Scribbled Thoughts: The Jumble Edition

Posted January 21, 2016 by The Hek
Categories: Articles, Baseball, Blue Jays

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

As usual, my mind is all over the place. Please bare with me.

In the summer of 2012, my friend and I went on a baseball road trip. We visited Cleveland, Pittsburgh and then made the pilgrimage to Cooperstown. I must have taken hundreds of photos inside the Baseball Hall of Fame. This was one of them:

PEDs notice at Baseball Hall of Fame

I don’t know if this sign is still displayed. But given the recent announcement of the 2016 induction class and the subsequent debate about certain players and PED use, I wanted to share it with you.

I have no interest, nor the energy to add my two cents to the topic. It’s a complicated and conflicting mess. But every time I look at this photo, I wonder if the Hall of Fame is/was preparing a path for players like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds in case they were ever inducted. It’s a way of saying that players like Clemens and Bonds are Hall of Famers, but given their alleged use of PEDs, one should take their accomplishments with a “grain of salt.”

***

I started having visions of Yoenis Cespedes wearing a Jays uniform last week. They increased after CJ Nitkowski suggested Toronto as a possible destination for the Cuban outfielder on MLB Network Radio.

It seems crazy, but why not flip Dalton Pompey or another young player for some pitching help and then sign Cespedes? Think of the bat and that cannon of an arm.

And yes, I will seek help if the visions continue ;)

***

I caught Dean Blundell and Jon Morosi discussing Josh Donaldson’s arbitration case a couple of days ago. Both felt this “issue” could damage the AL MVP’s relationship with the Blue Jays’ front office, negatively affecting any chances for a possible long-term deal.

They may have a point or they were fear-mongering. Either way, it stressed the hell out of me.

Regardless of the outcome of the arbitration case, Donaldson will earn over $11 million this season, as some articles have noted. That’s a lot more than what I (maybe you too) will bring in this year. So do we really need to make a big deal about this? Isn’t this nothing more than the business of baseball? Will Josh really get pissed about this (I’d like to think not)? Isn’t this more about Donaldson’s agents simply looking out for their client? Would their be the same reaction to this story if AA was still the GM?

Maybe I should stop fanning the flames.

***

I’ve read and listened to a lot of comments about the Blue Jays since game six of the ALCS. Sometimes, I can’t tell if they won the AL East or finished last.

***

There’s something about Aaron Sanchez that caught my attention when he was in town for the Winter Tour. Maybe it was the confidence or the additional 25 pounds. But after watching him, I have this feeling he’s going to blossom this year. Perhaps he’ll surprise us in 2016; the same way Pillar, Osuna and Estrada did in 2015. And just imagine – for a moment – what it will be like if both Sanchez and Marcus Stroman excel to a higher level. Who needs David Price, am I right??? ;)

Meanwhile, I’d love to know what Aaron’s diet was like in the offseason. When I heard about the 25 pounds, I was intrigued and hungry.

ER

How Drew you do, Mr. Storen?

Posted January 9, 2016 by The Hek
Categories: Articles, Blue Jays

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Just like his predecessor, Mr. Atkins decided to disturb the calmness of my Friday night with a trade. But hey, I’m not bitter. Not bitter at all.

Anyway….onto the scribbled thoughts:

Drew Storen is a solid late-inning reliever, who goes along nicely with Brett Cecil and Roberto Osuna. He’s also an insurance policy in case – Baseball Gods forbid – Osuna suffers second year setbacks. My only concern is his transition to the American League. Fortunately, Storen has a 3.19 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 40 interleague games, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

Sorry to see Ben Revere go, but as everyone on this planet has pointed out, there’s plenty of depth in the Jays’ outfield. He was a terrific leadoff hitter with great speed. He was also a much better left fielder than some of the other players that played the position in 2015.

My favourite Revere moment was the Spider Man catch in Texas during the regular season.

Overall, I like the trade. Atkins used a surplus from one area and put it towards an area that needed attention.

ER

image

One Hell of a Year

Posted December 31, 2015 by The Hek
Categories: Articles, Blue Jays

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Where to begin…

My wife and I are at a game in late May. Mark Buehrle pitched well, but got little run support. The Jays would end up losing to Seattle that day.

Around the seventh inning, I made my way to the washrooms. As I waited in line, a couple of fans were discussing the team’s performance. They were the type of fans that jump to conclusions. The ones Mike Wilner would describe as “chicken littles.”

These fans were convinced the Jays were well on their way to another disappointing season.

“They’re done,” one fan told the other. “They can’t hit or do anything right. Pitching is terrible. They’re finished.”

I guess I could have reminded them there were four months left in the season, roughly translating to about 100 games. I could’ve said something colloquial like “anything is possible” or “anything can happen” or “chill the f*** out.” But I had no interest in debating with the stubborn fans.

Fortunately, they were wrong. Very, very wrong.

Instead, my hopes and prayers came true.

This team was somewhere between contender and another unsuccessful season. Then the late-July trades occurred and everything changed.

Something happened when Troy Tulowitzki and David Price became Blue Jays; stimuli that caused an incredible response. The Jays went from a good team to a dominate force. It was refreshing, memorable and simply fun to watch.

I can’t even describe the feeling. The city was excited. The country was electrified. For me, the confidence the Jays gave us was something that had been missing for years.

Down a few runs? No big deal. They would still win. Going to Yankee Stadium for a weekend series? They took charge without fear. Donaldson at the plate? Hope you were paying attention because something special was likely about to happen. Ditto for Joey Bats and Edwin.

Then there were the playoffs. I’m still recovering from the wild ride. Just a few days ago, Sportsnet aired a review of the season and included the seventh inning of game five. I knew what was going to happen; and yet, my heart was still racing.

Now the year is coming to an end. There’s a new President, a new General Manager and a few additions and subtractions. Certain fans – here come the chicken littles – have forgotten about the success that occurred in 2015. Some have even acted like 2016 will be a disaster, despite the fact that a single pitch hasn’t even been thrown.

Of course, it pisses me off; but there’ll always be those who are patient and calm and those who jump to conclusions. I won’t let the negativity ruin the incredible run the Jays went on.

I got to watch my favourite team end a 22-year drought and engage in playoff baseball; and I got to watch it live for the very first time.

There’s no way to know what will happen next season and I’m fine with that. Bring on 2016!

ER

image

Epic moments at the ballpark.

Retro Blue Jays – Dan Shulman In The Booth

Posted November 24, 2015 by The Hek
Categories: Blue Jays, Retro

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted by CatchTheTaste, FlightSimFanatic and MLB.

Last week, Rogers announced that Dan Shulman will be joining the Blue Jays’ broadcast team for the next two seasons. It will be on a part-time basis as Shulman will continue his duties with ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. Nevertheless, there was a sense of nostalgia and excitement.

Shulman had a prominent on-air role during the early years of Sportsnet 590 (back when it was known as the FAN 1430). He was even the host of Prime Time Sports at one point.

Certain Jays fans will also remember Shulman as the team’s play-by-play voice from 1995-2001 on TSN. He worked alongside Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler.

In honour of Shulman’s return to the Jays’ broadcast booth, here are some clips from his TSN days. Starting off is a commercial he appeared in with Martinez, Roger Clemens and Benito Santiago. Next are seperate intros with Martinez and Tabler, followed by a play-by-play clip from a 2001 broadcast.

 

 

 

 

ER

An open apology letter to Marco Estrada

Posted November 10, 2015 by The Hek
Categories: Articles, Blue Jays

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dear Marco,

About a year ago, Milwaukee traded you to the Blue Jays, in exchange for Adam Lind. To be perfectly honest, I was less than thrilled.

It was nothing personal. It’s just that I was a big fan of Adam Lind.

Lind was one of the longest serving Blue Jays at the time. He spent the better part of nine seasons wearing a Jays uniform! Sure, he wasn’t always an offensive stud, but the dude could hit. We’re also the same age, which really means nothing; but to me, it means something.

And seriously, Adam had grown a badass goatee. He was also once rocking a badass Transformers toque. How can you not love the guy?!

When the trade went down, I wrote the following: “Marco Estrada’s numbers aren’t awful, but they’re not fabulous either. Either way, he’s not worth giving up Lind’s power. Sure, Lind couldn’t hit lefties, but I feel he offers more than what Estrada could contribute to the team. Of course, I could be wrong and Estrada becomes a beneficial reliever out of the bullpen. Time will tell.”

Time did tell and I was wrong.

In a season full of pleasant surprises, you were definitely one of them. You were given an opportunity and took full advantage of it, becoming a strong middle rotation starter. Permit me to remind you how you nearly no-hit the Orioles and Rays!

And let’s not forget when you started game three of the ALDS. Thanks to your efforts, there was a game four. Let’s also not forget your amazing efforts in game five of the ALCS!

So please accept this note as my apology to you. I’m sorry for doubting you. I’m sorry for not giving you a fair chance last year. I’m sorry for thinking Adam Lind was better suited for the Jays than you.

Not sure what your plans are for 2016, but if you choose to come back, it would be greatly appreciated.

Sending you warm regards,

ER

image

Short, Scribbled Thoughts on AA

Posted October 30, 2015 by The Hek
Categories: Articles, Blue Jays

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Now that everything has been fleshed out and digested…

My first memory of Alex occurs in the summer of 2009. It was – if memory serves – during a weekend series at Tropicana Field. Alan Ashby had taken a few days off, so Jerry Howarth invited AA to sit in on a couple of broadcasts. The young assistant GM (at the time) sounded confident and wasn’t shy behind the mic. Looking back, this was a primer for what was to come.

When this current chapter of Blue Jays history is written, the starting point – or ground zero – revolves around two individuals: Jose Bautista and Alex Anthopoulos.

AA had a talent for keeping things quiet. That’s what made most of his moves so Earth-shattering. They just popped out of nowhere, giving him that ninja persona as Mr. Wilner once described it. Nobody saw the trade with the Marlins coming; ditto for Josh Donaldson, Tulo and David Price (though I was praying for that trade for a year!). Nobody expected fan favourites like Brett Lawrie to get dealt either.

He wasn’t perfect and there are certainly moves that haven’t/didn’t/aren’t working out as well as we hoped. But in the end, he successfully put together a team that produced a playoff appearance for the first time in over two decades. The 2015 AL East banner will fly from the rafters and AA played a role in making that happen. That’s what makes his departure so shocking.

Based on the information I’ve gathered and heard what was said (and not said), there came a point in the last few weeks when AA decided his ability to do his job became compromised. It’s a sad and upsetting end.

I’m not in the mood for pointing fingers or blaming people. Nevertheless, I’m disappointed with how things turned out yesterday. The timing is terrible and sends a bad message. Yes, a new President coming in tends to lead to changes; but the way things were conducted stings.

So now Mark Shapiro has the task of fixing this little PR mess. People are unhappy right now. Not the best way to start a tenure; though we don’t know what exactly happened and will likely never know.

Of course, if the Jays continue to succeed on the field, all of this becomes a moot point.

ER

image

Playoff Edition 4 (aka Episode 61, aka Season Finale)

Posted October 27, 2015 by The Hek
Categories: Blue Jays

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Despite losing the ALCS to Kansas City, the Blue Jays had one hell of a season!

Joanna Cornish of Humandchuck.com joins DNJT to take one last look at the 2015 team.

Episode 61 Direct MP3 Download

RSS Feed

image

Hats off to the Jays and their fans!


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 31 other followers

%d bloggers like this: