happsterbackground

Yep. Reaaaaally going to want to start winning some of these games here. A nice little hot stretch starting right now would do wonders for how exciting things could get in September — and it still might not even matter, given the way that some of the teams around them have played of late.

There should be zero belief in anybody’s mind that on talent the Jays truly are, as Megan Robinson notes, the MLB-worst 4-11 team, outscored 81-46, that they’ve been so far in August. But that doesn’t mean they’re due for a good stretch and to find some equilibrium, either.

It might happen, and they sure could use it happening, but most likely they’ll play out the string as the just-above-.500 team that they’ve been all year. Yet that still could keep things exciting: playing merely at the .512 clip they’ve played this year for the final 37 games would give the Jays 19 more wins — they’d finish at 83-79. Not great, but they’d need only to turn a few extra losses into wins to get themselves real close to legitimately being in the conversation.

In other words, not only is someone saying now that it’s over a garbage clown, they’re also simply wrong.

Scuttlebutt

The NL is dumb, so Adam Lind sits tonight, while Juan Francisco is in at third.

A sign that the Jays maybe aren’t full-on desperate-desperate? No Encarnacion or Bautista at third. It’s got to be a temptation, but I completely understand not doing it — and I suspect there are as many aghast that Francisco is playing as there would be at the thought of risking either of those two out of position, which ought to be telling.

Just spitballin’ here, but this series could be Juan Francisco’s last hurrah. I doubt it — they’re so close now to when rosters expand — but Ryan Goins will be eligible to return on the weekend, and you might want to go defence-first with the roster spot. They should probably at least consider it, though Danny Valencia against RHP may be the least bad of all worlds anyway.

Giving JuanFran a chance against the team that released him this spring might just be the spark that gets him going again, thought someone somewhere. Probably.

Today in #GibbyTheBest, Brendan Kennedy tweets that John Gibbons said that Melky Cabrera took it upon himself to bunt in the first inning of Sunday’s loss, adding, “Sometimes when you play for one run, that’s all you get. We might’ve scored those five or six.” (No, he’s not blaming Melky for the loss.)

In case you missed it, those of you in Toronto are all invited to come for a little DJF drink-up tonight at Opera Bob’s — 1112 Dundas St. W (@ Ossington) — as we watch the Jays and Brewers clash in Milwaukee in an 8:10 PM start. And if you follow @OperaBob‘s on Twitter, you already know that there will be ballpark dogs, nachos (or, if you prefer — and I do — ‘chos), as well as $5 pints. Nails much?

Next game(s): Tomorrow, 2:10 PM ET @ Milwaukee

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

SS Jose Reyes (S)
LF Melky Cabrera (S)
RF Jose Bautista (R)
1B Edwin Encarnacion (R)
C Dioner Navarro (S)
CF Colby Rasmus (L)
3B Juan Francisco (L)
2B Munenori Kawasaki (L)
LHP J.A. Happ (L)

Milwaukee Brewers

CF Carlos Gomez (R)
1B Jonathan Lucroy (R)
RF Ryan Braun (R)
3B Aramis Ramirez (R)
LF Khris Davis (R)
2B Rickie Weeks (R)
C Martin Maldanado (R)
SS Jean Segura (R)
RHP Mike Fiers (R)

 

Comments (304)

  1. > bangin’ war drum <

    • Wow. That’s kinda racist, innit? Fuck, I’m an idiot.

      To be fair: I was referencing WoW, but still…kinda shitty.

      • holy shit, good thing you caught that!!!

        That could’ve been an unmitigated disaster!!!

      • It’s not racist. people are way tooo politically correct. In fact, we should call the next expansion team the ‘War Drums”. Las Vegas War Drums?

        • Where’s the guy that doesn’t like rape as an adjective but is some how fine with ‘kill’ and ‘beat’?

      • No need to apologize. In fact by doing so you’ve outed yourself, not as a racist, but as a giant douchebag. People like you, not any terrorists or foreign fighters, will one day destroy western civilization with nothing more than earnest intentions.

        • In 2001 San Diego banned a word because it was deemed offensive to minorities.
          The word? ‘Minority’.

      • I think we should all take the high road and realize that reference no longer affects any of us who are above Level 70.

  2. Drums in war were a pretty global thing? You trying to say a certain nation invented and was the best at war drumming? Then ya – racist

  3. Anyone have a stream? I’m stuck in the middle of nowhere Virginia. Help.

  4. Bautista and Jannsenn and that unnamed player that said “See, this is why Bautista made the comments he did at the deadline” are all garbage clowns.

    The guys on the team thought they didn’t have enough talent. good thing we know better.

    • Sure. Except players tend to over value veterans and undervalue rookies and prospects. Haven’t you heard enough colour commentators to know that?

    • @meh.

      Griffin reported in hi column today that Bautita & AA had a spirited discussion in Seattle.

      “The wild card for the Jays is not in the AL standings. The wild card in this equation is Jose Bautista. If the team leader asks out of the final year of his contract, the Jays’ house of cards begins to tumble.

      They have talked. Inside the visitors’ clubhouse at Safeco Field before the middle game of the recent series against the Mariners, the slugger and his GM, who four years ago forged a five-year pact to bring a winner to Toronto, had a spirited 15-minute conversation. Where’s the cavalry? It’s absurd to think that a promise made on Aug. 17 will hold up if the rest of the season ends in a train wreck”

      Would Rogers fire AA if Bautista & Edwin to demand trades & Melky refues to resign with the Jays?

      Bautista seems to be determined to try & convince AA that the team has to win in 2014.

      • Soap opera chatter and speculation.

      • I don’t think Rogers fires him if Bautista demands out. They prob give him a raise for clearing $15 million off the books.

        I kid, of course, but I think that Rogers approval rating regarding AA is tied to several different factors, and “performance of the baseball team on the field” ranks a few from the top.

        Apathetic ownership.

      • and with that said, I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if he demands a trade this offseason, and does so publically.

        Although I’m sure that will be ridiculed as Garbage Clownism……until the day it happens, of course and then it’ll be never spoken of again.

      • I believe if this team does not make the playoffs, Bautista is demanding a trade

  5. I hope this series is the last we see of francsisco. Hasnt done a thing since may. His dfa is waaaayyyy overdue.

  6. I like the NL once and awhile as it gives us the novelty of watching hipster Happ bat.

    I wonder how he can handle the stick.

    Hope he doesn’t line one off Fiers head

  7. And if you kept Phat Juan this long you better keep him until the rosters expand…IMO just dumb to expose him now, so close to Sept 1

  8. Jeff Blair says that Casey Janssen is upset with the Jays for not trying to add players at the deadline & will likely leave the team. Blair concedes that the team will probably have to get someone from outside the Jays to be a closer. Loup is a possibility as well. I find it shocking that Casey’s comments aren’t being taken more seriously. He is one of the longest serving Jays & a very reliable closer.

    • oh well. If the jays got players and won the WS and he closed out game 7 he would want 1 zillion dollars and leave anyways

    • And it’s highly unlikely Jansenn is alone in his opinions.

      I’m sure the rookies are just still thrilled to be here. For a few of the vets though, that get older every year, are pretty likely going to not appreciate being lied to by ownership (referencing the conversation that Griffin reported happened before the season, when Rogers reps had a team meeting and promised them reinforcements if they were in it). And who see themselves getting older and want to go to a winner.

      I say it’s a 50/50 chance Bautista is back if they falter the rest of the way.

      • Sorry, Lott, not Griffin:

        “They had every reason to feel that way. Back in spring training, during the annual team dinner, senior officials of the Jays and club owner Rogers Communications told the players that if they were in contention at the trade deadline, the requisite cash to finance an upgrade would be available. In the days leading up to the deadline, several players mentioned that promise and how it fuelled their assumption that Anthopoulos would be able to compete with the big boys in the bidding wars.”

        http://sports.nationalpost.com/2014/07/31/toronto-blue-jays-jose-bautista-among-players-understandably-critical-of-teams-inactivity-at-trade-deadline/

        Given how emotional Bautista is and how badly he wants to win, is it really a huge stretch to suggest he might demand a trade this offseason? If he feels he was directly lied to by ownership?

        • Yes, it is a huge stretch

          • It’s a huge stretch to call it a huge stretch.

            Bautista knows he’s getting older. He wants to win. And he can’t believe anything ownership tells him, so there is nothing they can say this offseason that will make him feel that 2015 is the year they “go for it”.

            I can see why he’d want to stay. I also absolutely can see why he’d demand a trade. And if a star player publicly demands a trade, it’s a done deal. Even privately it usually is.

            nobody knows either way, but to call it a “huge stretch” to think he might ask for one is just being willfully unrealistic.

            • If the jays fail to make the playoffs this season, jbats requests a trade, I guarantee it. Enough is enough with this cheap/halfassed owner and lyiing front office. The guy is getting up in years and wants to win.

              • If I recall correctly JB’s reply to being a Jay for the lifetime of his contract back when he signed it was “we’ll see what happens”
                If they don’t make it in, he’s gone.

      • @Meh.

        The loss of Bautista especially he goes public with a trade request would be the beginning of the end of AA.

        AA can be a good lackey for Rogers but he would have no credibility after lying to Bautista & the rest of the team at the March dinner.

    • I don’t think they would try and resign him anyway.

      Personally I don’t think players should be making statements publicly anyway.
      They’re paid to play baseball.

    • I could live with Sanchez as closer a la Kelvim Escobar.

  9. Kevin barker is god awful at analysis. What was he does with his arms.

    • Pot, meet kettle.

    • @usty.

      Watching Blair is getting depressing. He’s excited about Happ & Francisco returning in 2015. He thinks Dickey or Buerhle will be traded to fill the hole of the loss of Rasmus & 2B

  10. So these Sportsnet commercials with two people talking are the worst, right?

    • @positive

      +1.

    • Ken and Evankas had a certain charm. Tim and Sids wasn’t horrible.

      Cox’s are the absolute worst. Especially that “Jonathan Quick” one. But the catch is, he says it really “quick-ly”.

      Mind boggling.

    • All SN ads are going to have that corporate mediocre flavor.

      Your only hope for something entertaining is egregious folly of some sort.

  11. I don’t like this primitive “pitcher has to bat” form of baseball. It’s weird.

  12. So close and, yet, so far.

  13. Is Rasmus afraid of the wall?

  14. Muni showin off the cannon

  15. This starting out from behind is getting old!!

  16. There we go

  17. Atta boy Cletus

  18. Hello to all the drunken assholes congregating in T.O. Tonight!

  19. Now we’re cooking with gas.

  20. They don’t love you juan.

    Show them they should love you

  21. Siddal called that one.

  22. FUCK AA let him go

  23. Cue more shitting on Francisco

  24. that pitcher in the 9 spot gonna hurt

  25. Just cut ties already

  26. Samaurai!

  27. good job kawasaki ..productive out

  28. damn yan gomes just hit his 17th homer..

    • That hurts A LOT

    • Hate that trade the most probably, not necessarily due to hindsight, but I liked Gomes and Aviles and AA dealt them for a long reliever

      • i agree…at the time they didn’t give yan a lot of opportunity..he also had a high leg kick in his swing…got rid of leg kick…became a great offensive catcher with great defensive skills

        • didn’t complete my thought..it shows you how much Aaron Cibia had a hold of AA’s balls…

          got rid of 3 catchers for him Napoli/Gomes/D’Arneaud …then we got rid of Strike3bia

          • Come to think of it, what hard throwing pitchers has AA traded for that have worked out? Rogers and Morrow haven’t (although Morrow not AA’s fault)… Who else?

            And I’m talking guys who were acquired because of their stuff basically, so not Happ really

            • Santos
              Jeffress (waivers)
              Uhhh…

              • Oh WORKED out – delabar did more for us than Thames did for the mariners I guess

                • Delabar was good last year. Hopefully him or Santos can get back on track. But relievers can be so volatile so I wouldn’t be surprised. But I can’t think of any hard throwing starting pitcher projects that have worked.

                  • Re: the Napoli trade, it got them a pick and at the time (January 2011) jpa was still thought of an acceptable catcher who was gong to grow (still right decision for that year)

                    • I may not have been as wise then, but I did wonder why he couldn’t get more than a meh reliever for Napoli

              • frank fransisco cordero
                brad lincoln

    • Let’s just not talk about it.

  29. Happ Run?

  30. fucker through a eephus pitch

    if fransisco just made contact..it might have been 2-2 with an out

  31. With goins available to be recalled after tomorrow’s game, could Juan be DFA’d tomorrow night?

  32. holy shiet just realized reyes almost at 300 avg…i could have sworn his avg was way worse

  33. Go Bucs!

  34. haha FUCK u Ramirez…

  35. How’s opera Bob’s Toronto folks?

    • It’s great.
      Everybody has been buying Stoeten drinks.
      Now he’s sitting in the corner,semi-coherent,mumbling something like ” RADAR was right,RADAR’s always right, that fucking guy,I can’t win an argument with him”
      But other than that he’s happy when somebody goes by and wipes the drool off his chin.
      You should be here.
      Check the DJF instagram later.

  36. i won’t say it

  37. not looking good

  38. Lucroy is a pleasure to watch, unless you’re Cletus (or Happ.)

  39. Fuck enough with the doubles

  40. So it’s that Happ again. Oh well.

  41. At least Buck is entertaining

  42. Does everyone but the Jays have productive at bats?

  43. Only 36 more games after tonight.

    As bad as it tastes right now, gotta savor it.

    Gonna be a different team next year, that’s for sure.

  44. wow talk about not getting in position and squaring up the ball Jose

    • He’s a hitter, not a shortstop. At least not anymore.

      Wtf is up with his hair?

      • Who remembers when Soriano played 2B and moved to LF and kept doing this weird ballerina jump thing, crossing his legs at the ankles on every routine flyball???…I wonder if Reyes will do that l

    • there are fielders in peewee who do a nicer job on topspin grounders like that

      what Reyes did is called being lazy. there’s a reason they teach the fundamentals.

  45. Uggg

  46. oHHHHhhh nooo BLUE jayssss

  47. the funny thing is listening to the Brewers they are really talking up that the jays are a great defensive team

  48. Few groans I’ll bet at Opera Bobs on that one…

  49. Just found an email from a friend of mine, sent back in March. He’s a Boston fan.

    I asked him his prediction for how many games the Jays would win this season.

    “the answer is always 81 wins. Always.”

  50. Prado coming through for the Yanks ..

  51. Prada raking as a yank….would’ve looked good in blue.

  52. Anyone see Kratz was 2-2 with 2 homers yesterday? Kinda happy he’s having a bit of success. Liked the guy.

    • Wow, he’s 6-13 since being called up two weeks ago. Good for him.

      Happy with Valencia too.

  53. This losing thing is starting to get real old real fast and Francisco got old about 2 months ago the fat fuck

  54. “o”…shit sounding like Buck.

  55. Fucking painful watching guys miss 89 mph fastballs

  56. Well, this season was kinda fun. For a bit there.

    At least they will likely surpass the 5th place, 81 wins at best most people had as an outlook.

    Fuck. Time to have a drink.

  57. Has this team packed it in?

  58. They’ve been painful to watch since Houston.

  59. top things buck will say during a game

    blue jays go quietly
    another error by reyes
    ramsus had the ball pop out of his glove
    juan francisco strikes out

    this was just todays game and it’s only the 4th!

    • He furr shurr will mmennchinn inchresting and turrifuc rajjurs promotions taking place this seeezin

  60. Sid siexaro said it best. He feels sorry for Gibby having to watch this shit show. It’s almost like the team said fuck it after the trade deadline and packed it in which i know is bs because the guys wanna win they’re professional athletes but fuck me they are picking an awful time to hit a real big slump

  61. So for all the “AA can’t make anyone trade with him” crowd, how is it that NY can grab Prado and Headley with the #23 farm (according to BP) and only taking on a few million but Toronto can’t do anything with #13?

    Forget Stroman and Sanchez and Hutch. None of those guys would’ve been even in the conversation for those two.

    At what point does the guy at the top need to take serious heat? Imagine Prado and Headley in this lineup. Defense would be light years better. Offense substantially better. And we wouldn’t need to carry so many guys due to platoons, freeing up room for the pen or whoever else you’d want.

    • Prado sucks and is owed 22 million the next two years. Headley has been ok this year, but whatever. Upgrades over Francisco??? OH HELL YA. We didnt realize Lawrie was gonna get hurt again at the deadline tho either..

  62. Hey we’ll finish third place just like old times (fuck itll probably be 4th)

  63. Ya but when they were traded Lawrie was on his way back so why make the trade

    • Because of depth, depth, depth. considering the cost for those guys was essentially nil, why not? You don’t want TOO much talent? With Lawrie back, and Prado and Headley we would have had so much flexibility with regards to lineup construction.

      Remember Lawrie is no world beater yet as well. tons of promise and raw talent, sure. But both those guys are far more proven.

      I think one of AA’s huge flaws is he’s too optimistic. He always assumes too much that health will happen.

      That’s why it seems like we’re injured more then other teams (which we’re not). Because our injuries hurt far more because we’ve never had a deep roster. AA’s done well building a skeleton crew of stars.

      • i get all the Lawrie love…he does have a lot of potential but let’s face it…if he wasn’t canadian people would be screaming for his ass to be traded…injury prone..rubs people the wrong way..gets overlooked

        but he hasn’t even proven that he’s even a GOOD player..in his time in the majors…sure defensively he’s there..but so is Headley..

  64. Fuck you Francisco

  65. Happ gone after 3.1 innings? I am sure all those “rested” arms in the pen are happy. Norris must come up this weekend

  66. They show Martin Prado get a fucking bloop double down the line and people get all pissy…why isnt he a blue jay!!!!111!!

  67. Jays should know better..anyone named Francisco just doesn’t do well with toronto

    Frank Francisco
    Francisco Cordero
    Ben Francisco(was alright)
    Juan Francisco

    we have all the active francisco(s) in the recent years covered

  68. Don’t worry it’s still early.

  69. Would’ve been nice to see Lind at 1B and EE at 3B. Sure he sucks there. Is Francisco really that much better?

    When you consider the gargantuan difference in the bat, it would still be a net positive even if you had a cardboard cutout of EE.

  70. Drew Hutchison is pinch hitting. This is a real thing that is happening.

  71. I think we knew from the beginning that Hutch and Stroman would have to set the world on fire for the Jays to have a chance this year – and they nearly did – but baseball is hard, and that’s why the Jays were never more than a fringe contender.

    the tale of the tape is that the Jays only have 6 quality starts in August. I’m confident that the offense will put out from game to game, but i’m no longer confident in the least that the pitching and defense can hold the opponent to less than 5 runs.

  72. Starters ERA this Month:

    Dickey: 4.26
    Hutchison: 5.91
    Buehrle: 6.39
    Stroman: 8.53
    Happ: 4.11

    This team just gives up too many damn runs. As always

  73. Gas can!

  74. Hutch batting, does this mean he’s moving to the bullpen? and maybe Sanchez will get a start? A call up maybe for someone who is throwing fire in Buffalo? Just asking!

  75. If some jays players packed it in at the deadline and down the stretch, its pathetic by those guys you are athletes

    • have to agree and it also shows the character of the guys. The fans deserve better from the players and this ownership group

    • Something’s wrong, that is for certain.

    • i’m not sure the answer isn’t just that they aren’t that good

      seriously. they sacrifice defense at virtually every position and the rotation and bullpen are just ok. they aren’t as bad as they’re playing right now, but apart from a stretch where they simply bashed the cover off the ball at an unsustainable level, they really haven’t played very well.

  76. somewhere the regression demons are laughing maniacally at Todd Redmond

  77. Brewers have no problems handling the sub 90 mph chest high fastballs

  78. Fuck just bp fastballs

  79. Seven fricking doubles. What’s up with that?

  80. Welp.

  81. At least the folks at Opera Bob’s have friends to drink with in these trying times.

  82. Looking at the results tonight this can’t go on much further. You have young pitchers that you are building your rotation around for next year, you don’t want create toxic environment for them

  83. That’s why aa should get one last shot. I mean it’s an improvement on last year and next year you’ve got Stroman and Sanchez and hutch in the rotation with dicky and buhrlie unless you pick someone up but everyone knows that’s not fucking gonna happen. So you’ve got 3 young guys with in hutchs case a full year under his belt and Stroman half a year and Sanchez a quarter of the year where he looks awesome. Soooo. I think they give Gibby and aa one more shot if it goes south see ya never but AA has started to produce some prospects that he drafted that are contributing. If they can can get some real talent, keep Cabrera and upgrade at 2nd and cf and get rid of that sun flour seed eating useless blob with a healthy (hopefully) Lawrie they should be good. I just hate waiting another year

  84. I. Fucking. Give. Up.

    I demand to be traded to a team that I can cheer for. One that won’t break my heart. And a team that has a nice stadium with good beer and good food. And real grass, of course.

  85. Welp

  86. 14 straight retired, 2 hits.

    Let’s amp it up a tad boys, ok?

  87. Well this sucks donkey nuts

  88. hard. to. watch.

  89. 83 wins. Not bad?. For fucks sake Stoet. Get pissed off at some point.

    83 would be a miracle at this point.

  90. What a fucking garbage team. Totally folded like they have done in previous years. Their will be big changes in the offseason for sure. I think its going to be a rebuild and I hope rogers sells the team cuz they are going nowhere with the current setup of ownership/front office.

    • i wouldn’t get your hopes up for any of those

    • Rogers won’t sell the team, so you can forget that. They need the Jays to fill air time for their cable channels. Second, no one in Canada has the money to buy this franchise.

      • Its definitely unlikely but i feel like rogers is the real reason the fanbase has suffered for so long. They dont care about baseball/winning, its obvious. If they wouldve, jays would have acquired some help at the deadline, no doubt about it, like a “contending” team should.

        • afgd, I will go half way with you. I agree it has been a frustrating 20 years and if the Royals go to the playoffs, that will be killer to the Toronto fans. But this ownership is here to stay and reality is people are watching baseball on TV (ratings are strong) Why would they sell this team if benefits them to own it?

        • @ArashMadani: Again, amidst a 4-11 August, a #Bluejays player told me today: “Now you know what (Bautista) meant about not doing (crap) at the deadline.”

          Man if this team stop trying hard, that’s awful

  91. How come Baltimore always wins

  92. Nothing like a Monster Truck Jays promo to take out the sting, huh?

  93. Anybody still watching this shit show?
    Why give Rogers the satisfaction?
    Everybody should pick another MLB team for the rest of the year and start following them.
    These clowns are a fucking joke.
    Let these losers finish the season by themselves in front of Bison size crowds and start over again (with about 8 of these 25 sacks of shit, and hopefully a real ninja GM) in 2015

    • I’m still a fan. It’s just baseball.

      • 10 years ago, that would be fine to say. Now, its time this fucking ownership group/front office build a winner or hand the keys to someone that is actually competent and cares about winning.

      • I’m a fan too. But once every 20-25 years I’d loooove for the team that I try so hard to be a fan of to give me a REASON to invest in them. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. The law of averages would suggest that one 90+ win season every quarter of a decade or so isn’t an unreasonable expectation.
        I really thought this year was going to be different – and I’m bitterly disappointed and frustrated that it isn’t. I was an avid follower until this week. Now, unfortunately, it is glaringly apparent that this organization, for many reasons, is a failure on many different levels, and it doesn’t deserve our support unless and until some drastic changes are made (again).

        Random thought…
        Maybe they can hire the Leafs analytics department. If they improve their Fenwick and Corsi next year then maybe they’ll have a snowball’s chance of sneaking into the 2nd wildcard spot.

  94. “He’s what they’d call a ‘Hooker’ ” – Buck Martinez, everybody.

  95. Did Buck just call Colby a hooker?

  96. Buck just called Cletus a hooker? Say it ain’t so.

  97. This is the end. My only friend, the end

  98. Kyle drabek alert!!!!!! Tune back in folks

  99. Bautista hurt? I’m sure it’s minor…

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