Tag Archives: AJ Burnett

Farewell, Doc

Over the years, I’ve been known to say things like “Shaun Marcum is the best pitcher the Blue Jays have.” I’ve been known to do things like give John MacDonald my loudest cheers, no matter who else was playing. Hell, I even jumped on the Scott Rolen as Greatest-Blue-Jay-of-all-time train.

Yes, I’ve done these things. But if you paid attention while I was doing them, you’d have noticed a little asterisk somewhere in the vicinity. It’s not that Marcum didn’t deserve praise. It’s not that Johnny Mac didn’t deserve applause. It’s not that Rolen’s brilliance didn’t deserve recognition. They did and do.

No, the asterisk was the unspoken deference to Roy Halladay.

Doc is so good, comparing him to the others doesn’t even seem fair. The man is simply on his own plain.

I think Marcum can be a devastating pitcher, but Doc was not only the Jays’ best pitcher, he is the best in the entirety of Major League Baseball.

MacDonald’s hard work and amazing skill deserve the fan’s love, but Roy works harder than anyone and is better than the best.

Rolen was great, but Halladay is the only real choice as GBOAT.

As Jays’ fans, we’re all lucky to have had him for as long as we did. If you’re a Phillies fan, you have no idea what Doc will do for your team. Not only should he completely destroy the National League, he is the type of player who, through his sheer determination, inspires his teammates and makes the pitchers around him better.

Don’t believe me? How do think A.J. Burnett got to where he is today?

Farewell, Doc. You deserve to win and I hope it can happen for you in Philadelphia.

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Don’t make Doc the new Sundin

What’s the difference between Roy Halladay and Mats Sundin?

Doc wants to win.

(Sorry, eyebleaf, I know Mats wanted to win, too, but stick with me.)

At the top of their professions, both guys were stuck on mediocre Toronto-based teams. Both guys were coveted by basically every team in their leagues. Both guys had no-trade clauses. Both guys seemingly wanted to finish their careers in Toronto. Both guys were subjects of hysterical trade rumours. Neither guy wanted any part of the media circus. And now, with the latest out of Doc’s camp, neither player is willing to be a rental during the last year of their contract.

If you can believe Doc’s agent, Halladay will approve a trade during the off-season. But if he starts spring training as a Blue Jay, he’ll end the season as a Blue Jay.

That, as ESPN’s Buster Olney says in the link above, means the Jays will only get two draft picks in compensation instead of whatever haul a trade would bring in. He also says it’s now “less than 50-50” that a trade will happen in the off-season because Doc’s contract expires after 2010. Guess he hasn’t heard that the Jays are allowing a window for potential trade partners to negotiate an extension.

Personally, I hope Anthopoulos gets a deal done ASAP. Doc will get a chance to win and the Jays will get something more than draft picks in return. I’ll miss Doc, and it would be cool to see him carve up Toronto’s opponents for one more year, but he deserves better than the idiocy Sundin had to deal with during his last year in Toronto.

Link Dump

• Griffin sets the record straight on what went down last season in regards to Doc and how Ricciardi didn’t botch the trade talks.

• No surprise here, but A.J. wants his bestest bud in the whole world to join him in New York.

• Think this Halladay situation is bad? Imagine you’re a Twins fan. Not only is Mauer arguably the most valuable player in all of baseball, he’s from the Twin Cities.

• Matt Stairs now has a street named after him in his hometown of Fredericton, N.B.  The street is right outside Royals Field, where Stairs got his start with the Fredericton Royals of the New Brunswick Senior Baseball League.

• As Bud Selig gets ready to step down, Federal Baseball says good riddance. And they’re right. The way he treated the Expos was disgraceful.

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Canada’s team again?

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I wasn’t at the game last night, so I’ll leave the telling of that story to those who were (check the baseball links on the right).

The above picture did catch my attention though. I know the pre-game video showing at the SkyDome this year likes to claim that the Jays are Canada’s team, but in the last few years it would seem that’s only true based on the fact that the Jays are Canada’s only MLB team.

There was a time (see early 1990s) when the claim was true and people across the country followed every pitch of every game played by your Toronto Blue Jays.

During last night’s game, I was getting texts from friends across Canada. Some guys who drove to Toronto from Nova Scotia — just to see this game before going to Alice Fazooli’s and driving home again — called Wilner last night. Then there’s the guy in the picture at the top of this post.

So is the claim to being Canada’s team slowly starting to be valid again? Is the incredible start to the season winning fans nationwide? Or is A.J. Burnett just that widely loathed?

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In Doc we trust

roy halladayThe job that pays me (hint: not this blog) requires me to work inconvenient hours. I knew when entering the field there’d be a good chance of me working the hours I do, but I chose to do it anyway. Generally, this is not a decision I regret. Then days like today come along.

AJ Burnett’s return. The fans are going to torture him. The hitters are going to destroy him.

Roy Halladay’s going to school him.

And I have to work.

This is nobody’s fault except my own. But it has got me thinking.

Most statutory holidays are based around some sort of religious event. People are given the day off work — with pay — to honour their beliefs.

But what about those of us who aren’t religious? For a large group of people I know, sports would seem to be the closest thing to a religion. For me, it’s baseball.

And Halladay vs. Burnett, Toronto vs. New York, is the closest you’re going to get to the classic good vs. evil battle perpetuated by most religions.

So, is there anybody out there who knows anything about having a religion recognized by the government? I’d love to be able to take tonight off for “religious reasons.”

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Showdown at the SkyDome corral

A wild, immature pitcher with an “electric arm” travels north following the money. When he arrives in the baseball’s hinterland, he meets an almost mythical talent, a man who, despite residing in said hinterland and having no real exposure to the American masses, has managed to become widely accepted as one of, if not, the best pitchers in the game.

aj burnettAfter three mostly disappointing years in the hinterland, the “electric arm” cites some contractual mumbo jumbo to leave and again chases the money. This time it takes him to the bright lights of the big city; a place where the sense of entitlement is such that a championship is expected every year.

But a funny thing happened after the wild one left in search of even greater riches: The team from the hinterland improved by leaps and bounds, while the pinstriped lads from the big city are struggling to even win as many games as they lose.

And so it comes to pass. Tomorrow night, the pinstriped boys from the big city will arrive in the hinterland to do battle with the squad that has assumed the leading role of the league. And the man with the electric arm is scheduled to take the mound. Too bad for him.

AJ, the Doctor will see you now.

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