Friday, 2 May 2008

The Roundup

It's hard to complain after a shutout victory against the Bosox, but it would be remiss of me not to mention that we still face a very uphill battle in the weeks and months to come.

Jayson Stark throws a glass of cold numerical water in the faces of the optimists:

• The Blue Jays, Padres and Rockies won't want to hear that only 10 of 152 playoff teams since 1982 finished April more than three games under .500. And just one team since 1935 -- the 1979 Pirates -- was more than three games under after April and won the World Series.

• The Mariners and Dodgers won't want to hear that of the 126 teams that finished in first place over the last 25 full seasons, 99 of them (or 79 percent) were no worse than 2½ games out of first by the end of April.

• And the Indians, Tigers and Braves won't want to hear that in the wild-card era (1995 on), just 20 of 104 playoff teams (19 percent) were under .500 -- yep, even one game under -- at the end of April.

Yes, indeed.

May does not appear to be a "soft" month for the Jays at first glance. There is a 4-game home set with the Royals and a series against the Angels, a very good team the Jays have run roughshod over for years, but some stiffer opposition from the White Sox, Rays, Tribe, Twins, Phillies, and A's. Everyone's hoping for a nice long winning streak to square us at .500 by this time next week, but I would be surprised if we were at that point by the end of the month given the quality of the opposition we're about to face. And yes, I will high five you if if it turns out I was totally wrong.

Totally plagarizing from Cathal Kelly, here are the matchups for the upcoming weekender with the pale-hosers:

vs. Chicago White Sox, 7 p.m.
RH Shaun Marcum (2-2, 3.24) vs. LH Mark Buehrle (1-2, 5.65)

vs. Chicago White Sox, 1 p.m.
RH Jesse Litsch (3-1, 4.85) vs. LH John Danks (2-2, 3.00)

vs. Chicago White Sox, 1 p.m.
RH Roy Halladay (2-4, 3.26) vs. RH Jose Contreras (2-2, 3.98)

Your morning routine wouldn't be complete without a cup of Joe and some bat-shit craziness from Dick Griffin, but the big guy kind of lets us down with a fairly even keel piece on how we should be guardedly optimistic after last night's showing. He does go a little loopy inserting himself in the story with his final quote:

"Richard, so far May's a good month," Gibbons said before anyone could ask him a question, with a wide smile that showed he was happy to head home."

Frankly, if this is a new literary device to be incorporated into his Jays reportage, I'm fully supportive. A potential sample from tomorrow's paper:

"It was a dark and stormy night outside the Rogers Centre as I took the long slow walk into the Jays club house. I took one look at the lineup card, shook my head, then sought out the Jays skipper.

'Gibby, why in the name of Ron Leflore don't you use John McDonald as your leadoff man? He does all the little things the right way! Zut Alors!'

The Gruff Texan responded curtly, 'go fornicate yourself with a pop can, Griffin, you toothless hack. I'm fully aware that your 'front office' experience with the Expos involved little more than writing cookie cutter press releases. Now piss off!'

Jays 5-White Sox 2."

William Houston
weighs in the old blogs v. mainstreamers debate in today's Globe if you're interested.

Wilner checks in on the bizarre balk call on BJ Ryan in the 9th, noting that he used the same motion for pretty much every pitch he threw in the inning. I should stop linking Wilner, really. We're redundant if you're reading The Oracle on a daily basis.

Wilner did pour cold water on a caller's suggestion that the Jays sign Raffy Furcal to play short for us in 2009. Rightly so. MLBTR figures he's in line for for 5 years at $75 million. I humbly remind you that we've suggested trading for Khalil Greene, an unhappy Padre who has alarming home-road splits (Petco is just killing the guy).

Those who were on the "bring in Barry Bonds" bandwagon will probably find a pair of lefty sluggers in Cincy, Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey II, who are available as mid-season acquisitions appealing alternatives. Unless Adam Lind fulfills the loftier expectations of guys like us.


* Yankees wunderbar Phil Hughes was a boo-boo on his right side and will likely be out until July. He'll be replaced in an already shaky rotation by Darrell Rasner, a Josh Towers-esque shit leopard in the making.

* We were spared any news on the Roger Clemens adultery front. Tomorrow's new rumoured paramour? Roseanne Barr?

-- Johnny Was


Clint said...

What's the report on Rasner, just looking at his minor league numbers for this year, he looks like a far better option than Kennedy? I don't know much else about him, so explain the Towers comparison for me please.

Read an interesting interview in the New Hampshire paper, Snider says he's developed a hole in his swing because he was compensating for his sore elbow. Sounds like not playing him to start the year would have been the far smarter route to go. Seems like JP may be pressing a little now, promotions seem to be coming much sooner than in the past.

The Southpaw said...

Two things:

1. the White Sox series is a four game set, with McGowan facing Vazquez on Monday. I think Saturday looks pretty bleak but we get pretty good matchups otherwise.

2. Furcal at 5/75? I don't believe it. Who's going to pay that? I don't see a money-laden team out there with the kind of cash to throw 15 per at a guy like Furcal. That's not to say I would be unhappy to see Greene in the Jays uni....but if you go that route, does that mean we regulate Rios to lead-off permanently?

The Southpaw said...

Couple things:

Furcal might get that deal from the Dodgas. He's getting 13 per season, so an extra 2 million wouldn't break the bank.

If they do re-sign him, I suggest going after Chin=Lung Hu for SS of the future...

And goin from A ---> AA is the toughest jump for a minor leaguer. So Snider's probably gonna take a while to adjust. I didn't know about the elbow, but from what I've heard about the kid he'd probably walk it off and told the manager he's good to go, and wouldn't use it as an excuse.


The Southpaw said...

Rasner has good control, walks few, has a low k rate, low GB % and a pretty high HR/9 through his short ML career to date. Now, that skill set can sustain you through some modest superficial success in the short term (Towers '05), but I wouldn't want to base my career on it.


jwjays said...

Bacon meter goes up: Aaron Rowand hit his third home run of the season to put the Giants up 5-4 in the tenth.

Lloyd the Barber said...

khalil green is an excellent non-Johnny mac alternative. I approve.