Game 108: Baltimore at Toronto

B2BReunion.jpgPretty busy down on the field today at Rogers Centr….err, let’s go with SkyDome today for old time’s sake. Today was the ultimate Flashback Friday for the Blue Jays: the Back2Back Reunion for the ’92-93 World Series teams.

An odd time to be having it, sure. But, as Paul Molitor put it:

“It’s long overdue,” Molitor said. “It’s not like it’s the 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th year. No magical number, but it just happened. The response and the participation of the players and everyone making the effort to come back, you can see we were kind of hungry to do something like this.”

The event was the brainchild of Jays hero Joe Carter, who had been wanting to organize such a gathering for a while now. Quite the collection of Toronto greats today, too.

A few of former players in attendance: Robbie Alomar, Dave Winfield, Tony Fernandez, John Olerud, David Cone, Pat Hentgen, Dave Stewart, Dave Stieb, Tom Henke, Jack Morris, Kelly Gruber, Todd Stottlemyre, Juan Guzman, Al Leiter, Devon White, among many other players, coaches and staff.

Alomar was asked what he thinks about being considered the greatest Blue Jay of them all.

“Oh, wow,” he said. “I take it as a compliment. When I was a little boy, I always wanted to be a great ballplayer and I worked hard at playing the game of baseball. When I came here, I gave my best and I hope people appreciated the way I played the game. That’s why maybe they say those kind of things.”

The Jays held a nice pregame ceremony, with the two trophies on a table behind the mound and all the old-timers walking in from behind the center field wall and being introduced one by one. Prior to the game, Carter said he wasn’t thinking about his ’93 Series-clinching homer when he first walked onto the field.

Carter wanted to show his son where he crushed a ball once to the 500 level — not far from where his name resides on the Level of Excellence.

“The first place I looked was not right behind the field,” Carter said with a laugh. “I looked up at the fifth deck, because I was trying to impress my son and say, ‘Yeah, that’s where I hit it — the fifth deck.’ That’s the first place I looked. I didn’t even think about the home run that won the World Series. I was more proud of my name being up there and that homer I hit to the fifth deck.

“You know, ’92-93, very great years. ’93 was very sweet, but I don’t think anything can replace ’92. Catching the ball for the last out and bringing a championship to an organization that had tried for such a long time. … Not only was it a first for us. It was a first for Canada.”

Alomar, who was invited to join the Jays this past spring as a guest coach but had to back out for personal reasons, expressed an interest in joining the Jays’ organization in some capacity. He said coaching might not be for him, but that he might like working with Minor Leaguers in a development role.

“Baseball has always been in my blood and this is what I love to do,” Alomar said. “To be good in the big leagues, you have to start from the bottom. If you can get a good Minor League system, you’re going to get a chance to go up here in the big leagues and do a good job.

“This is where I belong. This is where I made my mark and this is where I love to be.”

ABOUT THAT CURRENT JAYS TEAM: A report on ESPN.com indicated that Jays right fielder Alex Rios has been claimed off waivers by an unidentified team. Now, don’t get overly worked up over this. Exposing players to waivers is common this month and often a name will be leaked and the story becomes bigger than it might actually be.

That being said, the Blue Jays have until Tuesday to either pull Rios back, trade him to the claiming team or let the claiming team have him for nothing, assuming Rios’ contract in the process. Rios has underperformed and this would be a way for Toronto to shed payroll. This does not mean Rios is definitely being moved.

Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi had this to say: “It’s the time of year where everybody gets put through waivers on every team. For us to comment on that, I don’t think is a good thing. We’re not going to comment on the waiver wire. It’s unfortunate that someone puts anything out there that’s supposed to be confidential. In this case, all I’ll tell you is everybody gets put through waivers. It’s a normal process. Every team does it, but we’re not going to comment on who was claimed or who wasn’t claimed.” 

Today’s lineups:


Thumbnail image for Orioles.gifBALTIMORE ORIOLES (45-63)
Fifth place AL East, 21.0 GB

1. Brian Roberts, 2B
2. Adam Jones, CF
3. Nick Markakis, RF
4. Aubrey Huff, DH
5. Nolan Reimold, LF
6. Melvin Mora, 3B
7. Ty Wigginton, 1B
8. Matt Wieters, C
9. Cesar Izturis, SS

Starter: RHP Jason Berken (1-9)

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (51-56)
Fourth place AL East, 14.5 GB

1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Adam Lind, DH
4. Lyle Overbay, 1B
5. Vernon Wells, CF
6. Alex Rios, RF
7. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
8. Rod Barajas, C
9. Joe Inglett, LF

Starter: LHP Ricky Romero (10-4, 3.53)

Don’t forget, you can follow me on Twitter: @MLBastian

~JB

6 Comments

I’d wager a bet, it was JP who leaked the waiver news on Rios. He misses seeing his name in print.

Bad error by Overbay changed the momentum and cost us the game.

Well, as much as I understand that the Jays might need to shed payroll I don’t want to see Rios go for nothing. Trade him in the offseason instead if need be, but i’d like them to keep him.

gsjays, that bit about JP was a cheap shot, and absolute BS. Fercrissake, stop flapping your gums when you don’t have a clue what you are talking about!
And the game wasn’t lost by Overbay’s error, it was lost in the bottom of the 5th, when the Jays had runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out and couldn’t score them to knock Berken out of the game. For all you Gibby haters out there, you included gs, I bet he is having a real good laugh!

For all the rest of you JP haters out there, here is the difference between Pat Gillick and JP Riccardi. In 92-93, The Blue Jays had the biggest payroll in baseball, Joe Carter was the highest paid player in baseball, and Gillick had the financial backing of Labatt’s Brewry to go out and hire the pieces he needed to get the job done. We may also note here that after 1993, there was not a lot left in the farm system to trade.
In the 21st century, it is the accountants at Rogers Media that run the team and set the budgets, and to them it is not selling more beer; it is just another branch of a media empire that needs to live or die by the bottom line. JP’s job is to try and make something out of nothing. If, in fact the Jays had a payroll of, say, $125 to $150 mil instead of $80 to $90 mil, I am sure there would be quite a different outlook in terms of the win-loss column. As it stands now, the Jays need to depend on a well stocked farm system, good scouting and player development, and since they almost always finish in the middle of the pack, they don’t even have the luxury of top level draft picks, as Tampa and Kansas had for so many years.

yerouttaheah
Where else do you think the leak came from? Was it covered by any national press in the US-no, just Toronto. What the hell does that tell you, it came out of the Jays office, no place else.
Face it, the way JP orchestrated the rumor on Halladay was the most bush league attempt of trading a player anyone has seen for the last decade or so. If you don’t think he leaked this, you’re either JP, a close associate or an idiot, and only you know which tag fits you the best.

The game changed, when Overbay made the error. It cost two runs and possibly 4 since there could have been a double play made and no runs scored. Even if a double play wasn’t made, the final game score was 7-5, so those two runs were the decider.

So why bring Abner into this, last time I checked Kansas City was in the cellar where they belong and where we’re heading.

Why is it you always resort to personal attacks and cheap shots on other posters here? You’re ok for a while and then, it’s like you can’t help yourself. Just remember that approach can go both ways, if that’s what you want.

General managers are rated on results, as players and coaches are, nothing else. JP hasn’t produced the results, that’s a fact. No other GM in baseball has been employed by the same team for as long as JP has without winning. JP will be fired as soon as the new president comes on board.

What you fail to realize about the Gillick era is the caliber of the players either developed by our farm system or gotten on trades which we used our prospects to get.
Gillick added to that with free agents to put us over the top, but the key to the wins was our own developed players. In the Gillick years, we had tremendous scouts in Latin America and across baseball.
JP changed that, whacked the scouts down to 4 ( which is a joke) and went almost exclusively with the central scouting system. The net result was JP ended up drafting a bunch of “nice players”, few stars. Guys who could play at this level, but no aces-just back of the rotation types.

In addition, JP did not stick to his plan. Free agents like Thomas, et company were added at times in which we didn’t have a hope in hell of winning. He continually spent money each year on a whole host of old rehab projects-add it all up, it was a big number as well, and totally against his original plan. Those funds were pissed down the river and should have been invested back into the minor league system and signing bonuses. Gillick only added those types when we were close, JP added them to make a splash. Maybe you forget the name “Stand pat Gillick.”

We can not compete with Boston and New York simply by increasing payroll and anyone who thinks we can is not being realistic. That is just another JP excuse for failing at his job. Both own their own television networks and YES, the Yanks network is worth more than the Yanks and pours money each year, as does the Sox network. Their gate revenue is more than our total revenue, by far.
The only way we can compete is how Gillick did it. Invest heavily into scouting, the minor system and player development and then when you’re close either buy the very best free agents you can or trade your prospects for pieces you need.

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