Of mouth guards and moundsmen

BOSTON — Beautiful day here in Boston. Enjoyed a nice five-mile run along the lovely Charles River this morning and a pleasant walk to the Fens this afternoon. I’ve received a handful of e-mail inquiries about the sudden use of mouthguards by Blue Jays pitchers Dustin McGowan and Shaun Marcum. Talked to Marcum today — he’s feeling much better after a bad bout with the flu — and he said it began in Spring Training.

A representative from somewhere in Canada visited Toronto’s spring site and explained that wearing a mouthguard can help align the jaw and also create added flexibility and range of motion. So, the M&M boys decided it was worth a shot and started wearing the mouthguards during their starts.

STAT OF THE DAY: Since 2002, Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay has thrown more complete games (32) than any other Major League pitcher and more than eight big-league teams have as a whole. Since ’02, the Dodgers (31), Phillies (31), Rays (30), Red Sox (29), Mets (29), Reds (28), Braves (26) and Pirates (23) have had fewer CGs than the good doctor.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Do you see a lack of effort? So you see anybody loafing? That’s when you run into trouble. The effort’s there. The effort has always been there. You get into trouble when you start pointing fingers. Things can go from bad to worse in a hurry that way.” –Jays manager John Gibbons, on his team’s recent struggles

RYAN UPDATE: Gibbons noted that closer B.J. Ryan might be able to be used on consecutive days “in the next couple weeks.” Ryan, who is currenly only permitted to throw every other day, will need to pass the one-year anniversary (May 10) of his left-elbow Tommy John surgery before being considered in back-to-back games.

Today’s lineups:

TORONTO (11-16) at BOSTON (16-12)
at 7:05 p.m. ET at Fenway Park

Alex Rios, RF
David Eckstein, SS
Scott Rolen, 3B
Matt Stairs, DH
Vernon Wells, CF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Aaron Hill, 2B
Adam Lind, LF
Gregg Zaun, C

PITCHING: RHP Dustin McGowan

Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Manny Ramirez, LF
Mike Lowell, 3B
Brandon Moss, RF
Jason Varitek, C
Coco Crisp, CF
Julio Lugo, SS

PITCHING: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka


  1. bosoxbrian@tampabay.rr.com


    You had to feel for Halladay last night. He pitched his heart out. He is old school, what he starts, he looks to finish.

    Wells almost had the game winning hit but Pedroia made a great play. If Wells made that play clean at the end, it would have been very close. I think he would have gotten Ortiz out.

    McGowan came out flying his last start but seemed to run out of gas. The Rays went down easy early but got some good swings as the game moved on.

    Dice-K is a mystery. He is 4-0 but hasn’t dominated. He likes to nibble out there. Personally I would like too see him attack the strike zone. We shall see I guess. Neither team is hitting right now. Jays and Sox are struggling at the plate. What a game last night though. Lester had his best start of his career. I hope he will continue doing that.

    Those older pitchers like Bob Gibson and Robin Roberts, just to name a couple. They must love Halladay. If there was one pitcher I would want too see in Boston ( dreaming of course ) it is Halladay, ahead of Brandon Webb. I love his bulldog mentality, he is a horse out there.

  2. thegarryguy@sasktel.net

    bosox I would like to thank you for what you said about Halladay.
    lesterwas not pitchen very good but last night he found himself in a big way.

  3. bosoxbrian@tampabay.rr.com


    I love Halladay and who doesn’t ? He is one of the best in the game. If he was in Boston or N.Y., he would be a household name. Pitching in Toronto, he doesn’t get the ink he deserves. Too many pitchers look to go 6 or 7 innings, not Halladay. I think that is the issue with alot of pitchers out there. When the game starts, they think if I can go 6 or 7 innings, my team will have a chance to win. Halladay is looking to finish the game, love that mentality. He is the true definition of a bulldog.

  4. gsjays


    I don’t know; our team has a bad habit of not hitting against softer throwing lefties. We beat the crap out of Santata, but let Lester dominate us-not trying to take anything away from Lester. Well, if we keep playing like we’re playing don’t be surprised if we start unloading in a month or so, hopefully it starts with management. So maybe we’ll offer you Halliday for Lowrie and one of your young pitchers. lol

    To be frank with you, at this point, the way this team is managed, I can’t see us getting close to a playoff birth this year. It’s disappointing, cause if you look up and down the lineup, we should be competitive with anyone.

    Maybe, I’ll become a Sox fan,. lol

  5. rshobie@yahoo.ca

    Any wagers??? I’ll bet Gsumners little savior boy Adam Lind has another 0 for night. Thank god he was batting .380 in the minors. Wouldnt it be nice to turn on the tube and watch Barry Bonds playing tonight in a Blue Jay uniform. Don’t pay any attention to gsumner’s prognostication as far a minor league development. He knows nothing, nothing and more nothing. Listen to him and soon we can trade Sergio Santos for Hanley Ramirez and our shortstop debate will be over. This is the same guy who condemned trading Dave (back in the minors) Bush , the letting go of Ty Tabenheim…LOL and some 28 year old idiot named Lee ( i’m a piece of crap) Gronkewicz. Gsumner you can fool all your little buddies who look up to you here but you are not fooling everyone. If you wish to express such idiotic opinions then you can expect some backlash. I stand by the opinion of signing Barry Bonds would greatly improve this team. If you wish to stand by your opinion that John Macdonald is the best SS in baseball then you will be treated like the idiot you are. I appologize to anyone else if I have offended you but this guy and his mouth are to much to take. He is the same idiot who called me a rascist based on a statement about black catchers I had made.

  6. bosoxbrian@tampabay.rr.com


    The Jays seem to be missing something. Personally a shakeup of the manager would do them wonders.

    The Jays pitching is very good. When a team has really good pitching, they win there fair amount of games.

    I will give you a name for a potential manager, Ken Macha?
    Personally if they do fire Gibbons, it will be either Butterfield or Whitt that will take over. Who do you think they would get ?

    The Marlins of 2003 fired Torborg and went out of the organization and hired Jack McKeon. Perhaps the Jays will do the same thing.

    I would love too see Halladay in a Sox uniform, it will never ever happen but hey I can dream, lol.

  7. gsjays

    I expect it would be Whitt short term, but I hope we bring in a real pro to manage this team. Macha might be an option, he did a good job with Oakland.
    Hey could you use your influence on Francona and have him put Lowrie in, I’d love to see him play.

  8. bosoxbrian@tampabay.rr.com


    Sorry to inform you, no influence here, lol. If I had influence, Drew would have never been signed, lol. Lugo would have never been signed for 4 years, 3 years is o.k. with me but no way 4 years. Also Lopez and Tavarez would be wearing different uniforms, lol. I will drive Lopez to the airport.

    Macha did a solid job with the A’s. He worked with moneyball guru Beane, J.P. of course a disciple of moneyball. Macha does some t.v. work with the Red Sox now.

    I can’t believe the A’s are having the season they are having. I thought they would lose 90 games. I would have never thought they would be leading there division in late April.

  9. gsjays

    Well, JP also was or is a disciple of money ball, but I’m not sure whether he got all the lessons or not. The A’s continually surprise all of us almost every year. Hey did you see who San Francisco put in the pen? Now there’s a contract that will be tough to swallow.

  10. thegarryguy@sasktel.net

    There is more action on the blog than there is in the game.
    rshobie you may not be a racist but you sure are an idiot gsumner knows more than you ever will,

    bosox Macha would be a good fit for the jays but JP will not get rid of Abner I think they are in love lol.

  11. bosoxbrian@tampabay.rr.com


    I think when Beane ran the class, J.P. was getting his coffee, lol.

    A bad signing was Zito, way too much money for a pitcher. The Giants deserve what they got. Zito will be back in the rotation, work out some kinks I guess.

    There was 1 troll earlier this season but that was it. I think with the new format, Jordan can control it. I’m not sure on that though.


    Are you training for a marathon ? Which one if you are ? Just wondering, if you are, good luck.

  12. rshobie@yahoo.ca

    Have fun on your little Blog…. No doubt you have nothing going on in your life which is why you spend hours a day doing this. Get a life…Lose some weight and try to find something productive to do with your sad little life. Just think of what a loser you are when you are typing your 40th blog of the day to people you will never meet and hide behind their computer. What a great hobby to have in life…………..LOL LOL……….I post blog on the Internet……….lol lol. Its my last post so you can go back to your bull ss hh ii tt and convince all these people how smart you are. Have FUN and try to find a better hobby. I suggest going to the gym FATBOY.

  13. thegarryguy@sasktel.net

    gsumner I guess we got rid of the viris lol.
    I thought we had a chance in the top of the 4th butt no go.

  14. gsjays

    Have you noticed in Dustin’s last couple of outings how hard he’s throwing it? Man he’s winging it in there at 97-98 with movement. And then he lays that low 80’s curve on them. Striking out Ortiz and Manny back to back doesn’t happen too often.

  15. bosoxbrian@tampabay.rr.com


    26.2 miles, alot of steps my friend.

    I hope the weather this year is better than it was last year. It was around 90 to 95 last year, not Chicago weather at all in October.

    Bears by then will be on there 4th q.b. lol.

    Good luck with the run, I have alot of respect for guys/gals that run the marathon. That is some serious dedication.

    Some of the Red Sox wives/girlfriends ran the Boston Marathon this past year. Schilling’s wife, Timlin’s wife and Ellsbury’s girlfriend as well.

  16. jordanbastianmlb

    BOSOX: Yeah I know all about the last Chi-Town marathon, but that was the first in 30 years to be shut down due to intolerable heat. I doubt it’ll be a repeat of that this time around. The training is tough for sure, especially when youre city-hopping like I am all the time. I’m shooting to finish the real deal in three hours and 30-45 minutes. I can average a little under 8 minutes per on a 10-mile run right now, but that’s not even half of what’s in store! OK, I know there’s some people on here who prefer to keep it to baseball talk. I switch it up with books I’m reading, movies I’ve seen or other things I’m up to on occasion to show there’s a life beyond just baseball. Baseball is a passion of mine, but it’s also now my job, meaning I like to escape to other ventures when I can to keep my sanity. … Dusty looks sharp tonight — sans mutton chops, too. In his last start, his first three innings were probably the most dominating I’ve seene him since his near no-no last year, but then he just imploded. Knock on wood, he looks to be in solid shape right now (good news, since he’s on my fantasy team). The Jays just can’t buy a hit. Adam Lind lined a foul ball into Boston’s dugout, but came up short in an attempt to take out one of the Red Sox players. That’s one way to try to get something started…aim for the bad guys.

  17. bosoxbrian@tampabay.rr.com


    Under 4 hours, that is very impressive. Good luck with your training and it sounds like it is tough as you say with all your travel and we all know how your travels go at times, lol. You can’t train when your stranded at the airport.

    No reply to my comment about the Bears q.b. situation, lol. I am sure you are quite dissapointed with there q.b. situation, not good. Get Chicago native there, Donovan McNabb. They don’t like him in Philly and Chicago would love him. Just a thought.

    McGowan is bringing the heat on a cool night in Boston. Lowell hit one hard but the wind knocked it down. It looks like another 1 run game at Fenway.

    All the attention in Boston is on the Celtics, Red Sox are the second team tonight in Beantown.

  18. freedom_fighter1121@yahoo.com

    Has Rolen hit a single since comming off the dl? All I have seen so far is a homerun and a bunch of double. Hey but who’s complaining?

  19. jordanbastianmlb

    FREEDOMFIGHTER: As of this writing, Scotty Rolen has four doubles, one homer and one single.

    BOSOX: Yes, I ignored your Bears comment on purpose. Talking Bears will only put me in a sour mood. I can’t take watch Train Rex anymore. It’s just torture.


  20. bosoxbrian@tampabay.rr.com


    I think this will be McNabb’s last season in Philly. What do you think of him joining the Bears to start the 2009 season? I think it would be a perfect fit. I assume most Bear fans would like that.

    The Bears q.b. situation over the years has been a joke. Sorry to bring it up, lol.

  21. bosoxbrian@tampabay.rr.com

    McGowan is mowing them down. He looks like Cy Young out there. Sox hitters don’t have a clue against him.

  22. freedom_fighter1121@yahoo.com

    Jordan, J.P says that he takes the blame for our slow start. But how is it his fault and not somebody like Gibbons? Because J.P is the one sitting in the office while the Jays are playing ball.

  23. jordanbastianmlb

    FREEDOM FIGHTER: I am with J.P. on this one. If you want to point fingers, I believe it makes more sense to point them in his direction, and he’s willing to be that guy. Gibbons can’t step into the batter’s box — all he can do is write out the lineup and hope they produce. The pitching staff is one of the top groups in the league and Gibbons/Arnsberg do an excellent job of handling the staff. Ricciardi dished out the dough to assemble this offense, which is producing next to nothing. It’s early yet, but if this keeps up, then obviously this group isn’t what Ricciardi thought it could be. He billed it as the best group he’s ever put together — so far, it’s hardly looking that way. Gibbons has tried a lot of things: stealing more bases, hitting and running more, switching up the lineup, etc; The fact is that the Jays are dead last in the AL with a .215 average with runners in scoring position — 5-for-50 on the road trip, entering today. How is that his fault?

  24. freedom_fighter1121@yahoo.com

    Jordan, I know exactly what you mean by saying neither of them can step into the batters box for them, but what do you think J.P and Gibbons should do to improve our situation? Trade? Wait it out until next year to sign some big free agents?

  25. jordanbastianmlb

    FREEDOMFIGHTER: It’s April 30. I think what they need to do is wait this out for a couple more weeks to see if this is a one-month fluke or if this is really foreshadowing for the entire season. If this persists deep into May, and Toronto finds itself slipping well out of reach of the division, then the Jays might need to start sorting through their options. Despite all their issues, the fact is the Jays are still only 4.5 games out of the East’s first-place slot.

  26. thegarryguy@sasktel.net

    This team can go to H-E-L-L.

    Jordan you say Abner can’t step into the batters box well the rest of the managers can’t either so what has that got to do with motivating this team absolutely nothing Abner is not a smart manager and never will be as long as he is here this team will never make the playoffs and tha is very sad 15 years and counting how long will this charade keep up, Who do you think would be a good manager if Abner was let go.

  27. caleb-park@hotmail.com

    what’s with scott downs and his control this year?
    It seems like he works with a couple of baserunners everytime out. Of course, he paid for it tonight.

    Another fine pitching performance, another poor hitting performance, and another one-run loss. I wonder when this collective slump will come to an end. Thank god no one in the East has run away with it yet.

    One thing I should mention: I feel like the Jays lack one great hitter that can make a difference with one swing of the bat (i.e. Ortiz in tonight’s game). Even if the Jays recover from their current offensive slump, I think they lack the pop and the presence out of the 4-spot. I think it’s something they need to address in the short term and the long term, especially since Boston and New York (and even TB) seem well-set in the pitching department in the long term.

  28. tanandmur@shaw.ca

    oh dear, just love dustin the magnificent but poor vernon, the same play three times in two night. ps- what’s has happened to shannon stewart?

  29. thegarryguy@sasktel.net

    gsumner How long before JP makes a move to protec his job and gets rid of Abner and brings in someone from outside with fire in his belly maybe Cito, UncleTed will look in his wallet one of these days and see that JP has spent his pocket change with no results and calls JP[who will know be known as pappy Yokum from dogpatch]to his office for the last time.

    Last night was pure bull McGowan pitched well enough to win the game but once again his teammates let him down.

  30. freedom_fighter1121@yahoo.com

    Well not to make excuses for J.P, but I think he is in a tight situation here. Either he doesn’t do anything and gets fired because the team is losing, or he buys a good player and gets fired for spending too much money.

  31. thegarryguy@sasktel.net

    fredom I have been thinking what if may is a turn around month and the Jays go 20 and 10 do we still call for Abners and pappys head and what if they do the same in June do we still call for the noose,All day I have been wondering if we should blame the players after all they are the ones that are playing the game so lets give it to the bums who are being paid millions of dollars to play the game and are doing nothing to earn their pay, If they worked at a job like the rest of us they would have been fired by now.

  32. thegarryguy@sasktel.net

    Why is it when the team goes into a skid very few of you post but when the team is doing good everyone post what are you a bunch of crybabies lets hear from you all tell us what you think is wrong and how you think it can be fixed.some of you must have some good ideas.

  33. bosoxbrian@tampabay.rr.com


    The Jays swept the Sox in Toronto earlier this year. When Boston visits Toronto again, the Jays will get them. Boston has major trouble in Seattle and Toronto the last few seasons. A house of horrors.

    Burnett goes tonight, he has pitched very well against Boston. Of course the Jays need to come up with some hits to win. What has happened to there bats ? Boston’s bats have been cold lately but prior to this slump, they were hitting. Wells is killing the Jays at the plate. He is there to drive in runs and Rios should be hitting 3rd.

    I also think Gibbons should be given the walking papers real soon. This team obviously doesn’t play for him.

  34. thegarryguy@sasktel.net

    gsumner,Mike has a very low opinion of JP it seems.

    bosox How right you are.

  35. thegarryguy@sasktel.net

    All the managers in the last few years have done nothing but put on weight lol. Maybe if this keeps up Abner will get mad and build a fire under this team his laid back way of managing this team is not working maybe now that his job may be on the line he will wake up because we all now nice guys finish last.

  36. thegarryguy@sasktel.net

    bosox Burnett scares me he is right on or way off but I guess it doesn’t matter if they don’t hit, And if Burnett is off your team will get a lot of hits and remember hitting is conttagious.

  37. duanegault@sbcglobal.net

    gsumner I read the comments on JMac. I dont even know what to think of that? Probably a better defender, no kidding JP. Let me know what you think? Because I cant quite understand.

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