Friday, April 30, 2010

John Bucking the trend

Holy Buck John had one helluva game against the Athletics last night, absolutely mashing three homers in his first three at bats. His 2nd homer was a total moonshot. Buck also received the proverbial shaving cream face wash from Shaun Marcum afterwards. Where has this been all season? With those three dingers, Buck ties Ernie Whitt and Darrin Fletcher's franchise record for homers in one game for a catcher. If someone would've asked me pre-game which Jay would hit 3 bombs in the game, suffice to say Buck would likely be last on that list.

Just how unexpected was Uncle Buck's massive outburst? He's owned by only 2% of owners in Yahoo fantasy baseball. I wonder how high that number will spike after this contest, and then how quickly it'll drop by next week when Johnny comes back down to earth. Buck had been hitting a measly .155 coming in to the game, with just 1 long fly and 6 RBI. Following his epic night, he now has 4 HR's and 11 RBI!

Bucko was given a hitting lesson prior to the game from batting instructor Dwayne Murphy, but more importantly, Cito Gaston. That's why he was awesome. Cito knows offense. The look that Cito had after the third homer was one of a proud Papa. He should be ecstatic, because a night like this doesn't come around often. Holy Buck.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Jays prospect Wallace tearing up AAA

Maybe there is a reason why Lyle Overbay has suddenly woken up and realized the season has started. If he has continued his dismal play any longer, his starting role could have been in serious jeopardy because Jays prospect Brett Wallace has been scorching hot at the plate with AAA Las Vegas.

Wallace, acquired in the deal that sent Roy Halladay to Philadelphia in the off-season, hasn't disappointed in his brief tenure with the organization. In just 19 games, he has already smacked 8 home runs, driven in 13, hit for a solid .286 average to go along with a .375 on base percentage. Suffice to say, our first baseman of the future is clearly showing he wants to be tabbed the 1st baseman of the present.

Overbay, meanwhile, has finally picked up his play considerably, going 6 for his last 12 with 2 HR's and 6 RBI in the last 3 games. However, even with the hot stretch, his average still sits at .183. Prior to the aforementioned three contests, he hit just .119 with only 3 RBI. Overbay, on the final year of his contract that will pay him $7 million this season, can keep his job if he swings the bat like he has recently. Any more massive lulls like he had at the start of the campaign, and he might not have to peer over his shoulder any longer, because Wallace will have taken over. The highly touted prospect has shown he's ready to make his debut in the show.

Tattered Jays bullpen receives shakeup

A taxed Blue Jays bullpen that has been totally annihilated the past four games has been given a face lift, as the organization has demoted two struggling hurlers and purchased the contract of a pair from AAA Las Vegas. Hard throwing Josh Roenicke and lefty Rommie Lewis (who?) are in, with the little used Merkin Valdez joins Jeremy Accardo as the relievers that are out.

Accardo has really fallen on hard times, allowing all six inherited runners to score this year, putting up a ghastly 8.10 ERA, which, though awful, is actually worse than the number suggests. Valdez, was brought to the team in the off-season from San Fran, but mostly only made the cut because he was out of options and the Jays didn't want to expose him to waivers. He wasn't effective in the two contests he entered, so Toronto now has 10 days to release him, trade him or try to pass him through waivers to AAA.

As for the call-ups, the 26 year old Roenicke is back with Toronto after playing down the stretch in '09 following the trade from Cincinnati in the Scott Rolen deal. He hasn't allowed a run with the Las Vegas 51's this year in 8 2/3 innings. The 27 year old Lewis, who impressed Cito Gaston in spring training, receives the promotion and will make his long awaited debut in a major league uniform after being drafted way back in 2001. He's been solid in the minors, posting a 2.35 ERA in 7 outings following a dazzling 1.50 ERA over 6 innings in the spring.

What does this mean for the Jays bullpen? It allows the team to bring in fresh arms after cycling through countless pitchers the past four games, however these two shouldn't be leaned upon too heavily going forward. Roenicke has the most upside, and if he can consistently find the strike zone could find himself a bigger part of the relief corps. Lewis will need to impress early in order to stay with the team for any length of time.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Say hello to Blow Jay Frasor

Last year it was Blow Jay Ryan. This year, because Ryan is no longer on the team, a new Toronto pitcher has surfaced to steal his moniker. Say hello to Blow Jay Frasor. After a scintillating season in '09, he was supposed to be phenomenal this year as the teams closer, or set up man, or at least in some useful role. The problem is, Blow Jay Frasor has been completely useless thus far in 2010.

In 10 appearances in April, Frasor is sporting a hideous 9.35 ERA, blown two saves, ruined potential come backs with melt downs (most recently allowing 4 to score in the 8th Sunday with the team down 2 runs) and has only pitched one clean inning. In the remaining 9 outings, he has surrendered at least one base runner, making it impossible to feel confident in his ability with the game on the line. So what happened? Last campaign he had a sparking 2.50 ERA with 11 saves. This year, not so much. He can't seem to deal with expectation very well, so essentially he is as shell shocked as this guy when he comes in to pitch.

Frasor has also lost velocity on his fast ball, which pitching coach Bruce Walton has pointed to as a reason for his poor production. Though he's been pathetic, there is no way Blow Jay Frasor is this bad. My guess? He's nursing some kind of injury that will either put him on a DL stint, or we'll find out after the season that he played through the pain but was hampered all along.

Molina says no way Jose

Blue Jays backup catcher Jose Molina turned in a virtuoso performance Sunday against the Rays, setting a franchise record by throwing out 4 would be base stealer's. Basically he threw out 4 more runners than Gregg Zaun ever did in his entire tenure with the Blue Jays. Molina saved the bacon of starter Brandon Morrow, who issued 6 base on balls by nabbing the speed merchants on the base paths. It's not as if he threw out sieves like Zaun or Bengie Molina trying to steal; Molina got the best of the great Carl Crawford twice, and B.J. Upton and Sean Rodriguez once.

There has been some debate over whether or not Molina should be the every day catcher instead of incumbent John Buck. Buck has more offense, but not as good defense (throwing out just 2 base runners in 12 attempts), and Molina has great defense (7 caught stealing, just 1 base stealer), but horrid offense with a .211 average and just 2 RBI on the season. The problem with Buck, however, is that he hasn't fared much better in the batters box, hitting just .163 with 1 HR and 6 RBI, leading to the debate.

Despite their early tear at the dish, the Jays have too many holes in the batting order to consistently put up a lot of runs so they can use all the the offense they can get. Buck should come around and hit for decent power, while we know Molina likely won't. But if the team knows it won't score many runs anyway, it could be prudent to try to prevent runs with the defensively minded Molina. It's like the chicken or the egg theory. What do you think? Should John Buck or Jose Molina be the Jays starting catcher?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Low attendance at Jays games embarrassing

To those so called Blue Jays "fans", and apparently there aren't all that many of you, not making it out to the park to watch a decent ball club should bring a great deal of shame to you. The fact Toronto has set not one, but two all time low attendance figures in the past week is a complete an utter embarrassment to the city, the organization, and mostly, the supposed supporters of the club.

If the Blue Jays started out the season like the horrifically pathetic Baltimore Orioles (who sport MLB's worst record at 2-13), then I could understand why so many people would shy away from purchasing tickets this early in the year. However, the Jays have gotten off to a solid start, especially in light of expectations at an all time low. Toronto's 9-6 record would put them in at least a tie for first place in every division in baseball but one (except for their ultra competitive American League East) In the first game of the 3 game set against the Royals, Rogers Centre got just 10,314 fans out to the game, setting a new benchmark for attendance futility. I know it's only the Royals, but come on!

I'm sick of so many fair weathered "fans" of sports only liking a team when they are winning. I can't stand it. Whomever you like, you should support them through thick and thin. One of the lame excuses for the low attendance bandied about is the fact that the Jays just "need to produce a winner" and then people will start going to games. Fair point, but how come no one came out when they were 27-14 last year? And as I mentioned earlier, it's not like they are the Orioles. What would constitute "producing a winner" to finally gets fans to show up? A 15-0 record after 15 games? That kind of expectation is totally unrealistic for even the greatest of teams.

For the record, I have gone to the first two games against Kansas City, and will make it out to the matinee tomorrow for the series finale against the lowly Royals. Why? Because I'm a loyal and die hard fan no matter how good or bad the team is. I just wish there were more of you out there.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Bautista explodes for career night

Jose Bautista this year has been largely a disappointment. He was expected to fill the role as the teams lead off hitter, but could barely make contact and swung at way too many pitches to be effective. With the acquisition of Fred Lewis, Bautista was moved down in the order, to middling results. That is, until he went off last night against Kansas City, matching career highs in home runs and RBI's in one contest.

Bautista mashed 2 home runs, accounting for 5 of the 8 runs for the Jays on the evening. When I say mashed, I mean mashed, because both were total no doubters to left. It makes you wonder why Bautista doesn't swing the bat better on a consistent basis. Will he be able to build off this impressive performance, or was it a one off? He did crush 6 dingers in his final 8 games last year, so it's not as if he doesn't have the ability to do it more often.

It's only a matter of time before Bautista's home runs are on par in terms of significance as this one in Jays history. OK, maybe not.

Morrow provides glimpse of greatness

Brandon Morrow set aside his first two poor outings as a Blue Jay to provide a glimpse as to why the team was so high on him when they traded for his services in the off season, showcasing the reason he was the 5th overall pick in the 2006 draft.

Morrow rendered the Royals bats hitless through the first 5 1/3 innings last night, mixing his pitches well to strike out 8 on the evening. After opening up the 6th inning with a walk and a ground out, Yuniesky Betancourt singled to break up the no hit bid, signalling the end of another Jays pitchers pursuit of history this year. David DeJesus followed with an RBI single which could have started a complete meltdown by Morrow, who has been susceptible to the big inning this year. However, the 25 year showed great resolve, calmly sitting down the next two hitters to end the threat.

Morrow had struggled considerably in his first two starts, giving up 3 runs in the opening frame in Baltimore before surrendering five in the contest, then getting lit up for 7 earned runs in 4 innings against Chicago. There were some people already calling for his head, suggesting he should be lifted from the rotation. That is absolutely the wrong course of action. Part of the reason he didn't work out in Seattle was because he was yo-yoed between being a starter and a reliever, which crushes a young pitchers confidence. The Jays should keep Morrow as a starter and be prepared to take the lumps that go along with it, because while he'll have his rough games, he'll fashion some good outings also which hopefully will become more commonplace as the year progresses.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Overbay is over the hill

I don't know who is worse at producing quality work; Lyle Overbay, or me. At least I have an excuse because I'm still fighting a nasty sickness, but what's Overbay's reason for sucking? This guy simply just doesn't seem to care about being a decent major league baseball player any more. He used to at least have good defense to fall back on, but his gaffe today coupled with his already horrendous batting average is the final straw for me. To be honest, I'm surprised the straw had not already been broken long ago.

Even though Ricky Romero fashioned another amazing performance with only 1 run allowed through 8, the Jays were down 1-0 heading into the 9th. That's when Overbay decided to destroy any hope Toronto had of coming back. With a runner on 2nd, Overbay allowed a Kendry Morales grounder to go right through the wickets, allowing an insurance run to score. That botched play was the difference in the contest because Morales also later came in to count. Had Overbay not had the big time gaffe, Adam Lind's solo shot in the bottom of the 9th would've knotted the game at 1. Thanks Overbay.

The mostly sure handed Overbay is accustomed to being known for his pathetic bat, not his poor defensive exploits. One day after snapping an 0 for 18 slump, he went 0 for 3, dropping his average to .080. He's not even averaging one hit in ten at bats! Are you freaking kidding me? This guy is a joke. Cito Gaston's loyalty knows no bounds, which is commendable to a point, but it's time to give Randy Ruiz more action at the expense of the paltry Overbay.

In fact, it's pretty obvious John Olerud would be a better first baseman than Lyle Overbay right now.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dominant Ricky Romero flirts with no hitter

Simply put, Ricky Romero is one bad ass dude. Last night against Chicago he took a no hitter into the 8th inning, until Alex Rios ended it with a 2 run home run. Simply put, Romero fashioned his best performance of his young career. He's such a phenomenal competitor, he was visibly upset when his night was done because he allowed one hit. That's a guy I'd want on my team any day. Take a gander at these stats from Romero against the ChiSox:

-Romero had two K's in each of his first 6 frames
-No Chicago batter hit a ball out of the infield until the 7th inning.
-Final stat line reads 8.0 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 12 K

He's so damn good he very well might succeed Roy Halladay as the next Blue Jays pitcher to claim the Cy Young award. His curve ball and changeup makes hitters look like it's amateur hour. It's amazing to think that a little over a year ago many short sighted pundits declared Romero to be a complete bust. More fool them.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jays sign Cuban prospect Adeiny Hechavarria

It took about a month, but Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos has confirmed the Blue Jays have signed Adeiny Hechavarria, finally locking up their shortstop of the future. Reports surfaced midway through spring training that Toronto would sign the highly touted Cuban prospect, but nothing had been finalized until now. In Hechavarria, Toronto hopes to finally resolve a decade long struggle to find a long term solution at the shortstop position.

Hechavarria defected from Cuba, signing a 4 year, $10 million dollar deal, giving the organization another solid piece in their rebuilding plan. The encouraging sign to note here is the fact the Yankees were extremely high on the 6-foot-1, 170-pound phenom, but were unable to convince him to sign on the dotted line because some guy named Derek Jeter likely up for another contract extension.

Just how good might Hechavarria be? He's been compared to the Cubs Alfonso Soriano. Yes, that good.

Let the Rios hate flow through you

Damn you Alex Rios. You weren't supposed to get three hits last night. You were supposed to crumble like you often did in Toronto, then we were supposed to jeer you ever more. Words can not describe how much I detest you Monsieur Alexis Rios. You have been placed on notice, I will boo you every time I catch a glimpse of you at tonight's ball game.

The best part of you leaving Toronto (other than you actually leaving Toronto), was that you are just as pathetic in Chicago. Sub .200 hitter pathetic. But would it kill you to blow chunks for just four more games like you always did in Toronto?

Actually, I'm probably being too harsh on Alex. He was a pretty good player for the franchise. He did hit 24 homers in 2007, and was close to a .300 hitter until last season. Maybe I should take it easy on him. I've had a change of heart. Rios, I still like you, so could I please have your autograph? Oh wait, never mind.

I'm back from the sick bay

My apologies for not writing on this blog the past couple of days. I'm returning from the sick bay. I was such a hurtbag that I couldn't even drag my sorry posterior to the Jays home opener last night. You know it's serious then. I am feeling a little bit better now, enough to head down to the Skydome tonight to watch Toronto get redemption on the Sox after last night's debacle. The Jays sure did get debacled last night.

Ah, an ode to the great Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith. Poking fun at that clown is far too easy. Why not link to a bootprint of the ten dumbest things he ever said on television? What does any of this have to do with the Toronto Blue Jays? Well, uh, nothing apparently. But welcome back to Toronto Blue Jays Way!

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Jays are comeback kids? Really?

This Toronto Blue Jays team is already proving to be comeback kids with a lot of fight in them! Two straight wins coming in the ninth inning? Are you kidding me? I haven't seen this kind of stellar production since this guy started ruling Philadelphia. Last year Toronto won just THREE times when trailing after 8 innings, and now they've done it twice in two contests!

The best part is that fact this team has, to this point, been able to come up with a clutch hit here and there, produce a timely bunt, sacrifice fly, advances runners etc. Toronto is doing the little things late in ball games that make all the difference, something that was severely lacking for a long time.

Let's not kid ourselves yet though. The Jays are only 3-1. They started last year 27-14 before fizzling out quicker than the brutally lame show of the worst baseball broadcaster ever. They are also employing a very inexperienced rotation and have some borderline hacks throughout their lineup. Still, it's a pretty cool sign to know that this club doesn't have any quit in them. Maybe when the Jays get really good in a couple of years (please god make it happen!), they can be doing it up big time when games are actually counting toward a pennant race.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Vernon Wells crank show continues

What more is there to say about Vernon freaking Wells? V-Diddy is on an absolute tear to start the season after cranking out two more home runs against the Rangers tonight. I almost feel like I shouldn't continue to mention how Wells (pun intended!) he's doing for fear that Vernon, a staunch reader of Toronto Blue Jays Way, will get a swelled head and start resting on his laurels, leading him to stink like he has the past two years.

Wells' two dinger night against the Rangers pushes his total on the campaign to 3 in just the first 2 games, putting him on record pace for an astounding 243 long flies! But wait, there's more. In two games, Wellsy (how come it's way easier to think of catchy nicknames for Vern Diesel than any other Blue Jay) already has matched the home run total he amassed in the first 17 such outings in '09! Not only that, but Verny mashed two tators in one game for the first time since September 28th, 2008! That's a lot of firsts! And a lot of exclamation marks!

Being from Texas, Wells has a lot of family and friends that come watch him at the Ball Park in Arlington. Most notably, his dad was there for both games. So it's pretty obvious someone must capture him and bring him to every single Jays game all season. Who's up for the task?

Note: Though I'm sure it was already incredibly obvious, Vernon Wells does not read this blog. I think. Nor has he ever heard of it. I think. But what do I know? Nothing. I think.

Tallet's effective wildness earns Jays first win

Brian Tallet may appear unorthodox, out of place and a bit of a misfit (but who doesn't love his 'stache?) more often than not, but give him credit; it's never pretty, but he gets the job done. He's effectively wild in the starters role, and more often than not, gives the Jays a good chance at clawing out a victory.

One part of the statistical ledger is pretty impressive, the other, not so much. The good: 6.2 innings, 4 hits, 6 strike outs. The bad: serving up back to back bombs in the 4th inning after being given a 2 run cushion, allowing 3 walks, one of which came around to score, tightening the screws in the 7th frame. In every start, he'll have a stretch where he looks dominant, like when he retired seven in a row from the 1st to 3rd inning, followed by a rough patch, like when he served up the two aforementioned dingers on two pitches.

Tallet, who last year had 22 good starts and 3 miserable ones (where he gave up 8 earned runs twice and 10 in another) to his credit, is able to put together a decent outing even if he doesn't have his best stuff on that particular night. With this young starting rotation sorely needing veteran leadership, all the quality starts that Tallet can put together are a huge boost. Maybe now that he has the next four games off, he can learn some tips on how to look busy from this guy.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Purchasing a Jays season pass a major pain

Who knew picking up the Toronto Star Blue Jays season pass could be such a painstakingly slow process? After my adventures at the Rogers Centre box office today, I deserve a prize. Perhaps some Gustavo Chacin cologne?

I purchased (or so I thought) my Toronto Blue Jays Toronto Star season pass online a couple of weeks ago. Instead of going through the hassle of picking it up during a busy home opener I figured I'd do the smart thing and swipe it today when it would be quick and painless. Not so much. I get to what I believe is the gate to pick up my pass, only to find the teller does not know baseball, or who the heck the Blue Jays even are. Seriously. This is truthfully an actual conversation I had today "I'm here to pick up my Toronto Star Blue Jays season pass"..."For what?"..."Um, the Blue Jays"..."who?"..."uhhhh, the pass for the Blue Jays season tickets"..."oh, go to gate 9" That really happened. You can't make this stuff up!

When I got to the correct gate, I was told that I had to pay the $115 for the pass despite paying for it already online. Once it was determined I somehow didn't (even though I had a message saying I did, and that I needed to go the box office and pick up the pass), I showed my confirmation number. The teller then proceeded to say that he couldn't give me a season pass because they were out of them, even though he had a new one all ready RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.

After that, the clown said he'd do me a favour and knock off the $15 for buying it at the box office instead of online. Gee, thanks buddy. Now can I just actually get the season pass already? At that point he brought his manager on board to make sure the transaction went through correctly, which didn't go so well. While they were trying to understand what to do, they laughed throughout this whole process. HAHAHA was exactly what was going through my head at this precise instant. Not.

Having finally made sense of this whole monstrosity, the dude gave me a receipt to sign for, except he only had the $30 on it for the two tickets I bought for opening night. So he had to swipe my card again for the $115 paid for the season pass! Really. All this actually happened. I just wish sometimes I wasn't a patient and understanding person. Situations like this would be so much more fun if I flew off the handle a lot more easily.

Oh, and have I already mentioned how stupid it is to have a seasons pass for 80 of the 81 contests but not include the home opener as part of it? That's right, I did! This whole process was a complete and utter disaster. Oh, and by the way, I'm excited for the home opener, and then using the pass the following night. If it even works properly.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Meet Mr. Clutch, Vernon Wells

In an occurrence roughly as rare as one of my pickup lines actually working on a woman, Vernon Wells was clutch in the season opener against the Rangers today. Clutch meet Vernon. Vernon meet Clutch. In his very first at bat, the $126 million dollar man blasted a 2 run shot off Scott Feldman, finishing 3 for 4 with 3 runs batted in. Last year it took him a grand total of 7 games to reach that home run and RBI total.

The most important aspect of Vernon's fine performance was his clutch (has that word ever been mentioned in the same sentence with Vernon before?) hit during a tense tie ball game in the 8th inning. After falling behind by two strikes and facing a bases loaded situation with 1 out, it seemed a certainty Wells would strike out, pop out, ground into a double play, or any combination of a play resulting in him strolling back to the dugout. Yet he came through, driving in the go ahead run with a sharply hit base rap. Those are the kinds of hits he'll be judged on all year. Not the 2 run blasts he might rack up in the first inning, but the important run scoring plays late in contests.

I've said a few times to colleagues of mine, tongue firmly planted in cheek, that the biggest reason why Vernon Wells will do so well this year is because the Jays are expected to be out of contention by the end of May. As history has depicted to us several times, he starts to show up just in time for when the club is playing out the string in late summer baseball. However this year I believe it'll be different, as I wrote about last week. The main reason being because Wellsy is healthy heading into a campaign for the first time in years. Today's showing is an early indication of what might be in store for Vernon and the Jays offense this season. If Wells turns out to fall flat on his face, feel free to reference this post of mine. It's entirely possible. After all, Wells and Clutch just met today.

Frasor blows season opener

Shaun Marcum nearly pitched a no hitter on opening day. Then it was broken up. Then the Rangers tied it. Then Vernon Wells picked up Marcum by coming up clutch. So the Jays must have won right? Wrong. Jason Frasor blew the contest in the bottom of the ninth inning in his first game as the anointed closer. Oh boy, it's easy to see how this might end bad.

Let's not get an itchy trigger finger and panic just yet, however. It was, after all, against a great Texas ball club that I predicted would make the American League Championship Series. Plus it was only the first game of the season. Having said that, Frasor's grasp on the closer's job in Toronto is tenuous at best, given the fact the Jays brought in Kevin Gregg in the off season, and also have the reliable Scott Downs who can close out games. I'd be getting a little bit scared if I were him.

Frasor better watch his back because when B.J. Ryan blew a bunch of games the past few years he felt my stinging wrath in the form of the nickname "Blow Jay Ryan." So if Frasor bungles a few more save opportunities, perhaps I'll think of another lame pseudonym to use for him like Frivolous Frasor, or Feeble Frasor or Featherbrained Frasor. Featherbrained Frasor sounds about right. If that isn't enough motivation for Frasor, I don't know what is.

Marcum brushes with history on opening day

Shaun Marcum certainly knows how to make a pretty damn good impression. In his first regular season game in 565 days, he was absolutely lights out. This coming from a guy who was only one of three pitchers (Scott Erickson in 2002, Carl Pavano in '07) to make an opening day start after missing the entire season beforehand.

Marcum painted the canvas with perfect strokes, mixing speeds and using all sides of the plate without allowing a hit in the first 6.1 innings against the Rangers. The guy hadn't pitched a big league game in two seasons yet he was within 8 outs of recording just the second no hitter in franchise history. Marcum ran into a bit of trouble with one out in the 7th, walking Josh Hamilton before surrendering his first hit to Vlad Guerrero. With the Jays hanging on to a 3-0 edge, the lead was wiped out on one swing of the bat by Nelson Cruz. It appeared he barely connected when it left the bat, yet somehow Cruz managed to muscle the tying homer to right centre off of Marcum.

The 28 year old ace of the Jays staff was still in line for victory after Vernon Wells gave Toronto a one run lead in the 8th, but that went by the wayside following a brutal performance by Jason Frasor in the final frame. That's too bad, because it would've only been fitting that in his first start back Marcum would earn the victory.

My 2010 MLB predictions

Three seasons ago, prior to the MLB playoffs beginning, I correctly predicted the outcome of every single series en route to the Red Sox defeating the Rockies. The following year, I was Mr. Cocky heading into the post season and suffered a massive nosedive in my picks as the Phillies took care of the Tampa Bay Rays. So then for the '09 playoffs (playoffs???) I picked myself back up, and, like two years before was spot on for all predictions that culminated in the Yankees defeating the Phils for the World Series. What is my point? Don't trust me this year. If the trend continues, I'll have crashed and burned harder than Lindsay Lohan. But what the hell, here are my predictions for the upcoming 2010 baseball season.


1. New York
2. Tampa Bay*
3. Boston
4. Toronto
5. Baltimore

1. Chicago
2. Detroit
3. Minnesota
4. Kansas City
5. Cleveland

1. Texas
2. Los Angeles
3. Seattle
4. Oakland

*denotes wild card winner


1. Philadelphia
2. Atlanta*
3. Florida
4. New York
5. Washington

1. St. Louis
2. Cincinnati
3. Chicago
4. Milwaukee
5. Pittsburgh
6. Houston

1. Los Angeles
2. San Francisco
3. Colorado
4. Arizona
5. San Diego

*denotes Wild Card winner


1 New York def 3 Chicago
2 Texas def 4 Tampa Bay

1 New York def 2 Texas


1 Philadelphia def 3 St. Louis
2 Los Angeles def 4 Atlanta

2 Los Angeles def 1 Philadelphia


2 Los Angeles def 1 New York

What are your thoughts? Am I crazy? (on second thought don't answer that one) Who will win each division and ultimately the World Series? Have your say in the comments section!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Blue Jays announce lineup

As the Blue Jays current lineup stands to start the year, there is a distinct difference between really good hitters, and really bad hitters. Some of the players (Alex Gonzalez, John McDonald, Jose Molina) don't offer much with the bat, but are heralded for their defense. That should ease the burden on the young pitching staff.

RF Jose Bautista
2B Aaron Hill
DH Adam Lind
CF Vernon Wells
1B Lyle Overbay
C John Buck
3B Edwin Encarnacion
SS Alex Gonzalez
LF Travis Snider

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about wondering if Bautista could be the next Marco Scutaro and surprise everyone in the lead off role. He had an incredible spring, so could lightning strike twice? Wells is healthy going into a season for the first time in three years, so he should have a pretty good year (and because we think he's awful, it will seem like he's an all star), Overbay has a sweeeet fu manchu mustache which certainly is the reason he is the full time first basemen. Snider will hopefully force the clubs hand into slotting him higher in the order later in the season.

C Jose Molina
SS/3B/2B John McDonald
1B/DH Randy Ruiz
3B/SS/2B/LF/CF/RF Mike McCoy

McDonald can enter games late if the Jays are winning as a defensive replacement for the defensively challenged Encarnacion. If Overbay shaves off the fu manchu, and continues to whiff against lefties, Ruiz could steal at bats from him at first base. McCoy adds a great element of versatility not only with the glove but with very good speed on the base paths.

Just one day away from the start of the 2010 season!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Adam Lind given contract extension

The Toronto Blue Jays have locked up one of their core young players today in what can best be described as a fantastic contract for the organization. Adam Lind has signed an extension that will pay him $18 million over the course of four years.

For an excellent hitter that is still entering his prime at 26 years of age, G.M. Alex Anthopolous locked up an integral piece for the organization at a very reasonable price tag. Lind had his coming out party last season, hitting .305, blasting 35 home runs, 46 doubles and 114 RBI's which was enough to earn him the American League Silver Slugger Award. He also picked up the Edgar Martinez Award given to the best designated hitter in the league.

Just another savvy move by the Jays rookie General Manager. As I've said before, Anthopoulos has already made more smart moves in six months on the job than J.P. Ricciardi did in eight seasons with the team.

Jays announce pitching staff

There were not a lot of huge surprises when the Blue Jays announced their pitching staff for the upcoming season. When Marc Rzepczynski injured his finger in his last start, putting him on the shelf for potentially six weeks, that induced a trickle down effect for the entire staff.

Shaun Marcum
Brian Tallet
Ricky Romero
Brandon Morrow
Dana Eveland

I'd expect Tallet to eventually be moved down in the starting rotation, but the team, for now, is relying on his veteran savvy with the added benefit of perhaps trying to increase his trade value. Eveland had a fantastic spring and clearly deserved a shot on the team. Presumably Morrow's health is a non issue, at least for now.

Scott Downs
Kevin Gregg
Jason Frasor
Casey Janssen
Jeremy Accardo
Merkin Valdez
Shawn Camp

Noticeably absent is Jesse Carlson, who had a poor '09 campaign while battling injuries. He didn't pitch in many games in the spring, so he's been optioned to AAA to give himself some more innings. With his absence, there is only one lefty in the bullpen to start the year, that being Downs. Valdez is the unknown quantity that Alex Anthopoulos acquired from the Giants in the offseason, so he's going to see if he can stick in the big leagues. Josh Roenicke, acquired in the Scott Rolen deal, will have to earn his stripes down in the minors hoping to get recalled.

I am deeply saddened, however, that one Blue Jays great has not been a part of the organization for a couple of years.