And more specifically, Stephen Breyer. Boosh!
As of 3:30 PM ET there were 20 tickets still available (barely!) for tonight’s Pitch Talks #3, which starts at 7 PM tonight and will feature Richard Griffin, Scott MacArthur, Cathal Kelly, Brendan Kennedy, Alexis Brudnicki, and Cashew Mirman. You can still guarantee yourself a ticket via the link above, and should be yet another great event. During the evening they’ll be announcing the lineup for Pitch #4 as well! Not that I’ve heard anything about that…
Paul Beeston was on the Fan 590′s Baseball Central today, and Jeff Simmons of Sportsnet offers a summary. Among typically rosy comments about bringing grass to the Rogers Centre in the face of rumours of the Argos’ move to BMO breaking down — “It’s very important for us to get grass. We’re one of the two teams that don’t have it. We don’t want to rest players because of the turf. We want to be like the rest of baseball and attract free agents.” — and unsurprising, but surprising-that-he-said-it comments about waiting until the end of the year to make any kind of decision on re-signing Colby Rasmus, he address the attendance “issue,” saying that he’s not concerned about it, and that “last year we kind of broke their trust,” referring to the fans. Yeah… I’d say that this winter, and its typically indifferent turning off of the tap from the behemoth corporation that owns the club and has similarly help keep the franchise mired in mediocrity over its first thirteen seasons of ownership, probably had a little bit to do with that, too. You can’t usher in a new era, pull back the reins a year later, drop the same “if everything breaks right maybe we’ll make a deadline move” narrative that fans have heard ad nauseam for over a decade, and expect people not to get skittish about pouring their hard-earned money into coporate coffers from which it may never reappear, all for the right to forgo watching on their giant, crystal-clear TVs with their own cheap beer, in exchange for pissing away $11 for awful corporate beer in plastic seats, surrounded by braying assholes. Which isn’t to say that it’s not great to go to a game or anything, or that it won’t be outstanding if they really do manage a stretch run, but… y’know.
Alex Anthopoulos also made some public comments today, showing up on Prime Time Sports on this afternoon. Megan Robinson tweets that he says that the recent pitching shuffling has been because “we’re so conscious and focused on keeping this team extra healthy,” and adds that he says in the overall, “I’d like to see if we put two great months together, back to back. Stroman is going to be an important part of that.” AA also says that he’s leery of opening up contract discussions with players mid-season, because such talk ends up consuming the clubhouse, but — per a tweet from yours truly — he also insists, “I have every confidence in the world that we’ll have the resources to sign [Melky and Colby].” He can’t say anything else, but it’s pretty meaningless, of course. Don’t hang him with silly words in this P.R. game, though. He’s just doing his job.
Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News writes about a bad day for the Herd — and subsequently the Jays — as four Bisons pitchers wound up injured, including three (sorry, Ricky) potentially useful pieces for the 2014 Jays: Neil Wagner, Sean Nolin, Rob Rasmussen, and Ricky Romero. According to a tweet today from Harrington’s colleague, Amy Moritz, Nolin is fine, but Wagner has been sent to Florida to be re-examined. She adds that, according to Buffalo manager Gary Allenson, Romero could be out a while with a calf issue, while Rasmussen is day-to-day with a bruise. (And the Bisons’ official account now tweets that Wagner, along with John Stilson and ouftielder Brad Glenn, has hit the DL.)
Another Bisons move is the fact that on Sunday the Jays optioned Liam Hendriks back down there, seemingly returning the Jays to a five man rotation, with Marcus Stroman awesomely ready to awesomely be a part of it. A corresponding move (and an official announcement) is supposed to come down today at some point. Jamie Ross of MLB.com has the details. (Oh, and Bobby Korecky cleared waivers and is back with the club, too. If I don’t bother to add a link, will anyone notice? Let’s find out!)
John Lott of the National Post looks at how tremendously the Jays have been aided this year by the defensive shifting schemes produced by their analytics department, unlike last year, when they dumbly went away from shifting following the departure of Brian Butterfield, who had previously been setting up infielders without the aid of technology. Hmmm, almost like the team should actually be listening to and valuing what that department can bring, eh? Great piece, also. Read it.
Speaking of, Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star looks at how Jose Bautista has adjusted this year in order to beat the shift.
Amazing stuff from FanGraphs on Bautista recording a 9-3 putout in back-t0-back games (with drool-worthy GIFs!). Not only is it remarkable because there have only been done 29 of such events in the last 25 years, but also because the vast majority of runners being thrown out have been pitchers. Nails much?
Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star looks at Encarnacion, the Jays’ underrated superstar — who just won the club’s player of the month honour for May, and well do so for the AL, as well. He’s been pretty good!
Trying to capture the Steve Simmons demographic, apparently, someone at the Globe and Mail titled Robert MacLeod’s Friday piece, The Buehrle Way: Don’t rely on analytics, rely on your catcher. Ugh.
Blue Jays Plus gives a nice bit of glowing background on Touki Toussaint, who they claim to have been told the Jays will take with the eleventh pick in this week’s draft, as if anybody possibly knows. That’s been a hot rumour though, so it wouldn’t be surprising — nor would it be bad, given the upside. BJP also looks at Trea Turner, who the Jays are apparently “locked in” on taking — another rumour that’s been making the rounds heavily of late, and a strange one, as he’s actually a college position player (SS). Do the Jays even do that???
Lastly, the Marcus Stroman/Eric Hosmer “Wow” Vine made it into Jonah Keri’s latest power rankings piece at Grantland, and the Jays, for the first time this season, are in the top group. Nails much?