September 10, 2008

Don't pinch me...

Because I must be dreaming. It's 10 in a row for the Jays after yesterday's douple dip.

I've got to thank Ghostrunner on First's Lloyd the Barber for his fine live-bloggage of yesterday's matinee. His service to humanity was definitely appreciated over here.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Jays are on their finest win steak this century, and are one win away from tying the franchise best 11-game run the 1998 Jays pulled off.

You're no doubt hearing the haters chime in with the "who cares, it's too late" garbage, but, no, it's not too late. Remember the 2007 Mets? Yeah, those guys. Pretty good team they had down in Queens.

The Jays are seven games behind the Red Sox in the wild card race and, lo and behold, have seven more dates with said Red Sox. Quite convenient. Quite.

Doc Halladay will be on the mound tonight vs. Mark Buehrle. The game will likely be over in an hour and a half with those two on the mound. Doc's going for win number 19, and looking to extend the streak. In Doc I trust. There's no better pitcher in baseball. Nope, not even Cliff Lee.

Here's another solid breakdown showing why Doc is more deserving of the Cy Young award, courtesy of the thullards at DJF.

But, really, fuck the Cy Young. We all know the only thing Doc wants is a playoff birth. If he wins tonight, look for him to start on three days rest over the weekend. It's crunch time, mes amis.

Say what you want about the Jays and their late season run, there's no way you can argue that they aren't making the final month of the season more interesting and more exciting. They're doing they're damndest to give us meaningful baseball in September and for that, I salute them. In fact, I'm actually kind of proud of them.

And if you're looking for more ammunition against the haters, and especially the J.P. Ricciardi haters, here: the Jays sport a 30-26 against opponents in the AL East, the best division in baseball, and are undefeated against the two best teams in the AL Central, the White Sox and Twins.

Believe, damn it. Believe.

And don't forget to please vote for Tom Cheek.


Chemmy said...

Fuck, you guys can have the Wild Card, the Sox are going to win the division.

eyebleaf said...

i'd rather the rays win the division, and we knock off the red sox for the wild card. huge 4 game set this weekend!

PPP said...

Here's ammunition for the haters against the JP lovers:

What spurred the big jump for the Jays?


Maybe if JP got that smug prick look off of his face once in a while and made a real fucking decision and canned his buddy the Jays would be in the playoffs and I would have playoff games 200 feet from my front door.

But no, Mr. Moneyball Even Though I Don't Use It had to keep his pal even though it was clear that he's an idiot.

p.s. I hope the Jays make it for the players not for JP. He should get shitcanned anyway.

eyebleaf said...

PPP, tell me how you really feel about JP.

I'm not a JP supporter, more of a defender. Ok, fine, I'm a supporter. I've got a "One more year for JP" post coming down the pipe. I think you're going to fucking hate it.

general borschevsky said...

Hey eyebleaf, I've wanted to send you a comment, this seems like the perfect time. Great job covering the Blue Jays this year. Baseball is not really my thing but I've been following the Blue Jays since the '80s as long as they weren't terrible. Under Gibbons and J.P. they've been terrible. Godfrey helped create the palstic, unfeeling culture around the Jays, but I don't think those ideas came from his head and hopefully he's listening to better people now. Baby blue uniforms instead of black, and bringing back Cito, seems to indicate that.
Anyways, what a long rambling comment, the point is: Great job covering the Blue Jays this season, eyebleaf. You are my source for all Jays coverage. Fuck the mainstream.
I knew they were gonna win 10, I just had a feeling. So, that's what happy feels like, huh?

p.s. someone told me the Agenda recently did a show on mainstream media vs. bloggers - is that true? Do you have thoughts on that?

The Ack said...

ppp, your rant doesn't even make one lick of good sense. seriously dude.

eyebleaf, I will stand united with your forthcoming "one more year" post. not tony blair-george bush-stand-united, but similar. but also different.

eyebleaf said...

Ack, we'll call it the coalition of the sort-of willing.

even if we don't make the playoffs, i hope this stretch of baseball and a solid finish keeps JP around for one more year.

as for PPP, i'm not sure what JP and the jays did to him but, well, i don't want to know...

PPP said...

the ack - your reply doesn't make a lick of good sense. seriously dude.

Does that make me right again?

What part makes no sense? Explain to a fairweather Jays fan why Gibbons deserved to keep his job so long or why JP deserves to remain in his position.

For extra credit, try to use arguments that do not get shot down immediately if applied to the Leafs (ie injuries).

I'm not being facetious, I want good answers to both questions.

GB is right though, the only place I come to read about the Jays is here.

PPP said...

Point 1 - The winning came from Cito:

Nothing making sense: Gibby Defense League Edition
With the loss, the Jays slip to a mediocre 15 games over .500 under Cito Gaston. We've been led to believe by some dudes and their acolytes that the change in the team's fortunes can be attributed to progressing to the mean, which they would have done under John Gibbons anyhow. The same John Gibbons who was let go with the team four games under .500.

Point 2 - JP shit the bed by not making this move sooner.

Ex. Gibbons' record this year: 35-39 Why did he wait almost half the year to can the coach?

Point 3 - JP is supposed to be a moneyball acolyte.

Ex. Unless that involves making bad trades then by my understanding he's not really following his stated philosophy.

eyebleaf said...

PPP, i will be making the case for JP to keep his position in my upcoming post. not sure when it will be, but it's coming down the pipe.

as for why Gibby wasn't fired sooner, the Jays went 20-10 in May. 20 and 10! That's .666 baseball!

they went 11-17 in April. not good. do you fire him then? it's arguable. the players were not hitting, especially situationally. so, i think expecting them to break out of the funk was the right approach...

20-10 in May. fucking awesome. ain't nobody getting fired after a month like that...

i'm sure the heat was on come the beginning of May, but the jays under Gibbons in may were incredible, so he couldn't have been fired going into june.

he was 4-12 in june when he was eventually let go. pretty much halfway through the season, and i think it made sense. i even called it. i told my brother that if the jays were swept by milwauke, gibby was done. and that's exactly how it went down...and i think it happened at the right time based on looking at april, may and half of june...

and you've got to forget about Moneyball. we don't play moneyball. i'm not sure which teams can be said to play moneyball. we've got a $100 million payroll now, and it's still probably $20 million too low. JP, when he came in, was told to cut the shit out of salary, and he did, and that's why we sucked.

but he's done a great job at drafting and while you say he makes shitty trades, i say he makes some pretty deft ones, like jeremy accardo for shea hillendbrand, or picking up a guy like scott downs on waivers, and then giving him a great contract.

what trades stand out as bad ones for you?

The Ack said...

Yeah, I actually hate the Leafs (sorry) and don't follow the NHL nearly as much as I did up until my beloved Jets were trotted off to Phoenix to lose more money there than they ever did in Winnipeg, but I digress..... so no argument that I would give you, right or wrong, would be ripped from a defence of the Leafs.

Ricciardi was only ever "Moneyball" in the sense that his mandate upon hiring was "get better, but more importantly, get cheaper". Thus, the sorta "Moneyball" approach reigned supreme. Thus, the emphasis on affordable college draft picks vs more costly prep stars who needed to be bought out of commitments or implied threats of choosing college.

Over time the payroll expanded at the blessing of ownership, so he did what he had to do - sign top free agents. You could argue that the AJ and BJ contracts were exoribitant, but he did what he had to do to sign them. Heading into that offseason, EVERYONE agreed the big priorities were a stud arm in the rotation and an ace in the pen - so he signed them. What was he going to do - NOT spend the money?

Overall, I think he's done a good job. The rotation is one of the league's best, the bullpen might be THE league's best, there are now good young players coming through the system (Snider, Cecil, Arencibia, etc), he managed to lock up the young cornerstones like Hill and Rios to affordable long-term deals, and if allowed, I'll guarantee he tries to lock up Doc with a new extension this offseason.

Not all roses though - I hated the Thomas signing from day one, but agreed with essentially buying him out this year....yeah, they're paying him not to play, but they're also saving on $10M next season. Call it a costly error to fix a mistake. Dumping Johnson for Stewart, disagreed with - not because of any boners for Reed, but....for Shannon Stewart? A player clearly in decline? No thanks. David Eckstein - same sorta thing? One year deal though, so....meh.

The huge Vernone Wells deal....that's a different post altogether. IT WAS A MARKET CONTRACT AT THE TIME! Everyone forgets that. Plus, that was so unlike JP, I have a feeling the word came down - "Sign Wells at all costs. The fans will kill us if we lose our first legit homegrown star in years".

So, where's the team now? One big impact bat shy of being serious contenders? Maybe an everyday shortstop? I'd hardly say the lack of 2 players is cause for firing, personally. But if JP (isn't fired, and...) doesn't address at least one of those holes, ask me again how I feel in about 6 months.

As far as Gibbons....with him, I'd argue he was doing a good job managing what he could control. The staff under him was solid, he used the bullpen well, etc. He had flaws, like his aversion to Lind, for example, and you really can't argue with the impact Cito has had, so I'm less passionate about him. I just always felt that the majority of the hate for Gibbons was because of his Texas drawl and ties to Ricciardi, which is completley unfucking fair.

aaaanyways....sorry for the mini-post on your blog, eyebleaf. but felt I should answer.

eyebleaf said...

no worries, ackage. love the discourse. this is what it's all about. if JP is canned, he leaves the organization in pretty good fuckin shape, and that's why i don't he should be fired.

it ain't easy to make the playoffs in baseball. people forget that. can't sneak in as the 8th seed and hope for a miracle. baseball doesn't work that way. and that's why it has been 15 years since we've seen a playoff game round these parts. and it doesn't help that the jays play in the toughest division in baseball (highest winning percentage based on winning teams).

PPP said...

Thanks for the answers guys! Sorry to hijack a future post but now you can use the ack's arguments too ;)

the ack - Sorry about the Jets :(

It is definitely hard to make the playoffs no one discounts this but if the team is as good as he has told us each of the previous three seasons (and this one) then why not get a proven manager? Why stick with your buddy Gibbons (like it or not, as long as he actually is JP's buddy he'll be viewed as a nepotistic hiring) after three years of treading water or after his problems with the club house?

The Wells deal was a market value deal at the time and if word came down to do it then he can't really now try to to escape his decision to save his ass rather than stand up to the owners (if he actually believed that the Wells' deal wasn't reasonable).

I had no problems with signing AJ or BJ. He had the money, he identified guys that would help, and he got them to Toronto. The issues with those guys are the opt-out for AJ and the lies about BJ's elbow.

Eyebeleaf - the issue with Moneyball was that was what he was meant to implement before Uncle Ted decided that his network needed good content. Aside from signing lower-ceilinged college players his teams didn't really fit the mould of the other teams with the same philosophy.

And maybe, some of it is personal, not in the OMG you hate him because he's Jewish way that people like to intimate in order to shield Gary Bettman, but in the why are you so smug all of the time and are too good to live in Toronto? Or lying about BJ? Or continuing to harp on the five year plan without ever addressing that failure and what he would do to improve.

Those things probably help me see things through darker-tinted lenses but at the end of the day I really feel that his time here's been a push. You might be right that his time here will be viewed in a better light after he's gone so maybe it's time to test that theory.

Again, I'd note that I am definitely not a baseball guy so if there are numbers that make me seem crazy then point them out.

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