Go Figure…

Yeah, go figure that on the last home game of the season, I’d get so sick at work that I had to go home. I hammered out the Jays notes as quickly as I could after eating dinner — which only made me feel worse — and then I spent some time hugging the toilet in a bathroom in the Rogers Centre. That was a first. So if any of you loyal readers were wondering why I didn’t write the game story for the final home contest, well, I hope that explains it.

Anyway, after paying respect to the Ivory Gods, I started to feel a little better. I caught a 6:30 am flight out of Toronto and I’m currently in Motown. Being in Detroit isn’t always great, but in my case, it allows me to see some old college friends and people who help cover the Tigers that I know from my days at Michigan State. So I’m looking forward to the next three days — especially because I was able to hold down my lunch today!


Second place! Second place! Can you feel the excitement ripping through Blue Jays Nation? OK, in all seriousness, second place is a good achievement. Just keep in mind that if Toronto does finish second, it has a LOT to do with Boston’s free fall than a huge surge by the Jays. Either way, it’d be good for Toronto to shake up the status quo for once. The Jays haven’t finished in second since 1990, I believe. They haven’t finished higher than third since 1993, when they won the World Series. So even though second does come with a Wild Card this season, it is an improvement.

It had to be good for you Jays fans to hear Vernon Wells say he hopes he stays in Toronto for years to come. Wells had been taking the "We’ll just have to wait and see" approach on the contract subject for most of the season. Lately, he’s been making it sound like he really does want to stay with the Jays. He didn’t deny that negotiations had already begun. When he was asked that on Monday, Wells smiled and said something to the effect of "I let my representatives handle all of that."

I’ve got to believe that inking him to an extension is the No. 1 priority this winter. Beyond that, Toronto needs to add one or two starters — Ted Lilly might be one of the solutions, but we’ll see. The Jays also plan on addressing the middle infield issue. Next year it’ll be Aaron Hill and…and…that’s what needs to be figured out. Russ Adams isn’t projected to be a starter in 2007 — not unless he shows Toronto some huge leap in performance in the spring.

Dustin McGowan starts tonight at Comerica Park against Tigers’ Jeremy Bonderman. This series doesn’t mean much for the Jays, but Toronto might play a role in whether Detroit wins the Central or the Wild Card. I, for one, have this gut feeling that the Twins will win the division.


  1. ukgocats3@netscape.net

    does anybody else think that vernon has a shot at the gold glove? if it werent for those three early errors he would have a much higher fielding percentage, and has made plenty of spectacular plays in the field. he only has two assists because no one will run on him. there is no question he has an arm: we all saw the all-star game. i like him to win one. however, i am pretty biased and this year we’ve got sizemore and matthews in addition to the always competitive hunter and suzuki.
    anybody agree?

  2. jnh28sub@hotmail.com

    Errors are very subjective and I would hope the people in charge of awarding Gold Gloves will not base the majority of their decisions on errors. Errors are subjective simply because they a) rely on the official scorer’s judgement which in some instances can get very tainted (see Fenway).

    The other very important aspect is needs to be amde aware is that errors in Vernon’s case are only charged because they’re balls that he “should” have gotten. Vernon Wells, being such a fantastic athlete and having the best outfield eye in baseball gets near balls that many outfielders would never even approach. Mo Vaughn could play centerfield and could possibly have a fielding percentage of 100%, since he can’t move and woudl catch everything hit directly to him.

    Now, there are some ways to measure defense, but an entirely objective stat really doesn’t exist. Zone Rating helps, but also relies on the error stat.

    In the case of Vernon Wells, you really just have to watch his play and you’ll see exactly why he’s so awesome in the field. He makes everything look easy. He’s so ridiculously good at it that he could be mistaken for being lazy in the outfield.

    The other thing is that a Gold Glove outfielder for two years suddenly doesn’t get worse. Age wise, Vernon is on the way up. He’s as good as he was the last two years and won’t get worse anytime soon.

  3. tothdenny@yahoo.ca

    Well I got out to see the game, Wednesday night in Detroit, its alot closer for me than Toronto. And I must say I was very impressed with this team, I couldn’t have asked for more out of that one. It makes me think what situation this team would be in right now if they had a full pitching staff for the entire year. I have no doubt in my mind they would be in the race right now, or at least ALOT closer. Aaron Hill is coming along very nicely, he has found a power stroke in the late part of this year, and hopefully that can carry over too next year. I love the way he plays the game. If it wasnt for the slow start, he would be hitting over 300 for sure. Ive watched the Jays on TV religously but nothing beats being there and feeling that atmosphere. Lets hope they bring Vernon back, because things are definatly looking good for next year!

  4. torgen@gmail.com

    Alfonso Soriano is originally a middle infielder, and he is going into free agency, but I’m not sure even with a beefed up budget that the Jays would be able to afford him. Still, imagine for the starting lineup: Johnson, Rios, Wells, Soriano, Overbay, Glaus, Lind, Zaun, Hill. Ouch.

  5. mcdannymartin@gmail.com

    I honestly don’t think the jays need another middle infielder. John Maconald is an excellent fielding shortstop. The jays have enough good hitter in their lineup that another bat might not be needed. Pitching is the key to winning. They should look at their starters and their bullpen. If you look at the way they’ve been pitching since AJ and Chacin have been back. A whole season of those 2 being healthy the Jays could possibly have 95 wins.

  6. royhalladay32@bluejays.com

    Johnny Mac is good on defense and the lineup is solid but not in the AL East. Jays aren’t solid 1-9 with Johnny Mac and in late game situations, it gets tough to call. We need Michael Young!

  7. fred.giffin@ns.sympatico.ca

    When I heard Vernon Wells say that he wished to stay with the Blue Jays, I immediately started to plan to by tickets for next year’s postseason. THEN, the first thought that came to mind was: “why not go after Michael Young?” It seems a natural. A friend of Vernon Wells, one of the best infielders to play the game, unhappy in Texas, a chance to really solidify a playoff berth. With Aaron Hill playing second the way he does, and a really good utility and backup in John MacDonald, Russ Adams can be freed up to improve his skills elsewhere and perhaps be traded for a pitcher. THIS IS TOO GOOD A SCENARIO TO IGNORE!!

    Fred Giffin

  8. fred.giffin@ns.sympatico.ca

    It took an entire season, but here’s one fan that believes that not much more twigging needs to be done to the Jays pitching staff. Think about it. The Doc was 16-5 with 11 no decisions and a few missed starts. There were enough of those no decisions where he pitched extremely well, even complete games, that he could be a cinch to win 20. Ted won 15 games and I believe is on the verge of improving his consistency. But even more significant is the fact that AJ won 10 and Chacin 9 in a little more than half a season each! These four starters had a winning percentage of .674 and both Burnett and Chacin would have about 10 more starts. Factor in Sean Marcum; witness his start against the Red Sox and this could be the best starting rotation in the game.

    They have quietly sorted out the bullpen. Speier setting it up for Ryan is a dream combination. Downs, Tallet, Frasor and League are getting better every day.

    You look this team up and down, position for position, and there are none better. Perhaps Adams will go, and maybe there won’t be a place for Greg Zaun, but everyone else should come back. I look at Zaun, (like Reed Johnson), as being an example of the chemistry of the team because of their “refuse to lose” approach, but there is only so much room. I would appreciate your thoughts

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