Game 119: Boston at Toronto

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White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen recently issued a warning, saying his team would retaliate on a two-for-one basis if he believed one of his players was hit intentionally with a pitch. On Thursday, Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston was asked about Guillen’s comments and he had this to say.

“I don’t think there is a manager in the league that’s not going to protect his guys.”

That being said, Gaston quickly added that he does not agree with the macho-baseball “tradition” of hitting a player with a pitch after somebody launches a home run. On Wednesday night, Jays reliever Brandon League hut Kevin Youkilis one batter after Victor Martinez belted a homer off the pitcher.

Home plate umpire Andy Fletcher immediately issued warnings to both the Red Sox and Blue Jays, which was fine with Gaston. The manager just wanted to make it clear to Fletcher and everyone else that League absolutely did not hit Youkilis on purpose. League hit him with a splitter — a dead giveaway that it was not intentional.

“If this kid is going to hit you, he’s going to hit you with about a 97 [mph fastball],” Gaston said. “He didn’t hit him with a fastball. I guess the league is just a little jumpy on all the things that have happened lately, so they issued warnings right away.”

That is just fine by Gaston, too, because he believes things got out of hand in the past.

“You know what? I think it’s better nowadays,” Gaston said. “I used to go up after someone who just hit a home run and get knocked down all the time. To me, I didn’t hit the home run, so don’t knock me down. If I strike out, and I throw my bat at you… you know?

“So, I never agreed with all that [stuff] that used to go on about throwing at people anyway. Now, I think they have more of a handle on it and I think it should be stopped. You’re jeopardizing someone’s career by hitting them in the head with a ball and they can’t stand out there and throw a bat at you, so I agree with [the umpires].

“I’m glad it’s that way. It should’ve been that way a long time ago. You can say it’s tough … baseball or whatever. It was stupid and senseless the way they used to do it. Somebody hit a home run, they hit the next guy. Does that make any sense?”

Not really, no.

Today’s lineups:

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for RedSox.gifBOSTON RED SOX (68-51)
Second place AL East, 7.0 GB

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Victor Martinez, C
4. Kevin Youkilis, 1B
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. David Ortiz, DH
7. Mike Lowell, 3B
8. J.D. Drew, RF
9. Alex Gonzalez, SS

Starter: LHP Jon Lester (9-7, 3.71)

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (55-63)
Fourth place AL East, 19.5 GB

1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Vernon Wells, CF
4. Rod Barajas, C
5. Kevin Millar, 1B
6. Randy Ruiz, DH
7. Edwin Encarnacion, 3B
8. Jose Bautista, LF
9. Travis Snider, RF

Starter: LHP Brett Cecil (5-1, 4.35)

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

~JB

17 Comments

In 11 seasons, 2,408 at bats in 783 games in his career, Rod Barajas has hit in the 4th hole in 6 games, had 10 at bats and got one hit for a nifty .100BA.
Not withstanding that fact, we got the world’s worst hitter with risp in the 3rd hole- Vernon Wells, and we put Millar, who’s hitting .125 in the 5th hole (and Millar’s already had his one good game of the month).
Bases loaded in the first, Lester struggling, none out, Barajas up (Wells, thank God took a walk). Barajas hits into a double play, Millar strikes out and Lester’s off the hook and we lose the momentum and the game.
Hey Cito, I have all the respect for you for winning back to back, but this lineup is the dumbest, I’ve ever seen. It’s no wonder our guys committed 3 errors. They must wonder what the hell this lineup was about just like fans did.

Fans who paid to see this game should demand a refund. Pathetic.

Well I acutally want the Jays to loose games this year for a number of reasons

1) Higher draft pick, its about time we don’t get middle of the round picks

2) Now JP isn’t the guy i trust with that pick (Even though recently he has turned out to do a good job with draft with pitchers), but if we loose enough, i am sure we will be seeing the last of JP, i am pretty sure he is gone at the end of this season as well.
As beeston will leave, so will JP.

3) We will finally get to see Roy Halladay getting a shot to win that world series title he so badly deserves.

4) We will also see the maturing of quite a few young players.

So let em lose, cause this season is gone anyways

Next year I know chone figgins is on the FA

consider this lineup:

Figgins – 2B
Hill – SS
Lind – OF
Snider – OF(perhaps not ready at the beginning of the season then sub with Ruiz or someone)
Ruiz/Dopirak – DH
Overbay – 1B
Wells – OF
Encarnacion – 3B
JP Arencibia or any C

That to me seems pretty solid
the only thing bad is that Hill has to play at SS and figgins has to go to 2B
Snider and Ruiz/Dopirak probably wont be ready for 4/5 spots being too young. But until then we could move snider upto 2nd and move Hill and lind down one. or move overbay up there, with figgins speed and someone with good bat control, that would be a good start.

Another option is that I was thinking is that
we resign scutaro
we sign figgins
we get rid of encarnacion

Figgins
Scutaro (could also go last, in that case move everyone up one or replace this spot wwith snider)
Hill
Lind
Snider
Ruiz/Dopirak
Overbay
Wells
Any Catcher

I am not sure of any FA out there next year OR any minor leaguers who could make a difference

been a while since i posted but i completely agree on the previous comment by gsjays

The Jays will never sign Figgins. Why? because he has speed and can steal bases. You may recall that a few short weeks ago, they laid off the fastest man on the team, and their best base stealer.
IMO, the Jays can’t afford to hire the kind of hitting that can win against good pitching, AKA Boston and New York, yet they are stuck in the AL mindset that all you need to do is hit home runs or hit runners station to station to win games. In order to be successful, they need to follow the lead of the Rays and Angels, and build a team that can manufacture runs, as well as bat them in. They need speed, hitters that can put the ball in play, and threaten to steal at any point in the count.

Speed is nice to watch, but it doesn’t win championships. Only one team in the last 20 years, known for speed won the series-Anaheim Angels in 2002.
What wins, is a good balance of pitching, defense and the most important thing of scoring-hitting with risp, and/or getting the key hits when they count.
Speed does make opposing pitchers a bit nervous, but not as nervous as a guy who hits 30-40 home runs and drives in 100 runs each year. And what really wears down pitchers is facing a lineup of multiple hitters like that (ala New York), because they make one mistake and the games gone.

Trading Rios was part of what needs to be done. We still need to trade Overbay and Wells. They have both proven, along with Rios, that we can’t win with them. None of them drive in the key runs when it counts, so why keep them-assuming we want to ultimately win again.

I think overbay might still have some value
but noone will pick up wells
he has simply no value,
no team was willing to take him for free of the waivers, why? because of that contract.

so either we eat up most of the money and get rid of him
or we keep him and hope he regains what he had last year and then 3 years ago.

If you look at his home/away splits, he has hit very well away.
Albeit he still isn’t driving in runs, but atleast he is getting on base a little bit (better than nothing), so for now we have to hope Vernon gets his swing back (or starts taking steroids that can’t be detected)

I am not sure
until when is Encarnacion signed and how much are we paying him?

also how much are we paying overbay and until when is he signed?

and who do you expect to be called up in september?

and i agree that speed alone cannot win
but i think its still required

get a couple of guys with speed (who can get on base, not like willy taveras)
combine that with hill, lind, snider
thats a formidable top 5 of the starting lineup.
and imagine if Ruiz continues what he has done so far (pitchers are catching onto him though, I dont think he can hit anything other than a fastball well)

and i think it was a shame that the two candians, the only canadian team drafted, decided to not sign and try their luck again.
Way to show spirit guys.

Thanks GS
its just that with school, it gets busy so I read the blog most of the time
then i dont comment

I agree with you on last nights lineup

our 3-4-5 batters were probably 7 – 8 -9 OR bench on many other teams.

about the nats paying 12 million i think for strasburg, thats absurd. They are probably going to rush him with that kind of money and he is going to become injury prone due to lack of arm strength. I read somewhere that he would be the next mark prior

and considering that, the jays front office should really be given accolades on the fact that they were about to sign chad jenkins for 2 million.

but from what i know, it was Riccardi who did the deal, it was an Assistant GM
and you are right, i hadnt thought about the fact that we dont ahve the money to sign the higher draft choices.

did you read the article on bud selig, wanting beeston to stay and head the bluejays?

Thanks GS
its just that with school, it gets busy so I read the blog most of the time
then i dont comment
I agree with you on last nights lineup
our 3-4-5 batters were probably 7 – 8 -9 OR bench on many other teams.
about the nats paying 12 million i think for strasburg, thats absurd. They are probably going to rush him with that kind of money and he is going to become injury prone due to lack of arm strength. I read somewhere that he would be the next mark prior
and considering that, the jays front office should really be given accolades on the fact that they were about to sign chad jenkins for 2 million.
but from what i know, it was Riccardi who did the deal, it was an Assistant GM
and you are right, i hadnt thought about the fact that we dont ahve the money to sign the higher draft choices.
did you read the article on bud selig, wanting beeston to stay and head the bluejays?

Harry
Good to see you back posting here again. Come back often, you’re missed.
I don’t mind them losing, what I do mind is continually playing Millar and not giving the young guys a chance to get used to hitting in positions they ultimately will be hitting in. Ruiz has more experience hitting 4th than all the guys on this team put together. Barajas has 11 at bats in that slot, Millar and Wells suck regardless of where they’re positioned.
Positioning the 3 of these guys in the 3rd, 4th and 5th hole is nonsense. If Ruiz is being auditioned for DH, we should audition him in the 4th hole, with Snider batting 5th. Will they handle it-probably not at first, but we might also be surprised at how fast they do.
We gain nothing from last nights lineup, but if Ruiz can handle the 4th hole (which I think he can) and Snider can handle the 5th (I know he can), then we accomplish something in these last 40 games.

We should be calling up Dopirak and Arrencibia in September and play them every day. All these kids will make mistakes, just like the young pitchers, but that’s how they learn and adjust to playing here. The sooner we start them the faster they learn and the sooner we contend again.

Oh and be careful about asking for high draft choices, The Jays didn’t have the budget to sign their 2nd, 3rd and 4th choices from 2009 and they weren’t great picks. If they ever had a serious draft player, they’d probably pass the opportunity, although I must admit, I think the Nats and Mariners were crazy in what they agreed to pay untested kids.

I think what we’re seeing in Wells is post steroids drop off, its the only thing that explains how badly he’s dropped off in both defense and offense. He’s went from one of the best center fielders to one of the worst defensive players in baseball in two years. As a result I don’t see him improving, I see him deteriorating more. I remember back in January making a post that the Yanks were looking to add a center fielder and we should dump Wells, even if we had to pick up some salary. Too bad we didn’t because now I expect we’ll have to pick up 60 to 80 million and the longer we wait the more he hurts us.

I’d love for Beeston to sign on for just 3 years, to turn this franchise around from the disastrous Godfrey-JP disastrous management and I’m sure most fans who remember how good he was and still is hope the same. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s going to happen.

Overbay is signed through 2010 and makes $7.95 million in 2010, Encarnacion is signed through 2010 and makes 3.8 million that year. I tend to hope we re-sign Scuataro for one to two years. A lineup which starts at
Scutaro
Hill
Lind
Ruiz
Snider
Dopirak
Encarnacion
Arrencibia
puts one guy at the top with high obp and 7 guys following all soon capable of 30 hrs and lots of rbi’s. Encarnacion will hopefully get significantly better next year as he heals more from his wrist injury suffered this year, so I hope he’ll be back mashing it again.
If we can be so fortunate as to dump Wells for a center fielder who hits for good average and high obp, with speed, I’d slot him in either the 9th or 2nd hole and adjust the rest of the lineup.

Eliopoulos plays for my home town team and they have won several championships or been in the finals . I am sorry he didn’t sign with the Jays but I also think they need to put a cap on what these “untested ” players get as a signing bonus .

I agree with Gaston’s views on players being hit . I think Youk gets hit because he has a tendency to crowd the plate . When a pitcher throws inside to him , his left elbow hangs out there making him a target .

As for Well’s , we all know he is struggling , as does he . I am sure it bothers him more than it shows . I think by nature he is a quiet person and keeps his emotions in check , can’t fault him for being that way . I think the reception he garners at home games contributes to those struggles or why would his numbers be significantly higher away . He is who he is and Jays have him for the long haul , so no point in constantly bringing up the issue of him being traded ….its not going to happen

A perfect recipe for disaster is being cooked up by the Nats. (AP) They introduced their $15 million dollar bonus baby Stephen Strasburg by setting up a raised platform near third base for an on-field news conference attended by anyone willing to show up five hours early for the evening’s game.

Fireworks exploded over Nationals Park during his over-the-top welcome to the nation’s capital. Amid the hoopla, he was asked what will happen when he pitches his first shutout at the stadium.

His answer: “Maybe a flyby of Air Force One or something like that.”

The club will send him to Florida to build up his arm over the next four or five weeks. He’ll then pitch in the Florida Instructional League and the Arizona Fall League, with his major league debut expected next year.

The Nats are obviously rushing him to MLB because of the huge amount of money invested in him. They are setting fan expectations so high, the kid’s bound to fail. In addition, he doesn’t have the arm strength or mental toughness yet and rushing him is likely going to end up with him getting injured or demoralized.

If they keep on this path, I predict Strasburg suffers a major injury within the next couple of years which severely curtails his capability and he ends up being another Mark Prior. On the other hand he does have $15 million to help him get over any anxieties.

This would be my best case scenario for our 2010 lineup. Requires some spending and a trade but is quite doable if management opens their purse.

Figgins 3B
Scutaro SS
Hill 2B
Lind DH
Bay LF
Snider RF
Wells CF
Overbay 1B
Molina C

The only thing I don’t like is having Bengie hit infront of Figgins but with Cito managing, he would hit Snider in the 9th spot until half way through the season so it doesn’t really matter. That lineup has defence (infield defence is superb) and pop up and down the lineup with 2 of the best table setters in Figgins and Scutaro at the top. Imagine the hit and run possibilites to set up Hill and Lind for easy RBI’s. If Wells puts up any kind of season what so ever then this lineup would score a wack of runs for a rotation of…

Doc
Marcum
Romero
Litsch
Cecil, Zep, Mcgowan, Purcey, Richmond etc.

Excellent outing from Zep. Loved his reaction when he caught the liner from Guerrero. Priceless.

Like the lineup tonight. What a different it makes to these young starters when our guys give them some runs to work with.

gsjays: As I posted, the Jays can’t afford a lineup of big boppers. What I said was that speed gives a team the ability to manufacture runs, and adds another way to win ball games. The ability the Jays lack is the ability to run out an infield single, bunt their way on, or go from first to third on a single. Of course, speed in the outfield makes the defense better with the ability to chase down balls in the gaps. And speed is cheaper than home run power. The 1993 Jays, for instance, ranked 6th in homers, but first in stolen bases, and second in triples. Yes, they hit a lot of home runs; I remember one in particular, but speed helped out as well. My point was that the Jays don’t pay enough attention to speed.
Hitting doesn’t necessarily win in the playoffs–pitching and defense does. Good pitching will shut down good hitting every time, and the good teams have the ability to manufacture runs. I would like to point out how many times teams stacked with big hitters go down in the playoffs, beaten by pitching. Yes, you need to hit the baseball to win any ball game. Timely hitting and hitting with RISP goes without saying, but speed shows up every day, and makes each base runner count for more.

yerouttaheah
As I said, speed is nice but it doesn’t win championships regardless of what anyone thinks. Facts are facts, only one team in the last 20 years built on speed won. The Yanks as an example have won more world series than anyone else and they’ve always been built on power, not speed. Same with Boston with Ortiz and Manny.

Perfect example is last night. LA did a double steal, BUT failed to score any runs off it because they didn’t get that all important hit with risp.
The best base stealer, this year might end up stealing 70 bases, BUT how many of those actually end up as runs-25% maybe AND only if someone comes up behind the guy and knocks him in.
Also remember, if the guy who knocks him in hits a double, triple or home run to do so, the runner would have scored anyway without stealing the base. So the net net advantage in terms of runs scored from speed is minuscule.

Home runs on the other hand go on the board immediately and if a hitter knocks 30 home runs, for sure it’s 30 runs and more if they’re hit at the right time with runners on. A single home run can win a game, a stolen base never does, it’s dependent on at least one other hit.

What the 1992 and 1993 teams had was a bunch of hitters that hit when it mattered, with the best example being Joe Carters home run to win. Again as I said, speed is nice, but it doesn’t win championships. Facts are facts.

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