July 14, 2008

Deep Thoughts Vol. 7: All-Star Edition

The midsummer classic is upon us once again, which means half the excruciatingly long baseball season is already over. Which also means it's time for some deep thoughts. On the local nine, and the rest of the major's.

- If yesterday was indeed a trade showcase, A.J. Burnett did the Blue Jays a huge solid. He dominated the NY Yankees, whom even Jesus apparently hates, Halladay style, while taking the mound on only three days rest and a hard pitch count. It was a most clutch performance, and if it was his last in a Toronto uni, he sure as hell went out on top.

Believe it or not, Burnett's got 10 wins, good for third in the American League (he's tied with six others). That's more than guys like Josh Beckett, Justin Verlander, Mark Buehrle, Chien-Ming Wang, Felix Hernandez, John Lackey, and Eric Bedard. I know, a bunch of those cats have spent time on the disabled list, but that's the point. A.J.'s healthy, and he's winning games.

With Dustin McGowan on the shelf with a torn rotator cuff, perhaps J.P. Ricciardi, or "Godcciardi" as sager from at Out Of Left Field calls him, should think twice about dealing the enigmatic A.J.

Shaun Marcum's still a couple of weeks away from joining the rotation, McGowan's out for the foreseeable future (if not the rest of the season), and Jesse Litsch is doing his best Josh Towers impression the last little while. Dealing Burnett would really, well, fuck up the rotation. After yesterday's performance, I'm all for keeping A.J.

Yes, that's all it took, one gem against the Yankees on three days rest...

- Toronto heads into the all-star break nine games out of first in the AL East, and 8.5 behind Tampa Bay for the wild card. About a week and a half ago, the Jays were 14 games behind in the AL East. This season is not over. We're going to need A.J. more than ever down the stretch. Seriously J.P., don't trade him. He's fun to watch. It's always a pleasure wondering which A.J. will show up every fifth day...

- The real Tampa Bay Devil Rays are back in the building, and it's about fucking time. They've lost seven in a row, and saw the Red Sox take back first place yesterday. All is right in the world once again, my friends...

- The Jays are 12-9 since Cito Gaston and co. made their return to the dugout. That's .570 baseball. I'll take it, but they'll have to play even better - actually, much better - if they want to make a run at the playoffs...

- Remember, all I want from the Jays this season is meaningful baseball in September. That doesn't mean a playoff appearance...

- Cito's goal was to have the Jays at .500 by the all-star break. They missed by one game: 47-48. Considering the boys took five out of six against the Orioles and Yankees, and that Litsch was spotted a 4-1 lead against the Yanks on Saturday which he blew, I'll take it...

- Gaston is a rudey...

- If the Jays played in the National League's West division, their 47-48 record would be good for, you guessed it, first place. Stupid geographical divisions...

- Much has been made of Toronto's 15-21 record in one-run ball games. Yes, it's bad, but we've got nothing on the Atlanta Braves, who are 5-22 in games decided by only a run. Yikes...

- The Chicago Cubs, playing .600 ball, are the best team in baseball. It's been exactly 100 years since they last won the World Series (and I thought we Leafs fans had it bad). Could this finally be their year?...

- The Jays have hit 65 home runs this season, good for 29th in the 30 team league. At the all-star break last season, the Jays had hit 101 home runs. A little power outage, please...

- Toronto's team ERA of 3.63 is third-best in the American League and in all of baseball. The pitching has been phenomenal all season long. It's really a damn shame these lads can't hit because, wow, what a pitching staff...

- Baltimore's Aubrey Huff has more home runs (18) than Alex Rios (4), Lyle Overbay (6), and Scott Rolen (6) combined. With two to fucking spare. Unreal...

- The Jays are the only team in the American League without a home run hitter in double figures. Vernon Wells and Matt Stairs lead the team with 9 jacks each...

- This post is depressing...

- While his power numbers are way, way, way, way, way, down, Alex Rios is running crazy on the basepaths. He's already swiped 23 bags, good for fifth in the AL, and should be aiming for 40. Pure thievery! Run to your hearts content, Alex. God knows the Jays need to manufacture as many runs as humanly possible...

- Tampa Bay is 16 games above .500...

- Seriously. Tampa Bay. Sixteen games. Above .500...

- Remember Eric Hinske? Of course you do. The Tampa Bay "slugger" has 14 home runs, 45 RsBI, and an .873 OPS. No Blue Jay, save for Vernon Wells and his 42 RsBI, comes close to those numbers. Eric fucking Hinske. I can't help but look down and shake my head in complete disgust...

- Not to make excuses, but injuries have fucked with the Jays, again, this year. Here's a rundown of guys who have spent time on the disabled list: B.J. Ryan, Jeremy Accardo, Scott Rolen, Vernon Wells (twice), David Eckstein, John McDonald, Brian Wolfe, Aaron Hill, Gregg Zaun, and Shaun Marcum. That ain't right...

- As much as Doc deserves to start tomorrow's all-star game, I think with it being in Yankee Stadium and all, Mariano Rivera should do the honour. That would be pretty sweet...

- I'm calling Canadian Justin Morneau to win tonight's home run derby. That short porch in right field is going to be his bitch...

3 comments:

dani said...

" This post is depressing..."

Hmm. I don't know much about baseball, but I read the post! I'm sure a Toronto fan and a Buffalo fan will be fun blogger friends! Or at least we have the entertainment value going for us.

And I'm all about going to pie heaven.

MINS said...

As for the Jays and the DL, You forgot we also lost Jansen for the year. That was huge.

Cito is the MAN.

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