Dustin Parkes

Recent Posts

running2It’s one of the dumbest things you can do at a baseball game. Forget the extreme likelihood of it being alcohol-fueled. Forget the potential for personal ramifications. Forget the disruptive attributes. Forget the long line of questionable characters who went before you, and with whom, you are henceforth linked.

As a spectator who dares to tread on the stage of the spectacle, your actions are informing 50,000 people – many of whom paid a not-insignificant amount of money to be there – that it is ALL about you. You are altering their experience into a moment of selfish gratification for your own personal attention starvation. You are stealing their time, their focus and their gaze. You are a thief. You are that guy.

Personally, I hate you. I despise you with more energy than is remotely reasonable. I watch you zig-zag around the field, hopeful that a violent blow will befall you that physical pain and existential questions to resonate throughout your body and being. That’s just me.

Fortunately, there are many who are not like me. There are others in possession of a – most likely – healthier attitude toward fans traversing the boundaries of common sense and the field of play. They can laugh at such things.

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rickyromerowoeRicky Romero used to be good. Then he was bad. After unfair comparisons to the quickly developing players in his draft class, Romero emerged in 2009 as a promising young southpaw with one of the better off-speed pitches in baseball. In 2010, he made good on this promise, producing a good enough season to give fans a semblance of hope in a year that would otherwise feel dreadful for its sudden absence of previous staff ace Roy Halladay.

In 2011, it all clicked. Romero was trending in the right direction in terms of strikeouts, walks and ground balls. Buoyed by a low BABIP and high strand rate – numbers typically attributed to events outside of a pitcher’s control – the Blue Jays ace finished the season with a career high in wins and an ERA below three.

Given the somewhat disappointing results of the rest of the young and inexperienced staff, Romero’s performance stood out as something that was actually encouraging to fans, and presumably to management, who prior to his breakout year, had locked up the left-handed pitcher’s services for the next five seasons at the seemingly low cost of a guaranteed $30.1 million.

Then came 2012.

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Dickey The Best

dickeythebest

I just wish R.A. Dickey could somehow learn to endear himself to Toronto fans. Since being traded to the team from the New York Mets and signing a team-friendly contract this off-season, he’s proven to be such a tough sell to supporters.

As for picking out the 2012 National League Cy Young Award winner from among his 1986 Little League teammates, I’ll give you a hint: He’s not in the front row. Dickey kneels before no man.

544319_10151382846585847_705828159_nAs of Opening Day, you’ll feel slightly less ripped off by the prices of beer at Rogers Centre.

Through their Facebook page, Steam Whistle Brewery announced that their pilsner will be available “across the street” this year at Rogers Centre. The most amazing thing about today’s news is that it took this long for a craft beer to become available at Toronto Blue Jays home games, when every other stadium in Major League Baseball had offerings from smaller breweries.

Today’s announcement, coupled with increasing chatter of Rogers replacing the artificial turf with real grass, means that in a couple of years the fan experience at Rogers Centre might actually represent what it’s like to watch a real baseball game.

Three cheers for beers!

Jays Extend Encarnacion

The Toronto Blue Jays have signed first baseman/designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion to a three year contract extension worth $29 million, including a $2 million buyout for a $10 million club option for the 2016 season.

It’s no secret that Encarnacion has experienced a renaissance (and then some) this season. The one time burgeoning star with the Cincinnati Reds fell on tough times after a wrist injury from which he never properly recovered. He was eventually traded to Toronto in the Scott Rolen deal, and while with the Blue Jays, he’s gone from being a scourge to fans with his poor defense to something of a saviour this season with the best offensive numbers of his career. As Ben Nicholson Smith points out at MLB Trade Rumors, over the last three years, Enccarnacion has been traded, claimed, non-tendered and designated for assignment.

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In the third inning of last night’s win over the Boston Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays starter Henderson Alvarez was visited on the mound by manager John Farrell and trainer George Poulis to check on the pitcher’s back. The 22 year old had been rubbing his side after extending his body in an attempt to reach a high bouncer. After a few practice pitches, he was deemed fit to remain in the game.

As we all know, Alvarez later left the game in the sixth inning with stiffness on the inside of his right elbow. In post game interviews, Farrell claimed that the two injuries weren’t related, and while that may be true, we can see a definite difference in Alvarez’s release point on his pitches for the first three innings and immediately after.

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According to Shannon Drayer of ESPN Radio in Seattle, and confirmed by other sources, the Toronto Blue Jays have signed 49 year old Jamie Moyer to a Minor League contract that will see him join the Las Vegas 51s in Tacoma later this week. Moyer recently requested and was granted his release from the Baltimore Orioles after they decided not to call him up to their big league roster after a brief audition in the team’s Minor League system.

News of the acquisition follows Henderson Alvarez leaving tonight’s 9-6 victory over the Boston Red Sox after five innings with soreness in his right elbow. He becomes the fourth member of the team’s starting rotation to exit a game early due to injury in the last two weeks, and the third to do so because of elbow problems.

Meanwhile, as the only uninjured member of the starting rotation, Ricky Romero, lost his temper at fans and reporters alike during a rain delay in Boston, word quickly broke that the Blue Jays had called up Triple A starter Scott Richmond to join the team. In corresponding moves, Robert Coello will go back to the Minors and Drew Hutchison will be put on the 60 day Disabled List.

This is the epitome of the adage: desperate times call for desperate measures, as both Richmond and Moyer at this point in their respective careers, have done a pretty good job at proving they have no place on a Major League roster.