I figured I'd put up some links this morning, to pass time while we are waiting for Kyle Drabek's first start in Toronto. With 12 games left of the season, it is looking like we'll end up around .500, which I guess is a good thing. I'd rather see J.P. Arencibia play more and have the team finish below .500 (not that I think having him play more would cost us games), but if the plan is to get to that .500 mark, I guess I might as well cheer for that.
Take a moment, before you go on to the links, to vote for Tom Cheek. You will find a link to the poll on the right. Click on Tom's picture.
One that note:
- You have likely all seen this, I think Johnny linked to it in the game thread yesterday, but if you haven't, go listen to Boom Boom Bautista.
- I missed this the other day (I spent most of the day in the air) but Ken Fidlin in the Sun figures that the 4 games JP has played behind the plate and the handful of games Lind has played at first somehow proves neither can play those positions. I love guys that can read something into a few at bats, it reminds me of all the folks telling us, at the start of the year, that Brandon Morrow would never be a starting pitcher. Fidlin says maybe we should resign Buck and Overbay. Buck has had a really good year and I thought I was as big a fan of Overbay as anyone, but I can't understand how anyone thinks this team will improve from a .500 team to one that can compete for a playoff spot while keeping all the same old players and watching them decline. I don't know, does anyone really think we can complete with a first baseman that, in a relatively good year, hits .250 with mid range power. Buck is good, but at 30 he is having the best year of his career and is still getting on base at just barely a .300 rate. Does anyone think he has much more room to improve? Or is it more likely that he'll fall off from career high numbers? To compete in our division, as Anthopoulos has told us often enough, we need special players.
- For some reason, a National post was delivered to my house this morning. We don't get any paper at the moment, though sometimes I pick one up during the day. Jeremy Sandler had a little profile of Ichiro, so I thought I'd find it on the NP site and link to it. On the site it is edited down to a couple of hundred words and isn't near as good a story. Part of what I liked was Sandler mentioned that lots of us think that since Ichiro doesn't take many walks and doesn't hit for power he isn't that valuable a player. Cito says "tell those play to try and go out and get 200 hits a year." And it is true there is a value to that. He can help a team, but Jose Bautista is getting on base more often then Ichiro and has 43 move home runs. I know which guy I'd rather have.
- Richard Griffin writes about the politics behind the hysteria surrounding maple bats.
- Mike Ganter in the Sun talks about the importance of Alex Athopoulos' search for a new manager. I'm not sure that the Terry Francona and Joe Maddon examples are really all that great. Who ever the new manager is, he will need to have the talent to win with. No manager could win the series with the team we had this year. As we get reminded daily of late, Cito Gaston has two World Series rings and he did terrific to keep the team slightly above .500. The right manager is important but the right players are too. I want someone that is willing to work with the younger players, will have patience with them....or, you know, me. But they still haven't called me for an interview.
Some non-Jays links:
- Joe Torre apologized to Jerry Manuel for opening campaigning for his job. Being fair, everyone but Jerry Manuel knows that he is going to be fired after the season. But then Torre wasn't showing the 'class' everyone says he has.
- In other Met news, Francisco Rodriguez was arrested for violating the 'no contact' order with his girlfriend. I'm not sure the term girlfriend is right, after she gets a 'no contact' order and you have assaulted her father.
- Roy Halladay got his 20th win last night. Would bittersweet be the right term for what I'm feeling? Or just bitter?
- And the Twins clinched first in the AL Central last night. Course, we could round up 25 guys on this site that could compete in the AL Central. Pat Tabler would tell you that the Twins play the game the right way. I guess he is right, in a way, in the AL Central it would be more important to put together a team that doesn't shoot itself in the foot than put together a team with a lot of talent. Play sound baseball, don't make a lot of mistakes and you can run away with the division.