- One wager that should be on the sports books: Shaun Marcum will lead the majors in most quality starts with a no-decision. He's 2-for-2 after throwing one-run ball across seven innings in tonight's extra-inning loss to Oakland. The Dave Stieb comparisons are almost too apt.
- Andy Grabia was kind enough to offer his take on the beer-fuelled mayhem at the Rogers Centre of late. It's down below.
There's no condoning people acting like yobs. It still needs to be said that the Jays acted like first-time parents, grounding their oldest and taking away the keys. Ninety-eight per cent of the raucous atmosphere at Rogers Centre is a positive for the franchise — do they want to go back to the Interbrew SA era when it was just diehards and grandparents with kids? True, some people can be involved fans without that watered-down stuff they pass off as beer, but the place is loud. The Jays shouldn't lose sight of that.
It's all about treating the fan base with respect. The same fans who are going to suffer from limiting alcohol sales in the 500 level are the same ones who stuck with the Jays through the Interbrew SA era and when the team was giving away tickets with an order from Pizza Pizza. Meantime, those tickets that were being sold for $2 go for $9 regularly — in other words, one less beer. That won't make much of a difference.
It's a societal problem that's beyond a baseball franchise's ken. One point that has to be made is that you have the Rogers-owned team in a Rogers-owned stadium dealing with fan violence. Meantime, the Rogers-owned sports network gives ample and prominent play to MMA (mental midget assault), which venerates people punching each other. There's nothing self-serving there.
- Note to Fire Joe Morgan: Please don't waste your beautiful mind on Fisking a certain Toronto baseball typist (what he puts out there isn't baseball and isn't writing; it's typing). Don't give him what he wants.
Lashing out at a reader, calling him "sad" for having the temerity to cite some "statistical proof (that) can be generated from a website that shows Shannon Stewart capable of producing 17 more runs than (Reed) Johnson in a 162-game season," is just asking to be Fisked.
There's no generated about it. That's what Stewart has actually done over the run of his and Reed Johnson's respective careers. It's like that Seinfeld when George Costanza defends giving an academic scholarship to a kid with a 2.0 grade point average by saying, "we're all well-aware as to the flaws and biases of standardized testing" and someone else fires back, "These aren't standardized tests; these are his grades."
Painting it like that goes right to the heart of what's wrong about how baseball is covered in Toronto. Jeff Blair, Bob Elliott and Mike Wilner notwithstanding, there's no effort to disabuse people of their ignorance. The baseball lowbrows, no-brows and ignorami almost get priority, although maybe it's like that in every sports market. No one dumbed it down for me when I was a young pup learning the game. I was forced to stretch.
Go right ahead, believe the Jays needed to keep Reed Johnson when they have two better hitters and two corner-outfield prospects (Adam Lind and Travis Snider) blossoming in the minors.
- Speaking of which: Lind's rate stats after going 4-for-4 tonight for Syracuse: .448 average, .500 on-base, .759 slugging. That second-week stat line is inflated by the homer and single he had off ex-Jay Ty Taubenheim (nine hits, six runs over a 1 1/3 innings for Indianapolis), but still, wow.
Ex-Lynx Kane Davis started and picked up the W, giving him at least one more than entire Lehigh Valley IronPigs team.
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