May 30, 2009


The Summer of Tallet rolls on. His performance today might have been his best yet, considering how he fared in innings one and two.

Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for Tallet, who has allowed three runs or less in his last six starts. What a rudey.

And give it up for J.P. Riccardi, who traded Bubbie Buzachero to get him ...

Want to know one of the many reasons why I love Cito Gaston? For allowing Tallet to finish the seventh inning, elevated pitch count, and the go-ahead runner on second base, be damned. The lanky left-hander shut down the Red Sox and deserved the win. Cito and the offence made sure he got it. Nails ...

Speaking of nails, how about Brandon League? Check out some Pitch F/X goodness courtesy of Ghostrunner on First ...

Speaking of LtB, it's easy to see why he's got a man-crush for Rocco Baldelli. He homered and gave his all to chase down a fly ball in foul territory. Even with his injury-riddled history, Rocco's playing for today, and I have to respect that ...

Four-for-four, with two runs and two RsBI. HOLA ALEX! ...

It's fitting that RR Cool J will have the opportunity to provide the knockout punch in the series finale. Brooms out, yo ...


May 29, 2009

Scott Rolen on bad road trips ...

"One year in Philadelphia we won four games in a month so there would have had to have been some bad trips. With St. Louis we went to Chicago and Detroit in 2006. The White Sox beat us in Chicago 20-6, 13-5, and 1-0. In Detroit we lost 10-6, 7-6 in extra extras and 4-1. We lost the next two at home against Cleveland. Inter-league was fun. We still won the World Series that year."

The Cardinals lost 10 of 11 during that brutal stretch of baseball in late June 2006.

And, yes, let's please conveniently ignore the fact that St. Louis won the National League Central with a paltry 83 wins that year. That's not the point.

I believe in Scott Rolen.

Vernon Wells, too.

May 28, 2009

Off the Books

I imagine the end of the song, 2:34 to 2:53, is Larry Tanenbaum's cell phone ring tone ...

Two things coming out of that video:

1. One day, I too hope to dance in streets raining American money on a sunny day.

2. Sometimes it really does feel like the Maple Leafs are crooks. Except we're the ones doing time. That being said, Go Leafs Go.

Bent Not Broken

OK, fine. Really bent. But the point remains: not broken. Except Jesse Carlson and Brian Wolfe. They might be broken after Roy Halladay's though with 'em.

Hey, J.P. Ricciardi: free Jeremy Accardo.

The Blue Jays left home 10 days ago 27-14. They return 27-23. A winless nine-game road trip has rendered their hot start just that: a hot start. And there's nothing wrong with that. The hot start, I mean. Not the road trip. The road trip was completely fucked up.

If you had told me during the off-season that the Jays would lose nine in a row on the road in mid-May (including three to the BoSox) and head into the final series of the month four games above .500, and a game and a half behind the AL East and Wild Card leaders... well, there's no bloody way I'd have believed you. That's outrageous. They would have had to play over .650 ball over their first 40 games.

And they did. The Jays are a game and a half out. I'll take it. 

The road trip? Fuck it. What road trip? It's done and gone.

Much like Cito Gaston's honeymoon. Yesterday's epic loss brought out even the "Fire Cito!" crowd. That's not happening, nor should it. But some lineup changes, some put Lyle Overbay at first base late in games, some don't call for any of Shawn Camp, Carlson, Wolfe or B.J. Ryan from the bullpen, and some urgency would be appreciated. And a win. A win would definitely be appreciated.

Bring on the Red Sox. Greetings to the Massholes. Don't let that nine-game losing streak fool you. It's on. Time to take back the division.

The Vernon Wells Hatred Advisory System

As you can see, in the sidebar to your right, up top a little bit, there you go, we're still coming in at SEVERE. But it's new and improved. Not the hate; the hate's been there ever since Wells signed his contract. The image. And it comes courtesy your friend and mine, The Blue Jay Hunter. Cheers, Ian. You're a rudey.

UPDATE: Doc's thrown 14 innings over his last two starts, giving up only three earned runs in the process. He should be 10-1, not 8-1, and that pisses me right off.

UPDATE #2: Archie picked Veronica? Seriously? What a mistake. She was nothing but a bitch, and a tease. 

May 27, 2009

May 27, 1993

The following has been generously cross-posted over at Pension Plan Puppets ...

A severe injustice occurred that fateful night, 16 years ago. I was only 10-years-old, and I'm not quite sure I understood the magnitude of it all at the time. I was young, and full of hope. Not jaded. I simply figured a birth in the finals, and the winning of the Stanley Cup, was guaranteed with Doug Gilmour at the helm of the Toronto Maple Leafs. If not in 1993, eventually.

I watched game six at home, with my 13-year-old brother. (There's nothing I enjoy more than a west coast start-time in the playoffs.) The Leafs' 1993 playoff run - three seven-game series - had us captivated, and had led us across the bridge from casual fandom to die-hard. It was impossible not to be enthralled by the '93 Leafs, Wendel Clark's performance in game six part of the reason why.

Clark should have had an opportunity on the power play to score his fourth goal of the game that night and, in the process, send the Maple Leafs to the Stanley Cup final. Instead, Kerry Fraser chose to interfere with destiny. A blatant high-stick; a preposterous non-call; two incredulous and very upset young boys; Toronto's own little asterisk.

Looking back, while no team has ever come closer, I'm reminded of a quote by the Roman philosopher, Seneca:

"Injustice never rules forever."

Preach on, brother. When the Toronto Maple Leafs do win the Stanley Cup, and they will, a lifetime of cursing Kerry Fraser will be washed away. All will be forgiven.

Until then, Fraser can go fuck himself.

May 26, 2009

The road trip from hell

Third place? The fuck? ...

All of a sudden, the Blue Jays' offence is second-weakest the fourth most prolific in the AL East. I blame Rob Iracane ...

It's only a matter of time before Shawn Camp is sent to Las Vegas, with Jeremy Accardo - he of the 3.00 Pacific Coast League ERA - coming up to take his place. Right? ...

I hate Mondays. Especially when it becomes the seventh consecutive day of losing baseball. Much like The Ack, I've been "a miserable son of a bitch" for a week. So much for maintaining an even keel during the highs and lows of the baseball season ...

When it comes to Cito Gaston's refusal, losing streak be damned, to move Vernon Wells the fuck out of the cleanup spot alter his lineup, I feel like Kramer, pleading with Jerry to call Alec Berg to thank him for the hockey tickets: "You stubborn, stupid, silly man!" Lord knows The Cito has more patience than me. Hell, than all of us ...

Speaking of Mr. Wells, he's driven in one run since May 6th, and has yet to hit a ball to the opposite field. That is both depressing, and incredibly unbelievable. His .172 batting average with runners in scoring position is about as clutch as I was the first time I tried to unstrap a bra ...

Welcome back, Ricky Romero ...

Is B.J. Ryan finished? ...

I'm excited, and scared, about Boston's visit to town beginning Friday night. More scared ...

The Blue Jays are testing our patience; testing our resolve. And they're doing it at the worst possible time: The Tao of Stieb said farewell to nicotine eight days ago, and I've recently embarked on a sabbatical from alcohol. Suffice it to say, The Tao needs a smoke, and I need a drink ...

May 23, 2009

About last night ...

If Mighty Joe Inglett comes up with a hit, Cito Gaston's the smartest mother fucker in Atlanta. But it didn't work out that way, and a sublime effort from Roy Halladay was wasted. 

That's baseball. 

I think Cito made the right call; I'd have done the same. He believed one run could be the difference in the game, and he was right. By pinch-hitting for Halladay, Cito was trying to get that run.

Don't blame Cito. Blame the National League.

As a Jays fan, there isn't anything more maddeningly frustrating than watching Doc get no run support. Although Vernon Wells is trying his best to change that. His inability to hit with runners in scoring position is driving the fanbase particularly batty. I must admit, it's getting tougher to support him by the day. (But my resolve remains strong. He will deliver.)

A part of me also wants to verbally harass Jesse Carlson. But I'm not going to. Judging by the picture above, I think he's being reasonably hard on himself. 

And, last but certainly not least, welcome back, Casey Janssen.

May 22, 2009

Until May 29th, Massholes

Look at that, the Blue Jays are still in first place; still playing .600 baseball.

The Red Sox? I hate to channel my inner Dennis Green, but those bastards are who we thought they were.

Yet despite the sweep, it wasn't all bad. 

Brian Tallet gave Cito a quality start in Fenway Park, and Brett Cecil and Bobby Ray learned valuable lessons in defeat. 

The bullpen? Lights out. No Toronto reliever allowed a run. In nine innings of work spread over the three game set, a committee of Jason Frasor, B.J. Ryan, Shawn Camp, Brian Wolfe, Brandon League and Jesse Carlson allowed only seven hits while striking out 12, and walking only two.

Rejoice, Red Sox Nation. Revel in the fact that your beloved BoSox defeated Tallet, who before April 18 last started a game back in 2006, and two rookies fresh from the minors.

While the Jays weren't able to score runs, they sure did hit the ball. Toronto's offence pounded out 25 hits over the last two games, and left 29 men on base in the series, including 12 last night. The big hit simply remained elusive. When you live by the long ball, some nights you die by the long ball. That's the beauty of baseball.

See you next week, at our house, Massholes.

And we'll see you, young Travis Snider, in about a month.

Required Reading:

Over at The Mockingbird, check out the calls Jon Lester got last night from home plate umpire Marvin Hudson. Shocking.

May 21, 2009

The sky is falling

The Blue Jays have lost two in a row to the evil Boston Red Sox. A fickle fanbase is questioning what it all means on Twitter ...

"Think the Blue Jays are learning what the AL East is all about." - dfs78

Ah, the AL East. You mean the division the Jays went 37-35 against in 2008, 36-36 against in 2007, 43-31 against in 2006, and 38-36 against in 2005. Right, that division.

"My oh my - are we seeing the dismantling of the Jays dreams tonight? I wonder if the charade is up." - chrisfromcanada

The Jays are 78-53 since Cito took over, and are still the best team in the American League, but two losses to the Red Sox, at Fenway Park, in unfathomable succession, means the "charade" might be up. Sounds about right.

"jays, i love that you are showing faith in your rookie pitchers, but maybe it's time for a legit #2 arm? for reals. for really reals." - berlap

"For really reals"? The fuck? 

"After tonight's game the Jays will be 1-4 against non-BAL opponents in the AL East; go away, frauds." - JamalG

Against non-BAL opponents in the AL East, Jamal's beloved Yankees are 4-9. In his magical world, that makes New York legit.

"watching the beginning of the end of the blue jays' season." - jbyck

You know what, you're absolutely right. Those first 41 games? Fuck 'em. It's over.

"jays playing real teams = back to reality. Enjoy the freefall!" - scottph

As opposed to all those fake teams Toronto played through the first month and a half of the season. 

"Jays trip to Boston = Rihanna's trip to the Grammy's." - scwatts

"The last two series vs. the Yanks/Sox have shown the Jays what happens when you play real teams...the wheels are falling off." - justingaynor

Forget about the wheels, I must really have missed the memo about all these fake MLB teams Yankees and Red Sox fans are talking about. Who knew?

"Jay's are front runners. they are collapsing faster then the economy last june." - FRwritings

Never mind the [sic]'s (RIP Fire Joe Morgan). The Jays' two-game losing streak against Boston, in May, at Fenway Park, where Boston has won more than 48 games every season dating back to 2003, is clearly on par, if not more dramatic in scope, with the collapse of the U.S. and global economy. A sticker for FRwritings for staying on top of current affairs.

Two games later, and the white towels of surrender are being readied. When it comes to the Jays, Toronto's got a complex, "for really reals." 

Look, it was an important lesson learned by Brett Cecil, and he'll be a better pitcher because of it. It's a long, long season; ups and downs. Have a drink, and enjoy the fucking ride. 

Remember, Cito's Jays have yet to lose three in a row. Even if they do, they're still heading to Atlanta atop the standings.

May 20, 2009


I visited the parents a few weeks ago, and rummaged through the old poster collection ...

Dougie Gilmour. The type of guy you want to grow up rooting for. 

May 19, 2009

Viva Scutaro

Every now and then, I get something right. It's rare, but it does actually happen. Here's what I wrote back in December, when rumours of Rafael Furcal becoming a Blue Jay were flying around, and when some in the Jays' blogosphere were questioning Marco Scutaro's spot on the team ...

Rafael Furcal? It's possible. Although I still don't think Marco Scutaro at shortstop is what's wrong with the 2009 Blue Jays.

What I was insinuating, of course, was that a) there's nothing wrong with the 2009 Blue Jays, and b) 41 games into the season Scutaro would arguably be the most productive shortstop in all of baseball.

Scoots has walked an impressive 35 times, tops in the Majors. (Derek Jeter, for example, has taken a free pass only 16 times.) Scutaro also leads the Majors in runs scored, with 36, and his 20 RsBI are good for second in the American League among shortstops.

All this while playing flawless defense in 348.2 innings on the field. He's the only shortstop in baseball yet to make an error.

John McDonald who?


Even the baseball Gods are shining down upon the Blue Jays. A four game set against the Chicago White Sox, and Toronto missed Mark Buehrle. You know what that means: brooms!1

In between Roy Halladay's start on Sunday, we blessed Jays fans were treated to a combined 21 innings from Brett Cecil, Robert Ray and Scott Richmond, in which they allowed only 14 hits and three earned runs. If that doesn't get you aroused, this should: on May 18, 2008, the Blue Jays' pitching staff, which would go on to be the best in baseball last year, had allowed 181 runs. On May 19, 2009, the Jays have allowed 174 runs, and have scored a whopping 60 more. 

Oh yeah, Halladay won the AL Player of the Week award. If he cared, I might, too.

Off to Boston

A big series, one in which the kids Cecil and Ray will get their first taste of Fenway Park. No Doc, but I've got faith. Here's hoping the offense makes the short porch out in left field its bitch, and gives the kids some support.

Sure, it's still early, but there's a sense of satisfaction about heading down to the Massholes' natural environment as the hunted, rather than the hunter.

Remember, I hate the Boston Red Sox. You should, too.

May 17, 2009

In Arnsberg We Trust

What happens when you take a pitcher, one Robert Ray, who's made all of 16 starts in AA-ball and one in AAA-ball, and put him under the tutelage of Toronto Blue Jays pitching coach guru Brad Arnsberg?

You get an eight-inning, three hit, zero earned runs allowed performance against the Chicago White Sox, a lineup that includes Jermaine Dye, Paul Konerko, and Jim Thome. And the lowering of Ray's ERA to a smooth 3.60.

Sure, Ray's arm may soon fall off (oh fuck off, Arnie haters), but he'll be a better pitcher because of it.

(Zazzle, $21.95. Let me know if you want one.)

May 16, 2009

They say it's impolite to stare ...

... but I could look at the standings all day long.

The Jays have the AL East's best record, most productive offense (batting .305 with runners in scoring position!), and best pitching staff (a 1.28 staff WHIP!). The view from the top is everything I thought it would be.

Brett Cecil continues to arouse Jays fans across the land. The Beej is back. And don't put too much stock into J.P. Ricciardi's comments about the pitching staff, and his optioning of Ricky Romero to Las Vegas. Ricciardi's a liar, remember? Romero will be back with the Jays before May is out.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot: Aaron Hill > Dustin Pedroia.

A quarter of the season is just about in the books. You'd be foolish not to believe.

UPDATE: Bartolo Colon is fat.

May 15, 2009

Getting the last laugh ...

Paul Maurice is the greatest coach ever.

Who the fuck knew? Did you see that timeout he called last night in overtime, after an icing? (OMG!) The man clearly learned some valuable lessons from his time in Toronto.

I didn't think the Carolina Hurricanes had a chance against New Jersey. And not a prayer against Boston. Yet they've won two game sevens in dramatic fashion. On the road, no less. 

Eric Staal? He's pretty damn good. A top-six Canadian Olympic forward, in my books.

Cam Ward? He's a career 4-0 in game 7s. Tell me how you keep that record off Team Canada.

Scott Walker? He scores big goals throws a mean right. 

Perhaps it's time I start showing Maurice and co. some respect.

May 14, 2009

Like a captain should ...

Seven games later, and I've got a whole lot more respect for Sidney Crosby than I did two weeks ago.

I still don't particularly care for him; there's certainly no man crush. But dude can play. He's obviously learned a thing or two from living with Mario Lemieux

Hey, there's nothing wrong with living in someone's basement.

And, while I hate to whine, it's really not fair that the Penguins have both Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Bastards.

One-nothing: Crosby. Here's hoping they meet again.

May 13, 2009

Was that meaningful baseball?

Because it sure as hell felt like it.

More than 43,000 vocal fans in the building; incessant heckling of Allan James Burnett; a three-for-four night from the man we believe in: Scott Rolen; another home run by Aaron Hill; and a complete game five-hitter, in which he didn't walk a batter, from Harry Leroy Halladay III.

"[Burnett's] the enemy now. We're not rooting for him." - J.P. Ricciardi

Amen, wise general manager. Amen.

A.J. pitched a half-decent game.

Doc was better. He was, well, Doc; sublime. And there was never really any doubt that he would be.

This Blue Jays team is for real. They're also winning the pennant.

UPDATE: Burnett's walk of shame, courtesy my CrackBerry ...

UPDATE #2: I'm still swooning over Doc. Somebody please kick my ass the day I stop appreciating him, and what he does out on the mound.

From today's New York Times: "In his last 19 starts against the Yankees, dating to May 22, 2003, Halladay is 13-2 with a 2.09 E.R.A."


Scotty Richmond, tonight. Do your thing, Canada. ("Canada" is Richmond's new nickname. At least it should be.)

May 12, 2009

Is this goodbye?

There will be no game seven. And I'm all Carl Thomas-like emotional.  

Honestly, never would I have imagined that Roberto Luongo would allow seven goals in an elimination game. Not when his team scored five. My heart goes out to the Vancouver Canucks' captain. I would have cried after that performance, too.

Mats Sundin, my pride and joy; a goal and an assist. In keeping with the truthiness theme, he never looked right in a Canucks uniform. Mats looked a step behind; disinterested. But he still put up the points. Like he always did.

I won't lie, it was a rough night. I donned my Sundin jersey in the third period, hoping for some Mats magic. It came; he scored the fourth Vancouver goal. Foolish me, I thought it might end up being the winner. Not even close.

When it comes to Sundin, the Vancouver media and Canucks fans will be ruthless today, and in the coming days. So-called Leafs fans will take their shots at Mats as well. It's not going to be pleasant. I imagine I'll be drinking a lot of Forty Creek

Looking back, the way it all went down, there was never meant to be a happy ending. If last night was goodbye, regardless of the jersey, thanks for the memories, Mats ...

UPDATE: It's 5:30 AM, and I can't sleep. It's beginning to sink in: Sundin will never win the Stanley Cup. Fuck.

UPDATE #2: Eight points in eight games. One. More. Year. Come home, Mats ...

May 11, 2009

Believe ...

Believe that tonight isn't the end of the line for the Vancouver Canucks, and Mats Sundin.

Believe that for Vancouver, and especially for Sundin, there can still be a happy ending.

Props to my man dlbrows for sending the video my way. Make sure you check out his tumblr: Go Jays Go.

You know, it's unfair, but it's all up to Roberto Luongo now. And all I know is this: when facing elimination, in the enemy's barn, there's no other goalie I want between the pipes.

Believe that there will be a game seven.

Go Canucks.

The Shake-and-Bake

Dwayne De Rosario has, in less than two months, laid claim to the best goal celebration Toronto has to offer.

Have a look at the 1:13 mark and, for the money shot, at 2:28 ...

Hey, I love the timeless art of the fist pump as much as you do, but the Shake-and-Bake has officially knocked it off its perch. 

And how about Scarborough coming through for Toronto FC down in D.C. Saturday night. DeRo, with two, and Adrian Serioux filling up the score sheet. Represent!

May 10, 2009

Those obnoxious, annoying Blue Jays fans

I like Jeff Passan. Enjoy his work. Been reading him ever since he joined Yahoo! Sports. But Passan doesn't feel the same way about me, or us. He thinks we - Toronto Blue Jays fans - are obnoxious, annoying homers.

About a month ago, while travelling the internetz, I stopped by a live chat being run by the fine folks at Big League Stew. Cliff Lee was the topic of conversation at the time and, as I involuntarily do whenever I read or hear Cliff Lee's name, I commented that Roy Halladay, and certainly not Lee, should have won the 2008 American League Cy Young Award.

That was enough to set off Passan. Here's what he had to say:

"I have a feeling that if the Blue Jays are ever good again, they're going to give Red Sox fans a run for their obnoxious money.

"I love Roy Halladay -- picked him to win the CY this year -- but come on. How can you make that argument?

"I'm just saying: Toronto fans are tremendously parochial, to the point that it becomes annoying. They are funny and cool and I'd definitely love to drink a beer with them, but their homerism is way over the top."

It's been a few weeks - I am arguably the world's greatest procrastinator - but allow me to respond.

Well, Mr. Passan, the Jays are good again. And while I'm the last person in Toronto to argue a charge of over-the-top homerism, to say that Blue Jays fans could ever be as obnoxious as the Massholes is flat-out fucking ridiculous. That's a whole other level of douchebaggery.

Oh yeah, Halladay. Look, Doc faced the Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay DEVIL Rays, and New York Yankees a combined 16 times last season. Six starts against New York, and five each against Boston and Tampa Bay. Cliff Lee faced those three teams four times. One start against Boston, one against New York, and two versus Tampa Bay. The only team Lee faced five times last season: the 75-87 Kansas City Royals.

I know the schedule is largely to blame, but that's why I can make that argument, Mr. Passan. Because that disparity has got to mean something.

But it's all good. The beer's on me, Passan. Enough about 2008, and Cliff Lee.

How about Brian Tallet? The much maligned J.P. Ricciardi has somehow put together an embarrassment of riches on the mound for the Blue Jays, and you probably won't find him getting much credit for it.

With guys like Casey Janssen and Ricky Romero set to return in a week or so, and Jesse Litsch not far behind, questions abound. Such as: how the fuck do you return Tallet to the bullpen?

And while I hate to overlook the second edition of Cecil Time this afternoon, Tuesday night looms large: Roy Halladay vs. A.J. Burnett. 

Be there. I need not say more.

UPDATE: I lied, I do have more to say. As bklades pointed out in the comments, and I fully agree with him, when it comes to Jays fans, pessimism reigns supreme.  Most casual fans are just waiting for this Jays team to struggle so they can say "I told you so!" Some advice: if you're going to depart the bandwagon, do so quietly. And use the door at the back, assholes.

May 08, 2009


I finally read it. And: wow.

I don't know what took me so long but, like many things in life, better late than never.

"My shit doesn't work on in the play-offs. My job is getting us to the play-offs. What happens after that is fucking luck."
- Oakland A's General Manager Billy Beane

Buy it. Borrow it from your local library. Steal it. If you're a fan of the beautiful game of baseball, you need to know exactly what Billy Beane's "shit" is.

I'm kind of sad I've finished it. Fuck. What a book.

May 07, 2009

Another one bites the dust

Manny Ramirez, cheater.

Or is he? Apparently Manny is guilty as charged of using a performance enhancing drug - only of the sexual variety.

Regardless, arguably the greatest hitter of our generation has failed a drug test. Whatever he took was a baseball enhancer as well. And it's unfortunate, because he'll now be painted with the same brush as douchebags like A-Rod and Roger Clemens.

When it comes to baseball players testing positive for the juice, nothing surprises me anymore. I was shocked to hear about Ramirez, but not surprised. These days, they're all guilty until proven innocent.

Except for two men: Roy Halladay, the greatest pitcher I've ever known, and Carlos Delgado, the lost slugger of the Steroid Era.

I'm not sure who's next to be outed, but if it were one of those two men, a part of me would die inside. I'm not sure I could deal with finding out that Roy Halladay isn't perfect, or that Delgado didn't become the best Toronto Blue Jay hitter of all time on nothing but his own merit. It would be akin to finding out, as a young boy, that Santa Claus does not in fact exist; things would never be the same again. Innocence, lost.

Here's hoping that day never comes.

May 06, 2009

Super Mario

For some reason, Lemieux's been on the brain of late ...

The best ever, in my humble opinion.

I vividly remember the night Mario came out of retirement; Dec. 27, 2000. It was a Wednesday night. Our Maple Leafs were in Pittsburgh. I watched the game at home with my brother, and Lemieux assisted on a Jaromir Jagr goal thirty seconds into the first period. In his first game after more than three and a half years away, Lemieux finished with a goal and two assists.

The Leafs lost 5-0 that night. It was a pleasure.

May 05, 2009

You know all that hype? Believe it.

Look at Ovechkin. Look at those two grown men embracing. Good times are being had by all. (Well, except the Penguins. And their fans.)

It's Ovechkin vs Crosby and Malkin. Ovie vs Sid and Geno. Three of hockey's finest players, none older than 23, squaring off in the second round of the playoffs. A series that is so far - somehow - actually living up to its incredulous media hype.

And I've been kind of apathetic towards it. I figured it was just that: hype. 

I've caught about 45 minutes of actual action throughout the first two games. Truthfully, I've been watching more Toronto Blue Jays baseball. Hey, they're a first place team, asshole. (Playoffs!!1)

Full highlights of games one and two have been watched, though. Amply. A helluva playoff series is going down. The stars are shining. Well, except that Malkin guy. And, umm, where was this Varlamov character all season?

I caught the third period last night, and my reaction to hat-tricks by both Crosby and Ovechkin was a hearty "fuck off." (Ovie's third was something, enough for Bob Cole's trademarked "OH BABY!") Both #87 and #8 have officially taken their game to the proverbial "next level." It certainly does exist. And it's slightly arousing to watch.

Wednesday night, the Blue Jays are in Anaheim. Which means a most accomodating 10:05 PM eastern start time. One that works out perfectly because, clearly, there's a hockey game to be watched.

As the fine folks at Puck Daddy pointed out a few days ago, Mario Lemieux and Wayne Gretzky never met in the playoffs. I guess this is what it would have been like.

Some quick, penetrating thoughts: Crosby complaining about hats being thrown on the ice to celebrate an Ovechkin hat-trick - the nerve of Washington fans! - is going to do wonders for his reputation as a whiny little bitch crybaby. He must have the same PR guy as Mats Sundin ... Chris Kunitz is officially a douchebag. Cross-checking the goalie in the neck? Stay classy ... Mario Lemieux's playoff beard can only be admired and appreciated. I am in love with that man. Did you know that when he came into the league Lemieux asked to wear #99? So as to not draw too much attention to his desire to be better than Gretzky, and create his own brand, he simply flipped the numbers around. What a man ... It's going to be quite the afternoon: Brett Cecil makes his MLB debut for the Jays, followed by Man United vs Arsenal. For Cecil, the beginning of a promising career. For the Gunners, the end of their Champions League aspirations.

May 02, 2009

Praying for a Chicago Bulls victory ...

... because Boston's sports fans need to come down off their mighty, self-created perch.

Ain't nothing like a game seven.

Go Bulls.

You Are Appreciated

Mission: Doc, to watch every start Harry Leroy Halladay III makes at the Rogers Centre this season, continued last night. I'm three for three, my friends.

After giving up an un-Halladay like six hits and two earned runs over his first four innings, Harry settled down. Like I knew he would.

With the 8-4 win, the Toronto Blue Jays are back in first place, where they belong, and Halladay improved his record to 5-1. With an offence that continues to pound the baseball (I know, not so difficult against the mighty Baltimore Orioles pitching staff), Doc's piling up the wins. So far this young season, the bats are making up for all the times Halladay pitched well in years prior, and didn't get any run support. It's a beautiful thing.

You know, I hate talking and writing about Halladay's future. Will he be traded? Will he leave in search of a ring, or even just a playoff appearance? Who knows. I don't have the answers, that's for sure. But I'm taking nothing for granted. No matter what happens, Mission: Doc means I'll have no regrets; it means I'll never wish I had made more of an effort to head down to the Rogers Centre and watch Doc do his thing.

Roy Halladay, you are appreciated.

The Cito Effect

In the 8th inning, with Scott Downs warm in the bullpen, and men on first and third with two down in a 6-4 ball game, out stepped Cito Gaston from the Blue Jays dugout. 

We, Jays fans, rose to our feet as well. It was the end of the line for Roy Halladay and, as always, he was deserving of a farewell worthy of his effort.

Only Doc didn't get the hook.

The Gastonian one reached the mound and instead of taking the ball from Halladay, who'd thrown more than 110 pitches, told him he'd see Doc in the dugout after he retired Ty Wigginton.

Doc, never one to let his manager down, did just that.

Amazing. Ladies and gentlemen, The Cito Effect.

Fret not, The Blue Jay Hunter and I are working on the t-shirts.

Foul Ball Fail

Sitting about 20 odd rows up on the first base side in shallow right field, an Oriole hit one right at me. I was ready. I'd been waiting for this moment my entire life. Only the ball smashed off the ring finger of my right hand, leaving it swollen, bruised, and my nail half black.

Fail. Shame. Bewilderment.

All those years of playing cricket, for what? The ball landed a row in front of me, and into the hands of another. I still can't believe I didn't come up with it.

And, for the record, had I made the catch, I would have given the ball to the young boy behind me.

Blue Jays Fever

On the way home from the game, an old man on the subway tapped me on the shoulder, wanting to know if the Jays were victorious. I was in my powder blue jersey, and more than happy to oblige.

Indeed they did, Grandpa.

He smiled, and then asked if Halladay went the distance. A wise old man, clearly.

I told him Doc went eight, and that Scott Downs finished off Baltimore.

He smiled, again, and thanked me.

I told him it was my pleasure, and that the Jays were winning the pennant.

May 01, 2009

Anyone else ...

... happy for Kyle Wellwood?

You know, the guy with four points in five playoff games, whom the Toronto Maple Leafs released?

I didn't think so.

Oh well. Do your thing, Kyle. I miss you.

Go ahead, make the fat joke if you must; if it really makes you feel better. Remember, he who laughs last laughs loudest.

The Leafs erred in letting Wellwood go. The fact that he was waived by Vancouver as well be damned. You don't give up on young players. You work with them. Trust me, it's better to just admit it.

Go Canucks. One Roberto Luongo is still unbeaten in the playoffs (!!!!1).

UPDATE: The following is for PPP, who hates Mr. Wellwood with all his being, and who is beginning to hate me as well ...