It’s about the Blue Jays

7 05 2011

Went to the Jays game last night with some of the people I knew back when I was writing for Batter’s Box. It was enjoyable to be in the company of people who are even more obsessive about baseball than I am! Craig and Rob, who organized the event, bought everybody two packs of baseball cards – one from 1988 and one from 1991. I am now the proud owner of a Junior Noboa baseball card. My life is enriched.

Some random thoughts about the 2011 Jays and baseball follow:

  • Edwin Encarnacion has 10 doubles this year, but no triples or home runs. How often does that happen? Looking through the AL stats, I notice that the next highest total of doubles only is 6 (two players have done this, one of whom is Ichiro). If EE isn’t hitting home runs, he’s not much use, though – he doesn’t walk, field or run. We may be seeing Brett Lawrie very soon – though it’s likely he won’t come up until bringing him up wouldn’t allow him to go for arbitration a year sooner.
  • Vladimir Guerrero is swinging at everything for Baltimore this year – 124 at-bats, only 2 walks. He’s always been a swing at everything kind of dude, but whoa.
  • Similarly, Adam Lind has the same number of home runs (7) as walks (7). If you’re hitting .317, you can get away with this.
  • I mentioned yesterday that Jose Bautista is unique in baseball history: somebody who has just hit 54 home runs but still feels he has something to prove. Somebody that I was talking to suggested that Roger Maris was in the same boat, but I don’t think Maris felt that he needed to prove something to the world after his 61 in ’61 – he just wanted the world to go away.
  • We decided that we liked Jesse Litsch. My lunch today will be free, courtesy of him – he struck out enough batters to make my ticket good for a free slice of pizza.
  • If Rzepczynski (I had to look it up) keeps pitching like that, he could have a job until he is 40. Left-handed spot relievers can just keep on going and going and going.
  • Jason Frasor is pitching well – which, I was reminded, he usually does when he’s not asked to close. He’s a survivor.
  • It looks like Francisco is going to be one of those high-wire closers: he gets the save, but not before driving the fans crazy with worry.
  • The next time somebody criticizes the Jays’ front office too much, consider this: Alex Rios is hitting .178 and is being paid $12 million, and Vernon Wells is hitting .180 and is being paid $23 million. Both have three more years on their contracts. I feel sorry for Wells, actually: he seems like a nice guy, and he works hard. It’s not his fault that he is overpaid: in fact, given how much flak he has taken, both here and in Los Angeles, you could argue that he has almost earned the money.
  • And, to finish up: those of us watching the game last night agreed that Gregg Zaun is now doing what he is born to do. He’s fun to follow on Twitter, though some of his comments are a little cryptic. (If he writes “Linda”, it’s shorthand for a Jays pitcher striking out an opponent on a fastball. “Linda” is short for “Linda Ronstadt”, who sang “Blue Bayou” – and that fastball just “blew by you”. Isn’t baseball fun?)
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