Thursday, 30 August 2012

A Week of Baseball Thoughts

I'm just going to list some things that have happened this week and talk about them.

Shi Davidi wrote an article on about John Farrell and the persistent rumours about him leaving to manage the Red Sox. I had some conversations about it on Twitter. The Tao of Stieb was completely bummed out.

 OK. This is what I think happened with the whole John Farrell was so gonna leave last October.

Maybe John Farrell considered leaving for Boston last fall. And that's ok, it's a pretty prestigious gig.  But that supposed "almost left" time coincides with Terry Francona being dragged through the mud in the Boston media. They implied that Tito was a drug addict. And I don't know if that nugget was placed in the media by the front office, but I wouldn't put it past them.  Sox fans wanted answers for what happened last season and what was going to be done about it, and things got creative.

Farrell and Francona are tight. Francona, in his role as analyst for ESPN, talked extensively about how much he admires Farrell, likes him and respects him. It's a full on man crush.

Anthopolous and Beeston might have created to "no lateral moves" rule to prevent Farrell from leaving, or they might have done it because Farrell was irritated by the questions, the implications and the gossip. He did get pretty short with the press last week when they asked him about Boston rumours.

I think the front office in Boston is very busy with a PR campaign right now. And I don't think they are above planting ideas into the gardens of the Buster Olneys of the world. The Olneys of the world love writing articles that get a lot of hits and a lot of Twitter talk, and like to go on sports talk radio with dirt.

Again, I would not put it past the Sox to create something new to talk about to distract from the questions about why exactly Bobby Valentine was hired and why he is doing stuff to piss Dustin Pedroia off so much. Because that is one pissed off hobbit.

This is an organization that placed blame for the text messages to the front office on Kelly Shoppach using AGon's cell phone.  Which naturally, makes total sense. Wait, we're not talking about 13 year old girls? Then it makes no sense.

Marcus Stroman, first round draft pick from the 2012 draft, tested positive for a PED and was suspended for 50 games. Methylhexaneamine is found in a lot of body building supplements that can be bought over the counter. I'm just going to accept that Stroman did it unintentionally, and hope that he'll read the labels from now on.

Bautista will need surgery to repair his left wrist and is done for the season. His return to the lineup felt like Christmas and his return to the DL felt like having to work retail on Boxing Day. And by that I mean it felt distressing and concerning. When the team announced Bautista's surgery earlier in the week, I felt resigned. The team isn't going to be doing anything this season anyway and this way, Bautista gets the surgery and has plenty of time to heal before the spring.

“There’s just too much instability in that tendon,” Bautista said. “It got to the point where risking injuring the tendon was not worth it. So that’s why we’re opting to do it now. That way I have plenty of time to be ready for spring training and the season.”

John Lott, in his Post story, says that Tampa's Sam Fuld, who had similar surgery earlier this year, is confident in Dr. Thomas Graham. Bautista is leaving the team tonight and is headed to Cincinnati for surgery Tuesday.

 "I’m very confident that he’ll come back in the same form he was before the surgery,” Fuld said Thursday before the Rays opened a series at the Rogers Centre.

“When I’m out there playing, I don’t think about my wrist,” he said. “That’s really all you can ask for.”

The Jays won a series in New York for the first time since 1796.

They won the first game in dramatic fashion. There was a go ahead bomb from Rasmus which was completely delicious. Janssen gave up a tying homer to Jeter, a "homer" which barely scrapped over the wall. The outraged look on Janssen's face in the dugout when the game went into extras was great, but I hope he didn't get too worked up over something that would be a fly ball out in 99 per cent of MLB stadiums. And if he did get worked up, I hope Darren Oliver gave him a patented "Bitch, please" talk.

The middle game featured a pretty decent performance from Ricky Romero, who had a filthy change working and fastballs for strikes. It was a loss, but a far less pitiful one. It also featured a really fantastic play from Robinson Cano.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Yankees infield was back. Escobar hits a line drive at Cano, who  snares it and whips  the ball  to third base. Colby Rasmus could not get back in time, and the only offensive threat of the game was over.

“I just kind of froze, thinking that even if he did make that play I would have time to get back. But it was just boom. He was already pretty much throwing it before he hit the ground. If it’s a split-second later, I beat it.”

 Butterfield, the Jays’ third-base coach: “It was an unbelievable play by Cano. I’ve never seen a second baseman playing back attempt to throw to third base on a ball like that. Robinson Cano is special, so you tip your cap to him – tremendous play by a great player.”

Yunel Escobar was the hero of the Sabbathia started getaway game.Escobar had a go-ahead RBI double in the third. His homer against Sabathia in the sixth gave the Blue Jays the lead again and his two-run double off Joba Chamberlain in the ninth helped secure Toronto's first series win since July 27-29. The five RBIs matched a career high for Escobar.

Escobar cites the break he took for the birth of his baby for giving him a mental break.

“At the time of the birth he was a little frustrated with how he was performing but that three-day break allowed him to relax and come back with a more positive mindset,” Jose Bautista said, translating for Escobar.

I love this quote, just because not only did Bautista translate the Spanish into English, it also sounds like he translated the Escobar into Bautista. "A more positive mindset" is totally a phrase Bautista would use in an interview. It's pure Bautista.

Steph Rogers, friend and fellow baseball obsessed writer, went to Arizona and interviewed Aaron Hill and John McDonald for Sportsnet. I'd totally be spreading dirt about her because of my intense jealously if I didn't like her and think she was doing a kick ass job. Johnny Mac, you guys!!!

This blog has been quiet because, as I announced on Twitter, my dad had heart surgery to fix an aneurysm and I've been a little distracted. Baseball and my dad are closely linked for me, so I can't write about baseball and not think about my dad. He's doing a lot better, thankfully.

He did manage to see the Rasmus homer on Monday from the ICU. Baseball in the ICU. That's hardcore.


  1. Good roundup. I'll be surprised if Farrell wants to re-enter the Boston circus, but who the hell knows.

    Best wishes to your Dad.

  2. Do you know what the stencil under Yunel's left eye on Wednesday said? Best wishes for your father's good health and continuing enjoyment of baseball.

  3. Went back to your old posts and looked at the videos intended to keep us warm last winter, and the one of the best night of baseball ever, in hopes of regaining my enthusiasm for baseball during this miserable season. Thanks, it seems to have worked. But the last four games would probably have worked too. We live in hope.