Archive for 2010

The Who Jays?

Entering the 2010 season, the Toronto Blue Jays were predicted to throw in a lost season in large effect from losing so much talent.

The events surrounding Toronto’s offseason are well documented. Ace Roy Halladay wanted out of The J.P. Ricciardi Disaster.   After another disappointing season, the Jays sensed their window of contention had passed, and sought to turn their single proven commodity into the biggest return of the century. Fortunately for the Jays, Ricciardi was given the boot before, well, booting another deal. Instead of a “Retiardi” as it one might aptly call it, newly crowned GM Alex Anthopoulos spun Halladay to the Phillies for a robust injection of young talent–most notably prospects Brett Wallace and Kyle Drabek.

The moment Halladay’s bus ticket was punched for Philly, the Jays were considered non-factors in the East for 3 years minimum as they boarded the S.S. Rebuilding. For the first time in what seemed like ages, “experts” up, down, left, right were calling for a team OTHER THAN the O’s and Rays to finish last in the East. That is actually a big deal. All this negative Jays vibe centered around one question: who the heck were the Blue Jays without Roy Halladay? How could they possibly be good without The Doc?

Yet here we are nearly 60 games in and Toronto is just a handful of games out of first, and neck-and-neck with the Red Sox for 3rd in the division. So somebody must be pitching and hitting on their team, and pretty well at that. If fact, the Jays are 4th in ERA and xFIP and 5th is OPS and wOBA. That is, they are pitching and hitting exceptionally well. As Jerry Seinfeld once said–who are these people?


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The Perfect Game that wasn’t….

Heartbreaking. There’s no other word to describe what happened to Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga last night. In case you missed it, Galaragga had pitched 8 2/3 innings of perfect baseball, meaning he had allowed no hits or walks. He was merely one out away from completing a perfect game and becoming only the 21st pitcher in the history of baseball to do so. And then this happened….

Sorry about the quality, this is one of the only videos of this left on Youtube

As the slow-motion replays at the end of the video clearly show, the batter was out. Meaning that while in reality Armando Galarraga had pitched a perfect game, it would not go down history that way and he would denied his place among the other great pitchers to accomplish this feat. What makes it even more sad is that after the game the umpire himself, Jim Joyce, admitted that he blew the call and acknowledged the gravity of his mistake, saying “I just cost that kid a perfect game.” He apparently also personally apologized to Armando Galarraga and was visibly in tears while doing so. Certainly he should be commended for his candor and honesty.

But is that all? Should we just accept that an umpire made a tragic mistake and move on? Or can something be done about it? Better yet, should something be done about it?


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How long should a rebuilding process take?

Fifteen wins and thirty-two losses.  When Andy MacPhail took over as president of baseball operations for the Orioles in 2007, I don’t think I could have envisioned we would be enduring such a terrible beginning to the 2010 season.  Honestly, I think we can interpret MacPhail’s taped address to Orioles fans as evidence that he wasn’t expecting it, either.

I don’t want to suggest, however, that surprise is my main response to the team’s performance this season.  Honestly, it’s not even anger.  With each base-running mistake, each untimely injury, each stadium half-filled with Sawx fans, I feel myself inching closer and closer towards a resignation to failure.  While this season in isolation isn’t much different than most of the last 12, this one is especially painful because I expected the Orioles to finally turn the corner and start playing competitive baseball.  But now I’ve begun to wonder, was that a reasonable expectation?  Is it logical to believe that the Orioles would be competitive only the third full-year into MacPhail’s tenure?  How long should should a rebuilding process take?


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