The Beep's forecast for the Jays is an 81-81 record — not bad, but not good, and that presumes a full season of the services of right-handed pitcher Harry Leroy Halladay. The trade Doc speculation, since he is in the penultimate season of his contract, should be revving up sooner rather than later.
The Coles Notes on the PECOTA projections: The Jays are projected to be an also-ran in a division with the Red Sox (98-64), Yankees (97-65) and Tampa Bay Rays (92-70). Meantime, the Cleveland Indians, who are pegged to win the AL Central with 84 victories. It's a familar refrain by now, but it bears repeating, quote The Tao: "Our kingdom for a balanced schedule."
The Oakland Athletics (AL West champion) and Atlanta Braves (NL wild card) are the biggest surprise playoff entrants. Each of those teams, especially the A's, shed a lot of payroll in 2007-08 to get ready for this season.
This, that and the other:
- The blogeteriat has been having a giggle over former No. 1 overall choice Matt Bush, whom the Padres washed their hands of recently. Well, reports are that he has been picked up by the Jays. He had Tommy John surgery and missed all of last season. He's been arrested a couple times. In other words, it's no risk if he doesn't work out (via MLB Trade Rumors).
- Some are scoffing at the notion of baseball returning to the Olympics in 2016.
- Speaking of The Tao, yes, we should bury this ill-informed idea that Mark McGwire was a one-dimensional player. Someone on Prime Time Sports claimed Mark McGwire had a lousy on-base percentage. He on-based .394 lifetime.
- Retired MLBPA boss Marvin Miller was still right all along.
- Even President Barack Obama has to talk about That One: