Observing the sleep-on-it rule seems to be the best way to avoid saying, "The Jays will go as far as John Gibbons will take them." Talk about one cruel evenout, losing four straight... but Vernon Wells is back, Roy Halladay throws on Sunday and then the lousy Mariners come to town.
- Discuss among yourselves: A.J. Burnett is a straw man for everyone in Toronto who craps on the Blue Jays to avoid having to say what they really think about the Leafs.
Burnett -- who tipped his cap to booing fans after getting jocked today -- and Roy Halladay have each made 13 starts this season. Burnett's given up four or more earned runs four times; Halladay's given up four or more earned runs five times. His little gesture -- which might have sent the message, relax people, it's only a game -- had a point.
- Jeff Blair noted that draft day is when Rogers Communications' uninterested ownership shines through: "Time for the Blue Jays to get with the flow and go over slot like everybody else."
Over slot is Seamhead-speak for paying a high draft choice more than MLB's suggested signing boni, which tend to fall on te low side. More teams are realizing that lavishing a big bonus on a top-end prospect is cheap at twice the price, since there are ceilings on young players' salaries. Damn whatever the knee-jerkers say about giving $2.5 million to a high school shortstop or a college left-handed starter.
Rogers' corporate cynicism dictates that you raise the major league club's payroll just high enough to defeat any charges of not wanting to win. "But the payroll is $100-million!" Add anyone who was pretty good back in 2003 and whom casual fans know from years of sports highlights and their fantasy league, and stir. Granted, that's what you would expect in Toronto, where sports franchises set out to win press conferences, not championships.
There's nothing miraculous about why the Tampa Bay Rays are so good all of a sudden. They shelled out for to find players at the grass-roots, and now they're (knock on wood) headed to the playoffs.
- This never happens if George Steinbrenner was still alive ... 6-6 tie in the seventh iinning, bases drunk with Kansas City Royals ... Joe Girardi opted to leave Andy Pettitte to pitch to José Guillén. Never mind that Guillén had a .952 OPS this season vs. lefties, compared to .648 vs. righties, the first swollen considerably by a homer off Pettitte, who had thrown more than 100 pitches.
Boom, grand slam. Back in the day, King George would have fired the manager before the plate umpire fished a new ball out of his pocket.
(The Yankees, won 12-11, but when you have to score 12 runs to win, to quote Dave Smart, "You've lost already.")
- It's cold comfort to know that Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi at least has good taste when it comes to unrequited crushes.
Tim Lincecum, whom the Jays were trying to get in the winter, is vying to be in the all-time, top 5 for pitchers who had the best years pitching for terrible teams. He has a 2.15 ERA, twice as good as the 4.68 for the rest of the San Francisco Giants staff. The Giants are 10-3 in his starts and 16-32 the rest of the time.
No one's ever going to touch Steve Carlton's 1972 season, going 27-10, 1.97 for a last-place team. (He started in 29 of the Phillies' 59 wins.)
- Geddy Lee from Rush is the closest thing the Jays have to a celebrity fan, which makes it less of a surprise that he would be a benefactor for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Lee donated more than 200 balls autographed by Negro Leaguers, many of whom are long dead, to the museum.
- Washington Redskins tight end Chris Cooley is apparently a Jays fan.