Monday, September 27, 2010

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Jose Bautista and Tweeting Tuesdays

...which are unrelated.

On Jose Bautista: I was as thrilled as anyone else about #39 and #40 last night, especially considering the circumstances, but I don't know what to think of this whole kerfuffle.

Just a week ago, an article in The Toronto Star painted Bautista as being humble and quiet. Last night, we saw a different side of him.

I hate the fact that Bautista gave those with the Yankeefied Sense of Entitlement™ any reason to kvetch, but at the same time, it was refreshing to see some passion from Bautista. Yes, he lost his cool when Nova probably unintentionally threw at his head, but can you blame him? I imagine any guy getting a baseball toward the face might possibly lose his cool. The outrage from Yankees fans that I saw on TheScore's liveblog was over-the-top.

Bautista later provided the go-ahead run via the longball, and pimped it. There was hate in that swing, certainty in the bat flip, redemption in the slow jog around the bases, and pride in the curtain call.

On Tweeting Tuesdays: Here's why I hate them:
- This "promotion" replaces the value games. It targets a narrow group of already interested fans, and does nothing to get fence-sitter asses in seats.
- The promotional resource burden is shifted to the fans - they use their phones and air time to promote the Jays.
- Law of unintended consequences: it actually has the opposite effect of promotion. It's an extreme turn-off to be spammed with messages on Twitter that make no sense if you're not at the game.
- The "MVT" contest took it to a new low. If I wasn't listening to the radio broadcast and taking shelter at a liveblog, I would have wondered if there was even a baseball game going on.
- Why is there such a spike in Jays Care donations on Tweeting Tuesdays? Did the kids not deserve the donations until the Jays were giving away a suite?

Bottom line, Blue Jays: stick with short code contests. You're not promoting Blue Jays baseball by getting fans to slouch over their cell phones obsessed with the MVT nonsense.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Playing Raceball

So Ozzie Guillen has spoken out about the fact that Asian players are assigned interpreters, while Spanish-speaking players are left to try to learn English on their own. Perhaps it's simply because there are an awful lot more people walking around the US who can speak some Spanish than Korean or Japanese, but he has a point.

According to Buck Martinez, Adeiny Hechavarria was promoted to AA not because he was playing particularly well, but because no one at the Dunedin A club was fluent in Spanish.

The Ack speculates that part of the reason Jose Bautista is still a Jay is to try to establish the Jays as an organization where Latino players will want to play. I would have to guess that the main reason Bautista is still here is that no one blew the GM's socks off with a great offer, but it also wouldn't surprise me if his leadership/example potential raised the price in Anthopolous' mind.

If Guillen's opinion is widely shared among players, the Jays have a unique opportunity to exploit Toronto's reputation of being a terrific international, multicultural city. Even the GM speaks three languages. If the Jays are going to spend extra money and resources to scout Latino players, they'd be foolish not to do the little things to make it as attractive an organization as possible.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Today's high temperature in Atlanta, GA was 83°F, but the collective steaming of Braves fans upon hearing about Yunel Escobar's grand slam probably drove the mercury up by an additional 5 degrees.


In other news, AJ Burnett threw a tantrum and subsequently slashed his hands on a door. He claims it won't affect his grip on the ball.

AHAHAHAHA *cough* Whatever you say, big guy.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The MLB HR Leader Not Invited To The Home Run Derby.

Okay, I know there's always a lot of bitching, complaining, pissing, moaning, homerism, etc regarding the All-Star Game. I know, you could argue that 120 different players deserve to be there, yadda yadda.

...but Jose Bautista not being asked to the Home Run Derby?

You've got to be kidding me.

If the All Star Game only happened once every four years, I could understand going with guys with A Reputation™. But it isn't - it's annual.

So let's take a look at the other AL invitees to the Derby. Here's how many dingers they've hit since last year's ASG, and how Mr Bautista fits in:

V. Wells: 25
R. Cano: 28
Nick Fucking Swisher (yer f*cking kidding me): 29
Big Papi Ortiz: 33
Jose Bautista: 35
M. Cabrera: 37 explain to me how Bautista is undeserving of the invite. Please tell me I screwed up my stat search (entirely plausible, since I was in a rush and had a coupl'a drinks...) Please tell me there were extenuating circumstances, such as a long stint on the DL or very few ABs (which I didn't look at.) In fact, I'd love it if someone less lazy than me would compare him to the NL invitees, too, from last year's ASG -> present.

I wholeheartedly endorse the idea of Wells handing over the bat to Bautista right before he's supposed to go out there. Before I had a chance to mention it, a fellow twitosphere member mentioned it to Jordan Bastian, and he agreed.

Please, V-Dub, do it. You have always been all class, even when Toronto fans turned on you. You have the chance to right a wrong, and make a classic All Star Game moment.

Do it, man.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Weekend In Philly

This amusing piece of graffiti we saw in Philadelphia pretty much sums up my feelings on this weekend's series.

In case you didn't already figure it out, it turned out that moving this weekend's Jays/Phillies series to Philadelphia was, in fact, a good move. Shit got crazy on Saturday precisely at the time that tens of thousands of Jays fans would have been trying to either get home or get drunker.

We had a great time in Philly. The Phans were pretty good to us, with only a little bit of good-natured jabbing toward us. We actually got a shitload of free alcohol.

My Critique of Citizen's Bank Park:
Overall, I give it a B+. It is very nice; but there are a few minor things I didn't like. First, the ribbon boards and scoreboards could be bigger. I had to squint to read them, and I have brand new contact lenses. We had good seats, too. I don't have this problem at the Rogers Centre. You shouldn't have to have better than 20/20 vision to check out the stats. I also found it confusing that some boards were being alternated with ads.

Another issue I had was with the sound system. It wasn't too bad for music and live announcements, but when film clips were being played, I couldn't understand a word.

I suppose this is just a matter of personal preference since I'm not a driver, but I much prefer a ballpark in the middle of the city than out in an asphalt wasteland. I like being able to stroll to restaurants, bars, hotels, and public transit. I guess others prefer having miles and miles of parking spaces. To each his own... but if you think it's easier to disperse the traffic from said wasteland, you are wrong. The parking lots were gridlocked for a good hour after the game, and that's not including the time we spent gridlocked on I-76.

On the positive side, I loved the fact that despite a sell-out crowd, there were very few lineups. Beer, food, washrooms... it all moved along well. Why is it that the same crowd on Opening Day at the Rogers Centre seems to paralyze the staff? I remember hearing the excuse from one beer vendor, "there could be way more of us here, and we could never keep up." Bullshit.

The prices on beer and food were pretty good.

I also love any ballpark with an open concourse. Not only is it nice to be able to keep track of the game while you zip up for your beer/bathroom break, it allows a pleasant a breeze on sweltering days such as those we had this weekend.

I have to rant on Sunday's seventh inning stretch. On Friday and Saturday, as you may have already heard, the Phillies' version of J-Force - whatever the hell they call themselves - dressed in mock-ups of the RCMP's ceremonial uniform and sang "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" followed by, um, the Village Peoples' "YMCA."

Okay, fine. Cute. I'm against political correctness and the RCMP itself perpetuates the "Mountie" stereotype, so no biggie, especially considering that the Phils-Phorce (or whatever) have, for example, shown similar non-PC-ness by dressing up as Hawaiians and doing the hula for Shane Victorino. Fine.

...But Sunday? Apparently, everyone stands up to remove their caps to somberly sing "God Bless America" at all US ballparks. Why? I dunno, and neither does George Carlin, but I digress. Immediately after that, they did the YMCA-Mounties again. That, IMO, was just plain disrespectful and arrogant, considering what was going on back home in Toronto. Quoth Jeff Blair via Twitter, although he may have been quoting others with the "Jays traveling party", whoever they are: "How would the 'Mercans react if we had dancing Marines on the top of the dugouts? That is a valid question, no?" Can you imagine the reaction if J-Force had the nerve to mock 'Mercan law enforcement while shit was going down in the city represented by the other club?

Bad call, Phillies. I found that truly disrespectful. "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" would have been sufficient, doncha think, under the circumstances?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

For Old Time's Sake out of boredom and curiosity, I thought I'd check up on the namesake of this blog, to see what he was up to these days.

All Joe Inglett's doing is hitting .341 with an OPS of .919 in 44 AB. His first hit as a Brewer was a triple.

Mike McCoy has had a similar number of at-bats.

Yeah, I know, small sample size, rebuilding year, blah-blah-blah... just sayin'.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Doc's El-Perfecto

"If you're not first, you're last." I recently read that quote somewhere on the blogosphere. I hadn't heard it before, but let me quote it for truth.

I've barely been blogging at all because of working an extra job this year (yes, to support my baseball habit.) Even though I rarely miss a game either on TV, the radio, or at the ball park; I'm always way behind by the time I get some computer time. I won't post unless I really feel like venting or I come up with an amusing story or photo to share.

Anyhoo: like our globetrotting friend Eyebleaf from Sports and the City, it took me a good two days to let Roy Halladay's perfect game sink in. Navin's latest edition of "Stealing Home" over at the Globe sums up my feelings nicely.

I was hung over after being in my best friend's wedding the day before. (I might add, we walked into the venue, just about to walk down the aisle, and I saw the high-fives of the end of the Jays game on the bar television. The timing was nice.) I was hung over, and I had gone to bed with eye makeup on. Yes, THAT'S what made me shed a tear when I saw the highlight videos of Halladay's performance.

I guess I can put that charade to bed - I'm not the only one who felt both elated and bereft.

When my associate and I headed down to spring training back in March, we hoped we'd get a chance to see Halladay pitch... and we did, against the Yankees in Clearwater. We said our goodbyes. It sunk in... or so I thought. Sunday morning, I felt like an ex that dumped me six months ago just married someone else.

How nice would it have been now, for Doc to return to Toronto for a welcome back love-in?

Hosers For Jose!

Sorry, I'm not sufficiently caffeinated to think of anything funnier.

The Blue Jay Hunter has taken the initiative on behalf of the Jose Bautista Appreciation Society to create a website dedicated to voting J-Bau into a starting outfield position at the 2010 MLB All Star Game.

You know you're bored of Twitter and Facebook. It's too hot to do much but sit in front of the computer in the air conditioning. Get clicking for Jose.

Ladies and gentlemen, your MLB HR leader isn't even on the ballot for the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. I know, the fan poll doesn't count, but I've been voting for him as a write-in as a matter of principle.

Go aggravate your carpal tunnel syndrome for a worthy cause.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I'm jetlagged and grumpy from an ashcloud-delayed trans-Atlantic flight yesterday, so forgive me for not being too pleased at the news that the late June series against the Phillies has been moved to... Philly. Apparently, this was decided because of "close proximity" of the ball parks.

Are you kidding me? Glance at a map of North America, and sure, Philly is closer than Los Angeles, but let's consider the fans for a minute. Any city which would require a hotel stay to see a pair of games is not "close proximity." Mets & Yankees = close proximity. Buffalo is close proximity for Leafs fans in the GTA. Philly does not meet my criteria of close proximity to Toronto.

The Tigers are in Atlanta that weekend. The Pirates are in Oakland. The Indians are in Cinci. Detroit, Pittsburgh and Cleveland are all closer than Philly. Did they bother discussing a neutral stadium? I hope this is addressed in the press conference later.

Way to hose the fans once again, Jays.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Home Opener and Dirkulence

So another Home Opening Day has come and gone.

Jeff Blair summed it up nicely.

The highlight of the day for me was seeing Dirk Hayhurst at Chapters on John St. My associate and I came from out of town, so we decided to make a day of it. I was worried that it would be packed, but we were surprised when we did our 2:00 reconnaissance and it was deserted.

The eloquent pitcher-slash-author read the 'Grandma' chapter of the book, answered some questions, and, of course, garfoosed the books. There was chocolate cake, autographs, and goofy photos for all.

Sadly, Hayhurst sounded pessimistic about the progress of his shoulder rehab. "It's not encouraging when the surgeon says, 'hmmm, that's not supposed to happen,'" to paraphrase.

Hayhurst states via Twitter that he hit several bookstores today randomly signing books, so if you don't have a copy already, go on a wild garfoose chase and find yourself a signed copy.

The game itself was... what it was. Highlights? My chin just about hit the floor at Buck's 400-level dinger. My heart was warm and fuzzy at the lack of booing Wells. Rios? I was rather indifferent.

Lowlights? I wasn't even that disappointed at Frasor's blown save, since we had no choice but to leave by then anyway to catch our bus. The definite lowlights were the usual Opening Day retardedness of the non-fans. I am really leaning toward the DJF's preference to just stay away. I'm sure by next February, I'll be saying to myself, "but... but... IT'S THE OPENER." But it really does feel more frustrating than fun when you're continually distracted by the non-fans. I pay to see a baseball game, not a frat party, not the whorey Bud Girls posing with dudes at the bottom of the section, completely blocking the view of the game. (Yeah, not even waiting until between innings.) I rarely go to bars, and ball games are pretty much my "party time", so I strongly resent said party time being spoiled by a giant frat party preventing me from getting a god damned beer.

It wasn't just the alcohol; it was the same for concessions. My associate and I arrived at the gates before they opened. We were down at the 100 level York Market well before 6:00, and even though it wasn't crowded, it took everyone forever to get their food. The staff were running around with clipboards and no one was getting served. Blue Jays, you should have paid them an extra hour or half hour to get that crap done before the gates opened.

There has to be a way of making the experience better for "real" fans and/or casual fans over the age of... first beer retard. A rebuilding team that doesn't pack the house every night can't afford to turn off fans. A penny for Jeff's thoughts on the issue. Ideas from this uneducated fan include: a section reserved for season ticket and flex pack holders, available prior to individual game sale dates, where there are no group sales (unless they're not students) and have priority concession service. Perhaps a 30+ section (hard to enforce, but...) Perhaps access to the HSBC lounge, which I'm going to assume was only available to sponsors and/or People With Connections, who probably don't even give a shit about the game.

Until then, maybe we'd all rather just join the DJFs at Opera Bobs.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Thoughts On Dirk Hayhurst's "The Bullpen Gospels"

So just like all the other cool kids, I read Dirk Hayhurst's "The Bullpen Gospels." I laughed, I cried. It is truly an outstanding book and lives up to its hype. (My review, blah blah blah.)

Today, Hayhurst engaged fans in a live chat at Baseball America. He is at least teasing us with the prospect (huh huh) of another book, and gave us Aaron Hill's opinion of TBG:
He didn't get around to finishing it, but in ST this year he said, "I was surprised, it was, you know, good! I thought it would be another baseball book..." I'll take it!

He also answered Yours Truly's question regarding the cover of the book. Egads, Pinstripes. My Yankees fan coworker mocked me for it. Here's what would have been on the cover if His Dirkulence would have had any say in it:
It would have been me being strangled by my grandmother. Yeah, I know the pin-stripes got a lot of sneers (sorry Yankees, I know you won it all, but a lot of people still don't like you...) I also thought about me standing in the snow in my undies with this pathetic smirk on my face... the Baseball Reaper next to me with a foam finger that says #1 fan.

I think either would have worked nicely.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I'll believe it when it's announced by the club, but it sure is fun to think the Jays swooped in and nabbed Cuban SS Adeinis Hechavarria from underneath the Yankees. Jordan Bastian of was told this by Alex Anthopoulos: "I don't want to comment. I don't want to lie. And I don't want to comment."

Surely if the rumour was false, he'd simply deny it?

It's going to be a fun couple of years watching these kids, folks.

(ETA) I almost forgot to wish a Rational and Reasonable 40th birthday to Mike Wilner.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Some V-Dub Lub

So, my associate and I hit the beginning of yesterday's B game at Bright House Field prior to the real game in Dunedin. We couldn't stay, but any excuse to go back to that ball park was good enough for us. Dave Steib was there.

Later, in Dunedin, the Jays won 14 - 9 or something ridiculous like that. It doesn't really matter.

Vernon Wells had a nice hit.

It wasn't particularly remarkable.

That would be irrelevant, except said hit came approximately thirty seconds after this retarded pile of douche perched himself on the balcony where the GM, scouts and/or other officials usually hold court; directly behind the plate. Apparently, his parents didn't give him enough attention as a youngster, and he tried to make up for that by spewing a stream of epic heckling fail.

"YOU HAVEN'T DONE ANYTHING FOR SIX YEARS!" was one of his witty gems. He dug into Wells for his entire at bat... until said bat made contact.

This little heckling failure's balls shrunk up into his kidneys, and the rest of the Jays fans in the stadium had a new appreciation for V-Dub.

Dunedin Stadium is great for heckling. You can hear a pin drop. You don't even need to yell your witty comment very loudly. However, ladies and gentlemen, if you don't have something witty or fitting to say, you are not entitled to heckle.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dunedin 2010

Greetings from beautiful craptacular Clearwater, Florida. It's pretty cold here. I have once again trekked down to catch some baseball and sunshine... poverty edition.

My buddy and I took in the Jays opener vs the Tigers in Dunedin, plus the Phillies opener vs FSU in an enjoyable night game. Jordan Bastian sums up the game better than I, apparently not through beer goggles. What he didn't tell you is that Chad The Beer Guy lead the crowd with "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" for the seventh inning stretch.

Brian Dopirak takes a wave:

Bright House Field at night:

Dr. Phil:

Friday, February 19, 2010

I'll Have Whatever Amphetamines They're Having

Marc Rzepczynski and Brett Cecil, Sept 2009:


Okay, so they were muffin-topping those mini-skirts a bit. Welcome to my world. But good gawd; did they FEED those boys over the winter?!


Spring training is here.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

2010 Spring Training Broadcast Schedule

It has been posted.

The Fan 590 will be broadcasting 9 spring training games, mostly on weekends. will provide 5 games in addition to that. does not appear to have their gameday audio pricing information up, but it was about $20 last year.

TSN2 will air the final spring training game on Sat Apr 3.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Jays Raise Cheap Seat Prices

Story here

What the Blue Jays will draw in the upcoming season is an open question. Attendance during a dismal 75-87 campaign in 2009 was 1,876,129, the club's lowest total since 2003, and well off 2008's count of 2,400,416.

More tough times are likely ahead, both on the field and off.

"We understand what the sentiment is out there, we fully embrace Alex's vision with where he's going and any time you have that change and when you're building in a different direction on the field there may be some growing pains as it relates to attendance," said Diplock. "But we think we're going to play a little better than people are suggesting and our hope is attendance can be around where we finished last year.

"Having said that, we're realists, we know what we're going into in 2010."

Well, you're realists about what the team is going to do, but you seem a little naive about the fans.

I noticed when I was sent my schedule that every single weekend game was suddenly a "premium" game.

So the 500 level tickets go up in price? You're nuts, Mr Diplock. Way to alienate the bubble fans: the students, the families, the people who are iffy as to whether or not it's worth the cost of getting there PLUS the ticket prices, PLUS the outrageous concession prices. If anything, more should have been done to get asses in seats up there.

Maybe they were just trying to align the price of seeing shitty Jays baseball with the price of seeing shitty Leafs hockey.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Good Day.

If you found your way over here from The DJFs, I'll repeat what I've said multiple times here at my li'l corner of the blogosphere: I don't update every time Alex Anthopoulos sneezes. I post if and when I have something unique. It's January. You don't need to hear it from 15 different bloggers that the Jays signed Joe Shitballer to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training.

Coincidentally, I have something unique today. Season ticket holder and friend of mine E gives you her take on last night's State of the Franchise event.

My next update is likely not to be until I'm in Dunedin for the first few spring training games.