Bob Elliott throws out the first pitch after winning the J.G. Taylor Spink Award.
Overall, it was a good week for Blue Jays baseball. Yes, Luis Perez, Sergio Santos, and Travis d'Arnaud are gone for the season, Jose Bautista lost the Home Run Derby, and the Blue Jays couldn't pickup a win for Ricky Romero on Friday....
OK alright, it hasn't been the best of weeks for Toronto's team, but hey--over 91,000 fans saw the Jays take two games against the Cleveland Indians this weekend. They are now 45-44 (.506), just 1.5 games back of the Baltimore Orioles for the final playoff spot. And of course, Alex Anthopoulos managed to extend the contract of Edwin Encarnacion, and the Baseball Writers' Association of America decided to honour Canadian sportswriter Bob Elliott on his lifetime of achievement in covering the Montreal Expos and the Toronto Blue Jays. The J.G. Taylor Spink Award is the writers' version of the Ford C. Frick Award, and it includes a plaque in the National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum in Cooperstown. Congratulations, Bob Elliott, on the tremendous honour!
The title for today's links post comes from a tweet from Blue Jays farmhand (and double Tommy John survivor) Johnny Anderson (@j0hnny_A), who asked:
Are oranges called oranges because they're orange, or is the color orange called orange because oranges are orange? #hmmm— Johnny Anderson (@j0hnny_A) July 15, 2012
That was a question I was wondering about a couple years ago when a linguist friend of mine told be that the word "orange" was first used to name the fruit. It wasn't until relatively recently that the word "orange" was used regularly to describe the colour, which was described as "yellow-red" for a long time. The more you know. Here are your Monday morning links:
Blue Jays Related
Blue Jays pitching casualties unexplainable - Toronto Star
Dr. Glenn Fleisig, a lead researcher at Dr. James Andrew's sports medicine institute, believes that the rash of pitching injuries in Toronto is more random than systemic. He also adds that complete muscle tears don't generally happen on one single pitch; it probably signifies that a pitcher has been pitching through the pain of multiple microscopic tears.
Edwin Encarnacion and the Anatomy of Contract Value - Grantland
Just in case you missed it on Friday, here is Jonah Keri's take on Edwin Encarnacion's contract extension.
A Different Viewpoint on Edwin Encarnacion’s Contract - Mop-Up Duty
Matthias Koster over at Mop-Up Duty looks at who Edwin Encarnacion is at the plate. Protip: never throw him down and in.
So That’s That: Santos Needs Surgery, Out for the Year - Drunk Jays Fans
Drew Adequateservice writes about Sergio Santos' year-ending decision on getting surgery on his labrum, and tries to evaluate on what impact his loss has been on the Blue Jays.
San-toasted - The Tao of Stieb
The Org Guy gives you his two cents about Sergio Santos' injury and explains why this is nothing like the Mike Sirotka deal.
Looking at the rest of the AL East - Pinstripe Alley
Meatface gives a Yankees fan's perspective on the rest of the AL East in a FanPost up on the Yankees' SB Nation community. Like everyone, he notes that pitching is the Jays' weakness, and suggests names like Matt Garza and Jason Vargas.
Baseball coach brings his beautiful calligraphy to the dugout - The Globe and Mail
John Allemang writes a piece on Don Wakamatsu's lettering on Blue Jays lineup cards. If you want one of your own, just head to the memorabilia corner of the Blue Jays Shop at Rogers Centre.
Down On The Farm
Moniker Madness - MiLB.com
One of my favourite things about the Minor League Baseball website is their annual Moniker Madness bracket, where fans get to choose, elimination style, the best name in the minor leagues. Previous winners were Houston Summers, Will Startup, Dusty Napoleon, Rowdy Hardy, and Seth Schwindenhammer.
In round 1 (ends today), Dunedin Blue Jay Boomer Potts is facing Tyson Van Winkle, Adeiny Hechavarria is facing Bear Bay, Nicholas Baligod is facing Rougned Odor, and "James" Leblebijian (typo by MiLB.com, his real first name is Jason) takes on Zelous Wheeler. Unfortunately, I think Potts would be the only Blue Jays minor leaguer to advance in round 1 (which ends today), but go there and vote now! DunedinPatch has a little piece on why Potts is named Boomer.
2012 Jays Draft Signings a Resounding Success - Jays Journal
Mat Germain thinks the Blue Jays did a good job in the amateur draft this season in comparison to years past. Also has some quick summary statistics of the draft.
Jays' Lansing Big 3 unfazed by rumours - Sportsnet
Alexis Brudnicki writes about how Justin Nicolino, Noah Syndergaard, and Aaron Sanchez, especially how they are dealing with trade rumours (apparently, the Minnesota Twins have been watching Lugnuts games).
Lugnuts starter Sanchez has become one of baseball's top prospects - Lansing State Journal
Lots of love for the Lugnuts Three. Here, Brian Calloway puts the spotlight on Aaron Sanchez.
Jays Journal Prospects Profile: LoA Lansing's OF, Kevin Pillar - Jays Journal
Mat Germain profiles a prospect we don't hear too much about, Lansing Lugnuts outfielder Kevin Pillar.
Alleged slur uttered at Crawford in NH traced to Mass. police officer - New Hampshire Union Leader
Someone allegedly yelled racial slurs at Boston Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford while he was rehabbing with the Portland Sea Dogs at New Hampshire, and it turns out that it could have been a Massachusetts police officer. Crawford is expected to be reactivated from the DL today.
Around The League
Comparing Hitters, the Very New School Way - Infield fly
Greg Wisniewski introduces a cool new feature on Baseball Prospectus that allows anyone to produce batting profiles using Pitch f/x data. He shows a home run location chart for Jose Bautista and Prince Fielder, which made me look up Corey Patterson's home run chart. Remember that eye-level homer he hit last year? It is literally off the chart.
Instant replay? Maybe imperfection is OK - ESPN
"Our culture today wants everything to be right all the time but sometimes perfection is found in overcoming mistakes." I have no idea what Anna McDonald means with that quote. I mean, yes, it is important for teams to overcome an umpire's bad call, but how is that perfection? McDonald writes a rare piece against more instant replay over at ESPN. I don't agree with her stance (or the stance of baseball elders) but it is worth a read.
More Around The League links right after the jump!
Four Pitchers Who Could be Traded - Beyond the Box Score
Talking about Garza, Ari Berkowitz writes about him and three other pitchers that could be pitching for another team come August.
As a 20-year-old rookie, Mike Trout may be the best player in baseball - CBSSports.com
Jon Heyman believes that Mike Trout, having all five-tools as well as baseball smarts, is the best player in baseball. He was the 25th overall pick of the 2009 draft--the Angels received the pick from the Yankees for free agent signee Mark Teixeria (they also got the pick for Tyler Skaggs). It is worth noting that the Blue Jays selected Chad Jenkins five slots ahead of him.
URL Weaver: The Mitchell Report Legacy Edition - Getting Blanked
Weekender Travis Reitsma writes about the uselessness of the Mitchell Report, and has a bunch of links should you feel this post did not have enough. He points out a bit of news that was overshadowed by Sergio Santos' decision to go for surgery: Travis d'Arnaud is also out for the rest of the season and will probably not participate in the Arizona Fall League.
1-3-6-2 Double Play, and Go Ahead Run- SB, E1 - Baseball is Magic
The Yankees turn a pickoff into an inning-ending double play and the San Diego Padres steal the tying run in the bottom of the 9th then go ahead on a throwing error. In the second video featured on this post, you will see one of the worst calls of the year, courtesy of home plate umpire Greg Gibson.
So Ozzie Guillen didn't like something Bryce Harper did with his bat - Nats Enquirer
Ozzie, you're supposed to wait until AFTER Harper homers to complain about pine tar height.
"Our Great League of the West" - Baseball Nation
If you have 26 minutes and 19 seconds to blow, this film on the Pacific Coast League's attempt to become a third major league could prove to be interesting.
Great Moments in Revisionist History: All-Star Game Edition - NotGraphs Baseball
One of the best posts I've ever read on NotGraphs. And that's saying something.