August 01, 2010

27 Outs: Toronto

The picture above comes to you courtesy of Fuck Yeah Toronto, who are absolutely correct when they say: "Because if you don't love Toronto, you probably have no soul."

Shall we?

1. Jose Bautista, the talk of the town, is on pace, after hitting another home run Sunday afternoon, to finish with 49 round-trippers. That would be two more than George Bell's team-record 47, way back in 1987. If JoBau does indeed set the new Blue Jays standard, his season will have to go down in memory as the most unexpected in Toronto sports history. I for one am delighted he wasn't moved, and is still a Toronto Blue Jay.

2. You know who doesn't get enough love? Pitching coach guru Bruce Walton. I'll be honest: I don't miss Brad Arnsberg at all. And I definitely thought I would.

3. I'm undecided, for his last home game as The Manager on Wednesday, September 29, between a simple, and to the point, "Thanks Cito" sign, or one that reads "CitoCity Forever."

4. I can't believe we're already in August. And you know what's going to suck about this month? The fact the Blue Jays have to face, in this order, the: New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels, Oakland A's, Red Sox, Yankees, Detroit Tigers, and Rays. As of today, the morning of August 2nd, none of those teams are under the .500 mark. The Angels are a game over, and the Tigers and A's are both 52-52. The month will be an interesting barometer moving forward, that's for sure.

5. The Houston Astros traded their Roy. And I imagine Astros fans are feeling like we did when we traded ours. Our condolences, National League friends; we know what you're going through.

6. I like to think that when both Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman were dealing with the Astros, and making their respective deals for Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman, they were channeling their inner Clay Davis: "You think I have time to ask a man why he giving me money? Or where he gets his money from? I'll take any motherfucker's money if he givin' it away!" I'm not so sure I like this new baseball world, where money has to be traded in addition to the talents of the likes of Roy Halladay, Berkman, and Oswalt.

7. Want: Berkman to bomb in Yankees pinstripes. Nothing personal, just business.

8. Do not want: Alex Rodriguez to hit number 600 against Toronto.

9. If Jesse Litsch and Brian Tallet don't pitch for the Blue Jays in 2011, or ever again, I won't be mad.

10. Brett Wallace for Anthony Gose; the trade. A stunning example, when you consider it was a prospect-for-prospect trade, of how much blogs, and the internet in general, have changed the game. Wallace, who never played a game for the Toronto Blue Jays, was, the day he was dealt, already a household name. He was the "first-baseman of the future;" prospect porn of the highest order. The new Vivid star, so to speak. I saw him play, back in May, out in Las Vegas. He went 1-for-3 with a double, and a run scored. What impressed me most about Wallace, however, was his taste in music, choosing to walk up to bat to T.I.'s "I'm Back." We'll keep track of what he gets up to while we wait for Anthony Gose. The only 19-years-old and playing in A-ball Anthony Gose. The young man who has been compared to Carl Crawford. At the end of the day: I have complete faith in Alex Anthopoulos. He's already earned it, in his first season on the job. If Gose was his man, Gose is now my man. The higher the ceiling, the higher the reward.

11. A hearty thank you to my man @AnswerDave for this gem: #gosefacekillah.

12. Welcome back, Travis Snider. Absence does make the heart grow fonder.

13. David Purcey pitched another scoreless inning Sunday afternoon. Yes, I did just use "David Purcey," "pitched," "another," and "scoreless inning" in the same sentence. Believe it. In 22.1 frames this season, the former first-round pick, drafted 16th overall in 2004, is sporting a tidy 1.61 ERA, and 0.94 WHIP. Yeah, the WHIP blows me away, too. I mean, it's Purcey. He's struck out 19, and hasn't walked a batter in his last six appearances. More impressive: his .207 BABIP (which he will no doubt have trouble maintaining), and 3.77 FIP. May he never start another ball game again.

14. Lyle Overbay's July numbers: .301/.369/.527, along with five home runs and 12 RsBI. And he hit .282, with a .378 OBP, in June, too. If he keeps this up, I have to believe Anthopoulos will at least make him an offer to stick around. After the type of season Adam Lind has had, I'm not sure how wise it would be to simply hand him the keys to first base.

15. If Overbay is a Blue Jay next season, here's what the 2010 team looks like to these eyes: Fred Lewis, Vernon Wells and Snider, left to right in the outfield. Overbay at first, Aaron Hill at second, Yunel Escobar at short, Bautista at third, Lind the designated hitter, and J.P. Arencibia behind the plate. (I doubt John Buck would agree to platoon, so Jose Molina could be brought back, even though he'd get a few too many at-bats for my liking.) Under the assumption that Hill and Lind learn how to hit again, I don't mind if Anthopoulos doesn't dip a toe into the free agency waters; I'm fine with the build from within, and through trades, philosophy. And while it will surely be an agonizing decision whether to remove Bautista's arm from the outfield, what other options does the team have?

16. Yunel Escobar certainly knows how to make a great first impression. In 14 games as a Blue Jay, he has swept a collective city off its feet.

17. Want to know what the guys on the farm are up to? Check out the latest from The Southpaw, in their Monthly Prospect Review for July.

18. The Ack's working this long weekend over at The Tao Of Stieb, and chimes in on Kyle Drabek, whom we all hope will never, ever pitch in the Pacific Coast League.

19. Switching gears, how bloody ironic is it when Hedo Turkoglu says the Toronto Raptors organization "has problems"? Or that "nobody wants to go to Toronto," a year after he hand-picked the place? Much like after watching him play for a year, all I could think after reading the Turkish wonder's comments was: That's the best he can do?

20. I own a Chris Bosh jersey. I plan to cover up the "SH" in BOSH with tape, and add a couple more Os using a marker. Yes: BOOO. I'm glad, though, that he came on Canadian television to clarify his comments about Toronto being "different." How else would I have figured out that Toronto is part of a whole other country that is not the United States? Thanks, Chris. Enjoy Miami. And it's waffles.

21. I can't believe I'm about to make this comparison, but Bryan Colangelo heading into the final season of his contract as Raptors general manager reminds me too much of John Ferguson Jr.'s final few months as general manager of the Maple Leafs. How the hell did it come to this? Either give him an extension, or replace him now.

22. Andrea Bargnani will, like me, not miss Chris Bosh, and have a monster 2010/2011.

23. Finally, the Leafs. The fucking Maple Leafs. A few people have recently tried to convince me that the three-year, $9 million contract Toronto generously signed Colby Armstrong with is not a bad one. These people are wrong. These people are idiots. Armstrong is nothing more than a third-line winger, and I'd pick Alexander Frolov, and Alexei Ponikarovsky, over him eight days of the week. Heart, and grit, and -- for the love of God -- truculence, do not score goals.

24. If the team doesn't kill penalties at a success rate of at least 80%, Ron Wilson should be fired. Seriously.

25. If the team finishes in the draft lottery, again, Brian Burke should be fired. And a 15-year-moratorium on trading first-round draft picks should be introduced.

26. The window through which Burke can trade Tomas Kaberle without his approval is set to close in less than two weeks. Tomas might make it, after all.

27. The Toronto Argos are ... Yeah, right.


Steve G. said...

14) Lyle Overbay sucks. He's like the crappy version of Mark Grace to me, in that he does JUST enough to not lose his job, and he keeps you from looking at better alternatives.

19) Turkoglu sucks too. I love that the Magic got tons of shit for choosing Vince Carter over him, except that Turkoglu did an even bigger vanishing act before and after his one big year in Orlando than Carter has ever done.

22) I couldn't careless who Andrea Bargnani will miss until he decides to start loving defense.

eyebleaf said...

I just can't quit Lyle Overbay, man.

I'm not going to waste any more characters on Turk. But you're right about Bargnani; I should give a flying fack what he does on offense this season. He has to show a commitment to defense, and a commitment to rebounding, for him to progress as an NBA player.

Escaped Lab Rat said...

I'm with you on Jose. Hope he doesn't have a crash-and-burn next season, a la Hill and Lind (who are finally starting to come out of their respective funks).

Walton should get a tonne of credit for the job he's done.

The thing I love about the Gose deal is that by all reports, they've been trying to get him right from the beginning; they have a plan. AA deserves to get a long leash on the rest of his decisions this year.

Lyle? I'd be a little disappointed if we felt we needed to bring him back, but you bring up a good point with Lind.

Escobar has been great.

I agree with you ripping Hedo (of course). But let's not forget Colangelo ripping Bosh after he wasn't able to sign him either (a la Dan Gilbert ripping LeBron after The Decision). And I have to say, I would cheer Bosh for his contributions over the year...and then boo him and the Heat for the rest of eternity. I wouldn't mind hearing your thoughts on The Decision, by the way.

The Leafs don't need to sign 3rd-liners. Period.

Roy A. Elliott said...

I guarantee you will like Colby Armstrong within a month.

deehatesUSAUSA said...

off topic, please replace bosh image with Damon Stoudamire. Retro your whole image. Maybe (Dougie, Damon & Juan Guzman).


Steve G. said...

Why the heck would you want Damon Stoudamire in the header? To relive those glory 40-win seasons when Thomas ran the team?

Archimedies said...

@Steve G

You say '40 win seasons' with disdain, as if to insinuate the Raps have something better in their history besides a few 40 win seasons and one playoff series victory.

A 40 win season would be a blessing next year.

William said...

You had me until #19 and then my eyes started glazing over.

<--shares Steve's opinion of Lyle Overpaid.

Anonymous said...

Epic post. Just so you know, the Raptors are pretty much a lock to win 25 games next season and I'm perfectly fine with that.


WV: epomagra - Is that the female Viagra we've all been waiting for?

The Ack said...

Heyo! Look who's back.

(ps - no way Overbay returns. Some vet on a cheapish contract will be, though. Barring the long-anticipated (by me) deal involving a young starter for a positional prospect, of course....)

eyebleaf said...

@ Escaped: If Hill and Lind are any indication, JoBau will indeed bomb next season. But I'll love him just the same.

@ Roy: You're right; with all the grit, heart, and truculence Armstrong will display as a Maple Leaf, it'll be impossible not to love him.

@ USA: Dougie, Damon and Juan isn't that bad an idea. A retro banner, like a third jersey, used every once in a while. I'm going to get Dean to work on it. Might have to replace Juan with Joe Carter, or Dave Stieb, or Devo making "the catch."

@ Steve & Archi: I'm taking the under on 40 wins this season. NoPlayoffs!!!1

@ William: You leave me no choice but to do some research, and a post, about Lyle Overbay. Damn you.

@ Scott: Are you taking the over or under on 25 games next season? That's an interesting line. I'm torn. And I'll be honest: I have no idea what you're talking about when you write "WV: epomagra - Is that the female Viagra we've all been waiting for?"

@ The Ack: Overbay's making $7 million right now. What do you think he makes next year? If we have to pick only one of our free agents to return, yeah, I'm waiving goodbye to Lyle too, because Downs is the guy I want to keep.

Anonymous said...

WV = the word verification that you have to type in to post a comment on Blogger. As for the over-under, they might win as many as 30 games, but I'd kind of prefer they win less and have a decent shot at landing a franchise player like Harrison Barnes in the next draft.