Thursday, 19 September 2013

There Is Still Good in the Blue Jays World (Apparently)

After my baseball best friend, Edwin Encarnacion, was placed on the DL for the remainder of the season, I contemplated giving up completely on the season. I didn't feel like reading about anything, I didn't feel like listening to games on the radio and I sure as hell didn't feel like writing about it.

I mean, Munenori Kawasaki was the DH.

But as it turns out, there is still some joy to be found in taking two of three from the Yankees and putting another nail in the coffin called their "playoff hopes". And it's still completely sickening to watch the team waste a great J.A. Happ performance with some crappy bullpen pitching and some questionable bunting decisions. I had a sneaking suspicion something like that was going to happen in that game. It all felt too easy and too quiet.

But there is still good in the world:

There is this:

I discussed this with his pops.
And there was this:

I didn't even know this was a thing. And neither did Show Pony. 

And this: 

Chris Toman wrote last month about Brett Lawrie's second half resurgence and his willingness to keep learning.

Per Chad Mottola:

"[Brett] and Edwin [Encarnacion] are talking game plans of what a pitcher tries to do to right-handed hitters," Mottola said. "He has really welcomed that and taken that to heart, and listened to a veteran guy who has figured it out later in his career. He wants to learn early so he can get ahead of the curve."

Clever boy, this one.

This was a version of the team photo. Should've been official.

There is not much I can add to the whole Arencibia situation that hasn't already been said. He's had a brutal year, and having him come up, in the slump he is in, in the 9th vs Rivera was just unfortunate. Both because of the slump, because I sensed where it was going and I knew the barrage of hate that was going to get sent towards him. Shi Davidi's piece allowed Arencibia to speak his mind, but I have some serious questions about the bursitis in his knee. I don't see the point of playing through pain if you aren't playing well. And bursitis is painful.

In news that is not at all shocking,Gregg Zaun thinks Arencibia shouldn't have the job next year. This may be the one thing that Zaun and various Jays bloggers and stat heads can agree on.

Mariano Rivera is the greatest relief pitcher of all time and also, by all reports, a heck of a nice guy.

My favourite "Mo at the Dome" story was one that Vernon Wells told to Shi Davidi when Wells was here with the Yankees this last series:

Roy Halladay outduelled Mike Mussina for 7.2 innings in the opener and handed a 4-3 lead over to closer B.J. Ryan, who promptly gave it up with two outs in the eighth inning. Things remained deadlocked until the 11th, when with one out Wells sent a 1-0 cutter over the wall in left-centre. The centre-fielder raised his arm to the sky, index finger pointing upwards, as he circled the bases, a crowd of 42,336 exploding. “With him my approach was always to look in for his cutter and force myself to swing at it,” says Wells, whose memory of the game is remarkably vivid. 

“I remember I got ball one, a cutter away, and then I was thinking, all right, if he comes in with the cutter, force yourself to swing at it. He started it in, I went to swing and I hit it. I hit it pretty high, it was either going to get caught, or go out, and as soon as it went out, I remember thinking to myself, ‘I just hit a walk-off home run against the greatest closer of all-time.’ I had goose-bumps from that moment on. “Just knowing what kind of feat that is, and what Mariano stands for, it was pretty cool moment.”

I went to the game the next night with my parents. The place was still buzzing. It's not just that Wells hit a walk-off homer, it was that he hit it off a Mo cutter. Also, Roy Halladay outduelling Mike Mussina in the Rogers Centre is the way it should have been and should always be, forever and ever. Amen.

Finally, Jose Bautista sat down for an interview on Cabbie's podcast. He talks about his temper, his Blue Jays football fantasy pool (which includes Darren "Black Magic" Oliver, Casey Janssen and Josh Thole, who is getting his ass kicked.) He also talks about cock fighting, and that one of the Jays is so involved he has built his own cock fighting ring. I'm not down with cock fighting, but holy crow, that's a good bit of gossip. It's just ridiculous. I think I've deduced who it is, but I don't want to tarnish anyone's rep. Feel free to bet amongst yourselves.

It also made me think of this:

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