Lining things up

Gibbons_7TORONTO – If you were thinking that Jays manager John Gibbons had a clear idea of how Toronto’s lineup is going to skake out, well, think again.

I talked to Gibby last night, and after chatting for a few minutes about Christmas, Texas and George Bush, we got down to talking baseball. Basically, Gibby knows this much: Davis Eckstein will be the leadoff man and Frank Thomas and Troy Glaus will probably bat fourth and fifth, respectively. Beyond that? There’s a whole lot to figure out before Opening Day.

For the second spot in the lineup, Gibby mentioned Lyle Overbay, Reed Johnson, Aaron Hill, Alex Rios and Vernon Wells. Obviously, Gibbons wants to see how Overbay, Johnson and Wells all rebound from injury, too. Overbay and Johnson could spend time there against RHP and LHP, respectively, and it doesn’t look like Hill’s chance as a No. 2 hitter will come this year.

As for Rios and Wells, one will be the third hitter. Gibbons doesnt want to put either guy behind Thomas and Glaus because that would limit Wells’ and Rios’ speed. I floated the idead of them being the Nos. 3-4 hitters, but Gibby said they’d more likely fall into the two-three holes in some order if he were to slot them back-to-back.

Matt Stairs will be platooning in left field, so that throws another left-handed bat in the mix from time to time. My bet is he’d hit sixth or seventh when he’s in the order, depending if Gibbons decides to break up Thomas and Glaus. Johnson could also be the ninth hitter when he’s in. The problem with Toronto’s lineup is they have too many parts that can occupy the Nos. 3-6 spots, and a lack of lefties.

For now, here’s what I gathered one of the possible lineups could look like:

1. David Eckstein, SS
2. Alex Rios, RF
3. Vernon Wells, CF
4. Frank Thomas, DH
5. Troy Glaus, 3B
6. Lyle Overbay, 1B
7. Aaron Hill, 2B
8. Gregg Zaun, C
9. Reed Johnson, LF

But that appears to be a vs. LHP lineup, considering Stairs would be in against right-handed hitters. So another possible lineup could be this:

1. Eckstein, SS
2. Rios, RF
3. Wells, CF
4. Thomas, DH
5. Overbay, 1B
6. Glaus, 3B
7. Stairs, LF
8. Hill, 2B
9. Zaun, C

Again, this is all guesswork on my part. Gibbons didn’t have an answer for anything after Eckstein. I’m sure you Jays fans have an opinion on this. So, what do you think the lineup should look like? Sound off in the comment field.

I’m heading home to Chicago for Christmas tomorrow and will be out of Toronto until after the New Year. I’ll probably blog if something comes up while I’m away, but mostly I’ll be away from my computer, either visiting family or playing my new Nintendo Wii. Yeah, I bought one before all of Toronto sold out.

Merry Christmahannakwanzakah to everyone and a Happy Festivus to the restivus!

141 Comments

My lineup

vs. RHP

Eckstien

Rios

Wells

Thomas

Stairs

Glaus

Overbay

Hill

Zaun

vs. LHP

Eckstien

Rios

Wells

Thomas

Glaus

Overbay

Hill

Zaun

Johnson

If Tony LaRussa likes having a power bat in the 2 hole that’s good enough for me.

vs RHP

Eckstien

Overbay

Rios

Wells

Thomas

Stairs

Glaus

Hill

Zaun

vs LHP

Eckstien

Johnson

Rios

Wells

Thomas

Glaus

Overbay

Hill

Zaun

Under any cirsumstances, Rios and Wells should be 3-4, these guys are the best hitters we have got! Thomas and Glaus since they are patient hitters can hit 5-6 in the order.

Jordan

First I’d like to thank you for how well you run this blog-it’s the best of all the MLB blogs I’ve seen.

Second, have a great holiday and enjoy that Nintendo.

I received this in my email and thought some of you might like to read another perspective on the Mitchell Report. http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/12533581.html
Its an eye opener

I had the impression the Jays had a plan for 2008 then they decided to get Eckstein and now I am not so sure they have a plan . I think Gibby is confused also …lol…Have a happy and safe holiday everyone…take care K

vs RHP
eckstein

overbay

rios

wells

thomas

glaus

stairs

hill

Zaun

vs LHP

Eckstein

hill

rios

wells

thomas

glaus

overbay

johnson

zaun

The two key spots are Overbay in the two hole and Wells in the clean up spot. Those two players really need a good start to the season so the lineup can get some stability… If one or both struggle out of the gates they should be dropped down in the 7th-8th spots.

I prefer my LHP lineup better once I look at it… There is more speed (what little they have) at the top with more power from the bottom. I would put Hill in the two hole all the time if he starts drawing more walks. If Zaun could hit and or run he would be a good two spot guy… but he can’t do either so he is the 9th guy.

Indigo-thanks for the link.

Have a safe and happy hoiday season to all Blue Jays fans.

My first wish on the lineup is for Abner to fill out the lineup card and hand it in to the ump properly all year. lol

RH

Eckstein

Wells

Rios

Thomas

Stairs

Glaus

Overbay

Hill

Zaun

LH

Johnson

Wells

Rios

Thomas

Glaus

Hill

Overbay

Zaun

Macdonald

I like Rios in the 3rd hole over Wells, although if Vernon gets hot I’d change these two. I like Johnson at lead off over Eckstein against lefties (he has a 40 point advantage in OBP-even in a off year for Johnson), and it’s also a good time to slot JM in, who hits well against lefties.

The problem I have all the time is the Thomas, Glaus running capability- they simply glog up the bases. It’s one thing to have one slow guy hitting 4th-but two just presents a continual problem. To be fair to Abner, I’m sure it causes a problem for him all the time. Too bad one of them isn’t traded-I hear Clone Figgins calling, lol

Is it really that big of a problem deciding who bats where? That’s every managers and fans dream is to have so many good capable hitters that the lineup card could change daily. I like Jordan’s lineup. It makes sense to put Rios and Wells in the 2 and 3 holes. You want your speed at the top of the lineup. The only thing I might do would slot Overbay between the Thomas and Glaus. I also don’t like the Stairs signing now. We needed Reed as we had no leadoff hitter. Now we do. Why not let Lind develop in the Bigs now?

I like your right handed order Jordan, except that I would bat Zaun #7 after Overbay. The first 6 guys are enough to make most pitchers sweat bullets, then you run into Zaun, who will take 10-12 of your best to reach a decision. Then Johnson & Hill in the 8-9. That way, you start the top of your order at the 8 spot, and your pitcher has to face Johnson, Hill, and Eckstein again. You also keep your speedier guys bunched together. Downright unfair.
Thank you for a great blog, Jordan, and may you and all your readers have a happy and safe holiday.

Of course, since MacDonald is working on his hitting this Winter, and if Johnson has a hot hand, that could all change. On days Johnny Mac starts, Reed would bat leadoff, and I would have Zaun, JMac, and Hill at 7, 8, and 9. When Stairs starts, you don’t want 2 lefties batting in a row, so you have Overbay, Zaun, Stairs, Hill, or Hill, Stairs. The middle of our order hits pretty well against Lefties, so I don’t need to mess around there much, except to flip Wells and Rios, depending on who’s hot, and maybe start Overbay in 2nd spot against lefties he can pound on. The nice thing about having Rios and Wells in the 2-3 holes is that if your 8-9 hitters get on, you have a guy with some power in the right spot to change the ballgame with one swing. There you are, John Gibbons, all worked out.

Here’s a few line-ups i’ve thought of:

Vs LHP

Eckstein

Johnson

Wells

Rios

Thomas

Glaus

Hill

Overbay

Zaun/backup catcher

For this lineup I have Overbay batting after Hill because I don’t want his doubles potential to be limited by Thomas or Glaus possibly being on base.

If Eckstein struggles:

Vs LHP

Johnson

Hill

Wells

Rios

Thomas

Glaus

Overbay

Zaun

Mcdonald

Vs RHP:

Eckstein

Overbay

Wells

Rios

Thomas

Glaus

Stairs

Hill

Zaun

Happy holidays to everyone!

There’s an interesting article in today’s Toronto Star which discusses Mcdonald and the Eckstein signing. You can review the entire article at:

http://www.thestar.com/article/288215

Frankly, I think the writer Richard Griffin hits the nail on the head with a couple of paragraphs in the article:

“Which begs the question, does Ricciardi have a plan for winning or is he just winging it? More than once, the Jays’ GM has brought in a player to a position where the team already had a starter. Recall Bengie Molina, when the Jays already had Gregg Zaun. Or Corey Koskie, when nobody else was bidding. Now Eckstein enters when the Jays just rewarded McDonald for being a good soldier.

Here is how the Jays have gone about building an ’08 contender. First, they traded for super-sub Marco Scutaro from the A’s, to fill the McDonald super-sub role. Then they signed Eckstein to a one-year deal, returning McDonald to his super-sub role. One of them is obsolete. You don’t need two of them. It’s why the Jays finish third every year. Ricciardi needs to formulate a plan and stick to it for more than a year.”

**I must say I agree with the comments.

gsumner

do agree with you, don’t post that often but really enjoy the read, JP is a clown , he behaves like he is in too deep and s….scared of making a mistake thus compounding his errors.Ian

Interesting article gsumner: I see several possibilities happening. The first of course is that Riccardi will decide to move either MacDonald or Scutaro and stay with Ekstein. The second is more interesting. The first part of the puzzle is that there is every expectation that Reed Johnson will return to 2006 form and take back the leadoff spot. The second part is that JMac won the starting job away from a pretty good shortstop last year, and that is not out of the question this year. He went away this Winter to work on his hitting, and if he can add 10-15 points to his average, who would you rather have playing short? The third possibility is that someone will get injured and solve the problem.

i was thinking JP might want to trade Glaus then move JM to 3rd or eckstein to 3rd. It is a distant possibility but he might be planning that and keeping it a secret so things don’t get out like they did with Rios and Linceum thing.

I don’t think they will move Glaus right now, because they wouldn’t get market value for him, and would likely have to pick up a big chunk of his salary. Plus, you like to have some power at third base, and neither JMac or Eckstein qualifies in that regard. I think they hit 4 dingers between them last year, maybe 5.

Roger Clemens releases a video in which he denies usage of either steroids or HGH. He announced an appearance on Mike Wallace to anwser questions. You can review the video file at:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/baseball/mlb/12/23/bc.bbo.steroids.clemens.ap/index.html

You will note that SI have a poll which asks viewers whether they believe Clemens or not. 76% do not believe him-only 9% do. I am in the 76% category.

If Clemens really wants to clear his name there’s an open invitation from congress to appear before the committee and answer their questions.

Mike Wallace ain’t going to do it.

“The second part is that JMac won the starting job away from a pretty good shortstop last year” – Royce Clayton was not a pretty good shortstop. He was actually pretty bad…John McDonald is a great backup, but a bad starter. The top American League teams have production out of every spot in their lineup, and the Jays didnt have that with JMac in there. There is no reason to trade either MacDonald or Scutaro, what is so wrong with having quality backups on your bench? It gives Gibbons more options as well as depth, as you can see last year you have to battle through injuries and both of those players could step into an everyday role if needed. The Jays lack any quality infeild prospects that are Major League ready, so J.P. is obviously trying to vill that void.

Regardless of how good or bad Clayton was, my point is that JMac ended up with the starting job, and he went away this Winter with the purpose of improving his hitting. My question is still this: if Johnson comes out of Spring training hitting well enough to take the leadoff spot, and JMac is hitting .255-.260, who would you play at shortstop, someone with 20 errors, or someone with 8?

I would still play a guy who had above 300 average. Besides there were health issues with ecks back that have been addressed which is the main reason for his off year defensively. I watched this interview that channel 5 in St louis had with Eck and it seems like the Jays really picked up a bargain as the Cards missed out on resigning him. Hes also very excited to come to toronto and play in peak form. If you read the Cards blog everyone is stunned that they didnt keep him after the offer he signed for.

ya i guess they prolly don’t wanna move glaus. Then if that’s the case maybe JP wants to move JM, i’m pretty sure that there are teams out there that need SS and prolly many of those teams need a good defensive SS since they have enough offence elsewhere.

I’m pretty sure that even though JM didn’t get recognized with a gold glove, the teams in MLB know that he is prolly the best defensive SS. I mean they all saw him play last year and i have to believe that he made a spectular play in almost every game he played.

Plus jordanjonathan might be right. Eckstein only played 117 last year. So Eckstein might only play like a 120 games or something. I’m pretty sure that JM is gonna start when Halliday is on.

Jordan,

I would like to thank you for your insight in baseball as a whole and providing your 2 cents on it all. I would like to wish you a Merry Christmas!

Shawn

jordanjonathan

The difference between a .300 hitter and a .250 hitter is only 25 hits over 500 at bats. My concern on Eckstein is not only the increased errors, but how many double plays are not made because of his lack of range by comparision to JM. This year, JM and Hill were the best double play combination in baseball.

I also have concerns about how many more hits opponents will get on balls hit between him and Glaus which JM would get to and Eckstein won’t.

Most of our pitching staff get a lot of ground balls. Don’t kid yourself, our ss-2nd base defense this year greatly improved the pitching era.

I think Eckstein weakens us more than he helps.

i see the point G Sum. I guess he wants all angles covered then….2 guys ready for shortstop and two guys ready for third in scutaro and glaus. One thing to remember is J Mac went through an operation on his back or something like that and Glaus as well on his foot. We need the back up.

JMac had an operation this Fall to repair a minor hernia, and is completely recovered at this point. Of course, if Ekstein gets an extra 25 hits, he is going to score more, specially if the guys behind him hit well. That is not even counting the difference in OBP. I doubt if he would miss 25 balls that JMac would have been able to reach. If Glaus is feeling better, the hole is that much smaller, too. Any time you can sign an MVP type player like Ekstein at the price we got him for, we are definitely not weaker. This is a quality guy that plays at 110% all the time, and when the money is on the line, he steps it up a bit. He is also one of the most hard nosed guys in baseball, and he has the ability to drag the whole team after him. These are qualities you can’t put numbers on, gsumner.

rnorman

You’re over estimating Eckstein; the stats show something else.

Eckstein

RISP: .244

RISP 2 outs: .196

Bases Loaded: .167

Johnny Mac

RISP: .318

RISP 2 outs: .255

Bases Loaded: .600

The word on Eckstein is that he presses in a pressure at bat and doesn’t perform-the stats show that. So when the money’s on the line-he disapears whereas Johny Mac steps it up. If we expect him to “drag the team after us”, I think he’ll drag us right into the ground.

Our biggest problem this last year was situational hitting. Eckstein typlifies that. We need guys who hit well when the money’s on the the line, and we just demoted one in Johnny Mac.

Combine that with Eckstein’s diminishing defnsive skills and I still think it’s a bad signing and weakens us.

I think your stats are skewed. If you look at JMac’s stats for 2007:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/bsplit.cgi?n1=mcdonjo03&year=2007

It shows that his 10 plate appearances with the bases loaded skewed his avg. with RISP 6/10 gave him .600, which made his pitiful 1/6pa with runners on 2nd and 3rd look better.

Also, if you look at his career stats:http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/bsplit.cgi?n1=mcdonjo03&year=c

2007 was somewhat of an anomaly. He hits decently well with the bases loaded, 10h/34pa (with a walk), but for some reason can’t do much with runners on 2nd and 3rd… 4/33.

By the way, Eckstein… is a leadoff hitter and table setter, I’m not sure why his ‘clutch’ stats are even being discussed here. His OBP is better, and he can’t hurt you too much with his defence. If he starts to, Mac will replace him, simple enough.

G Summer, I fully agree with your point about RISP but I think with the right group of guys and a great hitting coach like we now have, he will put out unlike JMac. His only bad year for RISP was last year anyways in which something was ailing him which also effected his defence as a result. If you look at his past 4 years other then 2007 he kills JMac in fielding percentage every year, eventhough Jmac is better now I think Eckky will bring it back in gear as he has stated in his interview in treating and getting on the correct conditioning program. All Im seeing is this being positive movement for the Jays not to mention Id take him over ARod any day in post season play…give me that much. I would have signed him for 3 years before he requires a ton more after a great 08 season…dont hate, just an opinion and the stats dont lie if you look at the last 4 years of play. He says hes 100% now that hes treated his issues which only lead me to believe **** be that guy a year ago.

good point A White13…..Usually when your leading off you dont get to many chances to prove yourself with RISP. Plus he simply will do better with an offensively strong team as we will be and if theres one thing the Jays need is positive charge which Eckky brings too.

You can quote all the stats you want gsumner, but last year Ekstein and JMac ended up with 31 RBIs each (you have to hit with runners on base to get an RBI), and Ekstein hit leadoff, so he came up at least once per game with nobody on. Plus, he played 4 games less than JMac last year. In comparison, Reed Johnson in 2006 was one of the best leadoff hitters in baseball and only ended with 49 RBIs. If you want to quote stats, Ekstein has a career .978 fielding percentage, and JMac is .972. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge Johnny Mac fan, but to say that signing a career .289 hitter who was a world series MVP ahead of guys like Pujols would weaken us, that’s just insane. What it means is that we don’t need Russ Adams, and maybe Scutaro, and we have one of the best super utility guys in the business coming off the bench. Don’t let your dislike for Riccardi and Gibbons cloud your judgement on this one, gsumner. This was a steal.

Sorry guys but ill speak for Gsummer because its quite obvious that he agrees with us now that we have presented the proper facts….He loves the Eckky signing now.

LOL jordanj. gsumner and I rarely agree on anything, but I always respect his ability to dig out a statistic to prove his point.

This was a steal ?

Who did we steal him from ? No one else wanted to sign him, and he definetly wasn’t able to sign for the multi year deal that he was looking for as a vetern SS with WS exp.

Eckstein will be a marginal improvement, and i am sure after two months Reed Johnson will be able to fight his way back into the leadoff spot, and after three months of sub-johnny mac D, Eckstein will eventually be replaced there too.

This signing was simply change for change sake. Eckstein is going to be this years Tomo Ohka, except with a bigger price tag.

Actually dave6998, according to all sources in St. Louis, David Eckstien could have gone elsewere but his idiot agent got impatient and signed with the first club that showed interest in him. There saying this whole signing is due to bad management and representation and the fortunately the Jays reaped all the benifits….hahaha Plus your basing your opinion on what you think will happen wereas my opinion is based on his career stats for the past 5 years. Ill take stats over your opinion eventhough there much appreciated. And when did Jonny Mac become a saving grace for this team…love the guy but rather him serve my beers at a Jays game and catch a ball the fouls out towards my head since im normally sitting by 1st base. He stinks at hitting and to compete in the american league, not to mention our division…well he wont cut it. Next time you start with a quote, make sure you read more then this blog…

I have a feeling that dave6998 is actually Gsummer shaking in his own defeat…..

jordan

You’re like a mouse that plays when the cat’s away. Grow up.

Johnny Mac:

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6269/situational

Eckstein:

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/players/6688/situational

AWhite-I made that post because grnorman posted Eckstein is great in clutch situations and will rise to the occasion. The stats obviously show something different.

Neither JMac or Eckstein are offensive wonders. However, you guys who think this is a great signing are doing so based upon Eckstein’s BA being a bit higher than Johnny Mac’s.

You overlook he made 20 errors when Jmac made 9, you overlook the fact that Macdonald/Hill were the best double play combination in baseball, you overlook Glau’s limited range.

You also overlook the fact that most of our pitchers are ground ball pitchers, defense at SS and 2nd base is key.

I’ll watch all you guys change your turne as Eckstein gives up the first of many critical error to loose games,isn’t capable of completing a double play like JM can and our ptichers era rises 20 points.

By the way Jordan, I can guarantee you if Tony LaRusso wanted Eckstein, he’d still be there.

Dave

I agree with you, Eckstein will be on the bench much soooner than anyone here thinks. Let him blotch a double play when Halliday’s pitching.

Jordan

So you’d actually take Eckstein over A-Rod in playoff’s.

OK-well maybe we can dump Eckstein to the Yanks-I’ll make sure the Yanks are aware of your analysis.

Lol

This is a post from jordanjonathan’s wife…Rios is hot. That’s all I have to say. ;)

A-Rod is an A-hole.

From St. Louis-Courtesy of MLB

ST. LOUIS — The Cardinals have decided that one way to shore up their pitching staff is to improve the defense behind the hurlers. To achieve that goal, St. Louis signed free-agent shortstop Cesar Izturis to a one-year contract on Friday.

Izturis will apparently take over for David Eckstein, who is a free agent and has been the Cards’ starter at shortstop for the past three seasons. Eckstein’s range factor and fielding percentage both dropped in 2007, and he committed a career-high 20 errors.

Izturis doesn’t bring as much offense as Eckstein, but he is considered an elite defensive shortstop. He won a Gold Glove Award as the Dodgers’ shortstop in 2004.

***As I said if Tony LaRussa wanted Eckstein, they’d have signed him. We will regret this signing.

JordanJonathon’s wife

Welcome to the Blue Jays blog-you should post here more often. I agree with your A-Rod sentiments. No comment on Rios-lol.

actually i would take eckstien in the playoffs any day….THE PLAYOFFS…not regular season…..point is he will be great for us if we were to make playoffs and more so World Series. Proven fact that Arod chokes in playoffs…he ***** so bad royce clayton could put him to shame….dont worry G summer you have nothing to worry about though..your always right..

well why are the Cards claiming that Eckstien never communicated with them after they expressed interest in keeping them…they were simply covering there butts…happens all the time.

jordan

again-please grow up.

You have no worry-we won’t get into the playoffs-not with the moves we’re making.

sorry G Summer….Ive been reading on here for two years and I just felt….well…I…..I miss Bosox guy and your ability to destroy him on command and I just thought id try to get things going here…just having fun…still think its a good signing though…cant hurt. The way I look at it is this…we know his potential and we know his flaws….so if he brings the good stuff we win…if he doesnt…we send his *** to triple A as a bat boy…if they have them.thats all.

jordan-that information is simply wrong. St. Louis signed Cesar Izturis before we signed Eckstein.

That article I posted came from the Cards Web site

my wife says thanks for the welcome and that you know you love Rios and his cute puerto rican tush…She made me say it…and at the same time..i can see it

well did you watch his interview on channel 5 on the matter

Jordan

Well I do like Rios as a player, but I think I’ll let your wife take care of his tush.

he says he never heard back from them after march discussions in which he declined there offer and wanted to wait and they said they were waiting for his call in a paper in st louis that i read online. sounds like bad representation

No, I didn’t see the interview, but the proof of the Card’s sentiments is the fact they signed Cesar Izturis well before we signed Eckstein.

Also, they could have kept Eckstien, simply by offering him arbitration-and they didn’t do it, cause they were concerned he’d accept, and they’d be hung with a high priced one year contract with him.

by the way gsummer do you work for Rogers …cable division

His initial demand to the Cards was a 3 year deal whcih they declined and instead offered him one year-which he declined.

I’m not surprised, under the circumstances that he didn’t hear back from them. They had no interest in him.

jordan-no I don’t not work for Rogers.

Jordan, so I guess when you take your wife to the game, she wants to sit next to right field-huh?

well Ive been doing some hard core research on Eckky to try to find out what happened and why a guy with a 300 average last year moves on or gets the boot so fast and although some things reveal your idea the majority point to bad representation or stupiidity on his part. they signed izturis because they had to solidify the spot…And I agree with you..20 errors are to much but keep in mind his previos years he had less or equal errors to Jmac

yup…the closest shell let me be is at first base which I love but even then im stuck out field right most of the time to watch the game. But thats ok becasue shell come to ever game…sweeet

jordan

Remember, the Cards signed Eckstein on November 30. We signed Eckstein on December 14th.

Ecstein’s defensive skills are deteriorating. He can’t hold a candle next to Johnny Mac. JM was the 2nd highest rated short stop in baseball last year. Eckstein was one of the lowest. I dont expect that will change.

ya thats right …read to many articles and got it mixed….thats why he wanted to wait…to prove the three year contract was worth it for them. not one year. Now heres something though…if he had some issues last year that were keeping him form repeating recent years prior to 07 defensively, well if he has them fixed…which he claims and like he said in the interview that was about 15 minutes long (great guy by the way) is he not worth the opportunity….might strike gold again..he says hes 100 % now. and he also said his examination in toronto passed with flying colours…his devense was great before 07….985+ for four seasons prior…anything

jordan

Only time will tell-but I still don’t think he’s even in the same class as JM on defense. the fa is deceptive because it doesn’t take range into account. Here’s something you might want to review in research next time:

http://www.billjamesonline.net/fieldingbible/charts/leaders1-07.gif

Have a good evening

And honestly….love J mac but when hes up to bat I can only shake my head…I cant do that a whole seaon….plus when J Mac starts a game and they are in the ninth and need a man on base…well good switch if you ask me…

thanks..you to

gsumner, have you ever watched Ekstein play, or do you just keep your nose in the stats book? Both objectively and subjectively, Ek is a fine addition to the team. As I posted before, his career fielding stats are higher than Johnny Mac’s. He is a far better hitter, and he steals more bases. In case you hadn’t noticed, he battled lower back problems and didn’t have his best year. Vernon Wells didn’t either, but you expect people to recover from injuries. Even injured, he hit .309 with 31 RBI and 10 SB in 117 games. If he had played for us last year, he would have been the batting average leader and tied for 2nd in stolen bases. Only Rios had more, and he played 161 games. You say this guy makes us weaker? Hmmm.

Ekstein also scores a LOT more runs than Johnny Mac. If he gives up a few due to errors, or lesser range (a moot point), it certainly would not be enough to tip the balance the other way. He is also a threat to run, something the Jays don’t do enough of, and that adds a bit to the average of the guys behind him.
I suppose if we had the bucks to sign a Ceasar Izturis, we wouldn’t need Ekstein either, but we don’t. In the meantime, we have an MVP type player at below market value that is going to make us a far better team than we would be without him. If Johnson and MacDonald can sit him down, that would be great, because it will mean that they are both playing at the top of their game.

Ekstein’s effect on pitching:
Ekstein has an adequate glove at shortstop, but compared to Johnny Mac, his defense might have a negative effect on staff ERA. We blew a lot of quality starts last year because of poor run support, not poor pitching, something Ekstein’s bat will help. If Halladay’s ERA increases by a couple of percentile, and he wins 20, he won’t care if my grandmother is playing shortstop.

I don’t know how old this is, but on mlb under hotstove coverage, it said that the bluejays had interest in signing Kenny Lofton and using him in a platoon situation in left field. But I don’t see how that’s possible with Stairs and now Eckstein. Unless the jays are still trying to shop Johnson.

gnorman

Hey, no need for personal insults, although if that’s how you want to debate, i’ll do my best to accomodate you.

I have already stated Eckstein is a better offensive player than JMac, so there’s no need to rehash that. My consistent issue with Eckstein is he has significantly lowering defensive skills and will give up more defensively than we gain on the offense side.

You can’t look at career stats when a player is lossing it like Eckstein, you really can only look at this year and try your best to project from there.

The thing, I want you to think about is, St. Louis know this guy better than we do-Eckstein played 3 years there. So why did St. Louis not offer him arbitration and then sign him for one year?

Also, so you’re aware, by not offering Eckstein arbitration, St. Louis gave up a draft choice-That’s how bad, they didn’t want him back.

And it wasn’t a money issue, Ceasar Izturis made similar money-maybe a bit more than Eckstein in 2007. Also, Izutris is still coming back from Tommy John surgury in 2006.

So think about it. St. Louis signed a guy with questionable health, lower offensive skills, equal defensive skills and gave up a draft choice. Maybe they know more than we do.

The other question you should ask yourself, is why didn’t any team offer Eckstein more than one year and if he’s that great why did he sign for only 1 year and 4.5 million?

Of is it similar to how we signed Corey Koskie-when we were the only ones bidding?

freedom

That rumor was started by Mike Wilner of Fan 590 at the December meetings. Apparently, Wilner has a child hood fixation for Lofton and lobbied JP to sign him.

Thank goodness JP realized Wilner’s baseball analysis is as bad as everyone else at the fan and didn’t take him seriously.

Is this GSUMNER guy actually for real? What an absolute IDIOT !!! People, Don’t buy in that this guy actually knows what he is talking about because he really has no clue.Anyone who disagrees in the slightest with the nit-wit is accussed of attacking him or getting personal.Gsumner likes this as he has nothing better to do than engage in a verbal conflict he will usually win because nobody else in the world donates their whole life to this site and will ultimately just give up. These are Gsumners only triumphs in life!! Believe me this guy has no life…Probably 300 pounds sits on the couch and writes on this site all day (How’s that for getting personal Gsumner?) All this **** about John Mac and David eckstein, what a pure idiot! How quickly people forget that nobody ever wanted John Macdonald. Cleveland barely used him, Detroit didn’t want him even as a 25th man and all of a sudden at 33 yrs old he’s a stating ss. Gsumner keeps talking about a declining Eckstein….He’s a year younger than Johnny Mac you idiot. Eckstein has been a very consistent performer 2.90 avg hitter for a few years on some very good baseball teams ( had to deal with some minor injuries over the last season )missed very few games over his career, and a world series MVP to boot. John Macdonald can’t even get tickets to go watch the world series! Don’t be fooled John M is no 2.55 to 2.60 hitter as Gsumner tries to allude to. He just cant HIT…and is painful to watch at the plate. Gsumner knows more about baseball than everybody at the FAN…LOL LOL LOL. Also Gsumner also knows more about baseball than J.P….LOL LOL. Maybe we should have the 300 lb dummy couch potato running the Toront Blue Jays!!

rshobie

I thought the wilner comment would generate some posts,lol, but I never realized anyone allowed mental patients like you access to an internet connection.

Isn’t it time for you to go back into lock up?

Gsumner,

Gotcha pegged huh? I guess the truth hurts eh?

gsumner:
Did you notice that Ekstein has been suffering from some nagging injuries the past couple of years? previous to 2006, he scored 80-90 runs per year, with an excellent fielding percentage. Vernon Wells played hurt last year and didn’t have a good year, but we expect him to recover. Frank Thomas missed most of his last 2 years with Chicago because of an ankle injury, then went on to hit 38 homers with LA, and 26 for the Jays. I am sure after the Mike Sirotka deal that the Jays did a very thorough physical on Ek, and probably had him work out for them before the ink went on the dotted line. Ek sez he’s 100%, the Jays say he’s good, so who are we to downplay his skills? Why did St Louis let hin go? Why did we let Chris Carpenter go? Eckstein should come to camp somewhere near his 2005 form, and in that case, we have a better shortstop than St Louis does.

gnorman

Well, I guess we should just agree to disagree on Eckstein. We both have strong optinions on the guy. I guess soon we’ll find out one way or the other.

I think the pitchers report on February 14th and our first grapefruit game is February 28th so it’s soon to get underway.

Ya, leaving Carpenter go was probably JP’s worst decision. I see Morris is on the HOF ballot, I would vote for him, had to be one of the great big game pitchers of all time.

rshobie

You know, I don’t normally comment on posts like the one you posted since I generally don’t talk to lower level primates. However, you have shown up here under various alias’s a number of times and posted in a similar fashion, so I now feel the need to comment further.

Look around baseball and you’ll see not many teams support a MLB writer to do the blog like the Blue Jays do. We’re fortunate here in that we have, in my view, the best MLB writer in Jordan Bastian running this blog.

This doesn’t come at low cost or no effort and if it isn’t supported by Blue Jays fans it will be gone.

As a long time fan, I realize this and post here quite often, particulary in this low news time, to do my part to ensure we keep this blog which I feel is great for fans. The fans that have been here for a while know fully well that a number of my posts are meant to be controversial in order to encourage others to post counterpart opinions and keep the blog active. Others do the same, particulary right now since there is no news coming from the Blue Jays.

Everyone is encouraged to post their opinion. It’s certainly hoped that others disagree with opinions posted and post their own. This is a healthy interface for BLue Jays fans.

Of course, in this forum all management-like JP and Gibbons and all moves they make are scrutinized by us the fans. Some of us agree on the moves and some don’t-which probably reflects the true fan feelings.

We have young guys on here like Harry right through to seniors like Garry who all have opinions on what should be done to improve the team and post that opinion.

Of course, then on occasion we have a guy like you that doesn’t have the skill set or aptitude to continue a healthy debate who resorts to posting personal attacks. I hope you realize this simply shows your limitations and low level intelligence.

Others here care not about how old Harry is, whether Garry has any hair left, or how fat I am. (lol-Nothing personal Garry) All they care about is the opinion posted and how to improve the team.

So, if you’re here to post your opinion on the team, post often, if you’re here to continually post personal attacks on myself and others-go find a hate web site so you can post with others of similar intelligence.

I don’t know for some reason everyone keeps on forgetting the fact that JM is still gonna play his fair share of the games. We know that in close games when defence is of importance in the 8th/9th JM is gonna sub in for Eckstein. We also know that JM will be usually starting when halladay is on the mound. You forget that Eckstein was injured last year and if he gets injured again JM is gonna play. Last year our offence was poor. In 06 our offence was great and one of the key players there was Reed johnson in lead-off. SInce Reed didn’t do so good last year, Eckstein provides us with more depth, as does JM.
Remember this too, with players such as wells, Glaus, Thomas, Rios hitting behind Eckstein all the pitcher are gonna go after him and he is prolly gonna get more hits/runs scored.

Also if either Eckstein or JMac were to do bad then we have another to back them up.

This also gives Hill a rare day off to keep him strong till the end of season or october (if we make it there). Scutoro isn’t gonna be playing much, but we got him for practically nothing because i don’t believe any of the pitchers we gave up will play in the Big leagues. ALso more than half of our infeild was injured last year, so we need as much depth as possible there. (glaus, overbay, eckstein)

and wat do u guys think of royals getting olivio. That means we won’t get him, so we are prolly gonna be with Sal and Zaun.

Gsumner,

I would be glad to offer up my genuine comments about the team from time to time. I will however state That I do not care for hipocrates very much…never had.You often attack people on this web-site less capable of defending themselves for disagreeing with you in the slightest manner.I also do not care for *** kissers who hide behind a computer.Make no mistake this Blog will continue to flourish without any one persons’ participation. So I will continue to read these comments from time to time. If you stay in line you will not have to deal with these childish comments from me. However if you dont you can expect to recieve what you are dishing out to others.To be quite frank on occasion I do not mind reading your comments, some can be quite inciteful. On other occasions however your lack of knowledge and ARROGANCE shines through.

You are right, harrypotter about Johnny Mac not being tossed on the scrap heap. I can see Eckstein starting between 120-140 games, and most of the rest will be JMac’s. Plus, any time we can get our setup man to the mound, MacDonald and Johnson will be out there behind him. When JM starts, Eck will be available as a pinch hitter or runner, so there is lots of work to go around. It’s a long season.

rshobie, things can get pretty hot and heavy around this blog, because we have some people who hold some strong opinions. That makes them great fans, not personal enemies, and we don’t indulge in personal attacks. In my own case, I am a big boy and able to look after myself. I don’t need you or anybody else coming to my defense, thank you. If you wouldn’t say it to the other person’s face, you probably shouldn’t post it here. Enough said.

“and wat do u guys think of royals getting olivio. That means we won’t get him, so we are prolly gonna be with Sal and Zaun.
When I sort the unsigned free agent catchers, there are 20 left unsigned. Some are too expensive for the role the Jays can offer, and others, the less said, the better. Doug Mirabelli is still available. He might sign with us just so he doesn’t have to catch Tim Wakefield any more. LOL

rshobie

After re-reading your posts, I have come to the conclusion you’re a very troubled individual. The final clue is in your statement of not caring for hypocrites or people who hide behind computers-meaning you have low personal esteme and hate yourself, since you’re the hypocrite hiding behind your computer making personal attacks. You should really get some help.

I find the point of “attacking individuals unable to defend themselves” to be quite enlightening. I do not attack anyone unless I’m attacked first and before I do I give multiple warnings. When I post to other fans, I research the subject and post what I believe to be relevent and factual. I am not going to apologize to anyone for having strong opinions; and I’m not the only one here that does. Besides, it would be a **** boring blog if everyone agreed on everything.

The only ones I’ve “attacked” who aren’t able to defend themselves are Gibby, JP and Godfrey. It’s my opinion Gibby has no clue on handling pitchers and we will not win with him. Godfey is a bleeding heart socialist who’s major claim to fame is changing the smoking rules at the Rogers center. I have been one of the strongest supporters of JP, until his moves this off season. I think JP is feeling the pressure of his “stand pat” comments and making irrational decisions as a result. All fans have opinions on these guys-that’s mine and if you’re one of them-you can make my negative comments go away by winning.

Remember, life is about choices and you have multiple ones here. One is, you can come back and post your opinion on the Blue Jays and be a fan like the rest of us. Two is, don’t read my comments or anyone else’s if they trouble you so much. Three is get some help for your condition and forth is, you can keep hiding behind your little computer making childish personal attack comments.

Frankly, I could care less what you do and whether you keep posting your childish comments or anything else, but I will give you one little piece of advice. Do not threaten me or anyone else here again, you’re not as anonymous as you think you are.

Easy boys ….. dont make it personal here. Lets talk baseball. I think the off season is starting to get to you.

jordan

I agree with you, but think your post should have happened a couple of days ago when it all began. I didn’t start it, but I certainly will respond to others that do.

Ooooh, masked men in the night, gsumner? Can I watch?
BTW, the no smoking thing was a Toronto by-law, and had nothing to do with Paul Godfrey. In fact, I am happy that he does keep his nose out of baseball operations. Too many cooks spoil the broth, as they say.

I am more than willing to give management and coaching staff another kick at the cat, mainly because I believe that all the pieces are in place for a good season, and the past 2 seasons have been ones of frustration. In 2006, our pitching staff was decimated by injuries, and in 07, we couldn’t seem to buy a hit, even though our young pitchers stepped up and did very well.

As a middle market team, we can’t afford ARods or DiceKs. In order to have a good season, everything has to come together, and a bit of luck is involved, too. Here are some things I think we need to make a run for the playoffs:

First: Stay healthy

Second: win on the road and beat the teams we should beat. This is an intangible, and comes with maturity and desire. Does this team have it? Only time will tell.

Third: pitch well. Our young guys have to avoid the sophomore blues (called the Towers syndrome by some). Brad Arnsberg is the best there is, and he is going to earn his money this year.

Fourth: someone needs to have a breakout year. Wells and Overbay come to mind, as well as AJ Burnett. Rios is capable of a .300 season with 30 HR, a bunch of RBIs, and 20 SBs.

Fifth: win 95-96 games. It is still conceivable that we could win 95 games and still finish third, or second and out of the wild card, but that is where luck comes in.

How many sleeps until the pitchers report?

I think the Jays really have alot to do in the next 3 months if they are serious about competing for a playoff spot or a world series in 2008.

First and foremost they need to attain a proven #3 starting pitcher to solidify the rotation. This could come via free agency in the form of an effective Matt Clement, or through the creativity of Riccardi through a trade.

Secondly the Line-up needs solidification as well. Of all the proposed line ups it does not appear that there are enough character in the line up. What I mean by that is that there is no-one that is a threat on the base pads or a more than one guy who has a great on base percentage other than Eckstien and a healthy potential reaching Reed Johnson. Looking at a trade with the Angels involving Troy Glaus as the power hitting third basemen they are looking for in exchange for Chone Figgins would be a great way of solidifying the line up.

The last thing I belive that jays should do is to upgrade the defense at the catcher position. This will come in the form of a platoon partner who is solid defensively for Gregg Zaun or again through creative trading soluation from Riccardi.

What I dont understand about the whole lineup problem is the necessity of Glaus and Thomas hitting 4-5. Instead, why not have them hit 5-6 with eckstein, hill/overbay (both of them masters of the 2B), rios and well before them. This avoids the problem of slow wheels on the basepaths, and it was proven in the 06 season that wells hits very well with Glaus hitting behind him. Then you can switch overbay and hill depending on the pitching they are facing. This gives structure for all the regulars, and still allows for some flexibility. Tell me whats wrong with this please.

Also, I agree that we need an upgrade at catcher. Zaun’s base runner catching is terrible, even for a backup catcher, and his hitting is only good enough for a backup. So why do we have him starting?? If Diaz is as good as everyone says, why not bring him to Spring Training?

Lastly, as for pitching, I think we should stop looking for “new” solutions. We have four guys who have shown they can pitch no-hit ball. Leave them alone and bring casey Janssen up to be the fifth. Hes a stud.

Cheers

also, that lineup allows for the extra leadoff man if you put johnson at 9th. Then when JM starts, just put him at 9 and johnson leading off

I agree with the pitching situation. we have a solid number three pitcher in Mcgowan…the only question with him is if hes more like a number two. And Markam is definitely proven his ability to pitch in the rotation. At the very least a number five pitcher, but if he repeats 3 or 2. The last spot Im not worried about because we have lots of options in Liscth, Jannsen, or if ready lets not forget the lefty Chacin. Another pitcher to add wouldnt hurt though becasue you never know but im not worried if nothing happens. Im more concerned with Zaunny and I do agree that he is at best a backup. Last but not least third base is not an issue becasue when Glaus puts up the numbers from 06 then well be praising him. He was rediculous in 06 considering what we were expecting from him. And now that his foot has been supposively fixed maybe well see the old Glaus. Next year we can expect 40 HR from Glaus, 35 from Wells, 35 from Rios and 4 from Eckky.

I enjoy reading all the posts on this blog but I do not like reading no reason post by people like rshobie he does not talk baseball just throws insults.

My lineup

Ekstien

Johnson

Wells

Rios

Glaus

Thomas

Overbay

Hill

Zaun

Pitchers

Doc.

AJ

McGowan

Marcum

THE KID Jansen Chacin Clement we don’t need any more pitchen than we have now.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU GUYS AND GALS

JORDAN thanks for the blog this year please keep it up for as long as you can.

gsumner

I have all my hair and it is not yet gray also I have lost some weight.

You guys have to realize that throwing out runners in not just Zaun’s fault. The numbers show that he threw out a lot more runners when Marcum and Litsch were on the mound than when Halliday, Burnett, or McGowan were pitching. That’s because Marcum and Litsch have a more compact delivery and get the ball to the plate a lot faster. It is something they are working to improve. On the positive side, Zaun calls a good game, blocks the plate well, doesn’t allow a lot of passed balls, and is a very tough out at the plate. He is also one of the guys in the locker room that can tell it like it is, and people listen to him.
A stolen base would hurt a groundball pitcher like Halliday because it takes away the double play, but Burnett and McGowan are most likely content to strike out the batter(s) to end the inning.

Abner and Whitt both catchers never went to JP and asked him not to sign Zaun so they must know the problem is with the pitchers.

I’ll second gnorman’s point on Zaun.

That’s exactly what every beat writter and comentater around this team has been saying all last year.

Saying it’s Zaun’s fault is taking the easy way out.

Kind of like firing the hitting coach.

I was just looking back at the 1993 Jays team on baseball-reference.com. Olerud hit .363 that year. Alomar had 55 stolen bases. Carter had 121 rbi. There are 6 members of that team in the Jay’s top 10 career batting average. Delagado would be #7 if you count that he was 21 and had 1 AB. That’s what it takes to win it all. I still meet people in Philly that remember Joe Carter.

What’s with Ketchner (1-11 last year)? Am I missing something here? Do we need somebody to throw batting practice in Syracuse?

The scouting report on Ryan Ketchner is “Below-average fastball, good command, good changeup, okay breaking ball, good competitor AND DEAF.”

One thing i appreciate about GSumner is that even though he doesn’t agree with most people, he is very respectful in his disagreement.

He even lays out his reasons so you can argue your point at which point he wont change his mind, but still it doesn’t degrade into insults backed up with irrelevant stats.

That said, you can also give it as good as you get it Gsum, i like having you here.

Scouting Report on Lance Carter. He doesn’t have a trick pitch. He doesn’t throw hard. Still, he understands how to throw strikes better than any pitcher on the staff. His fastball rarely tops 90 mph, but he is effective because he will throw any of his four pitches any time in the count

Scouting Report on John Parrish. He’s got some heat for his small stature. Parrish is stingy with the longball and is strong with runners aboard. If the plate were four feet wide, then you might be able to say he has good control. Needs at least two days’ rest to be effective.

Carter sounds kinda like halladay, with the weak fastball and good control. I guess they just think that Arnsberg can turn any pitcher into gold. What does deaf mean? Cant be coached? or actually deaf?

I think all 3 of these guys fit into that “reclamation project category”. All 3 are long shots of helping us here, but there’s not a lot invested in any of them either. Apparently Ketchner is deaf and reads lips. It appears he was recovering from an injury incurred in late 2006 last year. He has had some reasonable minor league years.

Maybe one of these guys will surprise us-maybe not.

Thanks, gsumner, good stuff.
Halliday with a weak fastball, davej55? Doc used to throw in the upper 90s until he learned how to pitch. His fastball is now in the 93-95 mph range, with good movement, and he can throw it to any part of the plate. Not exactly weak, if you ask me.

I think it was when Halladay was pitching in Detroit or Boston. One of the home commentators said, “i don’t think this guy can throw anything straight even if he tried,” or something to that effect. Halladay’s fastball isn’t as blazing as some of other aces like Beckett or Santana, but the movement on it is just dazzling.
My god, do I love Halladay. I hope he never leaves the team.

Halliday pitch movement

The following URL contains an article which discusses Roy Halliday’s pitch movement.

http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2007/06/halladay.php

Although, the article compares a game when he “had it” and another when he “didn’t have it”, the thing I find interesting is the variance of pitch speed and break, which makes him so difficult to hit hard.

I guess we should all thank Mel Queen, each time Halliday pitches.

Thank you again, gsumner. That site is bookmarked.
What is interesting is that there is almost no difference in his pitches between a good and a bad start. I guess some days they hit it at people, and some days the balls drop in.

gnorman

I tend to agree that’s likely the major difference. I also think some guys see a particular pitcher’s release better than others.

For Halliday it’s Manny Ramirez, he’s killed Halliday everytime he faces him, and that appears to have translated into Boston hitting him well, whenever Manny’s in the lineup.

Gnorman-forgot this part

Halliday started 5 times against Boston in 2007. He was ok in his first two outings, but in the last 3 went 18 innings and gave up 17 runs for an era of 8.50. His record against them was 1 win-3 losses and 1 no decision.

So I guess whatever Manny learnt has been taught to the others.

It will be interesting to see if they keep this up this year.

One thing Halliday does very well is to make adjustments, gsumner, as we will see what part he reinvents this year. One thing that link doesn’t demonstrate very well is mistakes. Major league hitters will hit a good pitch once in a while, but they climb all over a curveball that doesn’t curve of a fastball that carves the middle of the plate. You don’t need to make many mistakes to make a difference in a game.
I could always tell when Escobar was pitching. When his cap was pulled down over his eyes, you knew he meant business and you were likely to see a good outing. If his cap was pushed back toward the back of his head, you might as well go and cut the grass.

What no news Jordan we need to hear from you so we have something new to talk about.Like how are the players who went under the knife comeing along.

Garry-here’s some interesting news.

Clemens, McNamee, Pettitte, Knoblauch and Radomski have all been asked to testify before the House Oversight Committee on January 16th.

It will be extremely interesting to see if Clemens’s testimony to the committee is the same he told Mike Wallace in the interview to be broadcast this Sunday on 60 minutes, which is McNamee, only injected him with the painkiller lidocaine and the vitamin B-12.

I wonder what the Rocket will say after McNamee tesitifies he shot him full of juice-particulary if McNamee testifies before Clemens. I hope it’s televised, I look forward to watching Clemens squirm.

I also wonder what will happen if McNamee nails him, but the rocket keeps lying. Somehow, I feel McNamee has more proof up his sleeve which hasn’t been made public yet-but will be made in these committee hearings. Clearly, McNamee is not that happy with Clemens calling him a liar and has threatened to sue Clemens if he keeps up that rhetoric.

I expect McNamee will bury Clemens in these hearings.

If he does and Clemens keeps lying, I’d be really disappointed if Clemens isn’t charged with perjury-like Barry Bonds.

gsumner

Clemens and many more players should have to go through the same thing as Bonds it’s only fair and if they can prove they are wrong then make them pay for it and not with fines only #1 wipe out their records take them off the hall of fame ballot to start with.

look at pete Rose he bet on games and has sufferd for many years so now is the time to give him some company.

As for Zaun and Glaus I don’t see why they should get off scott free just because they play for our team like so many fans think.

If it was possible this would be my lineup but i doubt that this line up will happen

LF) Reed

SS) Eckstine

RF) Rios

CF) Wells

DH) Thomas

3B) Stairs

1B) Overbay

2B) Hill

C) Thigpen

Realistically

LF) Reed

SS) Eckstine

RF) Rios

CF) Wells

DH) Thomas

3B) Glaus

1B) Overbay

2B) Hill

C) Zaun

garry,
Glaus and Zaun along with all the other players named took and / or bought the drugs when they were not banned by MLB so they can’t be charged. Bonds is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice. He will probably get off the perjury charge , its the obstruction of justice one that could hurt him. I do agree they all should have the chance to redeem themselves not just the “cream of the crop”. Clemens denied taking anything now he claims it was lidocaine ( which you don’t inject into muscle) and b-12 shots . Its kind of like the user who says , “I didn’t inhale”.

The interesting thing is , many of these players were asked by Mitchell to respond before the report came out and they declined . If they are innocent , why not reply to Mitchell’s request for an interview and state your case . Perhaps their name would have been erased from the report if they had done that very thing. Clemens was among those who were asked and declined to speak

Indigo

I doubt if any of the guys named in the report really want to appear before the committee. I expect they all feel the best thing to do is duck and hope the problem goes away. Frankly, I agree with their approach since, in my view, the majority of players were on the juice in this timeframe and it’s unfair to single out 85 as the only culprits and “make them pay” for baseball’s ill concieved policies at the time.

Clemens is different though, because of the number of Cy Young awards won AFTER he took the juice, and his high profile “take no prisoners” denial campaign.

I think Clemens is now in a dilema, since I expect he lied in the Wallace interview-never expecting to be called before the committee.

Now, regardless of what he says to the committee, he looks like a jerk. If he keeps up the lie, no one will believe him, McNamee will sue and from what I’ve been able to dig up on McNamee’s lawyer, I certainly wouldn’t want to be fighting against him.-The guy’s a bulldog, is hired on contingency and eyeing Roger’s entire net worth as his potential win.

If Clemens comes clean to the committee and admits he took the juice he looks like a jerk for the Wallace interview. So one way or the other it’s not good news for the Rocket man.

I think Clemens will live to regret how he’s dealt with this situation. He should have taken the high ground like Pettite and admitted to usuage. If he had done so, my opinion of him would have been different.

The high profile denial campaign he’s undertaken has brought the entire focus of the Mitchell report to him. His constant lying on the issue bothers me more than his usage of the juice in the first place.

So now, I agree with Curt Shilling. Unless Clemens can provide absolute proof he didn’t take the juice-take away all his Cy Young awards and strip the wins from his record from the time he left Boston.

And to Richard D. Emery, I hope you win it all.

I agree these guys don’t want to appear before a committee ( they are just the tip of this icebreg ) and not all of them were given the chance to speak with Mitchell. If they are innocent , like Clemens claims he is, why didn’t he defend himself when Mitchell gave him the chance. Did he honestly think his name would not appear in the report because he is Roger Clemens, only a fool would believe that . He had to know it was there when Mitchell asked him for an interview. Now here it is almost a month later , he comes out with the story it was lidocaine and B-12. He had plenty of opportunity to address this not just deny it . Since Pettitte has already admitted to use, I think they will try to use him and his testimony against Clemens to prove drug use.

Sadly,I too agree with Schilling.I used to love watching Clemens pitch.When he left the Jays for NY,the fans here thoughtit was a rip off.However, Roger had a deal (verbal) with Beeston and did his best to hold up his end of it with two great seasons trying to get the Jays into the post season.The reason I don’t believe Roger about the juice is I don’t think a guy with so much pride and work ethic would trust his body to a back room trainer for B12 and lidocaine shots.If this were true,why not go to the team doctors as it would be safer and on the up & up.You only go behind closed doors if you know it is wrong.He should do the stand up thing and admit it.

As much as I liked Clemens and respected him as a athlete,his story is lame.Someone like Roger who has a great work ethic and pride in himself would not trust his body to a mere trainer for B12 and lidocaine shots.He would go to his or the team doctors.Going to McNanee means he had something to hide.

tkpage,
Good point . I don’t know how many of you have read the article by Nitkowski but it gives you another perspective , an insight into McNamee . Its worth reading . He had nothing to gain by lying and everything to lose.

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071220/SPORTS02/71220101/0/FEATURES10

indigo

I think that article on McNamee confirms that Rocket Man is in deep doo doo. Clearly the guy testifying with the greatest credibility is going to be McNamee, with Pettite being second since he’s already admitted to usuage.

So after McNamee testifies he gave the stuff to both Pettite and Clemens; then Pettite testifies McNammee did in fact give him the stuff, what is the Rocket man going to say.

One way or the other he comes off as a lying jerk. If he does lie to the committee after the committee has heard testimony from both McNamee and Pettite-he faces potential charges from the committee and a massive lawsuit from McNamee.

If he does admit to using the stuff, the loud roar-led by Shilling and others will very likely strip him of 3 Cy Young awards, over 100 wins and eliminate any chance he has to get into the HOF. And I’d expect McNamee sues and wins anyway, although the award wouldn’t be as high.

The way I see it, one way or the other from here on in, DA Rocket Man flames out.

First of all, I would like to say that although Clemens may end up looking like a jerk, Y’all already look like jerks for assuming his guilt without any proof. I think thats ridiculous. Its entirely possible that McNamee just used his name to bring attention and legitamacy to the report. I mean, look how well its worked.

And saying why would he trust his body to a “back room trainer”? Well that article posted by indigo clearly indicates McNamee wasnt a back room trainer, but someone who really knew what he was doing.

So pick one please. Maybe the Rocket didnt have access to the doctors when he needed the B12.

Last, even if its proven that he used the steroids, why strip him of his awards?? That would just set a precedent forcing the league to go through all of the 85 people named, and stripping them of their career stats after the time they used it. Plus, if as you say everyone was using the roids at the time then the playing field was pretty fair for him anyways, as everyone had the same advantage.

I just dont understand why Clemens has lost credibility for saying didnt do the juice. All McNamee did was say that he did. Its all hearsay and accusations, without any proof. Its ridiculous to say that one of them is more credible than the other until proof is presented. If you all respected the Rocket as much as you claimed to, you would give him the benfit of the doubt rather than some no name trained who wants his name on the front page.

Cheers

And Jason Liburd, your first lineup is ridiculous. Stairs has never played 3rd base in his life. Glaus is pretty good, although hes never gonna win a gold glove. Id take a career third baseman with a hurt foot over a guy who hasnt played a single inning of third base in his life. Come on man, research your **** a little. And plus, why have johnson and eckstein first and second we have at least two other better second batters in rios and hill. both of who have better power and way better OBP last year.

dave

I never stated I respected Clemens and even if I did, I no longer would. McNamee only gave up Clements and the others after serious pressure from the FED’s-which is why he’s so credible. McNamee had nothing to gain by giving Clemens and others up.

If McNamee testifies he gave Clemens the juice-THAT isn’t heresay evidence. People have went to jail for a long time on similar testimony.

Why should Clemens get into the HOF if he took the juice. Baseball has kept Rose out of the hall for placing a bet on his team through a legal betting agency. Do you think Bonds, McQuire and Palmero get into the hall-not in our lifetime they won’t. If they’re all kept out, Clemens should be kept out as well.

Why should Clemens keep the 3 Cy Youngs he won after taking the stuff, when others like Santana were marginally behind him and clean? Should Santana get punished because Clemens cheated and he didn’t?

What makes Clemens different than the others in the report is his high profile “take no prisoners” denial campaign. If he has admitted to taking the stuff, like Pettite did, personally I’d think differently. But he’s perpetrating the lie, calling everyone else connected to the report a liar,threatening to sue them, and causing some serious harm to others by refusing to tell the truth.

He deserves to go down.

Dave
I was just wondering why the crown jewel of both the Jays and the Yanks pitching staffs at the time would go to the trainer for shots.In both organizations access to qualified personnel to consult and give the shots would not be an issue with the Rocket being the one asking.If that makes me look like a jerk for wondering,so be it.I hope Iam wrong because I happen to be a fan of Clemens but cheating is cheating.

tk ,
This article should answer your questions about trainer versus Dr.

It only briefly mentions lidocaine but its commonly used by dentists to numb pain

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=bryant_howard&id=3181042

There’s a report today that suggests LA are discussing a trade with the White Sox for Paul Konerko. Apparently, LA feel they need more slugging from their corner infielders, and are not happy with the production they get from Figgins and Klosterman.

Chicago are asking for two of three of Howie Kendrick, third baseman Chone Figgins and pitcher Ervin Santana.

It appears to me that LA might have interest in a Glaus for Figgins deal, so they don’t need to give up as much and still get the HR hitter they feel they need.

In my opinion, a guy like Figgins is the last piece in the puzzle for us to be a seriously contender. Could be a good deal for both clubs.

Come on JP give Reagans a call.

This article comes from the Boston MLB site and written by Mike Petraglia.

BOSTON — In what has become nearly as hot a ticket as the Red Sox at Fenway Park, the eighth annual “Hot Stove, Cool Music” benefit concert will once again be the focus of baseball and music fans alike on Sunday.

The event, which has raised $1.3 million for the Jimmy Fund and Theo and Paul Epstein’s “Foundation to Be Named Later” since December 2000, is once again a virtual sellout at the Paradise Club in Boston.

“The winter event has its own unique personality because it’s cold outside, people haven’t been getting out much,” said general manager Theo Epstein on Saturday. “It has a fun spirit, and people are just happy to be getting out of the house, [to] hear great music, raise money for charity and talk baseball.

“It’s always a great, very vibrant atmosphere. Everyone has a blast. The summertime event is fun, but the baseball and music experience can’t be matched at the winter program.”

Event information for Sunday night’s program can be found online at http://www.hotstovecoolmusic.org.

In promoting the event on Saturday at the State Street Pavilion at Fenway Park, Epstein hosted a two-part, one-of-a-kind Boston sports and celebrity panel discussion for fans hosted by the comedian/actor Mike O’Malley.

“I thought it was a great panel,” Epstein said. “As always, Red Sox fans and Boston sports fans generally have a high level of interest in the game, much different than the typical questions you get in most markets.

“They’re really cerebral fans, and that was reflected in the Q&A. We had a great panel today and hopefully kept the hot stove warm until Spring Training, about six weeks away.”

The first half of the panel discussion centered on the incredible success of the Boston sports teams and what it takes to build a winner in Boston. Those taking part included Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca and Bruins legend and vice president Cam Neely.

The second half was more baseball-centric, with one of the most powerful panels ever seen in one gathering. Epstein was joined by fellow general managers Brian Cashman, of the Yankees, and J.P. Ricciardi, of the Blue Jays. Red Sox consultant and epic baseball statistician Bill James, ESPN’s Peter Gammons, agent Scott Boras and NESN’s Tina Cervasio also participated.

Several issues were discussed, including the Johan Santana trade rumors. As for whether the Red Sox are still interested in the Twins left-hander, Epstein said that not much has changed since the talks stalled around the Winter Meetings in December.

“We don’t have a lot new to report,” he told reporters. “This has been a pretty slow holiday season. We’ll see how things develop.”

**Well Done, JP

Glaus for Figgins would be a great deal for both the Angels and the Jays and picture the Jays Line-up:

1. Figgins

2. Eckstein

3. Rios

4. Thomas

5. Wells

6. Overbay

7. Hill

8. Zaun

9. Johnson

With Three guys like figgins, eckstein and a healthy Reed Johnson in the line up Thomas, Well and Rios could all push for 100+ RBI’s in the middle of the order.

Not that I think the Glaus for Figgins deal is going to happen because a) Glaus’ injury problems, b) his contract, c) Arte Moreno is the most outspoken anti-ped owner in the league

but

If you’ve got Figgins, why play Eckstien or Johnson at all?

My line-up with Figins

1.3B – Figgins

2.LF – Stairs or (1B-Overbay)

3.RF – Rios

4.CF – Wells

5.DH – Thomas

6.1B – Overbay or (LF-Lind)

7.2B – Hill

8.C – Zaun

9.SS – McDonald

Robert

Although I don’t know if the deal could get done, I don’t think salary is an issue.

Konerko:$12 mill

Glaus: $11.5 mill

Figgins: $3.5 mill

If they’re prepared to pick up Konerko’s salary, Glaus’s shouldn’t be an issue.

It’s a better deal for LA, because they get to keep Kotchman’s bat (11 Hr’s) in the lineup and still get the power from Glaus. LA also get to keep Howie Kendrick (a player no one wants to give up) and Santana.

The flexibility and speed Figgins brings to us, as well as eliminating the Glaus/Thomas base running clog up is tremendous.

So I think it’s potentially a great deal for both teams, and I think our offer is better than Chicago.

I doubt if the PED issue is an issue at all. All these owners are outspoken as ****, but jump at the opportunity to win. Glaus would help LA win. Of course I think Figgins would do the same for us as well.

That said-will it ever get down-probably unlikely. But it is a nice one to think about isn’t it.

How do you guys/gals feel about Clemens now ? still think he’s guilty or is it now “up in the air?”

and for those of you interested here is Wilner’s take:
http://blog.rogersradiointernet.com/mikewilner/

enigma

I totally agree with Wilner’s comments. Da Rocket man is guilty.

I think that wilner’s take on it is just the opinion of someone who has already made up his mind. The pictures of Clemens he posted didnt make any sense. Obviously a mans body is gonna change over twenty years or so. It woulda been more effective to post pictures between say 1997 and 2001, the times before and after the alleged use.

Also, Wilner accused Clemens of being self-centered in terms of saying how the Mitchell Report “of course, WAS FULL OF HORRIBLE LIES, though only about Roger Clemens.” Obviously Clemens can only deny what he knows…or what he knows he can get away with lying about. Theres nothing wrong with him only talking about what he knows in the Report.

The whole looking into Wallace’s eyes…thats just bull. I mean, hes right liars do look right into the eyes of someone to make themselves more believeable. But the thing is, so do people who are telling the truth. So the only way to see what Wilner is seeing is if he already has judged Clemens.

To sum up, I think Wilner’s post is the same prejudicial nonsense a lot of people are giving Clemens. For a noted journalist to post something so one-sided on a topic so controversial is worse than Wallace was during the interview.

One more thing. The stats he talked about..best ERA and such. That year was 2005, years after the alleged use. Plus, it was the second year of Clemens having moved from the best division in baseball to the worst. Obviously his numbers are gonna change.

Cheers.

Well, i heard the phone conversation the 2 of them had and one thing that stood out to me the most (and to a lot of other people) is that Mcnammee kept saying “what do you want me to do” to which Clemens never told him to deny the allegations. Bugged the **** out of me personally.

What if McNamee injected Clemens without Clemens express knowledge. Like, what if the Rocket’s agent or something provided the drugs and the permission. That would explain the way both men are acting. Im just trying to find some sort of method within this madness. Both of these men have a huge amount to lose, and it certainly seems like both of them really believe their own version of the story. Unfortunately, they have opposite views of it. So maybe theres a third party missing or something. Dont get me wrong, I still believe in Clemens’ innocence until proven guilty, but seriously, they both have so much to lose, and at this point the full story will be found….so i think theres gotta be a third party.

Cheers

Dave

If you haven’t already, you want to read this interview with McNamee.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/jon_heyman/01/07/mcnamee.clemens/index.html

I think the issue is who had the most to gain from lying. You will note McNamee turned down 7 figures for a TV appearance so he clearly didn’t say what he said for money.

Roger’s story falls apart in a number of areas; whereas I keep reading McNamee’s interview and believe the guy’s telling the truth.

If Clemens has been taking these prescription drugs ( anesthetic lidocaine and B-12) for so many years, why hasn’t he offered proof of purchase or proof of a Dr.’s prescription? Dr.’s keep records for years-they never though anything anyway. Clemens wants us to believe he took nothing, because of his record, whereas we all believe his record sort of proves he took something. Emotional pleas, like he’s making offer not proof of anything. Produce the Dr’s prescripion for the time in question.

McNamee just wants to survive this and get on with his life without going to jail. He has absolutely nothing to gain from lying.

Roger on the other hand desparately needs us to believe he didn’t take the stuff so he gets elected to the HOF and participate in other huge revenues.

We shall see how Clemens holds up in Congressionl cross examination. He has now painted himself into a corner where he has no alternative but to keep lying. If Mcnamee has other proof and I expect he does, which is presented in the hearings, Clemens goes to jail.

Youre right, that article is pretty compelling. I would just prefer that one of them would come forward with their proof…although i understand that that needs to wait for the hearing. I’m really looking forward to seeing the results of that hearing. Its on the 17th right??

Apparently McNamee is no all pure as new fallen snow either.
Read this:

http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/yankees/ny-spmac095531036jan09,0,3610302.story

seball/yankees/ny-spmac095531036jan09,0,3610302.story

Nasty man!

Wilner also mentioned that Clemens kept looking to his left during the Wallace interview, something people are supposed to do if they are lying. Stranger and stranger. I just don’t know.

BTW, if you look at Frank Thomas’s career pictures, you will dee the same type of development as you see with Clemens. It comes with age. I would be more inclined to look at Zaun in 2006, coming in all muscled up and 30 lb heavier.

gnorman

I take that story with a grain of salt for two reasons. One the story came from Clemens and two if it actually happened-why weren’t charges laid.

The story came from the St Petersburg Police, gsumner, via Associated Press.

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