Posted tagged ‘2017’

Jays Journaling (Could I could get sued for that title?)

March 23, 2020

I miss baseball.

I miss it so much.

COVID-19 can go fuck itself.

One of the worst things about the Coronavirus is that the items we use for escape have been shutdown. It’s messed up, but we have to move forward. We have no choice.

Anyway, I’ve got a few things swimming around my head. Some of it was written before the shit hit the fan. So please bear with the mish, the mash and the combined mish-mash.

***

So this is baseball amidst a global pandemic.

It was inevitable once the NBA suspended play. I patiently waited for the other sports to follow. Now we are stuck in a hideous holding pattern.

It’s terrible, but it is the right course of action. It would’ve been incredibly selfish and foolish if MLB chose to defy the other leagues and proceeded accordingly.

Not worried about how the schedule will be restructured. That will work itself out. Maybe we’ll experience a World Series in December (not likely).

I am thinking about the part-staff that work at the games: Ushers, security, food and beverage, hype crews, ticket takers, box office staff, etc. Very pleased to see the Jays working with the MLSE clubs to create a fund for those affected. Don’t forget about those working in restaurants and bars around Skydome. And don’t forget about your hot dog vendors either. When this storm clears, I hope prosperity can return.

***

You might’ve heard that Jose Bautista was supposed to be playing for the Dominican Republic at an upcoming Olympic qualifying tournament. From all accounts, he would’ve been at first base. However, it appeared he was also trying to reinvent himself as a two-way player.

That’s right! Joey Bats is/was attempting to become a pitcher and I think that’s BRILLIANT!

I’m sure many scoffed and rolled their eyes at the notion. But to paraphrase Talk Talk, “It’s his life. Don’t you forget.”

So what if he’s turning 40 this fall? So what if the analytics aren’t in his favour? So what if evolution caught up to him on the offensive side?

If Joey Bats wants to pitch, I’m all for it. If he still has that passion, a desire to compete and his body can handle it, then who are we to say no?

It’s silly to expect him to be a Max Scherzer or Mariano Rivera. But I certainly hope he finds success with this endeavour; whether that’s in the majors, indy ball or any league outside of North America.

Besides, transitioning to a pitcher gave Anthony Gose another shot.

***

Could we dial back on the Reese McGuire parking lot jokes?

It’s getting ridiculous.

The kid did something very stupid and (hopefully) feels awful about it.

If there’s one thing our society excels at it’s kicking someone when they’re down. I’m as guilty of it as you are.

I’m not saying we should ignore what allegedly happened, but it would be better to simply acknowledge the situation and let the legal process run its course. There could be a mental health or addiction issue at play.

I realize this request will be in vain, but I figured I’d make it anyway.

***

The cheating scandal involving the Houston Astros is detrimental. Personally, I would’ve stripped them of the 2017 World Series title. Alas, the Commissioner did not feel that was necessary.

What occurred at Minute Maid Park was horrible. However, in a twisted kind of way, it was also a good thing.

A story is more intriguing when there’s a villain.

And the Astros are THE villains of the season. Wherever they go, there will be hype and interest. Such excitement will lead to increased ticket sales and more eyeballs watching the TV.

Remember when A.J. Burnett returned as a New York Yankee in 2009 and faced Roy Halladay? Skydome was nearly packed and the atmosphere appeared to be electric.

All because Burnett was a villain who left the Jays to play for the evil empire.

Why else are we – as Jays fans – obsessed with the Yankees and Red Sox? It’s because they’re villains and we want to witness them fail.

Now Houston’s been added to that mix.

It would not surprise if the Jays’ home series against the Astros – whenever it happens – will be one of the most attended. It’s the best chance for fans to jeer the villains.

And just imagine if Houston embraces the villain-role. Just imagine if they reach the World Series. The ratings and ticket sales will take off like a rocket.

Ca-ching 💰💰💰

***

Officially rooting for Patrick Murphy.

I hope you read Arden Zwelling’s article about the young hurler. The poor kid has had an injury setback and a metaphoric breaking ball thrown at him.

Love to see Murphy overcome all these obstacles and find success at the big league level.

Alejandro Kirk has also piqued my interest. Of course, it’s likely we won’t see him at Skydome any time soon.

Nevertheless, he was gaining a lot of traction and attention. Then again, I am a sucker for unique characters.

***

Please be patient with Nate Pearson. The worst thing we can do is set over-the-top expectations.

I’m begging you.

ER

Seriously, I really want Aaron Sanchez to get his groove back

February 25, 2019

Honestly, I’m not dreading the upcoming regular season. Yes, the Jays are likely going to be akin to the 2011/2012/2013 Houston Astros. It’s going to be ugly, save for Vladdy’s debut. But I’m okay with that. With a pair of rose-coloured glasses, I intend to treat 2019 as a season of development and teachable moments.

In fact, the only amount of worry I have is for Aaron Sanchez. Seriously, I really want Aaron Sanchez to get his groove back.

Do you recall Spring Training 2016? Sanchez showed up with 25 pounds of added muscle and a very confident disposition. The kid wanted to be a starter and was determined to make it happen. Don’t know what it was about his work effect, but my gut was telling me we were in store for something special.

Not only did Sanchez deliver, but he captained a starting rotation that carried the entire team to another exciting playoff run.

Sanchez was an artist out on the mound. You’d fall to your knees and weep at how he dominated the competition. No inning limit – though a compelling storyline – was going to stop him. He got the Jays into the postseason and picked up an ERA title along the way. Aaron Sanchez was an elite starter.

And then….he was robbed at gunpoint by a blister and a suitcase. We were robbed too.

2017 and 2018 were rough years for Sanchez. Having him on the sidelines was my biggest frustration two seasons ago and the one of the biggest reasons why they finished with 76 wins.

Imagine if Sanchez was fully healthy in 2017. Maybe they would’ve had at least 10 more wins. Maybe they would’ve competed for a wild card spot. Maybe things would be different.

Alas, dust in the wind.

So here is Aaron Sanchez caught in a baseball version of purgatory. It seems like there’s a chasm between what he was in 2016 and where he is now. I’m just hoping he can close that gap.

A recent Shi Davidi article on Sportsnet.ca highlighted his strategy. He’s studying film and correcting bad habits caused by last year’s finger injury. It reminds me of that same determination from 2016.

If he can regain his form, his path will be clearer. Of course, that path can lead one of two ways: Either he’ll be an integral part of the rebuild or he’ll be traded for younger talent. I’m actually conflicted with what I’d prefer. But I know this: A healthy and optimum performing Aaron Sanchez will make things less murky. The less murkier, the more he can move forward.

I don’t want him to be a one hit wonder. I don’t want him to be lost in obscurity. The Jays can lose games and be the joke of the league. That won’t bother me. What will be upsetting is if Sanchez’s once-promising career fades away.

It can’t happen. Just like Ricky Romero, it would be tragically unfair.

ER

MVP at the WBC

March 26, 2017

It mattered the most
so Stroman answered the call
with flare and style

ER

And now, my obligatory prediction/guess for the 2017 World Baseball Classic final between the United States of America and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

March 22, 2017

It shall be a day of GLORIOUS triumph for the American squad. 

ER
🇺🇸🇵🇷

WBC predictions (which are really just guesses) and five things I’ve loved about this year’s tournament

March 20, 2017

So I’m thinking…

Puerto Rico over Netherlands
USA over Japan

I’m likely wrong about the American/Japanese match. But it is a one-game playoff where anything can happen. Sounds enticing to me. 

And now, five things:

  1. The passion of the Latin American players. Modesty be damned.
  2. Team Israel​’s exciting run. Did not see that one coming!
  3. Jose Bautista’s throw from LF in the DR/Colombia match and the crazy aftermath. Not the first time Joey Bats sent a stadium full of people into bedlam. The only thing missing was commentary from Jim Ross.
  4. Eric Gagne’s 2.1 scoreless innings. The only good thing that came out of Canada’s “performance.”
  5. Adam Jones’ catch and Giancarlo Stanton’s homer. Mercy!

Also giving an honourable mention to Marcus Stroman for his outstanding outing in the first DR/USA match. 

Enjoy the semifinals!

ER


Obligatory post about the 2017 World Baseball Classic

March 5, 2017

I quite enjoy the World Baseball Classic. I’ve never been a fan of when the tournament occurs; but to be fair, there really isn’t a perfect time to run it.

There are a few random moments that stick in my mind from the previous WBC tourneys.

2006: Watching Canada on their way to upsetting the USA from Carleton University’s Res Commons cafeteria.

2009: Canada and the USA, this time at Skydome. I was sitting on a stationary bike, in the middle of my cardio (yeah, I work out) as Russell Martin crushes a homerun.

2013: Canada and Mexico drop the gloves. Also…After the Dominican Republic captured the 2013 title, the runners up – Puerto Rico – embraced and shook hands with the victors. Forgive the cheesiness, but it was a beautiful sight. And if memory serves, Mike Aviles initiated the moment.

This year, I’m supporting two countries: Canada and Israel. Subjectively, I hope both nations go far. Objectively, moving on to the second round will be a monumental task for both squads. I’m also excited about the Dominican Republic and the States.

The Canadians are an eclectic bunch. There’s Freddie Freeman and his deep personal connection with our country. There’s Eric Gagne and Ryan Dempster, who couldn’t ignore the thrill of national pride and competition. Dalton Pompey has been presented with a great opportunity and it’ll be great to see Scott Richmond again.

A part of me is also worried about the well-being of the players. What if [insert Blue Jay participating in the WBC] gets hurt? Fortunately, I can take solace knowing every fan for every MLB team likely has the same fear…..right?

ER

Commissioner! Commissioner! I know a great way to speed up the game! 

February 26, 2017

Here’s what you do:

Rather than watching a game live, record it on your PVR. The next day, watch the recording and press the fast forward button.

Presto!

Nine innings or more in one hour or less.

Thank me later.

ER 😉


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