Monday, 14 April 2008

The Roundup

If you'd like a terrifying mental image courtesy of Jeff Passan over at Yahoo, read on:

CHICAGO – In his hotel room only a night earlier, a sense of calm had enveloped Jim Leyland. Somehow, in this most embarrassing of times, he had managed to restrain his incendiary temper that, legend has it, once caused him to deliver a fierce tongue-lashing to his Colorado Rockies team in the buff, a cigarette with an inch-long ash dangling from his lips.

As tempting as it is to do a google image search for "angry naked old man with a moustache smoking a cigarette" to find a photo to accompany this morning's Roundup, I believe I shall pass on that, thank you very much.

Do you too get the feeling that once Leyland's woebegone Tigers actually start rolling they're going to lay out some of the most savage beatings in the history of the game? I reckon the Jays' four-game homestand with this lot at the end of the week will be their biggest test this month.

Last week I said I'd put a temporary moratorium on Orioles mocking as a hat tip to the club's decision to DFA half-goblin HGH user Jay Gibbons, so I must refrain from the turkey shoot that is pointing out Baltimore's many flaws as the Jays roll into town for a two-game set. Do go have a look at Camden Chat if you'd like some insight into how they've mysteriously ended up at 7-5 and in first place in the AL East.

On a positive note, why is everything coming up roses for the Jays?

* the tsunami ripple effect of the Beej's return (starters' confidence boosted knowing there's a lockdown closer at the end of the line, Accardo gets some lower leverage innings to work on his splitter, etc.)
* return to (mostly) good starting pitching after the blip against Oakland
* left-handed hitting Joe Inglett = platoon advantage at third
* League at least gets some innings in at AAA and should be tuned up when he gets called back to the bigs
* we're inching closer to Scott Rolen's return

Sadly, The Mockingbird is on hiatus until Thursday so we don't get the pitch f/x for Burnett's start yesterday. It looked like he was mixing in the curve much more frequently than in his last start against the A's, but it also looked like he couldn't throw it for strikes. Baby steps.

I really don't like disagreeing with Wilner, who's pretty much bang on about everything all the time, but really do think he's got blinders on when it came to his condemnation of the decision to have Hill bunt in the 7th yesterday. (There were runners on first and second with no outs and the team was down by a run).

Hill is a wonderful little ballplayer, an objective fact that we make note of quite frequently. He also has a career groundball percentage of just over 42 (that's damn high) and grounds into more double plays than pretty much any other regular in the lineup. A double play in the situation he was called upon to bunt in yesterday would’ve killed a rally while they were trailing by a run, an unpleasant scenario which must’ve been on Gibby’s mind. And while you can argue that Hill's been the hot hand so far this year, it must be taken into account has also been a crappy hitter at Rangers Ballpark (.256/.286/.308 in 42 PA).

In short, the manager was right to take the bat out of his hands.

"The Black Rod" Barajas (obscure parliamentary reference, sorry!), is day-to-day with a groin injury suffered running the bases yesterday. There's been some speculation that Curtis Thigpen would be called up today so he could sit on the bench as an emergency backup as Roddy convalesces, but I haven't seen word that any roster moves have been made.

Baseball-Reference.com just gets awesomer and more awesome by the day. If you haven't discovered it already, start checking out their gameday preview section.

ELSEWHERE:

* Is everyone outside of New York and Boston pretty much in agreement that the whole Bosox jersey thing at the new stadium is completly and utterly devoid of newsworthiness?

-- Johnny Was

5 comments:

Jay K. said...

So, I hope you left room because I haven't heard of Rolen planning to play tomorrow...

The Southpaw said...

Seriously dude, let this slide and I'll buy you a pint at Fox's.

/a said...

I firmly and sincerely believe that whole Sox jersey at the new park thing is a PR stunt cooked up by Yankees brass. The whole thing stinks of a pathetic attempt to plaster lore and mystique onto their new billion dollar pleasure palace. Fuck them. Fuck. Them.

Jay K. said...

Alright, deal. You'll be in vancity soon enough and will get to know what it feels like to get blazingly drunk at 4 in the afternoon while the jays are on.

The Southpaw said...

That jersey shit DID seem like a stunt now that you mention it. Why would the guy admit that he'd done it while the park was still under construction and it could be removed? Seriously... I second your sentiment of sticking a Ron Jeremy-sized boner right in Hank Steinbrenner's ear.

Jay: Selina is now at the point where she can watch 60% of a ballgame, which means there won't be any wifely interfence on Jays-watching while we're out in Vancouver. Sweet!

JW