Posted tagged ‘pitching’

Spring Training Haikus! A February tradition (at least in my head) since 2016

February 14, 2018

This could be the last
spring training for Donaldson
in fair Dunedin

The middle infield
is giving me great concern
due to its poor health

Pray for the finger
on Aaron Sanchez to be
blister free and safe

Joe Biagini
Should remain in the bullpen
where he’s suitable

Fifth starter auditions
shall take place in Dunedin.
Where’s Brett Anderson?

ER

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Roy Halladay: The Professional’s Professional

November 13, 2017

A wife lost her husband, two boys lost their father and we all lost an incredible role model and pitcher.

Obviously, this is a difficult article to write. Like you, I am still numb and devastated. Forget for a moment that he was a major league pitcher. We are grieving for a man who was only 40 years old; taken away so suddenly and horrifically. Painfully, we are reminded that life is not fair.

Roy Halladay was a Toronto Blue Jay. During a period of futility, he was one of the few bright spots. The Jays struggled in the standings, attendance fell and they had become an afterthought to some. It was a tough time, but at least we had Roy Halladay.

A lot of wonderful articles have been written about Doc’s impact. For me, I am reminded of an interview former U.S. President George W. Bush gave to Politico.com in 2008.

Bush – the one-time owner of the Texas Rangers – was asked about putting together a team if he were to hypothetically return to the sport and every player was available. The President’s number one choice for a pitcher: Roy Halladay.

The most powerful person on the planet (at the time) and the leader of the free world wanted our guy to be his ace hurler. That said something.

Halladay was a professional’s professional, with an inspiring rise to greatness. He started his big league career with a bang, fell apart and was sent down to A-ball. But he overcame the glaring setback with a hard work ethic and a flawless mentality.

As someone who chronically overthinks, I am envious of that “next pitch” mindset. The ability to block out the past, ignore any worry about the future and just focus on the moment at hand is hard to achieve. Roy Halladay achieved it and that’s why he was one of the best and will one day (hopefully) have a plaque in Cooperstown.

We must take as much time as we need to grieve. One day, the sadness we are all feeling right now will be replaced with happy memories. Until then, I join those on social media and call on the Blue Jays to retire Doc’s uniform number and add his name to the Level of Excellence.

More importantly, let’s remember that he was a son, a husband, a father, a teammate and a fan favourite. From all accounts, he was also an incredible human being. It was an honour to watch him apply his craft every five days.

May his memory be a blessing.

ER

Can we PLEASE stop dissecting Roberto Osuna’s struggles?

September 7, 2017

Trying to figure out why Roberto Osuna has struggled carries no benefit whatsoever. 

Barring a biblical comeback, the Blue Jays are not making the playoffs. Therefore, everything from now until the end of the regular season is a moot point. So why bother making a big deal about the blown saves? 

I am not an expert, nor do I have access to the clubhouse. Maybe he’s tired and that would be completely understandable. He’s done more the past three seasons then some players have done in an entire career. He warrants a chance to figure things out and clearly deserves a break once the season finishes. Don’t forget that the Jays have played an additional month in back-to-back seasons. That’s a lot of extra baseball. 

That doesn’t necessarily mean to ignore the issue. But to worry about it now when everything is fait accompli is pointless. If the struggles continue into the 2018 season, than we can start having discussions. 

So until then, kindly cool it. You’re only wasting oxygen. Shit happens and we all go through slumps. 

Seriously, just leave the poor guy alone.

ER

A short note about Roberto Osuna

June 27, 2017

It was a tough weekend, n’est-ce pas?

When I found out Roberto Osuna was dealing with anxiety, it was like getting hit by a sack of bricks. Afterall, he’s only 22-years-old.

I enthusiastically applaud Osuna for speaking out. That took an incredible amount of strength and could not have been an easy decision to make. 

It was great to see him pitch the final frame of Sunday’s victory; and like you, I wish him only the very best. His health is far more important than wins/losses and whether he’s available out of the bullpen or not.

ER


The Awful Performance

June 8, 2017

The cruelest expressions in baseball
involve only three words:
Cut him loose
Low levage situations
Designated for assignment

Horrors of an awful performance
swim freely in the mind
Poisoning your confidence
Drowning the best moments
of a long career
to a point where you even wonder if they actually happened

Personal venom that doesn’t even leave room
for columnists who declare your time is up
and fans with the uncanny ability of kicking you when you’re already hurt

It’s already out there;
so why bother searching for it?

Reporters want to showcase your pain because it will make their jobs eaiser
Your pain writes itself, they think to themselves
They have the headline all set:
40-year-old washed up reliever embarresses himself

But today
you are not opening that window for them
Today
you choose to disconnect from the present
Today
your pain shall remain internal

Players continue to mingle
while post-game meals are consumed
To you, it is just meaningless noise
The body might be in the clubhouse
but the soul is not there

Somewhere
amongst the drakness and silence
is the reason why you still put on a uniform

It still exists

Somewhere

Understanding the Blue Jays’ poor April performance with a little helping of fake news and alternative facts

May 1, 2017

Things ended nicely with two wins and a series victory over Tampa Bay. However, nothing can eclipse the ugly performance the Blue Jays gave in April. So pardon me as I take a page out of the Trump administration’s playbook:

The offence did not struggle. They simply conserved thier power and talent, allowing the confidence of the opposing pitchers to remain intact. 

The bullpen did not have moments of implosion. They simply wanted to remind the world about the importance of being charitable. That deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. 

Yes, several players are currently on the DL. But this allows the Jays’ training staff to find groundbreaking ways of aiding the recovery process. 

Of course, here’s what really happened: 

Here’s hoping for a better result in May. 

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



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