No sandwich this time, thank fuck.
Well here’s something that might– but might not– keep on turning its way into becoming a regular feature, but that I’ll make to look like one regardless, in order to keep from having it seem too terribly out of place: a collection of random thoughts ostensibly on this weekend’s baseballing, but which doesn’t actually touch on the games at all.
Except this time they’re mostly just related to today’s odd series-ending Monday matinee.
Should Of Sold High On Janssen
Should of. Casey Janssen made things a bit hairy in his save opportunity back on Saturday, and went full-blown blown save (non-save situation division) today, which… OK, if anybody was commenting on this post and saying that Janssen should be written off after a couple bad outings, I’d rightly be ripping them for it. And I’m not saying he should be written off. But a closer who isn’t overpowering and relies on nibbling, and maybe a little too heavily on favourable calls, isn’t exactly ideal, right? I’ve never quite understood Janssen’s ability to be as successful as he has, and while my lack of understanding certainly doesn’t come close to meaning it isn’t possible that he’s truly great, uh… when it starts to go south a little, on this one I’m probably going to have to be one of those assholes who’s ready to bail a little too quickly. It’s not my nature, but I just find the crazy success he’s had confounding, and would have been entirely fine with the Jays unloading him at the deadline. I just don’t go for that magical closer mentality nonsense, and see a pitcher who really has to be tremendously precise to survive. Of course, maybe [read: obviously] other teams see the same thing I do. To his credit he’s been fantastic for three seasons now, I just… yeah… I don’t know. Especially since it’s not like he has the same excuse as his bullpen-mates this year, who have been overworked considerably, having to cover for the club’s brutal starting pitching. Janssen’s thrown just 38 innings in 2013– and thanks to the one he threw today his ERA ballooned from 2.41 to 3.32. It’d be great if I could believe, but– and I’m not saying this only because of his last two outings– I just kinda can’t.
Five Reasons To Be Optimistic
Jonah Keri wrote today at Grantland about how the Jays’ run prevention has been awful for the club this year, and while I don’t want to let the pitchers off the hook quite as much as he does– they’ve been the root of everything, I’m pretty sure, no matter how terrible the defence has been– he’s certainly not wrong that there are far too many places on the diamond where even average– shit, even replacement level– guys would have made for a tremendous improvement for the club. The bright side in all this? The Jays have five excellent hitters, provided you believe in the turnaround Brett Lawrie has made since the All-Star break– which, as afraid as I am to get ahead of myself on the matter, I think I’m kinda starting to– and five defenders who are more-than-passable or better. They are, of course, the same five guys: Bautista, Encarnacion, Reyes, Lawrie and Rasmus. You can quibble about some of the defensive value elsewhere if you want, I suppose, but the point is, those are five first division players, in my book. It’s not going to be as hard patching over the rest of it as a lot of people want you to believe. I kinda think the same is true of the rotation, frankly.
How Many Fucks Does Gibby Give At This Point?
My sense is that it’s really not a whole lot. Which… I think is understandable, given the state of the team. Just keeping things calm and avoiding the ugliness of a mutiny would seem pretty close to the top of his list of things to do right now– not, by the way, teaching fundamentals, as so many local media members would love to encourage you to mindlessly fucking dull-headedly parrot. Thing is, he’s doing some noticeable damage to his reputation among the right-thinking the more he runs fucking Maicer Izturis out there in the two-hole; the more he lets Adam Lind and Colby Rasmus hit back-to-back, waiting to be buzzsawed by some anonymous, fungible lefty as soon as any situation gets tight; the more he keeps insisting– perhaps on the insistence of management, or out of fear of upsetting the apple cart– that J.P. “112 Ks to 16 BBs” Arencibia is the club’s top catcher; and the more he allows bullshit like Brett “.917 OPS in his last 120 PA” Lawrie’s fucking sac bunt in the bottom of the seventh. Because, y’know, anytime you can have a good hitter give up an out to give J.P. Arencibia and Rajai-Davis-vs.-a-right-hander a chance to knock a guy in from second, you gotta do it!
Figure it out, Gibbers.
- J.A. Happ immediately went on the bereavement list after today’s game, with Todd Redmond being recalled to rejoin the rotation, and… well… not to shit on a guy in his moment of grief, but Happ’s line today– impressive as it was– was pretty flattering. He was getting hit hard. A bunch of rockets ended up in the gloves of Jays’ defenders, believe it or not.
- I don’t know if this says more about the dearth of quality walk-up music we’ve been subjected to this year, but I enjoyed it enough that Mickey Storey seems to come into the game to the sounds of the Arkells.
- How about them #SoxBros? Jonny Gomes, Dustin Pedroia and Jarrod Saltalalalalamachia sat behind the plate during today’s game, distractingly– I’m told– being in the frame for just about every pitch of the game, early on– before I assume they were harassed by fans and left (note: don’t do that). Dan Toman nailed it with his tweet, wishing that John Farrell had been back there with them, completing the ultimate troll job. Should of.
- Remember the South Park when they declared fake psychic John Edwards the biggest douche in the universe, and in the episode at one point Stan went to Edwards’ house to ask him to admit that his act was just a con and to stop empowering naive and vulnerable people with skin-crawlingly false hope, because it was fucking with his friend’s head? Yeah… so, I know I mentioned this once already, but seriously, does anybody want to help me go do the same kind of thing with the local media members who, for lack of anything better to say, have ponied up for first class seats on the Say “Fundamentals” And Instantly Get Any Idiot To Agree With You Express? Because people honestly believe horseshit like “good teams don’t make mistakes” and want to run some of the team’s best players out of town for not hitting the cutoff man or doing too many handshakes, and I’m pretty sure there are people out there encouraging them to not realize that that’s stupid.