Posted tagged ‘smoak’

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

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Take a moment, say your goodbyes

September 24, 2018

Ever watch The Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor In Paradise?

When a contestant is “sent home,” Chris Harrison – the long-time host of the popular reality series – delivers a subtle command:

“Take a moment, say your goodbyes.”

As the Blue Jays prepare for the final week of a tumultuous regular season, perhaps it would be wise for all of us to take a moment and say our goodbyes.

The rebuild is well underway and there’s a strong chance that some familiar faces will not return next year.

By all accounts, John Gibbons will be formally relieved of his duties. Safe to assume the coaching staff will also be dismissed or reassigned.

And it won’t stop there.

Kevin Pillar could be playing for a different team next season. Same could be said about Marcus Stroman, Yangervis Solarte and Justin Smoak. Maybe some team would be willing to take a flyer on Kendrys Morales or Russell Martin and work something out with the Jays’ front office in regards to those contracts. I like Marco Estrada, but I would be surprised if he’s back next season.

That doesn’t mean such departures will actually occur. But with all the minor league talent that debuted this season, along with the talent we’ll see in 2019 (*cough* Vladdy Jr. *cough*), there isn’t enough space for everyone. Otherwise, the team won’t evolve.

It’s impossible to predict exactly who will stay and who will go. But one could certainly expect fewer pieces remaining from the teams of 2015-16 next year.

So if you’re heading to Skydome, Tropicana Field, the Boston Pizza at Front and John (where a lot of fans hang out, apparently) or watching/listening/following the final matches, take a moment and say your goodbyes.

It’s been one hell of a ride, but it’s now time to rebuild for (hopefully) something greater.

ER

The 19-Inning Baseball Game

December 3, 2017

Six hours,
thirteen minutes,
nineteen innings.
Congratulations, baseball.
You broke me.

Patriotism was shining proudly
for the nation’s one hundred and forty-ninth birthday.
Red adorned the playing area, the uniforms and Buck Martinez’s blazer.

The umpire
was an enemy of the nation.
Casting out our very best,
as if he was the almighty lord
and the Blue Jays were Adam and Eve.

The match yielded just three runs,
including a Justin Smoak homerun,
which seemed to embrace suspended animation as it hung in the stale, closed-roof air.
It took will power and encouragement just for the ball to scrape over the leftfield wall.

Marching on
hour after hour, inning after inning.
Some have chosen to leave.

Evening plans be damned!
This is an experience you want to experience.
This might be your only chance to participate in a 14th inning stretch.

Hunger and exhaustion creep around you loudly;
and you wonder if Ryan Goins is actually warming up in the bullpen
or if it is just a hallucination.

It wasn’t.

The infielder threw a scoreless inning and landed on the disabled list for his efforts.
Darwin Barney was not as lucky,
surrendering the winning homerun.

19 innings.
Two runs for the opponents.
One solitary run for the home side.
And I was angry.

Angry at the result.
Angry at the ego-driven umpire.
Angry at the team.

I battled hunger and exhaustion for the shitty prize of a
disappointing defeat.

Pardon me
as I leave engrossed
in a bitter mood.

ER

Obligatory Opening Day Post

April 3, 2017

Doesn’t it feel like eons since Tulo fouled out to end the ALCS? 

Opening Day is a nice combination of excitement and uncertainty. All the teams are at the same starting point; and despite all the number crunching and prognosticating, nothing is 100% guaranteed. 

As the Blue Jays begin thier 41st season in Baltimore this afternoon, here are some friendly reminders. Most of them will be ignored, but – what the hell – I feel like wearing rose coloured glasses today. 

  • The regular season is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • The regular season is full of peaks and valleys.
  • “Panic buttons” are useless; so is jumping to conclusions.
  • Ryan Goins is the 25th player on the 25-man roster.
  • Justin Smaok deserves a fair shot. He’s not trying to go 0-for-4 on purpose. In other words, let things breathe. 
  • Everyone is entitled to an opinion, regardless of whether you agree or not.
  • Constructive criticism is far greater than villianization. 
  • Trolls just want to get a rise out of you; and I don’t mean #LetsRise 😉
  • Most importantly, savour every pitch, every at-bat and every moment. Sometimes, we fixate so much on stats/standings and miss the beauty of sitting inside Skydome on a goregous Friday night in July.

Enjoy today’s game and the remaining 161.

ER

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. 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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