It’s another beautiful day for baseball… under a roof… with several hundred of your dearest friends.

Hey, it could be worse. The outstanding Alan Ashby is in the building, and Brandon Morrow gets a chance for another minor league tuneup game before rejoining the big leagues whenever the schedule has the Jays playing a team that isn’t Houston (he said in words that he will almost certainly immediately live to regret as Morrow gets torched by the likes of Marc effing Krauss).

Also: baseball!!


Marcus Walden was optioned down by the Jays today, according to a team release, and Neil Wagner — who probably should have been here all along — was recalled. Bluebird Banter recalls the reasons Walden was selected — the club DFA’d Jeremy Jeffress sooner into the season than they were allowed to call up anyone who had been optioned (except in the case of injury) and were forced to add Walden to the 40-man after first announcing Chad Jenkins as the recall — and wonders whether it was more embarrassing to the organization than the whole deferral scheme business of last week. It’s a tough call.

According to a tweet from Brendan Kennedy, John Gibbons said that with Casey Janssen out they needed a right-hander to bring into games when they were trailing and close, hence Wagner’s recall. Not said: you’re out of the job, Esmil. Which, of course, makes total sense.

Speaking of Janssen, a tweet from Shi Davidi informs us that his latest side session went well, and that he’ll probably do one more bullpen before getting a rehab assignment.

More on the injury front, as Brendan Kennedy tweets that Jose Reyes ran on a treadmill yesterday, will run outside today, and will run the bases on the weekend. Barring setbacks, it sounds like he’s at least progressing.

Drew tweets that Jose Bautista got the club to put the Barcelona match on the jumbotron today during batting practice. Nails much?

I’m pretty sure ol’ Griff nails it at the Toronto Star, suggesting that the flipping of R.A. Dickey and Dustin McGowan — though not without its good and bad points — is mostly about Dickey wanting what’s best for Dickey. And that’s OK.

We really will do a podcast this week. For real. Sorry.

Lastly, if you want to get good and depressed (or good and angry at me for being wrongheaded), go back and check out the previous post here, where I touch on media rights value, TV ratings, and the history we’ve endured under Rogers’ stewardship of this club.

TV: Sportsnet

Next game: Tomorrow, 7:07 PM ET, vs. Houston.

For those of you who’ll be out and about, be sure to follow all the action on your phone with theScore app. And now, the lineups… 

Toronto Blue Jays

LF Melky Cabrera (S)
2B Maicer Izturis (S)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
1B Edwin Encarnacion (R)
DH Adam Lind (L)
C Dioner Navarro (S)
3B Brett Lawrie (R)
CF Colby Rasmus (L)
SS Ryan Goins (L)

RHP Brandon Morrow

Houston Astros

CF Dexter Fowler (S)
RF Alex Pressley (L)
2B Jose Altuve (R)
C Jason Castro (L)
DH Chris Carter (R)
1B Marc Krauss (L)
3B Matt Dominguez (R)
LF Robbie Grossman (S)
SS Jonathan Villar (S)

RHP Lucas Harrell

Comments (313)

  1. A visit to Minnesota already? Might be unseasonably cold to get unbuttoned + unbridled.

  2. Ok offense game is close again time to get the finger out.

  3. JP—-WHo???

  4. Love me another Donair.

  5. Navarro SB! Never thought I’d see it.

  6. Bahahahaha Navarro and his wheels!

  7. Dinner! Hahahaha

  8. Dinnertime!!!

    That’s one helluva a meal!

  9. I want to have what Dioner is having because it must involve advacado and bacon in it.

  10. Who needs Davis when we got Dinner

  11. Brett Lawrie!

  12. Canadian Jesus!

  13. Fuck did he ever need that, good job kid

  14. Would ya look at that

  15. Slump busted

  16. And, Brett, that is exactly what u are to do with a hanging breakin ball. Hoorah!

  17. Is Navarro faster than Lind? Serious question

  18. That inning was awesome.

  19. Ok, I have seen enuf of Goins. He;; enjoy the wings in Barfalo. BTW, Boni hitting 515 in Chicago.SSS and all but fuk , it was about 5/15 last yer before he got his 5th hit or whatever. Fukkk

  20. Did Lawire bust slump????!!! Is it finally over?

  21. In the bullpen, I think that’s the shortest and stoutest police officer I’ve seen in Toronto.

  22. #Gibbythebest

  23. Didnt realize how hard Wagner can deal it. Touchin 98!

  24. I laughed, then cried, then cheered, then shotgunned a beer.
    Lawrie is on the board.
    Keep it going kid.

  25. This has to be Lawrie breaking out of his fucking slump.

  26. OUCH-hope Delabar still has a knee left tomorrow

  27. Why was Delabar in there at all anyways? Up by 4 and he pitched last night… hope his leg is ok

  28. Yay!

  29. over 0.500 again!

  30. Ok RA up to you to deliver the knockout blow tomorrow!

  31. First place baby!

  32. Good stuff. Sweep tomorrow.

    + now for west coast baseball. With popcorn.

  33. Ricky Ro infected Stroman with his walkitis tonight. He’s got 4 in first three innings. C

  34. Am I crazy to think that if this team performs well into July and is in the playoff hunt, Rogers will have some regrets about not throwing some extra resources in there to take them to the next level and will open the floodgates at the trade deadline? It will suck to have to give up prospects vs. signing free agents, but who knows.

    • umm without a doubt, however Stephen Drew is still out there I believe, and would be a great upgrade at 2nd (which hes willing to play!!!) and could fill in if Jose needs off days, or has another DL stint. Just hopefully that mother fucker is in shape and ready to go. Nad if hes already been signed dont mind me, its just the beer talking lol.

      • I cant stand the idea of giving up any more kids to upgrade period. So that makes Drew the only other option. He hasn’t hit over .252 in 5 years which makes him a lot like Johnnie Mac without the stellar defence. I’m betting there won’t be any trades at the deadline and we’re in the middle of AA’s “stand pat” period. He may bring up Stroman at some point and maybe Sanchez in Sep but my bet is no big acquisitions.

        • he will give us some pop though.. and 253 is prob better than what our platoon would accomplish. plus giving reyes off days where he can even dh at times would b huge to save him from the turf.

          • his 2013 line : 57runs 13hrs 67RBIS 6SBs .253

            his 2012 line isnt great but he only had 280 abs and wasnt healthy… he would be such a huge addition in our lineup even with a .250 avg. our platoon wont touch those, unless izturis has a Joey Bats like renaissance. we already kno goins is trash, and diaz is mostly good for his defense.

            • what numbers are those? is that old some old timey line they used before the Dodgers moved west?

              • i just wrote them out long hand lol

                • I like his 57 runs but that means that at .250 BA he was helped alot by good batters behind him. I don’t know that scoring runs is a problem with the Jays so much as it is preventing them. OTOH you could just say “fuck it” and sign Drew if you’re not going to add to the rotation. I just wouldn’t sign him for more than 2 years. Having said that, I don’t think Boras’ asking price will be anywhere near what AA is thinking.

    • Rogers won’t regret a thing.
      They’ll see it as being prudent and wise to wait before adding any additional funds.
      The floodgates won’t open,if the Jays are doing well at the deadline, but if the opportunity arises to improve the team and make the playoffs , they’ll spend more as long as there is assurances.

    • I Imagine Rogers like the owner from Major League at times. No hot water in the showers, shitty catering etc… lol

  35. Missed the game tn bc I went with a friend to the Yankees game. I really hate going to Yanks games when its against division rivals, I end up sitting there with a thumb up my ass. Anyway I followed the jays game on my phone and you know what it does feel DAMN GOOD to be in first place. Yea its early, but I feel more confidence in this team with each passing game. Ps I take back what I said about Lawrie the past few does, He’s the BEST! LOL

  36. One more thing is fun to make fun of the Astros now, but they have the top ranked farm system and are trying to be like the Rays. So in a couple years they may be formidable.

  37. More piling on to the Astros:

    Summary: today’s game pulled an incredible 0.0 Nielsen rating in the Houston area for CSN Houston. CSN Houston is the regional sports network of the Houston Astros and the Houston Rockets, owned 46% by the Astros and 30% by the Rockets; it’s also going through bankruptcy proceedings.

  38. Lets review and summarize what we have learned thus far.

    -The jays have a solid offense, solid defense, lights out pen. ..if they can get ANY semblance of starting pitching, not dominant, not even top quartile..just DECENT….they should be a mid 80′s win team minimum

    -izturis looks like the dude from several years ago when he was a decent line drive hitter…he’s not hitting bloopers out there..or getting very lucky..solid contact.

    -Navarro is a pleasure to watch relative to what we’ve gotten used to. A dude who actually has a plan at the plate besides pull everything and try to hit a dinger. not only does he have a plan, he can actually execute..and he STEALS BASES>>>>>:)

    -How was an arm like neil wagner just freely available? of all the shitty pitchers we have come to find gracing major league pens, this dude was someone’s trash. me thinks it has to have something do to with him being 6’0 and right handed.

    • +1 review guy

      Not to mention Navarro seems to have a plan behind the plate also. Another upgrade over last years game calling.

      Wagners arm surprised me. Send him out over Jeffress and Rogers

    • - better overall defence, but the there’s mental lapses here & there on the defensive end that lead to extra bases/extra runs…good teams minimize these mistakes – we’ll see how consistent this team will become
      - pick offs are brutal but i’m sure they’ll be wiser moving forward
      - if Reyes comes back and hits ok, Itzuris continues playing well – this is a pretty good offensive lineup with holes such as lawrie/rasmus still trying to become consistent…but overall, it can be a terrific lineup – wish some guys had more patience/contact % – perhaps question is now when reyes comes back, who starts at 2nd if Izturis still is swinging a good bat
      - staring pitching just needs to give the offense a chance to win – sucks to be coming back by 3-5 runs…good quality starts

  39. Blue Jays in first place alone in the AL East, not saying it will last but that has to be the first time in a long time

  40. First place…what’s our magic number?

  41. 6th inning aside, that was a bloody great start for Morrow. He’s given up a few runs but his peripherals have been terrific: 10.64 K/9, 1.64 BB/9, 2.24 xFIP. And his velocity is back, clearly.

    Bodes well going forward.

    • agrree-the velocity was good yesterday from him-better than I have seen in some time. Perhaps he is confident in airing it out now after his injury. All I know is until he got hurt last MAy , he wasn’t throwing this hard with most of his FBs around 92.
      Personally, I think this is how he has to pitch. This nonsense about him becoming a pitch to contact pitcher just gets him in trouble and he needs his SOs. Airing it out and giving the team 6 innings is much more preferable that trying to finesse 9 which never happens anyway.

      • “This nonsense about him becoming a pitch to contact pitcher just gets him in trouble and he needs his SOs.”

        I agree with this so, so much. Stick to your strengths, Brandon.

  42. I don’t remember reading 7 positive comments in a row about this team in a while.

    Sure it’s early, but maybe, just maybe this team as whole is much better than the collective view that all of the baseball writers in Toronto wanted us to believe.

    Sure it’s early, but it could be really fun to see how writers (and fickle fans) who’s default setting is set at bitching about the Toronto Blue Jays react to the team doing well this year.

    Never get out of the boat.

  43. I know people bring this up pretty much every game, but I have a question: are Jays games currently blacked out on MLB.TV? Everything I’ve read online says that they are, which obviously complicates things, but I’ve read the odd comment on here saying that they aren’t blacked out this year. Does anyone know for sure? I want to know if it would be a worthwhile purchase.

    • Sorry philbert I don’t know, but here’s one other thing you could try: if you have Rogers internet at home but not cable, you can use Rogers On Demand. You just need to find someone who has Rogers cable but doesn’t care about using their free Rogers On Demand (think of like parents or grandparents that wouldn’t even know how to use ROD but have Rogers cable.

      • I actually don’t have Rogers anything. Even their cheapest internet package is double what I’m paying now.

        • You don’t need Rogers anything. Just find a family member or whatever that has Sportsnet on TV and high jack their Rogers Anyplace TV Account. You’ll be watching the feed for frizzle.

    • I bought for the first time this year and so far I’ve watched every jays game with no issue. If I start running into blackouts I’ll just get for 5 bucks a month (will probably end up doing this anyway to get American Netflix). From what I’ve heard though they weren’t blacked out all of last year either.

      • Great, thanks! I had considered unblock-us and that’s definitely an option, but I just don’t want to spend $125 on MLB.TV and not be able to watch the Jays, for whatever reason.

    • This is my 2nd year with the MLB tv package and never have had an issue. I get jay games on my lap top and iphone. I signed up for month to month instead of buying the whole thing in one shot, strictly because I still have the fear that the will be blacked out, but so far it has worked great.

  44. There is a tendency among the fans of this team to qualify wins like this as: “well its the Astros”. Fair enough, its not like they’re beating the World Champs. But this is exactly what it is like to NOT play in the AL East! The Angels get to play these guys 19 times this season while we get the likes of Tampa and the Yanks.

    Soak it in! Everyone else in baseball gets a steady dose of easy wins. We will need games like this come the end of the season.

    • I think you may have made a mistake, instead of “fans”, you may have meant to write “critics”.

      It should read like this …..”There is a tendency among the critics of this team to qualify wins like……”

      True fans of the home team really want these wins, they may be dismayed if the team doesn’t get wins like these, but they don’t dismiss them.

      • Looking at it from the “It’s only the Astros” perspective, there would only be two possible results: 1) The Jays lose, so they suck because they lost to a horrible team, or 2) the Jays win, but it doesn’t mean anything because it’s a horrible team. That way, there’s no possible way that anything positive can come from a series with the Astros.

        That’s just a ridiculous way of looking at it, but you hear it all the time. A win against the Astros, Twins or White Sox counts just as much in the standings as any other win. I wonder how the Yankees feel about the importance of winning games against the bottom-feeders.

        • I agree, it is a ridiculous way to look at it.

          Critics often forget that baseball is hard, and that any team can win on a given day. Also, many weaker ball clubs have pitchers and hitters with less scouting or a “book” on them at the MLB level, that a significant part of the game. Sure one would hope that a better team would win most of these games, but we’ve all seen some odd win splits where a team has still done well. It’s just part of the beauty of the game.

          In regards to “hear(ing) it all the time”, my point on that is that it’s more a media driven group think self manifesting, as opposed to what true fans of the game and home team really believe.

          So tune it out. If you come across a podcast or article that goes down this ridiculous road, turn it off, stop reading, or call them on their bullshit in the comments section.

        • All wins are not the same. Wins in your own division means a team in your division doesn’t get a win. Wins outside your division don’t mean that.

          • Well… of course. But that’s not really the point. It’s easy to shrug off a win against the Astros because they kind of suck. But how often do you see teams fall apart against a terrible opponent in a series that could make a difference? Just because the Jays SHOULD win a game doesn’t mean it’s not impressive or something to be excited about when they do.

    • Yes Ernie, this is my biggest beef in baseball. I see it as EASILY being worth 5 extra wins a year. Terrible system right now.

    • Every game counts, whether it’s in April or in September, whether it’s a division rival or the worst team since the 1962 Mets, etc.

      The Yankees went 1-2 against the Astros and the Jays are 2-0 so far — if the Jays happen to finish one game ahead of the Yanks at the end of the season, they wouldn’t be saying “oh it’s just a win against the crappy Astros” by then.

      • Every win counts, even the early and out of division ones, it’s just the later wins are weighed more heavily in terms of impact.

  45. Think dinner gets start at dh tonight?

  46. The best part of Dinner’s stolen base last night is the fact that he slows down twice on his way to 2nd as he realized that Lawrie didn’t hit the ball. The fact that the god-awful throw still made it somewhat close is hysterical.

    • It’s funny cause if Castro took another half a second to aim the ball better, Navarro would have been out easy.

      • So true. If he rolled it he may have still had a shot.

        • Or it has something to do with better and healthier players this year. Melky and Lawrie weren’t healthy for most of the year. As a result Izturis played third, where he doesn’t belong.
          And they brought in Navarro.

  47. Baseball is the ultimate success breeds success. Right now the defense is outstanding because no one wants to wreck it with an error. Case in point izturis. We need another good week and then no starter wants to be the one that gets lit up when the others are pitching well same with hitting. It’s a good problem to have. Better attitude than last year already.

    • Agree, and the pressure is off compared to last year – everyone was so tight thinking of the expectations that they were trying to perform beyond their means and not to screw up. Off to a good start, so maybe the players can relax even further and just go out and do what they’re capable of.

    • I have a really hard time understanding the rationale behind arguments like this. Izturis is playing better defensively because he doesn’t want to make an error? So last year he didn’t care if he made an error? I understand there are a lot of little, non-quantifiable things that go into bringing out the best in a player, but I don’t think any player says, consciously or sub-consciously, “Hey, everyone else is playing well on defense, so I’d better not screw it up!”

      • Especially since the argument seems to work against itself.

        “Last year, no one wanted to make an error because of expectations so they were tense and made errors”

        “This year, no one wants to make an error because they don’t want to be the guy that breaks the roll so they are (not?) tense and don’t make errors”

        • Exactly… and the same applies to everything surrounding chemistry.

          Team A was awesome because they kept things loose and had fun.
          Team B was awful because they were too loose and not serious enough.

          Every aspect of team chemistry could be viewed from either perspective.

    • For sure. Totally agree that last year Bonifacio just didn’t want it bad enough at 2B. However, you also don’t want it too bad because then you get tense and make mistakes. You pretty much need to want it the right amount of bad which is the exact amount of bad that Izturis and the rest of the Jays currently want it.

      Bonifacio is fucking idiot for either wanting it too bad or not enough last year. Someone just get him a want-it-bad-odometer.

  48. Our catchers have combined for 0 walks. Our catchers have also combined for only 1 K in 9 games!

    So nice to not have JP.

    • Yeah, but as JP always said, people who criticize him never played the game. Besides, the media never properly taught the fans about just how good he was.

    • I just noticed that too… Navarro has 0 Ks and 0 BB in 33 PAs. By this point, JPA would have 12 Ks and… well… also 0 BB.

      Both rates will increase over the course of the season, but Navarro’s always had a decent walk rate and a low K rate. It’s pretty damn refreshing to see!

    • I’m trying to figure out how Navarro has a .281 average, but a .273 OBP. They showed this on the telecast too. This sounds like something only Arencibia would be able to pull off.

      • It’s fairly simple. So far, Navarro has 1 sac fly (which counts as a plate appearance) and no walks. His batting average is .281 because he has 9 hits in 32 ABs. His OBP is .273 because he’s reached base 9 times in 33 PAs.

  49. Via Lott last night…..

    “Delabar said Altuve’s shot struck muscle, not bone, in back of right leg. Doesn’t believe injury is at all serious.”

    Not as crazy as Roy Halladay’s off the head assist to Scott Rolen, but the Baseball Gods gave sum lovin last night.

  50. Comments on Gibbons’ non-review last night?

    Discuss amongst yourselves.

    • The Jays may want to consider looking into this. If it’s true that they have to look at the replays in real time, they may not want a 61 year old Sal Butera at this job.

      Not trying to be age discriminatory here, but ever ones eyes start to go by age 40.

  51. does playing the astro’s remind anyone else how stupidly unbalanced the mlb schedule is?

    • Well, Tampa and Baltimore (and the Jays at various) points used to really suck, so you could argue it balances over time. But these days it’s easy to get the feeling that every team in the AL East will be tough for a number of years – so yeah, it does suck.

  52. Oh my goodness that was sick as tits.

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