Monday, 7 April 2008

The Roundup

Those of you who watched the Tigers-Chisox on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball yesterday almost certainly had your ears perk up when Jon Miller and Joe Morgan started heaping praise on the Jays' starting staff.

Miller: They've got Halladay, Burnett [trails off, awkward pause]... McGowan [noted with a trace of excitment, not for the player, mind, but for the fact that his name was remembered.]

Morgan: [15 second pause, during which time he's probably been handed a note from his producer] and Marcum...

No mention of Jesse Litsch? Ok, true, these guys are senile old relics with golden voices and wrong-headed opinions, but one has to take some satisfaction at the continent-wide shoutout they threw our way.

Most people would feel pretty satisfied by a 3-game home sweep of the defending World Series Champs regardless of the circumstances, but Blair has a million reasons why you shouldn't. If you want your parade pissed on, go ahead and read his commentary this morning. Blame it all on Japan, or a season-starting road-trip, or something. How tired was David Ortiz (1 for 11 with no extra-base hits in T.O.) from all those physically taxing innings logged in the field? How about Sean Casey, whose game-transforming error allowed the Jays to blow Saturday's matchup wide open? He must've been tired, too, even though it was his first start of the season.

Gordon Ramsay would have a field day with all of this lame excuse-making.

Here's what Hill had to say to the Boston media:

Second baseman Aaron Hill felt the Jays may have caught the Red Sox at the right time.

"They looked tired," Hill said. "Their players were telling me they've been on the road for 20 days and all those countries. They looked tired. But even though they're tired, we still had to go out there and try to beat them and take advantage of it. It was a good way to start the homestand."

That's right. Keeping your boot on the enemy's throat shows a sense of urgency. Every game counts, every W is vital. The club certainly could have taken 2 of 3, starting the year 3-3 after a half dozen games against the Bosox and Yankees and everyone would've been content. But they didn't let up yesterday as one probably would've expected them to last year. There's some profound significance to that, folks.

While the New York papers (aside from the venerable Times) perpetuate ignorance and tribalism, Bostonians are usually treated to relatively balanced and insightful articles from their local hacks. Like this one, praising Roy Halladay, even though he was a bit off yesterday. (Oh: and a cookie for anyone who can tell me why he was left in for the eighth with a semi-comfortable lead in the first week of April.)

("A Wang-derful Day in Bronx", screams today's New York Post. Ummmm...)

Also from Beantown, Nick Cafardo of the Globe ponders the implications of the Jays' pitching, which outlanders are just now starting to recognize. And why do I note this piece? Because it's written by someone smart enough to realize that no one club is birthrighted any rank in the standings and there is an element of unpredictability to this game. That is too much to ask from a greasy New Yorker apparently.

Today's trivia question: will Buck Coats finish the year with more Games Played than At Bats?

Some notes of an encouraging nature from the Post:

* Rolen's rehab is going swimmingly
* The Beej is on form and ready to rejoin the club next week
* Armando Benitez--yep, that guy--is lookin' good enough to join the big club

The last two points raise the question of whether we have a surplus bullpen arm to trade. There are a couple of hitches, though. Most clubs are healthy now and don't have as great of a need as they will in July, which is problematic seeing as Benitez will likely not agree to slosh around in minor league system after May 1. Unless there are some crazy visa issues, perhaps. The other sticky wicket is that the teams that are most screaming for bully help are semi-legit to legit AL rivals like Tampa Bay and Detroit. I'm going to wildly speculate that while there may be an opportunity in here, it will be passed on because of the risk involved.

Wilner notes, amongst other things, that his Wednesday chats with JP could resume again this week. Or next.

No game tonight, of course. Here are the pitching match-ups for the upcoming Oakland series.

-- Johnny Was

1 comment:

Jay K. said...

Impeach Joe Morgan!