perspective if I’m going to lose with RR, it is a predictable result due to recent injury, mental health, and recent performance. If Happ fails it will be for reasons that are less harmful to management (Happ isn’t the pitcher we thought he was etc..). My plan ? We work with what we have and if both pitchers lose then – we lose.

  53. Rick Sutcliff just suggested a new #5 option for the Jays.
    Says Moises Sierra has the best arm in the game!

  54. Ricky is finished and is going to be a huge disaster. That being said, I’m completely prepared to be patient and watch him prove it.

  55. I don’t know if anyone has looked at Romero’s previous spring training stats but his 2012 stats were better than his 2011 stats. His 2011 stats are comparable to this year’s, while 2012 he started 4 games and had a .000 ERA. I have absolutely no concerns about Ricky until he is actually pitching to win (which means April).

    I got this from the Jays MLB site for Romero’s stats.

    • RR’s performance this Spring is a concern (otherwise we wouldn’t be talking about it). Yesterday he couldn’t find home plate with a compass and a topigraphical map. Hap struck out 6 and walked none. Both men are going in different directions. The decision will be an easy one to make for AA and Gibby.

      • Somebody needs to read the post he’s commenting on. And also look at the star-studded lineup Happ’s strikeouts came against.

        • Gosh, it’s Spring Training.
          I’ve said it before, Adam LaRoche leads the team in homeruns. I guess he could win the home run race this year, at least on the Jays. amidoinitrite?

      • I’d hate to hold spring training results up as any great predictor of progress. He may be just trying to throw strikes, as opposed to trying to get strike-outs. Nobody really cares if the batters hit him, or how many runs they got….really, it’s spring training, not the regular season. He’s been told to go up there and hit the strike zone with some consistency.

  56. Andrew it was a “Mild” plea…so where there is smoke, there will be fire. There are some indisputable facts that can be compiled that more than suggest RR is not ready for MLB regular season play. It is the consensus opinion here that we can wait and see if Rickey’s performance is just a spring illusion. The decision for who will be the #5 starter in April may well decide our fate for October baseball. Right now Happ is better, and he will be until Rickey gets his act together.

    • But there was also smoke in 2011, that doesn’t mean there was fire. Sprint training stats don’t count. Let Romero get into a game where he is pitching to win.

  57. It is my understanding that only about 15% of people read what this post was all about from the start. The other 85% of people just read the title and moved on to keeping this fight going.

    We are all full of opinions, but what some of seem to lake is patiants……lets all go to medical school to get a Doctorate and maybe we can get some…..good?

    BTW – Man Morrow looked like shit yesterday…..anyone have any water for that fire? Or do we care?

    • He said his slider wasn’t working, so because it’s spring, he kept going with it, trying to get a feel for it, and it was getting hit. So it goes.

  58. So, Romero’s having some trouble finding the strike zone. Well, he’s always had that problem – it just got a bit worse last year, particularly when guys stopped swinging at changeups in the dirt.

    Ricky’s past success wasn’t built on WHIP – it was based on his ability to generate ground balls and strike guys out once they got on base. And since he’s throwing his sinker and striking guys out with his curveball (again, mostly with guys on base), he really hasn’t looked a lot different from when he’s been successful. Except that when he’s been falling behind guys, half the time it’s been because he couldn’t locate his fastball (which is bad) or because he was trying to get ahead with his slider (which suggests he’s just trying to work on that pitch).

    So, if Ricky can muster any improvement to his command over the remainder of ST, he’ll probably be fine. And if he can’t, we’ll have JA Happ at some point. Either way, this is our #5 pitcher, and his name isn’t Brad Mills or Gustavo Chacin. I’m not worried.

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