Bautista arrives, Wilkerson DL'd

TORONTO – It felt a little like a Sportscenter commercial this afternoon when I arrived at Rogers Centre, seeing John McDonald in his Blue Jays uniform at the gate where media checks in.

It’s certainly odd to see a player in his uni outside of the clubhouse or not on the field. A couple Jays fans tried to get in the gate to ask for Johnny Mac’s autograph and were quickly escorted back outside.

Knowing Mac, he would’ve signed, but he understandably didn’t want to step out into the street in his full uniform for fear of being swarmed by all the fans outside at the ticket counter. I’m sure he’d apologize to those fans who tried to get inside to where he was standing.

There was a new player in uniform for the Jays today as well. Jose Bautista was on hand, but not in the lineup. He’ll start at third on Saturday with Boston lefty Jon Lester on the hill. To make room on the roster, Toronto placed Brad Wilkerson on the disabled list.

That was a little unexpected, but apparently Wilkerson has been bothered by back spasms fof late. He’s also nursing a sore left shoulder and will have it checked out while on the DL, but manager Cito Gaston stressed that the arm issue wasn’t why he was disabled.

Leaning on the bench in the dugout was a bat that I’m assuming Bautista brought along for batting practice purposes. But, instead of his name, it had Pirates second baseman and 2006 NL batting champ Freddy Sanchez’s name engraved on the side. Not a bad strip of lumber to practice with.

Today’s lineups:

BOSTON (73-54) TORONTO (66-61)
at 7:07 p.m. ET at the Rogers Centre

RED SOX
Jacoby Ellsbury, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Kevin Youkilis, 1B
Jason Bay, LF
Jed Lowrie, 3B
Jason Varitek, C
Alex Cora, SS
Coco Crisp, CF

PITCHING: RHP Paul Byrd (7-11, 4.54)

BLUE JAYS
Joe Inglett, 2B
Marco Scutaro, 3B
Alex Rios, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Adam Lind, LF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Matt Stairs, DH
Gregg Zaun, C
John McDonald, SS

PITCHING: RHP Shaun Marcum (8-5, 3.36)

13 Comments

Wilkerson now on the DL ,( think he is the 13th or 14th player to hit the DL ) Jays will be playing with all minor leaguers before the end of the year.

I think Youk is probably the MVP of the Redsox team but I have to admit when I watch him at bat , he reminds of a little kid doing the pee pee dance and I have to giggle .

garry,
How is your wife ? I am hoping much better .

Indigo.Thanks for asking about my wife that comes from her,she is feeling much better,She will be laid up for at least 6 months they were very bad breaks.

Great call on youk why don’t you post it on the Sox blog bosoxbrian would love it LOL.

It’s always nice to see a guy we committed $126 million over 7 years come through in the important games.

Unfortunately, Wells is now 2 for 15 in the last four games, possibly the most important games of the year. I’m sure he will get hot though, likely right around the time we’re mathematically eliminated. Vernon has never seemed to consistently come through in the crunch, which is what one would expect from a player making this kind of coin. No wonder our record is so much better when he’s injured.

We’re going to wear this contract for a long time or take one hell of a beating when we trade him, and yet, we’re probably better to take the hit sooner than later.

Nice contract JP-thanks a lot.

garry,
Ouch, sorry to hear her injuries are so extensive. 6 months is a long time . Best of luck to both of you .

I think I already offended Bosox enough when I said “ewwwwwww he is a redsox fan “. Telling him Youk does the pee pee dance might send him over the edge …..lol…..

I don’t think VW’s contract is all that bad afterall he can opt out after 3 years . He does have a full no trade clause . He has been injured this year and last. I look at A-Rod’s contract and think we could be stuck with it . ARod can hit but he isn’t great with RISP , cost over 50%more than VW does and his contract is for 10 years . Wells is also 4 years younger . He will come around , he has the talent .

With all the injuries this team has had over the last few years , you have to wonder what kind of condioning program they have and just how effective it is . There are just far too many injuries on this team. I know they are part of the game but Jays seem to have more than their fair share the last couple years. I wonder if the teams that play their first games in the colder cities , are they prone to more injury . We have seen the Jays play in sleet ( Detroit last year) , it has to be hard on pitchers and players . I think the season starts too early when the weather can still be so unpredictable . If it started just one week later and went an week into October atleast your body would be more receptive to the rigours of the game . OK enough prattling from me ….night all and take care

indigo
I doubt very much if Wells will opt out at the time the contract starts paying him 23 million per year, we will not be that lucky.
Wells has only had two years in which he hit 30+ homeruns and 3 in which he knocked in 100+ runs. He’s only a career .280 hitter. Wells is a nice player, who isn’t worth what we’re paying him.
There’s no comparision with Wells and A-Rod. A-rod is a super star and guaranteed to be a hall of famer, Wells has no chance. Clearly, both players do not perform well when games are important, although A-Rod does have a career .303 BA with risp.
The thing that is very interesting with Vernon is the team plays better and wins more when Vernon isn’t playing. Why is that?

gsumner:
You are wasting your time. Many Toronto fans in general fall in love with their home-town favourites (e.g., Sundin, VW, etc.) and view them as being far more talented that they actually are. This is why JP gave VW the contract. His worth was perceived worth, not actual. Look carefully at his minor/major league stats. Outside of a good year here and there, he has been completely inconcistent. It all goes back to bums in seats. JP could not trade him because what message would it send to the many (naieve) fans who populate Roger’s center once and a while. He had to give him the contract on the heels of only one really superior year. Vernon’s actual worth is best testified to by the fact that the Jays probably could not give him away with that hefty contract. I wonder if he will be put on waivers again next year?

Gsumner….

I think your 100% about Wells. He is a nice player but not worthy of a contract that big. I wondered then why J.P. gave him that deal. It looked bad then and now it looks alot worse now. As you said ZERO chance of him opting out after year 3 on that deal. Another classic case of a team bidding against themselves. Red Sox did it with Drew and Lugo. Giving big $$$$ deals to players that aren’t even worth it. Some team in the winter will give Sabathia a big $$$$ deal and after 3 years or so. They’ll think what the hey did we just do, lol. Payroll flexibility is very important too me and most teams just throw $$$$ around to players that are not worth it. I have never understood it and I guess I never will.

Indigo….Good stuff with Youk. I guess if it makes him hit, go for it. He has had a great year and he is one my favorite players. It really doesn’t matter to him where he hits and where he plays as long as he is in the lineup. He is a gamer!!! I wish there were more players like him in baseball. Instead there are too many malcontents around and they only care about there stats and the $$$$.

I hope Boston can win today. If they don’t win today, I doubt they’ll beat Burnett tomm. Dice-K will end up throwing about 110 pitches in 5 innings. That is all he does. High pitch counts after 5 or 6 innings.

Guys:

I thought I read that Vernon Wells’ contract came from above JP. If so, you can’t criticize him for it. Like everyone else with a job, you do what your bosses want you to do. Such as reduce payroll drastically in his first years.

Regarding injuries. I have been noticing that teams in all sports seem to have more injuries these days than I recall from the past. Maybe it’s my memory. Maybe it’s more complete reporting in the media. Maybe it’s caused by teams paying more attention to the player’s woes. I saw a report somewhere that the Yankees have had more injury days than the Jays this year, but it was flawed in how the days were counted (ie 15 day list was 15 days even if player out 30 days). Steve

The Jays rely on Vernon a ton, and when he doesn’t do well (like in the last couple of games) we really struggle. The Jays definately are a better team with Vernon Wells in the lineup. Since he has been back from injury we have been winning.
I agree he is a solid hitter and not a superstar with bat, but definately a superstar centerfielder. I wish the Jays could find a better cleanup hitter to take the load off of him. Ideally, I would like to see Wells hitting 6th in our lineup (that is probably where he would hit if he played for the Yankees or Red Sox).
As far as the contract, I don’t question Vernon’s talent, he is a good player, and at the time of signing he was commanding that kind of money along with Soriano. The thing that really makes him not worth the money is his injury prone status. He always has injury problems. The Jays need him in the lineup to succeed. Most of the reason we haven’t this year, is because we’ve been replacing him with Brad (I don’t know why this guy is still in the league) Wilkerson.
Him being injured kills us, that is why I see him as being expendable. But who would want to take his contract, if he is not hitting the lights out of the ball?

welikeroy

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.

I wasn’t comparing VW and ARod but I was saying we could be stuck with a 30 mil a yr contract like ARod squeezed out . Yes Arod is a Hall of Famer but you don’t know how he will play in the 3rd , 4th , 5th etc yrs of that contract anymore than Jays knew Wells would have 2 injury seasons . Wells was given his contract after another gold glove season and in retrospect of that season and earlier ones ( remember he isn’t that old ) and when you look at what other gold glove centre fielders received , his contract was not that far out of line . Look what Yanks shelled out for Rivera and Posada , both in the decline of their careers. VW’s contract will pale in comparison to what Texirea is apparently demanding or what some others will command in the future.

I don’t “fall in love” with any player except maybe Reed Johnson and only because I love the way he plays the game . Even then love is too strong a word but I agree some people do “love ” players. We love them and hate them at the same time depending on how the perform . Baseball is in the entertainment business . Their playing role may be longer over the course if a season than an actors part in a movie but they all want the same outcome . They all command the big bucks .

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