Thursday, September 13, 2007


Thursday -- Jays 2, Yankees 1: Too low-scoring, this win... throw it back. Scott Downs finally got a chance to throw in the ninth inning and did you see what happened? He got three outs!

Wednesday -- Yankees 4, Jays 1: No peace to be had tonight -- the game was over in the first inning after the Yankees cashed in a pair of two-out walks, and Mike Wilner wasn't on hand to edify us due to being off for Rosh Hashanah.

J.P. Ricciardi was on the FAN 590 post-game show and said John Gibbons will be the manager next season. Obviously, he's not going to come right out and say a change in the works, but the topper was Roger Lajoie (a poor fill-in) saying that was great and that Gibby "has a lot of fans. They're just not the ones who are calling in every night."

Oh, the classic silent majority argument. Sure. If there really is anyone who has this mythical good argument for why Gibbons should manage the Jays next season, nut up and call in. The call screeners will wave you right in.

Troy Glaus has been shut down. Speaking of which, read the Yahoo Sports! exclusive about baseball's apparent reluctance to cooperate with a steroids investigation. Of course, baseball can't act quite as unilaterally as the NFL; that's the reality of having a real union to protect the players' basic rights.

Tuesday -- Yankees 9, Jays... ah, to hell with it: Good thing Mike Mussina pitches the second game of this series for New York... he would have complained that the pre-game 9/11 anniversary grief porn-fest threw him out of his rhythm.

The less said about tonight the better. Did anyone notice the final total for the Yankees was nine runs on 11 hits. 9-11, get it? It's almost shocking that didn't cause the TV announcer who shall remain generic as a public service to cry on air, the way he was going on about the anniversary all night long (granted, in a blowout, the conversation can stray).

Whatever happened to giving people the dignity to deal with grief in private? It's offensive to keep pushing this down everyone's throat and it trivializes what thousands of people as individuals went through to hold some first-ball ceremony. All it does is stir up anger. The way it's remembered here is that in the fall of 2001, there was a lot of soul-searching and looking inward.

Maybe our lives were trivial, trite and meaningless and something should be done about it (this is written with a full awareness that it's ironic to point this out on a blog about sports). Yet all our corporate and political leaders could do was mouth focus-grouped platitudes, stoke our worst fears and say, "Go shopping."

Nothing changed... our lives became even more trivial. What was on TV at the same time, on a channel owned by the same media giant whose sports channel was showing the Jays and Yanks? The season finale of Canadian Idol. No irony there.

Wednesday, 7 -- Yankees righty Mussina (8-10, 5.51, 1.50 WHIP) vs. Dustin McGowan (10-8, 3.90, 1.21 WHIP): Mussina hasn't gone past the sixth inning in a month, so he should breeze through seven solid no problem.


The best reaction to the news the Jays gave shortstop John McDonald and his alleged bat a two-year, $3.8-million contract is to accept it with conditions.

Giving nearly $2 million per year to McGlovin' is settling, pure and simple. What team gives a 32-year-old who's roster flotsam and can't hit for sour apples a multi-year deal because he works hard? Did John Ferguson Jr. win first prize in the Rogers Run The Jays For A Day contest and show up on Tuesday to collect it?

Sorry not to buy in to the feel-good story of the season. If I wanted heartwarming stories, I'd watch the Slice Channel. There's tons of similar players in Triple-A who tug at the heartstrings since they are very good at baseball, just not good enough. Instead of love-in for McGlovin, it should be a like-in.

Anyway, first condition: The Jays explain why they are giving up so easily in the search for middle infield help. The market is thin, but why not deal from strength (pitching) for a prospect (Astrubal Cabrera) or someone who needs a change of scenery (Josh Barfield)? Is there that much fear of putting Aaron Hill at shortstop? Is McDonald really $1.4 million better than Ray Olmedo?

(The Dodgers' Rafael Furcal is not necessarily an answer... he's having a lousy year and his home/road splits suggest he's hardly an antidote for a team that can't win on the road.)

Second condition: Admit the timing is a bit curious, coming hours before the first home game since the Troy Glaus performance-enchancers bombshell hit the news. (Glaus might not play tonight, though.)

Third condition: Demanding better than league-average production in 2008 from 6 of the other 8 slots in the lineup instead of the current 1 out of 8.

Last condition: McGlovin has to catch a fly ball in his cap.

Hopefully, this is just a tempest in a retro blue-and-white Jays cap. It's 2% of the team payroll, but it also reeks of being a give-up play. Fortune favours the bold, J.P.


Pete Toms said...

JP signed MacDonald because:

FA SS available - Royce Clayton ( been there, done that ). Vizquel, Uribe, Eckstein all would cost more than JM and I doubt if Eckstein has enough arm to play on the turf in TO anway. Furcal, too expensive, although maybe he is on the move because the Dodgers have a SS prospect, Lu, who everybody seems very high on. Is JM $1.4 million better than Olmedo? No.

A trade? Asdrubal Cabrera maybe could have been had earlier in the season but is playing to rave reviews since replacing Barfield - plus he's not Arbitration eligible for 2+ years. Barfield? I was pretty high on him prior to this season, not superstar high but...there's no way I move Hill to SS though, he's played so well this season both offensively and defensively. Trading a pitcher? Jeff Blair mentions the same today, but who? I know it's a cliché but it is true year after year, you can never have enough.

The other reason? JP knows that if this lineup performs as it should that offense won't be a problem and they can carry JM and Olmedo at SS.

The Glaus conspiracy theory? Again, Blair ( my favorite TO baseball writer ) thinks there's something to it....I don't know, in 2 weeks ( if not now ) nobody in the GTA will be talking Jays and Glaus / Signature blows over.

sager said...

Bottom line, it is a give-up play. It all comes out in the wash if the Jays improve the lineup, but I can't get excited about this move on any level beyond being happy for McDonald since he seems like a nice guy.... and at $3.8/2 yrs, he isn't even a nice guy.

Pete Toms said...

I explained why I thought JP did it but having said all that, I agree with you, it doesn't amount to much. Success for the Jays in 08 will have little to do with this, as you pointed out you can find guys who can field but can't hit.

Tyler King said...

Was Johnny Mac seriously going to get more than that on the open market? Holy moly... unless Rogers is literally giving JP an unlimited payroll that's a mind-numbing two-year waste when you consider the resurgence of Adams and the possibility of Santos.

Jay said...

Can't someone just start a Johnny Mac for gold glove website and be done with it? Isn't glory its own reward?

By the way, keep up the awesome work.

Pete Toms said...

Wow, JP's assertion ( I didn't hear it myself ) that Gibbons will be back next year very much surprises me.

I've assumed since this seson went into the dumper ( when was that, May? )that Gibbons was done if for no other reason than to appease the fans and put a new "face" on things next season.

Gibby & JP go way back though, weren't they roomies when JP was in the low, low minors? Also, JP has the reputation ( I think deserved ) of meddling in Managers affairs, put another way, he's very hands on. Put less politely, does JP want a puppet in the dugout? Is Gibbons the puppet?