Leading off, as always (or usual), it’s today’s edition of the Getting Blanked Podcast– which for the duration of the season will be coming at you daily! We’re not double posting this year, but I’ll be sure to include the link in the first Daily Duce or Game Threat that follows the post going up over at Getting Blanked. Otherwise, you can find the podcast at Getting Blanked on iTunes, get it via the RSS feed we have setup, or like Getting Blanked on Facebook in order to get each day’s podcast straight into your news feed (and while you’re at it, go ahead and like DJF on Facebook, too).

A theScore.com study of the internet reveals that Ben Nicholson-Smith looks at April success as a playoff barometer in piece featuring the results of “a Sportsnet study” of playoff teams and their records at the end of the season’s first month. Not a lot of clubs who finish below .500 in the season’s first month have made the playoffs this decade, which looks like some damning stuff for the panic squad to get their hands on, but it’s really not that bad. As I tweeted earlier, “2012 playoff teams with records at or below .500 in May: Oakland, Detroit, St. Louis, Texas, Atlanta, New York Yankees. Lucky for them April means so much more, huh?”

Chris Toman wonders at gamereax whether Brandon Morrow’s lack of velocity in the early going of recent games is worrisome or by design. Interesting note from yesterday’s Orioles broadcast: the only AL starters (minimum 120 innings) with an ERA below 3.00 last year were Verlander, Price, Weaver, and– yes– Morrow.

John Lott focuses on Morrow in his reaction piece in the National Post following yesterday’s big, heart-stopping win.

In the Toronto Star, Richard Griffin recounts and reflects on yesterday’s rollercoaster of a game.

Matthew Leach– Matty Leach-bomb!– reflects on the big win as well, over at MLB.com.

Mike Wilner addresses the panicky masses in his daily post-game sermon at Sportsnet.

MLBTR looks at where this year’s Super Two arbitration cutoff is projected to be. It does not appear as though it will impact anyone on the Jays’ roster.

At ESPN.com (Insider Olney), Buster Olney lists a few players who might be mid-season trade candidates. None of them are Jays, as Buster is obviously not ridiculous enough to be writing off the club just yet, but one of them is Chase Utley of the Phillies, who would certainly provide an upgrade for a club looking for help at second base. *COUGH*

At Getting Blanked, it’s one seriously crazy GIF of Yu Darvish’s entire arsenal overlaid on top of one another. He might be a little scary good– which isn’t to say I’m not happy that things worked out for the Jays the way that they did. (Honourable mention: Victor Martinez doing the right thing.)

For those of you still struggling to understand what has been happening with theScore following the sale of the TV network and the splitting of the digital media side (of which this blog, and all the others, are a part of, along with the main website and mobile app), check out this piece from Steve Ladurantaye of the Globe and Mail.

And for those of you in the east end, tonight Blue Jays Way and Left Field Brewery present their first Thirst Base Thursdays event at Riverside Public House (Queen near Broadview). [Note: Because someone always asks, unfortunately I won't be there-- so all the more reason for you to check it out!]

Lastly, an amazing column from my hometown paper, the Peterborough Examiner, in which the writer moronically gloats after 20-odd games about having felt that the Jays were going to be worse than advertised, almost pulls it out of the fire with some criticism of Buck Martinez, then loses it again with the suggestion of switching Pat Tabler into the play-by-play role. Robertson Davies must be rolling over in his grave.

Comments (87)

  1. ok wait a minute so Stoeten,,, are you now saying that Buck Martinez is no good as well…

    • Buck…..I know like buck……buck is almost as bad as watching the fucked up behind the plate carmra angle that SNET seems to use now, WTF, EE’s HR looked like a pop up. Thankfully, Buck our other other colour guy jumped out of his hair swoosh to ensure i understood it was gone.

  2. Not sure I understand the Lincoln call up, send Laffey down and bring up a hitter. a 3 man bench is pathetic.

    • If Aaron Laffey gets a start this season, I’m giving up. He’s just the quintessential “we don’t care if we win, we just don’t want to have to bring out the pen until the fifth inning” starter. Watching Aaron Laffey pitch was one of the lowest lowlights in a season full of them last year.

      Go Buehrle!

      • Just give up now, then, please.

        • Please kindly fuck off. You know, disapproving of a move the Blue Jays make does not mean I’m a TSN commenter. I think Aaron Laffey is a piece of shit pitcher who can’t make it twice through the order without getting his socks rocked. Know why I think this? Because I watched it happen over the course of 100 fucking innings last year!

          Last year we learned you can never have enough depth pitching. Last year we also learned that if Aaron Laffey constitutes your pitching depth, he will pitch shittily and the team will lose most games he starts. For that reason, I contend that teams that give starts to Aaron Laffey tend to fucking suck. If we’re just taking a flyer on a guy in case we need a spot start, why would we grab someone we already know for a fact is terrible? Starting Aaron Laffey is something you do when you don’t really care about the outcome of the games, but someone needs go go throw the ball for 5 or 6 innings.

          So go ahead and get yourself psyched for it if you want. Personally, I doubt he’ll ever get a start, and AA will try and pass him through waivers in a few weeks. But don’t act like if Aaron Laffey throws out the first pitch in an actual MLB game something hasn’t gone terribly wrong. Because he’s Aaron Fucking Laffey. And he fucking sucks.

          • Buddy. Relax.

          • Nobody is psyched for Aaron Laffey. Some of us realize that no team gets through a full year with just five starters making starts, and that the pool of guys to choose from to make spot starts is limited, exclusively, to shitbags and prospects. If Aaron Laffey makes a start, it will not be a good thing, but if you fail to understand why it might have to happen anyway, and why it is less the worst thing in the world and more the kind of thing that happens to every team every year and has done so forever, why would you even bother having an opinion on it?

            • I’m more focused on why Aaron Laffey is the shitbag of choice. Why would the team go get a guy who very recently was spectacularly terrible for this very team? It’s not like you might find a diamond in the rough, or even that you might think you can ride him for a few lucky starts. He’s already a known commodity, and that commodity is a shit sandwich.

              The fact is, he’ll almost definitely be passed through waivers and/or DFA’d very soon. The only thing we really disagree on is that I don’t think he’s a regular run of the mill shitballer. The only way Laffey gets a start IMO is if we get cursed by the same gypsy from last year and everyone tears all their ligaments and there’s no point in even pretending to try and salvage the season, which coincidentally is the role one Aaron Laffey filled last season. Apparently you think the Jays consider him to be more of a 6th starter. Maybe you’re right. But I hope not. I fucking hate Aaron Laffey.

              • Last year he made nine starts in which he allowed three earned runs or fewer, including three in which he allowed none. He’s not good, but he is exactly a run of the mill shitballer.

                • Well… ya, alright, his game logs actually don’t look terrible. But neither did JoJo Reyes’. I still say you know what you’ve got with Aaron Laffey; someone who’ll have a shutout through three, then allow back to back homeruns to the first batters he faces twice. Is he tangibly worse than someone like Aaron Cook? Probably not, but it’d be nice to at least have a ray of hope that your sixth starter won’t suck. It’d be like bringing in Juan Rivera to be our 4th outfielder. Is he worse than other options? Maybe not, but at least they’d suck in ways I haven’t seen yet.

    • it very well could be that they will send him down again tomorrow, and that he is here because the team used a lot of arms over the last few days.

  3. Man… comments on the Sportsnet Ben Nicholson-Smith article… just awful.

    • I feel the need to read them to remind myself why we get some of the columns we from local baseball writers. Feeding the masses, I guess. The bumbling, moronic masses.

    • You should have seen wilners comment section.. I have a feeling there are a shit tonne of Hockey lovin’ TSN masterbaters that commented there.

  4. Wilner for the next Play by Play guy. That’s my vote

  5. I just blew my goo watching that Yarvish GIF

  6. Best GIF I’ve seen.

  7. I’m sure Robertson Davies would spend his entire column bashing heavy handed allusions into our skulls with a literary sledgehammer. He’s about as subtle as that guy who stalked Stoeten on the Game Threat Sunday.

  8. Apparently once again stoeten doesn’t seem to understand what historical precedent means. But hey stick your head in the sand and pretend that april doesn’t matter.

    • Yeah, precedent is for the courts to consider. Lord knows we should be evaluating the statistical probability of an event to happen, not its foregone conclusion.

    • I know exactly what historical precedent means in this case: jack shit.

      I’m not saying that the Jays will necessarily win anything, you understand, just pointing out that many, many playoff teams have off months (y’know if you’re into the whole arbitrary endpoints thing). And I’m assuming people will be keen enough to recognize that there’s no special significance to being poor in one particular month as opposed to any other. In a way that I can only assume is natural for you, you’ve failed miserably on that front.

      • The problem with your argument is that you are implying that a team that is poor in may was ALSO poor in april and yet still made the playoffs. That is NOT true.

        The teams you mentioned that were bad in may were decent in april.

        The whole point of the bns article was that april record has a high correlation of success.

        • No, I am not making that argument at all. I’m making the argument that there is zero difference between bad April/good May and good April/bad May. It’s not rocket science.

          • But the stats do not support that as the bns article suggests, so there is actually a difference between bad april/may.

            If what you are saying is true then there should be lots of teams with bad april/good may making the playoffs but there isn’t.

            • 22% of playoff teams had bad Aprils, as he said in the piece. Plus, there’s a lot of noise in his sample, I’d argue.

        • The problem with all of this pre anaylsis, is that it’s a whole buch of what if’s. Sure the giants were decent in April, but were crappy in may, hence their sub .500 record. The inverse can also happen, having a good may, but a crappy april and still making the playoffs. While it is obviously harder to get out of a early hole, people implying that because we are performing poorly now that we MUST end up being a crappy team at the end of the year drives me crazy.

          I mean have a little optimism guys, jeez.

    • As always, XKCD does a good job ate explaining things. Here’s the problem with using historical precedent to predict future outcomes:


  9. May 11th last year Giants were 15-17. Just another example to calm the crazies, they still managed to finish with 94 wins

  10. so one guy looks at 10 years worth of data/trend and says that it seems that how a team is doing by the end of april might say something about their overall chance of making the playoffs.

    but Stoeten comes bumbling by, along with other apologists, to tell us that in 2012 that the april results did not match the likelihood of results for the whole season.

    yes, that’s right. stoeten – ever the stats-man cheerleading hype man – would like you to throw the stats principles out the window and accept his desired narrative based on 1 years worth of data instead of another point of view based on 10 years of data……

    • +1000

    • So. the conclusion was that 64 of the 82 teams that have made the playoffs in the past year had winning records in April.
      That leaves 18 that did not.

      That also doesn’t tell you what the numbers are for any OTHER given month of the season. I’d suggest that April is probably no more important than any other month. Nor any less important, probably. In fact I think each and every game is probably 1/162th (yeah, I said ‘tooth’) important.

      I highly doubt Stoeten thinks that the Jays current record is a good thing. To draw that conclusion from his comments is willful ignorance. What the so called ‘apologists’ ARE saying is that some people need to stop drawing difinitive conclusions about a future that you cannot possibly predict.

      • but ‘life’ is not statistics.. so in fact, right now, April is more relevant than August because guess what? August hasn’t happened yet!!

        you can’t go throw half a season going ‘ but this represents only half a season. statisically, we could do better the whole second half and be fine!’

        you must act/react based on the shit that is right under your nose.

        and right now, a stinking pile of melting winter shit is ranking up the april climes. and the point is that the team best take it damn seriously, and so should you.

        cheer the team, of course. I’m not saying shit all over them. I’m not the guy booing my own team at the ‘dome.

        but i’m also not the smug idiot who’s always ‘looking on the bright side of life’ with a little jingle while i smile my way through obliviously ‘POSI’ blog vibes of denial.

        • There is not enough data to make any sort of conclusion based on the April record or the way they’ve played so far, so no, you shouldn’t react based on it, unless someone wants to come off as hopelessly off-base as you are.

          • how about you do an analysis comparing:

            - the point at which you feel there is enough data to conclusively say whether there should be concern or not


            - the point at which a negative showing in results is unlikely to be overcome by the probability of remaining results to ‘normalize’.

            I suspect that you’ll come to two dates that are separated by such a short window of time as to make the whole assumption completely absurd.

            Meaning…if you wait until the point at which you feel that the results show a trend that can be reasonably assumed to be indicative of the overall trend…that you will have a very short window to do anything about correcting that trend.

            To which my point still stands: You can only base your assessment of how you are doing as a team on the results so far…not on some phoney bologna idea that its merely ‘early’ and that the universe owes you a good turn in normalizing your results. That’s BS. April IS more important than May. why? because its HAPPENED. you can’t change it. So take what has actually happened to heart and make sure it doesn’t happen again in May.

            • You can do all of that without living in denial about how little a one month record necessarily means.

            • Do you both realize you’re arguing the same thing. The only difference is the point at which you feel you have enough evidence to know that things are awry vs. just some bad luck.

              Tocher, while you say that you have to act based on what happens, you have to admit that there is a minimum number of games that have to have been played first. Does it make any sense to say “We must base our decisions on what has happened!” after game 1? Of course not.

              The question for you is what was the point at which you finally decided you had enough evidence that something was wrong and what was your rationale for making that the cutoff? 5 games? 10 games? What was your reasoning? What criteria do you use to evaluate?

    • go read it first, i think you will understand then, the link is above.

    • We’ve got this 2004 ALCS in the bag! No team has EVER come back down 3 games to none. Therefore, it will never happen, right!?!?

    • This isn’t the fucking farmer’s almanac, you are completely leaving out the human factor,. And even if this was the almanac, I’m sure the this spring certainly bucked the 10 year trend.

      My fart smells like pumpkin seeds.

    • You are hilarious. See what I wrote to idiot “+1000″ bob, please, before you embarrass yourself further.

    • It’s not just that you’re simply willfully ignorant, but also somehow proud of it.

  11. I bet no team with an OBP of .294 over a whole season ever made the playoffs.

    • I guess it’s a good thing that the season is only an 1/8th of the way over then…I personally am counting on Lind having more 4 walk games.

  12. I have a wacky idea… Let’s just cheer for our fucking team every god damned game and then see what happens in the fall.
    Sounds good?

  13. Love the article out of Peterpatch. Reminds me of the old relative at a family dinner. “I told you young whippersnappers this would never work out.”
    Any idea as to what this company will become named? I’m sure the Levy family can make this company just as successful as the last!

  14. As often as I do not agree with Wilner, he makes a great point every year, “don’t even bother looking at the standings until the end of May”.

    I’ll admit that it is extra hard to do this year, but it is still the way to go.

    I’m happy that only one key player is on the DL, with his return, although weeks away, with a defined timeline.

    Pray for continued health, and the talent should do the rest over 162.

  15. I feel like Stoeten has had to many confrontational world is falling people in the last while it’s driven him to feel compelled to argue the opposite to a great extent than he would have otherwise. Side note, on the calculations of making the playoffs based on April records over the past 20 years, a wild card team has been added since then, so those stats aren’t entirely transferable.

  16. Photos 1,4 and 5 of Rajai need to be photoshopped somewhere…


  17. Stoeten, I got a feeling that two years from now, you’ll still be needing to explain to people that you don’t work for Rogers.
    I take it that there won’t be any sort of DJF soiree at any local pub.I would understand why not. The venue would need to be very large and with the actions some of the commenters here,security might be a problem.Pity.

  18. I didn’t know you were a Peterborugher? Peterboroughite? Peterboroughist? Peterburger?

    That was a really awful article. I wonder what Wally Macht would think…

  19. Trade what for utley?

  20. To many of the commenters,

    Turn off the adversarial switch in your brains that nit pick the author of this site. Thanks to him, and his hair brained vision of Drunk Jays Fans many moons ago, we got a decent place to discuss this team that is so much better than any of the alternatives. He has a lot of content to submit, and not everyday do the stories fall in his lap. Give some respect.

    To the author,

    Consider asking the digital masters that be at the Score to develop some type of Disus type “like” button. I’m convinced that it will help you in both taking out the trash, and taking the temperature.

    book it!

  21. [...] too busy being offended by how terribly it’s written. Many thanks to Andrew Stoeten for drawing my attention to it at Drunk Jays Fans [...]

  22. I’m suprised that no one has noted this one

    No team with Aaron Laffey on their major league roster in April has ever made the post-season that year!!!

    • I’m suprised that no one has noted this one

      12 out of 16 Teams that had Mark DeRosa on their roster at some point during the season made the playoffs that same year. Yes, even his magic worked for the Cubs!

  23. Dude your from Peterborough.. I though you were a little strange. hahah jk chum, its great town considering where it is. However buddy who writes for the paper there should stick to covering dragon boat races and kids soccer, he doesn’t have a fucking clue. either that or he is just another troll.

  24. Well for sake of the panic crowd.

    Does anyone have a date where we hope to be at “at-least” 500 ball before post-season get unlikley?

    What’s the latest a team has been under 500 and still made the playoffs?

    • Better make this question a “non St Louis Cardinals” category of question, or you’ll be appalled by the results.

      • Or Padres for that matter…

        “2005 San Diego Padres (82-80)

        Looking as if they might be the first team in Major League Baseball history to win a division without finishing .500 or better, the Padres finally earned their 81st win on Sept. 30. The ’05 NL West champions still have the ‘record’ for owning the worst winning percentage for a division champion in a non-strike season. Meanwhile, in the NL East, three teams finished with a better record but failed to reach the playoffs. True to form, the Cardinals swept the Padres in three games in the Division Series.”


        • One great thing about the 1994 strike was that it spared us from seeing the finish of the worst division race in history. Texas led at 52-62, Oakland was 1 game back, Seattle was 2 games back. So one of those teams might have made the 1994 playoffs as a sub-.500 division winner. Yikes.

    • Two teams immediately come to mind. First, the 1914 Boston Braves lost both ends of a July 4 double-header to fall to an NL worst record of 27-40, 15 games back of the powerhouse Giants. The Braves won the pennant by 10.5 games, and swept Philadelphia in the World Series. Yeah I know it’s 1914 we’re talking about but that’s a pretty fucking unbelievable turn-around.

      If you want something more recent, just last year Oakland lost 7-2 on June 30 to drop to 37-42 and 13 games out of first place. And of course we all know the A’s won the AL West and took the Tigers to game 5 in the ALDS. So there you go: 1914 Braves on July 4, 2012 A’s on June 30 – probably the answers you’re looking for. There could be others I don’t know about.

      As for this team…I’d say start to worry at some point in June.

      • I’d say we’d better be over .500 by the time we play Texas on June 7. And preferably we won’t drop under .400 at any point in May.

        I wouldn’t worry too much though. So long as we don’t get hit by injuries, looks like the offense is starting to come around.

    • Given playing in the AL east, you need to assume at least 92-94 wins is requried to win the division. I think if you go 30-30, that would mean you would need to go 62-40 the rest of the year.

      This seems like a logical upper limit, although I’m sure you can make a case for something later on in the season. Playing 22-0 baseball over the 3-4 weeks seems unrealistic as an expectation, but a 70-70 team could still get to 92 wins. Imagine the ‘momentum’ and ‘chemsitry’ that such a team would take into the playoffs…

      • where are you getting 94 wins?
        I would think the parity in the division would mean it would take less wins to take the crown, not more.

      • JP, you say 92-94 wins will take it but I’m not so sure about that. I think it could only take 88-90 wins, and hear me out before saying I’m crazy (many people tell me this).

        With this division being as competitive as it is, and with the unbalanced schedule (not to mention a full season of interleague play, I know the Sox have 3 series in NL parks after August 15, meaning they lose either Papi or Napoli for 9 games), there’s potential to have 5 teams beating up on each other all season long. I know the Jays play only AL East teams plus the Angels (wild card fight?) after mid-September, and those games could/will likely be huge for all 5 clubs. So the AL East beats up on one another all September, the Sox have these NL games in August/September in the middle of all this, and suddenly it only takes 88-90 wins to grab the vaunted AL East. Meanwhile, out in the AL West the Rangers, A’s and Angels get 19 games each against Houston (and who knows how bad the Mariners will be in September too), and perhaps there’s three 90-win teams out west because of all these games against the Astros. And if there’s 3 90-win teams in the West, and just one in the East that barely reaches 90, that means after all this talk about the AL East being the best division in baseball only one team ends up making it out alive. And don’t ask me to pick who makes it out of the East in that scenario, it could be any of the 5.

        So basically, I think there’s a good chance that come September, after 162 games, the Houston fucking Astros, the worst team in baseball not playing in Miami, will hold the fate of the AL playoffs (outside of the Central), and they’re going to let more teams from the west in. I won’t be shocked if this happens and the wild card game ends up being an AL West battle. All because of the Astros and this fucking unbalanced schedule. You can all call me crazy now.

  25. Playoff teams have good records.

    Teams with good records generally win more games any given month than they lose.

    April is a month during the baseball season.

    Hence playoff teams of course GENERALLY would tend to have winning records in April.

    It doesn’t mean that if you look at a specific team, like the jays, and they have extenuating circumstances for playing below their abilities during April, that the playoffs suddenly become unrealistic due to some general trend for playoff teams to have winning april records.

    no MATTER HOW badly some of these impudent folks want to fast forward the clock, its still april and still crazy early.

  26. That Examiner column is really terribly bad, which sucks because the editor Mike Davies is generally a pretty good journalist, and of course my columns on the Petes are great.

  27. Hello colleagues, its wonderful artidle about cultureand fully explained,
    keep it up all the time.

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