Toronto Baseball Guys
Saturday, May 29, 2010
  The Jays Care
The Jays Care Foundation is an exceptional organization that has been “empowering children and youth in need, inspiring them to make positive choices and helping them realize their dreams by providing access to programs that support physical activity, education, and life-skill development.” Often times, members of the major league roster lend their time, expertise and celebrity to help provide unforgettable moments for the youth mentioned above.

However, I think the work of the Major league outfit over the last week and a half has been a bit misguided.
Case One:
Unfortunate Incident: Angels outfielder Bobby Abreu drops an Alex Gonzalez pop fly in the ninth inning, turning it into a two base error. Gonzalez is eventually drive home with an unearned game tying run.
Jays Care: Scott Downs loads the bases, with two outs allowing Abreu to go from goat to hero by taking a pitch the other way for a game winning single. Abreu show’s his gratitude by cockily raising his hands in victory before the ball even escapes a diving Encarnacion.

Case Two:
Unfortunate Incident: Ken Griffey Jr. draws the ire of media and fans alike when he fails to appear for a pinch hitting opportunity. Rumour has it that Junior Griffey (why do people call him that, it’s not his name?) was sleeping in the clubhouse at the moment his services were required. His harsh denial of the accusation, without justification of why he didn’t hit, makes me think that he was “sleeping” with a waitress from the executive boxes that he had called down to the clubhouse with an order of a six pack of beers, four pretzels, two chilli dogs, and some nachos.
Jays Care: Kevin Gregg –whose season had been stellar to this point- recognized the importance of helping those less fortunate than him. He blew a two run lead in the ninth, bringing Jr. to the plate with a chance to win the game. Cue the walk off celebration…this might need more than one waitress.

What’s next!? Will we allow GW Bush the opportunity to prove he can be a good president when we finally replace current head honcho Paul Beeston?

I’m not sure that the Jays need to be helping out these multimillionaires who have spent their entire adult lives playing a game. Despite that, in each case, as the struggling major leaguer came to the plate, it was painfully obvious that the Jays weren’t going to win those games because the opposing player was due. Hopefully, on the grand scheme, the fates will decide that the Jays are the team most worthy of a victory in the playoff race against recent and frequent post season participants Rays, Yankees and Bosox.

On another note:
I’m a huge fan of Rance Mulliniks. My fantasy baseball team bears his name, I once cheered “Put Rance in!” late in the third period of an early 90’s Leafs’ game when a clutch play was needed, I never use batting gloves, and one of my best friends in elementary school had a batting stance that had him tilted so far back that I was worried he’d fall back into the catcher. My idolization of the man aside, even I can admit that he’s not the best colour commentator in baseball. However, he absolutely nailed it in Wednesday’s loss to the Angels. During a Jeremy Reed at bat, the Flewis sub took a pitch that should have been called strike three but was ruled a ball. Upon seeing that pitch, Rance remarked that if the next pitch is anywhere near the strike zone Reed had better be swinging. He didn’t, and was rung up on a pitch that was higher than a former child star in their early twenties and further outside than Screech Powers at a Saved By The Bell reunion. I should have been fuming, but there’s something so beautiful about even up call, that I just had to respect it, and move on.

An analogy:
You know those pretty boys with the big muscles? It looks like the they’re really strong, but they’d get their Zimas/Wine Coolers shoved up their backsides in a barroom brawl against those burly guys who were born to fight. The 2009 edition of the Jays piled up a bunch of pretty batting averages with very little to show for it. This year’s team batting average of 0.242 is fifth worst in baseball, but their total runs scored of 260 is tied for the best in the majors. Runs scored is absolutely the most important offensive stat in baseball, it doesn’t matter how you score, as long as you do. This year’s Jays may not be pretty –unless you like swinging and missing by a country mile- but more often than not, they’ll wipe the floor with you. We can only hope that by the end of the year, ARod and the Yankees will be lying in beer and vomit while the Jays walk away with Kate Hudson, Cameron Diaz and a spot in the postseason.
 
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