Game #159: Jays at O's pregame

Toronto (81-77) at Baltimore (67-91)
at 7:05 p.m. ET at Camden Yards

Today’s lineups:

Russ Adams, 3B
Matt Stairs, 1B
Alex Rios, CF
Frank Thomas, DH
Aaron Hill, 2B
Adam Lind, LF
John-Ford Griffin, RF
Curtis Thigpen, C
John McDonald, SS

PITCHING: RHP Josh Banks (0-0, 4.50 ERA)

Brian Roberts, 2B
Tike Redman, CF
Nick Markakis, RF
Miguel Tejada, DH
Aubrey Huff, 1B
Melvin Mora, 3B
Jay Payton, LF
Paul Bako, C
Luis Hernandez, SS

PITCHING: RHP Jeremy Guthrie (7-5, 3.65 ERA)

NOTES: CoachGate continues here at Camden Yards. Third-base coach Brian Butterfield acknowledged that he has been asked to be the new bench coach, replacing Ernie Whitt, in 2008. Whitt declined comment about the coaching situation until it’s officially announced by the club, but he did want it made known that he is not responsible for the two lineup card gaffes that occurred this season. It’s not sure what role Whitt may hold with the Jays next season — possibly that of first-base coach. Current first-base coach Marty Peavy is rumored to be replacing Butterfield at third base, but Peavy also declined comment. GM J.P. Ricciardi is expected to make an announcement on Saturday in Toronto.

BREAKING EVEN…Toronto needs just one win over its final four games to finish the season above .500.


Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Cleveland


entering Thursday
1. Boston 94-64 (–)
2. New York 91-67 (3)

entering Thursday
1. Boston 94-64 (–)
2. Cleveland 93-65 (1)
3. Los Angeles 92-67 (2.5)
4. New York 91-67 (3)



    Good for Whitt, he certainly gets more respect from me for his comments. I get the feeling Ernie is distancing himself from Abner.

    This is a soap opera though, I can’t believe all this information becoming known before Riccardi releases it.

    What a way to run a railroad!!!



    You’re wise to like Lugo, I expect next year to see him a lot closer to his normal annual BA than where he is now.

    Am I sensing a change in attitude on Nancy?


    I still don’t like the signing of Drew. He has produced lately, I will give him his due. I don’t pick and choose. Lugo had a terrible month back in June. Of course Lugo doesn’t have any patience and that hurts his average. He doesn’t walk much. Lugo has been hitting over .300 since the break. Only thing about the Lugo signing that I don’t like is 4 years.


    I like him, jst not sure if I like him 8.5 mill. I think at the time the only other team after him was us, and I think our offer was in the 4.5 per year range so I think your guys paid too much.

    Hey nancy got an RBI


    The Cubs were another team that was involved. Sox went after Lugo as a s.s. Cubs wanted use him like the Dodgers did. Lugo hated his time with the Dodgers.


    I don’t think Josh Banks will last long tonight. I watched him pitch an inning to the Yanks, which he escaped through, but I don’t think he’s ready for prime time



    What do you think of my idea for the Jays new hitting coach?

    I say Ron “Papa Jack ” Jackson?

    Oritz says “Papa Jack” turned his career around. Mueller won a batting title and so many other players hit well under his direction!!!



    Your right about Whitt keeping his distance from Gibbons. No doubt about it. Whitt doesn’t want to be associated with that mickey mouse move.


    Jackson was Boston’s hitting coach from 2003 to 2006. I couldn’t believe it when they got rid of him. A mystery to this day. I have no idea why no other team scooped him up. I believe he is in the minors somewhere.

    I think the Jays will have some good candidates lined up for that job. That lineup has alot of talent there and whoever ends up there can look smart right away.


    well one of our best hitting coaches was Cito Gaston, who then became our manager who won back to back world series for us. Then two or three years later, he disappeared and hasn’t had a job since.

    Another mystery.


    Jackson was well liked by the players. A fan favorite as well. Who didn’t like him. I guess Theo didn’t.


    Gaston could be a name that might surface.

    Gaston was having major back problems. I always liked him. They had some great teams and he seemed to be the perfect guy for that team. He had the right personality.

    That is how I look at Francona. The perfect guy for the Red Sox. He is not the best manager but he fits in perfect with there big $$$$ veteran players. He knows how to handle those guys. That is very important when your a manager of a baseball team. keeping these guys happy, not easy to do.


    It’s hard to tell isn’t it. Same with Cito. One of two managers who won back to back Ws in the last 20 years-and no one hires him. Why-who knows?


    Garciaparra made a great comment about playing in Boston. There are 3 games that are played.

    Dealing with the press before the game and then the game itself and then the press after. In Boston they’re all trying to get some negative side to everything. That sells in that city!!!


    If Lou Pinella managed in Boston or N.Y. He would end up hanging himself after 3 seasons.

    That guy is so high strung.

    He should be a football coach.


    The press in the us are brutal, no question. The only ones worse are the UK press. I don’t like Pinella, but he is doing a good job for Jordan’s team.

    I never realized Gaston had a back problem, I wonder if that problem still exists.

    By the way, it’s nice to see your gus start gathering momentum for the playoffs.



    Since it was your idea to have Josh Banks start, are you going to take repsonsibility for his start.



    Dont bank on this guy a minor league pitcher is all he is.

    LUGO I wish we had him.

    The commentator on TSN looks like the guy on the mad magazine LOL.


    In Boston the press is out of control at times. Sports radio in Boston makes everything a big deal. You have to watch what you say in that city.

    Sox are playing better for sure. Ramirez back is huge.

    Beckett doesn’t look sharp at all tonight!!


    Manny is worth 1.5 runs per game.

    The problem we have here is Bob Mcgowan’s knowldege ( from 590) of baseball would fit on to the back of a bubblegum wrapper. lol



    Well Banks isn’t even a good minor league pitcher. I don’t know why they called him up. He throws this 85-87 mph fastball which is supposed to sink, but if he overthrows at all it flattens out and becomes batting practise.


    Some of the guys in Boston on 850 WEEI sound like the guy in Toronto 590 The Fan.

    There job is to stir it up and gets fans calling into the show. When the show is over they must laugh to themselves. We fooled them again!!!


    Sorry gsumner can’t remember his name.

    Butterfeild is going to be the Jays new manager that is why he is going to the bench,

    I say Abner will last maybe 30 games next year.

    WHY give up a free out in a big inning????.



    What kind of work do you do?

    I say you sell hot dogs on the street corner….


    Where is my girl indigo?



    Selling hot dogs…



    Sox should clinch tonight…

    A.L. East ( Far East ) Champs…

    Beckett is pitching poor tonight!!!

    He’ll end the year with 20 wins…Not getting #21 tonight…


    I’m going to take a guess and say the surgery for Wells was called sucessfull.

    Has there ever been a surgey that was called unsucessfull?



    Well you’re off the hook. After settling down Banks pitched reasonably well. Looks like all his buds from AAA are trying hard to get him the win.


    The surgery on Wells didnt sound like it was 100%. They fixed the tear but couldn’t operate on the cyst because it was too close to a nerve.

    I don’t know why, but I don’t like the sound of that.


    I only work on my tan here in Florida.


    You don’t work anymore. WOW!!!

    You old man you….

    What was it like playing in the first hockey game ever?



    Tallet has ben good for us all year when he comes in at thestart of an inning. Conversely hes been a disaster coming in with guys on base.

    Which of course, is how Abner brought him in tonight. Good decision by our Abner as normal, blows Bank’s chance to win.



    Bosox, Garry didn’t play hockey he was a baseball pitcher. Pitched against the Babe so have some respect. lol



    When you went to games back in the early 1920’s.

    Did you wear a suit to the game and smoke a cigar?

    Beckett was not sharp tonight…

    He’ll win the Cy Young though…


    Reading the release on the Jays site, written by Jordan which covered the upcoming changes to the coaching ranks, gave me the distinct feeling that Whitt is being used as a sacrificial lamb for Abner’s screw ups.

    As I said in a previous post-no way to run a railroad.

  34. Jordan

    There was an update on Wells two days ago. He had surgery to repair the torn labrum, bu did not have the cyst removed because it was located near a nerve, so Dr. Andrews didn’t want to mess with it. But, according to a team official, Andrews said he determined that the cyst was not related to the torn labrum, which was the main culprit behind Wells’ issues. He will need three months before he can swing a bat with some forced again, but he should be ready to go by spring.

    As far as Banks, he had a decent effort tonight. Too bad Tallet gave up that jack, because Banks was in line for the win. And, hey, I didn’t lobby for the kid to start, I merely pointed out that he was from Baltimore. There were a good number of fans here tonight to see him and they were drowning out the otherwise weak crowd here at Camden.

  35. Jordan

    GSUMNER: Just for clarification’s sake, what I post on the site isn’t a “release.” A release is something issued by the club.



    How about my suggestion for hitting coach?

    Ron Jackson….

    Any thoughts?

    I love Michigan State…

    Go Spartans…

    Tony Mandarich is AWESOME!!!



    From what I remember reading, Cito Gaston hasn’t had a job in baseball simply because Cito Gaston hasn’t wanted a job in baseball.

    I can’t back that up with anything, but I do remember hearing something along those lines….



    I dunno, I just don’t like the idea, Wells still has a cyst. I just hope it doesn’t affect him or grow into something else in the future.

    Banks did have a decent outing; he was fine after he settled down. I know you didnt lobby, I was getting at ya. lol


    The guy with Pat Tabler is a TSN hockey announcer. He had to fill in because Rod Black’s away covering something else.


    My memory with Gaston was his aching back. That he needed rest for sure. He had a hard time with it near the end.


    Ya, Blackie is covering the Presidents cup. I bet the hockey announcer is still better than Jamie Campbell. lol


    Well, I had heard that Cito was on the short list for the Sox, but lost out in the end. But he was a great batting instructor.


    I just looked up some stuff regarding Cito Gaston.

    He was a finalist for the White Sox job but got beat out by Ozzie Guillen.

    He was a guy that enjoyed being the under the radar kind of guy. Not a media *****!!!

    I like guys like him!!!


    Jamie Campbell could put anyone to sleep…

    Dan Shulman was great when he did the Jays…

    Tony Kubek back in the day was awesome!!!

    The late John Cerutti as well…

  45. Jordan

    The guy in the booth with Tabby is Gord Miller. BOSOX: Jackson is definitely a good hitting guy — not sure what the Jays’ interest would be. Maybe they should summon legend Walt Hriniak — the hitting coach Frank Thomas talks about all the time. He’s a Boston guy, too. 🙂


    Ya Cito managed the jays in a quiet way, but did a great job.

    Kubek was the best, I liked Bucky Martinez as well


    Please don’t mention Walt Hriniak….

    Charlie Lau…UGH!!!

    Hriniak, preaches his style to the players…

    Every player has different strenghts. You work with it…

    Hriniak is a guy that players either loved or hated.

    Wade Boggs was a big Hriniak guy…

    I think he still lives in the Boston area…

    Lau died years ago.

    Alot of great hitters came from there hitting philosphy…

    Hriniak had Thomas when he was just a kid. Years ago!!!


    Whoever we bring in for hitting coach had better be able to teach these guys how to bunt and move guys over. We can’t just sit back and play for the 3 run homer.


    J.P. is out of that money ball nonsense.

    They don’t like to bunt!!!

    Sox as well…

    There are times when you need to bunt and that money ball doesn’t like to.


    Really, and here I thought he came up in the Yank organization. didn’t know that.

    I liked him as a player, he played well for us.


    I’m not sure you can teach just anyone to bunt. To lay down a good bunt is a really tough thing to do and I’m not sure every player in a lineup would have the ability to do it….


    He went thru the Sox system a long time ago.

    I believe he went to Toronto during the expansion draft. Not too sure on how he got to Toronto.

    Drafted by Boston back in the early 1970’s


    Well bunting certainly doesn’t hurt LA. I think more teams have to adapt that style, at least I hope we do.

    Hey Hill is having an off night, only 2 for 4. Man has he been hot in September, ba .400, slg-.570 and OBP .436 for the month.

    Hottest hitter in the AL.


    Everyone can bunt…..

    Oritz of Boston can…

    It all depends on the organazation!!!

    The Jays don’t bunt, so in the minor leagues is not taught…

    Change there philosphy a little…


    I dunno….I really don’t buy that everyone can bunt. It’s a real skill that players really have to work on as they develop as a player.


    Oritz said he learned to bunt because in the minors with the Twins, they preached it to there players!!!

    Not that I want him to bunt.

    Ortiz has bunted a few times in the past. He has always reached when he does bunt.


    Here we go for Whitt, pulled this from a web site

    June 6, 1972: Drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 15th round of the 1972 amateur draft.

    November 5, 1976: Drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays from the Boston Red Sox as the 34th pick in the 1976 expansion draft.


    The way teams play Ortiz, if he laid down bunts on the 3rd base line, he’d likely get a base hit every time


    Glaus, Thomas perhaps not…

    Not many times have they bunted in there career.

    One thing you never see know is the drag bunt…

    Coco Crisp of Boston who can run very fast should try to drag bunt more but doesn’t.

    Reyes, Ichiro, if they would dragbunt they would never get out.

    Teams play for the big inning now.

    The game has changed and not for the better.


    Definitely! If a player learns to bunt in the minors, there’s a good chance he’ll be more successful in the Majors. I’m just saying you can’t expect someone like Lyle Overbay or Frank Thomas to suddenly start bunting, after years of never having to learn to do it properly.


    hem, I think it’s like everything else and just needs practise. But I like it as a weapon. The times we’ve used it this year has brought results almost every time.

    I think it also rattles some pitchers


    The guys you want to bunt for the Jays are McDonald, Johnson, Hill on occassion.

    Zaun if the situation calls for it. Other than that Zaun will not beat one out.


    Johnson does the drag bunt well.

    hem, I agree with Thomas, if he did bunt, the infielders could have a nap before playing the ball and still throw him out. lol


    You don’t want Thomas to bunt anyway.

    It is a organazation’s philosphy when it comes to bunting.

    Look at how many Angels can bunt. The list is endless.

    The Jays are that moneyball nonsense. They see bunts as outs and not productive outs.

    Money ball has won nothing so I don’t know why people follow it.

    J.P., Billy Beane are big money ball guys.


    Well, i think it’s a stuational thing. If we have guys on 1st and 2nd, no one out, in the bottom of the 9th, and we’re down by 1, I don’t care who’s batting, I’d have him bunt to stay out of the double play, and move the runners to 2nd and 3rd so a fly ball ties and a hit wins.


    Jays don’t steal bases as well.

    More money ball non sense.

    A’s and Jays, no bunts, no stolen bases.

    You gotta love that philosphy!!!



    The idea of Frank Thomas laying down a bunt is ridiculous.

    My only point is that as much as I’d like to see the Jays bunt more, you’ve also got to respect how difficult it is to do. I think people often give it short thrift as far as how difficult it is to do it well.


    Not is right. I like how Scirossa runs his team. 1 hit, steal, bunt and flyball delivers a run.

    And sometimes when you’re facing a good pitcher-like Becktt and Halliday, the 1 run is huge.


    Thomas should NEVER BUNT!!!


    It is a organazation philosphy!!! That is why you see the Angels play the way they do.


    Hey, if Boston got to the 7th game of the series, scored tied in the bottom of the 9th, runners at 1st and 3rd, 1 out and Ortiz batting, with the opposition playing the Ortiz shift-I’d have him bunt


    So here’s the situation. no one out, boston down 1, bottom of the 9th and runners on 1st and 2nd. Lowell batting.

    Bunt-or hit? I’d have him bunt the runners over to 2nd and 3rd, particalry with Nancy coming up. Then a fly ties, a hit wins.

    As it happens he hits a soft grounder, moves the runners anyway-but thats not the best odds to do.


    hem-but Otiz can bunt really well, if he lays one down the 3rd base line the run scores and the Sox win the series-its almost guaranteed by how they play him


    The point is, the bunt is most effective when others do not expect it. Who in their right mind would ever play Ortiz to bunt in that situation, which is exactly why you do it.

    Watch Scirossa he does it all the time


    I can’t believe Varitek striking out-that in that circmstance is almost unforgiveable. A fly ball gets a run and ties.


    Lowell with a weak grounder.

    Varitek with the bases loaded and that is usually not a good sign.

    I can’t say I am surprised that they didn’t get the runs in.

    I have seen that many times. Guys on base all night but they get stranded!!!


    You want Oritz to swing away.

    You don’t want him bunting!!!

    That is what he is supposed to do, swing away and drive in the runs!!!


    If it was to win the series the team’s closest player would not be the s.s. anyway, moot point there.


    but he bunts well, and a bunt wins the series, a sharp gounder could be a double play and you go into the 10th


    With the world series, game 7 as you say. Tying run 90 feet away. This just in, they will not play him that way.


    That’s why Scirossa is such a genius and wins so many games. He calls plays like that in those situations, catches everyone off guard and wins.



    So whats with Varitek, is he just getting old and losing it or what. When you guys won the series, he was one of the main contributors.


    Cito Gaston “left” when he and Ash didn’t quite see eye to eye . He was Jays hitting coach later but was again terminated . He applied to be manager of both Tigers and White Sox but lost out to Leyland and Guillen respectively but was a final candidate for both jobs. Last position he held was as a consultant to Godfrey . It would be nice to have him back ….he was certainly loved in TO .



    Next year could belong to the jays. With 3 games left we have 81 wins, assme we take two from Tampa we’ll sit at 83.

    Our current rotation will have 125 starts by year end and 59 wins for a winning % of 47%. The main reason for the starts being low was Marcum, McGowan and Litsch didn’t start at the beginning of the year, plus some lost starts from injury of Burnett and Halliday.

    Assuming 145 starts next year from this same group of starters, without any better hitting and that should give us another 9 wins putting us at 92 wins.

    Maybe, I’m a little optimistic on the start number, but I think we’ll get more normal years from Wells, Johnson,Glaus and Overbay.

    Also, we’ll get BJ Ryan and League back to solidify the bullpen.

    So get ready to fight for 2nd place with the Yanks.

    But we’ll all cheer for you to win this year.



    B.J. Ryan is coming back from major surgery. Who knows what he’ll give the Jays in 2008. He might pitch real well or be hurt all year and pitch ineffective. Ryan is a total unknown for the Jays right now. I expect League to bounce back, the kid has a great arm.

    Jays bats should be back. Glaus well you know the story there, 135 games tops.

    Burnett will he make more than 30 starts? Unlikely!!!


    Well, in my analysis, anything that BJ does is a bonus-remember I simply increased starts for Marcum, McGowan and Litsch based upon the current hitting and the current bull pen. We also get Romero back which is a huge upgrade over Tallet, so even without Ryan, the pen improves.

    I have assumed some injuries in suggesting 145 starts not 162, which I think is quite realistic.

    One way or the other Glaus will perform at least as good and in as many games as he did this year-anything else is a bonus.

    Burnett will get 25 starts this year, and he’s finally learnt how to pitch instead of throw. I’d expect that improves next year to 30.



    Your expectations for Burnett are low, only 30 starts. The guy needs to give you more than that. If Glaus was a horse, he would have been shot a while back.

    The Jays bats will be there next year. Too much talent for them to struggle. The Wells injury will be interesting. Not much swinging for him until Spring training. They gave him 120 million to be a run producer.

    Overbay will bounce back to form and Hill will be better. Johnson should be healthy and Rios should is just scratching the surface.

    How will McGowan perform? How many starts will Burnett give the Jays? Marcum as well? Some questions but if they are answered, they will be right there to the end. Alot of pressure on the Jays next year. Getting off to a good start is a must for them. They can’t come out of the gates slow. If they do, it could be a long season!!!

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