From the foregone conclusion department

TORONTO — Alex Rios just deposited a pitch from Paul Byrd over the Grenn Monster in left field for a two-run homer here in the first at Fenway, so as you can tell I’m a bit behind at the moment.

Had to wait a bit before the game to catch up with A.J. Burnett. Jays skip Cito Gaston said today that he didn’t think Burnett would be back next year — kind of stating the assumed there — so we waited to see what A.J. had to say about the matter.

“He’s just answering a question,” Burnett said. “He was probably putting himself in my shoes and answering anything that he would do, but I’m not going to worry about it. I’ve got a month and a half to finish.”

Burnett, who can opt out of his deal at the end of the year, was asked if it ever entered into his mind that his value seemingly rises with every strong start he turns in.

“I don’t really care about the free market and money and things like that,” he said. “I’m finally healthy and I’m finally winning some ballgames and helping this team out for the first time in three years. That’s the way I look at it.”

Today’s lineups:

TORONTO (62-60) at BOSTON (71-51)
at 7:05 p.m. ET at Fenway Park

Joe Inglett, 2B
Marco Scutaro, 3B
Alex Rios, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Adam Lind, DH
Rod Barajas, C
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Brad Wilkerson, LF
John McDonald, SS

PITCHING: RHP Roy Halladay (13-9, 2.72)

Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
J.D. Drew, RF
Jason Bay, LF
Jed Lowrie, SS
Sean Casey, 1B
Jason Varitek, C

PITCHING: RHP Paul Byrd (7-10, 4.53)


Burnett says he isn’t thinking about the free agent market and the $$$ he’ll be making, liar!!! I know I would be thinking about it and who wouldn’t be thinking about it? Big $$$$ coming his way. Toronto will get 2 draft picks in return and that is a good thing for the Jays. What have they done with Burnett? Take the picks and say see ya later Burnett. At least Jays fans don’t have too listen to New Kids On The Block when he is warming up, lol. Jays have enough starting pitching with or without Burnett, they need some hitters. Spend that $$$$ on some bats.

Halladay pitches another gem, no surprise there. He makes it look very easy out there. He throws strikes, works fast and is very aggressive out there on the hill. Halladay doesn’t mess around out there, I like that. I wish more pitches in baseball would have Halladay’s approach. He is the most under-rated pitcher in baseball. If I was starting a team ( I don’t have millions and millions ) Halladay would be the starting pitcher I would want the most. Lee is having a Cy Young year but he has only done it this one time. Halladay does it year after year.

Halliday is the man.

Certainly looked like the extra rest helped Halliday. He was winging it up there in the mid 90’s the first couple of innings, which is faster than normal.

I think the one guy in the AL that was the happiest with Manny gone, more than anyone was Halliday. Still a strong lineup, but no where near as dangerous-or at least not to Halliday.

Too bad we didn’t get deeper into Boston’s pen, but great win.

There are three thoughts that come to mind recently about the Jays: 1) Do athletes who sign large contracts and underperform for most of the time not think about that when making the type of decision that Burnett has to make. Do they not feel that they owe anything to an organization?
2) Should the Jays necessarily want him back
? Yes he has a great arm but his numbers other than wins are not much different than in the past.
3) Could JP do anything more in trying to get fired? From his poor judgement in signing four of the same player to derogatory comments about other players to screwing the Canadian Olympic team to annointing Gaston next years manager without any committment from above as to who will be the GM.

There’s a rumor on SI, the Florida Marlins will be having another fire sale this winter. Mentioned as likely candidates to be traded are Mike Jacobs and Dan Uggla. In my view, the most likely to go is Hanley Ramirez. who’s slated to make $70 million from 2009 to 2014. His contract pays him $5.5 million in 2009 and when one considers the 2008 entire team payroll is just over $21 million, its a good bet they’ll dump him.
Although, Hanley isn’t the best defensive short stop in the world, he sure brings a huge bat with power to spare. Uggla would also be a great pickup. Either one would look great in our lineup.

matt-my answers would be:
no,no,no and no.

Florida’s potential fire-sale is interesting. However, my concern, in general, about re-tooling this team is that with free agents (likely leaving) e.g., Burnett, and JP’s mouth and actions, why would players who are free agents ever want to consider toronto as a possible destination, save, of course, for overpaid veterans who want to top up the bank account before retiring. I am afraid that JP has put us into a situation where the only way we can obtain good young talent is to have it sign long-term with their existing teams, then trade for that talent when other teams, like the Marlins, want to dump payroll. I just wish we had a little more flexibility rather than the trade route – given our talent at the minor league level is too thin right now.

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