Remembering: Dave Stieb

August 29th 2010, your Toronto Blue Jays commemorated the first and only no-hitter in franchise history by giving away Dave Stieb bobblehead dolls to the first 10,000 lucky fans at the Sky Dome. On September 2nd 1990, David Andrew Stieb and his intense mustache no-hit the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland at the old Municipal Stadium along the shore lines of Lake Erie. The Man With The Golden Arm and I attended this August 29th game against the Detroit Tigers, even going as far as getting to the Dome early - as in 10am early - to get us a shiny new bobblehead doll. We were meeting up with a few friends who had zero interest in procuring a bobblehead, and most likely would be arriving to the Dome a tad late. Golden Arm and I invested in some "lost leader" tickets, the tickets you buy to gain access to the stadium, claim your bounty, and exit with plenty of time to spare and pick up the regular tickets. We purchased some 500 level seats, entered the facility, got the bobblehead, watched a little BP, caught a nasty change up in the right field bullpen seats from Marcum and left to get something to eat.

On Sunday September 2nd 1990, I was lucky enough to be attendance on this historical day. Check the ticket stub above, that's the real deal folks. I was traveling with my minor Pee Wee Bloor Jays baseball team for a tournament in Cleveland and Akron Ohio. We were playing a bunch of Pee Wee aged teams from the state of Ohio and Pennsylvania, which included us playing at Jim Leyland park in Ohio somewhere. The team planned this trip around the Toronto Blue Jays schedule, giving us 12 year olds the chance to see our beloved Blue Jays outside of our own city. We stayed at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel downtown, around a 20 minute walk from the stadium.

Of course, as 12 years olds, who were all wearing our Bloor Jays jerseys, we waited around the park to see if we could catch a glimpse of some of the Blue Jays players. We stayed around the gates of the stadium and managed to meet players such as Pat Borders, Glenallen Hill and Manny Lee. But, what I remember most was meeting George Bell, who as I recall, would only sign an autograph from me and my friends after hearing we were from Toronto. We ended up staying at the same hotel as the Jays so we got to walk from the stadium to the hotel with some of them. George Bell had a beautiful blonde woman with him, as well as at least 3 very expensive gold watches on his wrists. The Bloor Jays saw the entire 3 games series including the Sunday afternoon contest.

Dave Stieb was arguably out best pitcher in the 1980's and early 90's. He was born July 22, 1957 and was scouted and drafted as an outfielder by legendary Jays scout Bobby Mattick. After drafting Stieb the Jays converted him into a pitcher. He spent 15 seasons with the club and holds many franchise records including wins (175), innings pitched (2,873) and strikeouts (1,658) and even has his name and number affixed to the exclusive Blue Jays Level of Excellence at the Sky Dome.

On September 2nd 1990 he was pitching in Cleveland carrying a 16-5 record for the AL East's second place Toronto Blue Jays against Cleveland Indians starter Bud Black who was 10-8. Game time was 1:35pm and the Bloor Jays were in the General Admission seats in the upper tank. I remember sitting on the first base side around 20 rows up and there was a wall behind us, separating the sections. I remember a foul ball off the bat of Manny Lee rocketed towards my seat as I was leaning forward to talk to a teammate. It hit the wall hard and bounced back and hit me right in the shoulder blade. This was my first foul ball catch, even if my shoulder made the catch. I remember the Cleveland Indians were not a powerhouse by any stretch, and after looking back at the box score from that game, only 2 names jump out at you - Carlos Baerga and Cory Snyder - everyone else, I don't really remember. Mookie Wilson in the line-up as the DH lead off for the Blue Birds, followed by Tony Fernandez, Kelly Gruber and Fred McGriff, who would hit 2 home runs this day. But the day belonged to Stieb, he struck out 9 and walked 4. He was helped out by his catcher as Pat Borders threw out both Alex Cole and Carlos Baerga trying to steal second base. He had a couple of previous no-hit bids broken up in the ninth, but he would not be denied this time. He induced a routine fly ball from "The Governor" Jerome Browne, the Indians second baseman that found the glove of Junior Felix. Stieb's line:

The first and only no-hitter in Blue Jays history, happened 20 years ago, and I was lucky enough to be there. When I think Dave Stieb, I think of a couple things. That nasty slider, the intense mustache and the crotch grab after virtually every pitch. But I think this game above all else is what he'll be remembered for.

Press Release: Gose, d'Arnaud Named To FSL All-Star Team

Gose amongst FSL leaders in numerous categories, 2nd All-Star nod for d'Arnaud

The 2010 Florida State League All-Star Team was released on Tuesday and the Dunedin Blue Jays had two players named to the team in outfielder Anthony Gose and catcher Travis d'Arnaud.
Gose, 20, played the majority of the season with the Clearwater Threshers before being involved in a series of trades that sent him to the Blue Jays on July 29. Since coming over from Clearwater, he has hit .255 in 27 games with three home runs. He is also 9 for 14 in stolen base attempts.
Overall, Gose has hit .263 with seven home runs and an FSL-leading 45 stolen bases. He has played in an FSL-leading 130 games and also leads the FSL in runs scored with 88. He's tied with Tampa's Jose Pirela for the FSL lead in triples with 13 and also ranks fifth in hits with 134.
The native of Bellflower, CA was a fourth round selection by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008.
D'Arnaud, 21, was also named to the FSL First-Half All-Star Team and was selected to start at catcher for the FSL North squad in the All-Star Game back on June 12 in Viera. He also participated in the All-Star Home Run Derby.
He hit .259 with six home runs and 38 RBIs in 71 games with Dunedin this season, but back issues plagued him for much of the year before a herniated disc in his back required season-ending surgery earlier this month.
This was d'Arnaud's first year in the Blue Jays organization, having been part of the Roy Halladay trade this past offseason. He was a supplemental first-round draft pick of Philadelphia's in 2007.
This is the second consecutive season that d'Arnaud and Gose have played together as both players were a part of Low-A Lakewood's 2009 South Atlantic League championship-winning team.
The FSL Player of the Year ended up being Tampa's Melky Mesa while the FSL Pitcher of the Year was Clearwater's Austin Hyatt, who was recently called up to Double-A Reading.

 Another theft by the 2 time Gold Glover


Weekly Round Up: Aug. 23 - 29

Consider this your required reading for the week. A fellow BBA member takes the high road.

This is what I had to say about Damien "Suck My" Cox in 140 words or less.

Courtesy of King Jordan:

Reporter: I think you're aware of the article that was written over the weekend kind of tying your success to the whole performance-enhancing thing. I was curious what your reaction is to seeing your season get tied into something like that.
Bautista: I could care less. I'm part of the program just like any other ballplayer is. We're subject to testing all the time. I don't know where this guy is coming from with his allegations.
Reporter: What was your reaction when you saw someone write an article like that.
Bautista: I didn't see it until somebody brought it up. I mean, I could care less. The guy is paid to write something and he did. It's unfortunate. I don't know if he's trying to stir something up, but when you talk without base, without any, I'm trying to think of the word...
Reporter: Evidence?
Bautista: Not evidence. He's just got no base to be talking. I don't know why my name was tied up to it and I haven't even read the article. All I know is because you guys mentioned it earlier today.

J-Bau hits bombs. J-Bau does not read papers.

Courtesy of Randy Starkman:

Gotta admit it was a really good chuckle reading the debate between my colleagues Damien Cox and Richard Griffin over Jose Bautista and which of the leagues they cover has a worse anti-doping plan. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a great debate and it’s wonderful seeing the boys go at it.

I shit on You Don't Know Dick a lot. Perhaps I will consider not doing that as much going forward.

Courtesy of Fan Graphs:

I’m not saying he’s going to keep hitting home runs at this pace, which is an unrealistic assumption even for the game’s premier power hitters. But we should recognize that Bautista has made changes to his offensive approach, and not assume that he’s simply getting lucky with balls flying over the wall.
Here are his flyball rates over the last three years.
2008 – 38.8%
2009 – 42.1%
2010 – 53.6%
You don’t have to look too hard to spot the pattern. Bautista has made a conscious decision to adjust his swing to gain more loft. In fact, if you saw the swing he took on his second home run last night – which was aided by some anger about being thrown out earlier – you can see exactly why Bautista is no longer hitting the ball on the ground.

Fan Graphs weighs in on the J-Bau power surge. 

Courtesy of Frankie Piliere:

When a player appears to come out of nowhere with a monster season, people reach for explanations. It's human nature to want answers, and it's human nature, after the Steroid Era, to be skeptical. Jose Bautista's power surge in 2010 has led to some very unfair questions. In a world where we know things like steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs are out there, the reality is that those questions won't go away.
But, if you're looking for real answers about where Bautista's home run explosion has come from, look no further than his revamped setup and swing mechanics at the dish. Given those new mechanics, it's probably time to accept that his season may not be a fluke. 

This is probably the most insightful piece done on our slugger and cult leader.

Courtesy of Wezen-Ball

Jose Bautista really wanted to stick it to the Yanks w/HR #40. #tatertrottracker time: 28.74 sec. His prev slowest trot of yr was 22.64 sec

Don't piss off J-Bau. It's a bad idea.

Courtesy of MLBTR:

“The position we’re in, the division we’re in, I think this is an area where we need to be very aggressive and acquire as much talent as we possibly can,” Tinnish said. “[We] hope that that talent helps us in the big leagues or helps us to trade for big leaguers to eventually win the division.”
Before the 2010 season, Baseball America ranked Toronto’s system 28th among the 30 MLB organizations, but as soon as he took over for Ricciardi, Alex Anthopoulos vowed to invest heavily in scouting. Tinnish went into the draft with a willingness to commit to players demanding over-slot deals, but generally speaking, the Blue Jays are not going to out-spend the Yankees and Red Sox.
“We don’t have an unlimited budget, we don’t have unlimited payroll,” Tinnish said. “I think that for a team like us and the position we’re in ... we need to draft well.”

Our amateur scouting director discusses the change in focus as it pertains to drafting.

Courtesy of Bob Elliot:

Six Jays scouts -- Dana Brown, special assistant to the GM; crosschecker Marc Tramuta, Perry Minasian, director of pro scouting; area scouts Jorge Rivera and Carlos Rodriguez and scouting director Andrew Tinnish -- watched Thon 12 times in games and showcases.
Tinnish's first impression?
"His maturity," said Tinnish, before heading out on a post signing-deadline getaway in the Perth area.
"It was so obvious he'd grown up in the game, from talking about playing defensively to pitch selection. He has a pedigree."
Tinnish spoke to Thon for 15 minutes at a January showcase before seeing him play.
"He showed a quick bat," Tinnish said. "We saw him square up guys throwing 89-92 m.p.h., using a wood bat."
Tinnish said the prospect ran the 60 metres in 6.6 seconds, showed athleticism, range and flexibility.
"He's an advanced player with tools," Tinnish said.
While the Jays were watching Thon, they were scouting free agent Adeiny Hechavarria, as well.
"Dickie Joe's a different style player than Hechevarria," Tinnish said of the two shorstops. "Thon projects to have a little more power, Hechevarria is a little bit more of a better athlete, more advanced defensively. He's three years older.
"But I wouldn't be surprised if Thon is at, or past, Hechevarria's ability at the same age."

Bob nails it. Must read piece on bonus baby Dickie Joe Thon.

Courtesy of John Lott:

On draft day 2007, they were instant rivals, two teenagers just out of high school vying for the same job with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Kevin Ahrens was the shortstop from Texas, the Jays' top draft choice and the 16th player chosen in the draft. Justin Jackson was the shortstop from North Carolina, a supplemental first-rounder, picked 45th overall.
"I remember on draft day, I was like, 'Wow, I was picked after they took another shortstop,' " Jackson says, wide-eyed at the memory.

John has been traveling around to the Minor League affiliates and writing some great stories. This is one of the best. 

Courtesy of MILB:

The Eastern League of Professional Baseball is pleased to announce that New Hampshire Fisher Cats right-handed starting pitcher Kyle Drabek has been selected as the 2010 Eastern League Pitcher of the Year. The 22-year old has been the ace of the Fisher Cats pitching staff while helping the team contend for their first postseason appearance since the 2004 season. Drabek has started 25 games for the Fisher Cats this season and has posted a record of 14-9 with 123 strikeouts and a 2.98 ERA over 154 innings pitched. The Victoria, Texas native is currently leading the league in wins (14) and is also ranked second in the league innings pitched (154) and batting average against (.216), tied for second in shutouts (1), tied for third in strikeouts (123) and games started (25), ranked fourth in ERA (2.98) and fifth in WHIP (1.19).

Is he ready for the big leagues? Maybe. Will he get a shot next year? Probably. Is he going to start the year out with the Blue Jays? Probably not. 
I think the brain trust will hold him back till early June to avoid "starting the clock" on his arbitration years. Look for Kyle to start 2011 in AAA.


On This Day

Your Toronto Blue Jays traded rookie Jeff Kent and a player to be named later for RHP David Cone.  The PTBNL ended up being Ryan Thompson.

At the time of the trade our record was 73 - 55 and we were 2.5 games up on the second place team.

Cone ended up making 7 starts for us down the stretch and finished with a 4 - 3 record.  In 53 innings, he struck out 47 and had an ERA of 2.55

I recall he was given the nickname: The Hired Gun.  I also recall my buddy Ken Barnstrong losing his shit because Cone was coming from the NL and for some reason Ken figured he was a good hitter because of this.  I wasn't so sure.

In his 4 World Series at bats, Cone managed to get 2 singles and an RBI.  He also had a walk.  Guess Kenny was right about that one.....

When it was all said and done, we won the World Series that year and all was good.


Jeff Kent ended up playing 17 seasons in the big leagues and put up some pretty impressive numbers for a second basemen.  He should get some Hall of Fame votes when he becomes eligible.


These are the types of deals that happen near the deadline.  A young up and coming type player gets shipped for a veteran that fills a need for a team in a race.


Game 126 Recap: Live And In Effect

I sent out a text message around noon to see if I could find a wing man for the rubber match game against the Yankees. Only one willing and able man replied yes and that man was the infamous Jimmy Triggs.

Seeing a game with Jimmy is an experience that every Jays fan really should partake in. It's always a blast but there is one small downside, normally I can't remember much of the actual game at all. Game 126 was no different. Thank goodness for PVR. 

The Good:
  • Vernon actually hitting like a clean up guy! 3 for 4 with a single, triple and a homer. He ended up with 4 RBI, 2 of them coming with 2 out.
  • How about the hustle and heart shown by slugger J-Bau? He beat out an easy force play at second base, with 2 out, which ended up chasing starter Phil Hughes from the game. Nice call by umpire Jerry Meals. Still doesn't make up for his complete uselessness behind the plate in Game 124.
  • Brett Cecil working out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the 2nd. It's a completely different game if he doesn't get out of that inning with no runs allowed. He ended up going 8 strong innings for the win.
  • The group of fans in the outfield seats in right that continually chanted: Yankees SUCK. All game!
The Bad: 

Much was made early on in the season about umpire Joe West's comments regarding the pace of play for a game that the Yanks and Red Sucks played. At the time, Joe was made out to be the villain. 

For the record: I think West is a douchebag.

But after watching catcher Jorgay Posada make 6 trips to the mound in the first 4 innings, I gotta say West may be on to something. That total doesn't even include the 2 visits by the pitching coach and the 1 trip by the manager.  In total, 9 times a Yankee went to the mound to discuss something with their pitcher in the first 4 fucking innings.

The Ugly:

In classic Yankees fashion, the game was not over till it was in fact over. Somehow their hitters managed to get down to their final strike on 5 separate occasions before finally registering 3 outs in the top of the ninth. In those at bats they ended up getting 2 walks, a single, a HBP and then mercifully, the fly out to end the game. Love em or hate em you have to respect that. 

Of Note:

Brett Cecil's ERA in his first 13 starts of the season: 4.39
Brett Cecil's ERA in his last 8 starts not including this gem: 3.14


Chicks Dig The Long Ball: Volume 1

We are going to switch it up a bit on you in this piece. I have enlisted the services of a few smoking hot babes that are friends of mine to give their thoughts on your Toronto Blue Jays. I must admit, most women see the game from a very different angle. But as any of you who have traveled to see baseball in the States know, there are always chicks at the park and that is VERY cool with me. Hopefully this will provide your hottie with some reasons to become more interested in the game that we love.

If you are a man, I advise you to do the following:
  • Stop reading
  • Go find your squeeze
  • Sit her down in front of the computer
  • Thank me later
First off, before I start off in loads of ladies talk, let me introduce myself. I am The Jayz Girl, BIGGEST FORMER fan of your Toronto Blue Jays.

Former?!?! I had sworn off baseball since the back to back World Series wins by MY Jays. The days of Carter, Olerud and Roberto Alomar *sigh* those were the good ol' days.....

When I met The Man With The Golden Arm, and heard the stories of his drunken game attendances at the SkyDome, I seriously thought this dude was lame with a capital L. I totally hated on his love for baseball, but he said to me one day, "girl, give them a chance, they aren’t as bad as you think". Little did I know this dude knew his shit and totally turned me into a believer. I attended my first baseball game after an almost 15 year hiatus, on June 19, 2010, Toronto vs San Fran, and had awesome seats at row 25 right behind first base courtesy of a good buddy of mine. First thing I did when I sat down, was send The Man With The Golden Arm a picture of my view. Not only was he a surprised to see me attending a game but was actually happy I had given them a chance and maybe a little jealous because I was at the game while he was slaving away at work. All in all, had a great time, and much luv to the group of hecklers who kept me entertained throughout the game.....Too bad they got kicked out near the end :(  My son, who plays rookieball (a cross between T ball and baseball), also loved the game and to have an 8 year engaged for a whole game, tell me that isn’t something!  Since then, I have been on-top of the Blue Jays World, although I may not have the schedule to watch a FULL game but I watch when I can, and the extra tidbits I need, I get from right here at 1BlueJaysWay.

So on with the womanly talk. Since this is 1BlueJaysWay - where its all Jays, all the time - I am going to stick with the Jays hotties.....

The newest hottie to join the Blue Jays just recently is the man I want to start off with, Yunel HOTSTUFF Escobar.....Ladies and Gents y'all may not think this dude is particularly a pretty boy, I don’t either, but he has this swagger, this air of confidence around him and that itself totally makes him a hottie in my books. From the way he walks, runs those bases and even bats, it totally makes me in awe of him... I know many of you Gents are also crushing him, don’t front! Hey, if The Man With The Golden Arm can admit his man crush, you can too! And Ladies, I know y'all watch this man's 6 ft 2, 200 lbs frame like its fresh meat, even this 5ft'er does :) so if he has got all this swagger on the field, imagine elsewhere *shivers*

As I get all warm and tingly talking about Yunel, I must include this clip of his SUPER DUPER, totally AWESOME play. Now tell me that this doesn’t for it for you:

For the hardcore baseball buffs, that’s what you call f’ing talent and for the people who simply watch to man-gaze, its super sexy. Totally sexy because he passed the ball with such ease, and to throw accurately from your glove, that play totally oozed Escobar Swagger right there.

Not to say there aren’t any other hotties on the Blue Jays besides Escobar but I will simply go through my little list and give them honorable mention and some explanation. I don’t think all you dudes need to know what us ladies see when you are studying pitching and batting styles. I am doing this for the ladies.....

Another hottie, who I think of every time O.M.G by Usher is played on the radio - which is ALL THE TIME! - is Jose BAUUUUTISTA!

I totally love the scruffy beard he has from time to time, even though kissing a dude with scruff irritates my skin, I would make the sacrifice for him. Now I have seen Bautista with various degrees of beard throughout the season, and I must say the 2-3 days growth is best. Not the violent beard that The Man With The Golden Arm thinks is so manly and makes a man a man. He certainly doesn’t know what it feels like to have that stuff brushing over your skin in heated moments.

Finally the last South American hunk I want to talk about is pitcher Ricky Romero… Some say he kinda looks like LL Cool J, do I see the resemblance?

A tad, but LL Cool J definitely has hotter lips. Ricky is one of the hotter Blue Jays pitchers and take a look at his pitching delivery, in a word: intense

Another Blue Jays hottie that I think is a total cutie patootie is Aaron Hill. He’s got this awesome cute smile and eyes that you want to take a swim in, so dreamy…..

From the other players listed you may think I have an obsession with tanned skin, but trust me, it’s quite the opposite. This dude not only is HOT on the field, he is a total hottie off the field too as you can see.....And those cutsie ears, I definitely would tug at them if he was naughty *rawr*

So that’s it dudes and dudettes, I don’t only watch baseball for the men, but they are definitely nice to look at. Thanks a bunch to The Man With The Golden Arm for encouraging me to write my first post, lets see how it goes, maybe you will see more of me out there!


College vs. High School

It's a debate that is always simmering somewhere and since I'm enjoying the debates that have erupted elsewhere in forums, I figured I might as well bring this one out as well.

The easy answer is to say case-by-case basis, right? There are collegians and high schoolers at every position, at every level, and from every background who make it big in the Majors, who get themselves a cup of coffee, or who bomb miserably, and it's the same with international signees.

Let's stay away from the international guys (specifically the players who are not eligible for the June draft) for now and focus on the pluses and minuses of collegians and high schoolers. Keep in mind I'm just rattling them off the top of my head -- I'm sure you can come up with a number of other good ones.

First, the college guys.

+ More polished.
+ More experienced.
+ More mature. (not always the case)
+ They've had better coaching.
+ They've played against better competition.
+ They'll (ideally) get to the Majors quicker.

- Their ceiling is evident. After all, it's not like they're going to get much quicker or stronger, or start throwing the ball too much harder (unless something is changed mechanically).
- They may be uncoachable in the minors because they think they already know it all. (I've most definitely witnessed this with some unnamed Jays farmhands.)

The high schoolers, now.

+ High potential/ceiling. They could very well still be growing, adding more mph to their fastball, learning new pitches, and learning to be excellent defensively.
+ Youth is on their side. Four years of seasoning in the minors for a high schooler means a 22-year-old Major League rising star. Four years of seasoning in the minors for a collegian means a 26-year-old who better start doing something quick in the Majors or else he's gone.

- High potential for injuries from 17-year-olds throwing 12-6 curves and 94 mph heat.
- Immaturity on and off the field -- they're away from home for the first time, and they've just received an enormous signing bonus. That spells trouble.

Me, I'm a pro-college guy with a few high schoolers sprinkled in. I'm not a patient fan, I want to know within 3-4 years or so if a guy's going to make it or not.

Let me add, though, that the Lugnuts pitcher who's the most impressive right now, high above all of the college guys in mound savvy and stuff (let alone potential), is 19-year-old Drew Hutchison, a 2008 15th round pick from a Florida high school.


Game 124 Recap: Live And In Effect

Image courtesy of Zoolander24

What. A. Game.

After watching this type of game I have to wonder out loud why more people don't love this game/team. The Skankees come to town in the middle of a race and we draw 29,198? I guess it was a Monday and you must have had something more important to do.....

As mentioned, I took in this game with The Blue Jay Hunter, who may be the biggest Bautista booster of them all. He also has a promising future career as a psychic. We both live in Wellington County so our 5:45pm departure time left little room for error. What we didn't account for was the 2 parking lots we use being full with cars on a Monday. Fucking Yankees fans ruin everything!  

Major shout out to John Boon for: 
A) living beside the Dome 
B) being home 
C) for having an empty parking spot in his condo

Without it, we were totally screwed. We arrived a half inning late and got to watch the closest thing to playoff baseball I have seen in these parts in a long, long time. Granted the Evil Empire was shorthanded, playing without AROD and their captain. Fuck em.  

The Good:
  • Watching Jose Bautista hit his 39th and 40th home run of the season.
  • Watching Jose Bautista stare down a rookie bitch one at bat prior to hitting his 40th home run.
  • Watching Jose Bautista start a bench clearing (almost) brawl.
  • Brandon Morrow dealing again. His line was solid:
6IP 4Hits 2ER 12K 104 Pitches
  • The bullpen combining for 3 scoreless innings.
  • The Cito sticking up for his players, resulting in a rare ejection.
The Bad:
  • Nick Swisher faking a throw to the fans in the outfield in the bottom of the 6th. Dickhead move Swish.
  • The Yankees scouting report on Vernon Wells. He has 5 stolen bases this year. Stop trying to pick him off for Christ sakes.
  • The 4 Rogers Centre staff that couldn't restrain the guy who jumped on the field.
  • Adam Lind absolutely waving at the same pitch, in the same spot 3 times in a row in the bottom of the 6th for the K.
The Ugly:
  • Home plate umpire Jerry Meals walking out from behind the plate to bait Esco between the 5th and 6th inning, then tossing him from 30 feet away.
  • Home plate umpire Jerry Meals interpretation of the strike zone.
Special Congrats:

 7th Blue Jay in team history to hit 40+ bombs in a season
Photo courtesy of Daylife



Think about that for a second.

If you are anything like me, than you wear this article of clothing on a daily basis.  Which means it should be very difficult to misplace.  I have other Jays hats in the repertoire to choose from but my top choice - the one size fits all stretchy warm up model - has vanished somewhere between Canada and Poland.  I looked everywhere but so far no luck and need to do something about it right quick!

Tonight will be the first opportunity I have to replace it.

I have the pleasure of watching your Toronto Blue Jays play their contest against the Evil Empire.  Got smoking tickets and my wing man will be the one and only Blue Jay Hunter himself.  Navin from Sports And The City was suppose to be joining us as well but couldn't get out of his commitment to live blog the game.

For the record: this is not a man date.  I think.....

Anyways, here are your line ups for tonight courtesy of the official Blue Jays twitter account:

Make sure to follow both The Blue Jay Hunter and us for some live tweets tonight.  Go Jays!


Weekly Round Up: Aug. 16 - 22

Consider this your required reading for the week.  You Don't Know Dick does a nice season recap.

Courtesy of Forbes:

Adam Lind, OF, Toronto Blue Jays
Swanay: Many were predicting superstardom for Lind after his breakout 2009 season in which he hit .305 with 35 homers and 114 RBI. Instead, his 2010 OBP (.297) is less than his 2009 AVG, and he’s hitting just .230 with 17 homers and 54 RBI. His .280 BABIP is only partly to blame. Lind’s K% has increased from 18.7% to 25.7%, while his HR/FB ratio has dropped from 19.8% to 13.3%. He’s swinging at a higher percentage of pitches outside the strike zone (34.6% vs 24.7%) and making contact less frequently (66.2% vs 70.5%). Expect a .250 AVG with 6 homers and 22 RBI the rest of the season, which makes his value equivalent to those of J.D. Drew, Rick Ankiel, and Alex Gordon.

Forbes doesn't fuck around.

Courtesy of Baseball America:
    Bill (Galloway, New Jersey): Of the top 50 picks in the 2010 draft class that signed contracts, who do you feel has the potential to be the biggest sleeper and go far beyond expectations?
Jim Callis: Based on lack of hype and not draft position (because guys slid for financial reasons), I'll say Jays righthander Asher Wojciechowski. Plus fastball and slider, should move quickly. 

Great news and a great job by Jim Callis covering the draft this and every year. 

Courtesy of Shi Davidi

McGuire, meanwhile, is a physically imposing power arm with the type of frame the Blue Jays targeted in the draft. The 21-year-old features a fastball in the 90-94 m.p.h. range with a good slider, plus a change and a curve.
Some have compared him to John Lackey.
"I'm a four-pitch guy," said McGuire. "I do my best to run and sink (the fastball), sometimes it co-operates, sometimes it doesn't.
"I really try and locate, that's kind of my thing, I'm not going to overpower anybody but I'm going to locate as good as anybody. I mix in a curveball and a change-up that are more get-ahead pitches. I'll use them for strikeouts occasionally, but I'd say my strikeout pitch is my fastball or my slider."

Some details on Deck's repertoire.  Look for him to start his pro career in Lansing next year.
Courtesy of Baseball America:

Dickie Thon isn't a flashy defender, but makes all the routine plays. He has good feet, soft hands and an above-average arm. His bat is a little inconsistent right now, but he profiles as a good top-of-the-order hitter. He has gap power and could grow into some home run power as he continues to fill out and drives more balls. Thon is an average runner out of the box, but is above-average under way. He has good baseball instincts and projects to steal 20-30 bases a year.

A decent scouting report on Dickie.  The question I got is: How long before he gets moved to 2nd base? 

Courtesy of Buck Martinez: 

BRIAN ROSE ASKS: Hi Buck, in a Red Sox-Jays game last week, I saw a Boston pitcher lick his fingers while on the mound and in possession of the ball. Has the rule been changed to allow this?

BUCK: Brian, the rule has changed a bit regarding a pitcher going to his mouth on the dirt part of the mound. In years past a pitcher had to step off the dirt before going to his mouth; now he can go to his mouth while on the dirt but not on the pitching rubber. The penalty comes if he doesn't wipe his hand on his uniform before touching the ball. Not wiping off his hand after going to his mouth will force the umpire to call a "ball" and the at-bat will continue.

Buck takes some questions and this one caught my eye.

Courtesy of Our Boy Jesse:

C A.J. Jimenez is done for the year due to a tear in his elbow.  He's back in Florida right now.  Surgery is required.  Cross your fingers.

A.J. has had a cannon of an arm behind the dish.  Hope he is able to get healthy quickly. 

Courtesy of MLBTR:

Jose Molina   Toronto   None   54.545

Don't look now but Jose Molina is creeping toward Type B free agent status.  May explain why cult hero J.P. Arencibia didn't play as much as expected while here was up in the big leagues. 

Courtesy of Scott Carlson:

Now those of you who have followed the Blue Jays closely, based upon TV ratings, not attendance figures, and the dozens of you who I've met while on the road, so I know there are a bunch of you, know that the Blue Jays starters have been knocking on the no-hitter door several times this season. For the casual fan, here's a list:

Pitcher Inning Date Opponent Broken Up By
Brandon Morrow 8.2 08/08 Rays Evan Longoria
Ricky Romero 7.0 04/13 White Sox Alex Rios
Brett Cecil 6.2 05/03 Indians Jhonny Peralta
Shaun Marcum 6.1 04/05 Rangers Vladimir Guerrero
Shaun Marcum 6.0 08/16 Athletics Conor Jackson
Jesse Litsch 5.2 07/11 Red Sox Marco Scutaro
Brandon Morrow 5.2 05/31 Rays Sean Rodriguez
Brandon Morrow 5.1 04/19 Royals Yuniesky Betancourt

It's been quite a year on the mound but still no one has been able to nail down a glorious no hitter.

Courtesy of 500 Level Fan:

The bottom line is that it was yet another complete game one-hitter by a Blue Jay.  Maybe because so many Blue Jays are taking no-hitters deep into games this year, or maybe because Morrow’s game is so fresh in my mind, it seems like these one-hitters happen quite often in Toronto’s history.
With a little help (well, a lot of help actually) from retrosheet.org and baseball-reference.com I was able to put together a list of everytime a Jays pitcher has thrown a complete game one-hitter.  The feat has happened on 16 occassions:

2 of the 16 one hitters thrown by Blue Jay pitchers happened this year.


Know Your Prospects

The signing deadline for our 2010 Amateur Draft Picks has come and gone. We ended up getting 33 of 56 picks - 14 of 16 from the top 10 rounds - to ink a deal. In honor of this, we here at 1BlueJaysWay have decided to put together a no BS list of prospects at every position for your enjoyment and reference.

What will separate this list from the many others out there, is the fact that we have actually seen most of these players first hand. Some of them for a prolonged period of time.

Let's get you warmed up with some insight from our boy Jesse:

Please Note:

For the purposes of this list, we have defined prospect as a player who is 25 years of age or under and has yet to appear in the Major Leagues. As such you will not find any of the following names on our lists:

J.P. Arencibia (R, 24, 6'1 210) POSTS
Brad Mills (LHP, 25, 5'11 185) POSTS
Marc Rzepczynski (LHP, 24, 6'1 205) POSTS
Robert Ray (RHP, 26, 6'5 195)
Josh Roenicke (RHP, 28, 6'3 195) POSTS
Jo-Jo Reyes (LHP, 25, 6'2 230) POST

We had to put the line in the sand somewhere. All of these guys have previous MLB experience and should be in the mix for full time jobs on your Toronto Blue Jays next season.

The List(s):


Travis D'Arnaud (R, 21, 6'2 195) POSTS
Plus Arm. Strong and accurate. Quick bat. Agile and athletic defender. Tremendous "feel" for the position.

Carlos Perez (R, 19, 6'0 193)
Above average speed. Young and learning. Could have the highest ceiling of all catchers. 

A.J. Jimenez (R, 20, 5'11 200) POSTS
Above average speed. Smart and athletic, strong arm with quick release.

Yan Gomes (R, 23, 6'2 215) POSTS
Excellent receiver and calls a good game.

Brian Jeroloman (L, 25, 6'0 200)
Great eye at the plate. Calls a great game.

Worth Keeping An Eye On:
Santiago Nessy (R, 17, 6'2 230)


Mike McDade (S/R, 21, 6'1 260) POSTS
Phenomenal agility for a big man at first base, frequently saving teammates throwing errors. Very strong at the plate. Above average defensively.
Weight and back problems could be an issue. Runs slower than he walks.

David Cooper (L/L, 23, 6'0 200)
Figured he'd be better by now, didn't you?

Balbino Fuenmayor (R/R, 20, 6'3 235) INTERVIEW
Transitioned well to first base from third base.
Not developing at all offensively.

K.C. Hobson (L/L, 20, 6'2 205) INTERVIEW
Defensively, pretty good sometimes, but he has the tendency to lapse, and those are generally costly. At the plate, he has a good approach and he has some good power.

Worth Keeping An Eye On:
Yudelmis Hernandez (R/R, 23, 6'4 205)
Lance Durham (L/R, 22, 5'11 210)
John Delgado (L/R, 19, 6'4 255)
Art Charles (L/L, 19, 6'6 221)


Brad Emaus (R, 24, 6'0 200)
Great eye at the plate. Currently our most advanced position prospect in the entire system. Youngest player on the AAA roster. Can also play 3B and would be at the top of that list as well.

Ryan Schimpf (L, 22, 5'9 181) INTERVIEW
Good pivot on the double play. Runs well. Surprising power to the gaps.
Lost year at the plate.

Worth Keeping An Eye On:
Leonardo Ferrini (S, 21, 5'11 175)
Brandon Mims (S, 18, 5'11 180)


Adeiny Hechavarria (R, 21, 5'11 180) POSTS
Plus arm. Plus Plus Range. Above Average Speed.
On the 40 man roster. Glove is MLB ready right now. 

Ryan Goins (L, 22, 5'10 170) POSTS
Superb defensively. Great hands, especially excellent to the backhand. Good plate discipline with line drive stroke to all fields.
Slower than he should be. Only puts enough on every throw to record the out, a la Alan Trammell, rather than showing arm strength.  

Gustavo Pierre (R, 18, 6'2 183)
Word through the grapevine: promising

Justin Jackson (R, 21, 6'1 186) POST
Above average speed. Strong arm.
Poor hands, especially on routine groundballs. Struggled with injuries.

Worth Keeping An Eye On:
Chris Hawkins (L, 18, 6'2 195)
Dicky Thon (R, 18, 6'1 185)
Shane Opitz (L, 18, 6'1 180) 


Shawn Bowman (R, 25, 6'3 225) POST
Fractured the same vertebrate in his back not once but twice requiring multiple surgeries to correct.
Power has returned. Canadian boy from out west.

Kevin Ahrens (R, 21, 6'1 195) POSTS
Plus Arm. Recently dropped the left handed side of the switch hit.

Mark Sobolewski (R, 23, 6'0 190) POSTS
Hits off-speed stuff well.
Fluid in the field but tends to sidearm throws, causing throwing errors. Slower than you'd think. 

Worth Keeping An Eye On:
Kellen Sweeney (L, 18, 6'0 180)
Gabriel Cenas (R, 16, 6'1 155)

Corner OF:

Eric Thames (L, 23, 6'0 205) POSTS
Plus Power. Outstanding work ethic.
Limited to LF

Adam Loewen (L, 26, 6'6 235) POST
Plus Arm. Making huge strides as a hitter. Excellent work ethic and make-up.
Gets a pass on the age and MLB experience requirements due to his transition from pitcher to outfielder. Only in his second season as a full time hitter. Will be a minor league free agent at the end of this season.
Canadian boy from out west.
Michael Crouse (R, 19, 6'4 215) POSTS
Athletic. Above average speed. Quick bat. Good arm. Works hard. Smart. Can play all 3 outfield positions.
He’s very clearly the sort of player whose ceiling is really high.
Canadian boy from out west.

Moises Sierra (R, 21, 6'0 225)
Plus Plus Plus Plus Plus Arm.
Seriously, it's that good. Is his future on the mound?

Eric Eiland (L, 21, 6'2 220) INTERVIEW
1 out of every 4 throws is sensational, strong and accurate. Gaining plate discipline. Great body type (same body as Carl Crawford) but has the swing of a much smaller player, depriving him of all of his power.
Poor defensively, especially in decision-making.

Honorable Mention:
Chris Lubanski (L, 25, 6'3 210)
Was the 5th overall pick in the 2003 Amateur draft.

Worth Keeping An Eye On:
Markus Brisker (R, 19, 6'3 210)
Marcus Knecht (R, 20, 6'1 200)
Local Canadian boy.


Anthony Gose (L, 19, 6'1 190) POSTS
Plus Plus arm. Plus Plus speed. 3rd youngest player in High A.

Jake Marisnick (R, 19, 6'4 200) POSTS
Physical specimen. Hits the ball hard. Could be a 5 tool guy.

Darin Mastroianni (R, 24, 5'11 190) POSTS
Plus Plus speed. Bulldog mentality. Great work ethic.

Kenny Wilson (S, 20, 5'10 185) INTERVIEW
Plus Plus speed. Sensational defensive outfielder, with easy range and excellent instincts. Arm is improving.
Lost from the left side at the plate.


Kevin Nolan (R, 22, 6'2 200) INTERVIEW
Plus make-up. Slightly above average speed. Best/nicest guy on the team. Good arm but hands are average.
No power at the plate. Rarely strikes out, rarely walks. Just lines the ball from left-center to right-center. 
Has played 1B, 2B, SS, 3B and RF this season.

John Tolisano (S, 21, 5'11 190)
Has played 2B, 3B, LF, CF and RF this season.

Sean Ochinko (R, 22, 5'11 205) INTERVIEW
Excellent line drive stroke that applies backspin to the ball. Cranks doubles with ease. 95% pull hitter.
Has hardly any interest in improving defensively, with attention solely toward hitting. No speed and not much of an arm.
Has played C, 1B and 3B this season, none of them particularly well. Will need to hit his way onto any team. 

Starting Pitcher:

Kyle Drabek (RHP, 22, 6'1 190) POSTS
89 - 97 mph fastball, plus curveball, working on 4 seam change up, 2 seam change up, 2 seam fastball and cutter.
Out pitch: curveball
Electric fastball. Uses the 2 seam change against left handed hitters.
Top prospect in the entire system. Described as a special talent by his pitching coach. Bulldog mentality. Maturity on the mound improving. Son of former Cy Young award winner.
Had Tommy John surgery in 2007. 

Zach Stewart (RHP, 23, 6'2 205) POSTS
88 - 93 mph fastball, slider, change up
Out pitch: slider
Throws primarily sinkers and keeps the ball on the ground.
Converted from reliever to starter. Innings should be capped around 140 this year. Will need another season in the minors before his arm strength will be ready.

Henderson Alvarez (RHP, 20, 6'0 190) POSTS
93 - 95 mph fastball, plus changeup, slurve
Out pitch: changeup
Great downward tilt on his fastball. Awesome fading action on change up. Slurve is improving. Good command. Great athlete and very quick defensively.

Chad Jenkins (RHP, 22, 6'4 235) POSTS
92 - 94 mph fastball, slider, change up
Out pitch: slider
Great downward tilt on his fastball. Two-seam fastball is coming around. Good command. Hoss on the mound, grinding out starts. Holds runners well.
Needs a better change up.

Joel Carreno (RHP, 23, 6'0 190) POSTS
88 - 89 fastball, slider, change up
Out pitch: slider
Nasty fastball/slider combination that will get better when he perfects a change up and gains complete control of the slider.
Questions about his make-up and whether he's trustworthy.

Honorable Mention:
Luis Perez (LHP, 25, 6'0 160) POSTS
93 - 94 mph fastball, changeup, slider
Out pitch: slider
Heavy sink on his fastball. Keeps the ball on the ground.
On the 40 man roster. Currently our most advanced pitching prospect in the entire system.

Drew Hutchison (RHP, 20, 6'2 165) POSTS
90-92 mph fastball, plus change up, slider
Out pitch: slider 
Sneaky quick fastball. Tight spin on his slider. Impressive considering his youth and inexperience.

Worth Keeping An Eye On:
Deck McGuire (RHP, 21, 6'6 220) POSTS
Asher Wojciechowski (RHP, 21, 6'4 235) POSTS
Griffin Murphy (LHP, 19, 6'3 200)
Samuel Dyson (RHP, 22, 6'1 175)
Sean Nolin (LHP, 20, 6'5 235)
Aaron Sanchez (RHP, 18, 6'4 190)
Noah Syndergaard (RHP, 17, 6'5 200)
Justin Nicolino (LHP, 18, 6'3 160)
Mitchell Taylor (LHP, 18 6'0 155)
Eyerys Guerrero (RHP, 17 6'3 208)
Adonis Cardona (RHP, 16, 6'1 170)

Relief Pitcher:

Danny Farquhar (RHP, 23, 5'11 180) POSTS
Overhand: 88 - 94 mph fastball, cutter, change up, curveball
Sidearm: fastball, slider, change up
Out pitch: sidearm slider
Able to pitch multiple innings.  
Trystan Magnuson (RHP, 25, 6'7 210)
90 - 94 mph fastball, slider, change up
Out pitch: slider
Canadian boy from out west.

Alan Farina (RHP, 23, 5'11 190) POSTS
94 mph fastball, slider, cutter, change up, curveball
Out pitch: slider

Matt Daly (RHP, 24, 5'9 180) POSTS
91 - 92 mph fastball, slider, change up
Out pitch: slider
He’s all heart. Great intangibles. Gutted out more than his handful of saves. He’s only about 5’9 or so, but it’s not an abnormally tiny with guts and brimstone thing like with Tim Collins. 
His fastball is pretty straight and he likes to ride it right up the ladder on hitters.
Worth Keeping An Eye On:
Nestor Molina (RHP, 21, 6'1 179) INTERVIEW
Casey Beck (RHP, 23, 6'1 215) INTERVIEW
Evan Crawford (LHP, 23, 6'1 175) INTERVIEW
Steve Turnbull (RHP, 23, 6'3 215) INTERVIEW
Brian Slover (RHP, 22, 6'3 230) INTERVIEW
Dustin Antolin (RHP, 21, 6'2 195)  INTERVIEW
Ross Buckwalter (RHP, 25, 6'0 195)
Dayton Marze (RHP, 21, 6'2 185)
Milciades Santana (RHP, 21, 6'5 215)

Our Notes: 

With respect to pitching, we found it to be a hugely difficult category to rate because the best Major League relievers are Minor League starters a majority of the time. We think that Carreno and Perez are probably going to become relievers, and so might Jenkins.

Anybody with visions of playing shortstop in the Majors Leagues in the next 5 years not named Adeiny Hechavarria, will not be doing so in a Blue Jay uniform.

There are some positions - 1B, 2B, 3B - in the system where the Blue Jays are thin.

There are some positions - Pitching, C, OF - in the system where the Blue Jays are strong. 

The 2007 and 2008 drafts both look disastrous right now.

It’s weird…..we’ll call it the “Adeiny Hechavarria” theory because he’s playing so much better in Double-A than High-A. From what we’ve heard, High-A is a miserable place to be, because of no crowd, temperature, and the coaching staff. (Hitting coach Justin Mashore is a negative personality.) There are guys with poor numbers there who we're nearly certain are going to put up terrific numbers once they get to Double-A, even though it’s a much tougher level for so many other reasons.