Sunday, September 02, 2007


Sunday -- Jays 6, Mariners 4: Party like it's 1998! (For those of you who weren't there, don't remember or don't care, that was the season the Jays made a really futile push to finish just four games out of the wild card.)

Ah, it's hard to find too much wrong with a sweep although it probably won't last vs. the Red Sox. The Jays, strange as it sounds, have won five of six, but will turn around at Fenway.

Saturday -- Jays 2, Mariners 1: The hope as a fan is that the Jays are taking these games off the Mariners and Seattle, who really is better than it's shown, will have a big evenout and sweep the Yankees next week to get back in the wild-card race.

(UPDATE: Hey, the Worldwide Leader actually had to acknowledge the Jays' existence -- to tweak them for batting out of order. That's good fun, that a major-league team has a goof-up that would be beneath the Strickland Propane team in the co-ed rec division of the Arlen Slo-Pitch League.)

In reality, Seattle's lack of run scoring is catching up to them. It's damn hard for a team to be 12 games above .500 when it's scored only four more runs than it's allowed, unless that team is the Arizona Diamondbacks.

On another note: Not to pick on one guy, since there's a gut feeling he gets off on it, but a certain columnist kinda reminded us today of one of our previous journalistic stints when a colleague filed a story and left a note at the top: "This story needs a couple more sources... and a point!"

It doesn't amount to a big bag of air that there "are 19 former Blue Jays competing (or disabled) on the top nine NL contenders." It is football season in the States now, but it ain't the the NFL. There are no 53-man rosters so the Jays can carry Orlando Hudson and Aaron Hill at second base.

The synopsis was that the current Jays being out of it and so many current Jays being involved in races -- including Jeff Kent, who was traded two weeks before I entered Grade 10 -- is supposed to be why the "six-year J.P. Ricciardi era as GM has been so disappointing."

Uh, OK. The Jays are a .495 team since Ricciardi became GM. Not great, but it's more or less the same, maybe even better than the .499 from Gord Ash's six seasons when you account for the disaster in 2004, which is behind the Jays, and consider Ash's teams didn't play 18 games apiece against Boston and New York like Ricciardi's do.

Apparently four-1,000ths of a percentage point makes Ricciardi an abject failure while Gord Ash is a champ for being fortunate enough to now be in a division where the Milwaukee Brewers' .500 record (67-67, worse than the Jays' 69-66) has them in the hunt for the NL Central pennant. Point being, dreaming of being a "contender" in the National League, the D student of major pro sports, is for losers.

You know how Al Capone's supposed to have said he'd rather be a lamppost in Chicago than mayor of another city? That's how it is for an American League fan these days -- the Jays are up against it, but that's better than the jerkwater burg that is the NL.

Friday -- Jays 7, Mariners 5: That was shortstop extraordinaire John McDonald who had a bit of a Curtis Granderson thing going on with a triple and double in the same game. Is it totally killjoy to point out that gave Sir John J. a grand total of three extra-base hits in August? Yes, yes it is.

Including Saturday's game, though, the Jays are 46-37 (.554) in McDonald's starts, compared 24-29 (.453) when he begins the game on the bench. Is that him or is the fact Royce Clayton was even worse and McDonald didn't start as often when the Jays were short-staffed early in the season? That's just the kind of hearsay and conjecture -- in the words of Lionel Hutz, those are kinds of evidence -- that makes a call to the post-game show.


Pete Toms said...

The DP that ended Friday's game with the bases loaded was one of the best plays I have seen by the Jays this season, particulary given the situation. Hill, MacDonald & Overbay were all outstanding on the play.

As for Richard Griffin, I rarely read him, but I do know that he is a big JP basher. I'm neither a big JP basher or defender, but knowing that there are 19 former Jays in the hunt is not surprising. In the era of the Wild Card everyone is in the race ( particulary as you note in the inferior NL ), so why wouldn't any team have a lot of former players in races with other teams?

The Jays fundamental problem is as you point out, nearly 1/4 of their games against the superpower Red Sox and Yankees. In any other division the Jays, on a year in - year out basis, would be contenders for a playoff position.

Pete Toms said...

4 games over, a high water mark for 07! Jays to face Dice K, Beckett & Schilling, tough sledding.

Time for Gibbons to bench Johnson against RH and play Stairs. Johnson is a good player but he either has not recovered from back surgery and / or hasn't played enough this season to find his A game at the plate.