Infield of dreams?

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Not so much. Blue Jays first baseman Lyle Overbay — out with a sore right ankle — as well as the Rays’ Eric Hinske, who manned first on Tuesday, both had negative comments about the field conditions at the Wide World of Sports Complex.

Overbay had one “routine” grounder bounced to him on Tuesday night that he said “took a right turn,” hindering him from gloving the ball. Hinske’s blunder in the second inning on Tuesday was also a result of a strange hop. The problem is there isn’t a team that uses this park regularly after Spring Training, so it likely doesn’t get the same daily treatment as a big-league park.

“Not to bash them or anything,” Overbay said. “But I just have a hard time thinking that the Braves have Spring Training here and play on that kind of field. I know they play a lot of games here after Spring Training, so it’s frustrating.

“Routine ground balls, I mean, that ball took a right turn and went straight up. That ball would’ve hit me right in my face if it didn’t [turn], and that’s a routine ground ball. That’s not a hard hit ball.”

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons also isn’t a big fan of playing in this 9,500-seat ballpark, which drew only 8,269 on Tuesday night (paid attendance anyway). The Jays understand why the Rays would want to hold games here, but that doesn’t mean Toronto has to be a big fan of the idea.

“I didn’t like the feel out there last night,” Gibbons said. “Plus, there were some empty seats out there yesterday. You can see their idea, you know, drawing up some interest — it makes sense.”

Overbay had X-rays on his right ankle on Tuesday night, but the results came back negative. Alex Rios was out of the lineup for the second straight game — this time due to flu-like symptoms. I caught a glimpse of Rios laying on a training table before the game and, yeah, dude looked to be in real rough shape.

On another note, Gibbons said that Jesse Litsch shouldn’t be looking over his shoulder for now, even though the young righty has struggled out of the gates. Now, if Litsch’s woes persist for another 3-5 outings? “That’s a long way down the road. That’s a month from now,” was all Gibby would offer. Oh, and Josh Banks? Probably 7th or 8th on the rotation depth chart? Claimed off waiver by the Padres.

Today’s lineups:

TORONTO (10-11) at TAMPA BAY (9-11)
at 7:10 p.m. ET at Disney’s Wide World of Sports

David Eckstein, SS
Shannon Stewart, LF
Aaron Hill, 2B
Vernon Wells, CF
Matt Stairs, RF
Rod Barajas, 1B
Gregg Zaun, C
Robinzon Diaz, DH
Joe Inglett, 3B

PITCHING: RHP Roy Halladay

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

PITCHING: RHP Jason Hammel



    It makes no sense to play these games in Orlando. One way to touch the fan base of the Orlando area is to put a winning team on the field. You win, they will show up. It is proven, everyone loves a winner.

    It has a total feel of a spring training game. I am looking for #87 to play 3b and some other guy with #68 at s.s. lol. The pitchers should be running in the o.f. after they pitch, lol.

    Rays are 4-0 at the hallowed grounds of Disney.


    Now we will see how Dias handles big league pitchen.

    I feel sorry for Doc no run support lets hope that changes today.

    gsumner Your right Bonds is a moot point.

  3. gsjays

    Rmatty-one thing I forgot

    What you forget is it’s always about hitting with runners in scoring position. Bonds used to be great in that regard, but not any more.

    Last year, he hit only .276 with runners in scoring position, Lind hit .333 while in Toronto. He is a great clutch hitter. So to answer your question, I’d take Lind over Bonds any day.


    I’m hoping they aren’t just having him hit in the DL role and send him back down for Lind’s call up.

  4. gsjays


    Check out Seth Overbay in AA New Hampshire. he’s a right handed sinker ball guy with a slinger delivery and is deadly against RH batters. We might see him here sooner than you think. We drafted him in 2006; he started in Auburn, did well and in 2007 went to Lansing-A-, was promoted to Dunedin-A+ and finally New Hampshire-AA. In 34 innings of relieve at Lansing and Dunedin, his era was .000, which is why he got promoted so quickly to AA. Then he stumbled a bit ( maybe too much too quickly) at AA and ended the season there at 4.26.

    However, it looks like he’s adjusted and in 9.2 innings of relieve this year has struck out 10 and has an era of .93.


    If Bonds comes up with a runner on first and hits a homerun does it really matter if the runner is in scoring position or not??? Or he gets walked (which he does at a higher rate then anyone in the history of the game) then you now have a runner in scoring position. RISP means squat when comparing a guy who hits 10 hr a years vs a guy who hits 30. That’s any extra 20rbi without counting the guys that are potentially on base when the homerun comes. Lind strikes out a lot and obviously you don’t advance any runners when you strike out.


    Well we are in he bottom now and I don’t think we will leave the bottom this year unless someone shakes up this team, I for one am getting tired of the way they are hitting, If we cant beat teams like Tampa we have no chance.

  7. gsjays


    We just dumped a 10 million dollar old man that walked a lot and had a massive ego, the last thing this team needs is another one of those. Lead off hitters are paid for walks, not a guy hitting in the 3rd to 5th hole-they’re paid the big bucks to hit with runners in scoring position and knock in runs.

    Check Bonds stats, you’ll find this RISP dropped dramatcially last year-he’s done, which is the reason San Francisco didn’t bring him back . Just so you know Bonds struck out once every 6.3 at bats, and Lind is striking out 1 every 6.2 at bats. I think you just want to se Bonds play. You should have done that last year, flew to a close NL park and watched the guy, because you’ll never see him here.

    Lind is leading AAA in RBI’s, 3rd in BA, 5th in OBP and 6th in slg. He has driven in 16 runs in 62 at bats. He’s hitting .400 with RISP. Compare those stats with Stewart Shannon’s and then question why is Lind not up here?

  8. gsjays


    Don’t under estimate Tampa Bay, they’re no push over this year. I thought both Hill and Eckstein were playing awful shallow tonight, and two balls got through Eckstein that should normally be caught. I also saw a team play tonight without any intensity, simply going threw the motions.

    Why is Stewart still batting 2nd against a RH pitcher. As a matter of interest, why is Stewart batting against RH’s at all? Why isn’t Lind up and batting against RH’s and platooning with Stewart. Stewart is hitting .152 against RH’s and .205 overall. Drop him to 9th and put Inglett or anyone in the 2 hole for tonight, but get Lind on a plane for tommorrow.

    By the way in case anyone is interested, Reed Johnson’s leading off for Chicago and hitting .323. Yup, that was a smart decision. Just about as smart as continually batting Stewart 2nd-what the hell is wrong with Abner-does he not think-or just not want to win?

    I get the feeling from Abner’s comments that Diaz is going back down when Lind is called up. My question is why would we do that? Barajas is another massive under performer-now hitting some anemic number close to the mendosa line and worse against LH’s. Diaz can out hit him, out defend him and be a quality pinch hitter making the major league minimum.

    Come on JP, lets see some decisions made before we drop 7-10 games back. Take a serious look at why these guys are not playing with intensity against poor teams. Somebody needs to make some decisions and then kick some *** around here or the season will be gone in a heart beat.


    gsumner I’m with you cut Barajas and keep Dias.
    Dias never got a hit tonight but it means nothing the kid can and will hit,

    As for the Rays we have a better team than they have and we should be beating them 75% of the time, We play great against the big teams like New York and Boston and poorly against the bottom teams their is no excuse for this and if it keeps up we will be done is Sept.once again and I FOR ONE AM TIRED of the bull—-.


    man this team sucks….its like torture watching your ACE turn into nothing more then a 5th string pitcher after 5 innings….unacceptable for DOC..

  11. gsjays

    I think if Macdonald had played SS instead of Eckstein two of the balls that got through wouldn’t have and Doc would have been out of the inning with minimal damage. Eckstein’s range sucks.

    Garry, it we keep playing like this, we’ll be long gone before September.

    One interesting item for the night. Purcey went 6 innings for Syracuse tonight, gave up 5 hits, 4 bb’s, 2 runs, and struck out 9. He struck out 4 of the first 5 hitters.


    What’s going to happen is that someone is going to get fired real soon. I think they are just waiting to see if they start winning with Rolen in the lineup. But if they don’t, I think it’s pretty safe to say good bye to someone (probably Gibbons)


    QUOTE “Take a serious look at why these guys are not playing with intensity against poor teams.’
    I’m with you on this one, gsumner. I couldn’t take it past the 6th inning last night and went to bed. I wonder if it’s the air in Toronto, or something? I mean, don’t even get me going on the Leafs, the Raptors are being absolutely savaged physically, and the Jays can’t take it to a team with mediocre pitching at best that we should beat hands down.
    I agree with Mulineks that they lack aggressiveness with RISP. Guys are taught plate discipline through the whole organization, but there are times that you turn it loose, and mostly they can’t make the switch. Too many first strike pitches sail past.
    I liked what I saw from Diaz. See ball, hit ball. He hit it hard a couple of times, just right to people.


    Has this team even won a game this year when they have been behind in the late innings? I seems as if as soon as they lose the lead, the air goes out of them.

  15. gsjays

    0 for 8 with runners in scoring position last night, and a dismal 8 for their last 69 or .120 BA. This is what is loosing ballgames.

    This lineup needs a serious wake up call. We have made one positive decision in dumping Thomas, but other changes need to be made. Sit Stewart, bring in Lind and play him against all RH’s, dump Barajas, play Diaz against LH’s, and pray Rolen comes back heathy.


    This team has a problem I don’t know what it is but it is a big one,We have some of the best players in the majors,
    Plus great pitchen, Last night two plays missed by Esk.and one our first baseman[mr.B,] KILLED-Doc.
    If we don’t start hitting with RISP.we are going to stay in the bottom.
    As for Rolen when he comes back he can’t do it alone the two players who are covering for him are doing a good job.
    What we need is for this team to come to the ballpark to play ball not to dream all day about how they are going to spend all the money they are making, Most of them should be ashamed to pick up their paycheque.
    When we let Thomas go I thought it was the right thing to do now I’m not sure if it was, He will cost us 8 mil and he will wind up playing against us with a vengence and we will miss him when his bat comes to life remember he had 3 hr 10 rbi and a good on base per. After we let him go we did not improve.


    I am not a well man I don’t know if I will be here next year so I was hoping they would make the playoffs this year they don’t have to win the world series just get into the playoffs Dont get me wrong I’m not looking for pitty I just want this team to do something this year it has been 15 years how long can they keep this charade up.
    Last year my football team won the greycup the Montreal Canadians are my hockey team and they are winners why not the Jays.

  18. gsjays


    Here’s a look at Thomas’s stats in siitations where it matters. It’s really pathetic.

    2 outs, RISP: .154BA .154OBP, .462 slg.
    Late & Close RISP: .125 BA, .222 OBP, .375Slg
    Tie Game RISP: .227BA, .261OBP .409Slg

    **Late & Close are PA in the 7th or later with the batting team tied, ahead by one, or the tying run at least on deck.


    gsumner thanks for the info but they still should have kept him and left him on the bench and let him quit which he probably would have and the jays would have saved the money.

  20. gsjays


    The money was gone, one way or the other. He was a problem in the clubhouse which would have gotten significantly worse if they hadn’t released him. They made the right decision on Thomas.


    I wonder if the Jays attendance is up or down so far this year does anybody know and if you know will you please post it thankyou.The great and I mean great garryguy.

  22. gsjays


    This url gives you attendance figures for all teams. THis shows their attendance average to date is 26,812.

    The attendance average last year was 29,143. I think the fans start going later than sooner, so I don’t think this means much at this point; and I’m not sure if they’re currently ahead or behind last years “to date” numbers..

  23. gsjays

    Thomas agrees to deal with Oakland, the deal was just announced.

    I think that means we don’t pick up all his remaining 2008 salary. But, I don’t look forward to playing Oakland. lol


    I said Thomas would go to the A’s now he will hurt us.

    They signed him for less than the minimum we still have to pay him 8mil lucky us.

    G. I checked out Seath Overbay 9.2ins and only 1 er. very good

  25. gsjays

    the interesting thing about Overbay, is he’s a slinger, so he provides a different look than other relievers. I think that why he’s been so successful.

    The other one to check in AA is 2nd baseman Scott Campbell. He started off really strong and I keep expecting his BA to fall, but with 54 at bats, he’s still hitting .444/.500/.556.

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