Game 1 of The Disney World Series

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — In the land where dreams come true, I finally enjoyed my first smooth day of travel of the 2008 baseball season. No cancelled flights. Bumped up to first class. Some nice shut-eye on the journey. No missed connections. And fireworks lighting up the Orlando sky when I landed last night.

Some free advice: if you want to get through customs quickly without any issues, please refrain from cussing out the border officials. There was a family ahead of me that was taking a prolonged amount of time to get through and a guard asked them to step aside, at which point one girl in the group yelled a rather unpleasant and unproductive message at said guard. They were all promptly escorted out of the airport. Me? No problemo…

Here at the Wide World of Sports, it’s sunny skies. No Alex Rios in the lineup today — just a day off, according to manager John Gibbons. Gibby also noted that Rays starter James Shields has handled Rios well in the past, so it made sense to start Lexi on the bench. So Matt Stairs moves into the No. 3 hole and Joe Inglett mans right for the second straight game.

Gibby also noted that Scott Rolen, who missed his scheduled Minor League rehab appearance yesterday due to the flu, is expected to be back with the Jays before the end of this road trip. That’s been the assumption, but Gibby made that clear today. You’ll all be happy to know that Adam Lind (out recently with a stiff neck) got back into a game yesterday and went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Time to do some work and grab me some eats, so here are…

Today’s lineups:

TORONTO (10-10) at TAMPA BAY (8-11)
at 7:10 p.m. ET at Disney’s Wide World of Sports

JAYS
David Eckstein, SS
Aaron Hill, 2B
Matt Stairs, DH
Vernon Wells, CF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Shannon Stewart, LF
Gregg Zaun, C
Marco Scutaro, 3B
Joe Inglett, RF

PITCHING: RHP Jesse Litsch

RAYS
Akinori Iwamura, 2B
Carl Crawford,
B.J. Upton, CF
Carlos Pena, DH
Evan Longoria, 3B
Eric Hinske, 1B
Dioner Navarro, C
Nathan Haynes, RF
Jason Bartlett, SS

PITCHING: RHP James Shields

51 Comments

This is a team Toronto has to beat a bunch this year. Tampa is better than in the past and not an easy win, but still average.

Hopefully the jays come out swinging today. I love well-pitched games, but I’m starting to miss the offensive part of the game from the Jays. Good news about Rolen, by the way. He’s one of the most intimidating and intense guys I’ve seen on the field. Can’t wait to see him in blue jays’ uni.

Garry & Gsumner,

I post and all of a sudden Indigo appears, lol.

I think she was waiting for me to comeback here, lol.

I don’t know why a team would schedule 3 games at a minor league stadium. The Rays need to have this game at Tropicana Field not in Orlando. The Rays are desperate for fans, why got over 1 hour to the east and play this series. How dumb!!! This ownership of Tampa Bay have ZERO clue.

Shields is a very good pitcher with a solid change-up. Jays old friend Hinske is doing o.k. with the Rays. Longoria at 3b is a stud, this kid is going to be around for a long time. A type of player, you build a franchise around. He is that good.

The Jays without Rios in the lineup, looks very average to me. At least Gibbons has a nice right handed hitter to come off the bench late in the game.

Our lineup is awful right now and is even more pathetic without Rios in the game!!!

SIGN BONDS!!!!!

Bosox Indigo is a lady and I’ll bet a hot one forget it you don’t have a chance lol.

as for Bonds I would like to see him in Toronto he will draw people and the crowd will help the team and remember every dinger is a record.

Indigo nice to hear from you again.

It looks like Eric is still playing for us.lol

Garry,

If Indigo is hot, that would leave me out, lol.

You want Bonds on the Jays. What do most Toronto fans think of Bonds? I don’t think he’ll end up there but you can never rule it out. Never say never as they say.

This game has a spring training feel to it. Playing in a minor league park, not good. I wonder if we’ll see pitchers running in the outfield when there night is done, lol.

The game isn’t even sold out. What is the Rays ownership thinking. Are they thinking ? I guess they want to tap into the Orlando market. If you put a good team on the field, they will show up. From Orlando and points beyond.

rmatty, please don’t tell me you as well want to sign some 43 year old has been with a drug problem. Man, we’d have to have Idnigo give the guy drug tests every day. lol

Bosox, don’t get too carried away, both Garry and I asked her to come back here. I personally think she’s sweet on Gary. I don’t understand why they’re playing games here. This tampa team scares me though, they have a lot fo talent and have given us fits for the last couple of years. I think you’re right about Longoria, although he’s off to a poor start.

Rios does seem to come off the bench late and do something damatic. Last time that happened he hit a HR. We sure could have used Lind in the lineup tonight.

Jordan,

How many times have the Jays and the Raptors played in the same city while on the road ? Technically the Jays are in Lake Buena Vista, just wondering I guess.

Bosox

So are you one of those poor defranchised Florida voters?

Gusumner,

You might have asked but when I appeared, she did as
well, lol. Facts are facts, lol.

Where is potter ? He was around last year.

Jays are off to a quick start.

It seems like the Rays have played the Jays tough.

Jays struggle against weaker teams. Jays are 4-1 vs Boston and N.Y. Go figure.

gsumner,

What do you mean by poor defranchised voters ? Explain please, I am not catching you there.

Bosox.
Harry was around her a day or so ago. The Jays are missing a killer instinct, which in my view is why they do poorly against poor teams. I’m hoping the additions of Roeln, Lind and Diaz in the lineup changes that dinamic. Of course Johnson would have helped as well.

Oh, the Florida democrats, I’m following the primary cycle this year.

Please no political talk. Baseball and more baseball.

Hey, we were just talking about Longoria, and the kid hts a HR, Damn I hate when that happens.

Garry, hey where are you, haven’t you finished milking the cows? lol

No political talk, I can see you probably don’t vote. lol

Gsumner,

I do vote and that is all I am going to say. Baseball and more baseball.

The Rays have so many good young players. They also have David Price, the #1 pick in last years draft, he’ll be up sometime during the season. A lefty that can pitch. He throws gas.

Yes, I’ve followed Price, he’s going to be a real good one.

I think I’ve heard it all…. Adam Lind replacing the production of Barry Bonds…LOL LOL. Bonds hit almost 30 in one of the most difficult parks in Baseball in around 2 thirds of a season, with nothing much to play for. As Dh in our silly park WAKE UP. Toronto used to be the place all these guys wanted to come. Winfield, Henderson, Molitor, Cone etc. Do you really think we can compete with Adam Lind and Robinson Diaz against the likes of Ramirez and Ortiz or A Rod, Jeter, Abreu etc. I cannot understand how ONE person would not like to see Bonds in a Blue Jay uniform. Don’t worry Ted has plenty of cash and cheating is the way of the world in sports…so stop with all this rightous nonsense. If we get rid of all liars and cheaters in sports there will sadly be little left to watch.

Why would that Idiot Zaun call for an inside pitch on Hinske that will cost us the game.

Dont worry guys Indigo is not sweet on me I’m to old and I have a great wife.

I think Bonds will be here if we keep playing like this JP wont have any choice if he wants to keep his job I think Bonds can play as a DH until he is 50.

rshobie

You’d better slow down on that juice you’re dringking laddy and recognize Bonds is a 43 year old has been druggie-he’s done. There’s a lot brighter minds in baseball, like Pat Gillick whom you seem to love so much that won’t sign him. Do you think they’re all dumb? Please!!!!!

And trust me Bonds is not longer competitive with Ortiz or Ramirez or A-Rod. Be real here.

You must be a Maple Leaf fan, always wanting to get these guys when they’re done. What you want to do in this game is develop them, ( like Rios, Wells, etc) and have them play for us in their prime. Of course if the Leafs did that, they might win more than once every 40 years or so.

Watch this offence with Diaz, Lind and Rolen-back, they will surprise you. It’s not about home runs, it’s about hitting with runners in scoring position. Rolen is one of the very best clutch hitters in the game, actually even better than Ortiz ( by the numbers ) in some years.

I love this Carlson guy he goes right after every hitter he’s not afraid of anyone go Jays.

NO…NEVER SIGN BONDS
1) Cancer in the Clubhouse

2) Another old-slow DH hitter, nolonger in his prime

3) Will need time to settle in

4) Will still require to be paid a pretty high price

5) We still pay Thomas his 8 mill and don’t have the money

6) Will be playin the AL not NL,

7) Will be playing without the use of Steroids…

8) Would result in less fans going to watch the games

Its simple to follow, i laid it out pretty nicely…and most of these are facts…

I think this Bonds-talk can be put on hold until we get Lind and Rolen back and see how they do (hopefully in a week or so). If our offense still struggles, then Bonds becomes a possibility. Looking at last year’s numbers, I see Bonds as still productive (that is, way more than Thomas). But Bonds should be our last (and desperate) resort. I would much rather see our guys hold the fort till midseason, and make a trade for an offensive piece if we are in it then. I think it’s possible to keep pace for now with the pitching we got.

My god, Hinske’s killing us tonight.

harrypotter,

Although I agree signing Bonds should be avoided, I wouldn’t say Bonds is slow.

Hinske is killing us I thought JP was going to cry when they showed a shot of him.lol.

Now Camp can show Tampa what they lost.

Garry

Hinske always kills us. Harry good to see yo back. Carlson has done a nice job for us.

Wow we lose a game and everybody hides It’s not the end of the world.

I was just into the Philly/washington game and Raptors afterwards. Gary, it’s not that they have lost a game, it’s that it’s already at 11. I have to say that when the jays are down a couple of runs or more i’ve already lost that feeling that they can come back. I hope Lind and Rolen can add some spark to this line-up because so far, it’s looking like a lack of offense is what will keep this team from contending again. They are now 4 games back and the term “it’s early” should no longer be used in my opinion. They need to start playing like they are capable of or someone should get fired.

My only hope for a reasonable night (in terms of teams I am rooting for) lies with Calgary, Go flames Go.

Why do I feel we should sign Bonds? For no other reason other than he is the best hitter the game has seen! Why wouldn’t you want him on your team? The man is still a beast and is the smartest hitter you will ever see. If it’s a strike it gets hit hard if its a ball, its a ball! Bonds is not slow by any means and is a smart base runner. Speed should not be a concern considering we just had Thomas, who is probably the slowest man in the league. Bonds doesn’t need to be fast when all he needs to do is trot around the bases.

This is the easiest baseball decision I’ve seen! Who gives a rip about the off field stuff when it’s the on field part that counts in baseball

SIGN BONDS!!!!!!

Litsch is one start away from a demotion…
Purcey could be back before the end of the month.

matty39 I’m with you on Bonds we need a good DH to protect Rios and Wells if they had to pay him 10mil, he will return 5 times that much at the gate.

Last night was a joke but I see Abner is losing it just like old Buck M.did he needs to go we need a manager who can motivate this team, that mean we need someone new to the team with some guts.

Rolen Lind and Dias are not the answer we need a new manager JP has got to quit doing his friends favors and fire Abner.I dont think it will happen though because JP needs someone he can control,Remember he has a big ego not a brain.

rshobie you say you want to make peace if you do than quit slaming everone for their coments were not all experts like you have a nice day now.

I wonder who will get the day off today Hill another good bat where are the Cal Ripken’s of yesterday if I was paid millions of dollars a year I think I would play every day with a smile on my face.

Very good comments both Matty39 and garryguy!! The biggest joke I’ve ever heard that some people are against signing Bonds. Matty you are BANG ON with Bonds…. No doubt the greatest hitter of all time and far from over the hill. The guy probably has 3 to 4 top notch years left believe it or not. We should all be picketing the Dome to sign him. No kidding garry guy I think Wells and Rios need some rest tonight….maybe another day off huh? What a complete joke last night with 2 out Zahn comes to the plate and Rios in the on deck circle. 2 runs down a god damn single from Rios followed by a dinger ties the game. No words can truely define the stupidity that this so called manager displays day in and day out. He needs to get a job in the tobacco fields or something like that. Truely sad that this guy actually made a couple million dollars over the last few years running a baseball team. Wouldn’t give him the responsibility of keeping the uniforms clean.

Guys, a few years ago I also would be on the Bonds bandwagon.Now I believe this club needs a winning attitude not a circus with the head clown named Barry.He is too self centered to be a true champion.If he is so great, why hasn’t anyone give him a job already? I can’t argue with the man’s ability but the upside dosen’t justify the burden. Just ask the Giants.I say give Lind a chance to play everyday and get Rolen settled in at third.This will soon change the way the offence goes and the opposing pitchers can’t scoot around Wells and Rios.With Stairs DH’ing, he can also spell people off on the field at different positions.As for the manager,he is doing a better job this year by being more aggressive in his approach. Remember,the players have to execute.Besides, Bonds would only be here about a week before Rolen kicked his @#@!

Garry

Shortly, we’ll have two guys to protect Wells, Rolen and Stairs. Rolen is one of the best clutch hitters in baseball, and would be the best to hit behind Wells,.

When Lind arrives, which will happen-maybe today Stairs should be our dedicated DH. If we bring in another dedicated DH, we will probably have to dump Stairs.

We need Rolen, Diaz, Lind and a new manager. If Abner isn’t changed it doesn’t matter what other moves we make because we will lose.

Abner is JP’s puppet JP pulls the strings and Abner dances and in reality he is not a good manager and if we want to go to the playoffs he has to go and we need someone who will stand up to JP and run this team like a winner.

We have the Doc going tonight but he can’t win unless the bats get going I know he is great but it takes 9 players to play the game.

One interesting point.

The Jays promoted Travis Snider from Dunedin to AA New Hampshire a couple of days ago. He is in a bit of a slump at the moment, so he’s off to a poor start; but they must be feeling better about his defense.

gsumner I know Rolen is good with the bat but I don’t think he will do much for at least 6 weeks it takes a long time to heal from a hand injury,and if anybody goes it should be Stewart I can’t see him having a good year.

Garry

I’m not sure a manager needs to stand up to JP; but he needs to manage the pitchers properly, make sure we have the right matchups and hopefully motivate the team somewhat. I don’t think Abner does any of that well.

G. Your right about the way he manages pitchers and that is strange because he was a catcher he must have been a poor one.

Why was Whitt moved to first to coach was he to smart for Abner????,

Garry

Rolen has already played 2 games in Dunedin. I think it was a finger more than a hand, but I ‘m not sure. I really hope you’re wrong about 6 weeks to a full recovery.

I have no idea why Abner wanted to move Whitt to 1st and Butterfield to bench coach. I think we seriously miss Butter on 3rd base-the guy we got there has made a bundle of mistakes so far.

That being said, I also don’t think either Whitt or Butter is the right replacement for Abner. I hope they go outside the organization and get a pro. All we can do is hope that happens soon.

The Reds’ GM was fired today because of the team’s slow start. They got a good one to replace him – Walt Jocketty.
If this means teams are starting to opt for change, J.P. and Gibbons should be worried.

While he may not be my ideal canadate for manager,I think you guys are throwing Gibby under the bus prematurely.If he’s fired today who are you suggesting take over?Someone already cast off from elsewhere? If JP is pulling the strings,what difference does it make who you hire? I think an ideal canidate would be Dave Winfield. He knows how to inspire and is a proven winner.Maybe hire back Cito Gaston,everyone will still be able to complain but a least he will win.

Signing Barry? How can you guys even think about signing him…THERE IS A REASON WHY NOONE WANTS HIM…

HE MIGHT BE THE GREATEST HITTER OF ALL TIME – BUT HE IS OLD OLD OLD NOW….WE JUST GOT RID OF THOMAS, WHY WOULD WE WANT SOMEONE LIKE HIM (MAYBE FASTER AND HITS HARDER) TO REPLACE HIM…IS HE A GOOD ROLE-MODEL FOR ALL OF THE YOUNG GUYS WE GOT (DEF. NOT), SMART HITTER? HARD HITTER? MAYBE…BUT THAT WAS IN HIS PRIME…NOT ANYMORE…DO WE HAVE THE MONEY TO SIGN HIM? I AM PRETTY SURE WE DON’T

why make the mistake noone else wants to make and is easy to avoid…I am sure if Rolen and Lind come back to produce we don’t need his bat in the lineup…Bonds? Speed? he might be faster but he still isn’t that good o nthe bases…

i see the jays as a team thats gonna steal more in the future with RIOS, WELLS, ROLEN, HILL, some with lind and snider….

Amen! Harrypotter!!

Harry Bonds still has 2 or 3 years left in him and has anyone proved that he used steroids I thought a person was innocent until proven guilty he has been indicted for lying to congress only,If he came to Toronto he would fill the stands everone will want to catch the last homer he hits it will be worth a fortune and a full house will help this team a lot.

If we lose tonight I’m sure gibby will be bitting his nails, When they show a shot of JP in the stands he does not look happy.

The only reason Bonds has not been signed so far is because no one out there has the BALLZ to go against Buddy boy. Selig is the reason Bonds isn’t in the game, not because Barry still doesn’t hit the snot out of the ball. I believe at this point Bonds would be so grateful to whichever team gave him a shot that he would be a good teamate and play his butt off!!!

Answer me this… Who would you rather pitch too, Bonds or Lind? If you picked Lind don’t even bother responding cause you obviously haven’t a clue.

Sorry but I don’t buy this blame it on Gibby stuff. It’s the players who play and who hit in key points of the game not the manager. It’s his job to get match ups and put out a lineup card… Not much to it. This is not football where you have coaches screaming at you trying to piss you off so you go smash a guy, this is baseaball where consistency and maturity will win. This team if anything lacks maturity, they always seem to be goofing off, especially Wells. He doesn’t seem to take much seriously.

You guys got to give it up on Bonds. It isn’t going to happen and thank goodness it isn’t.

I know it won’t happen but its not because he wouldn’t help us on the field. It wouldn’t hurt to find out how much Bonds actually wants to get paid. Maybe it’s not much at all and you could get him risk free????? All I’m saying is, it is worth looking into considering our position and the availability of one said slugger.

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