Does a return of The Doc make sense for the Jays?

As Major League Baseball teams prepare for the league’s second half, the Toronto Blue Jays sit at 43-43. In all respects that’s a mediocre mark, but considering the injuries the team went through in the first half, it’s a relatively respectable record. What’s more, with the introduction of the second wild card, the Jays sit only 2.5 games out of a playoff spot.

It may not be pretty, but for all intents and purposes Toronto is still very much alive and well in the 2012 playoff picture, with 76 games left to play.

Of course, the Jays would have to get remarkably lucky to make the postseason, especially considering the rash of injuries that has plagued the starting rotation.

The pitchers have taken a beaten this season health-wise and as a result over the past few weeks, Toronto has been linked to a number of different starting pitching names – from Matt Garza to a failed Jamie Moyer experiment, it seems there’s at least rumours out there that Alex Anthopoulos is trying to bolster the team’s rotation down the stretch.

One name that has been conspicuously absent in all this talk, in my mind, is that of perhaps the greatest pitcher to ever pitch for the Blue Jays – Harry Leroy Halladay.

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Matt Stairs … Retired, but still awesome

I had the opportunity to interview Canadian baseball great Matt Stairs today.Unfortunately, it wasn’t to discuss his being honoured with an induction into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame.

Nor was it to talk about his years as a beloved Toronto Blue Jay, or anything to do with his great 19-year baseball career.

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I don’t get it …

I get that the Jays got destroyed tonight. I understand that this is no doubt likely a blow to those who were ready to announce that Brandon Morrow is an ace, or those who are hopeful Toronto will be a playoff contender and amongst the American League’s elite this season.

What I don’t and will never get, is how how Derek Holland wakes up in the morning, looks in the mirror and thinks… “Man this mustache looks good, let’s not shave today.”

Straws, ladies and gentleman – they are what we grasp at when there aren’t many other positives to see.

New-fan week: Prep your baseball mind, appreciate baseball emotion

Editor’s note: A recent reddit post — this one to be exact — really stuck with me. The author is an Irishman who’s looking to get into baseball and, not knowing where to start, he asked for help. Well, this week at Infield Fly, we aim to help everybody’s who’s just getting into the game. If you’re a new fan, if you’re interested in becoming a fan or if you know somebody who think would love the game and you want to point them our way, hopefully this week will have something for you. We plan to cover the how and the why for new fans.

Read the first instalment, a basic stats primer, here. The second instalment, a quick guide on how to get the most out of watching the game, is here. The third piece, a new fan’s perspective on why the game is great, can be found here.

Today an Infield Fly regular, Cole, looks at his experiences coaching and playing and shares what makes the game so special to him. Cole currently plays in the Southern New Brunswick Baseball League, a men’s wood bat league, and has coached in the New Brunswick Senior Baseball League, which has alumni such as former major leaguers Matt Stairs and Jason Dickson. Continue reading

Why the Adam Lind situation sucks

Note: I had originally started writing this when Adam Lind was simply demoted to AAA. I pick it up here below following the news of his being put on outright waivers.

It’s news like Adam Lind’s demotion to AAA Las Vegas (and subsequent outright waiverage) that makes you really understand how baseball is not just a game of numbers but a game involving real people as well.

Now, I’m not here to suggest that Lind, the owner of a .186/.273/.314 slash line this year, shouldn’t have been sent down. Despite his past successes, there’s only so far the rope should extend and from a make-the-baseball-team-better standpoint, I applaud the move. However, from a man-that-must-be-a-tough-blow view, I feel for Lind.

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What if Bautista doesn’t turn things around?

What happens if Toronto's vaunted slugger continues to remain frustrated at the plate?

It’s safe to say that over the first 18 games of the season, a lot of the sheen has been rubbed off what was supposed to be one of Toronto’s strong suits this year – the offence.

Of course there have been some pleasant surprises, such as Edwin Encarnacion’s early emergence as a threatening hitter and Kelly Johnson’s good plate discipline that makes him a great hitter at the top of the lineup.

However for every bright spot there have been equally and exceeding frustrations and perhaps none are greater than that of number 19, Jose Bautista.

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Are the Red Sox really better than the Jays?

This post certainly would have had more zing had the Blue Jays just beaten the Red Sox, improving their own record to 3-1 while consequently dropping the Beantowners to another abysmal start, at 0-4.

That being said, zing or not, I’m going to make the post anyway, as you might realize from having read my 10 bold largely incorrect predictions at the beginning of last season, I’m not afraid to put something out there and potentially have egg on my face should I be wrong. So, here goes …

I think the Toronto Blue Jays currently have a better overall team and will have a better season than the Boston Red Sox.

There, I said it. I could be all kinds of wrong, but let me explain.

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