September 26, 2010

27 Outs

The sports world never sleeps. Me, I don't sleep enough.

1. I was on the stationary bike when Lyle Overbay took useless loogie Mark Hendrickson deep to right field for walk-off magic. I fist pumped. And you couldn't have slapped the stupid smile off of my face as I watched Overbay round the bases.

2. How enjoyable was it to see LyleO laughingly point to his helmet before he made it home, and then watch John Buck take a swing at his very head? On the Enjoyability Index, which I believe I just created, I'm going to have to go with a nine. Enjoy some fine photographs of the walk-off celebration, courtesy the hard working folks at Reuters (via daylife).

3. I'm working on a post I've so originally titled "Evaluating Overbay," in which I compare Lyle to every other American League first baseman every season since he arrived in Toronto, in terms of weighted on-base average, and weighted runs created plus. Sabermetrics, yo. It'll be up sometime next week, Inshallah.

4. Now that Overbay's finally hit 20 home runs, Adam Lind's going to play first base the rest of the way, right?

5. John Buck will hit his 20th home run next Sunday, October 3rd. Then it's all J.P. Arencibia behind the plate, all the time.

6. Ricky Romero reached and surpassed the 200-innings pitched mark Saturday afternoon. Milestone! Romero's improved his numbers across the board over 2009, except when it comes to wins. Which means Romero hasn't improved at all, actually. While Ricky's had his fair share of struggles, in July and September in particular, and continues to walk batters at a concerning rate, he's a better pitcher today than he was on this date last year. And, most importantly, he's healthy. Thank you, baseball Gods.

7. Edwin Encarnacion is a strong man. His home run to centre field on Saturday -- which sailed comfortably over the wall -- off a sub-90 MPH slider low in the strike zone proved it. It remains one of baseball's biggest shames that this isn't played every time he goes yard at the Dome.

8. You think you've seen it all, until Aaron Hill sends a home run to the second deck that lands in a concession worker's tray. I love baseball.

9. Two hundred and forty-one home runs. The Blue Jays' team record is 244, and it will fall.

10. I love defence, and it was on display Saturday afternoon at the SkyDome. Yunel Escobar's unorthodox throw to complete a double play. Jose Bautista's diving catch in right field, and subsequent doubling off of Ty Wigginton. Vernon Wells' highlight reel catch in centre field. There's nothing like good gloving, which is hopefully not what she said.

11. Speaking of Vernon Wells, The Ack wrote the post I was planning to write at The Tao Of Stieb. And it's always fun when someone does your homework for you. Lost in the shadow of Bautista's 52 home runs this summer has been the resurgence of Vernon Wells. And I'll be the first and last person to tell you that the resurgence of Vernon Wells has been a bloody fantastic development. The Vernon Wells Hatred Advisory System has at no point this season been higher than GUARDED. Wells has quietly reached the 30 home run mark, and in terms of wOBA (.359) and wRC+ (126), has had the third-best season of his career. His career, haters! No, Vernon's not worth the $23 million he's owed next season. Or the $21 million the year after that. And the year after that. And, Jesus, the year after that. But that's not the point.

12. You know what else has been great about 2010? David Purcey coming into his own as a middle reliever. He's got big shoes to fill. Get that paper, Scott Downs. You deserve it.

13. I miss Brandon Morrow.

14. Jesse Carlson's exploits in September: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 3.18 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, .150 BAA, .143 BABIP, 2.20 GB/FB. All's well that ends well, right?

15. Drew from Ghostrunner on First wrote Big League Stew's 2010 Toronto Blue Jays Dear John letter. It's a beauty. A couple of excerpts: "A complete game, 132-pitch, 17-strikeout opus came one batter shy of a no-hitter against the Rays. Not only one of the best games thrown by Blue Jays pitching in franchise history, one of the very best games ever pitched. Though no-hitting the Ray is about as rare as a failed urine test at the Lohan home, Morrow completely dominated the hapless Rays hitters with his otherworldly collection of high 90s heat and darting curveballs. ... A winning record heading into the final weeks is a heady accomplishment for a team expected to slip behind the Orioles in the standings. The Baltimore Orioles! Can you imagine anything more insulting?" Make sure you check it out. And about the Orioles, Drew, no, I can't.

16. Regardless of what you think of Cito Gaston, on your feet on Wednesday. No excuses.

17. The Texas Rangers celebrated winning the American League West division title Saturday evening. They're headed back to the playoffs for the first time in 11 years. And, yes, there is a Ron Washington cocaine joke somewhere in there. In all seriousness, I love the Rangers' post-season slogan: It's Time. I'm wondering if they'll lend it to us in Toronto.

18. I'm glad Felix Hernandez has a win-loss record of 12-12. We're about to find out just how far sabermetrics have come, folks.

19. Sunday: Buffalo and New England. Bills and Patriots. Probably just the Patriots. Hide yo kids, hide yo wife. Hide errbody. "Maybe next week, maybe next century ..."

20. After Saturday's loss to San Jose, Toronto FC have all but been mathematically eliminated from MLS's post-season. So: Playoffs!!!1

21. After scoring, again, for TFC Saturday night, Dwayne De Rosario "pulled out his imaginary chequebook and pen and mimicked writing a cheque. It was much more of a message than a goal celebration." I'm with DeRo: it's a crime he's so grossly underpaid compared to the mistakes that are Julian De Guzman and Mista. But there's a time and place for such statements, and it's not during a must-win game when the team you captain is battling life and death for a playoff spot. Hell, there's even a person for such a statement: DeRo's agent.

22. Finally, the Toronto Maple Leafs. And wasn't it great to hear Ron Wilson throw Nazem Kadri under the bus after the Leafs' Saturday night loss to Buffalo? According to master of motivation Wilson, Kadri likes to give the puck away, and needs his skates sharpened. You've just got to love constructive criticism. Especially in public. Perhaps it's all the years of being a Leafs fan finally taking their toll, but I can't help but shake the feeling that this -- Kadri and Wilson -- will not end well. It's a sobering thought. So sobering that I need a drink.

23. Oh, I almost forgot: Nick Foligno, and the beautiful goal he scored Saturday night. You know what made it even better? The fact it came against Montreal, and was scored on Carey Price.

24. Last and certainly least: Daniel Briere, fist pumping like a champ. In the pre-bloody-season! Disgusting.

I know, only 24 outs. This post was called due to rain.

Image of Jose Bautista's weapon of choice courtesy of -- this is a recording -- Reuters, via daylife.


William Tasker - Caribou, ME said...

Very cool. It's been a long time since we were treated to one of your lists posts. Always entertaining and a great read. I miss Morrow too.

kidkawartha said...

I have to wonder if the mis-spell in "gaurded" is eyebleaf's way eating crow re: Vernon Wells. Choke it down, brother- I hear ketchup helps. :)

William Tasker - Caribou, ME said...

I don't get it, kid. Our man, eyeb, has never stopped supporting Wells and saying he would have a bounce back year. What words would he be eating?

kidkawartha said...

It's a gentle ribbing of someone who's baseball acumen I respect far more than I do my own, not a self-righteous podium, um, crowing (pardon the pun)- having to praise, deservedly so, someone who is paid the GNP of a small nation on a yearly basis is something I assume has to be "choked down". Perhaps "swallowing the medicine" would have been a better way to put it.

Steve G. said...

3) I imagine he comes in at near the middle of the pack. Overbay has typically been average to above-average in most years, IIRC, and he's also played a TON of games. That might skew things a bit, like how Mark Grace had the most hits in the 1990s.

Anonymous said...

Damn the Snider - Wells - Bautista outfield gives me a boner. In the header, are you thinking about switching Hill for Boom Boom Bautista?