2010-04-30

Game 23 Recap: Live And In Effect

What. A. Game.

I had to wait a while to report on the game due to various reasons, mostly pre and post game festivities related.  Hot Rod, The Raezor, Jimmy Botts, Jimmy Triggs and yours truly met up for a guaranteed shitshow.  The Raezor is in town for the weekend from Calgary and he wanted to see a game.  He mentioned to me that this would probably be his only game in the SkyDome this year and he wanted to do it up right.....

There was some serious heckling going on and we got to A's clean up hitter Kevin Kouzmanoff.  At one point I turned to the people in my section and encouraged them to "yell at somebody"  To my surprise, most of them actually did.  



Right at the end of the video you can see Buck's eyes look up quickly.....guarantee that was us.

During the post game interview of new hero John Buck, Hot Rod and I went down with the intent of yelling at Sam Cosentino.  At one point I was letting John know that I wanted to have his children and green coat security guy took note and made a threatening motion at me.  I laughed at him.  He called the cops.  Me and Hot Rod bounced.  Cops were waiting.  I recall the conversation well.

Officer: Sir you have been asked to leave.
Golden Arm: I will do just that.
Officer: Take a BIG sip of your beer and come with me.
Golden Arm (looking down at a half full beer): Yes sir.

As we got about half way to the door.

Golden Arm: Would be ok to take another sip?
Officer: Pound it. Hurry up we gotta make this look good.

I shook his hand as I exited the SkyDome.  Good times.

As you can probably guess, I had to watch the greatest invention in modern day history, the mighty PVR, to fill in the details.

Jays win 6 - 3.
Ricky stops the losing streak at 5.
Gregg got his 6th save striking out the side.
Justin DL Duchscherer limped off the mound in the fourth inning.  Glad I dropped him in my keeper league. 
John Buck and Travis Snider hit back to back jacks in the third.  Both were no doubters.

Buck got a rare three happy cats for his efforts.
He hit two fastballs and a curve over the wall for 3 home runs.
His last of the three bombs went off Windows in center.
He became the 15th Toronto Blue Jay in team history to accomplish that feat.
He had five of the six RBI for the game.    

I will send it over to King Jordan to describe the situation when he stepped up in his forth and final at bat in the 8th.

Courtesy of King Jordan:

TORONTO -- As John Buck approached the plate in the eighth inning of Thursday's game against the A's, he could barely hear himself think.
The crowd on hand at Rogers Centre rose to its feat and joined together in a chant of, "Buck! Buck! Buck!" Toronto's 6-3 win was close to being in the books -- thanks to a solid effort from starter Ricky Romero and Buck's heroics -- but that was not enough.
The fans were hoping to witness history -- a fourth home run in a single game from one of Toronto's players -- and Buck tried to deliver.
After falling into an 0-2 count against A's reliever Brad Ziegler, the big catcher took one final monstrous hack, sending the ball sky-high and eventually into the glove of Oakland right fielder Ryan Sweeney for a routine out.

The history the author is referring to in another one of his rock solid pieces happened once before in the SkyDome.  I remember it fondly.  We all need to keep going to the game people.  Cool shit happens.

Darin Mastroianni Interview:

Another exclusive!

Our comrade Jay Ballz over @ PhoulBallz requested a couple of players we would like to hear from in AA.  We thought long and hard about it and although Tim Collins and Danny Farquhar were on the list, we couldn't pass up the chance to hear from a guy that doesn't receive the type of press that we think he should.

Darin Mastroianni is one of the reasons why we let Joey Gathright walk in Spring Training.  His speed is off the charts and we here at 1bluejaysway love that part of the game.  It has been 10 years since we had a true threat on the basepaths and we miss seeing the pressure that players like Darin put on the defense.  Now that the big club acquired / stole Fred Lewis from the Giants, Darin's path to the bigs may be slowed down a little.  No matter, we still have a lot of love for the man who we feel will eventually replace Vernon in centrefield.....

Once again, thanks to Jay for his efforts on this one.  Truly an insightful interview.

Darin, you had a big year with steals last season.  Please talk a bit about your success with the speed...

I feel very blessed and fortunate to be able to run like this.  I'm fortunate, I was given that tool and that ability.  Obviously, I love stealing bases.  It's an asset that I enjoy having and I just keep trying to make it work, not only for me, but to help the team.  It can get the guys behind me more fastballs, and maybe make the pitcher slide step more and be more erratic to the plate.

Is there any part of your stealing approach that is less speed related and more cerebral?  Is there anything you look for when picking your spots?

You just kind of watch the pitcher and see what they're doing with guys on base.  You just kind of get the times on them, remember what kind of (pick off) move they have, how many looks they give you...
You know, it's just a reaction thing, pretty much.  As soon as that leg goes, you're off and you let everything else fall into place.

What aspects of your game are you working on improving?

Yeah, this hitting isn't going well right now.  Obviously, I didn't get off to the start that I would have liked.  Leading off, striking out, just really not hitting the ball the way I'd have liked to start the season.  But it's a long season and I feel good at the plate.  I'll keep grinding away with this swing and you always gotta make adjustments throughout the year.  You get 500-600 at bats and you're gonna hit the ups and downs and you just try to minimize those downs the best you can.

What has your experience with New Hampshire been like so far?

I've been fortunate.  I was here for half the year last year and I'm fortunate to come back this year.  It's just a great place to play.  We have a great stadium, a great fan base.  They make it really easy to play.  You come to the field, you know you'll have a lot of fans there to support you.  They care about you.  It's a fun place to play.  It's always nice and you really look forward to being home at the park.

There's a lot of BLOG LOVE surrounding you right now.  How would you react to that sort of positive feedback that you get from great sites like 1 Blue Jays Way?

You know, it's nice.  It's encouraging when people are saying nice things about you.  It helps, you feel good.  Ultimately, they're not the ones who make the decisions and they're not the ones that have to go out there and do it.  Obviously, it's better to have them say nice things than to be ripping me than to tell me I suck and I shouldn't be here and all this stuff.  Last year's in the past and this year's what it is, ya know, and you have to keep playing and try to help the team win.  And I feel like if you're really trying to help the team win, everything's going to fall into place.

Which pitcher would you most like to face some day?

I would say AJ Burnett, because if you get on base, he's pretty slow to the plate.

Who was your favorite player growing up?

I was a New York boy, so Derek Jeter.  How do you not like Jeter growing up in New York?  But, as I got older, I really liked watching Jose Reyes play.  Just anyone with speed, I'd just watch these guys and be like, "Wow, look how they can effect the game."  I enjoyed watching how they could make an impact on the game so quickly.

What was your favorite baseball movie?

I'd have to go with "The Sandlot".  It is just classic.  I feel like that's kinda the way I started playing when I was a kid.  Just playing that backyard baseball.  Being able to run, I was always a big fan of Benny the Jet.  It's just a classic.

 















To see our latest interview with Darin click here!

2010-04-29

Game 22 Recap: So You Wanna Play With The Big Boys?
















For the record: 

We have played six games against the Red Sucks and Tampon Bay and we are 1 - 5.

Do I have to remind you that, along with the Evil Empire, we play these divisional rivals 54 times combined this season?  The months of August and September are particularly brutal with 17 and 13 games respectively.  That should be right around the time we are running out the kids. 

Let the calls for re-alignment commence.....now!

With respect to this game:

LHP Brett Cecil was very good.  His line:

6 IP 5 Hits 1 ER 1 BB 3 K 100 pitches.  Normally good enough to win but this is the AL East baby!

LHP John Lester was better.  His line:

7 IP 1 Hit 0 ER 2 BB 11 K 119 pitches.  What are you gonna do? 

Interesting facts from Game 22:

The Cito must have heard the collective voice begging him to pinch hit.  He sent three players up there in the eighth, representing the game tieing run and all three struck out.  FYI:  Probably won't be seeing that again anytime soon.

It was Major League debut time for LHP Rommie Lewis.  He logged one shut out inning, giving up one hit.  I think he looked good and probably could help us out down in the pen moving forward.

RHP Josh Roenicke got an inning as well.  He looks like he belongs in the Majors.  Nice moving fastball and decent breaking ball.  He faced the minimum and had two strikeouts.  It looked to me like he was loading up the ball.  Mr. Umpire asked to see the ball during the V-Mart at bat, which is quite out the ordinary.  If I had to guess, the Vaseline is on the brim of his cap.

Quickly:    

By my count, E5 is eligible to come off the 15 day DL today.  We can send him down for a "rehab assignment" which could last up to 20 days.  The brain trust may choose to do that to buy some time before having to make a decision.  What I'm wondering is who gets sent down when he is ready to come back?

The candidates:

Travis Snider
Mike McCoy
Randy Ruiz

Anybody got an argument against sending down Ruiz other than the fact he is awesome?  He hasn't played much and has options.  What do you guys think? 

More Quickly:

Brian (Wolverine) Tallet is eligible to come off the 15 day DL in three days time.  He is out of options and must be put back on the roster.  He could go down for a "rehab assignment" of up to 30 days.  That seems likely to me at this point.

















Finally:

I will be going to my second game in the last three days tonight.  Forth game this season if you include the shitshow Opener.  On the hill for the 7:07 start:

Justin (my elbow, back and head hurts) Duchscherer
2-0, 1.82 ERA for 2010
1-0, 3.09 ERA vs. TOR

VS.

Ricky Romero
1-1, 1.80 ERA for 2010
2-0, 1.29 ERA vs. OAK

Zach Stewart Interview:

Photo courtesy of King Jordan 

This is an exclusive interview with your Toronto Blue Jays top 5 prospect RHP Zach Stewart.  A one on one with our boy Jay Ballz.  Enjoy!  

Can I get your thoughts on your most recent outing (1 baserunner allowed in 5 innings against Trenton on Tuesday night) and early success thus far in 2010?

I mean as far as (Tuesday), it was one of those nights where everything felt good and things were going my way and I had good defense behind me.
 
What is your pitch repertoire like?

I mean, I'm pretty much a fastball guy.  Fastball, slider, and I've been working on my change up the past few years and that's coming along.  A lot of sinkers, I guess, are pretty much what I throw mostly.

What are you working on improving this season and what are your goals this year?

Right now, just working on the change up, like I said.  That's a big deal that I've been working on.  And just getting ahead of guys and getting more outs and going longer in the game.  My ultimate goal is to get to the big leagues.

Speaking with New Hampshire pitching coach Tom Signore, he mentions your name when asked about guys on the pitching staff who could surely see some success at higher levels.  How does that sort of support make you feel?

That's awesome.  You want that kind of gratitude and everything, from your superiors.  I guess you can't move up if nobody likes you up there, so it's a good thing to know that the (powers that be) like you.

What has your experience been like playing in New Hampshire so far this season?

The few games we've played there so far, it's been really cold.  We didn't have a ton of fans show up yet, but I guess it's been better than you could expect because we had 2 or 3 games in a row when it was in the 30's and 40's and it was sleeting and stuff.  We didn't even want to be there, so I am sure the fans didn't want to be there.  But, we had a lot of people show up, so it was pretty cool.

You've been ranked as a top 10 prospect in the Toronto system by Baseball America.  How do rankings and recognition like that effect your approach to the game?

It doesn't really play into to it too much, 'cause it doesn't matter what you're ranked...if you don't play well, you're not gonna move (up), so it doesn't really matter to me.  It might matter to some guys, but not me.  It's definitely an honor, but it doesn't really matter as long as you're playing well.

Who in the Blue Jays system has helped you improve the most since you were acquired last year in the Scott Rolen trade?

I've had a lot of help from Dane Johnson, the pitching coordinator and of course Tom Signore has helped a lot here in double A, but I haven't been with him very long.  Though, what little I've been with them, those guys have helped me a lot.

Which batter would you most like to face some day?

Probably A-Rod, because he's considered one of the best hitters in the big leagues.  It would be cool to face him.

Which ballpark would you most like to pitch in some day?

The Ballpark in Arlington, because I grew up a Rangers fan.  I'm from two hours down the road, so that would be pretty exciting.

Who was your favorite player growing up?

Nolan Ryan, for sure.  Being from Texas and everything, he was pretty much a big deal back then.

What is your favorite baseball movie?

I'd say Major League...just 'cause it's funny.  It's a good baseball movie.

Kyle Drabek Interview:






















1bluejaysway is pleased to announce that we have developed a friendship with the Phillies blog PhoulBallz.com.  Since the 1993 World Series is long behind us, and with their former prospects climbing through our system and our former ace running their division, there's no better time to form a brotherhood with one of the finest Phils blogs out there.

PhoulBallz.com's Jay Ballz will be crossing over into the realm of Toronto to provide you, the people, with some inside access when the situation presents itself.  He has been kind enough to give us the go ahead to give you a taste of his brilliant work with a Kyle Drabek exclusive. 

Drabek Preparing For Next Step

The transition has been easy for Kyle Drabek. In December, he was part of a package of young prospects that was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for ace pitcher Roy Halladay. Now, as though nothing has changed, he's right back where he was last season...the star prospect on the pitching staff of a team in the Double A Eastern League.

Drabek has often stated that he wanted to stay in the Philadelphia organization, who drafted him in the first round of the 2006 amateur draft. The 22-year-old thought after the midseason trade rumors, that surrounded him possibly going to Toronto last year, passed with no action that all the turmoil was over and that he could simply relax and focus on getting to the big leagues with the Phillies. That wasn't the case, as the deal eventually came to fruition over the off-season.

In the Blue Jays system this season, Drabek doesn't have to worry about being dealt. He only has to concern himself with opposing batters and working on his secondary pitches to compliment his electric mid-90's fastball.

To continue reading, click here.

If you want to leave a comment on it, ask any questions or just want to say thanks for the insight, please do so on his site.

Quickly:

A fun fact from Jay:

Did you know that in the 1940's the Phillies made an unsuccessful attempt to change their name to the Blue Jays?

Lugnuts edge Whitecaps, 2-1

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. – Ryan Tepera combined with three relievers to make Sean Ochinko's two-run double in the third inning stand up, leading the Lansing Lugnuts (13-7) to a 2-1 victory over the West Michigan Whitecaps (6-14) on Wednesday night at Fifth Third Ballpark.
It was the Lugnuts' sixth straight victory and tenth in their last eleven games.
West Michigan starter Ramon Lebron (2-1) walked five Lansing batters in 2 2/3 innings, stranding runners at second and third in the first two frames before departing with two men on and two outs in the third. Ochinko greeted reliever Cory Hamilton with a laser into left-center, plating both Brad Glenn and Brad McElroy for a 2-0 lead.
As it turned out, those runs were all the Lugnuts would score in the game -- and they were all that Lansing would need.
Tepera (2-0) pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing an unearned run on four hits and two walks to earn the victory.
Dustin Antolin, Brian Slover, and Steve Turnbull took it the rest of the way, with Hernan Perez's seventh inning single off of Antolin providing the sole baserunner against the Lugnuts' bullpen. Turnbull wrapped up a perfect ninth for his fifth save in as many opportunities.
The Lugnuts send right-hander Ryan Shopshire to the mound on Thursday night in search of the road sweep, opposed by West Michigan right-hander Trevor Feeney.

2010-04-28

Game 21 Recap: This Just In.....

I was in attendance for this game and I walked away disappointed, not because we lost but more how we did it.  With both bullpens worn down from the 25 run marathon a night earlier, a good start was needed by Shaun Marcum.  And he did just that.  I'm not sure if he had his best stuff, but he was able to keep us in the game until the bullpen got the call.

Enter Scott Downs.  Now I'm not going to shit on Downsie.  He didn't have it.  That is going to happen over 162 games.  But I am going to shit on the manager because he didn't have anybody else warmed up IN CASE Downs didn't have it.  What's the harm in getting another reliever up to start that fateful eight inning?

Now most fans seem to be up in arms about his choice not to pinch hit in the ninth for John Buck.  I will give you that.  But it really should have been a tie game at that point.

Some notes from the game:

The closer you sit, the bigger the mistakes look.....

















































Ortiz getting pinch hit for was AWESOME.  Some Red Sucks fans in the row ahead of me actually turned around because of my laughter with a disgusted look on their faces.....and I then directed my laughter at them.

Bottom line:

We lose 2 - 1 on tweeting Tuesday.  You would think the cheap bastards at Rogers would have wifi in the Dome considering they are in the fucking communication business.  Nope.

Jenkins, Lugnuts shut out Whitecaps, 6-0


COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. – Top prospect Chad Jenkins struck out nine over eight dominating innings to earn his first professional victory as the Lansing Lugnuts (12-7) shut out the West Michigan Whitecaps (6-13), 6-0, in the opener of a three-game series at Fifth Third Ballpark.
Drafted 20th overall in 2009 by the Blue Jays, the big right-hander had to wait until 2010 to make his pro debut. He took the mound on Tuesday night for his fourth start carrying a 5.63 ERA. It dropped nearly two runs after this performance.
Jenkins (1-1) scattered six hits and one walk in the finest performance of the young season by a Lugnuts starter. After Mike Gosse was thrown out at the plate to end the first inning, he did not allow a Whitecaps runner past second base.
An opportunistic Lugnuts offense tallied once in the first inning against West Michigan starter Giovanni Soto (1-2) before using shaky Whitecaps defense to score twice in the sixth, once in the seventh, and twice in the eighth innings against the 'Caps' bullpen.
Soto (1-2) suffered the hard-luck loss, striking out eight Lugnuts while allowing six hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Evan Crawford pitched the ninth for the Lugnuts, who have won nine of their last 10 games.
Offensively, Lansing was led by two-hit games by Brad McElroy, A.J. Jimenez, and Kevin Nolan. Cleanup hitter Brad Glenn singled in his first at-bat, extending his hitting streak to 13 games.
The Nuts and 'Caps play the second game in their series at 6:35 p.m. on Wednesday night, with Lansing right-hander Ryan Tepera (1-0, 5.40) set to face West Michigan right-hander Ramon Lebron (2-0, 4.15)

2010-04-27

Game 20 Recap: We Lose A Slugfest 13 - 12

EPIC GAME.

Here are some notes in no particular order:

4 hours and 3 minutes long
13, 847 in attendance (including 1 Blue Jay Hunter)
399 pitches were thrown
25 runs scored
34 hits
13 pitchers used
20 strikeouts

How the fuck do you recap that?

In the third inning alone 10 Jays combine for six runs on six hits with two singles, two doubles, one triple and a homer.  We hit for the cycle in one inning as a team!

Travis Snider was the only Blue Jay not to get a hit.  His 0 for 4 with 2 K puts his season average at .133.....Concerned yet?  I'm not.

Lyle fucking Overbay had a big game.  He ended up raising his average to .183 with a 3 for 5 night.  2 of those hits came of a lefthanded pitcher including a dinger. 

If you can believe it, the real fireworks started AFTER the game was over.  Your Toronto Blue Jays made two roster moves and both of them involve the bullpen.

The first: Merkin Valdez was Designated For Assignment.  It's a bit of a harsh move considering he had only 2 appearances 11 days apart.  He never got a chance really.

The second: Jeremy Accardo was Optioned to the minors.  He has surrendered a earned run in everyone of his appearances this year except one.  He allowed all 6 runners he inherited to score.

Called up to take the spots are:

Josh Roenicke has a chance to stick around here for a while.  Great arm.

Rommie Lewis was closing out ball games in Vegas and will be making his Major League debut. 

Analysis:

I doubt Merkin makes it through waivers.  Remember how we got him don't you?  Although his 20.25 ERA might not be very appealing to a GM desperate for an arm.  But I think he gets claimed.

Accardo is in his last option year.  He got a fair look up here but if he can't get it going we may end up non tending him a contract next offseason.  That is if he makes it that far within this organization.

I wrote in an earlier post about Rommie Lewis:

Aside from Rommie Lewis, who opened some eyes in camp, the rest of the guys on this pitching staff are known as organizational depth and are expendable.

And now check out what The Cito had to say last night:

"He opened up a lot of eyes in Spring Training," Gaston said. "I liked the kid all spring, but it was just one of those things where you can't bring everybody. He happened to be a guy that we could send out." 

How about that.....

2010-04-26

Lugnuts hold off Spartans, 5-4, to win 2010 Crosstown Showdown

by Jeff Barnes, Michigan State Athletics
and Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, Lansing Lugnuts

 
LANSING, Mich. – The Lansing Lugnuts erased a two-run deficit with a five-run fifth inning and held off Michigan State, 5-4, to win the Crosstown Showdown, presented by Auto-Owners Insurance, on Monday night in front of a crowd of 6,778 at Cooley Law School Stadium.
"It's a fun event for everyone involved from the players to the fans," said MSU head coach Jake Boss Jr. about the exhibition event. "It's a great atmosphere and our guys had a good time playing."
The Spartans scored the first run of the game off just two pitches from Lugnuts starter Sam Strickland. Brandon Eckerle tripled down the left field line to begin the game and then a flare single by Ryan Jones that dropped in just beyond second base gave MSU a 1-0 lead.
In the fifth inning, the Spartans took advantage of three errors by Lugnuts third baseman Oliver Dominguez to take a 2-0 lead.
Senior Kyle Corcoran started on the mound for MSU and turned in his best performance of the year to date. He went four complete innings and allowed just one hit before giving way to Andrew Webb in the fifth.
Then the tide turned.
With two on and one out, Kenny Wilson got things going for Lansing with a two-run double off of Webb to tie the score. A pair of RBI singles and a Spartan error put the Lugnuts in front, 5-2.
After the first inning, the Spartans were held hitless until the top of the sixth when Torsten Boss led off with a single to center field. Boss' hit ignited the Spartans as back-to-back RBI doubles by Bo Felt and Jordan Keur got MSU to within one at 5-4.
Lansing's bullpen took over from there, with Ruben De La Rosa and Juan Hernandez pitching scoreless ball through the eighth. Casey Beck finished off the Spartans in the ninth, inducing a comebacker from Jared Hook with the potential game-tying run at second base to earn the save.
Shawn Griffith picked up the win with 1 2/3 innings of relief; Webb shouldered the loss for MSU.
The Lugnuts open up a three-game series at West Michigan at 6:35 p.m. on Tuesday night. Right-hander Chad Jenkins gets the start for the Nuts against Whitecaps left-hander Giovanni Soto.

We Are Not Even Rebuilding, Yet.....

I know it's been a while since I posted "an original".

This topic has been floating through my mind for quite sometime.

re·build
[ree-bild] verb,-built or (Archaic) -build·ed; -build·ing.
–verb (used with object)
1.
to repair, esp. to dismantle and reassemble with new parts: to rebuild an old car.
2.
to replace, restrengthen, or reinforce: to rebuild an army.
3.
to revise, reshape, or reorganize: to rebuild a shattered career.
–verb (used without object)
4.
to build again or afresh: With the insurance money we can rebuild.

So the line the brain trust has been using to describe the 2010 version of your Toronto Blue Jays in my opinion is bullshit.  We are not rebuilding, yet.

If you look at our Opening Day line up this year and compare it to last year, you will notice a downgrade in talent.  That is not rebuilding.  That is simply plugging holes.

In my mind, a rebuild is when you take a few young players, who clearly have no business playing at the Major League level, and run them out there so that they can get some valuable experience without worrying about the results so much.  Think: 2009 pitching staff.  Guys like Cecil, Rzep, Mills, Ray, Richmond got experience that will hopefully make them better the next time around. 

A few things have to happen before we can call it a rebuild:
  • Trade Lyle Overbay
  • Trade Scott Downs
  • Trade Jason Frasor
  • Trade Alex Gonzalez
  • Trade John Buck
These veteran players are useful Major Leaguers.  But they are just spare parts on a playoff team.  They all will be free agents upon the conclusion of this season except Gonzalez.  He has an option that can be picked up. 

The problem we have here in Toronto is that we have no one knocking at the door, with the exception of Brett Wallace and J. P. Arencibia.  They should be up with this team, right now, in hopes they are able to mature as players.  But Boy Wonder is very conscious of their service time as he should be.

So therein lies the rub.  We cannot rebuild, yet.  We have to run out the vets all season and hope the preform well enough that someone is stupid enough to give us good talent for them in a trade.  This will happen close to the trade deadline at the end of July, if at all.  There is a possibility that we are forced to keep these players all season and decide whether or not to offer them arbitration in hopes that they decline and we get compensation draft picks for the 2011 Amateur Draft after they sign with a different team via free agency.
         
This season should be called a transition year.  Boy Wonder had very little to start with and he needs some time to get the talent required to rebuild.  He has shown the ability so far to trade for those types of players.  Brandon Morrow comes to mind.

Looking Forward:  
  
We, the people, need to keep it in perspective.  We are not a good team and I doubt that will change anytime soon.  We must live in the moment and cheer for our boys.  Wins and loses are not as important as personal stats right now.  We have to get our free agents to be going but only so that they can be shipped off to a team in the hunt.

Nobody said it was going to be easy.....

2010-04-25

Weekly Round Up : Apr. 19 - 25


Consider this your required reading for the week.  Just simmer the fuck down everybody on the chatter that we are moving out a la Montreal. 

Courtesy of Bruce Arthur @ The National Post:

"We're not going to do it with bobbleheads; we're not going to do it with a guy doing the wave," said Jays CEO Paul Beeston. "We're going to do it with 25 guys out on the field that can come up with 95 wins. That's it."
This is what starting over looks like. It's hard.

With respect to the concerns about attendance, everybody needs to simmer the fuck down too.  If you don't want to go see this team play, don't bother.  And if the cheap bastards at Rogers want to lie about attendance figures and use questionable ticket selling tactics, fuck em.  One day we will win more than we lose and all the baseball fans IN CANADA will be there with us diehards to see it.

Courtesy of Robert Cribb @ The Star:


The Toronto Blue Jays’ charity, the Jays Care Foundation, spent 39 per cent of total revenues on fundraising and administration in 2008, the last year it reported its figures.
That’s high, says executive director Danielle Silverstein.
“It’s a number I pay attention to. We’re very focused on it. … I’d love for it to be under 30 per cent.”

An eye opening piece on the "business" of charity in pro sports here in Canada.

Courtesy of Stadium Journey:

Fans   2/5
Long gone are the days when the Blue Jays used to draw 3 million in attendance. However, the Blue Jays still manage to consistently clear at least 11,000 in attendance per game. At times, it’s frustrating to watch fans more focused on when they should stand up so they can catch “the wave” or when they are cheering loudly to win a piece of pizza rather than cheer on the home team itself.
For the most part, the biggest crowds flock to the Rogers Centre when the Blue Jays play the Yankees or Red Sox. At times, the opposing fans are actually louder than the home fans and you can hear this clearly on the television broadcast.

I believe our comrade, the great Blue Jay Hunter wrote this one.  All sad but true.   

Courtesy of Jim Callis @ Baseball America:

I consider Hechavarria the sixth-best prospect in Toronto's system, behind righthander Kyle Drabek, corner infielder Brett Wallace, catcher Travis d'Arnaud and righthanders Chad Jenkins and Zach Stewart. It's too early to consider Hechavarria a Top 100 Prospect.

Can't wait to see the Cuban.

















 Courtesy of Morgan Campbell @ The Star:

And the biggest on-field question surrounding Hechavarria concerns his bat. He hit .262 in his final season in Cuba’s national series, a league where roughly 80 players hit .300 or better last season. Hechavarria is aware of the challenge big league pitching will present, but is confident he’ll solve the problem.
“Every day you have to find a way to improve,” he said. “And until I feel good (about my batting) I’ll find a way to get a little better every day.”

REALLY can't wait to see the Cuban.  

Courtesy of CBS Sports:

Millar retires to MLB Network: Kevin Millar has retired to the MLB Network.
(Updated 04/21/2010).
Injury Report
No information available at this time (Updated 4/25/10).
Fantasy Analysis
Millar can be ignored in all Fantasy leagues now, if you haven't already.
(Updated 04/21/2010). 

Fucking scab.  This guy stole how many at bats from Lyle last season?  251 to be exact.  In fact, he had 283 (wasted) plate appearances.  

Courtesy of Brett Popplewell @ The Star:

With so many high profile patrons – and the hotel about to house some of them for the G20 Summit in June – security at the hotel is every bit as important as the housekeeping.
But a recent case of internal housekeeping had more to do with the hotel’s security than its laundry. Earlier this month the Royal York hired a private investigator to monitor the movements of some of its staff and then fired 22 employees.

First of many G20 clusterfuck victims.  The much anticipated weekend series approaches.

Courtesy of Tyler Kepner @ The NY Times:

When Dirk Hayhurst was growing up, he could never relate to friends who idolized major league baseball players.
“Why would you want to be these guys when you could be Superman?” he would tell them. “Yeah, he can throw hard, but Superman can throw a skyscraper as hard as he can throw a baseball. That was way more appealing to me.”

Hurry back Dirk.  Apparently he needs some Unicorn blood to assist in his rehab.  I try to help out with the search.

Nerding it up in Simulation Nation:

OOTP 11 says we go 2 - 5 this week.  Ouch.
Of note: Dustin McGowan was claimed off waivers by the Texas Rangers.  I had to DFA him because it wouldn't let me transfer him to the 60 day DL.  Stupid game.

MLB 10 The Show says we go 3 - 4 this week.
Of note: Jason Frasor has a 1.82 ERA, 0.56 WHIP, 9K, 1 BB and 9 saves.  FAIL.

2010-04-24

Dominguez’s double does in Dragons, 9-8

Lugnuts win wild walk-off affair in 10 innings
 

LANSING, Mich. – In a wild affair that saw six lead changes, three blown saves, and four brilliant relievers get battered, Oliver Dominguez lined a walk-off double in the bottom of the tenth to lift the Lansing Lugnuts (10-7) to a 9-8 win over the Dayton Dragons (9-8) on Saturday night at Cooley Law School Stadium.
The decisive blow came off of Dayton closer Donnie Joseph (2-1), who entered the game having given up only one hit and no runs in seven previous outings but served up three hits in the span of six batters to a Lugnuts team missing Brad Glenn and Mark Sobolewski due to injury.
With one out in the tenth, Kenny Wilson lined a single into the left field. Dominguez followed by drilling the first pitch he saw from Joseph into the right-center gap, scoring Wilson and touching off a celebration on the middle of the diamond.
It was the second big double of the game for the Lugnuts designated hitter a day after his 21st birthday. With Lansing trailing 6-5 in the eighth inning, Oliver Dominguez cracked a two-run double off Nick Christiani.
A sacrifice fly from A.J. Jimenez scored Dominguez to give the Lugnuts an 8-6 lead going to the ninth, but Dayton tallied twice against Brian Slover -- keyed by Chris Richburg's game-tying triple -- to send the game into extras.
Slover (2-0) recovered to pitch a perfect tenth, picking up the win.
The game saw 30 combined base hits, 18 by the Lugnuts. Dominguez, Sean Ochinko, and Ryan Goins each had three hits, with Ochinko slugging his first home run of the season.
For the Dragons, Richburg notched four RBIs to give himself 18 for the young season.

Our boy Jesse caught up with Oliver and an interpreter a few weeks after this big game on his birthday.  Check it: 


  

2010-04-23

Game 17 Recap: I Have No Fingernails Left

Nice shades Gustavo Jr.

This will be brief.  My fingers hurt and it's making it tough to type.....

The Good:

Brett Cecil pitched a great game for us against a very tough opponent.

His line:

6 and two thirds innings, 6 hits, 4 ER, 1 BB, 8 K and he got the win.

But he got left out there for one inning to long and he got tagged.  I understand why The Cito ran him back out there (low pitch count, hitting his spots, etc) but why the fuck was no one ready in the pen?   

Jose Bautista had a great game with both the stick and the glove.  He saved a big run in the bottom of the sixth on a nice play to his left.  He did not get an out on the play but was able to keep the ball of the infield.  With the bat he went 3 for 5 with 3 doubles.  He looks a little better suited to hit down in the order.

Actually having a lead off guy.  Fred Lewis is music to my eyes.....It's been too long since we had a guy that puts pressure on the defense with his legs.  He ended up 2 for 4 with a double and a walk.  He was able to get some great jumps off Garza and should steal us quite a few bags.

Aaron Hill looked a little lost for the first few at bats.  But he managed to get his timing together enough to launch a dinger to left.  He also walked.

The Bad:

Jason Frasor.

The Ugly:

Jason Frasor.

The Bottom Line:

We win a game that was way to close considering the effort we got from our starter.  We were up 5 - 0 and 6 - 1.  Final score ending up being 6 - 5 Good Guys.

Tomorrow we got Ricky and his 1.57 ERA on the hill for a 6:10pm start.  Your Toronto Blue Jays will be looking for their 11th win of the year.

Game 17 Line Ups: Hill Is Back!


Aaron is back in his familiar spot in the order.  I am a little surprised to see Gonzo moved down and would have though he might hit lead off.  It would be nice to get some production from the bottom of the order and I'm guessing The Cito had that in mind when he made up the line up card.

Lewis LF
Hill 2B
Lind DH
Wells CF
Overbay 1B
Gonzalez SS
Bautista 3B
Buck C
Snider RF

Brett Cecil makes his 2010 debut.  I can't wait to see Cecil take the ball every five days.  Hope he can get rolling a little bit and pitch with some confidence.

Bartlett SS
Crawford LF
Zobrist 2B
Longoria 3B
Pena 1B
Upton CF
Aybar DH
Navarro C
Kapler RF 

Matt Garza is on fire: 3 - 0, 0.75 ERA and has pitched 8 innings in every start.  He is due for a stinker!

Go Jays! 

Lugnuts stun TinCaps in 10, 11-8

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – A.J. Jimenez knocked a game-tying three-run homer in the ninth and Brad McElroy added a three-run triple in the tenth, launching the Lansing Lugnuts (8-7) to a wild 11-8 victory over the Fort Wayne TinCaps (7-8) on Thursday night at Parkview Field.
Down 7-4 entering the ninth, Ryan Goins drew a leadoff walk from Stiven Osuna. After Kenny Wilson struck out, Ryan Schimpf singled to left-center. Jimenez followed with his first home run of the season, sending a 1-0 pitch high into the stands in left to tie the game at 7-7.
It was the TinCaps' fifth blown save of the young season.
Reliever Matt Irsfeld (0-2) capped off a night of Fort Wayne disappointment in the tenth, walking Jimenez with one out and the bases loaded to force in the go-ahead run. Irsfeld recovered to strike out Mark Sobolewski, before serving up McElroy's three-bagger to blow the game wide open.
Fort Wayne scored a run in the bottom of the tenth against Steve Turnbull on a wild pitch and threatened for more, but the Lugnuts' closer induced a game-ending fielder's choice from Edinson Rincon.
Lansing relief pitcher Brian Slover (1-0) earned the win with 2 2/3 scoreless innings in relief.
Each team collected 15 hits in the game. Every member of the Fort Wayne lineup hit safely, led by three hits from Griffin Benedict. For the Lugnuts, Sobolewski and McElroy each notched three hits while Schimpf and JImenez each scored three runs.
The Lugnuts next travel back home to Cooley Law School Stadium to open a three-game series against the Dayton Dragons on Friday night at 7:05 p.m.

2010-04-22

And as for the Lugs...

These are my boys.


The Good:
1. Right fielder Brad Glenn
2. Leadoff man/center fielder Kenny Wilson
3. Third baseman Mark Sobolewski
4. The back end of the bullpen, featuring Steve Turnbull, Brian Slover, Aaron Loup, and Dustin Antolin

Impressive, all.


The Bad:
1. First baseman Balbino Fuenmayor
2. Catcher Sean Ochinko
3. Shortstop Ryan Goins
4. Second baseman Ryan Schimpf

Slumping, all.

The Awesome
1. Manager Sal Fasano
2. Sal Fasano's Fu Manchu

Down in Dunedin

Catcher Travis D'Arnaud, picked up in the Halladay deal, is legit.

How legit?

He's hitting .396 with three homers and 12 RBIs in 13 games. Give him another month or so then move him up the ladder.

The rest of the offense:

Raul Baroon's been terrific (.389, .450, .611, four steals). Justin Jackson is on the Disabled List again, unfortunately. Welinton Ramirez (.231) and Mike McDade (.170) haven't started hitting yet. John Tolisano's (.250) bat was quiet early but looks like it's coming around.

If you haven't heard Venezuelan right-hander Henderson Alvarez's name yet, I'm pleased to provide the introduction. The kid's a total stud. He just turned 20-years-old, he's pitched seven innings in each of his starts this year, and he's allowed only one run on seven hits. If he doesn't keep shooting upward like a meteor, I'll be shocked. The only weakness is that his strikeout totals are low, but his stuff (sinking fastball, cutting change, biting slurve) is so good that I expect them to increase in time.

Out of the rest of the rotation, Andrew Liebel (1-2, 5.40) and Joel Carreno (0-2, 6.32) are disappointing, but Ryan Page (1-1, 4.76) and Chuck Huggins (1-0, 2.20) have pitched well.

News from New Hampshire

The FisherCats.


I will refrain from poking fun at the name or logo because I work for a team named the Lugnuts.


Let's move on.


New Hampshire's 8-5, and I have no idea how.


Outfielder Darin Mastroianni had a breakthrough year in 2009, but he's batting only .219 this year. On the bright side, he's drawn 10 walks in 12 games and is 6-for-6 in stolen bases.


Callix Crabbe's batting .159 (7-for-44). Adam Loewen's batting .222 (8-for-36). David Cooper's at .250 with only three extra-base hits, all doubles. Figured he'd be better by now, didn't you?


The starting pitchers include Bobby Bell (9.90 ERA), Zach Stewart (7.71), Marty McLeary (6.75), and Kyle Drabek (5.17). Fine on paper, should be better as the season goes on... but how in the world is this team 8-5?


Luis Perez (2-0, 0.53) is doing his part, allowing only two hits and one run (on a homer) in 17 sterling innings.


In the bullpen, Tim Collins (10 strikeouts in 5 2/3 scoreless innings) and Danny Farquhar (4-for-4 converting saves, 5.0 scoreless innings) are doing their part, too. Both men have been consistently brilliant throughout their careers.


We'll keep our eye on the big prospects -- Stewart and Drabek foremost among them -- as the year goes on. If they crank it into gear, the FisherCats become a powerhouse.

What happens in Vegas...

It's the PCL and so all offensive numbers need to be taken with a grain of salt... but it's good to see that the Las Vegas 51s are simply crushing the baseball early on.


Brett Wallace (.283 avg, .377 obp, .630 slg) is leading the team in walks, tied for the league lead (five homers) and is batting a cool .375 against southpaws.


J.P. Arencibia and Brian Dopirak are tied for the team lead in RBIs (9), but neither one has been great so far. Give them time.


Third baseman Christian Colonel's batting .343... but also has eight errors in 12 games.


Brad Mills (2-0, 2.04 ERA in three starts) has found his mojo. How does 24 strikeouts and four walks work for you in 17 2/3 innings? Not a bad start out of Brett Cecil (2-0, 2.45 in two starts). Closer Rommie Lewis is 5-for-5 in saves, tied for the league lead.


In summary... nothing spectacular, but a lot of encouraging performances taking shape.

Let's talk Chad Jenkins

Mike Leak is in the majors. Stephen Strasburg will be there soon.


So what about the 2009 1st round pick for the Jays, Chad Jenkins?


He's in Class A Lansing with an 0-1 record and a 5.63 ERA after three starts. He won't be in the Majors later this year, and he very likely won't be in the Majors in 2011 either.


Take it from me: Don't worry about him.


He's taking his lumps right now. It happens.


In his first start against the Dodgers' Midwest League team, he was fine through four innings and then threw a meatball to a big strong kid named Chris Jacobs in the fifth. Five innings, five runs allowed, three earned. No-decision.


In his second start against the Indians' team, he tossed five scoreless innings and then gave up three runs in the sixth. No-decision.


Yesterday, an 11 a.m. start, he was knocked around by the Padres' team for seven hard hits and four runs in the first three innings before settling down for a scoreless fourth and fifth. That was Chad's first loss of his pro career, sealed tight when reliever Nestor Molina was battered for five runs in the sixth.


His velocity is fine, somewhere around 91-93 on his fastball. His ego may be a little bruised. His trip up the ladder may take a little longer than folks hoped.


And yet I'd say he's right on schedule.


If he's still giving up a consistent four runs over five innings in the months of May and June, then it'll be time to reconsider.


For now: The kid looks just fine.


And his slider looks great.

2010-04-21

TinCaps school Lugnuts, 10-2

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Nate Freiman went 4-for-5 and Jason Hagerty capped off a five-run sixth inning with a two-run triple, driving the host Fort Wayne TinCaps (7-7) to a 10-2 School Day rout of the Lansing Lugnuts (7-7) on Wednesday afternoon at Parkview Field.
The loss halted a season-high four-game winning streak for Lansing. Coming on the heels of a victory in the series opener, it also signified the first series of the season for the Lugnuts to not end in a three-game sweep.
Nuts starter Chad Jenkins (0-1), Toronto's 2009 first round draft pick, suffered the defeat, striking out five while allowing four runs over five innings. Jenkins was outdueled by Fort Wayne starter Dexter Carter (1-2), who limited Lansing to a mere two runs on three hits in his five innings.
Still, the Lugnuts trailed just 4-2 at the time of Jenkins' departure... and then the TinCaps opened it up against reliever Nestor Molina.
With one out, Bo Davis tripled and scored on a Wande Olabisi single. A Molina throwing error moved Olabisi to second base. Two batters later, Jonathan Galvez supplied an RBI single. Consecutive singles by Edinson Rincon and Nate Freiman followed, widening the Fort Wayne lead to 7-2. Hagerty provided the climax, plating both Rincon and Freiman with a grounder into the TinCaps bullpen.
The 'Caps added another a run in the eighth off of Scott Gracey to close out the scoring, dealing the Lugnuts their worst loss of the young year.
The Lugnuts and TinCaps play the finale of their three-game series on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m., Lansing right-hander Ryan Tepera (1-0, 2.61) taking on Fort Wayne right-hander John Hussey (1-0, 3.60).

Game 15 Recap: Live And In Effect


When you were a kid, did you ever look forward to something SO much only to find out when you finally got there that the main event was closed that day?

Alex Gordon was not in the line up and that really chapped my ass.  I'd like to think his manager is one of the hundred or so people that reads this fucking blog everyday and he decided to keep Gordon out the line up to avoid the nightmares but.....I doubt it.  Possible, but highly unlikely.

The Good:

The game itself was a beauty.  Dana Eveland battled the mighty Royals for 5 and a third, allowing 2 ER on 94 pitches.  He left the game losing but he did manage to keep us close and gave us an opportunity to win.  That's all you can ask for from your fifth starter.  That's all you can really ask for from ANY starter in fact.

Vernon hit his 7th dinger of the young season.  A hanging breaking ball got tagged off the 3rd deck in left field.  Seems to me that he recognizes that teams are trying to get him out in the top half of the strike zone and he has made the necessary adjustment.

We win in come from behind fashion 4 - 3 moving our record to 9 - 6 for the year. 

The Bad:

Bautista did his best E5 impression in the top of the third.  A chopper ate him up as it seemed he couldn't decide to charge it or stay back and take the long hop.  He did neither, and the ball ended up if left for a double.  The cameras didn't show how pissed Eveland was on the mound but yeah clearly unimpressed.  That runner eventually came around to score a unearned run. 

Travis Snider was called on to bunt for the first time since little league.  After missing two decent pitches to bunt, he promptly drove an outside pitch the other way for a single.  Poor execution but it worked out this time. 

The Ugly:

Royals left fielder Mitch Maier went hard after a ball down the line in foul territory in the bottom of the 4th.  The ball and his glove ended up in the stands.....and he had to hop the wall in order to get his glove back because there was no one in the section to help him out.  Eventually some fat dude waddled over and gave him his leather back, which brings me to my next point.

Attendance was announced as 10,565 but I doubt there was more than 6 thousand people in the Dome.

The fat guy vendor that sells the candy and popcorn made a 4:20 reference.  Considering he walks up and down those aisles all day and still weights 260lbs, I think that was a given that he burns and eats his profits.

Kevin Gregg our new "intimidating" closer, uses this pussy song as his entrance music in a save situation:



Not quite as cool as Enter Sandman but I guess it will just have to do.

Of Note:

I dressed up in full baseball gear right down to the eye black.  I had cleats on, baseball pants and brought my trapper.  Thought it was a good idea when I did it, then took 30 steps down Front Street and had some second thoughts.  So the camera guy sneak attacked me in my seats and I declined the offer to be videotaped like an animal in a zoo, much to the dismay of my party.  The only thing cooler than being on the JumboTron, is turning down the offer of being on the JumboTron.

Looking Forward:

Get your brooms out cuz we are trying for the sweep in about 2 hours time.  LastRow500's will be in attendance for get away day.  Bet he gets to see fucking Gordon.

Go Jays!

2010-04-20

Sever, Lugnuts top TinCaps, 5-2

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Dave Sever allowed one run over six innings and the Lansing Lugnuts (6-6) used a four-run rally in the fifth inning to defeat the Fort Wayne TinCaps (6-7), 5-2, on Monday night at Parkview Field.
Trailing 1-0 entering the fifth, a Sean Ochinko single and Balbino Fuenmayor RBI double quickly tied the score against Fort Wayne starter Mike Watt (0-1). Walks to Kenny Wilson and Oliver Dominguez loaded the bases with one out and Mark Sobolewski's sacrifice fly gave Lansing a 2-1 lead. Brad Glenn followed with a two-run single to center field, knocking out Watt and giving the Lugnuts all the runs they would need.
Sever (1-1) took it from there, serving up only a Jonathan Galvez RBI single in the third inning on his way to his longest outing of the young season.
The two teams traded unearned runs in the sixth and eighth innings to close out the scoring.
Lansing closer Steve Turnbull pitched the ninth for his third save in as many chances, sealing the Lugnuts' fourth consecutive victory.
In the winning effort, Ochinko went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored while Glenn extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
The Lugnuts and TinCaps play the middle affair of their three-game series on Wednesday morning at 11 a.m., Lansing right-hander Chad Jenkins (0-1, 4.91) opposing Fort Wayne right-hander Dexter Carter (0-2, 7.71).

Free Seats Bitches!

Alex Gordon and I will be renewing our rocky relationship this evening provided he gets the start at 3 bag. We have secured the freebies (you don't need to know how) from a person who may or may not be officiating on the field. You see, we can do this stuff because of our job but since it is technically against the rules I will have to omit the details and be forced to deny any and all knowledge of said transaction. All you need to know is my ass will be in the seat at the Dome for tonight's baseball contest, free of charge.

A few random facts about Alex:

He is a Nebraska Cornhusker alumni and majored in pre criminal justice studies.

He is named after a famous baseball player but a quick search of Retrosheet does not turn up anyone other than his sorry ass.

Apparently all of the Gordon boys (Eric, Alex, Brett and Derek) were named after "famous" baseball players.

He subscribes to the E5 school of defense and had to cancel the wedding pictures his fiancee scheduled for the next day after taking a ball in the face. Click here













He did a quick Q and A this off season. Click here

He is a health nut. It's all chicken and protein shakes for him and hasn't drunk soda or had pizza since high school. Click here

Don't believe the hype: Alex Gordon’s first "exposure" to major league baseball made him the most valuable rookie player in baseball history, at least to one segment of the baseball biz. His prematurely issued Topps baseball card popped up on eBay and sold for as much as $7,500. Click here

He went to Southeast High School, home of the Knights, where his Grandfather Charlie was the long time baseball coach. Probably explains why he developed into such a star! Coaches (grand)son.

His parents are Leslie and Mike.

He is married to a person named Jamie. I know a few guys named Jamie. Just saying.

He has a dog named Lucy, a four-pound Maltese.


















Well, that should just about do it for now. Rain Delay will have the IPhone on standby in case we need some more ammo in game..... Follow us on twitter for some pics and updates from tonight's game.

UPDATE:

It has now come to the team's attention that someone in Royal's camp must have read this post as Gordon isn't playing in tonight's game. Apparently scared.

The Jimmy Triggs Experience : Volume 1



For the record: I did not write this post.  This is a story from a friend of the site.  We here at 1bluejaysway hope that he will continue to write his thoughts on the game and after reading this masterpiece, we think you will too.....   

A home opener on a Monday night?  The scheduling Gods were not looking down on me favorably in 2010.

In my line of work, we shut down on weekends but our customers don’t, you can see how therefore Mondays can be a bit of a grind putting out not one, but three days worth of metaphorical fires. It is a very common occurrence for me or members of my team at work to put in a solid 13 hour day after ripping up the city, cottage, or suburbs for the 48 hours preceding it.

With that being said I had places to be. Being the only meathead in a large group of friends who actually lives (and pays for living) in the downtown core I was voluntold that a minimum of five friends would be arriving at my domicile no later than 4pm on the day of the home opener. I would normally just leave a key under the mat and cross my fingers as I actually do have a high level of trust with my comrades but a recent weekend of intrigue at Blue Mountain left me one set of keys and a $220 cab ride short. Therefore, I rode the rocket into work early on Monday, skipped lunch, and snuck out around 3:40. The ‘skipping lunch’ would come back to haunt me.

Just after 4pm I strolled into my house, geared out of my two piece (no tie) and investigated the kitchen for items that could be whipped into a quick lunch. You need to realize that I live in what could be described as the Websters definition of a bachelor lifestyle (read: condiments, beer, & bottled water). Before I could even think of dialing in for a pita or Thai my mobile spat out the always recognizable ring tone of Master P rapping about some girl (or gun, or currency?) named sha-na-na-na. I wouldn’t even know how to change the ring tone if I actually decided that the laughs it gives me were getting old (this also makes for some interesting looks in the boardroom). My evening’s associates had arrived and were currently outside maneuvering the over sized explorer into a neighbors reserved spot that probably cost the neighbor an extra $15k on his/her mortgage. I put the hunger pains into the back of my mind and cracked the first Rolling Rock I brought back from the States on a recent business trip.

Fast forward 2 hours and 12 beers later. After some good natured ribbing and a few past incidents retold for the benefit of a rookie who had tagged along from Owen Sound, we ventured out to the TTC with roadies in hand. I have a few close friends who could hit a 3 wood from my place to the bus stop yet all six of us smashed two beers on the walk. Upon realizing this, I remembered a literary term my grade twelve English teacher had explained to the class called foreshadowing.

Other than chirping at some clowns on Front Street who had been chased down (and caught) by their server after attempting a dine-and-dash the trip to the park and the line up to get in were pretty uneventful. We saddled up into our 3rd / 4th row seats in right field, sipped our first $9.50 beers of the season and continued the requisite banter of a bunch of drunks looking forward to the new season. The group of six grew to way over 10 as others in our group who could not slip out of work early, or realized that it was Monday and just used that as an excuse, joined us in our seats. We caught the end of workouts, player introductions, and some jumbotron videos and then rose for the anthems.

BLAM! Out of nowhere during the Canadian national anthem Ike Stake screamed at Alexis Israel Rios Cruz. Oh shit I thought, here we go. As has already been written in other sentences in other stories the game was somewhat of a blur. John Buck did in fact hit a monstrous shot to left field, and that was about all that John Labatt has allowed me to remember….. until the 6th inning or so.

In the front row, some dude was rocking an Argonauts jersey. My associates, and myself I assume, were quick to point out to him that he was in fact at a Jays game, etc……… you know the drill. The guy, to his super credit, just laughed it off. Even when I asked him if he got to meet Burt Reynolds while he worked as an extra in Deliverance he just laughed. Then I noticed it, the glint in his eye that I had only seen once before. For those who know me think of the story about Bill Gates Jr. in Vegas. One man, no matter how nice he is, can only take enough shit while drinking beers in a masculine environment such as a casino or the SkyDome. In came Reliever Jancampgreggdownfraser to start an inning and the guy had had enough.

SCENE MISSING
















I’ve been in the bowels of the Dome a few times over the years for autograph signings, season ticket holder tours, etc., but I was very impressed to find down there a temporary prison. Guards, bars, and shit I might have even seen Morgan Freeman selling a bag of drum to the dude with the bird who hung himself. Now, believe it or not, I’ve been in a few ‘situations’ like this before and let me tell you that the ‘situation’ can only get worse if you are being a dick. Men drink, men fight, and the cops do their job. If they decide I need to spend some time thinking about my actions then I am going to trust there judgment and agree. If they decide that I need to offer some apologies and do a little work at the local soup kitchen I am going to be the best damn soup ladler I can be. Arguing, or especially body arguing, with the law after 20 beers is a bad idea no matter what happened. You are drunk and they are not. You lose, they win. It’s as simple as that and since the existence of law and justice it’s always has been that way and will be that way long after I move on.

Keeping in mind this theory, I do my best to be cordial and apologetic while being marched down to the makeshift Shawshank. Upon approaching the detention centre my jaw dropped. There are men down here that are, and I use this term only because it fits, fucking losing it! I see cops sweating from having to corral these savages before they inflict more damage to themselves and others. Shit, if officer (enter name here) had taking my bracelets off I would have helped them keep the peace. Chairs were flying, blood was pouring and overall mayhem was ensuing. I stopped in my tracks and thank God officer (enter name here) realized I was no threat allowed me take a knee on the outside of the room that caged these savages. After a few mandatory minutes of data collection, stern warnings, and even a few laughs the officer (enter name here) informed me Johnny Argonaut was nowhere to be seen and I was free to go. Excellent I said, it’s only the seventh inning and I can still buy a few beers before they shut it down! No, you are leaving, and I don’t want to see you here in Shawshank again over the next 81 games…..

Moral of the story:

Eat some food next time you jackass.

Go Jays!