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Thursday Bantering: Hit batters, expanded attendance, and other Jays stuff

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Toronto Blue Jays v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

It hasn’t been the greatest week for the Jays, just 3-3 in their last 6, and the Red Sox and Yankees have started winning again (it helps that they have been playing crappy teams, but such is life).

Why? Well...

Not quite fair. There were a lot of walks taken in this series by both teams. Good pitching does tend to make it harder to hit, but I’m happy that we are past the Vlad can’t hit in big games stuff.

I have seen the line, way too much lately, that Vlad can’t hit with RISP. I had to check: .321/.451/.620 with 11 home runs with runners in scoring position. Bases loaded .250/.364/.625 (not that it means much in 11 PA).


The Jays are trying to get permission to sell more tickets for the last series of the season and for, please baseball gods, playoffs:

Personally, since they insist on vaccination proof, I can’t see why they can’t up the numbers some. Still, then I should leave the decisions to smarter people (I’ll admit I’m happier now that we have to show vaccine confirmation to go to bars, restaurants, and my gym here in Alberta. But, I know it is too little too late. And that an 18-year old died of Covid here yesterday. But I’m hopeful that numbers will fall here).

Maybe we could have a poll:

Poll

Should the Jay be allowed to increase attendance at game?

This poll is closed

  • 88%
    Yes
    (394 votes)
  • 11%
    No
    (50 votes)
444 votes total Vote Now

After the first two games, I was curious how yesterday’s Umpires Scorecard would look. I was starting to think that the Jays should petition that they don’t see this umpiring crew anymore, not that I particularly think there was favoritism. When an umpire has a bad night, odds are he’ll have some bad calls at big moments that will cost one team more than the other. But, though yesterday’s job by Bruce Deckman wasn’t great, it is fair. 0.11 runs towards the Jays, so basically even.


Peter Gammons, in the Athletic, discussed Marcus Semien’s free-agent possibilities. I like how he talked about Toronto, and Marcus has to see that the team will be in the playoff hunt for the next several years. But money talks.

“There’s so much that’s great about Toronto and playing there,” Semien says. “I walk to work. The city’s beautiful, the walk is really nice, I really like the neighborhood. It’s very clear that Mark Shapiro wants this to be a great place for players.”

I have questions on whether he will continue to be performing at or near this level. Whoever signs him will be paying him as if he will.


In Craig Calcaterra’s morning newsletter (which I can’t recommend enough, even though there is too much Premiership League football some days, and I don’t share his fascination with Columbo at all). Thursday’s are free, so you can check it out today, clicking on the link.

Anyway, he touches on the L’affaire Keirmaier, saying that, for him, the real issue is how terrible a liar Keirmaier is. I quoting a rather large portion of it here:

Here’s our boy Kevin, talking last night about what he saw and what he did once he picked up Alejandro Kirk’s notecard:

“We’re making this way too complex . . . I saw a few words on it, just knowing it wasn’t mine I didn’t look at it, still haven’t looked at it. Don’t even know what the heck is on it . . . A couple seconds after, I realized it wasn’t ours and at that point, I’m not giving it back. I’m not going to walk to the other dugout or find another way. They can think whatever they want over there, they’re entitled to an opinion. I’m over it, though.”

When asked if he did anything wrong, Kiermaier replied: “No.”

If there is a plausible or even reasonably intelligible run of words anywhere in those ramblings I can’t find them. Indeed, that whole quote has serious Principal Skinner saying “I was only in there to get directions on how to get away from there” energy. If he gave that kind of an answer to a reasonably competent police detective as a person-of-interest he’d immediately become a suspect and if he gave it to a jury as a defendant he’d immediately become a convict. It and its shift from “I didn’t do nothin’” to a somewhat aggressive “it’s not my problem it’s their problem” tack is simply not anything someone would be on if they were even being remotely truthful.

Again: I must stress how little I care about this whole episode on the actual merits of it. I think the note card thing itself is the smallest sort of beer and I don’t offer any of this as means of indicting Keirmaier’s actions or inactions or throwing shade on him or the Rays for what went down on the field. It’s a dumb, small, very-much-should-be-over kind of thing that I can barely begin to care about for its own sake.

But my God, I am fasciated with how bad Kiermaier is at lying! It’s like a train wreck in slow motion. If you had Tim Robinson from “I Think You Should Leave” deliver that quote Kiermaier gave while wearing the hot dog suit or doing the “Coffin Flop” commercial, the sketches would still work. That’s precisely the vibe he’s giving off here.

I agree that this is really what got to me about it. I’m not for throwing at a batter. This is partly because Borucki is likely to be suspended at the worst possible time in the season.

The other part that didn’t happen in this case was that I worried that someone could be hurt in the bench-clearing that followed. Thankfully, cooler heads prevailed. Well, cooler heads other than Pete Walker, who, I imagine, was making points about things not involving stolen cards.

And I don’t think there is anything gained by trying to hurt someone. So, yes, I know he wasn’t injured, but if you tell me that being hit by a base moving at 90+ mph doesn’t hurt, I’m going to question your intelligence.

Throwing at players seems like something that should have disappeared from baseball years ago.


Today’s in Blue Jays history: