Frustration Nation

This is just about the worst. I say ‘just about’, only because the Florida Marlins and Houston Astros exist, and are, for their own reasons, locked in a battle for worstness.

The Toronto Blue Jays, team that I love, is about to finish April, and in the season in which they were to realize the dream of rising to the top, they have begun by sinking to the bottom. Hard. They may finish the month at 9-18 or 10-17. It will be their worst April since 2004, a year in which they finished 67-94, and finished dead last in the AL East.

The best OBP in the lineup belongs to a platoon player, Adam Lind. The best OPS to a shortstop who was the offensive table-setter for this team until he sprained his ankle and began a 2-3 month stint on the DL. The best everyday hitter has an OPS of .824. he has walked twice and struck out 37 times.

The starter with the lowest ERA is J.A. Happ, the man who didn’t have a major league job until Ricky Romero lost the strikezone so badly that he landed in Florida A Ball games rebuilding his delivery. The other four starters have the four worst ERAs on the team.

Not starter has thrown a pitch in the 8th inning of any game.

Josh Johnson has triceps tightness, R.A. Dickey can’t quiet his barking neck and back, Sergio Santos is on the 15 day DL. Casey Janssen can’t be used on back to back days except in extreme emergencies.

Emilio Bonifacio appears to be playing with spring-loaded glove and a noodle tied to his shoulder. Maicer Izturis spent 3 weeks playing third looking like there should be a cutoff man to help with long throws. Mark DeRosa and Henry Blanco both turn around when you shout ‘Hey, old man!’ and both do it as slowly as they turn on a fastball.

So yeah, feels like the playoffs are just around the corner….. mocking the team and their fans.

I’m sure I’ve missed some other gory details, feel free to remind me of what I’ve blocked out in the comments.

 

 

 

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This is not a Mirage: Brett Cecil In Late innings.

This is the velocity chart for Brett Cecil’s last appearance of 2012.

vs twins 2012Brett transitioned to the bullpen in 2012, after trying, and failing to find a way to be effective with an 89mph fastball as a starter.  When he switched to relief, he picked up some speed on his fastball. His hardest pitch on that night was a 2-seam fastball at 92.81 miles per hour, as per Brooks Baseball. Continue reading

Jose Reyes injury. The worst.

I did not watch tonight’s game. Of course, the Jays won.

Of course, this also happened:

(GIF via Paul Sporer)

As of this writing, nobody knows exactly how long Reyes will be out, but here’s what we do know, via the numerous beat reporters (let’s give credit today to non-Rogers man Scott MacArthur) and just some plain basic facts:

  • Reyes heard something “pop”
  • Best case scenario, Reyes is out for a month. Worst case, three months.
  • General manager Alex Anthopoulos has already been talking with other GMs about trading for some infield help
  • Reyes is the best. Him getting hurt is the worst.
  • Mike McCoy is likely to get called up and see too much playing time.
  • Brett Lawrie can’t come back fast enough.
  • Reyes, usually an outstanding baserunner, slid late because he thought the pitch had been fouled off

I know I haven’t been active on the blog or on Twitter much lately, but I’m all too aware of the panic a lot of fans have been feeling because of the team’s slow start. I’ve been doing my best to talk sense into as many people as possible. “The Giants started 2-8 last year and won the World Series,” I say.

But right now, I feel the panic. It’s ridiculous, especially since there’s no real word on what’s wrong with Reyes, but this could hurt. Losing Reyes for three months could be a lot worse than a slow start. And seeing him cry? That’s worst of all.

Here’s hoping it’s not that bad.

And a quick update because the man himself tweets

OK, Blue Jays. Let’s play ball

Twenty years ago, Brett Lawrie was three years old. Twenty years ago was also the last time the Blue Jays were legitimate contenders as the MLB season began. Unless Lawrie has some kind of superhuman memory, the 2013 season is the first he’ll experience in which the Jays are expected to do great things.

Yes, it’s really been that long.

I’m not here to say that anything fantastic is going to happen this year. It might, it might not. Everything might fall into place and a parade might have to be planned this fall. Everything might also go pear-shaped and, well, I don’t really want to think about what that might mean for this team.

What I do know is that, whatever happens, it should be fun.

Jose Reyes is a circus.

Jose Bautista’s at-bats are, until further notice, still much-watch.

Lawrie, for all his dude-bro-ness, is still entertaining.

Mark Buehrle does not screw around.

Brandon Morrow is amazing.

And R.A. Dickey, what can you say? Just watch this:

Tonight, the Blue Jays are back. I’m excited for this every year, but this year, for the first time since 1993, there’s something more to the excitement than just the return of ball — this year could mean something. Five, six, maybe even seven months from now, we could still be watching this team play for something.

Will they win the World Series? I sure hope so. Is it likely? No. But the odds are against every team. Wherever this season ends up, it should be a fun ride. Enjoy it.

Nine Things I Learned This Spring Training

1. Melky Cabrera is sorry…. that he won’t be giving any more interviews until the first question is about something he did ON the field.

2. Colby Rasmus has a custom glove with the word ‘Razzle’ written on it. I don’t know if he has had ‘Dazzle’ tattooed anywhere on his body. I suspect that he does.

3. The only ribs I ever want to have to hear about from Brett Lawrie are the full rack of baby back that he just devoured. Eat ’em, don’t tweak them.

Continue reading

Birds of a feather? Josh Johnson and Brandon Morrow

Everybody loves R.A. Dickey. I don’t blame them. Over this last part of the winter, Blue Jays fans have seen a lot of him, and of his crazy knuckleball. I’m excited to have him as the de facto ace of the starting staff. But one pitcher does not a rotation make.

Brandon Morrow and Josh Johnson are slotted into the 2nd and 4th positions in the rotation, but that appears to be more for the sake of putting the quick and quiet Mark Buerhle between then, rather than some kind of talent ranking on the part of their manager, John Gibbons. The question that comes to my mind is this: What do the Jays have in 2 starters who could presumably be 2A and 2B in most AL rotations, when they are healthy. Continue reading