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Blue Jays Newsbeat

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Former Blue Jays draft pick Phil Bickford heading to independent ball

When the Toronto Blue Jays opted to utilize their first round pick in the 2013 MLB Draft on Phil Bickford, it was a curious selection that turned out to be a mistake. Seen as a long-shot to sign due to his commitment to Cal State Fullerton, the Blue Jays were unable to sway the right-hander away from school and had to wait an additional year to receive a compensation pick.

If only Phil Bickford could have seen just one year into the future.

According to Kendall Rogers of Perfect Game USA, Bickford has opted not to return to school this fall and is likely to opt for joining an independent league team this spring. From there, he will re-enter the MLB Draft in June.

In his lone season at Cal State Fullerton, the 6’4″ 185 pound righty went 6-3 with a 2.13 ERA and a 8.76 K/9 ratio in 76 innings of work, according to the team’s website. ..


Monday, August 25, 2014

John Gibbons rips Jose Bautista for getting ejected in yesterday’s game

This is a sinking ship.

Bautista was ejected in the sixth inning for arguing balls and strikes. Nolan Reimold took his place. Reimold dropped a fly ball in the tenth inning which set up the Rays winning run and he struck out to end the game. Gibbons not only said that Bautista should’ve been in those spots, he took issue with Bautista’s taking issue with the strike zone:

  “The bottom line is we needed him in the game,” Gibbons said of Bautista. “Say your piece and get the hell out of there. We’re trying to get in the playoffs, we need you on the field. He’s a marked man in this game. (Plate ump) Bill Welke? I thought he had a pretty good (strike) zone today. It was steady, he was calling strikes. He was looking to call strikes. But we need you in the game.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 25, 2014 at 03:19 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, john gibbons, jose bautista

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Toronto Blue Jays’ Brett Lawrie on DL with third oblique strain in two years

Brett Lawrie is back on the disabled list, this time with a left oblique strain that could force him to miss roughly a month of action with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Lawrie’s latest injury comes at a critical time for the Jays, who are battling for a playoff spot with three of their key offensive players on the disabled list.

The club announced Thursday that Lawrie was back on the DL, just two days after returning to the lineup after missing 36 games with a broken right index finger. It was not immediately known how he suffered the oblique strain, which affects a large muscle that covers the rib cage.

This is the third time in two years that Lawrie has suffered an oblique strain. He landed on the DL in spring training of 2013 (March 22) with a left oblique strain and returned to action April 16. In 2012 he missed a month with a right oblique strain.

Good cripple hitter Posted: August 07, 2014 at 05:59 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, brett lawrie, injuries

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Why The Wild Card Game Should Be A Two-Game Series

But adding an extra game would push the World Series to Christmas!

Wha’? A two-game series? Erm…don’t know how to tell you this, Nico, but…um…two is an even number. I know. And the wild card game should, for many reasons at once, be a two-game series. Here’s how I think it should work, and why…

To advance to the ALDS, the 2nd wild card team should have to beat the 1st wild card team twice. That “two chances to win one” backdrop gives the 1st wild card team a significant advantage over the 2nd wild card team. This is important because the difference in record between the 1st and 2nd wild card teams can be large, potentially even larger than the spread between a division winner and a 2nd place team.

Never has this been more evident than in 2014, where the Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim, if you didn’t know) are currently in the 1st wild card slot despite currently being on pace to win 97 games. Leading the 2nd wild card race, at the moment, are the Toronto Blue Jays, currently on pace to win all of 86 games.

A team 11 games worse should not be on such equal footing as to have only to snatch one game, albeit an away game, in order to advance. Consider a team like the Seattle Mariners, also in the thick of the wild card hunt just 2 games back of Toronto, that is on pace to win only 83 games but has King Felix Hernandez as a tremendous “one-game wild card” weapon.

In order to create sufficient incentive to win the 1st wild card, and not just “any wild card,” making the 2nd wild card sweep a two-game series in order to advance is more fair to the 1st wild card winner.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 05, 2014 at 11:47 AM | 72 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, blue jays, mariners, royals, wild card, yankees

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Orbit and Jose Bautista Play With Dolls — Wait, What?

That is really what happened before Saturday night’s Astros-Blue Jays game. Yes, the Astros won 8-2 in a game filled with insanity, home-run robbery, Altuve hustling home from first after two errors, home runs (by Castro and Carter), an inside-the-park home run for Jon Singleton and even an open roof in August (the roof was open in August for the first time since August 6, 2004). But one of the most entertaining highlights took place off the field before the game. When Orbit and Jose Bautista played with dolls. Really. Stay with me here as I bring you through the hilarious sequence of events.

Good cripple hitter Posted: August 02, 2014 at 11:47 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, blue jays, jose bautista, mascots

TSN.ca: MacArthur: Buehrle shows fellow hurler Stroman the way

Mark Buehrle teaches baseball’s off-field unwritten rules to Marcus Stroman.

The two talk pitching, naturally, but Buehrle has taken Stroman under his wing in other areas too. Most importantly is how to be a good rookie.

“I think he’s been doing the dumbest stuff and I’ve had to call him out,” said Buehrle. “I think the majority of stuff, pitching wise, I’m not going to sit there and take credit for anything. We’ve talked a few times about little things but I think the biggest thing that I’ve tried to direct him and I tell every young guy that comes up, I say listen, I was a rookie, got picked on, I didn’t like it. You’re going to get picked on, you’re going to have to get your stuff done to you but if you have a question about where you need to be, what you need to wear, what you need to do, any of those questions come ask me and I’m going to lead you in the right direction.”
...
“I got my ass handed to me in the third inning, sitting there and I got taken out,” said Buehrle. “I look over and I see him with a drink and a bag of chips in his hand, sitting there eating it. I wasn’t really in the mood to tell him what to do, what not to do but I went over, ‘Hey dude, you can’t be having a bag of chips here on the bench.’”

 

Boileryard Posted: August 02, 2014 at 10:50 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, marcus stroman, mark buehrle, unwritten rules

Friday, August 01, 2014

Jose Bautista, Casey Janssen “frustrated” and “disappointed” by Jays’ lack of deadline activity

Who does Bautista want them to bring in, Drax the Destroyer??

Toronto was 38-24 and in first place by six games on June 6, but the Blue Jays have gone 22-26 since then and general manager Alex Anthopoulos did nothing at the trade deadline yesterday.

Several veteran players talked publicly about their unhappiness with the lack of moves, led by closer Casey Janssen telling Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com:

For us not to do anything, most of us had some ideas that we were going to improve this club a little bit. It’s unfortunate we didn’t. At the same time, we just have to do what we have to do to win games and try to find ways to get into the playoffs. Yes, it was frustrating but we have to play tonight.

Star slugger Jose Bautista had a similar but slightly less outspoken take:

Of course it’s a little disappointing that we somehow weren’t able to get anything done, but everybody around us that’s in contention somehow–and even some teams that aren’t in contention, like the Red Sox–somehow figured it out. But there’s still time to get stuff done. We still have a pretty good team put together and we’re hoping to get the guys that are hurt back and that’ll be a good injection of talent for us down the road. … But it’s a little bit of disappointment..

The District Attorney Posted: August 01, 2014 at 03:29 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: aaron gleeman, blue jays, casey janssen, jose bautista

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Yankees land infielders Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at Deadline

Welcome to succeeding Derek Jeter, Stephen Drew. Hope you survive the experience!

With the Red Sox taking part in a full-scale roster makeover on Thursday, the Yankees took the opportunity to get in on the action and upgrade their infield, completing their first trade with Boston since 1997.

Stephen Drew will suit up in Fenway’s visitors’ clubhouse when the American League East rivals meet on Friday evening, having been acquired by the Yankees in exchange for infielder Kelly Johnson.

The Yankees weren’t done bolstering their infield there, however. Veteran utility man Martin Prado is also headed to the Bronx, with the Yankees sending the D-backs catching prospect Peter O’Brien—ranked No. 9 among Yanks prospects by MLB.com before the deal—and a player to be named or cash…

Drew has played only shortstop during his nine-year Major League career, but that is expected to change with Derek Jeter installed at the position for his final big league season; Drew could take over at second base for Brian Roberts…

The Yankees announced a smaller addition in the hours leading up to Thursday’s 4 p.m. ET non-waiver Trade Deadline, claiming right-hander Esmil Rogers off waivers from the Blue Jays…

The Yankees unconditionally released infielder Scott Sizemore, who was with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

 


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Valencia traded to Toronto

The Blue Jays provided some much-needed balance to their lineup Monday afternoon by acquiring infielder Danny Valencia from the Royals in a deal for catcher Erik Kratz and right-hander Liam Hendriks.

Toronto’s batting order is predominantly left-handed and there’s a void on the right side, especially while Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Lawrie are on the disabled list.

General manager Alex Anthopoulos attempted to help fix that, and while the trade is relatively minor in the grand scheme of things, it does address an area of need.

Paul d mobile Posted: July 29, 2014 at 12:17 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, royals, trades

Melky Cabrera smashed a windshield with a homer

MLB Network analyst earlier this year: “Since Melky’s off the stuff…he’s lost all his power.”

Out of Fenway Park and right into some poor person’s car.

Melky Cabrera absolutely crushed a home run out of Fenway Park:

Repoz Posted: July 29, 2014 at 09:00 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Yankees push home streak over Jays to 17

Toronto’s Yankee Stadium skid, which started in September 2012, is the longest for a team at one opponent since Tampa Bay lost 18 in a row in Cleveland from September 2005 to July 2010, according to STATS.

 

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: July 26, 2014 at 05:13 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, streaks, yankees

Friday, July 25, 2014

Buehrle treats Toronto rookies to new suits in NY

“...Buehrle decided to get the rookies fitted for some custom suits. He gathered Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Rob Rasmussen, Ryan Goins and Todd Redmond at the team hotel on Friday morning and then went to one of his favourite spots…”

NattyBoh Posted: July 25, 2014 at 10:41 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, mark buerhle, rookies

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

SportsNet: Kawasaki: ‘A monkey never cramps’

Time flies like a Fernando Rodney and fruit flies like a banana.

In the latest must-see interview with Munenori Kawasaki, the Toronto Blue Jays infielder reveals his remedy for cramps to Barry Davis.

JE (Jason) Posted: July 23, 2014 at 09:20 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, interview, monkeys, munenori kawasaki

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Blue Jays lose Adam Lind following loss to Angels

The list of the Blue Jays’ walking wounded grew, in a literal sense, on Wednesday when it was learned after Toronto’s 8-7 loss to the Angels that DH Adam Lind is suffering from a non-displaced fracture of the bone in his right foot that connects to the big toe. He injured the foot in Baltimore on June 14 but did not have an MRI done until Tuesday in California.

“My mom wanted me to get an MRI, which I hadn’t had yet,” Lind said. “It wasn’t getting any better, so I asked for an MRI and it showed up. The doctors here said six to eight weeks. I’m going to go to Charlotte on Friday, see the doctor there. They’re hoping it’s a better diagnosis than the doctors here.”

The injury occurred 25 days ago. He missed the next four days. Lind was asked if he was surprised that it took so long to discover the fracture. He paused before answering.

“I don’t know if I’m surprised,” he said. “They just said a bone bruise (in Baltimore). They said you couldn’t do any more damage. I wasn’t showing any improvement and I’d had enough, really. I needed another exam, an X-ray and a CT scan.”

Good cripple hitter Posted: July 10, 2014 at 10:01 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: adam lind, blue jays, crazy clown town

Monday, July 07, 2014

Jose Bautista calls MLB’s replay system “a joke”

“This whole replay thing has become a joke in my eyes. I think they should just ban it, they should just get rid of it, I don’t really understand the purpose of it, but getting the right call on the field is not the purpose. That’s pretty obvious and evident. I don’t know what kind of agenda the people that are doing the replays are on, what their plan is, what their purpose is, who they’re looking after. But obviously getting the right call on the field is not what they’re doing.”

The 1:02 mark looks like a pretty clean miss to me.

Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: July 07, 2014 at 04:03 AM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, jose bautista, replay sucks

Friday, July 04, 2014

Odd challenge starts domino effect for A’s, Blue Jays

Here’s an interesting replay:

The incident happened in the top of the second inning with the bases loaded and one out. Blue Jays outfielder Anthony Gose hit a sharp grounder to first base. Nate Freiman fielded the ball cleanly and attempted to make a tag on baserunner Munenori Kawasaki before throwing home.

First-base umpire Vic Carapazza ruled that Kawasaki avoided the tag and immediately made the safe sign. That meant the force play at home was still in order and catcher Stephen Vogt recorded the out when he caught the ball while stepping on the plate.

Gibbons then came out of his dugout and took the unorthodox approach of suggesting that Kawasaki should have been ruled out. He challenged, and when the play went to a review, it was determined that Kawasaki had been tagged.

That prompted the umpires to overturn the ruling on the field. Kawasaki was called out and as a result, Edwin Encarnacion was ruled safe at home because the force play was no longer in effect.

You have to love a ten minute replay and a decision that screws a team because an umpire gets a call wrong.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 04, 2014 at 08:20 AM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, blue jays, replay sucks

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Baseball players wearing camouflage? Make sports, not war Add to ...

There is the disorienting sense of rah-rah about the whole thing. It’s a celebration, which seems the wrong tone if what we are doing is honouring those who have been harmed or risked harm on our behalf.

In U.S. arenas, they’ve been slowly phasing out the military trappings. The paying public can apparently tolerate only so many patriotic ballads and fly-overs.

One thing they still do regularly is focus in on one veteran during a break in play, name him or her, and allow the crowd to react as it will. In every instance, it’s a rousing and respectful ovation. That is a heartening and specific act. It’s not an endorsement of an institution or an idea, but of a single person. I’m always about as cynical as it comes, but it gives me chills every time.

Seeing your heroes running around in camo is neither heartening nor instructive. It’s toying with politics. Cheering in that environment is a mandate of the hive mind, because are you going to be the one guy who sits on his hands while everyone is standing? No matter how good the intention, it’s coercive and arbitrary.

Paul D(uda) Posted: May 27, 2014 at 04:26 PM | 71 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, military

Friday, May 09, 2014

Encarnacion breaks out with 200th home run

Looking back a few years makes the 200 home run plateau all the more impressive. Though Encarnacion has established himself as one of the game’s top right-handed bats, it wasn’t all that long ago that he was battling for his roster spot. The Blue Jays designated Encarnacion for assignment four years ago and the Athletics non-tendered him after claiming him on waivers later in 2010. Encarnacion was proud to reach and surpass the 200 home run mark against some long odds.

“There were tough years and I had to work through it,” Encarnacion said. “I learned from those years, but they made me a better player. I knew deep down that I was capable of being the player I am now.”

More importantly for the 2014 Blue Jays, Encarnacion is hitting again. He started the season slowly, struggling to find his power stroke and striking out more than usual. But his .837 on-base plus slugging is well above the MLB average of .707, an impressive uptick considering Encarnacion’s OPS was hovering around .670 until two weeks ago.

Francisco, meanwhile, has started his Blue Jays career on a tear with five home runs in his first 17 games. While it’ll be more difficult to work him into the lineup once Brett Lawrie returns this weekend, manager John Gibbons promises to find a way to get him at-bats nonetheless.

“He deserves it,” Gibbons said. “We’re better with him in there, I would say.”

Thanks to Brill.

Repoz Posted: May 09, 2014 at 08:16 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Monday, April 28, 2014

Back Pace of Play Mark Buehrle Is a One-Man Baseball-Game Accelerator

Since 2008, the first year for which FanGraphs has reliable data, Buehrle has been, by far, baseball’s fastest worker between pitches. Over nearly 1,300 innings, he’s averaged 16.7 seconds between pitches. The next fastest pitcher with at least 150 innings pitched, Ben Sheets, averaged 18 seconds. The major-league average has been 21.8 seconds.

If we assume he was 5.1 seconds faster in delivering each pitch during his career, then he’s spared baseball fans nearly 63 hours of dead time between pitches, and cut between 1.6 and two minutes from his team’s average game length each year since his first full season, in 2001. That’s over all of his team’s games, not just the ones he’s pitched.

 

 

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: April 28, 2014 at 04:15 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, mark buerhle

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Toronto Star: Blue Jays pave way for grass at the Rogers Centre

A look at some of the challenges involved with installing natural grass at Rogers Centre.

If only it were as simple as heading to Home Depot and picking up 143,000 square feet of sod. The four-year timeline before grass can be installed inside the Rogers Centre is based on a year of research and testing, followed by three years to produce the sod and grow the grass.

“For grass in the spring of 2018, you’ve got to sow the seed in 2015,” said Eric Lyons, an associate professor of turfgrass sciences and physiology at the University of Guelph.

Boileryard Posted: April 24, 2014 at 10:44 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, groundskeeping, lawns

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Design Room: Top 10 Logos in MLB History.

The Montreal Expos (French: Expos de Montréal) team started in 1969 and never changed their logo.  For almost 40 years the team held on to this awesome mark because it was smart and looked great. Expos de Montreal Baseball. That is the secret behind this logo. Interwoven script pieces all come together to abbreviate the full name of the team. This logo is a little dated looking, but I can imagine this being modernized and still looking amazing without significant change. That is how you know this is a good logo. The line work is smooth, it is creative and clever and I commend the designer for coming up with a mark that doesn’t rely on a baseball to remind the viewer that it is a team logo. This is easily one of the smartest logos in baseball history.

I literally went, “Oh wow,” when I read this bit. I’d never understood this about the Expos logo.


Sunday, April 06, 2014

Gregg Zaun isn’t afraid of ruffling a few feathers - The Globe and Mail

Ouch!

As far as the team not always playing the game the way it should be played, can you give an example of the Jays playing the wrong way?
The fact that a guy like Anthony Gose can’t [use his speed to hit] .300 speaks volumes to me about what’s going on in the minor leagues. The fact that he doesn’t spend an hour a day in the batting cage with a coach, whether it’s by his design or whether they have to grab him by his shirt collar. The Jays don’t draft well and they don’t develop players well. There’s a lack of accountability in this organization, from the top to the bottom.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 06, 2014 at 06:04 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Friday, April 04, 2014

Are Jays fans more drunk, boorish and entitled than ever?

The Royal Blue Hysteria…

But musician, author and Jays fan Dave Bidini suggests that over the last few years, the people filling the blue plastic seats are increasingly drunk, boorish and entitled. “Guys with reversed baseball caps with wrap-around sunglasses coming in from Oshawa or Whitby…who act like jerks and then leave”, is how the Etobicoke native describes the problematic fans responsible for “a lot of vomit, a lot fighting” in the stands. Bidini suggests the Jays’ own marketing is partly to blame for turning their home field into a “drunken destination point”. “Baseball, I think has become very anxious and neurotic in terms of their fanbase eroding or dying off. They’re trying to make it come across as a bit more of a young people’s sport.” Though not a problem exclusive to Toronto, Bidini feels the team is pushing the wrong elements of the ballpark atmosphere to line up with a younger, more party-oriented crowd: lots of contests, big screen displays, giant beers and women’s team shirts that declare “I <3 BJs”. Bidini is baffled by the level of drunkenness under the Dome, given the price of stadium beer. “It’s not a cheap drunk. Like, you’re blowing a hundred, 150 dollars.” He’s convinced the rowdy, young fans are people just passing through Toronto for the night or a weekend. “If you’re a kid living in the city, you don’t really have the disposable income to go down to a Jays game and drink 17 beers.” ...Bidini will on occasion challenge people he calls “ugly-minded fans”. He did at a game last spring, one he was enjoying with kids despite a couple guys blasting the home team through an 8-2 loss. Bidini says they were especially cruel to outfielder Rajai Davis, now with the Tigers. “Their behaviour was reprehensible. And it struck me as inherently racist because Rajai was the only black dude out on the field at the time and they were all over him.” Bidini says he told the bawdy fans the Jays were trying their best. Other people nearby supported him, trying to shout down the negativity of nasty fans.
Repoz Posted: April 04, 2014 at 05:21 AM | 22 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Blue Jays players were willing to alter contracts to land Santana

It was as if the Toronto Blue Jays passed around a hat, trying to collect enough money to sign free-agent right-hander Ervin Santana.

Several Jays players discussed deferring portions of their salaries to clear payroll for Santana last month, according to major league sources.

The discussions, which apparently did not progress past the conversation stage, raise new questions about the Jays’ payroll flexibility for 2014.

Paul D(uda) Posted: April 03, 2014 at 11:39 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, ervin santana

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Toronto Blue Jays’ Dustin McGowan wins a rotation spot as club sets opening-day roster

McGowan, 32, lost the better part of five years to shoulder injuries. Once a promising starter, he told management at the end of last season that he wanted to try to win a rotation job. But a 10-day bout with the flu seemed to knock him out of the running because he had not been stretched out enough to set himself up for that role.

He expected to wind up in the bullpen again. “It seemed like time was running short on me,” he said Thursday before learning of his new assignment.

But in his past two outings, he has thrown 48 and 62 pitches, and assuming no setbacks, management is betting that another start on Sunday will prepare him for the job.

The Jays will use an 8 man bullpen and Josh Thole beat out Erik Kratz to win the backup/knuckleball catcher job.

Good cripple hitter Posted: March 26, 2014 at 11:13 AM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, comebacks, dustin mcgowan

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