Posted tagged ‘Happ’

And now, a smorgasbord of thoughts and feelings as it relates to the 2018 Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Club

October 1, 2018

Give yourself a pat on the back. You got through a tough season.

  • Actually, I’m not upset about what happened this season. I went in with low expections and got what I expected: a team in transition; positive evolution and negative evolution, but evolution nonetheless.
  • Those first three weeks in April though; that was exciting and fun.
  • Love Gibby, but it was time to move on. His dismissal was unsurprising. Gibby took the Jays as far as he could. But the team is now moving in a different direction and the front office understandably wants someone new to lead said direction.
  • Couldn’t tell you who the new manager will be. I do know this: Some fans will love the new hire, some fans will hate the new hire and some fans will absolutely despise the new hire because anything orchestrated by Mark Shaprio and Russ Atikins will automatically ruin EVERYTHING! Oh, the spicy hot takes. 😉
  • I’m worried about Aaron Sanchez. Injuries have robbed him and us of two seasons. Right now, there’s a large chasm between 2016 Sanchez and 2018 Sanchez. I’m praying he closes that gap in 2019. He’s too good to be plagued with injuries.
  • Teoscar is a curious case. He was exposed defensively, but the kid has a pretty good bat. Here’s hoping he works on his defence during the off-season.
  • I was wrong about Randall Grichuk.
  • Loved what I saw from Rowdy Tellez. However, a small voice in my head is telling me not to get too excited about production from a September call-up. I hope that voice is wrong.
  • It feels like ions since Gift Ngoepe was part of the opening day roster.
  • My favourite moments from the season: 1) The incredible ninth inning comeback against Tampa Bay in September. 2) James Paxton’s no-hitter, despite that happening against the Jays.
  • One other moment that remains prevleant in my mind: Curtis Granderson’s walk-off homerun against Boston in April. This occurred days after the horrific van attack in North York. While Grandy’s blast certainly didn’t cure everything, it allowed us a short reprieve as we grieved.
  • I’m fascinated with the middle infield situation. Many candidates, but only a few spots. It will be one of the top storylines during spring training.
  • Time for some awards! Best hitter: Justin Smoak; Best starter: J.A. Happ; Best reliever: A tie between Seunghwan Oh and Ken Gilles.

Postseason is upon us. Cleveland gets my endorsement only because of the overabundance of former Blue Jays on their roster. Enjoy October baseball!

ER

Short, scribbled thoughts about J.A. Happ

July 17, 2018

I’m thrilled Mr. Happ is representing the Blue Jays at the All-Star Game. In a season that’s been on a steep decline since late April, there have been very few positive story arcs. J.A. Happ is one of those arcs.

As he prepares to stand with the game’s best at Nationals Park, I’ve been reminiscing about his two tenures with the Jays.

I’ve been thinking about the attempt to put him in the bullpen when he first arrived in 2012. Happ put his foot down and argued he was a starter. Ultimately, he was not wrong.

I’ve been thinking about that scary night at Tropicana Field when a line drive struck the side of his head. He recovered, thank goodness.

I’ve been thinking about how some freaked out when he came back to the team as a free agent. Getting Happ instead of resigning David Price was an outrage to certain fans.

I’ve been thinking about Happ’s 20 wins in 2016. Yes, that stat is no longer a sexy accomplishment. However, that 2016 team would not have succeeded without the triple threat of Happ, Aaron Sanchez and Marco Estrada.

I’ve been thinking about milk in a bag. 😁😁😁

The first chapter was noteworthy and the second one – quite successful – will likely conclude before the end of the month. There might even be a third chapter.

Regardless, I sincerely hope he makes a positive contribution wherever he winds up. Fingers are crossed for a World Series ring.

ER

Short, scribbled thoughts about the fugly start to the regular season

April 17, 2017

Wish I could tell you it will get better. But the truth is I can’t. There are few guarantees in baseball, so I can only hope for the best and be positive.

The Blue Jays will either figure it out or they won’t.

You can push as many panic buttons as possible. You can demand they fire Gibby. You can beg for Rowdy Tellez to be called up. You can curse Mark Shapiro and Russ Atkins for all entirety. You can refuse to purchase tickets. Just understand one thing: We have no control over the fate of the team. Like it or not, we have to let the process work itself out and show some – here’s a word you might not like – patience.

Gregg Zaun sometimes criticizes certain fans for wanting instant gratification. It’s a theory I subscribe to as well. We live in a society that values anything quick and aggressive, while discarding items that are slow and can’t instantly capture attention. Baseball clashes with this kind of society; in the game itself and with the length of the season. The adage of the regular season being a marathon and not a sprint certainly applies to the Jays’ situation.

The consensus couldn’t be clearer: There’s nothing fun about how this season has gone so far, especially after Sunday’s 11-4 dumpster fire loss to Baltimore. Greater concern is Aaron Sanchez’s blister problem and J.A. Happ’s elbow; issues that are incredibly alarming. Can’t forget the nightmarish offensive production either. So as much as it sucks – and it really does suck – there is nothing we can do, but to simply let things breathe. It might be painful, but it’s the right course of action.

If that won’t work for you, consider this: If the worst thing in your life is a 2-10 baseball team, then you have a pretty good life.

ER


Episode 78 [Season Finale]: Highs, Lows and a Postseason Appearance

October 23, 2016

This year marked the 40th anniversary season of Blue Jays baseball, which turned out to be more than just a historic milestone.

Brendan Panikkar of BaseballHotCorner.com looks back at the 2016 Jays and what the off-season could entail.

Episode 78 Direct MP3 Download

…or…

***Thanks for listening to the fifth season of DNJT! Enjoy the World Series and the off-season.***

Episode 75: Just a few games left

September 29, 2016

It has been an emotional week for those who play, cover and follow baseball.

The sudden and tragic death of Jose Fernandez was a harsh reminder that there are more important things than chasing a playoff spot.

Brendan Panikkar of BaseballHotCorner.com discusses the legacy of the late Miami Marlins pitcher, as well as the Blue Jays’ march towards the postseason.

Episode 75 Direct MP3 Download

…or…

Short, scribbled thoughts on 20 wins

September 25, 2016

Jack Morris, Pat Hentgen, Roger Clemens, David Wells, Roy Halladay, J.A. Happ.

Six starters who reached the 20-win mark while wearing a Blue Jays uniform. Six starters over 40 seasons. Some won 20+ games more than once; three capturing Cy Young awards for their efforts. 

Oddly enough, I have no recollection of David Wells winning 20 games in 2000. I remember him having a great first half. I remember him starting for the American League at the All-Star game. Yet I don’t remember him actually winning 20 games. I vividly remember the other five reaching that mark, but not Boomer for some reason. 

And sure, pitching wins aren’t in vogue as they use to be. Still, 20 wins are an accomplishment not to be ignored. It says something about how effective the starter and his teammates are; maybe not as thorough as other traditional stats and sabermetrics, but it still gets the message across. 

So congrats to Mr. Happ! Not bad for a guy fans weren’t too thrilled about just a few months ago 😉

[Full disclosure: I liked the signing, but wasn’t crazy about the contract and its monetary value.]

ER

Episode 72: Crunch Time

August 18, 2016

August has been a busy month for the Blue Jays.

April Whitzman shares her thoughts on several topics surrounding the team.

Episode 72 Direct MP3 Download

…or…

Getting ready for the final….stretch.

Episode 70: Bagged Milk and Contract Extensions

July 21, 2016

J.A. Happ opens up, Justin Smoak’s new contract has fans scratching their heads and the rotation has much to debate about.

Ian Hunter – aka The Blue Jay Hunter – stops by to discuss these things and more.

Episode 70 Direct MP3 Download

…or…

Re. Melky, Happ & Saunders

December 4, 2014

Can’t say I’m surprised the Blue Jays are no longer competing for Melky Cabrera’s services. AA never seemed optimistic about bringing him back.

After a PED suspension in 2012 and surgery to remove a tumour from his spine in 2013, Melky had a banner year and proved he was still a valuable asset. He lined himself up for a big pay day and the Jays just couldn’t come up with an agreeable figure.

As for the trade, I have mixed feelings.

During the 2013 World Baseball Classic, I remember a commentator predicting a big season for Michael Saunders. It didn’t happen and he hasn’t reached his potential yet. Mike Wilner suggested that’s due to playing in not-so hitter-friendly Safeco Field.

Saunders’ career numbers are far from spectacular and he’s had trouble staying healthy. Perhaps a change of scenery and playing in hitter-friendly Skydome will turn things around for him.

J.A. Happ was a serviceable fifth starter. I don’t mind that the Jays sent him to Seattle. However, this trade was addition by subtraction. AA added a leftfielder by subtracting from the rotation.

Yes, Aaron Sanchez or Daniel Norris could fill Happ’s spot; but a starting rotation featuring three pitchers (Stro, Hutch and Sanchez/Norris) who haven’t pitched more than three big league seasons each is unsettling.

Then again, you don’t need experience to be talented. And of course, AA is likely not finished.

ER

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Bright days ahead?

Re. Everything That Happened This Weekend

November 2, 2014

And now, some random musings about all the roster announcements made this past weekend.

Where to begin….where to begin?

1) Re. Jeff Francis and Andy Dirks: Small gambles by AA, with the hopes they turn out to be so-called “diamonds in the rough.” I’m placing them in the same file with Justin Smoak – nothing to get excited about or expect much.

2) Re. Sergio Santos: Big disappointment. The writing was on the wall after he was demoted late in the season.

3) Re. Brandon Morrow: Bigger disappointment. Actually, it’s a sad ending to a story that looked so promising. Morrow was terrific….when he was healthy. He just hasn’t been the same since he injured his oblique in 2012. It was like everything went downhill from that point on.

4) Re. Dustin McGowan: An inspiring journey, but the journey has come to an end.

5) Re. J.A. Happ: Shi Davidi recently reported there’s been interest in Happ from other teams. By picking up the option, the Jays allow themselves to get something in return for him.

6) Re. Josh Thole: If he’s staying, then it’s likely R.A. Dickey won’t be traded; or, they are considering trading RAD and want to keep Thole – the knuckleballer’s personal catcher, for now – in the mix.

7) Re. The Adam Lind trade: I’m really going to miss Mr. Lind. 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.

ER

My Instagram tribute to Adam Lind. What I lack in talent, I make up for in enthusiasm.

My Instagram tribute to Adam Lind. What I lack in talent, I make up for in enthusiasm.


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