rickyromerowoeRicky Romero used to be good. Then he was bad. After unfair comparisons to the quickly developing players in his draft class, Romero emerged in 2009 as a promising young southpaw with one of the better off-speed pitches in baseball. In 2010, he made good on this promise, producing a good enough season to give fans a semblance of hope in a year that would otherwise feel dreadful for its sudden absence of previous staff ace Roy Halladay.

In 2011, it all clicked. Romero was trending in the right direction in terms of strikeouts, walks and ground balls. Buoyed by a low BABIP and high strand rate – numbers typically attributed to events outside of a pitcher’s control – the Blue Jays ace finished the season with a career high in wins and an ERA below three.

Given the somewhat disappointing results of the rest of the young and inexperienced staff, Romero’s performance stood out as something that was actually encouraging to fans, and presumably to management, who prior to his breakout year, had locked up the left-handed pitcher’s services for the next five seasons at the seemingly low cost of a guaranteed $30.1 million.

Then came 2012.

Romero, whose best asset had always been his change up, isn’t a typical left-handed pitcher. His arsenal of pitches, including his beloved off-speed offering, all move away from left-handed batters and in on right-handed batters.

If we were to look at Romero’s pitches from above, they’d look like this against left-handed batters:

romerolhabove

This led to what’s commonly referred to as reverse splits through the early going of his career. Where typically a left-handed pitcher would have better numbers against a left-handed batter, Romero was actually below average against batters of the same handedness. His best tool against right-handed batters, that glorious change up, was rather pedestrian to a left-handed batter who watched it come from the inside and end up outside on him.

However, he was so effective against right-handed batters, who represent the side from which the majority of Major League hitters swing a bat, that this was overlooked by most people.

In fact, if you didn’t look at Romero’s splits, you’d likely assume that Romero was similar to most left-handed pitchers. Joe Maddon, the manager of the Tampa Bay Rays, isn’t most people. He looked at Romero’s splits, and he didn’t assume anything.

Against the Rays, Romero would face a lineup full of left-handed batters, who would inevitably perform well against the pitcher. This is referred to as the Danks Theory, which seems obvious in its suggestion of going against the grain by using batters of the same handedness as a pitcher when that pitcher’s best weapon is most effective against opposite handed batters. However, baseball is a strange place where innovation – especially in terms of lineup construction and bullpen management – is often met with suspicion.

Romero wasn’t too enthused with the idea of being such a solvable commodity. As Tommy Rancel reminds us at The Process Report, the pitcher, when asked about Tampa Bay’s strategizing, challenged Maddon to start nine left-handed batters against him.

Perhaps in a bit of gamesmanship, Maddon reversed course at the end of last season and started eight right-handed batters in a game versus Romero. He allowed seven runs in one inning of work.

Soon, the rest of the league figured out Romero’s achilles, and it was not uncommon to see multiple left-handed hitters in lineups versus Romero. However, this doesn’t fully explain what went wrong with the pitcher in 2012, as Romero went from a pitcher who exuded command of the strike zone to one who had little control whatsoever with any pitch in his arsenal.

Earlier, I wrote glowingly of Romero’s off-speed pitch, but it’s only as effective as its use, and like most change ups,  it’s best used when a pitcher is ahead in the count. If a pitcher can’t get ahead in the count with a first pitch strike, and what ever comes after, it’s largely neutralized. The results of the 2012 season for Romero were disastrous.

It was such a discouraging season that the Blue Jays sent Romero to Class-A Dunedin to start the 2013 season in an environment wherein he could rework his repertoire. Unfortunately, Josh Johnson’s inflamed triceps muscle and a subsequent trip to the Disabled List meant that Romero would be called back up to the Majors ahead of schedule.

His first start lasted just four innings. After going once through the batting order, he allowed three runs on three hits and three walks, hitting batter and throwing a wild pitch the second time around. On Wednesday night, he made his second start of the 2013 season against Maddon and the Rays. It didn’t go very well.

The Tampa Bay manager started four left-handed batters against Romero, leaving right-handed batters Ryan Roberts and Sean Rodriguez on the bench in favor of Sam Fuld, Kelly Johnson, James Loney and Luke Scott. The three who faced Romero, before he was mercifully pulled from the game, went three-for-three, all on line drive singles, pulled into right field.

Romero only registered a single out. Here is the order of what happened to him:

  • Walk;
  • Single;
  • Walk;
  • Single (one run scored);
  • Single (one run scored);
  • Fly out;
  • Single (one run scored);

Looking solely at the outcomes, one might wonder if Romero’s departure from the game was premature. However, those thoughts are quickly dismissed by anyone watching the shattered pitcher perform in a manner reminiscent of a Richie Tenenbaum breakdown. It would’ve hardly have been surprising to see Romero remove his cleats and one sock if he was left in any longer.


Romero threw 29 pitches. Only 16 were strikes.

In the aftermath of this disaster, fans and national columnists alike have questioned the Blue Jays front office for promoting Romero when he clearly wasn’t ready to face big league batters. Some have gone so far as to suggest that Toronto has been negligent in their treatment of the once-prized pitcher.

There are few things that rub me the wrong way about this attitude. First of all, the Minor Leagues are not some magical kingdom wherein the ghost of Mel Queen visits you at night and leads you on an adventure that allows you to discover the non-existant key to pitching. Dunedin is not the Legend of Zelda, and Ricky Romero isn’t Link.

Secondly, Romero was simply unable to throw strikes. I’m not sure what type of coaching program is going to change this, but again, I think it’s naive to believe such a problem is dependent on taking more time at the Minor League level. I despise the idea of relying on an appeal to authority for an argument, but when the alternative viewpoint is held by a fan who wrote the team off two weeks into the season and believed Munenori Kawasaki to be a diamond in the rough that the rest of baseball was foolish to look past, I’ll trust the perspective of a front office who chose to bring up Romero and is committed to paying the pitcher a minimum of $23 million over the next three years.

Will Romero ever recover the ability that he exhibited before his untimely talent collapse? I don’t know, but I am aware that the answer isn’t as easy as a mere Minor League assignment. This isn’t a video game, where suddenly a pitcher goes from unprepared to ready. It’s a bit more nuanced than that.

The team isn’t where most fans imagined it would be at this point, and sadly, neither is Ricky Romero. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t try and give both the team and the pitcher every opportunity imaginable to succeed. Sometimes, it will work out. Sometimes, as we saw on Wednesday night, it just won’t work out at all.

Early on Thursday morning, the Blue Jays announced that Ricky Romero has been optioned to Triple-A Buffalo. Edgar Gonzalez was also designated for assignment to create room for Ramon Ortiz and Mickey Storey who were both called up from the Bisons.

Comments (143)

  1. Were the singles really line drives? I thought I remembered ground balls (granted, sharply-hit ground balls).

  2. Is not commenting on this post a thing?

    Fuck off Parkes?

    Love the Richie Tenenbaum analogy. What does RickRo’s sister look like?

    It is just a sad sad thing to see the promise slip away, or maybe it was all an illusion. But Christ, is he done.

    • Now remember something: when Ricky was brought up in the first place he was a bust. He had a 4.96 ERA in double-A in 2008, and 4.55 total between New Hampshire and Syracuse. The Jays only let him break camp because Brad Arnsberg put his job on the line to get him up. And he did okay in 2009, led the league in wild pitches but didn’t embarrass himself or Arnsberg. So he was already written off before he even showed up, basically as “the guy who was taken instead of Tulowitzki”, and then proved everybody wrong and became an opening day starter and an all-star. He did it once, I sure as hell hope he can do it again.

  3. They just optioned him to Buffalo.

    I was at his first start last Friday. He looked like the Ricky of old for the first three innings…even saw a tiny little smirk as he walked off after an inning-ending strikeout in the third. And then he walked a guy to lead off the fourth. As ball four crossed you could literally see his head unravel. He just looked like a different pitcher, even his mechanics felt different. I’m not an expert, obviously, but I’m watching this happen and I’m thinking to myself, you can make all the mechanical changes you want to this guy, and they might work, but it’s 100% mental. This isn’t like Halladay, because Doc has a different type of mind and you can see that in the results of his original rebuild and what he’s about to go through now in Philadelphia. If I’m the Jays, I’m finding the best sports psychologist out there and he/she should be on a private plane to Buffalo as we speak.

    • This…which is why Parkes is wrong.

      Romero should have shown at least two consecutive quality starts at each level of the minors before being promoted to the next level, to show that he could repeat success. This would have been the best chance at building up his confidence along the way.

      I didn’t agree with the call-up at the time because of this. Call up one of the AAA guys at THAT time because their results would likely be equal or better to RR’s 2012 MLB track record. Now, I don’t think they should even consider calling up RR until he has 3-4 consecutive quality starts in Buffalo. Good fucking luck, RR!

    • Amen… The guy needs a couch, not a coach.

  4. They had him down there to get his head straight. Even if it meant burning a game, I think they should not have brought him back up in these circumstances. Yesterday will not have helped his development at all. He didn’t yet have confidence and it really showed last night. They will probably have to start all over again with him.

    In other news, the Red Sox collapse in the past few games? It’s our fault for accusing Little Clay Bucholtz of doctoring the ball. It’s a distraction for the pitchers etc etc

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2013/05/08/distractions-and-injuries-hurting-red-sox-pitching-staff/gIojx1atbfZ5DQ6Gt938yI/story.html

    • Hayhurst was 100% right: every pitcher on every team uses something. If you go after Buchholz someone’s going to get your guy too. I’m sure at least one pitcher on the Jays uses the same sunscreen.

      • I find it hard not to question pitchers who use sunscreen in a closed dome

        • lol…. I never even thought of it that way. Pure Gold. Even know”the boston red sux” say that Clay doesn’t use sunscreen. I still want to know, wtf was on his arm.

  5. Quite a contrast in Romero’s demeanor when he left the game last night from last year. I recall last year he would go all apeshit when he came out of an inning even if it was relatively harmless. At least he’s learned some humility.

    • Or it’s just apathy.

      • I think last year he was furious because Farrell had called him out in the media. If I recall correctly that was just before the incident. So it may have been a private beef between him and Farrell.

    • I think it’s a combination of being kind of broken and at that all-time low, and having some of the older pitchers around and potentially realizing that throwing a fit is a bit untoward.

    • Or he feels defeated.

  6. Parkes – I notice you make no reference to Romero’s TWTW over the past few years?!?! It would add so much more to your article.

  7. The world would be a better place if this were in fact the case: “magical kingdom wherein the ghost of Mel Queen visits you at night and leads you on an adventure that allows you to discover the non-existant key to pitching”

  8. Who fits into the rotation now that Romero is back in AAA for a long time coming up?

  9. Nice piece Parkes. You’re always searching for the balance between the analytics and the human element.

  10. I just don’t get it, and I don’t think anyone does. I appreciate the left-handed splits analysis, and that definitely plays a role, but as Parkes said himselft, it’s not the whole story. The dude just can’t throw the ball over the plate. What continues to frustrate me is why and how. He did this very well for 3 years. Then, all of a sudden, last year he forgets how to throw the ball and it continues into this year. I really can’t think of another case where a young pitcher slowly progressed steadily to show increasing improvement over 3 years (again, not just a fluke one year), and then out of nowhere, just starts becoming the worst starter in baseball. Honestly, it must just be 100% mental. Either way, sadly I think Romero is toast. I know Parkes pleads for patience and support, and I wish I could give that, but Romero has shown nothing indicating he will ever be a good major league pitcher again. Fuck.

    • It happens more often than you think. I remember these guys brought up a Jonathan Sanchez comp last year and I think it’s pretty fitting. When you throw a lot of balls and walk a lot of guys, you tend to try and slow things down as a pitcher and just try and throw strikes. Unfortunately for Rickey, his fastball got fucking hammered last year when he got into these situations.

      If there’s one silver-lining, his changeup looked filthy in his first start.

  11. Let me preface this by saying I am still an AA fan and a Gibbons fan and I still think this is a good team and we will be competitive for the next few years.

    I am not Chicken Little.

    And I even like Romero and hope he does well.

    Having said all that, I think he’s done like Josh Towers. Or Gustavo Chacin. Let him pitch in triple A. Maybe if he gets down to 2 walks or less a game with strikeouts, like 10 games in a row, maybe then we bring him back up.

    Any word on McGowan? Hutch? Drabek? Wasn’t there a guy they drafted last year that is major league ready?

  12. I’m pretty sure Dunedin IS the Legend of Zelda, and Ricky Romero IS Link..

  13. Maddon got inside his head and ruined him, plain and simple. Last night he simply finished what he started. Well played, Mr. Maddon, well played. We’ll probably one day find out that Joe also paid off Mrs America to dump poor Ricky, because that’s the other marker that seems to coincide with his sudden & dramatic decline into irrelevance and beyond. #headgames

  14. Bugger.

    There’s really nothing else to say when your team’s 2011 All Star pitcher (snuck in – didn’t play, but still) goes missing in action like this.

  15. Wilner was on with Jeff Blair a few minutes ago and said that Morrow is having back problems too, and that the Jays would like to push back his start.

    • Is it just because I pay most of my attention to the Jays that it seems like they have so many injuries?

      I’d love some empirical analysis of this… lord knows I’m too lazy to do it for myself.

    • OK, is NOW the time to start to seriously question the training/medical staff of this fucking organization? How many sore backs, arm strains, TJS’s and other assorted shit needs to occur before somebody cleans house?

      Of all the extra resources that have been put into this team (more scouting, better minor league arrangements, more international free agent spending, higher MLB payroll, etc.), has Rogers/Beest/Ninja assembled the best medical/training staff in MLB? All the other investments pretty much get wiped out if the intended 25 man MLB roster can’t stay healthy for more than two fucking days at a time.

      • Totally agreed. And I know Stoeten hates on this idea, but I think there really may be something to the role the medical / training staff plays. In the NBA, teams like Phoenix are famous for the excellent staffs, while the Trailblazers doctors arguably ruined Greg Oden. In hockey, the Sens staff is legendary for getting guys back on the ice sooner. Training staffs do make a difference, and in Toronto, it just seems this shit is happening too often. It’s entirely possible our staff is part of the problem. We need to bring in the best doctors and pilfer from other teams that manage to keep their guys healthy.

        • Nothing wrong with the training staff. I just looked at the injuries around the league and Toronto is about par with the rest of the the league. Some teams are just getting decimated with injuries like the Yankees and the aforementioned Dodgers.

          Pitching 100 innings every five games or playing everyday for 100+ games, you should expect guys getting sore or stiff. It’s happening everywhere, not just here in the centre of the universe.

  16. Ramon Ortiz is now in the Jays rotation . . . for one putrid start, then he’ll be designated for assignment like the other 75 pitchers we’ve brought up this year for one day,

    Can we just pick one shitballer and stick with him rather than rotating in the garbage? Wouldn’t that instill confidence in one guy instead of having everyone looking over their shoulders?

    • How do you instill confidence into a shitballer by letting them repeatedly give up 6 runs in 3 innings? I’m sure if any of them had actually performed, they’d still be here.

    • Who’s Laffey-ing now?

    • This is what happens when you blow first round picks on “near major league read” pitchers like chad jenkins and Deck Mcguire in the first round. low end college arms that are not so safe as it seems. We got nothing we can bring up to spot start that doesn’t completely suck.

      the concept of “safe” picks in the baseball draft is stupid. everyone is a huge risk..so why not take risk on someone that has an actual celing higher than craig grebecks knees.

  17. I don’t know … I lost count of the times Romero was ahead 0-2 in the count, only to give up what seemed like a fortunate hit off a groundball, or get battled back to 3-2 before issuing a walk. The fly balls could easily have been outs too. The walks … fine, but even there I saw evidence of a few key strikes being called balls.

    I’ve seen some appalling Romero outings, but I was willing to give him the benefit on this one, and I was surprised when Gibbons pulled him as it seemed like there was a lot of bad luck mixed in.

    That combined with a first turn through the order which looked like old Romero last week, and I thought there was evidence of a real change for the better. But called up too soon and better off at Buffalo right now? … Yeah I’ll buy that.

    • except that anything he threw over the plate was hit.

    • I agree Romero had some bad luck (ground balls bouncing through that could have been double play balls). But at the same time, he walked 2 in one inning and even the out he got was a line drive. Everyone was turning on his pitches.

      I LOVE how Gibbons has been pulling guys before the game gets out of hand. If we were a game over .500 and in the mix, sure let guys try and battle through. But we need to try and stay in and win every game. Fuck making guys feel good at this point. Same thing with sitting JPA. Oh he’s butthurt? Good come on in and pinch hit a HR then.

  18. Good news everyone! John Lott says Osuna is in Florida getting his sore elbow checked out by some doctor

  19. STRANGE DAY OUT HERE AT WINDSWEPT FIELD

  20. dont defend the blue jays front office, ricky should not have been in there.
    look at Dickey. He’s had a bad back for how long now? He even came out and said he wasnt feeling 100% on the mound. and yet they keep starting him out of pathetic desperation to turn the season around and please the fans.

    I especially love how they brought ricky back against the rays after what happened last year. what a joke. I have a hard time believing there wasnt somebody else they could have called up or moved out of the bullpen rather than to let ricky get walked on which was obviously going to happen.

    With any luck Gibbons will be out of a job by 2014.

  21. big boy pants, that is all

  22. I feel really bad for Ricky; it must genuinely suck to be on your way to the top and then so suddenly fall off such a drastic cliff.

    He still gets paid, so I don’t feel that badly, but man that was a mistake bringing him back.

    My genuine worry here is that it came at a really bad time, as the team was just getting some swagger back, building some confidence. They jump ahead to a 2-0 lead against a hot pitcher, and then he comes out and….that happens. Bummer man, I really hope they don’t let this crash the party.

    Then again, Price is pitching tonight, and that does not bode well for us.

    • Stay positive. Price is pitching but so is Dickey. And Price has looked just as bad this year. It’s an even matchup and we are finally hitting a bit. And our bullpen is way better than the Rays right now.

      I think we get this one.

      Then we face the Red Sox who are already turning into pumpkins.

      We also have 2 days off next week so that buys us time as far as the rotation goes.

      • Yeah thank god for the days off.

        Price always seems to have his best stuff against us, but this is a different team so we shall see. I always watch anyway, to torture myself.

        I feel that we are gonna rake against the Sox, I just have this feeling, and I’m excited for this series.

  23. “Romero, whose best asset had always been his change up, isn’t a typical left-handed pitcher. His arsenal of pitches, including his beloved off-speed offering, all move away from left-handed batters and in on right-handed batters.”

    I think this sounds wrong. So the “typical” lefties slider and fastball moves in on a lefties hands? Maybe a two-seam fastball does. Romeros change up actually seems to tail from righties and into lefties based on your produced chart which better explains the reverse splits because it moves into the inner half of the plate on a lefty and to the outer half on a righty which is tougher to pull.

    Don’t all lefty batters facing a lefty pitcher “see the ball come from the inside of him and watch it end up on the outside of him”?

    • Yes. Doesn’t seem correct. Romeros change up does not move from left to right (pitches perspective). If it did, it would actually be tougher on lefties and easier on righties. It’s one of the reasons most pitchers dont throw same side hitters change ups.

  24. You’re right about 1 thing Stoeten. A minor rehab appearance is not the answer. The answer should be several minor league appearances. Whether we like it or not, we have a vested interest in this guy with millions more owed to him. We obviously aren’t going to cut him.

    We cannot have this guy imploding on a major league roster, he needs to work on mechanics and learn to throw strikes. I don’t buy into the righty vs lefty thing because it’s clear that this guy doesn’t know where his pitches are going. The L vs R argument should only hold value if Ricky was trying to pitch them a particular way or work one side of the plate. He has absolutely no control of his pitches right now

    I was saying from the second the announcement was made to bring him up that this was a mistake. I realize we don’t have great options in his place but this is not the answer. Trying to figure things out at the big league level when you’ve lost 13 of your last 14 starts is not the answer. Simply put, he needs more time starting back at square one.

    The guy has been awful, no question, but I’m still not ready to give up on him. Some of the positives last night were that his ball still has a tonne of movement on it, maybe too much? I also thought he got squeezed a bit on a few pitches because he didn’t show he could consistently throw strikes. Also, none of the hits were hard at all. I thought Rajai had a chance at the Longoria single, and the other hits were seeing eye ground balls through the infield.

    • Drew, not Stoeten.

      And the righty/lefty stuff is not something to buy into or not – it’s just part of the history of what happened to Ricky. We all agree going forward that his command is crap against both sides and that this is the problem.

      And yes he got unlucky last night. But walking two guys is what made the unlucky hits hurt. And those unlucky ground balls were still being pulled and hit square.

    • The new mechanics work, if his first three innings in Seattle are an indication. He just cannot hold them together yet.

  25. I made a really delicious hamburger last night. Also, it was Ryan O’Byrne’s fault, not Phaneuf’s!

    • It was both, O’Byrne shouldve closed the gap on Krecji earlier, but Phanuef shouldnt have tried to pinch at the offensive blue line in OT.

      And Rickey shouldve thrown strikes.
      And DeRosa shouldve hit at least a single with the bases loaded.

      And hindsight is a delicious thing

      • Are O’Byrne,Krecji and Phaneuf part of the Tanenbaum vs Ghandi show?

      • O’Byrne was playing it like a pure 2 on 1 (cutting off the pass). The back checking forwards should have been screaming at him because he didn’t know they were there.

        Reimer also should have made that save.

  26. That strength conditioning dude that is always sitting in the Jays dugout needs to be tied to a poll and them summarily executed by firing squad. I blame EVERYTHING on him. He has the anti-Midas touch. Everyone he touches turns to excrement.

  27. Well with the investment that they put into Rickey I would say they are going to work him pretty hard in AAA to get him back on track. Will it happen, maybe not, but they have to try, 23mil is a lot of chinga to have nothing to show for it. I don’t know the how he will turn it around but the decision to not have to make it happen in the big leagues is the right one. He has to figure shit out.

  28. Well, using MLB Gameday yesterday, many of Romeros pitches were strikes that were just called balls. According to gameday some were well within the strike zone and called balls.

    I dunno how accurate MLB gameday is but it looked like horrible calls over and over.

    • Horrible calling of balls and strikes is not limited to Romero or Blue Jay games. It has been happening in a lot of games with a lot of different teams. On a different but related note, last night, Angel Hernandez actually got a HR call wrong twice. He called it wrong on the field and called it wrong off the replay. Hard to believe that level of incompetence exists.

  29. Carlos Villanueva would sure come in handy right now….

    Maybe the Jays will find ways to win when they are the underdogs due to all these injuries. They sure have had trouble winning wihen everyone expected them to win.

  30. This season exemplifies the saying “You can never have too much starting pitching.”

  31. By the way, Parkes, that title only works if you pronounce Romero ‘Rom’ero’ instead of ‘Romairo’. Just sayin’.

  32. I’m not sure I agree with invoking Zelda in defense of this call-up. It’s apparent to anyone who watched that third of an inning that he wasn’t ready and should not have been called up after just one good start in Single-A.

    It was just a poor decision to bring him here, and a predictably poor one. The guy couldn’t throw strikes for an entire year, then he was one game against kids where he does, and you don’t wait for any pattern of consistency to emerge prior to pitting him against Big Leaguers?

    That’s just poor judgment. I would say the licks being taken for that decision are justified.

  33. I have come to accept the fact that Romero is officially the second coming of Dontrelle Willis. I remember watching a game against Texas last year on a Wednesday in early May in the afternoon when the Blue Jays built an 8-1 lead after 4 innings. When Romero came out to pitch the 5th inning he was horrible. He couldn’t throw a strike and almost didn’t get through the inning to make himself the pitcher of record. That day seemed to be the beginning of the end. He hasn’t been right since. One other thing, why is it every single time the Blue Jays lock up a young player with a long term deal, his ass goes right in the tank? Adam Lind, Aaron Hill, Romero, Alex Rios and Vernon Wells all come to mind, I’ll bet the rest of you guys can name more. That is what really frustrates me.

    • Its interesting the number of names you mentioned that ended up sucking after we thought they would be stars. however, there is also lots of guys we resigned who live up to their contracts – Jose Bautista, Roy Halliday come immediatley to mind. I think the thing is that it is extremely rare for players to be able to put up consistant “star” seasons. 1 or 2 sure, but if you think about it for Vernon Wells to live up to that contract he essentiall has to be a hall of famer. You also have to remember that contracts are way more about past performance than future: for instance, when V. Wells was up for that contract, the Jays are paying him because of what he has already done since they can’t very well predict the future and then that has to be balanced against what other teams would probably be willing to pay him vs what you could get for him in a trade and tons of other decisions. It would nice if fans were as savy about contracts as they were about stats.
      Consider this: The Leafs signed Jason Blake coming off a 40 goal season and paid him like he would score 40 again. Unfortunaley he was hated by the fan base because he couldnt live up the money. However, if he played the exact same way but was paid more in line with his talent., he certainly would have been a fan favorite since he was actually a really good and useful 2/3 line player.

      • Keep in mind, when they gave Vernon that monster contract, Bernie Williams of the Yankees was entering his final year of his career and it was no secret the Yankees would need a centerfielder, with Vernon being the obvious choice to replace him. I always felt Paul Godfrey gave Vernon that contract to keep the Yankees from signing him as much as anything. The irony of course, is that Vernon wound up with the Yankees.

  34. Seems like it all started to go downhill for Ricky when he stopped dating Miss USA…

  35. *more woe

  36. Come on this is just sloppy headlining. If you remove the “the” from the second line you would have a matching iambic pentametre; though the 10/11 foot set up is not technically wrong it could have matched perfectly. You should be ashamed.

    • That’s what I was thinking too.

      Okay not really.
      Now I’m ashamed .

    • You are a sick sick man. And so am I, because I thought the same thing.

      Actually, I think the problem is also the “Never has there”. Replace it with “There’s never” and the stresses in the first line line up more nicely, with dactyls replacing iambs. The real problem is the amphibrach ‘Romero’, which is a bugger to make fit.

    • It still doesn’t really work though. Probably better to go with both lines in iambic (I think) pentameter:

      Never has there been/a tale of such woe
      As that of pitcher/R. Ro’me’ro

      • Dammit I missed a foot out of that second line…
        So maybe mangle his name some more: ‘as that of pitcher R. Rom’i'er’o

  37. Never get out of the boat. Absolutely goddamn right. Unless you were going all the way.

    Ricky got off the boat. He split from the whole fucking program.

  38. Forgive the narrative, but the team needs Dickey, Morrow, and Buehrle to “come up big” in their next starts.

    Between the two off days around the SF series and the hopeful return of JJ, things have the potential to be okay in the short term.

    In the medium term (until Happ returns), unless “they like what they are seeing” from someone in either AA or AAA, my vote is for Cecil to be stretched out.

    I know that he has done well in the bullpen role, but Loup has been fine, it appears that Oliver is back on track, and all signs say that Santos should return soon. So the loss to the pen is somewhat mitigated.

    Start Cecil on Sunday in Boston, with a “Charlie Wholstaff” as the other half of the plan. The two off days will give his spot a chance to pushed back, and he can stretch out a bit in bullpen sessions.

    Outside of a trade, which is historically unlikely this time of year, I can’t think of a better idea.

  39. I would leave Cecil right where he is and not take the chance on screwing him up for the rest of the season.

    • No risk, no reward.

    • Also, if they don’t at least tread water this month, the “rest of the season” won’t matter.

      If he has some success he can perhaps turn into the reliable “swing man” that will give AA the confidence to go to a 7 man pen after Happ’s return and thus improve the bench, or he becomes that depth starter that will allow AA to look for something other than pitching if he’s in the market come the deadline.

      Risk yes, but the rewards could be good, while the failure of plan ‘B’ could be too much for the 2013 Jays to bear.

  40. Morrow hurt. Critical mass.

    Radical “save the season” plan:
    -Call up Juan Perez.
    -Stretch out Cecil.
    -Call up Dave Bush.
    -Stretch out Lincoln.

    Give Ortiz and Vargas a couple spot starts while Lincoln and Cecil get up to speed to see if they have anything left in those tanks (unlikely).

    Then continue to sign some more Zambrano/Sanchez retread types for AAA.

  41. I had such high hopes for a RR rebound this year. I watched the first inning, even though i changed the channel a dozen times on shit pitches. He was brought back too soon, but i think most of us were hoping, even for a second, or 3 innings last week, that the RR we loved in 2011 was back. But, hes not finished yet, lets see what happens when we see him later in the season.

    soooo, who the fuck are the starters now? Happ out, When is JJ back?

  42. No new posts today?

  43. Every fucking year this team is bitten hard by the injury bug. It cant all be bad luck, no? I mean certain injuries the happ one are but for the most part what is the deal with injuries and this team? How many starters have other AL east teams lost to the DL? I dont think 1 and the jays are down 3 or 4 already.

  44. Jon Heyman just dropped a Kazmir comeback tweet in which he states that Kaz is “only 29″. RickRo is “only 28″. So there’s that.

  45. All he needs to do is “pitch like a man”…I mean c’mon, he doesn’t remember that?

  46. get rid of romero he’s a fucking shitbag

    • Anyone shitting on RR right now is a fucking asshole. As if he’s not the one who feels worst about this. You’re an asshole.

  47. His Miss World or Miss Universe or whatever girlfriend was picked up for DUI, they broke it off, and his pitching plummeted. You can say that something like that wouldn’t bother a pro athlete (especially for that long) but look at how emotional RR is. When he was good, he was liable to have a meltdown if he didn’t strike out the side. She was always at the games when they were dating, sitting with his parents at Rogers Centre and everything. That relationship messed him up and he’s still messed up.

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