Friday, 11 April 2008

The Roundup

The other day I libelously fabricated a list of 19 players from the 1998 Blue Jays who I believed to have been fellow steroid users with testicularly-challenged slugger turned club house rat Jose Canseco. And ironically, Will brought this post from Baseball Digest Daily to people's attention yesterday: reports this morning that former Toronto Blue Jays infielder Ed Sprague has admitted to using many performance-enhancing drugs in his playing days, before all this was illegal:

Ed Sprague, now in his fifth season as baseball coach at University of the Pacific, said he used amphetamines and Androstenedione and once hit a home run with a corked bat. When asked directly about steroids, Sprague said he couldn't condemn all steroid users in baseball because he used Andro, which was banned under the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004, and amphetamines, a form of speed known in baseball as "greenies."

"Well, amphetamines are illegal now, too, and I took those, so am I going to stand on one side and not the other side?" Sprague said. "I took Andro, and they banned that. So, am I the cleanest guy? No, but I tried to be as strong and as healthy as I could as long as I could for my career."

That's right, Sprague. I was on to you, you fuck. You sir, were not fit to hold Kelly Gruber's jock strap.

Zwolinski at the Star does some alternative history referring to Sprague as a "Glory Jay" and "hero", when in fact he was actually quite a shitty hitter (a career 90 OPS+ doesn't lie) until he started 'roiding it up and hit 36 home runs in 1996. Yes, fine, he did hit a timely home run in the 1992 World Series, but I think it's a stretch to consider him a popular player.

Bring up Sprague's name to any 30+ Canadian and the first thing you'll hear is "Hey, isn't he that guy who was married to that American synchronized swimmer who fradulently won a gold medal in the 1992 Olypmics when one of the judges accidentally entered the wrong score into his voting machine and couldn't fix it, robbing her Canadian rival of the gold medal she deserved? And didn't Cindy Sprague refuse to do the right thing and swap medals when she heard what had happened after the competition?" That's exactly what they'd say, word for word.

And watch for my next list, which will reveal every member on the 1984 Jays who had communist sympathies. Sneak peek: they all had brown skin and surnames that ended in "Z" or "O".

Since I'm throwing out wild accusations Jose Canseco-style, would you be interested in knowing how I know that Richard Griffin got really baked yesterday? Glad you asked. It's because he wrote this piece praising the Jays organization for turning its image around and making TO a desirable place to play. Or maybe he just had Cathal Kelly ghost write one for him, we shall never know.

I don't really want to say anything about last night's game (WTF? We don't pound lefties anymore? I'm so calling Wilner and demanding we get Reed Johnson back!). Actually, AM 980 cut away from JaysTalk before it got started to pick up a random west coast hockey playoff game, so I really have no idea what the toothless morons of Jays fandom had to complain about last night or how Wilner pilloried every one of their idiotic little statements. It's probably for the best, though, because there was little good beyond Shaun Marcum.

(Wilner blogs that the Jays have a bad case of badly-needing-Rolen-and-the-Beej-itis, and I concur with that diagnosis).

Jesse Carlson is pretty weird-looking, but I won't tease him about it. I'm kind of rooting for the little guy, who got his first call to the bigs at age 27 and cried when he heard the news. It's like how I cried when I got admitted into the Ph.D program at whatever university I go to and realized I'd have to spend the next 5-7 years of my life reading books about American views of the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and suchlike.

I do, however, need to address the fact that I prediced that we'd take 2 of 3 handily from the A's, who are doing a pretty damn fine imitation of a contender for a club that's supposed to be rebuilding. That sort of boastfullness can only bring bad mojo down on one's head, and I won't do it ever again. Promise!

Heading down to the "I tell you what" state, we've got these matchups over the next three days:

Litsch- Padilla
Halladay-Luis Mendoza (who?)

It should be interesting to see what Burnett looks like on Sunday, but when I say "interesting" I really mean "terrifying."

Also, there's a new issue of "Behind the Dish" out. Actually, I'm a couple of days late on this (check with them on Tuesdays), but I'd highly recommend you check it out if you're interested in the Jays system.

Re: drunken brawling in the 500s... James Christie at the Globe takes a look at the weird relationship between Toronto sports teams and their fans, who are chided for either being to quiet (most of the time) or too rowdy (new development). Jeez, guys, make up your mind.


* Stern-looking Bosox beard-wearer Mike Lowell is headed to the DL with a sprained thumb and will have his roster spot temporarily filled by Jed Lowrie of AAA Paw-tuck-it. You may recall Lowrie from the Johan Santana trade rumour derby of the past offseason. He's the guy who's going to make Julio Lugo Coco Crisp's $12 mil benchwarmer buddy sometime around the middle of next year. For all the scorn that's heaped on JP for the revolving door at shortstop during his tenure with the Jays, many forget that the Bosox haven't exactly had stability at the position, either. The difference between them and us is that they have the luxury of plopping down millions for a new one every year. I hate rich people...

* Is Jose Guillen still on the waiver wire of your fantasy pool because all of your fellow poolies expected him to be suspended for 15 games early in the season? Go on, grab him up. That suspension isn't coming and the stoner community can breathe a sigh of relief.

* Remember how alot of the witty fucks predicted that the Rays would finish third in the AL East? Many of those same people predicted the Mariners would do something silly like take the Wild Card. Guess what? The Mariners can't score. That will seriously impinge upon their plans to actually win games.

-- Johnny Was

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