Toronto Baseball Guys
Sunday, June 06, 2010
  Rising From the Ashes
I’ve commented before that this is a team, it’s not 24 guys chewing sunflower seeds waiting for Delgado’s next bomb. They’ve got each other’s backs as exhibited by their support of Lyle Overbay vs. the Media, and more recently in the case of Kevin Gregg vs. the strike zone.

In past years the Jays have had some strong periods of play, but these were more like fad diets, eventually they’d cool and fall further behind than they were before the hot stretch. The beginning of the end would always start with an unsettling loss. Often caused by something like an offence that had been averaging a boat load of runs suddenly cooling down, wasting a tidy one or two run performance from the starter, consider the Tallet vs. Yankees and Halladay vs. Braves games in 2009.

But this year’s been different. I’m not saying that this season won’t end in heart break, I’m not saying that the losses won’t begin pilling up tomorrow, but on more than one occasion this season, I’ve thrown in the proverbial towel only to see this plucky team bounce back with a win.
Monday April 5: Rangers 5 vs. Jays 4: Jason Frasor blows Shaun Marcum’s outstanding performance. Momentum is a huge deal, and this wasn’t a way to build it.
Monday April 12: ChiSox 8 at Jays 7: Jason Frasor blows the save, leaving Brian Tallet with a no-decision. This team can’t afford to waste starts of Brian Tallet that leave them in a position to win.
April 16-18: Angels sweep Jays, reminding us what it feels like to face a good team.
April 24-29: Jays lose five straight to Devil Rays and BoSox, indicating that we’re so bad, that even our supposed strength –the bullpen- isn’t that strong. I guess it’s all relative.
May 10-11: Lose the first two games to Boston in performances by Morrow and Eveland that made it look like the strike zone is harder to find than the way out of one of those repeating Dragon’s Layers in Super Mario Bros.
Thursday May 20: Kevin Gregg blows a 3-1 run lead in Seattle, but at least he provides Griffey Jr. with a nice retirement gift.
June 1-2: The Devil Rays lend weight to the theory that relievers are starters who couldn’t cut it.

Even with each of these tough loses the Jays currently stand nine games above 0.500, and their resolve seems stronger than ever –See 14 inning win vs. Yankees-. They’re like a phoneix, rising from the ashes, but they’re better than a phoenix, because they keep doing it…that’s it, they’re like some sort of cat phoenix, rising from the ashes nine times. There’s just something special about this team, I don’t know if it’s luck, frustration at stars like Halladay and Rolen begging their way out of town, or a response to the fact that Alex Anthopoulos is a much better human being than JP Ricciardi, but for some reason this team has gelled…Major League style, consider the bullpen as Charlie Sheen and the Rays as that Clew Haywood guy that kept burning the “Wild Thing”. I can hardly wait for the one game playoff at the end of the season.


Other Thoughts:
Someone get Dave Stieb out of retirement…newly acquired Dewayne Wise will take it from there.
Speaking of Perfect Games: Thanks for the corvette but you know what I’d really like…A Perfect Game! Why did GM give Armando “Little Cat” Galarraga a free car? He’s a professional baseball player, I think he can afford his own ride.
Props for Jim Joyce: We’re all human and none of us are perfect, the umpire reminded us of this during the game on Wednesday. However, the honesty and humility with which Joyce admitted his error left me more impressed with him, than I would have been if he’d nailed that call.
In Defence of Jim Joyce: I know it should have been an out, but the ball really did seem to jiggle around in Galarraga’s mit, making the call a little less clear for an umpire who’s listening for the catch while watching for a foot hitting the bag in real time.
1.21 GW of fury: This just in…I don’t think Cito owns a Delorean and if he does, I truly doubt it’s outfitted with a flux capacitor, so we shouldn’t expect him to know the future. Obviously he’s made some debatable moves, but he’s got this team overachieving in large part due to a healthy clubhouse atmosphere that he’s been overseeing.

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