Still an up-Hill battle

TORONTO — Been out for a few days, taking a break from the beat and trying to get rid of this nasty cough that’s been bugging me for the past week or so. Also had the opportunity to take Mrs. Bastian to see The Dark Knight, which was maybe even better upon second viewing.

I’m out for a couple days and Alex Rios figures out how to hit homers again, Dustin McGowan is done for the year and Aaron Hill has rejoined the club. Had a chance to catch up with Hill today. Basically, he said he wasn’t doing anything in Florida he couldn’t have been doing all this time with the team, so he decided it was best to head back to Toronto.

His condition isn’t much improved, though slightly better, and Hill isn’t ready to call it quits on his season. He did say that he’d expect the club to maybe say he’s out for the year before he’d ever admit such a thing. Hill hasn’t had a dizzy spell in about two weeks, but is still only taking part in light activities. Check out later for more.

Until then…

Today’s lineups:

SEATTLE (39-64) at TORONTO (53-51)
at 1:07 p.m. ET at the Rogers Centre

Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Jose Vidro, DH
Raul Ibanez, LF
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Jose Lopez, 2B
Jeremy Reed, CF
Kenji Johjima, C
Bryan LaHair, 1B
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS

PITCHING: LHP Jarrod Washburn (4-9, 4.75)

David Eckstein, DH
Marco Scutaro, 2B
Alex Rios, CF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Rod Barajas, C
Adam Lind, LF
Scott Rolen, 3B
Kevin Mench, RF
John McDonald, SS

PITCHING: RHP Shaun Marcum (5-4, 3.05)


  1. goodluckdoc

    Gsumner There is NO WAY Atlanta is gonna want OVerbay for Tiexera…just no way. Atlanta will prolly want something along the lines of

    Overbay, Tallet, Lind, Dopirak for Tiexera…and there is no way we are going to trade that. Best bet is to go after him in the offseason.

    I don’t think we would be competing with the yanks for Tiexera but we would be competeing with them for Sheets and Sabathia.

    Hudson would be great but can he shift over to SS for us?, and i wouldn’t want Hudson if it involved anything more than 2 years, unless he is willing to move over to SS. Remember we still can’t completely give up on Hill and we still have Inglett and Campbell.

    We definately need to sign a FA pitcher…I am not a huge fan of Garland…actualy I don’t like him at all, I think Sheets and Sabathia are the ones we should go after, and if we can prove to them we can be contenders which I still think we can, then they should sign with us. The Yanks are on the Decline, unless they sign both Sheets and Sabathia, their rotation is still gonna be horrible. Wang is overrated and Chamberlain is good but thats it. Petite is just getting older as is Mussina. Ya you got Hughes and Kennedy but they haven’t had succes yet. Giambi is getting older, Abreu isn’t to their liking anymore, Matsui is injured. So guess what I don’t see Yanks coming up that huge next year…ofcourse they are the yanks so you never know…

    If we don’t get Tiexera then go for Furcal?, he was doing really really good before he got injured and is a good leadoff hitter thats ****.

    Think about it guys to me the future is looking bright if we can get a good pitcher and then Tiexera/Furcal/Manny (only if he wants to play DH, but we got too many OF already)

  2. gsjays

    Harry-Tiexera is a free agent this year and if Atlanta cannot sign him now-and they’ve already tried, why wouldn’t they trade him and get something of value. Our only chance of getting him is to trade now and negotiate now and hope he’s prepared to take our offer now instead of getting into a bidding contest.

    The Yanks are not on the decline. Their latest pickups and the settling of their bullpen, now leads me to believe they’re the team to beat in the AL East this year.
    Fucal and Manny are too old and do not solve the real problem we have. The value of Tiexera is, he’s as good as he is, he’s young and he places 1st base. If we don’t get real power guys at 1st and 3rd, signing old guys like Fucal and Manny would be a waste of money and time, because we still haven’t solved our real problem.

    The same holds true for pitchers. Why sign a Sabathia at $20 mill per year when we still won’t contend? It would be a waste of money.
    If we want to only do a small re-tooling, we need to get power guys at 1st and 3rd who hit hr’s and high risp. If we fail to sign those guys, we might as well explode this team and build with prospects. Forget signing anyone and spend the money grabbing high quality prospects.

  3. goodluckdoc

    Well I believe giving up such a huge bundle of players, especially Lind could be devastating even it its for Tiexera.
    We would be much better off trying to sign him in the FA where we can keep the players.

    How old is Furcal anyways? I thought he was 29 – 31 or something. Ya manny is old but he can still produce but he would be my last option too, since he is a disease on the feild.

    Aside from Chamberlain, Rivera, Rodriguez, Abreu, Jeter for next year

    they can contend if:

    Cano can return to his normal potential
    Giambi can continue producing
    Posada can fight injuries and stay health
    Hughes can actually picthc like Mcgowan
    Kennedy can recover from his injury
    Wang can recover from his injury
    they sign another pitcher or two

    That is looking like the Jays this year…they look like they will contend but frankly they are on the Decline. This season they might be able to make it though. Next season yes they will be good, but not good enough.

  4. gsjays

    It’s good to hear, Hill hasn’t felt dizzy for two weeks. Whatever we do, let’s not rush him back-shut him down for the year if there’s ANY risk at all.
    He’s too valuable to lose.

  5. gsjays

    Harry, please explain why you think Atlanta would want so much for a guy they lose the guy in two months to free agency. There’s no way we need to offer Lind. If they want Dopriak and Tallet-who cares? I’m sure they’d rather get a replacement for 1st base than prospects.
    Everyone counted the Yanks out this year, and right now, I expect them to either win the division or the wild card. You can never count them out, because of their resources.
    They will sign Sabathia and or Sheets and or any other good high priced free agents and spend 200 million a year. If we do not get Tiexera now, you can bet the Yanks will in the offseason. I mean who would you rather play for The New York Yankees or Toronto Blue Jays. We cannot compete with them that way.


    When are the Jays going to win more than 5 in a row it seems like it has been years since they did just that,

    If they don’t put a good winning streak together soon they will be out of it for sure.


    Maybe we can get the 92 and 93 Jays to come back even at their age they would be better than this bunch.

  8. gsjays


    Check out these stats and tell me who you think it is.

    risp: .267
    risp-2 outs: .375
    bases loaded: .667

  9. inception

    I am sorry, but the only way we are going to attract free agents is to target tier 2 players and excessively overpay for them. I would suggest that everyone stop dreaming about big name players and face reality. The only signings we are likely to make are for the equivalents of Tucker, McCabe (leafs version of Wells), and the rest of the Muskoka five. Even when the Jays were the best in baseball, it was still difficult to get some players to come north of the border. Now that it has been firmly established throughout the baseball world that JP and Godfrey are in charge, and know NOTHING about putting together a winner or even running a class organization, we are going to be at the bottom of the list for potential free agents. In fact, I would not be surprised if we see a resurgence of the old days when players actually had it written into their contracts that they could NOT be traded to the Jays. We must trade and get other teams’ young talent when they are vulnerable enough to sign to stay here. At least, thats what I think.

  10. welikeroywelikeroy

    Free agency is a likely option just because the Jays have a fair amount of money to spend.

    The dilemma this team faces is, are we going to rebuild? or are we going to re-tool? if you will.

    Making value trades for prospects (if there are any available), drafting well and moving guys in our system along quickly. We all know that the rebuilding phase can take a while and there are no guarentees that we will be able to make good value trades. We will have to look into trading some big talent, but depending on the return, it can be worth it.

    Making some free agent aquisitions, however, could maybe put us in contention for next year. That sounds like a broken record though, because that is what the Jays have been doing since 2004. I’m sick of it, to tell you the truth.

    Re-tool or Re-build? This definately will depend on the fate of J.P. in the offseason.

    I vote to begin re-building and get even younger than we are. Sometimes when teams rebuild they immediately improve, look at Florida or Oakland in years past, Tampa is a team that has been building forever, but it is sure paying off now. We could be developing youth at these positions right now 1B, C, SS, 3B, DH, 3 SP spots, CP, RP’s. Young AAA talent is almost better than the production we are getting at this positions. Florida, Oakland, a lot of teams in this phase have a lot guys that should still be in AAA right now, but are starting in the majors. If we are going to rebuild, this is the road we need to take, we have too many veterns that are not performing.

  11. goodluckdoc

    Why does Atlanta want that much for Tiexera…answer is simple, becasue he is a quality all-star player, who is a Type A free-agent meaning Atlanta will get 2 1st round draft picks. So obviously you will want something more than 2 1st round draft picks if trading him. You also said only trade for him if Tiexera is willing to sign with us long term…I am sure he wants to test FA before he decides that and so that might be another obstacle. Another thing Overbay, Tallet, Dopirak and Lind are a package which equals to more than 2 1st round picks. Usually being Jays fans we tend to overrate or give a high price for our players. Reality is, Overbay is mediocre, with so many big name Relivers on the Market, Tallet is near the middle/bottom, Lind is the spectacular one and Dopirak might be a high chance, an old player still in the Minors.

  12. gsjays

    I agree with Burt’s analysis of free agents. We cannot compete in that arena. As we sit today, I’m in between rebuilding and retooling.
    I think if we could do the right two trades now, it might be a bit of both, although I doubt very much current management has the talent to pull off these trades. If we can’t do these trades or something similar to solve some problems then I’m all for a complete re-build.
    A trade of Ryan and Tallet to Milwaukee for Escobar and Gamel, brings two very talented infield propsects to us for short and third base. A trade with Atlanta to get the rights to negotiate and re-sign Tiexera brings us a young power hitting 1st baseman who fills the 4th hole. Assuming Hill comes back healthy next year, we have a young, power packed infield, with speed at the lead off position and power in the 4th hole. We’re fine and young in the outfield and have enough pitching prospects in the system to provide a steady stream of both SP and RP.
    Allow Barajas and Zaun to leave and replace them with Diaz and Arenciba and we did a re-tooling which could put us into contention in 2010.

    The problem is, do the two guys running the shop have the capabilities and or reputation to make these changes. Also, do they have the nerve to bring these kids up ( Arenciba, Diaz, Escobar and Gamel) and give them the playing time to garner the experience they need in order to complete their development. I think not.


    I chose a boring game to attend today. It looked like a decent sized crowd but the atmosphere was poor. I hate how so few people clap/cheer when there are 2 strikes. It’s always been like that but it still bugs me. Anyway, don’t know how it came off on tv but that’s how i felt today. Scott Rolen continues to dissapoint.

  14. gsjays

    enigma-too bad about the game you chose to go to. It was no better on tv. Did you get there in time to watch batting practise?

  15. gsjays

    Too bad, apparently Rios puts on quite a show.

    Cecil continues to impress. He went 6 innings today, giving up only 3 hits,1 bb, 8 k’s and no runs to lower his era to 2.55 and improve his record to 6-2.
    The Jays made an interesting and strange move. They moved AA catcher Jerolman up to AAA which gives them 3 catchers including Thigpen and Diaz. Strange they’d carry 3 catchers, maybe a deal is in the works.
    It’s also strange they moved up Jerolman and not Arenciba-I don’t understand that move at all.

  16. goodluckdoc

    I know you want Escobar and Gamel to come to TO but that isn’t going to happen. I remember Garry saying that Milaukee isn’t willing to trade either of them. And if thats true then they prolly are 2 good 1st rounders who have proven themselves in the minors and Ryan and Tallet is a good deal but you will need to throw in someone else (maybe).
    If Milaukee says they aren’t listening to deals with Escobar and Gamel then no talented GM isn’t going to get them.

    I believe its best if you don’t include Gamel and Escobar in the future plans.

  17. gsjays

    Milwaukee have not stated they wouldn’t trade these two guys. In fact, what they have stated is, they realize to get what they preceive they need, they will have to give up value.
    I can assure you, for the right deal they’ll trade. All players are always available in pro sports if the right deal is offered.
    They are in desperate need for a closer and also want a left handed reliever. They will probably get into the playoffs with the team they have, but not much farther. Gagne has been a disaster for them.
    Right now, Milwaukee are only 1 game back of the Cubs and hold a 3 game lead in the NL wild card race. The Brewers have only been in the world series once and have NEVER won it all.
    If they think trading Escobar and Gamel will make the difference, they’ll trade them in a country minute-and so would you.
    Will this deal happen-probably not because I doubt if JP is going to trade anyone.

  18. gsjays

    Harry-One last point
    Escobar was signed as a non-drafted free agent as a 16 year old. Gamel was a 4th rounder.


    Jordan, Hope you feel better. Now that you’re back I was wondering how early I have to be at the Rogers Centre to see Rios take BP ? I’ll ask you in your mailbag if you don’t reply lol.
    I plan on watching The Dark Knight again in IMAX.
    Sumner, i’ve heard many times that Rios does put on a show i’d like to get some seats in the outfield and finally catch a ball lol.
    Seems like Manny wants out of Boston for more money. They were discussing on ESPN that he may want 4 yrs. 100 million. Don’t know if the Jays would go that high with anybody but if they do and he still produces they can always look to trade him 2/3 years in once Wells’ raises kickes in. I think it’s too steep to pay him that much though. Teixera probably wont ask for that much annually but maybe a longer term deal. Maybe the Jays are better off going after a couple of good 10 million dollar guys then one great 20+ guy.

  20. goodluckdoc

    WOW…if Manny wants that then no way we sign him

    I had no clue that Gamel = 4th rounder, Escobar = pick-up if that was the the case and if they DIDN’T said that they wouldn;t trade Escobar and Gamel then I guess JP should definately just go after him.

    Hey Sumner perhaps you should call in on Wednesday’s with JP and just ask him there and then, he will be on the spot and either he will make a huge lie whiich will get caught within days or reply honestly.

    I think Tiexera was looking somewhere in the range of 6yr/120 Mill – 8 year/150 Million so thats about 20mill and that mean to get a starter and him WE MUST TRADE RYAN and right now its looking like if we trade Ryan for Escobar and Gamel, then we would have a good SS, 3B, 2B, 1B, and an awesome outfeild…wow, imagine if we can actually pull that off…you guys can fill in the blanks…oh well who knows it just might happen

    Gsumner – can you send me a link to see Escobar and Gamel’s stats or just post them on here?
    oh and another thing…Gagne is nolonger their closer, its Saloman Torres, he isn’t so bad…check him out, but he is a set-up really…kinda like Accardo.

    Enigma, sorry to hear you weren’t able to Catch Rios, better luck next time? you prolly didn’t enjoy the game either? I would suggest you go to the park when Doc’s on the mound, the game might be quick but its just plain fun watching him in action.


    Anybody know how serious Rafael Furcal’s injury is ? I think if the jays sign him and can kill 2 birds with one stone. We get a shortstop and a potential leadoff hitter. I’m only basing that on numbers though. I haven’t seen him play much.


    There is a rumor going are that the Jays might offer Burnett another 2 million a year to stay for 09 and 010. I don’t know weather that is a stupid idea or a really good idea. I think it depends on weather he stays healthy or not during those year. I could also be a trap so when he signs it, he can be traded for some good players. What do you guys think?


    2 million more each year ? I think it seems plausible because he could easily get that in the free agent market. If he stays healthy Burnett could still be considered a bargain. I don’t like the idea of him making more then Halladay but whoever they bring in to replace Burnett will anyway. I think they’d be better off going after Sheets though. Freedom, do you have any idea if this would be a new contract offer or would it be sort of like restructuring the deal a bit ? I like how you’re thinking outside the box in saying that it could be a decoy to make teams offer more should he agree to it.

  24. jordanbastianmlb


    For a 7 pm game, BP for the Jays typically starts around 4:15-4:30 I believe. Basically, you’ll want to get there for when the gates open. Rios usually hits in one of the first groups.


  25. gsjays

    Enigma-some information on Escobar & Gamel

    21 year old Escobar was rated the Brewers’ third-best prospect entering 2008 by Baseball America and the 42nd-best prospect in baseball following the 2007 season by

    “He’s got the arm. He’s got everything,” Stetter said. “It’s funny, because he’s only 20 years old and you can tell he’s going to be a great player someday. He’s going to save so many runs.”

    .334BA/.365OBP/.437slg. 7 hr.’s, 61 rbi’s, 25 sb’s, in 100 games. Awards:
    07/14/2008 SOU Player of the Week
    07/14/2008 SOU Mid-Season All-Star
    07/08/2007 Futures Game Selection
    06/16/2007 FSL Mid-Season All-Star
    06/28/2005 SAL Mid-Season All-Star

    Mat Gamel-23 years old

    .361ba/.418OBP/.584slg., 15 hr’s, 34 doubles,83 rbi’s in 102 games. Awards:
    07/13/2008 Futures Game Selection
    06/02/2008 SOU Player of the Week
    05/31/2008 Topps SOU Player of the Month
    04/28/2008 SOU Player of the Week
    11/20/2007 HWB Most Valuable Player
    11/20/2007 HWB Offensive Player of the Year
    11/20/2007 HWB Offensive Player of the Year
    11/20/2007 HWB Post-Season All-Star
    08/27/2007 FSL Post-Season All-Star
    06/30/2007 Topps FSL Player of the Month
    06/04/2007 FSL Player of the Week
    08/29/2006 SAL Post-Season All-Star
    06/20/2006 SAL Mid-Season All-Star
    06/20/2006 SAL All-Star Game Top Star

  26. gsjays

    If we pay Burnett another $2 millon per year, that takes him up to $14 mill for 2009 and 2010. To me that seems like one hell of a lot of money for nothing more than a .500 pitcher with a history of injuries. I’d dump him.

  27. goodluckdoc

    Thanks for the Info Gsumner their numbers are pretty good.

    I wanna see Burnett Finish this season healthy before the Jays start offering him 14mill/season.

    I have no clue about Furcals injuries but I would love to see him in a Jays Uniform, like i said before, but then again i don’t know how old he is, all i know is that he was killing it in the beginnig of the year then got injured.


    Maybe and I say maybe Burnett will change if he can stay off the DL.
    And by the way I read in trade rumors that Escobar and Gamel were untouchable last week sometime ,Just so you know I don’t make up stories.

  29. gsjays

    Furcal got off to a very good start and was hitting over .360 in 30+ games, but his career BA is about .280. I have a couple of problems with him. First, he turns 32 next season, which for me means we are coming to the end of seeing his best playing days at short stop. Second he’s coming off a 3 year-39 million dollar contract. I also have some nagging concern about his injury history over 2007 and this year. I might be wrong, but I think his back problem will re-occur until he either gets it operated on or hangs it up.
    With our limited resources, I think we should “blow the budget” in the power postions and pitching. If we sign this guy, we’d likely have to pay him 15 million a year for 3 years and that would really hinder what we could offer others.

  30. gsjays

    Garry-I know you don’t make up stories. The comment I got was from a live interview probably later than that rumor. Frankly, I don’t think it matters anyway, because JP won’t make the call.
    Hey, if Burnett stated healthy and ends up the year with a descent winning record like 16-9 and a decent era, I’d think differently. But over his career of 10 years (including this one), he’s only 80-75, has averaged only about 130 innings per year, has a current era of 4.73 and has a serious attitude problem. Is that someone you pay $14 mill a year too? If so, then Halliday should get paid $25 mill per year.


    Thanks for the information Jordan.
    Guys, Burnett at 14 million seems like a lot but tell me who you’ll be able to acquire this offseason that wont cost as much and is as capable as him. If Ben Sheets is asking for the same then i’m a-ok with him, Brad Penny too and if you guys think he’s for real how about Ryan Dempster ?
    That’s a link to upcoming free agents in case anyone hasn’t seen it.


    Harry, i’ve seen some great games live and i’ve seen some boring ones too it happens lol. I happened to catch the home opener with Marcum on the mound and that was outstanding. This time the offense and crowd seemed flat. In one case people around me we’re discussing who leads the team in at bats this season when all they had to do was look at the jumbotron for that information.

    Rios – 406
    Overbay – 344
    and they insisted it was Overbay. These other 2 guys to my right were telling their kids that Stairs and Inglett had the day off because they played well the previous game.
    I was thinking yea it has nothing to do with the fact a lefty is on the mound. Anyway, i’m not going to say that i’m a baseball expert by any means, I have a lot to learn but things like that help me realize why it is so quite. Most don’t know what’s going on.

  33. gsjays

    Some good news. Brett Cecil and Rickie Romero just got promoted from AA New Hampshire to AAA Syracuse. Lets press these kids and see what they got. This could set up well for our starting rotation enxt year, if both of these kids do well over the next 6 weeks.

    Earning a promotion to AA as replacement is Bradley Mills, who was drafted last year as well as i 2006 by the Blue Jays, so we must like him. Bradley is another left hander who is rising fast in the system. His era in Dunedin was 1.15.

  34. goodluckdoc

    Thanks for the update Gsumner

    Engima you are totally right…Hardly anyone knows anything about the Jays or even understand all the decisions made with baseball. Noone really understands how you basically change the tactic every play and a lot of them are ignorant. They fail to recognize the intelligence you must use in baseball…most ppl look at it as you hit you run and you stand thats it.

    This country is ruled by Hockey and after that maybe the Raptors and Argonauts then i guess come the Jays for many people. I seriously hope that changes.

  35. gsjays

    We just placed Tallet on the dl for a-wait for this-a non-displaced fracture of his small toe on his right foot. lol

    I guess he didn’t want to be traded; I wonder which door he

    We just called up Scott Richmond from AAA. Here’s the info on him:

    The 28 year-old Scott Richmond was signed by the Blue Jays as a free agent this past offseason. After two seasons pitching at Oklahoma State University, Richmond signed with Edmonton of the independent Northern League, where he went 14-19 with a 4.37 ERA in three years. Richmond is a native of North Vancouver, Canada.

    Scott was selected to pitch for Team Canada in the Olympics, but will not longer be headed to China.
    It sounds like he’s doing a spot start in lieu of Parrsih.

  36. goodluckdoc

    Is Canada playing in China for the Olympics?

    I think Burnett has the ability to win 20 games too…lets hope he does…i just hope that he doesn’t get injured today and wins (never had more than 12 wins)
    fingers crossed.


    Sumner, TSN implied that this could be more then just a spot start. If it is and he is optioned back to triple A right after he could still play for Canada.

  38. gsjays

    Apparently we are playing in China-it’s the first time I was aware of it as well.
    I’m not as concerned about wins for a pitcher as I am about walks and hits, since a lot of times the pitcher has no control on the win.
    The thing that is disturbing about AJ so far is his whip is the 2nd highest it’s ever been at 1.44 and opposing hitters are htting .261 off of him, which is the highest its ever been.
    I think the REAL problem is the number of walks at 60 for 139 innings pitched. He doesn’t seem to pitch as well from the stretch as he does from the windup position and when he walks guys, he gets into trouble. Subsequently, the 2nd highest career highest era of 4.73.
    It’d be nice to see him string together 4-5 more high quality starts and bring his numbers back into line; if he does the wins will take care of themselves.
    For a while he was averaging 4 walks per game and that doesn’t work at this level.

  39. gsjays

    I really don’t know what they’re going to do with Richmond, it seems like the information conflicts between a spot start for Parrish and not a spot start.
    I am glad they are eliminating Parrish from his next start, he was about to get pounded, which doesn’t do him or the club any good.
    I hope for his sake he’s not up here just for one start and put back on the bus to Syracuse-that didn’t work with either McGowan or Purcey, and since this guys Canadian, I’d be surprised if he can even keep his feet on the ground to start with.
    One thing is for sure-no one will have a book on him yet. lol
    I really wish him well.

  40. inception

    I think that JP will do nothing at the trade deadline then hope for (i) a decent (.520) second half and (ii) the Bosox to collapse due to Manny, in the hope that the Jays don’t finish “too far” out of the wildcard race. Then, he will trot out the “injury” card, the “what if” card, and the “wait till we contend next year” card. Hopefully, there will be some outrage from the Toronto (butt-kissing) media, and JP will be shown the door. It is really too much to expect Godfrey to be relieved of his duties also. Ted Rogers is not that serious about winning, and he has too many friends in the media and elsewhere. The likely truth is that we will be watching other teams, who paid the price years back by trading assets to acquire young talent, start to put it all together and dominate.

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