Toronto Baseball Guys
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
  Parity, Schmarity
I just came upon this little beauty on This is a list of what each MLB team will spend in 2010 on their starting rotation:
  1. Yankees - $63,157,650
  2. Cubs - $50,775,000
  3. Red Sox - $42,263,500
  4. Mets - $38,087,500
  5. White Sox - $36,200,000
  6. Cardinals - $35,925,000
  7. Giants - $33,850,000
  8. Tigers - $32,670,000
  9. Phillies - $31,805,000
  10. Braves - $31,467,000
  11. Angels - $29,965,000
  12. Royals - $25,110,000
  13. Reds - $24,700,000
  14. Astros - $23,916,000
  15. Rockies - $23,500,000
  16. Diamondbacks - $22,008,925
  17. Dodgers - $21,679,000
  18. Mariners - $20,550,000
  19. Brewers - $18,565,000
  20. Indians - $17,115,500
  21. Padres - $15,355,000
  22. Rangers - $14,181,090
  23. Orioles - $13,668,125
  24. Athletics - $13,210,000
  25. Twins - $12,790,000
  26. Nationals - $10,224,000
  27. Pirates - $10,013,500
  28. Marlins - $9,645,000
  29. Rays - $9,473,333
  30. Blue Jays - $4,085,000
Sunday, March 28, 2010
  Jays 2010

It would seem pretty safe to predict that the Jays, Jays’ fans, family members of Jays’ fans, and anyone related to the US Hockey program are going to have a year full of disappointment, but I think I’m more excited for this season than any one in recent memory. Let me explain why…

The Jays project to be so bad this year, they might as well be the team from any of the Major League movies…and we all know how those go.

My prediction for the year…

Spring training ends with Brian Tallet shaving off his hair and beard in order to be taken seriously as a major league starter.

After losing six in a row to start the season, the Jays return home to play the opener in front of an “announced” crowd of 8 760, to which Buck Martinez remarks “Well, it would have been higher if that group of 40-somethings with the “Marry Me AGonz” signs didn’t head out after the short stop’s first at bat”.

The losses continue to mount as we are subjected to a montage of:
-VW launches a pop up to second with the bases loaded while singing “If you’re happy and you know it…”
-Edwin Encarnacion muffs a throw to first, scattering the 200 fans sitting behind the bag.
-Fans at Gretzky’s bar are seen booing the TVs.
-Travis Snider strikes out by swinging and missing so badly on a high inside pitch that the umpire calls him out even though the count is 0-1.
-Joey Gathright gets injured in a promotion gone awry, when he tries to broad jump five fans lying side by side.
-EE misfires to first again…the 100 fans sitting behind the bag can now be seen with gloves and helmets.
-Jays lose a charity game against the 51’s
-During an interleague game in Philadelphia, Cito forgets to pull a double switch with the pitcher’s spot due to lead off the next inning…after being informed of what he should have done, he claims that the umpire wasn’t showing him the respect that a two-time World Series champ deserves.
-EE fires yet another ball into the stands fortunately missing the six spectators left.
-Sick and tired of catching a rotation full of minor leaguers, Buck, Molina, Chavez, and Arencibia all quit the team.
-Fans at Gretzky’s switch the TV to TSN Classic to catch a 1985 MandM Meat Shops curling skins game between Russ Howard and the Wrench.

Then the turning point…
An employee of Rogers Communications –I think it was that guy from the MyFive commercials- addresses the team and lets them know that in order to make room for the Buffalo Bills’ preseason games, the Jays will need to play the rest of their season at the old Exhibition Stadium. He also mentions that Lyle Overbay, the one player on the team having a reasonable year has been traded for one of those mini Catelli bat day bats. Cito tells Randy Ruiz that he’s going to get his first at bat of the year against the Yankees that afternoon.

During that game, the human growth hormone playing third for the Bombers calls “mine” while running the bases, causing a beleaguered EE to let a pop up drop beside him. Mr. Madonna then walks over to the Jays’ dugout, takes VW’s seeds, punches a seagull and knocks the Gatorade cooler over, soaking the majority of the Jay’s players, and injuring John McDonald, the emergency catcher.

The Jays call a time out, switch into the only clean uni’s they’ve got left…The Baby Blues… and they re-take the field. With the Jays out of catchers, Buck Martinez agrees to suit up in order to stall for the arrival of Travis D’Arnaud.

On the ensuing pitch, Albert Pujols -recently acquired by the Yankees for a whack of cash and a 37 year old career minor leaguer-, batting ninth for the Yankees, drives a ball into the alley in right centre. Vernon, angry after having to go through the effort of untying and retying his laces during the uniform change suddenly cares again. He sprints to the ball and makes a diving catch while releasing a scream heard by tourists entering Casa Loma. He then flips the ball to Travis Snider who fires a perfect throw to the cutoff man who manages to get the relay home to a perfectly positioned Buck Martinez, nailing SteRod at home. The Jays’ commentator is carted off the field after injuring his leg on the play, but amazingly, he managed to hold onto the ball.

We are then privy to the montage of:
-Tallet growing the goofy hair, and mutton chops
-Snider homering into the field goal posts in the far end zone.
-EE practising the throw to first.
-Wells takes for ball four.
-Ruiz goes 0.320, 0.440 and 0.600 in BA, OBP and SLG.
-The bat boy sitting Cito down, in front of a chalk board and showing him how a double switch works.
-EE making the throw to Ruiz who has now begun wearing that gigantic paper mache glove from the outfield in San Francisco.
-Gretzky’s is filled with fans watching Jays’ games, including Jack Layton sitting front and centre high-fiving Stephen Harper.

The Jays then meet the Yankees in a one game playoff to decide all the marbles. The October night air is cool, the metal benches at the Ex–even the football seats that keep travelling down the right field foul line, rather than curving around the wall-are filled…And that’s why I’m excited.

Monday, March 22, 2010
  2010 is like Stinky Diapers in Toronto
The plan for my entry today was to make a list of 50 reasons to pay attention to the Jays in 2010, since winning is not likely to be a regular occurrence this year.

I had a few quick reasons off the top of my head, and figured that looking at a depth chart would help fill in the missing entries.

I looked. Figured 30 reasons might be more manageable. Got to work.

But I couldn't do it -- could barely get started. Fact is, there just aren't 30 good reasons, on paper, to watch this team this year. Now, don't get me wrong - I think seasons like this are terribly important to a franchise. 2010 is the kind of season the Leafs should have had years ago - a year where cheap fill-ins are brought in to place-hold and heavy contracts are shipped out for youngsters. A good old-fashioned press of the reset button season. Nothing wrong with that, as long as your GM is willing to commit fully to the idea, and AA certainly seems to be. This off-season has seen the bare minor league cupboards replenished with names like Drabek, Wallace, d’Arnaud and Stewart, and, finally, a SS prospect that brings back fond memories of Octavio Antonio and his wizardry between the bases, in Adeiny Hechevarria. Players with high-upside, like the horribly misused Brandon Morrow, were brought in on the cheap, and overpriced (in rebuilding years) free agents like Scutaro and Barajas were bid adieu. There is a plan in place, and unlike JP's plans, this plan doesn't seem to be absolutely, wretchedly stupid and shortsighted.

But 2010.

Here's why I'm watching:

A) Randy Ruiz. I love fat ball players, and he is fat and can slug. I look forward to Cito giving him a chance to mash. .250 and 25 bombs are within reach.

B) Edwin "E-5" Encarnacion. I want to see if he is as stone-gloved as his wonderful nickname implies. Watching Scott Rolen has spoiled BJ fans greatly (I think he is by far the best defensive 3B in BJ history), and watching his spot be filled with a true master-of-poor-defense, for some sick reason, strikes me as entertaining. Like following up a model with a pig, just for the contrast.

C) The Kids. By mid-season I am hoping the exodus of contracts is amped up, and we see Overbay become Wallace and Wells become anyone other than Wells. I am also keen to see if Snyder keeps it together and if Lind can follow-up his stellar 2009 with a season even close.

D) Cito. My heart loves Cito, my brain hates him. His managing last year caused me great, great baseball stress. Wells hitting 4th like a number 8 hitter, Kevin Millar taking AB's away from Snyder, etc., made me want to pull my hair out. This years seems to be Cito's grand farewell to the field --here's hoping he remembers the players' names and doesn't cause another revolt. Fairly reasonable expectations.

E) I think that might be it. I dread watching Jose Bautista lead off and Wells still hit 4th (oh, the unending fly-outs to 2B just killed me last year!) I dread the bottom of the order (Encarnacion, Buck, Gonzalez, Bautista...ugh...), and the non-stop losing, even when it is for the greater good, has a way of wearing you down. But wait, I have another reason to look forward to 2010:

F) Bringing my son to a Jays game for the first time. Even if they stink, he'll be pooping his pants, so it'll all be relative.
Discussion of all thing Blue Jays.

Christopher Casuccio
Sean Doyle
Rob Metcalfe
Matthew Graf
Yoni Grundland
Mark Rottmann
Jim Turner
Joel Williams


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