In the wake of the madness caused by the Blue Jays decision to extend Dustin McGowan for 2013 and 2014 after he’s pitched all of 21 innings in the Majors since 2008, and my galling suggestion that this might be a curious decision on the part of the club, I’ve found myself in a number of online arguments. In one of them I was being accosted for being open to the idea of the Jays signing Prince Fielder to a mammoth contract, but against McGowan’s deal. Money, of course, has nothing to do with my confusion over the McGowan deal, but this was an internet fight, so such trivial concerns as accurately representing what you’re arguing against don’t matter so much.
What matters is that I was for Prince Fielder, who spent 2011 padding his numbers by crushing dingers off the soft-tossing junk-balling has-beens of the NL Central– barely a step above triple-A, relative to the American League East.
This, I thought to myself, is surely a textbook example of an absurd notion being put forth by some clod hellbent on disagreeing me no matter what. Uh… then I looked at Fielder’s home run log for 2011…
The Narrative: Three homers from right-handers off Zach Greinke wasn’t enough to power the Arizona Diamondbacks past the Milwaukee Brewers, thanks in particular to an error-driven bullpen meltdown in the bottom of the sixth. Now the Snakes get on a plane back home needing three wins to save their season.
Milwaukee jumped out to a quick lead on a two-run shot from Ryan Braun in the first inning, and added two more in the third thanks to RBIs from Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks, making it 4-1– Arizona’s run coming on a Paul Goldschmidt solo shot. But the Diamondbacks clawed back, thanks to towering blasts from Justin Upton and Chris Young.
For a couple innings the game had all the makings of a tense battle, until the wheels came off for the Diamondbacks in the sixth, when reliever Brad Ziegler entered the game.
So… a little bird came along and told me this afternoon that the logo in the image you see below is what will be found on the caps of the Toronto Blue Jays, starting next season.
I have no idea whether it’s real or fake, but what I’m being told is that the new primary logo will be the bird and maple leaf here, and will include a baseball and the team name arched over and under the baseball (much like the 1977-1996 logo). The BLUE JAYS script you see in this image is, from what I’m told, not a part of the new graphic package but a standard font used on a t-shirt.
If it’s true, what do you think? I’m beyond all for it, frankly. They never should have ditched it in the first place.
This winter, when he hasn’t been putting on bandannas, getting his tips frosted, or taking heat for not acquiring his main free agent targets, for publicly disagreeing with ownership over the Rafael Soriano contract, and for suggesting that Derek Jeter will wind up in the outfield before his deal is done, New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman has been taking up some curious new hobbies.
But the evening, a charity event to raise money for prostate cancer research, wasn’t without an element of baseball newsworthiness. Cashman was asked to address his comments about Jeter and Soriano, which he unsurprisingly downplayed, and he insisted that there’s nothing awry with his relationship with the Yankees.
It’s fitting that the team from Minnesota, home of political red-headed stepchildren like Jesse Ventura (both of them!), Michelle Bachmann and Al Franken, are once again champions of the American League’s red-headed stepchild– the Central division! (See what I just did there?) And yet this year they’ll be doing so for the first time in their new, outdoor ballpark, Target Field.
Ahhh yes, who among us doesn’t get a little misty-eyed about great baseball traditions like peeling yourself off a bleacher seat in a frosty Minnesota mid-October while chowing down on some walleye on a stick?
In 2008 the New York Yankees missed the playoffs for the first time in thirteen years. They returned emphatically last season, winning the World Series behind the biggest payroll in baseball, a trio of expensive free agents, a rejuvenated Derek Jeter, and an uncharacteristically dominant post-season from Alex Rodriguez.
What will they do as an encore?
“Flame out miserably,” would be the hopeful response from anyone with a soul who didn’t grow up a Yankee fan.
Yes, while the Evil Empire may have lost its emperor this season with the passing of longtime owner George Steinbrenner, they’ve got a long way to go before they’ll lose the distinction of being the most hateable team in baseball, and perhaps all of sports.
And yet, despite the playoff berth, it was a reasonably good season for Yankee haters. Derek Jeter finally started looking his age, the back end of the rotation was, in a word, terrible, and they weren’t able to hold off the Tampa Bay Rays, only managing to make the playoffs as the Wild Card team.
Yeah, I know that’s not exactly Pittsburgh Pirates bad, but come on, it’s the best we’ve got.