Offseason Party

I heard the Jays are having an offseason party hosted by new GM Alex Anthopoulos, it's going to be a Taco Party, and you're invited.

Has Wilner Jumped the Shark?

I can't comprehend how Wilner thinks that this trade offer would be anywhere near as close as what Milwaukee would get if they put Prince Fielder on the market, but according to the normally realistic Wilner, the Jays should offer the Brew Crew this stinker of an offer:

Marc Rzepczynski OR David Purcey
Casey Janssen
Edwin Encarnacion
ONE OF Brad Mills, Daniel Farquhar, or Reider Gonzalez


Prince Fielder
JJ Hardy

Even if we are to assume that Hardy for Encarnacion is a wash (which is highly debatable, since Hardy probably has some value, while Encarnacion has absolutely no value, and they both have inflated salaries), the deal boils down to Rzep OR Purcey, plus Janssen, plus a slightly above average prospect for a 25 year old (looking to cash in) who has already hit 50 homers in a season, and currently has 43 homers this year and batting .300. Who cares if it's just a rental? If you're paying $2 for the rental, I'm sure some other team will offer $5.
Purcey is 27 and has done nothing in the majors or minors to suggest he will be anything more than a flamed out first round pick, and Rzep has all the scouts viewing him as a fourth starter.

Does Casey Janssen have that much trade value? Or did Wilner just have too much cough medicine the night he wrote this bizarre post??

Don't be made for a fool

So recently, the new mantra of the Jays organization seems to be "Come down to see the team play... in doing so, better things will be provided in the future." We're down to the stretch drive, the team is well below .500, the stadium pretty much sucks, and with a straight face they expect people to pay cash, use their time, and head off to see their shitty team wrap up another shitty season?

Bill Simmons recently provided two options that football fans have this year to experience the game, but I found it pretty appicable for Jays fans going down the stretch. Modifying Simmons two door analogy to Jays fans, it would go something like this:

Door No. 1 (more expensive): Lousy seats, lifeless state-of-the-art multi purpose stadium, dead crowds, drunk/bitter fans, hiked-up concession prices, no escape for other forms of entertainment

Door No. 2 (less expensive): Sofa, HD, MLB Package, fantasy scores online, remote control toggling, gambling, access to scores, beer and food in fridge, no traffic

Yes, I'm purposely leaving out the Play-by-play announcing of the game, but you always have the option of the mute button and throwing on some tunes, and having the game as more of a background as well.

In essense though, I know why guys like Cito Gaston, Vernon Wells, and Lyle Overbay go to every Jays home game. They get paid to. What's the excuse for fans to head there? Do the Jays actually believe that Jay fans have no other options?

Baseball Twats

Someone directed me towards Barry Davis of Sportsnet's twitter account, which is full of either Captain Obvious tweets or Canada Dry tweets. A sampling of perhaps the least insightful sports analysis on the planet, and what my response would be:

Barry Davis Actual Tweet: "I see Josh Towers still can't pitch. Hits Randy Ruiz in the face with a pitch. The dude is just brutal"

All Your Base Response: "Going up and in on a guy in a 0-2 count is pretty much the definition of major league pitching. Ruiz simply didn't pick up the ball. But hey, piling on Towers is pretty much par for the course in Toronto's media."

Barry Davis Actual Tweet: "Scott Downs on to pitch the 8th. His first appearance since August 1st"

All Your Base Response: Contrary to popular belief, Downs does not write J.M.J. (Jesus Mary Joseph) in the dirt behind the mound before he pitches. He actually writes the initials of his two children. Know what I did just there? Provided information about Scott Downs that is actually somewhat interesting.

Barry Davis Actual Tweet: "Travis Snider belts his 6th Homerun off windows retaurant and it left in a hurry. His 3rd since being recalled last week "

All Your Base Response: "Instead of following Gameday, why don't we follow Barry Davis' sporadic tweets which give little information, and random updates of rather trivial points of Jays games?"

Barry Davis Actual Tweet: "Roenicke in trouble in the 5th . After 2 quick outs he gives up a walk and 2 singles . Now 7-2 Rays

All Your Base Response: "Is this fucking serious?"

Rios Not Endearing Himself

So Alex Rios isn't making many new fans so far in his new city. In 20 games, a shocking .440 OPS, Rios appears lost at the plate and in the field, and single handedly is sinking the team's post season chances.

Some comments from the Chi-Sox faithful's message board from fans on their new centre fielder:

"I tell you what. some big shots in Toronto are smoking cigars and drinking cognac and laughing over the pickup by the Sox... I honestly believe that. This is my first criticism of him and I just can't believe Toronto gave him that contract. Whats even more is Williams picked this guy up... with all the dead wood on this team in Konerko, Dye , Ramirez, this guy is the deadest of them all. "

"He's a lazy slob who does nothing but suck and cash checks!!!! His teammates think he's the devil!!!! Fire Kenny Williams!!!!"

"They hung 3 curveballs IN A ROW to him today and he was under every single one. Get a clue man."

"It's like he has no brains out there and cant communicate. The time with Quentin looked like it happened because no one called the thing! And then it also happened later on that made Dye look bad, but again it's because Rios in CF wasnt taking charge."

A Night At The Can Opener

I went back to the Can Opener yesterday, not expecting much, and with these lowered expectations had a pretty damned good time. As promised, a chronicling of events that transpired last evening:

5:15pm: Meet my buddies Andy & Chad at Jack Astor's (their choice) for some pre-game food and drinks. Waitress, as per requirement, writes her name on our table. It's Nikki. After she leaves, I immediately bust out the "Cici... and Bret" which, on cue, Andy responds, "And don't forget Nikki!) (reference this Beavis & Butthead Poison viewing... [cue to the last 10 seconds])

5:49: Chad is overexcited thinking that Minka Kelly might be at the game watching Derek Jeter play. Little does he know that Jeter has the day off. And if Minka Kelly came to Toronto, it's much more likely that she would be in Yorkville than the Can Opener.

6:18: Superfast service allows us to leave the bar to head to the game. A limo pulls out infront of us, and 6 guys with Kid Rock t-shirts exit the back of the vehicle. It was a weird pastiche of cultural iconicity that made Andy certain that Kid Rock must be in that limo. None of us were concerned enough of this to investigate. Chad was really anxious to see Minka Kelly.

6:41: We buy our tickets at the ticket booth, and Chad is distracted. He points out that he notices someone familiar to him. He thinks he might be famous. Andy turns around to see who Chad is referring to. It ends up being some guy from Entertainment Tonight Canada. He's standing close to a guy who looks like T-Pain. Chad wants to ask the guy if he's T-Pain. I suggest otherwise.

6:58: Chad discovers that Jeter isn't playing. There is a single tear. Also, no sighting of Minka Kelly. I say it's doubtful she'll be sitting in the left field bleachers with us.

7:03: Some barbershop quartet is singing the anthems. Andy wonders out loud if the Backstreet Boys are the most succesful barbershop quartet of all time. I tell Andy that the Backstreet Boys had five members, so they can't be called a quartet. They'd have to be a barbershop quintet. Andy contemplates becoming the next Lou Pearlman and signing these guys. Chad reminds Andy that Pearlman is now in prison.

7:14: Joba is looking terrible, especially against this joke of a lineup. Chad is giddy thinking that Joba's pitch count and innings count could mark the promotion of Josh Towers soon... This would undoubtedly have Blue Jay fans heads explode having Hinske and Towers in the Yankee lineup at one time. Andy wonders outloud what has happened to Shea Hillenbrand. (Besides tending to his lemurs and minature horses)

7:19: Chad goes for a beer, and Halladay is mowing down batters. With a little bit of a lull, I pull out a trivia question for Andy (which I created from watching the flashback boards before the game). I ask him which five pitchers have the most saves in Blue Jays history. Andy quickly gets the top four (Henke, Ward, Koch, & Ryan), but can't think of the fifth. I give him three hints: (Primarily known as a starting pitcher, He isn't white, and he's currently in the AL West). He guesses Miguel Batista. He is wrong.

7:23: Chad gets back with his beer, Andy asks for Chad's help with the trivia question. He's given the three hints, and immediately guesses Miguel Batista. Still Wrong.

7:39: Halladay is still mowing down hitters. The bleachers are loving it. The game is actually pretty fun. I wonder if I should just simply go to Roy Halladay games. It's almost the only way to safely say that you might have a good time.

7:41: Chad says "Randy Myers?" I remind him that Randy Myers doesn't fit any of the three hints I gave him.

7:44: We realize that Rob Ducey is the Blue Jays alumni tonight for Flashback Fridays. Chad wonders if Paul Spoljaric had a previous engagement.

7:48: Chad says "Kelvim Escobar?" We have a winner.

8:12: I'm off to get a beer and notice a fairly attractive chick wearing a shirt that says "Please tell your Pants not to Point at me." Clearly, this is one classy broad.

8:26: Andy says, "Holy shit! It's a perfect game, so far!"

8:27: Halladay walks a hitter.

8:28: Andy says, "Well, at least it's still a no-hitter".

8:31: Halladay allows a base hit.

8:44: Two Yankee fans from Buffalo are pretending that there's actually a rivalry between Jay fans and Yankee fans. Blue Jay fans in the section are playfully chirping back at the Yankee fans. It seems like they are passionate, but it's hard to take the arguing seriously seeing that the Yanks are 20 games up on the Jays. Right now, it's akin to fans of Team Canada basketball chirping with Dream Team fans. "Oh yeah? Steve Nash is Canadian!!!"

9:03: Chad mentions how the Red Sox like stirring up community pride by blasting the Dropkicks in Fenway and asks if the Jays have a hometown song that riles up the Toronto fan base. Andy mentions that he's noticed that the Jays poor representation is this piece of merde.

9:56: Game was great! Almost worth the $36 tickets and $40 in booze! Off to make the best of the still young night. Contemplating going to Sunday's game.

9:59: Asked Andy and Chad if T-Pain could possibly replace Geddy Lee as the Jays #1 celebrity fan. Let's make it happen.

Diary Post Tomorrow

I'm off to see the Jays and Yanks tonight at the can opener, and thought this would be the best time to actually do a Simmonsesque-diary post of the experience, which will at least now force me to stay past the fourth inning this time around.

Is anyone else just watching the games now just to see how awesome some of the Jays opponents young prospects are? Neftali Feliz looked like a total beast this week. Evidence below:

More Thoughts on the Future

Another popular poster on John Sickels' site, Minor League Ball, named "King Billy Royal" is a friend of All Your Base Are Belong to Rios. Threw him a bunch of Jays/Baseball relations questions, and got these responses. Grab a hard drink and read:

What are your thoughts on recent Blue Jays draft signings Chad Jenkins & Jake Marisnick. Do these guys have the potential to be elite players at the major league level?

King Billy: I don’t think either guy can be an elite player, but both have the potential to be very good. I really like Jenkins. He has a great build for a pitcher and a 90-94 MPH heater to go with a plus slider. If he can improve his changeup he has the potential to be a solid #2 starter in the big leagues. Marisnick, while extremely raw, has tools to be a good centerfielder. His power, while decent, is still developing as he fills out and has potential to be a plus skill. He has good speed which, when combined with his strong defensive instincts, should allow him to be a very good centerfielder. His excellent arm should just add to his defensive abilities. I’ve heard Devon White and Torii Hunter comparisons and I am sure the Jays will be thrilled if he can become remotely close to either of those players.

What is the current view of next year's draft class. With the Jays having a boat load of picks in the first 3 rounds, will there be talent there for the Jays to build up the farm system? What names are popping out right now as potential stars?

King Billy: Personally I think it is too early to determine the talent level of next years draft class. Many of the names being tossed around right now for the 2010 first round class will move down the draft ranks by the time the draft commences [I’m looking at you Isaac Galloway]. However, there are some guys who look to be potential impact players. Obviously everyone knows about Bryce Harper, but who are the other potential impact prospects? Matt Harvey, a 2007 high school first round picks, returns to the draft after his college career. I could see him being a potential front line starter with a low 90s fastball and a good breaking ball and change. Bryce Brentz is another intriguing prospect. He has BIG TIME POWER to go with his amazing porn star name. Both are big plusses in my book. Will the talent be there for the Jays to build up its system? Sure. Will they actually accomplish this goal? That depends if JP remains in charge and whether ownership will give its general manager [Please No JP!!!!] the necessary financial resources.

If you could tear down the SkyDome and make a new stadium, which ballpark would you use as a blueprint?

King Billy: I would use AT&T Park in San Francisco. It has great sightlines, fantastic concessions, a unique look, lots of other attractions [gotta keep the wife happy] and a great view of the bay. Besides, what is more exciting then watching kayakers diving into the water after homerun balls?

Who should be Cito's successor? Are there any managerial candidates in the team's minor league system?

King Billy: Johnny ‘the Prime Minister of Defense’ MacDonald. Sure he can’t hit but who wouldn’t want to play for this scrappy guy!!!!

Yu Darvish -- When will he come to MLB. Any chance the Jays attempt to pay his posting fee?

King Billy: I expect him to come to MLB in 2013. I really doubt that his team is in any hurry to post him, especially when you consider that he has been quoted as saying that he has no desire to pitch in the major leagues. In regards to the second part of your question, no there is no chance that the Jays attempt to pay his posting fee under this ownership regime.

Are the Jays the worst franchise in the AL East? (Current state, future hopes). If they aren't, who is in worse shape?

King Billy: Sigh…. .it pains me to admit that the Jays are now the laughing stock of the AL East [go fuck yourself Baltimore]. The Jays have miraculously found a way to combine bad management, under performing key veterans [see Vernon Wells], with uncommitted ownership. Rogers has made it very clear that the Blue Jays are no longer in their future plans. Until they divest themselves of the team, I don’t expect the Jays to spend anything substantial on free agents, and they will be even less committed to the amateur draft [not signing 3 of their first 4 picks this year is not a good thing for a team that is rebuilding]. This is a team that will continue to get worse, before it gets better. Hopefully Paul Beeston can put a team together to purchase this team and get it back towards respectability.

Richard Griffin thinks the Jays should/will sign Chone Figgins? Should he be their #1 target?

King Billy: Hell No!!!!!!!!!!! I HATE when teams sign aging speedsters to long-term contracts. How many players, whose value is mainly due to their speed, age well into their mid/late 30’s? Not many. Teams are constantly let down by these players [see Rafael Furcal] as once their steals drop off, they are nowhere near the worth of their contract. If the Jays are looking for a third baseman they should try to ink Adrian Beltre to a contract. He would give them a decent bat and great glove for at least 3 productive seasons [not to mention that I love the fact that he will begin each at bat with one ball].

Geddy Lee Replaced?

Know how I know how this is not a good year for the Jays? Minimal sightings of Geddy Lee! While some other franchises see faces like Alyssa Milano, Ben Affleck, or Kid Rock grace their stands, and root for their home team, Toronto's resident celebrity throughout the tough years has always been Rush's lead man.

Maybe I'm just going to games where Geddy is a no-show, but I seemed to see him a lot more in years past. Is it because of the loss of his #1 fan Gregg Zaun, or has this team simply frustrated their lifelong fan to the tipping point?

Hopefully this is just a poor observation on my point, and there is no difference between this year's attendance of Geddy and prior years. But if not, could the Jays be relegated to having a new #1 celebrity fan... perhaps Canadian Idol's Jake Gold!?

All Your Base Are Belong to _______?

Time to bust out the sweatpants Jays fans, the relationship between the franchise and The Franchise is over, with the team inexplicably dumping their underacheiving superstar for "financial flexibility", which will allow the team to.... overpay for other free agents?

So now the most pressing question is, what becomes of the blog's title? In memory, shall it stay the same, or should the band-aid be ripped off, with a brand new player who will own the base? A poll will be up shortly with the candidates. Stay tuned.

A Look to the Future

As promised, the next few posts will focus on the Jays farm system, to at least provide another level of analysis in the state of the franchise. Friend of the blog, "Dewey Finn" was kind enough to answer some questions in regards to the Jays system.

For those unaware of Dewey, silly pseudonym aside, he is one of the better minor league analysts I have come across. Controversial and popular with his opinions he puts on John Sickels' site, his insights unquestionably generate more discussion than any other contributer, arguably including John Sickels himself.

On to the questions:

Q1: What are your thoughts about Travis Snider. Is he as can't miss as they come? We've seen similarly hyped, similar body type guys in the past (including King Billy Royal himself, Billy Butler) come up and not produce as many expected. What are the odds that Snider can live up to the projected 30+ homerun .300 hitting masher he is projected to be?

Dewey Finn: The power is for real, no doubt. 30-35 HR seasons are in his future with that excellent loft in his beautiful swing. It is a very powerful stroke that launches baseballs. However, I personally do not see him as a .300+ hitter. A consistent .280+ average is more likely in my opinion. The strikeouts are a big concern along with his inability to play defense. He's very young though, so I do believe he can improve upon his Ks with more experience and ABs. It would be a shame if the Jays have to move him to DH permanently at such a young age. Hopefully he gets a long look at 1B or LF with the chance to improve, and Adam Lind playing in the remaining position. Bottom line though, Travis Snider will be a major run producer in the middle of the Blue Jays lineup for a long time.

Q2: Much was made of the Jays minor league stockpiling of talent in the 2007 draft, but two of the top Jay picks, Kevin Ahrens and Justin Jackson have really struggled thus far in the low minors. What are your thoughts about the futures of these two players?

Dewey Finn: I'm very disappointed in these two guys. When they were drafted, I read some promising scouting and draft reports on them and was very excited as a Jays fan. Justin Jackson supposedly oozed tools, and Kevin Ahrens had the potential to be a power-hitting switch-hitter. I even read some loose comparisons to Chipper Jones. The optimist in me says that they are still VERY young and are in a tough hitters league (FSL) for the second consecutive year (2008 in MWL - also extremely tough on hitters). Unfortunately, their numbers are downright awful, and its difficult to be hopeful of a 'breakout' anytime soon. It seems they have taken a big step back against more advanced pitching. I definitely think they should repeat the level next year (High A). If there is no improvement, not even the slightest, then I do not believe they should be considered in the long-term plans for the big club.

Q3: I was a big fan of Kyle Drabek when he was drafted by the Phils, but after years of shittiness, and then Tommy John, it seemed that his stock was at an all time low last year. All of a sudden, with good winterball numbers, and a big year this year, the Phillies regard him as an untouchable resource. Is this just a classic case of a team overrating a player? And was it stupid of the team not to sell the player at an all time high stock price?

Dewey Finn: I would say its a little bit of both. Drabek has sky rocketed up prospect rankings the past few months. He possesses an excellent fastball and hammer curve combo that he has used to carve up hitters all year. However, as with any pitching prospect, they carry alot of risk, especially ones with an injury history as Drabek (TJ surgery). I think the problem is that teams are worried about giving up the 'next big thing' when trading. Many refer to the Bartolo Colon trade that sent Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips, and Grady Sizemore to Cleveland from Montreal. More recently, the Erik Bedard trade in which the Mariners got fleeced for Adam Jones, Chris Tillman, George Sherill. In my opinion, Drabek should not have been a roadblock for the Phillies to acquire one of the best pitchers in the game in Roy Halladay. Even manager Charlie Manuel publically mentioned his preference for the 'horse' in reference to Halladay. However, Rudy pulled off a great deal in getting Cliff Lee for a significantly cheaper price. Lucky for him, he didn't have to face the wrath of Philly fans.

Q4: Is Bryce Harper the Lebron James of draft prospects? Is he higher regarded that Stephen Strasburg was at this time last year?

Dewey Finn: Fuck Bryce Harper. Yeah, that's right, I said it. Do people realize how young he is and how little he has proven? The hype machine is operating in full force and I am sick of it. Is he the Lebron James of draft prospects? Well with Sports Illustrated covers and featured articles on ESPN, Yahoo!, he is the LeBron James based on hoopla alone. With that in mind, I do believe he is more highly regarded than Stephen Strasburg was at this time last year. Is it justified? Absolutely not.

Q5: After Travis Snider, who is the Jays best prospect?

Dewey Finn: With Marc Rzepczynski now in the majors, I am gonna go with a personal favorite of mine, and that is 2B Brad Emaus. He is relatively unknown and very underrated. However, he plays solid defense at 2B and has an excellent approach at the plate. Heading into the season, Baseball America dubbed him as having the best strikezone discipline in the Jays minor league system. I believe there is also some untapped power potential in his bat that should eventually produce 15+ HRs. He is probably about 2 years away from being a real factor with the big club, but when he's ready, I think the Jays should put him at 2B and move Aaron Hill to his natural position of shortstop.

Q6: I think the Jays will trade Halladay to the Dodgers this offseason, and I don't think the package will include Billingsley or Kershaw. What kind of package would be acceptable for the Jays to move Halladay to LA?

Dewey Finn:
If I were the Dodgers, I wouldn't trade Billingsley or Kershaw for Halladay either. However, even without Billingsley and Kershaw being involved in trade discussions, I still do think the Jays can receive an acceptable package in exchange for Halladay. Assuming we can only get prospects, I would be pleased with a return of Dee Gordon, Ethan Martin, Josh Lindblom, and Andrew Lambo. Although these names do not carry the same sex appeal as the prospects that JP wanted from Philadelphia, these are definitely valuable commodities. Dee Gordon, son of Tom Gordon, is an exciting young SS with tremendous speed. Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus made a loose comparison of Jimmy Rollins as his upside. Ethan Martin is a hard throwing right-hander who is still far away, but with a huge potential and a possible front-line starter. Josh Lindblom was a reliever in college, but the Dodgers transitioned him to starting and the results have been good. He does not profile to be an ace, but he is close to being major league ready, and could become a #2 or #3 type starter with 3 solid pitches and excellent command. Andrew Lambo is perhaps the most popular name in the package who has somewhat struggled in AA this year. Heading into the season, Baseball America listed him as the best prospect in the Dodgers system. He reminds me a lot of Adam Lind.

Q7: How do you rate Ricciardi's drafting history with the Jays?

Dewey Finn: I think JP has undeservedly received a lot of heat over the years for his drafting from the media, message boards, and bloggers. Simply put, prospects are hit and miss. Over the last 7 or 8 drafts that JP has been responsible for, I'm sure he has made some selections that he regrets. This is a common denominator for all general managers though, especially the Pirates. However, under JP, the Jays have developed some quality major leaguers, some of which who have the potential to be all-stars. These players include Adam Lind, Aaron Hill, Travis Snider, Ricky Romero, Shaun Marcum, Marc Rzepczynski, Brett Cecil, Jesse Litsch. There are some others on their way up through the system such as Brad Emaus, David Cooper, and JP Arencibia, all of which should have futures with the big club. Overall, I think JP Ricciardi has done alright.

A Lull in the Season's Narrative

It's Saturday evening. The Jays were triumphant over the Orioles, and the Yankees are up on the Red Sox, 3-0. There is little else on television other than Mr. Perfect vs. Shawn Michaels on The Score, or Crossroads on MuchMusic.

I'm not heading out until later tonight, so it's a perfect time to pull a post out of the blue and put on here. Major problem. Jeff Blair is right... at this juncture, the narrative of the Blue Jays season is now in neutral. The team is lifeless (despite today's victory), and there is little drama in the short term future.

Because of this, now non-stories like this Alex Rios waiver nonsense is now frontpage worthy. Joe Inglett playing left field actually spawns actual debate amongst Jays fans still following the team. If there was an NFL team in Toronto, everyone's attention would be squarely on that right now.

So I've decided that the next few posts will be directed toward the team's long term future... specifically with regard to the team's farm system. The team developing superstars appears to be the only way out of the hole nowadays. With depleted financial resources and an fourth place squad, the rebuilding has to come from within. Look for some hardcore analysis in the coming days. For now, did I mention that this is on Muchmusic right now??

New Feature: Best Baseball Related Twitter Post of the Week:

If you replace "Yankees" with "police" and "Red Sox" with "protestors," the sentence, "The Yankees are beating the Red Sox" is horrible. - Michael Ian Black

September Callups are Coming Soon

So what's there left this year to look forward to for Jays fans?

Answer: September Callups!!! Fuckin' eh!! Let's quickly take a gander at who we might see.

1. Travis Snider - The Tao says he's back and he's mashing some potatoes and eating them with gravy. Time to bring him back to Poutine Country, and get this Babe Ruth Sequel back in business.

2. J.P. Arencibia - So everyone on Minorleagueball, including Dewey Finn, hates this guy because of his inability to take a walk, and it looks like his pitch recognition is still pretty bad in Vegas. But he has power, so let's get ready for the Mickey Tettleton era.

3. Bubbie Buzachero - Just kidding.

4. Shaun Marcum (Pictured on right)- Possibly? Maybe? Perhaps? Toronto nighclubs, get ready, the party man could be back.

Yeah, so maybe this ain't so exciting. Maybe it's time to fire up Season 3 of Friday Night Lights.

Wikipedia Not a Fan of E-5

Much has been said about how awful Edwin Encarnacion is with the glove. So, being the investigative site this is, I turned to Wikipedia to learn more about the newest hot corner Blue Jay. What's interesting is that on E-5's Wikipedia page, there is a disturbing amount of detail about his poor defense. Some highlites:

1. 'Defensively, he makes the difficult plays with relative ease, but botches too many routine ones and, in particular, makes ill-advised or errant throws to first base'

2. In 2005 he had the lowest zone rating of any National League third baseman: .741.

3. His 25 errors during the 2006 season tied him with Arizona's Chad Tracy for most errors by a third baseman and his fielding percentage was a National League-low .916

4. The 2008 season saw EncarnaciĆ³n commit 23 errors in 143 games

BONUS DIG: (In 2007) EncarnaciĆ³n was benched again at one point... for not running out a fly ball

Brian Butterfield and Cito certainly have their work cut out for them. But I think it's safe to say that Encanacion doesn't have one fan -- the Wikipedia.


  • As touched upon briefly in a recent posting, the O's appear to be the next team on the brink taking the leap from pretenders to contenders, making the AL East that much more brutal. The Baseball Analysts broke down the future of the Orioles recently, which should provide some more misery for Jays fans.

  • What's the deal with Survivor contestants and Phillie pitchers? First Cole Hamels shacks up with Heidi Strobel, and now comes news that Kyle Kendrick has hooked up with Stephanie LaGrossa. Are we sure that Joe Blanton didn't knock up Elisabeth Hasselbeck?

  • I can't count how many people are not fans of Ricciardi, but Sports and the City have found at least one author who says the guy isn't the demonspawn that he has been made out to be.

  • With Bronson Arroyo's recent revelations about him probably being on the P.E.D. list, don't be surprised if this defense is used more often. Reason? It's actual true and makes sense. Says Arroyo: "Honestly, I would love to not take any of the supplements I take. I'd love to wake up in the morning and have some fruit and a bowl of cereal and have a good lunch, and maybe take a multivitamin for the day, but the reality is, I'm probably not going to be as good a major league pitcher if I do."

  • Poutini's defeats Smoke's according to this reviewers battle of Toronto's poutine joints.

I Broke My Internets

Somehow over the last six months, my computer skills eroded and I'm now a McCainesque luddite, so we'll have to just live with this shittastic template for the forseeable future until I can figure out how to make a better one. The colours have been Blue Jayified at least now.

I know I wrote I'd explain about the hiatus, and I will, with an unveiling shortly, but for now, let's get down and open up this coconut of a season and see what's to make of it.

I've been paying relatively close attention to this team for the past little while, which has included: going to a game (!), watching the team on the tube, and adding baseball writers to my twitter account. Needless to say, I am as well versed as Skip Bayless & Matthew Berry now.

In doing so, I have made three observations:

1) This team is much too old to be this bad. For the team's hitting future to be square on the shoulders of Adam Lind and Alex Rios is saying a lot. Travis Snider, despite the hype, is still an unknown commodity, and the development of top position picks Kevin Ahrens, Justin Jackson, etc. has not been going as people have expected.

2) The Baltimore Orioles are one of the scariest young teams in the majors right now. Yes, a lot was said of their young arms a few years ago, when they had the likes of Adam Loewen, Daniel Cabrera, Hayden Penn, etc., which blew up real good. But the trio of Tillman, Arrieta and Matusz looks really sick, and with the youngsters in the outfield, plus Matt Wieters, plus a sickly low payroll, this team could be in business real soon.

3) When did Kyle Drabek become an uber prospect? I've had this guy in my ridiculously deep keeper league since he was drafted by the Phillies, and up to this year, he was either a) shitty or b) hurt. So he puts it together this year in the low minors, shows promise while being promoted, and all of a sudden becomes the sticking point for the Phils to acquire the best pitcher in baseball? I'm no baseball genius, but something really doesn't compute here. As a quick aside, some of the reported offers the Jays have been making and are getting buffed at seem odd too. The latest was Halladay for Aybar, Wood and Saunders. And that was too rich for the Halos. Call me crazy, but does anyone in baseball actually still like Brandon Wood & Joe Saunders?

Anyways, good to be back. More explanations on the way, and more baseball chat. Go Expos!


New template, no more pseudonyms, an explanation of why this blog has been on hiatus, and more on the horizon. Stay tuned! (By the way, this shitty horrible tempate is not the new template, it's just a holding place til the new one comes along... somehow the old template got Kansas City Royally Fubared).

Shit just got real! All Your Base is Back for the stretch drive. What did I miss?

Fourteen Wins in Twenty Games

That's a .700 winning percentage, and the best record in major league baseball.

Boys Beware! This team has some moxy, some grit, some balls out hustle and will to win -- and they are doing this without David Eckstein, Reed Johnson or Gregg Zaun. How is this possible?

Clearly, the return of Aaron Hill has been massive. Over the last little while, Jeff Blair has commented on the fact that Hill will soon be the cornerstone and face of the franchise. I was a little speculative of this assertion early on in the season, and while it's very premature, the dude looks Dustin Pedroiaish, and apparantly, being Dustin Pedroiaish means you are MVP worthy.

All you need to do is take a gander at Scott Downs' strikeout to walk ratio this year, and determine that he is now at the level of a shutdown closer, even though he doesn't physically look like one.

Serious concerns now face the rotation. The team can't keep up a first place click with Purcey, Richmond, Tallet, and Burress rounding out 2-5, so one begins to wonder how long the Jays can tide this over before the likes of Janssen, McGowan (?), Marcum (?) and Romero (!) return.

Analysis of First Ten Games

After the first ten games, the Jays sit at 7-3.

First Place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!

That's beautiful. And even better now that Jesse Litsch is on the DL. Clearly, some of the early success the Jays have had can be attributed to the relatively minimal amount of scouting reports other teams have about the Jays lefty starting pitchers.

Add another lefty youngster out there, and the Jays should undoubtedly further their domination.

But seriously, this is probably the best it will be for Jays fans this year -- so let's savour it before we inevitably start to see the cracks.

Some glimmers of hopes: the Red Sox appear to have some serious issues this year, Papi looks awful, Dice-K is already tired, Ellsbury looks mediocre, their left side of the infield is brutal, and their closer might be hiding an injury.

Some not so glimmer of hope: the Rays appear to have a roster that is better than last year, and have David Price hiding in the minors right now.

Early prognosis (based on 10 games of watching MLB games): Tampa and NY seem primed for the AL East, but Toronto could conceivably be a better team than Boston.

Start the countdown before we start hearing about Roy Halladay going to Tampa for Tim Beckham and other prospects.

Season Starts

Holy Shit! It's the 2009 season. Let's dust off the Internets, and bring this terrible blog back to life with some Frankenstein-like brutality. Hopefully, by the end of this post, Kenneth Branagh dies.

So what the hell has happened since we last saw the Jays back in 2008, when the team was pretty shitty? Well, the economy slid further down the shitter, employees got laid off, ticketsales presumably followed the downward trends, and the Jays did not sign one free agent to a guaranteed major league contract. AJ Burnett is a Yankee. Michael Barrett is a Blue Jay. Robbie Alomar (alledgedly) has Aids. Well fuck me. Good times.

This season is shaping up to be as brutal as a Montag video. And to top it off, I'm now hearing that Alex Rios might be shipped off this year? Fuck that!

So, I'll be up in the 500 boonies tomorrow for the home opener, which should be the highlite of the year. I thought about setting up a Twitter account, but remembered that Twitter is for people like this.

Silver lining for this year: every game other than the home opener should be pretty much general admission, as 90% of seats will have no bums in them. Problem: Annoying loud fans will be easier to hear in the cave.