- Vernon Wells was called out today by globesports.com's Jeff Blair, who clearly has been reading the tea leaves, so to speak, on the web.
No one really wants to hear the equivocations. Wells received a huge contract for what he did in 2003 and 2006 and ipso facto, those seasons were the template for the years to come.
Some players just don't handle the expectations that come with that big a salary well, or it means they put pressure on themselves. Look at what's happened to be Barry Zito, AKA, "pitching's answer to Chuck Knoblauch."
Wells should probably hit fifth or sixth. The problem is, as The Tao acknowledged, is that the Jays are like the Leafs -- too afraid of the media and fan fallout to do what's best.
Stick the $126-million-dollar man in the 5-hole. It's not our money.
(The extremely helpful women at Babes Love Baseball have suggested some slump-busters for Barry Zito.)
- It would be nice to know how much income the Blue Jays get from suite sales at the Rogers Centre. Pete Toms is probably more versed in this topic, but that tends to be source of revenue that separates the middle-market teams such as the Jays from the super-profitable ones. The Minnesota Twins are apparently set to leap into a new income bracket from the suites in its new stadium.
This sort of ties in with how Toronto could use a real ballpark and missed the boat in the '80s. The way the economy's going, don't count on it.
- Drunk Jays Fans did the heavy lifting to shut up the Reed Johnson lovers.
Anyone who checks Johnson's splits (and take pity on those among us who feel compelled to look this stuff up) would clue in that he's been raking right-handed pitchers, which might not last (his batting average on balls in play is an unsustainable .368). He would only start against righties with the Jays as a last resort.
- Hardball Times ran down the worst No. 3 hitters of all time today. It's absolutely mind-bottling -- you know, where it feels like your mind is trapped in a bottle -- that much-maligned ex-Blue Jay Junior Felix was actually the No. 3 hitter for a major-league baseball team for an entire season. That's almost perverse.
(Vernon Wells was in the running to be on the list of the most craptacular cleanup hitters until the Jays' recent lineup shuffle.)
- Occasionally something happens with a favourite team that is so stunning that you don't get around to even acknowledging it for several days. John Gibbons ordering an intentional walk on Friday to the Kansas City Royals' No. 9 hitter, Tony Peña Jr. (sub-subpar .365 OPS), to set up a lefty-lefty matchup against David DeJesus (.822 OPS), ranks right up there.
Royals fans -- let them have their fun, they've had so little since October 1985 -- might still be laughing. Quoth Joe Posnanski: "I've never seen a more offensive walk. Never."
- Chris Stevenson had a positive report on the Rapidz press conference. Owner Rob Hall apparently responded to one of our threads farther down the page, if you care to scroll.
Former Fenway Park folk hero, rotund reliever Rich (El Guapo) Garces, has re-signed with the Nashua Pride, by the way.
(UPDATE: The UORB has some thoughts on the Rapidz transition that should be read for posterity's sake.)
- The latest from Lehigh Valley: The IronPigs are 3-22, and they face Jays suspect/prospect David Purcey tonight.