Downs on the mend

TORONTO — Scott Downs tested his sprained right ankle in a bullpen session here at Fenway Park today and the pitcher is still hoping to be ready in time for Toronto’s upcoming series against the Yankees.

Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said the club is more concerned about Downs’ lateral movement than his ability to pitch off a mound. Bottom line, if this game today goes deep into extra innings and Toronto runs out of pitchers…

“I could pitch,” Downs said.

Today’s lineups:

TORONTO (63-60) at BOSTON (71-52)
at 1:35 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 Shaun Marcum (7-5, 3.42)

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

PITCHING: RHP Josh Beckett (11-8, 3.92)


  1. gsjays

    Looks like our guys like Josh Beckett. We’ve faced him twice this year and Beckett’s gone 7 innings in two outings and given up 13 earned runs. I wonder if they picked something up on his delivery-its like they know what’s coming.

    Opposing pitchers must be wondering how to pitch Adam Lind. Last year when he struggled, Lind would consistently miss a pitch on the outer half high. This year he’s pounding it the other way, witness two home runs in Boston.

    No one open their eyes yet, but it’s looking like Cito and the group are turning Johnny Mac into a pull hitter and it’s working. He’s now hitting .221; if this rises to .250-.265 he becomes an acceptable offensive short stop.



    I’m glad the Jays have left Boston. lol. The worst thing is the Sox go to Toronto for 3 games next weekend. uh oh for the Red Sox. No chance for any of those games being rained out. lol.

    I hope Fay goes elsewhere. We shall see. Thanks for the words.

    Beckett got smoked today!!! Toronto might know something when it comes to hitting Beckett. He fooled no one today.

  3. gsjays

    I think it might be more than knowing something on Beckett-although I suspect they do. I think it’s Cito Gaston and Gene Tennace’s experience in Fenway.
    Watching Lind and Rios bang the ball of the monster reminded me of how we used to play so well there and how Boggs hit so well there, just pound it into the wall for a single or double.
    Although, I don’t expect we’ll score 15 runs every game, I do think our guys will look forward to games there. lol

    As a Sox fan, you have to be concerned about your pitching, your guys gave up 47 runs in the last week. That certainly isn’t championship quality.



    This team isn’t a championship team. They might make the playoffs and that is about it. There pitching just went thru a tough time, some concern with management but not a panic situation. Bullpen is still a concern and there bats don’t hit against good pitching. They crush poor pitching but teams that can pitch, they struggle. Ortiz is the guy that makes that offense go. He is far from 100 % and will not be until next season. Boston needs to show everyone ( including themselves ) that they can win on the road. A 9 game road trip coming up. We’ll know alot more about the Red Sox after these 9 games.

  5. gsjays

    We’ll welcome them warmly-no worry, they always hit well here; although no Manny will help us..
    How’s Fay-I see Florida declared a state of emergency?

  6. gsjays

    I read this blog entry on Jamie Campbell’s blog and felt it deserved “air time here”.

    Dear David,

    I just wanted to say thank you.

    I know you’re not playing a whole lot these days. John McDonald is wielding his magic glove again, and Cito is scribbling his name in the lineup more often than not.

    But that didn’t stop you from coming through in Boston this weekend. You’ve showed once again why you’re an MVP (most valuable person) in big league baseball.

    Many baseball fans across Canada were watching our broadcast from Boston back in April when you choked up on the bat with two strikes and fouled a rocket over the Red Sox dugout. The ball hit a young boy named Derek Murdza flush in the right eye. Put him in hospital for a week.

    Of course, you knew that. By the time I’d reached the first aid station at Fenway Park to check on the boys’ condition, you’d already come and gone. You got there quicker than Usain Bolt.

    So when the Jays finally rolled back into Boston after over three months playing elsewhere, you made sure little Derek would feel comfortable coming back to a baseball stadium.

    Derek was beaming when you gave him that bat and thrilled when he got to go in the clubhouse. I could tell he’d fully recovered when he came up to our broadcast booth and mastered a Jerry Howarth imitation (“Yes sir!”). And his parents sure appreciated the second set of tickets you left after the first game was rained out.

    Derek is going to be fine, and the sight in his eye is slowly coming back. He’s got the Red Sox in his blood, and says Big Papi is his favourite player, but I guarantee he’ll never forget David Eckstein.

    Jamie Campbell

    **And then the fathers entry to Campbells blog.

    I am Derek’s dad and would like to share a few comments about our weekend at Fenway Park. I absolutely agree with Jamie that David is a great guy. He spent a lot of time with Derek and got us great seats to both games when he realized Friday was a wash out. It is great to see a player have the concern of a fan that was injured in a freak accident. He is a stand up guy. But let me add that the author of this blog is also a stand up guy. Jamie coordinated everything from the tickets to field passes and also snuck Derek into the Toronto locker room.(He had to take off all his red sox gear!) He also brought us up to the press area where we got to hang out with the announcers and watch a couple of innings of the game. From meeting players to getting autographs and seeing our Sox get beat by the Jays, we would like to thank Jamie and David for their hospitality and concern for Derek’s well being. This will be a weekend remembered for a long time.
    Posted by: Bosox08 | Sunday August 17, 2008, 7:33 pm ET


    Gsumner thanks for posting the story about young Derek It warms the heart and shoes the good side of ballplayers, a nd David will be a hero to that boy forever.



    Great story there for sure. There are still some good players out there. We here all the bad about them most of the time. Refreshing to here a great story!!! A lifetime of memories for that kid and his family.

  9. gsjays

    Looks like our youngster from Venezuela is finally settling in. We signed Balbino Fuenmayor in 2006 with reasonable fan fare and gave him $750K as a signing bonus. He was supposed to be one of our ss or 3rd base hopes along with first draft pick Kevin Ahrens. At the time Balbino was 16.

    In 2007 at 17, he joined the Gulf Coast Jays rookie team and struggled-which really isn’t surprising as young as he was and he probably didn’t speak english at all. He played 48 games in 2007, hit .174 with 1 hr, 12 rbi’s. His total slg for 2007 was a miniscule .244. As a result of such poor performance he didn’t get promoted to Lansing and started 2008 at the GC Jays again.
    Although he improved in 2008, he still struggled with a batting average in the low .200’s up until about 15-20 games ago, when suddenly a light went on and he kicked it in another gear.

    The last 10 games he’s thrown it into high gear and has hit 5 doubles, 2 triples and 1 hr in 35 at bats over 10 games while hitting .486 over that period and raised his year numbers to a very respectable .317BA/.374OBP/.484 slg. The best stat is his hitting with risp is now a sparkling .388.

    Considering he turns 19 in November and is probably still learning English, it will be interesting to watch him next year. It’s so late in the season I doubt if he gets promoted; but I’d bet he turns into a rapid riser next year and burns through Lansing to Dunedin in a hurry.

  10. gsjays

    I thought the same thing. Hey, I was against the Eckstein signing, and Jamie Campbell-in my view, is the worst announcer in sports.
    But I was seriously impressed with this story. In this day and age of HGH, steroids, womanizing, etc. etc., I though it quite refreshing to read the story and I congratulate both David Ecstein and Jamie Campbell in making a little boys dreams come true. I’m sure the kid will never forget the experience.


    No callups to speak of in Sept why because JP has to protec his job,He is afraid if we call up the young guns and they dont perform the team will go under 500 and goodbye to JP we should be so lucky.

  12. inception

    You may be right. However, JP may be afraid the young guns actually play better than the players that are already here. How then does he explain giving under achieving players multi year deals for big bucs. To play the kids would mean that you were wrong, win or lose!

  13. dt005

    JP didnt give contracts to underachievers. He gave contracts to players coming off great seasons. Vernon wells had a .303/.357/.542 season plus 3 Gold Gloves in Centerfeild in his back pocket. Alex Rios was .297/.354/.498 with most people agreeing his potential still hasnt been reached. So I find it hard to argue that at the time people thought these were bad contracts to underachieving players. I also doubt JP is afraid his young players will come up and outperform the guys there now. If he knew that I dont think he would hesitate bringing them up for a playoff push.


    Denoit If you think the contract JP gave to wells was a good one you cant be from this world,First of all 7 years was way to much and so was the money.remember we are a small market team,If he had traded Wells we would have gotten at least three young players with tallent and saved a bundle.As for Rios I think it was a good contract,Now how about Thomas,Johnson[gave him 750k to leave,Glaus for Rolen paid 1.8mil to get rid of Glaus,And there are many more,Keep up the good work JP and we will be sorry fans for another 7 years.


    OH and what playoff push are you talking about,You can’t still think we have a chance do you LOL.

  16. gsjays

    I don’t have a problem with not calling up Rickie Romero or Brett Cecil, and I don’t want them send to the AFL either. The reason being Romero has already thrown 144+ innings and Cecil 106+. Cecil has struggled in AAA with only 1 quality outing in 4 starts and Romero is walking a tight wire with the number of walks given up (14 in 23 innings). They are both very young arms and I think it’s wiser to just let them finish up at AAA.

    However, I can see no reason not to call up Arrencibia and Snider. If these two guys are going to be seriously considered for a starting role next year-which they should be, then getting them aclimatized in September seems like the right move. The two guys I’d like to see go to the AFL are Campbell and Dobriak.

  17. gsjays

    That has to be one of the best games pitched by Burnett in a Blue Jays uniform. 8 innings, 5 hits, 1 bb, 1 run and 13k’s. Amazing how well the guy can pitch for next year’s contract.

    Lind is some kind of “hot-3 games, 13 at bats, 5 hits, 2 bb’s, 3 hr’s and 6 rbi’s.


    It’s too bad that the bats still suck. They still aren’t consistant yet. Sumner, I remember you and I in the offseason predicted a big year from Burnett and it’s happening. Statistically it’s one of his worst but the wins are there because he is healthy.

  19. gsjays

    It is a sad thing, isn’t it, when one recognizes from a players history that the best years they have are the years preceding a contract negotiation. The year AJ had the highest numbers of innings pitched was in 2005, which also was one of his high win years and 2nd lowest era.

    Hey, Enigma-maybe we just made a good guess. lol-I think not. I feel sorry for the team that signs him to a 4-5 year contract at 15-20 mill per year. I just hope it’s not us.


    This is the first year Burnett has gone injury free and he is now showing what he is made of,If Toronto lets him go they will be sorry because the Yankees or Boston will wind up with him and he will kill us,Gsumner when the Jays first sighned him you keep saying one day he will show all of us what he is made of now that he is you are going the other way I don’t understand??????

    If Burnett had good run support this year he would have been 20 and 5 by now, now how good is that, 5 starts ago I said he will win 20 games now I think he will win 21,I remember when I said he was a floop now I am sorry I said that he is no longer a 500 pitcher.

  21. gsjays

    Well, initially like everyone else I was sold on his potential-that was back in the days I believed JP. lol

    Burnett has had good run support or he wouldn’t have won 16 with an era over 4.51. I just don’t think he’s a good bet to stay healthy nor maintain the performance level we’ve seen in the last 6 games-not at 20 mill per year or close to it.

    There’s little doubt he’s pitching very well at the moment. The question is will he do that all the time or, after a new deal is signed revert back to the guy we’ve watched for 2 1/2 years. The next question is “Would you like to bet 20 mill a year for 4 years that you’re right?”

    If he continued to perform like he has for the last 6 game’s he’d be worth it; if he doesn’t and reverts back to a 10-12 win season guy-we’re hung for quite some time. We have Halliday (who’s worth 20 mill per year), Marcum and the new improved Litsch for next year. Competing for the final 2 spots are McGowan, Wolfe, Cecil, Purcey, Janssen and Romero, with Mills and Richmond as dark horses.

    Our pen, particulary in late innings will be stronger with Ryan (who will be stronger next year), Accardo, League and Downs.

    For me, the risk and cost for AJ is too high, I’d rather see 20 mill per year go to Tiexeira to fill that slugging clean up spot. I think that would win more games with a lot less risk than AJ.
    We already lead all of baseball with a team era of 3.61. We have tons of pitching-we need a huge power bat for the clean up spot ( from 3rd and or 1st base slots) and a quality lead off hitter.

  22. dt005

    Toronto is a small market team??
    Toronto’s payroll at the start of the season was $98,641,957 wich ranked 12th in all of baseball. Their market is Toronto + the rest of Ontario, and most of Canada so their Market is actually quite large. I have no problems with Management spending a little extra on a top end Center Feilder to have him play for the Jays. Surley Wells is not going to carry this team by himself, but this team is much better with him in the lineup. JP has some top end talent on the way, and with Wells, Rios, Hill, and Lind around for a while this team is in good shape going into the future.



    I don’t think A.J. Burnett will get 20 million per season. I think Sabathia will get 20 million per season for about 6 or 7 years. I wouldn’t do it but the Yankees probably will. I would take a guess and say anywhere from 12 to 15 million per season for 4 or 5 years for Burnett. I certainly wouldn’t give that kind of $$$$ to him but some team will. I agree with you the Jays should save that $$$$ and go after a hitter. Another hitter in the lineup could make the difference for Toronto. Also Toronto will get 2 picks as well, a win win for the Jays if Burnett opts out and signs somewhere else.

  24. gsjays

    Bosox-AJ already is scheduled to get $12 million per year, so I expect he’ll get more-at least $15, and probably somewhere in between 15 and 20 mill for at least 4 years, and I wouldn’t sign him either.

    Just so you know, with Wells in the lineup our record this year is 32-40. With him out of the lineup our record is 30-20, so your assumption of this team being better with him in the lineup isn’t backed by the facts. Right now Vernon is ranked 20th in MLB center fielders. As you can appreciate, the only thing, he’s done nothing over the last two years to show he’s a “top end center fielder”, is sign a huge contract.


    He’s been injured though and despite missing a chunk of the season isn’t too far off the lead in home runs and RBIs so how is it his fault that the team’s records are what they are with or without him ? The contract is too big, no doubt but the guy can play and i’ll take him in the lineup over Brad Wilkerson that’s for sure. They’ve also gone on this pretty good run (6 of 7) with him in there. I’ll be happy to see them start next year with an outfield of Rios, Wells and Lind. I do agree with you on A.J. I think 15 million per. will be the starting point. I’d be really happy if he doesn’t opt out but if he decides to than i’d like him gone too.



    Remember Burnett has 24 million remaining on the deal. He signs a deal worth 12 to 15 million for 4 years or maybe 5 years. Do the math. Alot more than 24 million. For some reason alot of people get hung up on the money per year, it is the length of the deal. That is why Toronto is screwed with Wells’ deal, the length of the deal. He is nowhere near worthy of that deal. Not even close!!

    I think it is very interesting with Sabathia. The Brewers are pitching him deep into every game. They could care less about Sabathia next season. All the Brewers care about is now and the rest of the season. They are running him into the ground. I’ll be surprised if we don’t here about an injury with Sabathia over the next 2 seasons or so. Buyer beware with Sabathia. Sabathia will be looking for a Johan Santana or Barry Zito type of deal. I wouldn’t give it to him or too any other pitcher. A hitter is a different story all together.

  27. gsjays

    Yes, Wells was injured last year and twice this year-not a good omen for someone we are scheduled to pay $23 million to in 2011.
    Don’t get me wrong, I like Vernon, but he’s no “top end center fielder” this year nor last year, and certainly not worth the money we committed to at his current performance level.


    fair enough sumner, it’s hard to argue with that but despite what the record says I believe they are better with him than without.

  29. gsjays

    In my opinion, Brad Wilkerson doesn’t belong on any MLB lineup, he’d struggle in AAA and likely AA. Wehave better hitting outfield prospects than Wilkerson so why we signed him and kept Lind in AAA is a mystery to me.

    I’d bet Burnett gets offered 15 mill per year (and probably 17-18)minimum for 4 years.Hey-I don’t think he’s worth it, but someone will offer him that-I just hope it’s not us. I agree with your analysis on Sabathia.



    We shall see. I say anywhere from 12 to 15 million per season for at least 4 years and maybe 5. Yikes!!! Sabathia will get his 20 million per season and no other pitcher will sniff 20 million per season. Texeria will be looking for 20 million per season as well. Boras is Texeria’s agent so I am guessing he’ll get it from someone. Yankees, Mets and Red Sox will be hot to trot on Texeria. Texeria could land a 7 year deal or 6 year deal. Anytime you have those big market teams after you, that is a good thing for you and your wife. lol. Mrs. Mark Texeria will be quite happy.

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