Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Game Notes

Pedro Cerrano: Is very bad to steal Jobu's rum. Is very bad.

If there was more time to waste in the course of my day I'd probably spend as many hours cruising around imdb.com as I do baseball-reference. It's also pretty clear that someone on the Jays' current 25-man roster has been stealing Jobu's rum. So with great pleasure I present you with the cast of the 2008 Jays version of Major League:

Greg Zaun as Jake Taylor
Jeremy Accardo as Rick 'Wild Thing' Vaughn
Lyle Overbay as Roger Dorn
Ellen Page as Rachel Phelps
John Gibbon as Lou Brown
Rachel McAdams as Lynn Wells
Vernon Wells as Willie Mays Hayes
AJ Burnett as Eddie Harris
Alex Rios as Pedro Cerrano
Jamie Campbell as Harry Doyle
Rance Mulliniks as Duke' Temple

and last but not least...

Eric "The Dude" Hinske as Clue Haywood

Let's all cheer these lovable misfits on as they make an improbable run from the cellar to the head of the AL East!

Will the limp Jays' bats be able to overcome Jobu's curse tonight? Let's find out.

On to the game notes:

1st inning: Carlos Gomez made a 2-base throwing error that sent Aaron Hill, who singled, to third with one out. Rios whiffs (looking), Rolen whiffs (swinging at least), inning over. Jobu 1, Jays O.

2nd inning: Brendan Harris misplayed a liner off Stew's bat and turned it into a double play. How could this happen? The ball was hit right to Harris, so Stair's couldn't stray too far from first, and Stew chose to jog down the line and couldn't pick it up in time to beat the post-bobble throw to Morneau. Jobu 2, Jays 0.

3rd inning: Did Twins fans actually cheer when a foul ball struck a beer vendor, spilling his entire tray of delicious (if over-priced) nectar? What could this mean? Surely it's an omen of evil to come... like Brad F'n Wilkerson going down for his second K of the night. Jobu 3, Jays 0.

3rd inning (bottom): Unrelated to the Jays' bats. Tabler calls Litsch a Shaun Marcum-type pitcher. No offense, but calling bullshit. Shaun Marcum is probably our lone representative at the All Star Game this year (Trivia question: will he actually get into the game? Answer: no.), whereas Litsch hasn't quite proven he won't go all Gustavo Chacin 2006 on us. And no power Carlos Gomez takes the Young Ginger deep. Jobu 4, Jays 0.

4th inning: what? I wasn't paying attention. Stairs walked with two outs, delaying the inevitable, but then Overbay doubles! Score! Stewart doubles! Score! Rally time! Zaun grounds out to second, ending the inning. Still, a two runs. Fuck you, Jobu! Still, Jobu 4, Jays 1.

5th inning: Three up, three down. Half point for Jobu when Aaron Hill fouled out to Joe Mauer on a high fly ball that was about foot shy of landing in the stands. Jobu 4.5, Jays 1.

6th inning: Rios K's yet again in his pursuit of another Golden Sombrero, but then Rolen fouls off like a jillon pitches, annoying Twins fans in attendance and driving up Kevin Slowey's pitch count. Stairs homers to the upper duck! Woot, woot! Fuck you twice over, Jobu! Jobu 4.5, Jays 3.

6th inning (bottom): Jobu curses Michael Cuddyer's bat and he is unable to cash Morneau, who tripled and drove in Brendan Harris, with two outs. Jays 3, Twins 2, but more importantly we learn that Jobu is an evil little god who torments many major leaguers. This time he settled a score in a fashion that worked in our favour.

7th inning: Shannon Stewart singles for his second hit tonight. Richard Griffin furiously scribbles in his note pad something about Brad Wilkerson's suckage and Stew's upstanding citizenry for tomorrow's Star. OMFG! A 2-out hit from Aaron Hill and Gregg Zaun lumbers in to score, Jays 4, Twins 2. Rolen K's on what would've been ball 4 with 2 outs and the bases loaded. Still, I give Jobu no points because the Jays did at least score one this inning. Jobu 4.5, Jays 4.

8th inning: Mench comes off the bench clean-shaven and raps a single off a very fat Latino reliever. Overbay singles. Stewart tries to bunt, ends up taking the walk, loading the bases with none out. Jobu must be off on a smoke break because he wouldn't be pleased with what's developing here for the Jays. Zaun lines out to left and Mench tags, slides into home and scores! Twins' appeal denied, Mench left on time, biatches! Scutaro grounds out weakly to first, two outs. Wilkerson grounds out to short even more weakly, so we got one run off a bases loaded none out start to the inning? Jobu 4.5, Jays 4.5.

8th inning (bottom): Armando Benitez sighting! Jobu pisses himself laughing and Jason Kubel breaks out of an 0-15 slump with a massive upper deck home run on the first pitch he sees. Note to self: if Benitez blows this slender lead, Gibby does indeed deserve to be fired for bringing him into a medium-high leverage situation like this. Carlos Gomez strikes out, but he has a .300 OBP or so. Benitez walks the next batter then gets yanked so Scott Downs can face Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau... who both ground out. That was hairy!

9th inning: Aaron Hill walks. Rios K's for the third time. That means no Golden Sombrero! Minor victory. Then Rolen flies out weakly and Hill is caught day-dreaming Alex Rios-style in an easy rundown.

9th inning (bottom): BJ Ryan comes in to face the bottom of the Twins' order and locks 'er down! Jays win, 5-3! And they beat Jobu 6-5!

Pedro Cerrano: I stuck up for you Jobu. You no help me now...I say fuck you Jobu. I do it myself.

Random Thoughts:

What do Big Scary Bats cost at the trade deadline? I ask theoretically because if the Jays were a .500 or better team by the All Star Break and no one really runs away from the pack in the Wild Card race, guys like Adam Dunn, Milton Bradley, Jason Bay, etc. might make sense here.

The Rangers traded 1.5 years of Mark Teixeira to the Braves last year, as you well recall. Of the bats currently on the trading bloc, Jason Bay comes closest to being Teixeira's 2008 equivilant because of his current contract status and offensive profile. (Yes, I'm aware he has less raw power and doesn't have the same defensive rep, though both have had niggling injuries to slightly dampen their trade value.)

What did the Rangers give up for Tex? Take it from here, baseball-reference:

July 31, 2007: Traded by the Texas Rangers with Ron Mahay to the Atlanta Braves for Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Beau Jones (minors), Elvis Andrus (minors), Matt Harrison (minors), and Neftali Feliz (minors).

It seemed like a win-win deal at the time. Teixeira had no intention of extending with the Rangers, even for ungodly sums of money, and the Braves desperately needed a stud bat at first after auditioning a bunch of stiffs (sorry Scott Thorman!) there in the first half. Salty did not hit poorly (91 OPS+) in his rookie season in the bigs at the tender age of 22 and was tearing AAA a new one before his recent promotion. Andrus has been no great shakes with the bat so far... but was playing AA ball by age 19. The Rangers will soon likely have to shift the gracefully aging Michael Young to a less-demanding position and Andrus may well be his successor. Beau Jones, who shares a name with the infant son of ex-Spice Girl Emma Bunton, has looked good in the low minors so far, but he's too far from the bigs to predict whether he'll have any success there. Ditto Harrison. Perez has some crazy K and BB rates in the extreme low minors, but who knows what his future holds?

This was quite a haul of prospects for the Rangers, admittedly for one of the more imposing bats in the game. If one of the position players and one of the pitchers end up contributing at the big league level I think this deal is looked upon as a success for Jon Daniels.

What sort of players would make up the 2008 Jays equivilant package? I'm thinking Justin Jackson, Brett Cecil, and Seth Overbey to start, which would strip our farm system down to its skivvies. If that's the sort of package the Pirates would demand for Bay, I don't think there's any way JP could or should pull the trigger on anything this rich.

The big deadline of 2006 also involved the Rangers, this time importing 2 months of Carlos Lee for a long-shot Hail Mary playoff run. The most similar profile bats eligible for free agency at the end of this season are Adam Dunn and, to a lesser extent, Milton Bradley, who Will has already discussed. Yes, I think the Reds would be foolish not to extend Dunn, but I think the rebuilding Rangers would do well with cashing in Bradley for some younger pieces.

Particulars of the Lee deal, courtesy of B-R:

July 28, 2006: Traded by the Milwaukee Brewers with Nelson Cruz to the Texas Rangers for Laynce Nix, Kevin Mench, Francisco Cordero, and Julian Cordero (minors).

This one was a bit weird. The Rangers got a short-term rental they couldn't afford to keep and a AAAA outfielder who sucked in the bigs last year but is now kicking ass and taking names to the tune of a 1.179 OPS in AAA so far this year. That'll probably force Jon Daniels to give him another look in Arlington this summer. In return the Brew Crew got 1.5 years of mostly effective closering from Francisco Cordero before prudently declining to match the BJ Ryan contract the Reds offered him. According to the internet Julian Cordero doesn't exist. Mench and Nix were superfluous junk outfielders; Doug Melvin presumably asked for them for no reason other than he was familiar with their work from his time as Rangers GM. It was ultimately pointless, kind of like John Ferguson Jr. brining Yannic Perrault back in mid-season for another stint with the Leafs. A head-shaker for fans with IQ+s north of 100.

This was kind of an old time-y deal; now everyone wants prospects, prospects, prospects, and young starting pitching. I don't think there's any chance the Reds--who I expect to hang on in the NL Central despite Dusty Baker's best efforts--trade Dunn for a solid reliever and a pair of spare parts with Walt Jocketty at the helm. He probably wouldn't get skinned again on a deal involving pitching after Billy Beane sold him the 1982 Mercedes 300 SL that was Mark Mulder for a young Danny Haren. And do the Reds even need starting pitching? They've got a bona fide ace in Aaron Harang, 3 very intriguing young arms in Ceuto, Volquez and Bailey, and familiar shitballer Bronson Arroyo. To be honest, they really don't have any glaring needs early struggles and all, though there's nothing wrong with stockpiling depth.

I would figure the Reds keep Dunn if they're in a race or trade him for an A and B prospect if they're far out of it, which is probably a bit much to gamble on a streaky hitter who admittedly does have about as much raw home run power as anyone in the game today. Imagine the sickly feeling in the pit of JP's stomach if he traded Lind and a young arm for two months of Dunn and got the .209/.352/.400 line he's put up through his first 115 ABs? He brings a scarier bat and possibly much greater extreme short-term gratification than Bay, though he doesn't not come without risk.

Take what you will from this because it's all academic unless the Jays decide to get their shit radically together in a real hurry. And at this point I wouldn't bet a Haitian nickel on that.

Coolness: Dave Purcey will probably get the start Friday night against Jamie Moyer in Philly.

-- Johnny Was


eyebleaf said...

i'm with you on the "fuck jobu" front. it's about god damn time.

and, man, benitez sucks.

The Southpaw said...

I don't mind giving him low-leverage innings. I think he's only here b/c he was almost free and can probably be spun for something at the trade deadline.


Jay K. said...

Speaking of rum, I am not much of a rum drinker myself, but if you are I suggest Sailor Jerry. It may be the first one that I have drank straight and not almost thrown up. Plus check out the intro page on their site: