September 02, 2009
Watching six hours of televised Toronto Blue Jays baseball in succession is in no way, shape, or form good for you. It is not recommended. Four hours has got to be the legal limit when viewing Toronto's average baseball team, and listening to the dynamic duo of Jamie Campbell and Rance Mulliniks.
The 2009 ballclub has been difficult to watch. I believe the term "soul crushing" is the one most bandied about. Unfortunately for me, they're about to inflict more damage. On my wallet. Bets of $100, $50, and a steak dinner (at Mendy's), are on the line.
Bet #1: Sure, my man Stephen Amell is about to hit the road for Hollywood, but that doesn't mean we no longer have a wager ($100 and an autograph from Mike Wilner) to settle. You remember: eight categories, over/under, seven worth one point, wins worth two points; highest total score takes it.
1. Wins - over/under 80.5 (worth two points):
After dropping both games of the doubleheader, the Jays are 59-72; playing .450 baseball. In order to get to the magical .500 mark, to 81 wins, Toronto must win 22 of their final 31 games; they must play .710 baseball.
I'm clearly still in this one. Nil-nil. (Yes, I am.)
2. Vernon Wells games played - over/under 125.5:
Staying healthy is about the only thing Wells has been able to accomplish this season. He's played 128 games. Chalk one up for the good guy. And, Vernon: "Congratulations on a job ... done." One-nothing, eyebleaf.
3. Home opener attendance - over/under 49,500:
I lost this one months ago; 1-1.
4. Roy Halladay wins - over/under 17.5:
I cannot fucking believe this one is in jeopardy. Since coming off the disabled list June 29th, Halladay has gone 3-7, with two no-decisions. And, I'm sorry, but the "rattled by trade rumours" excuse doesn't fly with me. Doc's a pro athlete, and makes millions of dollars. It's part of the business. Deal with it. And this after years of everyone lauding him as the most mentally prepared pitcher they'd ever seen.
Doc hasn't pitched well of late. He'd be the first to admit it. What's worse: he's not throwing his best pitch. If he's hurt, he shouldn't be pitching. If he's not, has he quit on his team? I shudder to think.
Doc's got about six starts left. I'm not ready to concede this point to SA just yet.
5. Combined HRs Lyle Overbay & Scott Rolen - over/under 35.5:
Rolen's back off the disabled list down in Cincinnati, and has hit one HR in 13 games; none since returning from injury. On the season, he's got nine. The power is gone. Platoon player Overbay (thanks Cito) has hit 13. I concede this one; 2-1, Stephen.
6. Alex Rios Home Runs - over/under 22.5:
In 16 games with Chicago, Rios is hitting .167/.177/.283. That's a laughable .461 OPS. Change has not been kind to Alex. He's stuck on 15 HRs, and went yard three times in June, July, and August. I've no reason to believe he'll hit eight the rest of the way, but that's never stopped me before. Two-one Stephen, three categories in question.
7. B.J. Ryan Saves - over/under 31.5 games:
Old wounds. It's hard to believe the man is no longer even in the pros. Three-one, Stephen.
8. 2009 SkyDome attendance - over/under 2,000,000:
According to ESPN, Toronto is averaging 23,904 fans a game; good for 23rd in the league. (According to The Globe and Mail, that same number ranks them 29th. I'm not sure how that works, but that's neither here nor there.) After 66 games, 1,577,729 have passed through the SkyDome's turnstiles.
With 15 games left to play at dome, if the Jays continue to meet their average of 23,904, they'll finish the season at 1,936,289. (Way to pick the line, SA, you jerk.) However, four of the 15 games are against the New York Yankees, three of them this upcoming long Labour Day weekend. Help a brother out, upstate New Yorkers. This one's still in play.
In closing: it's 3-1 Stephen. All I need is for the Jays to play .710 baseball the rest of the way, for Roy Halladay to win all his remaining starts, for Alex Rios to hit eight home runs, and for the Jays to average 28,152 fans in September. Good luck the rest of the way, and in Hollywood, SA.
Bet #2: Using the line Stephen set for wins, over/under 80.5, renowned Blue Jays hater PPP took the under. Only $50 is on the line, but this one hurts. For some sick, twisted reason, PPP enjoys nothing more than the suffering of Blue Jays fans. It's not even about the money. I'd simply rather not give him the satisfaction. Here's hoping Cito's got another 10-game win streak up his sleeve. Although even that probably won't be enough. Fuck. While that 27-14 start sure was enjoyable, it's causing much heartache months later.
Bet #3: I know the one and only Baltimore Orioles fan who lives in Toronto. Quite well, actually. As a matter of fact, when it comes to baseball, we have a lot in common. We're both in very abusive relationships. Anyway, we got creative on this one; you have to when each party supports a terrible team. The parameters: if the Orioles finish the season within 3.5 games of the Blue Jays (or better, but let's be serious...), I'm paying at Senior's. Four games back or more, and TOBOF (Toronto's Only Baltimore Orioles Fan) is footing the bill.
Heading into Wednesday, Baltimore trails Toronto by six. I may be out $150 come October 5th, but I'm quite certain I'll be eating well shortly thereafter.
Of course, none of the above has stopped me from trying to make things a little more ... interesting. My luck is bound to change.
Bet #4: I've got a two-four on the line with Burgundy from Stay Classy that the Toronto Maple Leafs will finish higher in the standings than the Ottawa Senators this season. I've cashed that cheque already.