Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles

The Toronto Blue Jays will look to avoid being swept by the New York Yankees in the Bronx, and have the right man on the mound today to do just that today. R.A. Dickey, who appears to be healthy after leaving a few starts this year with back and neck stiffness, will go up against right-hander Phil Hughes, who has started more games against the Jays than any team in the league over his career, with not much success I may add.

The team did make some early moves today, activating Adam Lind from the the paternity list, while sending Brad Lincoln back to Buffalo. Justin Germano remains in the Jays seven-man bullpen, for now anyways.

Even bigger than this, Brett Lawrie will bat leadoff today, I repeat, Lawrie to bat leadoff!

Scuttlebutt:

John Lott writes about Ricky Romero’s first start in Dunedin, which just happened to go very well.

The losses are mounting up, and John Gibbons showed some frustration last night in his post-game comments that Gregor Chisholm wrote about.

Arash Madani tweets that Alex Anthopoulos still believes this is a contending team.

TV: Sportsnet

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

3B Brett Lawrie (R)
CF Colby Rasmus (L)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
DH Edwin Encarnacion (R)
LF Melky Cabrera (L)
1B Adam Lind (L)
2B Maicer Izturis (S)
C Henry Blanco (R)
SS Munenori Kawasaki (L)

R.A. Dickey RHP

New York Yankees

CF Ichiro Suzuki (L)
2B Robinson Cano (L)
LF Vernon Wells (R)
DH Travis Hafner (L)
RF Brennan Boesch (L)
3B Jayson Nix (R)
1B Lyle Overbay (L)
SS Eduardo Nunez (R)
C Chris Stewart (R)

Phil Hughes RHP

Comments (425)

  1. If we go 12-24 can we bring Cito back. 89′ all over again!

    • the need to stop doing that “what MLB The Show predicts” segment…Rasmus usually goes 3-4 with a homer, double and 3 rbi’s

  2. 9-17 is quite a hole that the Jays will need to claw back from.

  3. Jays now only better than Astros in AL

  4. fiddle dee dee
    this will require a tetanus shot

  5. ….and more, much more than this…the Jays lost it…theeeir wayyyyyy.

  6. I think all we can realistically hope for at this point is that the team hits .500 sometime in June, and then plays like the team we all thought it would be in the second half.

    With a 9 – 17 start, things aren’t going to feel very hopeful for a LONG time (if they ever do).

  7. Jays need to go 81 – 55 rest of the way just to get 90 wins. So roughly 16-11 a month for the rest of the season.

    Still waiting on the hand wringing to start over squandered prospects for this group lol what a shit storm that will be.

    • This team wasn’t built to only win this year.

      • Of course. Believe me I’m not doing the hand wringing over the moves he made. What he ended up doing was pretty much right along the lines with what every Jays fan was begging for. Unfortunately, it’s baseball and not a video game and shit like this happens. At best I hope they turn things around soon just so they don’t shit completely on the fan interest going forward. Otherwise it will be another 5 or 6 years of below average spending and idiots saying spending doesn’t help win.

    • @500, true but that’s going to be tough against 4 relatively strong teams in the AL East & a tough interleague schedule. They play Atlanta,Dodgers,SF Giants .

    • Jays squandered their prospects on shitty, oft-injured players.

  8. The 2013 Blue Jays: taking your expectations and pummeling them bloody and mercilessly while you scream “Stop!”

    Anthopolous has to do something, ANYTHING, and it has to be soon.

    • What can he do that hasn’t already been done?

      It’s up to the players to fix this problem.

    • Really? What can he honestly do at this point? Trade even more prospects for a slim chance at making the playoffs this year? Unfortunately they won’t get their pitching depth back in a big way until around July with Drabek, Hutchison and Perez. Throw in Stroman if he pans out. Other than Gose in center, this that has very little depth near the major league level. Personally I just hope he can shed Buehrle’s contract in a Wellsian move at the All-Star break giving them some flexibility going forward.

      • Wouldn’t it be easier to move Johnson than Buerhle?

        I can’t see an AL East team wanting Buerhle.

        • Good thing too. Can you just imagine what Buerhle would do to us playing for another AL East team?

        • Johnson is a free agent after this season so at this point I’d consider him gone though it is early and anything can happen. Buehrle is owed a shit ton of cash the next two years. Going back to the winter I said that I hoped they’d flip him and sign a cheaper FA. Hopefully I end up being wrong and he rights the ship.

  9. Bad luck is no doubt part of the reason for the struggles. However, its not the number #1 reason for the record. The low babip
    Is due to all the strikeouts and homeruns and basically nothing else in between. For example, im not seeing a lot of rockets being hit and being caught by the other team. They dont make good contact when theyre not striking out or hitting home runs for the most part. No singles, no doubles. Some bad luck, sure. The hitters are either not talented enough or their approach is wrong. Probably both. Even guys like hayhurst who are pretty rational usually are getting concerned.

    • Strikeout have no impact on babip.

      having said that…today we actually got very lucky on a few of our hits, we might have hit one or two balls well all game. even with luck we couldnt score shit

      • If anything, high strikeout totals increase BABIP, because they reduce the number of balls i play. One thing I’ve seen the past two days that I hadn’t seen earlier: ground balls sneaking through the infield. Well, let’s look. Not a complete survey, but:

        Ground Balls: TOR .227, NYY .256, BOS .296, BAL .214, TB .193
        Fly Balls: TOR .177, NYY .234, BOS .255, BAL .207, TB .197
        Line Drives: TOR .688, NYY .661, BOS .647, BAL .800, TB .805

        Not scientific, by any means, but these numbers are consistent with the idea that the Jays have had below average luck on all batted balls to go along with their overly-high strikeout rate. I can only assume that BOS can’t hit .296 on ground balls and .255 on fly balls the whole year. (Well, maybe they can hit .255 on fly balls, given the power in the lineup.)

        Of course, we’d appreciate that regression to the mean starting any time now.

    • Home runs *raise* BABIP. They`re hits that don`t count against BABIP – in other words, fair balls that “don`t count“. As mentioned, k`s don`t count against them either. No, BABIP isn`t their problem. OBP is and k`s sure don`t help that.

      • Wrong, wrong, wrong. batting avg balls in play are simply that. this refers to your batting average on balls that the defense has a chance to field. homeruns are neither in the numerator nor the denominator. homeruns are not considered in play

  10. Well at least before we were getting destroyed. Now we are leading games and still losing them..but barely. We basically have had one good offensive game a week..followed by shit and mediocrity.

  11. Sure there is some bad luck involved. But I think we’re overstating it. I mean, the case could just as easily be made that weve had some good luck in keeping every game close when we prob didnt deserve it.

    37 K’s and 3 BB’s for the series. Thats not bad luck. Thats a team half full of replacement level players.

    • Agreed. The team doesn’t know how to take a quality at-bat.

      Yes, we can hit HRs, but that doesn’t always win you the game (as has been proved this year).

  12. OH man Jack Daniels profits are about to start rising.

  13. What the Dickens happened???

  14. #swept

    *sigh*

  15. Surely this is just a bad fucking dream. I can’t think of a worse scenario after such high expectations. The Jays keeping company with the Astros. A Yankees team full of discarded Jays and the elderly laying down a 4 game sweep. John fucking Farrell looking like a baseball genius with the Sox at the top of the league. The baseball gods can suck it! Thankfully I have sailing, alcohol, golf and alcohol to keep my mind off this shit. It’s going to get much better, right?

  16. If I knew where Blanco lived, Id break into his house and destroy the pics of his that show AA in panties and fishnets wearing a gimp mask. The circumstantial evidence that these phoos exist is overwhelming.

  17. shitstorm imminent

    • It should be fun to see how the April apologists defend the lack of performance of the team. Wilner is doing mental gymnastics to defend the LAA Angels of 2012. Bad April doesn’t count & the team losing 1 or 2 games during July or August was the reason they failed:)) A loss is a loss Mike .

      A 9-17 stretch at anytime during the season is possible but there is no cushion built up by the Jays other that the press releases of the team in March & up until April 2nd.

      Statistically speaking, the team will improve , which is good news, but sadly the early buzz has evaporated.

      Good news is that there should be less “yahoos” at the Rogers Centre who will throw beer at people..

      Maybe they can go to TFC games this summer.

      • No-one can defend their performance; we simply understand arithmetic enough not to write the season off.

        • There is no statistical reason to “write the season off”. There will be fun baseball played at some point this season.

          The window for a 90+ win season is slowly but steadily closing.

          If Jose Reyes was ready to play tomorrow, the odds would improve, but that won’t happen.

          Hopefully, the Jays can acclerate Ricky Romero’s return assuming he pitches well.

        • @JB

          I am referring to some in the media who want to spend their time attacking fans for boorish behavior or booing players or doing whatever they want.

          Hopefully, the media will look for constructive solutions to help improve the team.

          Firing Gibby is dumb but I think the media will turn up the heat on him.

          Should the Jays bring up Negrych?Gose? Can they DFA Derosa?

          i would like a little more baseball strategy analysis than bashing “whiners”

  18. I think some of you alleged fans should give up the Jays. You don’t have the stomach for it.
    Slow start, it happens. It happens a lot. Including teams that later finish with contending records. The truth is they have been slowly improving. The pitching has gotten better, the hitting is starting to show some life. I think they will continually improve. My prediction is .500 May and winning record in June and strong improvement over latter stretch of season. The only thing dumber than blathering on about firing Gibby or AA ‘has got to DO something ANYTHING’ horseshit is believing all the pre-season media nonsense about this team slaughtering the opposition out of the gate.

    • 9-17 is not a “slow” start, it is a losing start.

      • oh fuck off., same thing, you’re gonna correct people over bullshit semantics? go play tiddlywinks, it suits you more than mlb.

        • Think what you want to think but I’d compare it to gangrene. Are you going to sit there and let yourself die or lop off a toe before it gets worse? Blanco, DeRosa and Germano serve absolutely no purpose on this roster and there are better options in AAA. Thole, some sort of bench bat that can play a position and Lincoln/Beck would be better than those three right now. We traded away Snider, who would be an upgrade to Cabrera, for Lincoln, who was heralded as a possible 8th inning guy. Meanwhile we’re sending him down and keeping AAAA fodder around. The message that’s being sent isn’t “we’re in this to win” it’s still “prepare for the worse”.

          Whether you want to place the blame on AA, Beeston or ownership, one has to wonder why the money to compete was made available this winter and not last when it could have been more helpful. After losing out on Chapman we heard, to paraphrase “never again, if we like someone we’ll spend” then of course we were outbid for Darvish and Reyes.

          It’s early is out of the window. No team in the last decade has made the playoffs after losing 16+ in april, we’re at 17 and counting. You can look at that toe and say it’s just asleep. I choose to look at it and say a life full of unhealthy habits is finally catching up to me.

          • Yeah but if you wanted Darvish, you would’ve had to have posted 52.Mill.
            It’s a completely closed bid. That whole process is fucked.

            • Of course but 6 years, $110 for a pitcher for his caliber is a bargain. Sure there was risk involved but you can say that about any player.

              • For all anyone except a handfull of people know, the Jays bid 50.5 mill. No one will say.The entire process is fucked. If Darvish turns out to be a piece of crap what then?
                Moreover, the minors are full of guys like Deck Mcguire.

            • The Jays would be in a great position with Darvish and Cespedes and an in tact farm system.

              • But you will acknowledge that:
                1. There was no way of predicting who was bidding what. Like I said, for all anyone knows they bid a dollar less than Texas.
                2. Darvish DID play in the WBC but aside from that, no one had any idea how he would pitch in MLB (think of Daisuke Matsuzaka). And it’s not like the Japanese were offering a refund if he didnt work out.
                3. In hindsight (up to now at least) he’s just fine. But thats hindsight and Matsuzaka fizzled in his 4th and 5th years.

    • I hate to say it, but that fucking idiot Gregg Zahn is right. This team doesn’t know how to take pitches. That is flat out losing them these games.

  19. seriously.. if they finish the season under .500, they need to fire AA.

    • No, they shouldn’t.

    • Seriously, Serious Steve–

      With 5 full months of baseball yet to play, why did you feel the need to offer this particular opinion at this particular time.

      Seriously.

    • Seriously, this is why you don`t run a professional ball team. Take an unexpectedly bad situation and compound it with a poor, optics-laden decision. Good thought.

    • On my way to Veags on Friday. Had hoped to bet on the jays big time vs seattle but won’t do that now. OOO we’ve had ONE 2 game win streak-that is it. We have won ONE series -that is it!
      I’d have to be nutz to bet on these losers. I will bet the under, instead, as the pitching is not bad and our offense is beyond putrid. The O/u is usually around7.5. I figure 5 runs a game between the 2 of em is about it. maybe this way I can win 2/3 because the Jays sure can/t.
      Unfortunately my worst case scenario has happened and we are now 10 games out at the end of April with 3 coming against Bosox- could we be 13 FUKIN games out BY MAY 4???
      As i said, we are now like Minny last year. Oh sure we may even win a few here and there, but realistically now, this is about feigning interest the rest of the year and jockeying for the 7/31 trade deadline.
      I tnink we can now forget AA signing JJ here longterm although I thought he origianlly would. Injuriy prone and his performance has not been good, I guess he could go 10-2 and change AA’s mind but doesn’t look good here
      I suspect that if it continues til the end of MAy, that he;ll seriously consider trading either Bautista or EE as they are in high demand and he could get a good return due to their favorable contracts. Why make both of them hang arounf til 2014?
      I know that may be heresy and I’m just blowin here but if I was AA, and it is SHIT by the end of MAY, then he has to do something meaningful to try and save the fanbase for 2014 as they are very close to destroying the mojo they built up for this year
      The odds of such a trade would still be low, but I do think it will be contemplated
      The team is uncompetitve and has 4/9 of it as absolute shit
      They will not get more than a bag of chips for RASMUS, LIND, BONi and IZZY combined
      He will try to unload Buerhle but likely won’t happen because of his salary

      • @fukstick.

        I could see AA trading Johnson. They are capable replacement in Drabek,Romero & Hutch. One of those 3 should be OK.

        AA could also get rid of Izturis or Bonifacio & try to upgrade 2B.

        I don’t see AA or EE being traded this year. July 2014 if the team doesn’t compete by then.

      • Trade every motherfucker on this team.

      • Don’t let emotions get in the way of your sports betting….
        Take the Jays over the Mariners straight up, and consider taking the over, according to your first instincts…

        • I hear you. In the end, I may take them straight up as you say as they are no longer being favored to win most games now. Whereas I was likely looking at -170 for the mariner games 2 weeks ago ( exception if felix is pitching) it likely now will ne maybe -110 or roughly even.
          Still, they don’t breed a whole lot of confidence right now

    • Your brain has a tactical error.

  20. Well, that was it for me. I put on my Rasmus jersey and went for the razor to the wrist to end it all. I somehow missed 3 times though and figured I should just get over it.

  21. Missed the game… was this a shitty performance or another one of those “tough luck” losses?

  22. Game should ve been 3-3 if it wasn’t for adam lind JOGGING around the bases on maicer izturis’ double. Seriously with 2 outs he should ve easily scored, that ball was in the air forever and boesch bobbled it… I hope lawrie steps up in that clubhouse and starts barking, not enough heart and not enough hustle!

    • If Lawrie were to actually do that, I trust someone on the team would do the right thing and punch him in the solar plexus.

    • I couldn`t believe, with 2 out, when I realized he didn`t score. Or even try and end up thrown out…. was he *that* slow that it wasn`t even worth requiring the defense to make 2 good throws to get him? He`s upped his game admirably lately, but something went terribly wrong on this play.

      • +1. It looks like Rivera was being cautious in sending Lind home. It also looked like A Hr from Izturis so maybe Lind was taking it easy on a trot home.

      • He’s VERY slow and because of that probably got the stop sign from Rivera.

        • @ Karl. I agree Lind is slow but couldn’t Rivera see that The Yankes were having trouble getting the ball back into the infield?

          Jays had a chance to get an extra run !

    • Didn’t see the play as I have intentionally not watched this shit show, but to me, if it as you described, that w/b the lst time LIND played ofr me for awhile. Between taking more days off than he had to ( i got 1 day off for the birth of my kids) and his general laziness then a message has t to be sent or we are right back to the Farrell BS of last year where the playeer’s f/up at will and never punished. That would have tied the game obviously. What do other s think?
      Radar/potatoes—Did lind arse the dog here?

      • fukstik–

        You consciously, deliberately, voluntarily, purposefully, wilfully and intentionally didn’t watch the game(s), yet now you want to bench one of your long-time fukstiks? Quelle surprise!
        I didn’t see a replay, but I ‘think’ Rivera gave him the stop sign, and you know that The Man From Muncie runs like a new born foal.

        • fuck em then- he goes in a package deal with Derosa for some good vibes & karma. Yin and Yang aren’t available. ….Out here the fields…

  23. We’ll sweep the Sox.

    • I’ll say 2/3. The month from hell doesn’t end til wednesday – then hopefully roses and rainbows all the way to autumn.

  24. Sigh. At least they can’t take our positive attitude about the rest of the season. Go Jays!

  25. 10 games back and it’s STILL APRIL!!!!!!!!!!!
    This team is a nightmare and Gibbons is retarded. I don’t care about RA’s “Henry Blanco is my catcher” shit. Pinch hit for the stiff with runners at 2nd and 3rd, up 2-1 in the 7th!!! Gibbons does nothing, we lose again.

    • People getting on Gibbons case like this cost us the game. Absolute best case scenario JP has an extra 5-10% chance of a hit? Then factor in the fact that Dickey was cruising and looking to pitch at least a couple more innings. Not too fussed about that call. Certainly not what cost the Jays the game.

    • Didn’t Thole catch Dickey last year? Why can’t the Jays bring up Thole if Blanco gets hurt?

      The sight of Blanco scares my kids. They think he was a suspect on COPS.

  26. What a nightmare of a season.

  27. A ray of optimism:

    The ’98 team started 10-17 and ended up with 88 wins WHICH would have been enough to get the 2nd wildcard IF it exisited.

    They still need to get rid of the yokel, a JP Riccardi retread has no chance of success.

    • And the 2003 Jays started 10-18, and won 86 games, so….

      • @Blue Jay.

        80 something wins seems the most likely scenario based on current team plus upgrade from Reyes & better offense.

        However, baseball can be unpredictable…. rays 2011.

        I want to see the Jays beat the Rays.

  28. 9 – 17, awful. How come there’s always a mental mistake? Something needs to be to gain focus or the season is over before summer starts, again.

  29. Negrych still hitting well, maybe the organization should look to find some space for high performing Buffalo players on the squad? I hope the Jays regroup quickly and put a better showing against another AL East opponent.

    Go Jays #downbutneverout

  30. At least the bandwagon is getting a little lighter, I much prefer spending time in the company of those who actually understand and enjoy the game.

    • If you understand the game you’d have a hard time enjoying it to this point. Things will get better obviously but that’s only because they can’t get worse.

    • +1. I don’t want the games at Rogers Centre overrun with yahoos throwing beer at people sitting in the 100′s.

    • Like supporting a losing team at 9-17 with talent.

    • I wouldn’t call these guys bandwagon jumpers. Jays have always had a good fan base….mostly from ppl across the country and not necessary Toronto (otherwise attendance would be better). But what we have this year is HIGH expectations. Of course the fans are upset.

  31. So here are the pitching matchups for the red sox. let me know if you think we have a realistic shot at winning even one of them.

    1. Lester vs Morrow (slight advantage sox)

    2. Buckholz vs Buehrle (LOOOOOLLLL)

    3. Dempster vs Johnson (advantage sox).

    this is why you cant afford to lose matchups like dickey vs hughes.

    • The first and third games aren’t actually too bad matchup wise.

      Buccholz absolutely, completely, OWNS the Jays in skydome though. Cannot hit that fuck at all.

      • agreed…2 out of 3 is the best the Jays can realistically expect to be their best possible outcome.

    • And now Dickey is saying he expects to have an MRI “soon.” (probably Monday)
      Romero had a good outing in the minors.
      What’s the over/under on the date we see him in the rotation?
      My guess is Fri. May 17 in Yankee stadium.

      • No point in putting Romero back in a MLB game unless he’s 100% figured out his shit. And I don’t see that happening by May.

      • Ok, seriously…at what fucking point does AA clean house (at ALL levels) with respect to the training and medical staffs???

        Last year had “TommyJohnapalooza” and this year the pitchers seem to be slowly finding NEW injuries to incur (i.e. Dickey isn’t capable of having TJS, so let’s find a different group of muscles/ligaments to fuck up). WTF?!?!?!?

    • Ryan Dempster advantage Sox against JJ????? Are you fucking nuts?

  32. Stoeten – how soon til we get a “Dear John” style post directed to the players aka “Dear Jays”?

  33. Sigh.

    Yeah, getting swept by the Yankees suck. The Jays have not had success at Yankee Stadium.

    There were close games which have been screwed up via defensive blunders and untimely pitching. Some of these games will start to go the Jays’ way.

    I expected 96 wins with an intact team and Reyes just based on the WAR changes from the trades made. But that ain’t going to happen now.

    Still, there is alot of talent on this team. Right now, the starting lineup is the same shit as last year + Cabrera – Escobar. And with Cabrera sitting out a good 60+ games last year, he was a risk that AA and the Jays were willing to accept.

    We also knew that Johnson was injury prone. We knew that Buehrle was aging, probably still pissed off about his pit bulls. Dickey had a fantastic year last year and can’t expect a repeat, and Morrow who pitches with a different approach every time depending on what’s working for him that particular outing.

    Still, we expected the starting pitching as a whole to have an ERA sub 4 and the offense to score on average more than 4.5 runs a game, making a pretty damned good team.

    It’s not quite time to panic, but if we hit mid may and the team is 12-24, then it’s time to make some changes.

    There are too many players trying to hit home runs. Here’s a thought. Trade Rasmus and Bonifacio for a good 2B. Bring up Gose or Sierra. More Rajai Davis. The team needs more OBP, not 4 designated hitters (Bautista, Rasmus, Arencibia, Encarnacion).

    If both Izturis and Bonifacio were hitting close to their potential (.320 OBP+ career), we wouldn’t be complaining about them.

    And free Thole and DFA DeRosa and Blanco.

    And can Bautista please get more then 1 hit per game.

    • Rasmus and Boner have no trade value.

      • Colby must have some trade value as a defensive CF on a team that doesn;t need high OBP but some power hitter.

    • I think Rasmus does have some trade value. Defensively he’s pretty great, and offensively there’s always this slight chance he figures it out (albeit remote). If he does, he’ll hit 50 HR’s easy.

  34. All kidding aside, isn’t this all getting a bit redickeyless???

  35. I don’t know if panicking is good at any time, but the fact is that as much as what Mike says about the LA Angels is accurate from a mathematical point of view, the question isn’t whether or not the Jays are out of it yet or not. Of course, it’s possible for the Jays to get red hot for the rest of the season, and for the Red Sox pitching to cool off, but it’s fast getting to the point where they *need* to if they are to have any chance of getting a sniff at the postseason.

    • @Chewie.

      Very true. It’s fun to listen to Wilner do mental gymnastics with the callers who aren’t prepared o debate hi.

      Jays play the AL East 76 times this year, up from 72. No one looks like a pushover.

      The upside is that the 4 AL East teams not including the Jays should beat up on each other , keeping the division close.

      The problem is if anyone runs away with the division. One wildcard should come out of the AL West.

      jays have to win the division or get 2nd wildcard.

    • Unfortunately, the Jays problem is not that they are 9 – 17, it is that they have “accomplished” that feat largely on the basis of a 3-10 mark against the AL East. In order for the benefits of the “at least the other 4 AL East teams will beat each other up” concept to materialize, the Jays – at minimum – have to have a similar or better record than the other teams.

      At the current pace, the Jays are poised to finish 18-58 against the East…I know, results should undoubtedly improve, between players getting their heads out of their asses and Reyes returning, but a 35-28 is needed just to have them finish at .500 within the East…not easy and, even if that is accomplished, likely not enough to get into the playoffs.

  36. #lovethisteam

  37. For those of you that don’t have the stomach to watch anymore, the hockey playoffs begin this week. For those of you that do, this won’t continue forever.

    Surgite!

  38. Here’s the thing I’ve been afraid of all along, starting to crop up–someone’s going to start calling for AA’s head.

    Do you realize how stupid that would be?

    Here we have a GM who has, up to this point in time, been one of the smartest young GMs in the league, full of promise. One off-season he goes all-in when the Yankees and Red Sox reload with crap. He does exactly what you’re supposed to do, and makes brilliant moves to get high quality talent for cheap. Then the moves don’t pan out (so far).

    To fire someone for acting intelligently would be the worst mistake we could make. Would you fire the best poker player in the world because he went all in on a great hand, and gets screwed by the River? No, that’s just crappy luck.

    AA should be our GM for the next 15 seasons, regardless of how this season plays out. It was a calculated gamble. So far, it hasn’t turned out, but he followed the process correctly, and that’s what’s important. Is it really his fault Reyes went down on a freak injury?

    • I would like to add that Gibbons and his coaches should be given some rope to work with. There were a lot of variables that came into Toronto in the offseason. It’ll take some time for everything to come together. I still expect The Jays to have a winning record at the end of the season. I, personally, think next year will be the breakout year, after Anthopoulos addresses the last of the holes (see ya Lind). In the meantime, I still like drinking beer and watching baseball, win or lose.

      • @GSMC

        That’s a good attitude. We all know that this team will get better. It may not make the playoffs, but if get competitive baseball in September, that’s a plus.

        I want to know if AA will dare get rid of 2 mascots . Blanco & Derosa. & upgrade 2B by either trading Boni or Izturis. More likely Boni .

        Gibbons should threaten Boneface if he tries to bunt again.

    • @Canard

      +10. Under no circumstance should AA be fired.

      I do wonder if Jose Reyes always played aggressively stealing bases. Was that a freak injury? or was it Lawriesque, jump into camera bays….??

      Why was he stealing with the team up 8-4?

      • Umm, it wasnt his aggression that injured him , it was his lack thereof. Reyes ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS slides head first into second. When he was injured, he tried to take it easy and basically go in standing up into the bag..when he suddenly realized that it was going to be close..and then he did a half ass late feet first slide.

    • I’d hardly say the Sox and Yanks reloaded with garbage. Dempster, Napoli, Kuroda, Uehera are all above average players. I don’t know how you can say they’re crap while singing AA’s praises for bringing in Johnson, Buerhle and Cabrera. Saying we got all this talent on the cheap isn’t true either. We paid for it by selling the farm and occupying an extremely large amount of, what I think is fair to say, is our payroll ceiling. While Thames for Delabar looks like a great trade, Snider for Lincoln was to most, a mistake at the time and still looks that way.

      My biggest problem with the “strike while Yanks and Sox are down” argument is that AA clearly stated you needed to build a team that could compete year in and year out. Trading for a 38 yr old knuckleballer, a FA to be and a 34 yr old with diminishing velocity and a back loaded contract scream something else.

      With that being said he seems smart enough to learn from his mistakes and has made his share of great deals (Bautista contract, Gose for Wallace, Morrow trade, Olivo move). I wouldn’t want anyone else as the Jays GM but let’s not put him on some pedestal. The days of being the golden boy who can do no wrong are over and probably shouldn’t have started in the first place.

    • AA bet the farm and lost. This may require a complete rebuild.

  39. I wrote this in another space, but here goes.

    Although AA may have “won” his trades in a theoretical sense, his approach to gathering talent may be flawed.

    Take the Snider debacle: We had the opportunity to get a major starting pitcher for Travis: but AA declined because he wanted to wring the most out of Travis. His failure to trade him at the wrong time (because of his trade window theory) cost us quite a bit. Now we have a reliever who spends most of his time in triple a. Again, trades basically are your garbage for my garbage. They are discounted items off the shelf.

    Take Rasmus for relievers. In a vacuum, he won because the relievers were useless, right? But what value did he get? A guy with a major hole in his swing that has only progressively gotten worse. Was it a good “gamble?” Yes. But the reason he was discounted relates to his trade value. He couldn’t beat out a Reed Johnson clone at the time.

    Although he only gave up some decent to good prospects in trading for Reyes, Buerle , Johnson and Bonifacio, he had to pay a major cost: Buerle. On top of that, he had to factor in the major injury risk of Johnson and Reyes (not about on the turf, just in general)

    Again, using the trade market as his weapon has forced him to incur major risk to “upgrade” significantly. And, as a result, the real value of his assets is diminished. Although you can say he “won” this trade as well.

    By trading for Dickey he gave up significant assets and thus was able to save some money. But the real talent value he gave up is significant, on top of the risk inherent with Dickey’s health, given he was 38–that’s why he signed so cheaply..

    By adding Darvish and Fielder and Lohse and simply keeping the decent assets he already had, he would have built a better team

    Darvish
    Happ
    Lohse
    Morrow
    Romero/re-tread

    Escobar
    Lawrie
    Bautista
    Encarnacion
    Fielder
    D’Arnaud
    Rasmus
    Lind
    Aviles

    Is a better team.

    AA did a nice job when he was making trades to accrue high upside value or to offload waste (Hallday and Vernon trades) But by continuing to follow f process where he could not simply ADD talent to the core, he began to undermine the talent he had. There is a reason people say” you get what you pay for” . There is a reason the Red Sox and Yankees win. Because although the dollar for talent ratio may be inefficient to a degree–the actual price value is nearer the real talent. To go the other way means you need a massive amount of luck or improvement for that other traded talent to meet the value it is expected to produce.

    AA said this all along, but I think we all forgot how difficult the process he had to undertake (due to management’s insistence) really is. And why trading for most of your talent may be a flawed process.

    • I don’t know how much cred I give to the “which team is better on paper” argument. On paper the current Jays are leading the AL east by 3 games.

      • Like I said: it’s the flaw of the process–not of AA really. He did what he could (really more than he could) but you don’t just acquire core players very frequently. Most often, you have to develop or pay full price for them.

    • @AA Tires.

      Let’s say Darvish was a bust. wouldn’t AA be fired for spending 100 million on a japanese pitcher with no track record?

      I would rather have had Fielder

      • Yeah, I get that it seems like hindsight but with a few caveats:

        1.) Darvish was much younger than the other guys who came out.
        2.) He was not considered used up.
        2.) His stuff was better than some of the other previous pitchers.
        3.) Most pundits considered him worth the gamble
        4.) Most pundits thought he should have been gambled on by AA
        5.) We put a bid in, just not a good one.

        So, what does that tell you? We pussed out because Rogers decided it wasn’t worth the risk. They knew what it would take, and decided to join for optics.

        Young talent like that RARELY busts. Look at Chapman. If you are that involved in the process and you think he is worth the bid. then don’t puss out and put a shitty bid in–try to get him!
        If not, why bid?

    • Fielder wasn’t the answer… Cespedes was.

      AA should be signing international players — saving the Jays’ draft picks and not having to trade away assets.

      He has also built a team around players with absolute shit OBP. People will laugh at my use of this stat, but is 40HR worth it coupled with 60 RBI?

    • Sorry AA Tires but your explanation fails when you review the environment at the time the decisions were made.
      It’s great to look back in hindsight and ignore the factors that also influenced the trades.

  40. I look at the team that just swept us and maybe challenge as to if anyone on the Jays has had a taste of success.

    Most of the players came from losing teams and joined a team that has been losing for 20 years. Maybe they can’t handle being favoured? the Yanks sent out a bunch of B players but the core is used to winning and they just expect to win. We seem to wait to lose.

    It’s an intangible and I’m grasping.

    • I agree. It’s beyond bad luck when the opposing team is continually making timely defensive plays and getting clutch hits while the Jays fuck up in key situations, game after game after fucking game.

    • Sorry “the core”?

      The core right now is: Cano, Wells, Overbay, Nix, Hafner.

  41. The Yankees also win because they are expected to. It doesn’t help they are America’s team and get all the benefit calls (even the shit players)\. They get these calls because they generally pay big money to be at the rodeo–and no ump is going to screw the Yankees–they are too important to the League.

    They have no pressure on them right now–which is the perfect situation. None of the players want to embarrass themselves playing for an elite organization but at the same time the outside pressure is nil. That seems like a great environment for overachieving.

    We, on the other hand, are the whiny Canadian team who is looked upon as “cheaters” who didn’t pay half the money the established teams did to get where they are (despite this year’s largesse). All the pressure is on them to win because they have lost forever and have a rabid fanbase turning on them

    Which one do you think plays more loosely?

    • @AA Tires. i would love to find out what Wells,Overbay,Nix etc think is different about being a Yankee vs being a Blue Jay.

      Yes , the yankees get better calls than most teams, but that can’t be the only reason they are better than other teams.

  42. What I’m saying is this: AA did an excellent job using the process he outlined: The problem is, that process only takes you so far, and cannot be the core way of attaining assets. It’s a good way to supplement core, but core has to be developed or paid full value for.

    Unless AA is given the full extent of the money he should by Rogers on a consistent basis this is what we are going to get: “almost good enough.”

    • @ AA Tires.I think the hiring of Lieweke from AEG as President of MLSE< which would have required Rogers supports since they are a part owner means that Rogers would be willing to give AA 125 million a year for the next 2 years

      Would AA be willing to let go of 2 mascot/character players in exchange for replacing them with more useful young players???

  43. The only way you are going to win consistently is with home grown talent. We have not developed position players for shit since the gord ash era. rios, wells, delgado…stewart…we used to be able to do it. now we can only hope that we can trade our prospects for decent talent. but even that is risky.

  44. Good point, Oakville. I hope they now see that investing consistently is what will bring championship success over mediocrity (or slightly better).

    And yeah, Negrych and probably Gose and Sierra should be up here soon. AA and Gibbons have not been shy about shuffling things. so I expect that to happen in a matter or days.

  45. I don’t know about the difference,but I think you’d find there was one. People always talk about “putting on the pin-stripes” and what that means–as well as what is expected. Do you think this group of misfits wants to be kinown as the worst Yankee team to put on the uniform? Especially since they’ll be on tv all over the country (US) almost every night?

    I know I wouldn’t.

    • @ AA Tires.

      That’s possible. If there were serious expectations about the Yankees today, I wonder if players like Wells & Overbay who never played under as much pressure in Toronto would get too nervous.

    • That assumes that most MLB players arent giving it their best shot most of the team. And that when they become Yankees they dig deeper into that well and play a little better.

      Sorry, not buying it. These guys are pros. I dont believe that they have some extra well of talent or determination they can go to just becUse of the uniform they out on.

      The Yanks look like world beaters right now because in their last 10 games they played us seven times, and we’re the second worst team in the AL right now. They even lost 2 of 3 from a crappy TB team in that stretch.

      I still dont buy that this Yankee team is good. When they start facing real opponents again, theyre goong to be no better then .500

  46. To be honest, these are not terrible players on the Yankees–just really mediocre ones. But when you have decent, pitching and a super star like Cano (and you know that assistance is on the way in a matter of months) you can stay afloat for a while. They won’t be excellent–but they can hold the fort enough. Remember, players like Wells and Overbay have defensive qualities that raise their value a little. The main point is they know they are there to plug the dam, not hold it up.

    • I’d say guys like Suzuki and Gardener, even Wells when he’s engaged and healthy, are a little better than mediocre.

  47. Enjoy more piling on folks. ENJOY!!! (like the assessment of Melkey…he is getting off easy by the fans because , I guess, his batting average is in the mid 200′s which is damn near ted williams like on this team, but holy shit check out his slugging…wtf)

    http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/35273/april-grades-a-for-red-sox-big-papi

  48. Yo, Terminator X, step up on the stand and show the people what time it is
    boyyyyyyyy!

    Don’t believe the hype!!!

  49. I #lovethisteam

  50. “I’ve said it before, moral victories don’t show up in the win column,” said Dickey. “You see them as negatives. Those are games you probably should have won if you did one or two things just a little bit better. I see that as disappointing. Sure, you’re not getting blown out by 11 runs but it doesn’t feel any better to me.”

    “We just can’t keep going out there and say ‘It’s going to turn around.’ We have to each take responsibility for turning it,” said Dickey. “We know what needs to be done and it’s just a matter of doing it and if we can do it, great. If not, then we’re going to be losers. That’s just the way it is. That’s what you deal with at this level.”

  51. Question. When Cervelli went down the other day, wouldn’t it have been a smart strategy for Jay pitchers to start beaning Chris Stewart? Losing two catchers in one game would put them at a serious disadvantage, no? Also, come Tuesday – shouldn’t Jays pitchers starting throwing directly at Mike Crapoli’s hip? Let’s be honest – the Jays always get accused of stealing signs, cheating, Man in White Suiting – so why not start giving the middle finger to the rest of the league and actually play dirty? It’s not like they have a chance of actually winning fairly, right?

    • I was wondering something along these lines with all the fucking homeruns from the Yanks, especially Wells…why not throw at him (below waist, not above shoulders), just to disrupt some rhythm/increase discomfort at the plate. Surely there would have been one warning, prior to tossing a pitcher…

      • Classy Jays fans! Are all the drunken losers from the 500s showing up on here to give coaching advice now? Haha.

        Go back to the EI line and cry some more about this team!

  52. umps sucks ass; fire gibbons…like i said a month ago-hes a .500 manager at best

    • lol………”. a .500 manager”?

      That has got to be the most idiotic assessment of anythibg Ive ever heard. I think youre REALLLY over staging just what a manager can do. Give Gibby the Nats or Braves and hes probably a 95 win manager. Give him House and hes a 95 loss manager. Ghat goes for every manager in the league.

      The manager really has very very little to do with the overall results, unless hes making horrible bullpen decisions, and Gibby isnt really doing that

    • .500 manager. Wow. That concept is probably even dumber than talking about a .500 pitcher.

  53. I may of missed it, but I didn’t see Mr. Stoeten on here defending the Jay’s record to date and being quite arrogant to his followers too. In fact, so bad, I’ve been off here for over two weeks and I didn’t miss the sarcasm much. To be fair regarding his defense of the team, he had a point but something is wrong with this team. You can relate it strickly to bad luck, injuries, overwhelming personnel changes on and off the field in one offseason, the WBC, Rob Ford (couldn’t resist) etc or simply their not winning and losing is also contagious. Before signing off a couple of weeks ago, I mentoned that the turn over, which I think will is the root cause. Too many relationships severed and too many experiments happening at once for any real cohesion to take root for the team. IT might have been different IF Lawrie and Reyes were healthy. But, along with turnover, I see injuries as a key problem for this team now and in the future. In my opinion, I love Lawrie but he’s always going to be high maintenance injury wise. Reyes is an elite SS, leadoff guy and great team player BUT he’s got a history of consistently being injured too. Josh Johnson is the same way and if it were me, he’d be trade bait in July. Colby…I would trade the guy and go with Gose at the deadline if the right deal presented itself. You can have a worse hitting coach and manager…there not the issue. They don’t play the game. Bold and likely stupid prediction: This team does not get much better. AA makes some of the deals above at the deadline. That frees up some money and fills in gapping holes such as second base. They take the savings and land Cano in the offseason. This is the first year of actually trying to win anything and the Jays in the 80′s tried to build winners and they lost too. It took a while before they got the right players to GEL INTO A WINNING TEAM.

    • Gose is going to be one of those guys that everybody loves……………………..until he’s on the team and they find out that he’s a worse hitter than Rasmus.

    • Stoeten’s been getting his love on twitter.

    • Gose is not even 1/4th the answer. The LAST thing and I mean LAST thing this team needs is another davis or boni clone who cant hit for power and strikes out quite a bit. At least
      Rasmus can hit power. If you want thole to come up though and platoon with jpa? Im all for that.

      • I think the consensus (on this board at least) is that Thole should be brought up. You may give up the odd passed ball but you gain a batting average. And you get a guy who can also fill in for JPA on a moment’s notice.

        Make it so!

    • I completely agree with Dave that this team won’t win this season. It takes time to put together a winner and it also takes relaxation. The team going into this season had been named as a superteam and mentioned for the WS. The Jays haven’t had a winner for 20 years and so the pressure must have been immense. Think back to the trade, when we were all ‘PLAYOFFS!!!’

      I do think the team will win and win for a while. But stuff has to percolate through before that happens and this season is a percolator. Like Dave, I’ve taken time away from the board because I didn’t and don’t want to get into any Sky Is Falling discussions. That, in my opinion, is a pointless waste of energy. I haven’t watched the games because I have no expectation that they will go well. Unless they go on a winning-spree of tremendous proportions I won’t be watching this season much at all. I’ve taken a step away and unless they surprise the hell out of me and start winning and winning, I won’t step back until Opening Day 2014. Which is when I do expect a lovely surprise and a hell of a team.

  54. A funny thought I had…you have to wonder if the opening day decision to start Arencibia really fucked over this team. We might as well consider it. The team comes out to 50k screaming fans ready to go…stoked for the season. All of a sudden things turn bad quickly with multiple passed balls, and the life is sucked out of the place. The life is sucked out of the fans, and the players for a few moments, start to panic, and never recover! If only they had have started Blanco…

    • If that even resembles the makeup of the players on your 25 man roster (and the word man is used loosely in this instance) you’re looking for a new 25 man roster.

  55. mmmmm, NHL playoffs

    • What are you getting at? That Damien Cox will be too busy because of the playoffs to write anything about baseball? sweet.

    • I for one am certainly looking forward to the shot blocking, trapping, low scoring boring games that the NHL playoffs have brought in recent years.

      Sarcasm aside, at least the pointless fights go away this time of year.

  56. Without looking too far in the future – say, this team sticks together for more than a year or two.
    If AA looks at this roster over the year and decides to make changes/additions – where would you start? Would pitchers like Hutch or Drabek or whoever the hell is on the longterm DL make a difference? Could a guy like Beuhrle and his giant contract be moved and his spot taken by Hutch? How about Johnson?
    Can AA take either of those two (maybe Bonie, too) and grab a “real” second baseman? Or a couple of sluggers off the bench?
    Just wondering.

    • IMHO.
      AA won’t panic. He’ll be methodical in his assessments and that will include waiting to see who rebounds. By the trade deadline the choices wil be more obvious.

  57. A day off will be good. Relax.

  58. This team can’t possibly play any worse than it is. So there is that.

  59. Isabelreyes: I think next year the team will be a winner too. Radar: I think AA will be cautious as well. He has a lot of ingredients/talent but he has to find the right mix. Remember the other trade, the Tony/Fred for Roberto/Joe, I nearly died, I thought it was a disaster for the team but it addressed the needs to take it to another level. It’s the same now. We got a soft tossing lefty who misses his dog in this deal. We got a SS that is great but is injured a lot. We have a utility guy. We have JJ and he has potential but to me his delivery looks like his arm will eventually fall off one of these days. And, mentally, competitively, he’s not Jack Morris. So, AA will do the assessments and he will tweak this team. I hoped it would all magically come together too like all of us but in reality, with some reflection at the gaps we still have, not just positions but on the gel factor/competitive/personality level etc, it takes a bit more time and AA, Gibby and Crew will get that worked out. If they can get Cano, they’ll and tweak the rotation just a bit, they’ll go on a wicked run starting next year. If not, it’s possible they’ll be a powerhouse next year too.

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