Back in Toronto

TORONTO — After a nice break from baseball (as much as I love the game and covering it, it’s nice to get away every now and then), I’m back north of the border. Since I’ve been away, Paul Beeston is back as team prez, in an interim capacity, and Gibby got a job as a bench coach with the Royals.

I’ve been back home in Chicago until a couple days ago. Got to see lots of family and I took part in the Chicago Marathon. That was an amazing experience. I didn’t come close to my goal time of three and a half hours, but the temperatures soared to 85 degrees (what is that, almost 30 Celsius?).

I was on pace for a 3:30 finish until about 13 miles in — then the heat wore me down. But, being my first marathon and all, I didn’t get too discouraged about my time and just soaked it all in. I’m starting to look ahead to next year now. I might tackle the New York City marathon next November.

As for baseball, I did manage to watch that amazing Game 5 between the Rays and Red Sox on Thursday night. Mrs. Bastian fell asleep when it was 7-0 Rays, and I kept waking her when Boston insisted on climbing back in the game. What a great comeback. After covering the Rays in the first round, I don’t think that game will be enough to kill their confidence.

I don’t see Tampa Bay losing both of these games in St. Pete. I, for one, will be pulling for the Rays. They’ve been a great story all season long and it’d be nice to see them in the World Series. People might grumble about a Phillies-Rays Series, but I think that would make for a fun Fall Classic. We’ll see.

First things first, though, Michigan State is taking on Ohio State this aternoon. This will be a big test for my Spartans. This is the time of year they usually fall apart — maybe this year will be different.

And, don’t forget, every Monday I put together the Blue Jays mailbag. Send questions to for possible inclusion. Stay tuned for more…





    Did everyone see former Jay Gabe Gross’s brutal throw and lack-lustre effort on the ball over his head? Will he play again? Why would they play Gross over Hinske?


    Gibbons got a job already? Well, I guess he can’t make KC any worse… How is it that he can get a job right away, but Cito couldn’t.


    My opinion on Cito is when he got fired he was hurt,and he never looked for a job,then when he got over it he went to job interviews but he is the kind of Manager that has to have control over the team,not the GM,Imean on and off the field,he also needs to have a say in who they bring in as new players,which is the way it should be.I think the good teams all have managers that speak their minds when they have to and the GM or owner heeds what they have to say.
    As for Gibbons it wasn’t that he was a bad manager.he was just too quiet,and too nice,and was run by the GM.A bench coach job is just right for Gibbons.


    The big problem with Gibbons was that he was unable to inspire the players. Gibbons didn’t expect them to play well. They played bad and he just said oh well, we tried, that’s good enough, perhaps we’ll get them next time. And that’s not ok. Ok isn’t good enough. This is the big leagues.


    i’m cheering for matt stairs. would love to see him win the world series.

    did someone say hinske is on tb?

  6. gsjays

    Congratulations to Tampa Bay. I hope they take the series just to prove it’s not about money, but minor league systems and draft choices.

  7. inception

    Now that Tampa has shown what young talent can accomplish, I wonder how many Jays’ fans are going to realize that we are not “a bat” or a “shortstop” or “an RBI producer in the outfield” away from being a contender? With Beeston giving the nod of approval to JP, we have no chance of rebuilding this team to be competitive 2-3 years down the road. With the falling value of the loonie, it is even more important that we have a strong farm system so that we can build from within. Again, with JP making short-term decisions for his own good, it is unlikely that he will move players for young prospects. Interestingly, this would be a perfect year to do it. No one expects the Jays to finsih above 4th place next year. Tampa will be stronger. Boston will re-tool. The Yanks will break the bank to put a winner on the field in their new stadium. Even if the Jays play well, they still should not compete with these other teams. So, why not rebuild by moving some of the veterans. Let the kids play, like Tampa did. It is not as though the attendance is going to suffer much. In these hard economic times, we need a president and GM who knows how to build cheaply and effectively through the draft.


    7 games sounds good to me, and extra innings in every game.I can’t decide who I want to win,A tie would be nice but that can’t happen.

    If Burnett stays I hope they go after Manny.

    Burt is right as long as JP is here they will never rebuild.



    Jays with interest in Ramirez. That would be great! He smoked Jays pitching over the years, especially in Tor. I am guessing he ends up with the Mets or Dodgers. I would love too see him in Toronto!

    Huge game for the Rays tonight. They have the edge on the mound tonight. Shields pitches very well at Tropicana Field. Brett Myers is one of those pitchers, you just never know what you will get. Old man Moyer awaits the Rays on Sat. night. The series should go at least 6 games if not 7 games!

  10. mikedg

    i watched most of the game last night and i think philly are going to be too much!i’ll give the rays their due,but in the end i think philly have too much power.and rollin’s double play was as smooth as you are gonna get!i’d love to see him in a jays uniform!


    Not only would Manny be a big asset to the team,but how about the gate draw.I would bet that he would hit 50 HRs if he came to Rogers Center,and 150 RBIs,If they can land him and wells picks it up what a team we will have,But the Jays may not be able to afford him.


    What chance do you think the Jays have of landing Manny.

    What do the rest of you guys think,Do we or don’t we stand a chance of landing Manny.


    The Jays are still picking up junk.
    Watch what JP says,We have been looking at them for a long time.

  14. gsjays


    There are only two chances the Jays will sign Manny, slim and none. I think that’s how Manny thinks of coming to Toronto as well.


    I thought Manny said he would love to play in Toronto,When he was growing up he was a Jays fan.

  16. gsjays

    I think Manny loves the attention he gets in a major market. Although some times he says he doesn’t, he loves it.

    GO TB.

  17. lndigo

    I like the Loewen signing, its low risk with the potential for high reward . He is only 24 and even though he hasn’t hit in a few years, he was a very good hitter. I think Jays will turn him into a first baseman and he will be used to replace Overbay .

  18. lndigo

    Loewen signed a 2 year minor league contract . The reason I think they will train him for first base is because it will be less stress on his already injured left elbow plus he is a lefty , he can’t play third . Jays really don’t need outfielders . He is a canadian ..great drawing card for fans of a canadian team


    Don’t forget that the Jays drafted David Cooper not too long ago. I think if he and Loewen work out it’ll just be added traid bait and that’s never a bad thing.

    Manny from what i’ve heard wouldn’t mind being a Jay. He listed the Blue Jays as a team he would like to sign with when he was originally a free-agent (before going to Boston). It’s just a matter of the Jays coming up with the cash and term that he is seeking. Unfortunately, those demands are looking less and less likely that they’ll be met by the Blue Jays.

  20. gsjays

    There’s not much invested in either of these two picks, which is good because that’s probably what they’re both worth.
    The Jays have tons of 1st base prospects, with Dopriak and Cooper being the main two. Loewen would have to be something special to pass these two guys in the depth chart-never mind the others below them and I don’t see it happening.


    Loewen is a great signing. Low risk, high potential. If he doesn’t work out, then so what? What have they lost? Nothing. There is only upside here. I doubt that he’ll make it back to the bigs, but if he does, it’ll be a nice bonus and would make a great story.
    Manny on the other hand… He has the skills and loves playing in Toronto. But do the Jays have the bucks? Probably not. I can see him becoming a Jay during the golden years of his career (like Canseco) to try and pad his HR totals. But that is still a few years away.
    The Jays need to be looking at younger, cheaper options.
    How much of Pierre’s contract would the Dodgers eat in order to deal him? He could be the leadoff man that the Jays are looking for. But he is ridiculously overpaid and the Jays don’t want any of that.

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