Friday, July 18, 2008

Zen Dayley: Jumping into the second half

It's getting more likely A.J. Burnett and Jays fans are going to be forced to share the same space, a lot like Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly in the upcoming Stepbrothers.

There are two ways to spin the Phillies swinging a trade with Oakland for starting pitcher Joe Blanton. One is that this means the Jays are going to be stuck with Burnett for the rest of the season. The second is that leaves him as the only prized pitching rental out there and, well, the L.A. Dodgers, with their .500 record, have a NL West title that's easily there for the taking.

The best uneducated guess is that the Dodgers want to stay in-house for any pitching help, even if that meant putting 20-year-old phenom Clayton Kershaw (one hit, no runs over five in Double-A last night) back in their rotation in the heat of a playoff race. Plus, Burnett might not be worth it when 84 is all it's gonna take to win that division.

In other words, Pete Toms was right about a week and a half ago when reckoned that the Jays were likely to be stuck with Burnett. Twelve million dollars for a pitcher isn't that steep these days.

Not to do too much of "this happened in sports and here's what I think about," but what were the Phillies thinkng? When the first adjective used to a describe a pitcher is "durable," it usually means he isn't exactly a prize Guernsey. Blanton, an innings-eater if there ever was one, had a 4.96 ERA pitching for Oakland, where fly balls go to get damp with mist. He also benefited from pitching in a park that has vast foul territory, since he doesn't have strike out many guys. Now he's going to one of the best hitter's parks in the game, which also has tight foul lines. (For his career, Blanton has a 3.79 ERA in Oaktown, a run higher, 4.78, everywhere else.)

(Seriously, it's OK to go see Stepbrothers, even ithough Ferrell and C. Reilly should have moved beyond this Adam McKay popular schlock after Talladega Nights. Even-numbered years are good for summer movies that you shouldn't laugh at but do -- 2006 had Accepted; '04 was Euro Trip and Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle.)

Also on the Jays...

  • Roberto Alomar's eponymous website won't be complete unless he adds clips from his old McCain's Fruit Punch commercials... Catch the taste!
  • Roy Halladay cleared the air over Groundhog-gate. You can go right ahead and suspect that someone was pulling the strings a bit.
  • The Drunks have basically concluded that Paul Godfrey yesterday came as close to saying J.P. Ricciardi was gone after this year as he could without saying the magic words.
  • Anyone want to take bets on when catching prospect J.P. Arencibia will draw his first walk in Double-A? He's at 96 at-bats and counting without a base on balls.
  • Congratulations go to a fellow Kingstonian, Sun Media baseball writer Bob Elliott (formerly based in Ottawa once upon a time, too), for being a finalist to go into the writers' wing of the Hall of Fame next year. It's probably far-fetched that he'll go in the same year as Tim Raines, whose career he covered.

Other business

  • Try not to laugh when you read the District Council in Washington might hike the sales tax on all items sold at a stadium that already cost $611 million US in taxpayers' money.
  • Let's all have a good laugh at the wannabes trying to claim Barry Bonds is going to sign with the Yankees. Then wonder what New York picking up Richie Sexson and his .218/.315/.381 statline does for Bonds' charges of collusion.
  • A Lynx diaspora update: Left-hander J.A. Happ, who was here last season, threw no-hit ball for seven innings, striking out 12, to get the win for Lehigh Valley last night. Double bonus: It was against the Yankees' Triple-A team. Happ could be back up in Philly again soon.


Anonymous said...

How exciting is Stepbrothers' release? Ferrell, Reilly, Apatow - can you really beat that combo?

Duane Rollins said...


But, is it as exciting as Momma Mia?