Andrew Stoeten

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Game Threat: Jays vs. Rays

They’re playing the Rays tonight, right? Well… still working out some kinks in the new computer working procedure and… well… this week has already been so abysmally half-assed around here, I’m kinda thinking… why bust my ass on a right proper Game Threat at this point? In the words of Alex Rios, who gives a fuck?

Back to normal soon, though. Oh, and Jays… win a fucking game!

Oh, hello. Apologize for the inactivity over the last day or so, but I got just a little bit robbed the other night and am currently a touch low on computers on which to… y’know… work. Things will be back to normal soon, though, so don’t fret.

In the meantime, I want to thank everybody who came out to last night’s Pitch Talks event, which may entirely have been my favourite yet — and not just for the continued spread of the term “garbage clown.” From Shi Davidi outlining J.P. Ricciardi’s terrible drafts as the reason the Jays seem perpetually thin in terms of depth, to Sid Seixeiro lamenting that the one-shot, payroll-increasing, can’t-say-no Marlins trade came around at the wrong moment for this organization and its GM, to Jeremy Taggart slaying the crowd and hilariously telling of his tryout with the Atlanta Braves (!), to Stacey May Fowles, Jenn Smith, and Erin Valois debating the merits of baseball’s replay challenge system, it was a night full of great baseball talk, and… y’know… beer (from the outstanding Left Field Brewery). And it was great putting faces to names and meeting people I’d only known through the internet, like David Shemie and Slappy Shalom — but not RADAR, even though he was apparently there!!

I’d add everyone’s Twitter handle to all that, but I’m writing this on my phone and… well… do you have any idea what a pain in the ass that would be?

What I will add, however, is what the title of this post refers to: my spot yesterday morning on TSN Radio 1050 here in Toronto.

Have a listen!

Now that was a fine game of mid-afternoon baseball for a… uh… a… what is this? A Wednesday?

Anyway, that’s more fucking like it, eh Jays? A right proper offensive outburst to distract from the August version of Jays pitching still giving up too many runs, and our learning about the franchise trying to force the Creighton Blue Jays to change their logo, and their history of being frivolously protecting their brand (trying, along with the Rays, to stop a pizza place called Ray Jay’s, and trademark filings against Jay-Z!), and the Enarnacion’s Parrot shirt stuff, and the club’s social media being apparently outsourced to some MLB drone (who accidentally updated the Rangers score on the Jays’ Twitter feed), to that thing some player said to Arash Madani yesterday, which I still haven’t written about, but probably will, even though it’s kinda dumb.

Yep, just a good ol’ solid win to end an abysmal road trip and set up a huge fight for playoff positioning on the upcoming home stand, with opportunities abound, even though it’s the Rays, Red Sox, and Yankees coming in. The Jays then go to Tampa, go to Boston, then host the Cubs and the Rays before beginning their two week push against the teams ahead of them (at Baltimore, at New York, vs. Seattle, vs. Baltimore) as the season comes to a close.

They’re still not licked yet. The names are scary and the teams are maybe better than their records show, but the Jays certainly have seven very winnable series coming up, with the three games against the Yankees being the only ones (barring a strong run from Tampa) in which they’ll see a team with a record above .500. It’s a small consolation, but if back in the spring you had told me this is where they’d be at this point (and… y’know… probably didn’t tell me the specific teams they were about to play, only their records) I would sure as fuck have taken it in a heartbeat.

Four games (the amount behind the Jays currently sit in the Wild Card race) can evaporate fast. Shit, so can the 8.5 they now trail the Orioles by.

Ask the Jays.


Ugh. Win one already.

chart (11)

The window of time left in the season to make up for mounting losses is closing quickly for the Jays.

I’ll talk about what was said to Arash Madani in a separate post, and so, other than that first sentence, what more is there even to say?



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.


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)



I… uh…

Yeah… nope. I have no idea right here.

I mean, sure, I suppose that if you want to illustrate the immense speed at which you think the Jays season is hurtling towards the ground, you’re going to need some indication of movement in your drawing. But to do that, and have the maple leaf being displaced by what preeeeeeety clearly looks like the symbol of the military wing of Hitler’s Nazi party? That’s… something. And precisely the editorial cartoon image the Toronto Sun crowed about this morning on Twitter, and presumably published within its pages.

I’m not suggesting it’s intentional or that anything is actually meant by it or anything — mostly because I can’t imagine what any possible suggestion might be. Just weird is all. And probably not imperceptible to the Sun’s target football and porno and books about war demographic, which sort of makes it doubly strange.

I dunno. The Tao of Stieb offers a slightly less horrifying interpretation.