Tag Archives: Brett Lawrie

Jose Reyes injury. The worst.

I did not watch tonight’s game. Of course, the Jays won.

Of course, this also happened:

(GIF via Paul Sporer)

As of this writing, nobody knows exactly how long Reyes will be out, but here’s what we do know, via the numerous beat reporters (let’s give credit today to non-Rogers man Scott MacArthur) and just some plain basic facts:

  • Reyes heard something “pop”
  • Best case scenario, Reyes is out for a month. Worst case, three months.
  • General manager Alex Anthopoulos has already been talking with other GMs about trading for some infield help
  • Reyes is the best. Him getting hurt is the worst.
  • Mike McCoy is likely to get called up and see too much playing time.
  • Brett Lawrie can’t come back fast enough.
  • Reyes, usually an outstanding baserunner, slid late because he thought the pitch had been fouled off

I know I haven’t been active on the blog or on Twitter much lately, but I’m all too aware of the panic a lot of fans have been feeling because of the team’s slow start. I’ve been doing my best to talk sense into as many people as possible. “The Giants started 2-8 last year and won the World Series,” I say.

But right now, I feel the panic. It’s ridiculous, especially since there’s no real word on what’s wrong with Reyes, but this could hurt. Losing Reyes for three months could be a lot worse than a slow start. And seeing him cry? That’s worst of all.

Here’s hoping it’s not that bad.

And a quick update because the man himself tweets

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Wayne Gretzky loves Brett Lawrie’s enthusiasm

I like Ron MacLean, but sometimes he leads things off the rails a bit. During the second intermission of Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final, MacLean managed to ask Wayne Gretzky a question that prompted a strange response.

Apparently The Great One loves Brett Lawrie’s enthusiasm and making mistakes is what sport is about. Or something. I don’t know.

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June 5, 2012 · 11:10 pm

New-fan week: Baseball is boring. Baseball is not boring.

Editor’s note: A recent reddit post — this one to be exact — really stuck with me. The author is an Irishman who’s looking to get into baseball and, not knowing where to start, he asked for help. Well, this week at Infield Fly, we aim to help everybody’s who’s just getting into the game. If you’re a new fan, if you’re interested in becoming a fan or if you know somebody who think would love the game and you want to point them our way, hopefully this week will have something for you. We plan to cover the how and the why for new fans.

Read the first instalment, a basic stats primer, here. The second instalment, a quick guide on how to get the most out of watching the game, is here.

Today, we have a guest post from Ruhee Dewji of Double Switching. She’s been a ball fan for just over a year now and she’s sharing what she loves about the game and why she’s hooked. If you’re on the Twitter, give her a follow. She’s cool beans. Continue reading

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Filed under General baseball, Welcome to Baseball

Brett Lawrie deserves to be suspended

“I didn’t mean to hit him, your honour; I just meant to fire a warning shot.”

At some point, likely today, Brett Lawrie will be suspended for his actions during the ninth inning of last night’s loss to the Tamp Bay Rays. Lawrie deserves whatever sort of punishment MLB metes out and, unless the punishment is harsh, he probably deserves more than he gets.

Lawrie says he didn’t mean to hit the ump with his helmet. I believe him. But intent only matters up to a certain point.

Hitting an umpire — even if unintentional, even if the ump just called you out on two borderline pitches you thought should be balls — is completely inexcusable.

Lawrie must pay for his actions and he should do whatever he can to make good with the umps so that any lingering anger isn’t taken out on his teammates in the form of questionable calls going against them.

GIF courtesy of Ian, the Blue Jay Hunter.

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Rookie of the year

Summer. Damn. It moves too fast. Seems like just yesterday I was at the SkyDome watching the Jays thump the Twins in the season opener.

But it wasn’t really yesterday. It was long enough ago that now I’m getting emails reminding me (and rightly so, since I often have trouble remembering which day of the week it is) that it’s time to vote on the 2011 Baseball Bloggers Alliance awards.

First up is the Willie Mays Award, which the BBA bestows upon the best rookies in each league.

Ballots for this award use a 5-3-1 point system and for a ballot to count, it must include three names. Since this is a Blue Jays blog, I can only vote for the American League award. So my choices, in ascending order, are as follows:

3. Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox

While not the sexiest of choices, Chris Sale led all American League rookies in WPA this year. For those unfamiliar with the stat, WPA stands for Win Probability Added or, basically, by what percentage did a player add to his team’s chance of winning over the course of the season. A good explanation of the stat can be found here.

Anyway, working out of the bullpen and in only 71 innings pitched, Sale piled up a WPA of 3.53. He also posted an ERA of 2.79 and a FIP (like ERA, but with fielders taken out of the equation as much as possible) of 3.12. Overall, a great year for the Pale Hose rookie.

2. Desmond Jennings, Tampa Bay Rays

The Tampa leftfielder made his first appearance in the Rays’ lineup this year on July 23 and proved he belonged immediately, going 2-for-3 with a double and a triple and drawing two walks in his first game. He’d go on to post a slash line (BA/OBP/SLG) of .259/.356/.805 and give Blue Jays fans further proof that the road back to the playoffs is not going to be an easy one as long as the schedule stays unbalanced.

I mean, really, Tampa may not have any money but, NEWSFLASH, the team’s got some amazing player development going on.

1. Brett Lawrie, Toronto Blue Jays

I fully expect flack for this choice and (probably justified) accusations of homerism but, to my mind, Brett Lawrie is definitely the rookie of the year.

In only 150 at-bats, Lawrie hit nine home runs. He posted a slash line of .293/.373/.580. He showed patience and poise at the plate and an eye that at times seemed to rival that of Jose Bautista.

Now, it would be reasonable to say that, with such a small sample size, there’s a good chance that opposing pitchers would adapt and figure out ways to get him out. Totally possible, but his incredible eye would help to offset that a bit as he seems unlikely to chase after bad pitches and get himself out. There are two more reasons he’s got my vote though:

  • Before his call-up, there were a lot of questions about his defence, but not only did he not look out of place playing third on the SkyDome’s artificial turf, he was downright impressive.
  • While his offensive output may have slowed had he played more, how incredibly productive he was during his stint has to be taken into consideration. Despite only 171 plate appearances, Lawrie’s WAR (wins above replacement) came in at 2.7 — tied for first among non-pitching rookies and that is just insane.

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So there you have it, my Wille Mays Award ballot for the rookie of the year. There are many other great rookies this year who could have (and maybe should have) cracked my Top 3, with Eric Hosmer, Michael Pineda, Alexei Ogando and Dustin Ackley chief among them. So who’s your rookie of the year? Let me have it in the comments.

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Filed under General baseball, Toronto Blue Jays

Because Matt Stairs said so

If you follow me (or almost any other Jays fan) on Twitter, you likely know how I feel about the team’s roster moves yesterday, as my feelings are far from unique.

“Brett Lawrie, yay!” quickly turned into, and @s_findlay put it best, “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME JAYS. Travis Snider! What the fucking fuck! Fuck this. #incoherentrage”

But on this day when the Jays begin the career most-highly touted Canadian prospect in probably ever, I think it’s important to talk a little bit about the guy who is, for my money, the most-entertaining Canadian player ever: Matt Stairs.

The retired-from-baseball-just-the-other-day Fredericton native holds MLB records for the most-teams played for and most pinch-hit home runs. He mashed an awe-inspiring playoff tater when he played for the Phillies — a homer which lead to probably the only good quote about getting one’s “ass hammered” (SFW, unless you can’t say “ass” in your office) and also inspired a great T-shirt:

Stairs has even earned love from the stats geeks, with Bill James going so far as to say that, given better circumstances, Stairs could be a Hall of Famer:

“Look at it. Somebody decided he was a second baseman, he tears through the minor leagues, gets to Montreal, the Expos take one look at him and say, ‘He’s no second baseman, get real.’ He bounces around, goes to Japan, doesn’t really get to play until he’s almost 30, then hits 38 homers, slips into a part-time role and hits 15-20 homers every year for 10 years in about 250 at-bats a season. … You put him in the right park, right position early in his career … he’s going to hit a LOT of bombs.”

As if everything above wasn’t enough, Stairs, by all accounts, is a great guy.

And great guys, they don’t forget where they came from. Which makes it too bad that Baseball Canada has ruled Stairs ineligible for the upcoming Canadian Senior Baseball Championship.

It’d just be too good, I guess, to let Stairs finish off the year with the team where it all started for him — the Fredericton Royals. Too good, especially since, of course, the championship is being played in his home province.

Stairs being Stairs, though, he hasn’t ruled out any involvement in the tournament, saying he’s considering a coaching role. That’d be nice for all involved, but it’s too bad that the good people of Miramichi, N.B., won’t get to hear his excellent walk-up music.

UPDATE: Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Time just alerted me to his own post on Matt Stairs. Jaffe takes a look back at the most memorable games in which Stairs has played and the list is, unsurprisingly, pretty long. Worth a read for sure.

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Filed under Baseball Canada, Toronto Blue Jays

The Future is in Milwaukee

I have, for a few years now, referred to Shaun Marcum as The Future. I just realized that somehow never made it into this blog until now. About 30 minutes ago, I got a text that said simply “The future is over” and I knew immediately what it meant.

I’m going to miss Marcum’s dirty hat and wicked changeup. It should be fun to see him tear through the National League (and he will be great in Quadruple-A) but I’d much rather him make hitters looks foolish while he’s sporting the Jays uniform.

But things change, the Torontos still have a great group of pitchers and I have faith in The Plan, so I’m not going to freak out about losing a guy I can honestly say was my favourite Blue Jay.

So — what’s Toronto getting in return for North of Steeles? A minor league second baseman and nothing else. Sounds bad, but appearances may not be what they seem. I’m no scout and I won’t pretend that I am, so I don’t know much about Brett Lawrie’s game, but I do know some things about him:

  • Dude is Canadian. Shouldn’t matter, but I know it does to some people. If you care, you might like to know that he’s from Langley, B.C. (If you’re not from Canada, please know that Lawrie is not a local Toronto kid. There are thousands of miles between Toronto and Langley.)
  • Fangraphs had him listed as the No. 2 prospect in the Brewers system last year.
  • He was on the roster for Team Canada at the 2009 World Baseball Classic as a 19-year-old. He got into one game as a catcher, but didn’t get any at bats.
  • His aunt won a bronze medal in curling at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
  • His sister Danielle can throw a softball like nobody’s business.

That don’t tell us much to be sure, but maybe those good curling genes will come in handy at some point.

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