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After much scuttlebutt and popular sentiment that may have suggested the contrary, John Lott of the National Post tweeted out this nicely framed (sorry, Shi) shot of the Jays’ lineup card for tonight’s game against Barves, showing that Brett Lawrie is indeed in the lineup again for the Jays.

It’s mildly surprising, of course, given that Lawrie could have easily been told to sit following last night’s death stare at Adam Lind and Luis Rivera at third base, after his fly out to shallow right field.

Richard Griffin said today in the Toronto Star that “It may be the most disgraceful exhibition of me-first mentality I can recall in 40 years around the major-league game,” figuring that “it will be a long time before Jays’ young star will ever convince anyone about his desire to contribute on the field ‘for the team’.”

I dunno… maybe?

There’s obviously no defending Lawrie– he’s either being either hopelessly dumb or hopelessly selfish– but it seemed to me like it was handled pretty well (read: awesomely) in the dugout immediately afterward.

GibbyTheBest. And Bautista too.

If they lose, and there’s no spectacular Munenori Kawasaki post-game interview, maybe things are different. Maybe the media zeroes in on Lawrie, the incident, and what can be generously labelled as his “quirks,” and the Jays feel they need to do something more.

We, I think, and certainly Lawrie, are better off for not having had to endure all that. No, it may not seem ideal to fans who still cling to the iron-fisted approach as some absurd management ideal, and want to pounce on this as yet another example of Lawrie’s inability to function as a human being required to interact with other, more reasonable and rational humans, that needs to be corrected in some kind of cartoonishly over-the-top show of managerial strength, but in the sane world there’s just so much that we don’t know about Lawrie’s relationship with his teammates and coaches that any attempt to distill enough meaning from this, or some combination of previous incidents, in order to seriously suggest such things is pretty fucking feeble.

If he were still doing it at 28-years-old and not as a coddled-all-the-way bonus baby prospect who’s had marketing department smoke blown up his ass since the moment he arrived in Toronto, you’d be a little more concerned. If it were handled the way John Farrell might have handled it, you’d be a little more concerned, too. Yet, if he was doing it while hitting the cover off the ball as the Jays curbstomped their way through the AL East standings, it probably would be less of a thing. I think that means there’s some nuance to how it could be handled, and that the appropriate response to it is somewhere between the poles created by those who shat on anyone suggesting Lawrie’s petulance was an issue after he threw his helmet at an umpire last year, and those who want to run him down to the minors as though that’s the only way to “send a message.”

I don’t know. It’s over, and they need him.

And they especially need him to figure it the fuck out at the plate.

That’s because if you listened to Mike Wilner for long enough following Sunday’s ridiculous, heartening walk-off win over the Orioles, you’d know that May 4th is now the arbitrary end-point du jour. Since that day’s 8-1 R.A. Dickey blow-up against the Mariners, the Jays have now gone 11-8– a 94-win pace! Except… with 50 games now in the books, and the Jays at 21-29, simply maintaining that pace would take them to a whole 85 wins.

Contrary to what much of the narrative has been, that’s not the case because of how poorly the club played early in April, but because of their staggeringly awful period that ended on that May 4th: a 2-10 stretch in Baltimore, New York, and at home to Boston and Seattle, which began with seven games decided by two runs or less, over which the Jays went 1-6.

At a more-respectable-than-you-remember 8-13 after going to Baltimore and dropping their first two games, the tension in the fan base was palpable, yet the season was still young enough that fighting back against those jumping off the bandwagon was the perfectly sensible response. In Another Loss… I pointed out the fact that even the 1992 Jays had a 2-12 stretch at one stage, blissfully unaware that the Jays were in the midst of piling a similar run on top of an already poor start.

It changed things. The first month’s reassuring refrain in the face of the braying morons predicting certain doom–”It’s early”– turned hollow as the club dug themselves a hole that likely will prove too difficult to climb out of. Turning in their best three weeks of the season since then has only allowed to Jays to keep pace. They were 10.5 games back in the AL East when they woke up to close out their series with Seattle on May 5th, and they’re 9.5 games behind today.

During that stretch, even what seemed to be an unthinkable, season-turning extra-inning victory over the Orioles and closer Jim Johnson, who generously walked Maicer Izturis with the bases loaded to put the Jays on top in the 11th, didn’t do what we all hoped that it would and spark them.

That in mind, perhaps you’ll forgive me if I just couldn’t breathlessly rush to a computer following yesterday’s big uplift.

It was a fantastic moment, yes, and especially nice to see the team still mustering the kind of enthusiasm that I simply couldn’t, but… I don’t know. These have been the dog days of May, and personally, maybe I’m just not quite ready to be able to settle in and enjoy each game for what it is. The early season battling with negative suckholes, followed by the crushing losses of the 2-10 stretch that sunk things even lower, was simply exhausting. So, too, is the fight to maintain the hope that something exceptional can still come from this group, even as some kind of a turnaround genuinely seems to have begun.

Depressing, huh? But at least that fight, unlike the one against a world that doesn’t sufficiently punish Lawrie’s latest juvenile stupidity, or the hilariously butthurt one against the entire state of affairs, is worth continuing. There’s still time for a massive run of some kind– or at least one that puts the Jays in position to more realistically dream on another, slightly less miraculous one– it’s just going to keep on being hard to stomach until it happens, I think. Fortunately yesterday we had Kawasaki and Gibby around to keep things from being even worse. Now a win, or four, against the Braves could really make this team watchable again, because even with the baseball having been better over the last three weeks, they haven’t quite got there yet.

Comments (95)

  1. Brett Lawrie is older than me and I can see what a tool he is, why are we pretending that being 23 and a half is practically still a child? How long does that go on for, are you suggesting til age 28?

    • Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m fucking suggesting.

      People mature at different rates, you understand, yes? Think it might be harder to learn be self critical if you’re a) not wired that way, b) a coddled athlete, c) the subject of multi-million dollar tire-pumping marketing campaigns? I’m not saying it’s OK because he’s still young, but maybe try to understand it in something slightly above the most reductive way possible.

      • Oh come on, being a professional baseball player should make it EASIER to understand why Lind wasnt sent home. He’s an immature baby for his age, not because of his age. It’s his own fault he’s a tool, not because of whatever you’re trying to suggest here

      • To be clear, I’m not suggesting we bench him or trade him or something, I’m just wondering why were making excuses for him

    • 28 is still a child to me. It’s all relative. 23 is young for a pro athlete. You can compare it to yourself all you want, but odds are that (a) you aren’t a millionaire, (b) you aren’t a superstar athlete and (c) you aren’t/weren’t both of them at age 23.

      • lawrie is not a millionaire. thank fucking god. if he ever becomes one, wont be surprised when he gets pulled over going 220 in his bugati

      • Ok maybe you guys are so old that you’re confusing his age with a high school student, but at almost 24, he might just be a tool.

        • This is mature.

        • have to disagree. You will see when you get a little older. I’m 31, and I can now see what a complete asshole I was as a 23 year old. So were all my friends. Now we are suburban dads who laugh at all the stupid shit we did, said, and thought at 23. Love seeing Gibby and Bautista educating him.

          • All I have to do is look into the archives of this blog, which I started at twenty-fucking-six, to see what a gigantic world of difference in maturity there is between that age and now at thirty-goddamn-two. I can’t even imagine what horrors I’d find if I’d been writing in public at 23 or since the same age that Lawrie hit the public eye.

            So… yeah. Totally.

            • I’m 35…but I still really loved that old, immature blog :)

            • Ahhh, maybe…I’m kind of seeing your perspective this morning…hopefully he can get it together some day, it’s possibly he gets it eventually…I wonder if anyone would care if he was living up to the hype he had when he first came up. Him struggling makes some of his actions so annoying to sit through.

            • Ahhh, maybe…I’m kind of seeing your perspective this morning…hopefully he can get it together some day, it’s possibly he gets it eventually…I wonder if anyone would care if he was living up to the hype he had when he first came up. Him struggling makes some of his actions so annoying to sit through.

  2. I agree. No point benching him.

    Selfish or dumb… I don’t know.

    I’m more concerned with him showing up a member of the coaching staff like that.

  3. I know that I may seem extremely stupid, but at what point does the team cut its ties with him if his antics and attitudes continue? in 2014, or beyond?

    • Not going to happen. He has the right passport and plays great defense at 3rd. He would have to do way more wrong for the team to get rid of him.

      • I agree about the defense, part but could you argue that if he wasn’t canadian, he would be down in triple AAA right now

        • And who would replace him at 3B?

        • Who is the 3B fill in? Unless you want Derosa’s glove and bat every day, calling up Laroche from the Bisons or Mike McCoy’s glove and noodle bat, there’s no one to replace Lawrie at 3rd base.

          • Derosa has the same amount of runs in half the at bats. I would prefer to have him platoon with Brett until he gets his bat and his act together.

        • No, you cannot. Defense is too good and the bat is not bad enough. Plus no one to replace him. If the season were lost completely then maybe for him to just work on things but i doubt it.

          • You guys are all missing the point. Lawrie should be developing in the MINORS. So should be a lot of other kids on the Jays, for example JP.
            AA is actually harming their development by playing them so much.
            Who would replace them? That’s AA’s job! Thats what Rogers Cable hired him for.
            They didn’t hire him to mess up the development of kids.
            Even if he has to trade for some cheap veterans to replace them for a few months.
            Thats what the minors are for!

            I can’t understand why most of you think AA is a genius. He’s not… far from it.
            It almost seems like he is making panic moves just to gain a few more wins, but its all backfiring.

    • lol yeah that is extremely stupid.

      What has Lawrie even done so far thats offended you so much? The ejection was a bullshit call that doesnt happen to anyone else. In fact? I saw improvement. Last year youd have Farrell in between him and the ump trting to stop Lawrie from ripping his head off. Now, he walked away with his mouth shut, and “threw his gloves in a bad way”. Im sure he’ll learn from that event too.

      Meanwhile, what else has he done this year to warrant even remotely thinking abiut this? Yiu simply cannot just “cut ties” with a kid with all this talent, who ALREADY plays gold glove caliber defense, because yiu personally dont loke him and hes too much of a meathead for you.

      Is he probably a douchebag? Sure. So dont hang out with him. Is he also the kind of young talent teams drool over? Yes, he is. And frankly, his shortcomings are a million times more fixable then the shortcomings of most other players his age (i.e. not talented enough to ever be an elite player).

      Its ludacris.

    • Or put in a shorter way:

      Youve got a 23 y/o kid whose put up 5.1 WAR in 204 MLB games. And youre honestly even considering “cutting ties” because of what you percieve his personality to be? There are far bigger assholes in baseball then Brett Lawrie.

      • Thing is, is he that talented? On defense he is a fucking monster, sure. On offense, holy shit is he unwatchable. Swinging at terrible pitches, hitting tons of grounders. This was a guy that was supposed to be our trout or harper. It might not be fair but those were the expectations and he has disappointed.

  4. Honest question – what are the historical precedents for mercurial, ticking time-bomb players like Lawrie being successfully reined in several seasons into their major league career.

    • Mike Tyson raises pigeons now.

      Plus… who cares. I don’t like him showing up the coaches. To pretend that makes him worthless is silly. He hasn’t worn offensive eye black (not that I even care that much about that) or raped a woman (like the guy on the Rays) or been busted for DUI (too many to name). He went dumb in the heat of the moment. Everyone call him an idiot all at once and then move on.

    • Miguel Cabrera is a drunk fucking driver and Josh Hamilton is a drug addict.

      Give Lawrie a break. Dude is incredibly young, has been coddled his whole career, and in spite of his current bat work, is still an incredibly gifted athlete. He’ll figure it out, that’s what coaching is for and learning.

      Robbie Alomar spit in an Ump’s face. Barry Bonds has always been regarded as difficult. And finally, in some fitting Blue Jays connection, former Blue Jays fill-in 3B Jeff Kent is and was a complete and utter asshole his whole career.

      • Great. Nobody is saying he isn’t or can’t be a great baseball player. I’m asking whether a known asshole, for lack of a better term, was ever successfully reformed to be less of an asshole later in one’s career.

    • Milton Bradley’s shelf life was 2 years tops with a team, mind you he was more of a douche bag than Lawrie has been.

  5. Was really hoping that Gibby would have benched him for tonight after his tantrum.

  6. Thanks for the info on the 1 run losses, there sure have been a lot of them. This team is much better than there record and with Johnson hopefully figuring it out and Reyes on his way back the team is not that far out of it.

    Besides Johnson and Rodney suck now so those teams should both fall apart which will help the Jays climb.

    Go Blue Jays!!!

  7. First of all, Griffin and the majority of the other people with the pitchforks are startong off on some pretty slipppery slopes from the get go by even assuming they knew what Lawrie was so mad about.

    I would say its just as likely, maybe even more so, that Lawrie is too dumb to connect the arm strength of the the CF with the slowness of Lind and was mostly upset because he felt that run scoring was one run closer to tting the game up, then it is that he was so horriboy pissed off because HE disnt get his measly one RBI.

    I mean, for all the negatives that can be said abiut him, has there even been a whisper that he gives a shit abiut stats? We do know categorically however that he loves to win and hates to lose. Not to mention he didnt look too upset abiut it TWO MINUTES LATER when he ecstaticlly stormed the field to mob Kawasaki.

    Not to excuse what he did, he looked/acted like an idiot. But that happpens ALL THE TIME on every single team. That is, guys with an ego act like a douchebag. It should be dealt with. And itbwas. By the manager and the team leader telling him to essentially shut the fuck up and sit the fuck down. And Im sure more was said in the locker room. These things can and do get dealt with everyday in ways that are just as effective as demotions and in ways that dont require playing Mark DeRosa as a full time starter.

    • I agree. I think he wanted to win and thought that if he was on third, he would have been aggressive enough to score. I think he didn’t really realize the score, nor the implications of the positions of the runners. This argument makes far more sense to me than him caring about stats. Honestly, he has shown remarkably little in baseball IQ to this point, but he has always shown a burning desire to win. I think people far too easily assume the worst in others these days.

    • Bang on RobA. Said perfectly. I don’t get why people assume that a guy that competitive gets pissed(wrongly) at his teammates for that because he didn’t get a single fucking RBI on his stat line. It was even suggested to me on twitter by somebody that he was upset that the flyout was no longer a sacrifice and would therefore hurt his average. Like seriously?! He is simply overly competitive and his overt desire to win can negatively affect his play and attitude.

    • Agree. I didn’t read it as a selfish rant about an RBI. I thought he just wanted the team to score a run, but who really knows?

    • There is alot more important topics that could be discussed . The jays suck right now. Pitching is the worstvin the a.l. And nearly the worst in baseball. Not to mention team batting avg. What a joke

  8. Stay in the boat Stoeten. All is not lost.

  9. It’s hard to give the benefit of the doubt to a player who’s been as goddam awful as Lawrie this season.

    Maybe try and sort out his swing mechanics or something first and than go ahead with the frontal lobotomy.

    • At least the broadcast guys have quit blaming it on a lack of spring training. Morris has been critical of his ABs to lately.

      • Spring training is still part of the reason, it’s just shifted. He’s had time but because he’s had to do his spring training in the Majors for the most part, he’s ended up with a bad start and is pressing.

        He also sports a minuscule .227 BABIP which is off his career numbers and the major league average by far so his average should rebound a good 50 points without him changing his approach all that much bringing his OBP from putrid to liveable. His K rate is a bit up at 24% but that’s not the worst in the world and again I attribute it to him pressing.

        Does he figure it out soon? Who knows. But he’s not a bust, his bat hasn’t affected his glove work in the slightest, and there’s still plenty of room for him to grow. He’s still just 23. Not every player is a Trout, Harper or Machado. Most aren’t.

  10. To be come winners we have to play as a team. Lawrie is not a 15 year old child he’s a grown man making a fair wage and has a country following him. I believe send him down and show everyone including himself their is no I in team.Are we really gonna miss his bat for 10 days? Maybe he comes back with a new attitude and helps this team climb out of this dismal record. Jays need a little shake up and here is a perfect opportunity..

    • so you want to take a guy, who’s shown he’s irritable and maybe not overly rational, and piss him off? to prove a point? in your mock suggestion, who plays third? while they desperately try to climb the standings?

      • So how long do you let him get away with these outbursts until the fan base turns on him. Once that happens he will be flashing the bird when they boo him. Basically you say without him we won”t be able to even play. Don’t let this talent get out of control and be bigger then the team.

        • that sounds great when you’re coaching little league, but elite players can pretty much do whatever they want, right or wrong. You know who was an asshole? barry bonds, would you take bonds in his prime right now? I sure would. Before you say well yea but lawrie isn’t barry, no he’s not, but the point is you take talent regardless. Didn’t any of you watch wrestling as a kid? sometimes its fun to cheer on a douche bag because he’s your douchebag

          • He was dissing team mates and coaches and he’s 23 years old. Did Bonds yell at his team mates for not running on a shallow fly ball? No he hit homers Lawrie hits pop ups.I give a fuck if he gets in with the opposing team but when it comes to your own team fuck that. if he writes the ship is sinking will you sign him to a multi year contract?

          • Brett fucking Lawrie is not an “Elite Player”.

      • Derossa . Dumbass.

    • We don’t have to do anything for the Jays to start winning, the Jays do.
      And there’s also no I in the “there” you were supposed to use.

  11. How long until Gibby has a brawl with Lawrie in the clubhouse? if said brawl damages the Red Bull fridge, will Lawrie break down into tears?

  12. What a clown this guy is, Trade him, He is a cocky, useless, child like douche bag. SUCKSS

  13. I am still in the belief that if they can go on a run that gets them close to .500 in the near future history be damned this team is good enough (and getting help back re: Johnson, Reyes) to do something this year even if it is the wildcard.

  14. I’m content with trusting Gibbons’ judgment for the timebeing. He should know his players by now, so I’d expect him to have a good idea of what he needs to do to retain the respect/confidence of his players.

    I won’t second-guess him on that unless reports start to emerge that he’s losing it. Or if we see even further such flareups from Lawrie go unpunished, then I’d probably be more upset.

    This incident, looks like Gibbons gave him an earful and elected to leave it at that. I try to be selective with when I second-guess people these days, I don’t have a problem with this at all.

  15. I can see romero had another fine outing at AAA.

  16. Nailed it. It’s going to take that 11-8 pace plus an ’07-Rockies style run on top of beating the Yankees to a .750 clip the rest of the season.

  17. “No, it may not seem ideal to fans who still cling to the iron-fisted approach as some absurd management ideal, and want to pounce on it as yet another example of Lawrie’s inability to function as a human being required to interact with other, more reasonable and rational humans…”

    Do you realise how much better your writing would be if you took a scalpel to that sort of thing?

    • Do you realize how little I care what you think?

      • Do you realize how much responding undermined what you said?

        Just kidding Stoeten.

        I can see from what you wrote that you have stared long into the abyss i.e the next 4 months of the BJ’s season and come away with a serious case of thousand yard stare.

        Well it’s better than having to get a real job

    • The run on sentences are what i come for. I like writing that reflects the way my brain usually works when filled with emotion. You want fucking Haikus?

  18. So basically we need a 10-2 run to offset the staggeringly awful period that ended on May 4th

    Problem solved

    Hope it starts tonight (or last night I guess)

  19. I thought the Griffin article was a touch hysterical. Granted, there’s no way Lawrie comes out of this without looking either A) like a petulant child denied an RBI when Lind was held at third base…or B) like a stupid player for not realizing that Lind’s run meant nothing, and why potentially risk one of your final outs for a run that means nothing?
    What I’m hoping happened is that Bautista or DaRosa pulled him aside and had a quiet (or loud, either way) word with Lawrie. You don’t have to give him 7 kinds of royal shit – you just say that you don’t pull that kind of stuff ON THE FIELD – and if you’ve got a problem with a player or coach, there’s an avenue for that.
    Of course, if Lawrie got pinned up against the lockers by 2 or three players and told not to act like a spoiled douchebag…I’m OK with that, too. Either way, message sent.

  20. That’s perfectly to the point Stoeten.
    After watching a month and a half of bad baseball, we should just enjoy the fact that the Lawrie “incident” was handelled perfectly.
    Gotta like Gibbons calling Lawrie out but you have to LOVE the way Bautista came up to him and calmly explained the situation and why he was wrong, that’s leadership and that’s respect!

    Now where does the season go from here on out? I think it all depends on limiting mistakes. 2 mental mistakes in the 8th inning should ve costed us the game:
    first Gose pulls off on a 1-1 bunt attempt on a ball right down the shitter and strikes out right after. This can’t happen.
    Secondly Melky swings at a first pitch slider with bases loaded and one out and hits into a force out at home.
    Guys gotta have a better approach, they are in the bigs because they have physical aptitudes just as much as they have mental ones andit’s about time they start piecing it together. We’re making the playoffs people!

  21. Time to give Romero a break from baseball

  22. Hey, Reed Johnson used to played for the Jays. That means that he should get booed loudly every at bat, right? Right?

  23. ive never actually seen JUp play, looking forward to it.

  24. Late to the party, but I think that Lawrie should be benched today. This is a case of short-term pain for long-term gains. These type of ‘mental’ mistakes happened way too often last year and if not nipped in the bud, can turn into something worse.

    My opinion.

  25. so, what’s with the Atalanta’s stupid caps and the Jays with the big maple leaf? Is this some sort of battle re: who has the ugliest alternate cap?

  26. Maybe it’s because I didn’t catch yesterday’s game…

    But the idea of sending Lawrie down seems ridiculous. Hell, the idea of benching him for a game seems ridiculous too.

    It sounds like Gibby and Bautista handled this the right way.

  27. I want to see Gibby square off with Lawrie and engage in some good old fashion fisticuffs.

    I didn’t see the game, but I don’t get the “selfish” jab at Lawrie. Seems like he wanted the run to plate so they could like win. Still an asshole for sure though.

  28. Cletus has won Tonys love for tonight! Cletus Jr. has earned his scorn!

  29. Lawrie will never be signed longterm by the Jays. He’s too injury prone and too much a hot head. Guys like that motivate the other side to work their arse off to beat us.

    • Dude if “”motivation” was a big factor in winning at pro ball, Id be on the Jays right now.

      What you just said is one of the more ridiculous exercises in narrative building Ive seen in a while. ven if being a douche made other teams play better (it doesnt) then Lawrie would have tons of company. Yiu think hes the only douche around? Theres numerous douchebags on every team in baseball.

      You think other teams are gonna play better cause Lawrie gave the stink eye to Adam Lind? Cause thats basicllly what youre saying.

  30. When I was 23, I was dumb as fuck. Now I’m only dumb as shit. Brett will get there.

  31. [...] you hate me really? Or do you hate the way Brett Lawrie is turning out to be a coddled ass? Who is again injured by the way. Or is that R.A. Dickey is at best a number 3 starter who just [...]

  32. [...] you hate me really? Or do you hate the way Brett Lawrie is turning out to be a coddled ass? Who is again injured by the way. Or is that R.A. Dickey is at best a number 3 starter who just [...]

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