Tag Archives: Ghostrunner

A link dump that’s (mostly) about being unhappy with Cito

Fire Cito

Playing .500 ball over the course of two series against the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees is nothing to sneeze at, but it is frustrating to watch the Jays put up a 3-3 record over those games because they probably should have won at least 5 of the 6. Cito needs to go. Mismanagement of the bullpen costing the team games against those they’re chasing in the A.L. East is one thing, but refusing to help develop players (in a year that was meant to be about developing players) is a whole other level of incompetence.

“I can see sometimes that he needs some work here or there, but I think that’s something that whoever’s here next year will address,” Gaston said. “The only thing we’ve told Fred is that when the ball’s hit right at you, just make sure you go to your strong side.”

Cito is a fine hitting coach, but he’s not a good manager.

Dwayne Murphy is not a good hitting coach

This is a little old, but still warrant mentioning. Speaking to Yahoo’s Tim Brown, Toronto hitting coach Dwayne Murphy dropped this doozy:

“I think on-base percentage is an overrated stat,” Murphy said flatly. “Those guys getting on base, most of them aren’t getting them in. Give me somebody who drives them in after that. I need guys who can drive the ball.”

What I want to know is, if nobody’s getting on base, who are the sluggers going to drive in?

Oh right: Themselves.

And nobody else.

Kevin Gregg is not a good closer

Since (and including) May 12, Gregg’s pitched in 10 games for the Torontos. Over that stretch, he’s been absolutely horrendous.

An ERA of 10, an opponent’s OPS of 1.088, a WPA of -1.106 and that’s just scratching the surface.

The man couldn’t keep a closer’s job in the N.L. Central and is struggling in the A.L., but Cito refuses to take the job from him. Can explain this?

On questioning Cito’s use of the pen

I’m not even going to get into Mike Wilner’s suspension from the FAN for the duration of the Yankees series. Stoeten (here) and Drew (here) have pretty much said everything I’d say about it. Jeremy Sandler’s got a good take on the situation as well.

The Draft

The MLB draft goes tonight. If you’re the type who gets worked up about kids who will probably never amount to anything and, if they do, won’t do so for at least a few years, the draft is for you! Personally, the only thing that interests me about the draft is the approach the team is taking to.

Approach and philosophy is everything — that’s why I get geeked about international free agents when the Jays are involved. If you care about the approach, then Shi Davidi’s got a good piece on the Jays’ strategy you might enjoy.

Into the players? Check out the Drunks or Mop Up Duty. They’re on that ball.

Remembering the GBOAT (via Walkoff Walk)

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We are the (clean) champions, my friend

world series champsWhat’s so special about the teams celebrated at the recent Back 2 Back weekend? I mean other than the obvious fact that they were Blue Jays teams that won the World Series back-to-back?

According to the The 35th Street Review, every team since then to have won the World Series has been linked to performance-enhancing drugs.

It’s an interesting post, but my only beef is that it’s titled In Search of the Last Clean Champions and it fails to say that your Toronto Blue Jays are, in fact (to the best of anyone’s knowledge anyway) the last clean champions.

P.S. Also on that ChiSox blog, Drew of Ghostrunner fame prepares the Windy City for the Alex Rios era.

Addendum: Yes, our man Ed Sprague has admitted to using steroids, but if you take him at his word, he didn’t start using until 1996. And yes, the case may be the same for some other teams on that list (players starting use after the championship), but I’m not interested in doing the research to find when each and every one of these guys started using. I’m just to enjoy this until someone shatters my delsuion for reals.

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Coping with loss


Any time a traumatic event happens in someone’s life, their mental makeup can be shaken. Personalities change: Normally friendly people can lash out at everyone and everything; some seek solace in the bottle; some lock themselves in their parents’ basements for even longer periods than usual.

Normally going through the five stages of grief is reserved for major events like the loss of a family member or the news of a loved one coming down with a disease like cancer, but it struck me recently that the Jays blogosphere has, since Kenny Ken Ken Rosenthal tried to convince everyone that Roy Halladay is going to be traded, really been exhibiting the five stages of grief.

1. Denial

Denial is usually only a temporary defense for the individual. This feeling is generally replaced with heightened awareness of situations and individuals that will be left behind after death.

Stoeten of the Drunks got the process started when he said:

Fuck. Off.

This is not news.

I know those maybe sound like the words of a Jays fan fiercely in denial, but they’re really not. This is just fucking tiresome. How many times over the years has Ricciardi said—about not just Halladay, but any player—that “if something makes sense, we at least have to listen”?

Of fucking course he’ll listen! Is that seriously all you’ve got???

To be fair, he does make some good points as to why it’s not news and at the time, especially given the way things regarding Doc trade talk have gone in the past, but it turns out that this time, there was a bit more to it.

And yes, this may be a case of Rosenthal being the boy who cried wolf, but I’m cherry picking here to make this work.

2. Anger

Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the person is very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy. Any individual that symbolizes life or energy is subject to projected resentment and jealousy.

The Tao jumped all over this stage, unleashing a professional-sounding form of anger. And you know what, I still think he’s right: It’s all J.P.’s fault.

And Stoeten pretty much nails it in a post he appropriately titled A Quick Word About The Most Frustrating Thing Ever.

Of course, if you want to see the worst side of the anger surrounding this topic, just read the comment sections of any of the blogs.

3. Bargaining

The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow postpone or delay death. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made with a higher power in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. Psychologically, the person is saying, “I understand I will die, but if I could just have more time…”

You don’t even have to leave this blog to see a prime example of this step. Let’s solve the Halladay dilemma by making the Vernon Wells problem worse! That’s the ticket! Right.

4. Depression

During the fourth stage, the dying person begins to understand the certainty of death. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and grieving. This process allows the dying person to disconnect themself from things of love and affection. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer an individual up that is in this stage. It is an important time for grieving that must be processed.

Ghostrunner’s Drew couldn’t even manage to keep his chin up. That’s saying something.

Ian the Blue Jay Hunter admitted to feeling like his heart’s breaking at the thought of Halladay pitching for another team.

5. Acceptance

This final stage comes with peace and understanding of the death that is approaching. Generally, the person in the fifth stage will want to be left alone. Additionally, feelings and physical pain may be non-existent. This stage has also been described as the end of the dying struggle.

The Tao is the shining example of this stage, with two particular posts in mind.

One reminds us that “There are still some pretty good players – and people – on the roster of this ballclub that we can get behind. The Globe’s Jeff Blair hammers the point home within this great read on Aaron Hill.”

And the other (and proving that the stages don’t necessarily go in order, it was posted before the anger post linked above) is just a great read.

So what’s the point of all this?

Nothing really. Just something I noticed. Personally, I’m ready to move on. Doc’s a great pitcher and we’re lucky to have had him here for as long as we have. But if he’s going to test free agency after 2010, as J.P. has said (see MLBastian’s twitter if you missed that), then Doc’s got to be moved for the best package that can be had. The team can’t afford to let him walk with nothing but draft picks in return.

So tonight I’m going re-read Mop Up Duty’s excellent post on Roy Halladay’s career, then I’m going to go down to the Rogers Centre and cheer for Roy Halladay as best I can. And when he leaves the game, whether it’s after a complete game win or being yanked in the first without getting an out, I’m going to give him the standing ovation he deserves. It may be the last chance I have and I don’t want to miss out on doing the little bit that I can to let him know that I appreciate what he’s done for this team.


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High five! Baseball’s back!


There’s slush falling from the sky here in Toronto, so you can be forgiven if you’re a little confused about the date. But make no mistake, baseball is back!

I suppose it was technically back yesterday when the Braves beat the Phillies, but the Jays open things up today and that’s all that’s really important.

I know a lot of Jays fans have already written the team off for the season. Competing in the AL East, facing the Red Sox, Yankees and Rays so many times — and having to finish ahead of at least two of those teams in the standings just to even consider a playoff spot — does seem daunting. But you shouldn’t forsake these guys just yet.

How many people expected anything good out of the ’07 Rockies or the ’06 Cardinals?

But, you’d say, those teams are from that wacky National League and in weak divisions at that, so surely the Jays can’t repeat their successes?

Fair enough, I’d respond, but don’t forget that one of the teams the Jays are now chasing was a complete sad sack that nothing was expected of until last season. The Rays came from nowhere to win the AL East and the AL pennant.

How’d Tampa do it? By playing a bunch of unproven kids. What are the Jays doing this year?


I’m not saying to expect a pennant, not this year anyway, I’m just saying that the kids deserve a bit of a chance before they’re written off completely.

Opening day lineup (as tweeted by MLBastian):

Scutaro, SS
Hill, 2B
Rios, RF
Wells, CF
Lind, DH
Rolen, 3B
Overbay, 1B
Barajas, C
Snider, LF

Halladay, SP

Further reading:

If you’re planning on attending the game tonight, the Drunks’ guide to the 2009 home opener is a must read.

The Tao makes nice comparisons between this year’s group of kids and those who began the dynasty back in ’84.

Ghostrunner on First pencils in an alternate opening day lineup that, even if I wouldn’t hit Snider cleanup just yet, I do think might be a little better than the official lineup.

The White Sox home opener tonight is postponed because of snow. The Red Sox opener is postponed because of rain. There’s always a day off after starting the season. Bart Given, former Jays’ assistant GM, explains scheduling oddities at his excellent blog, Inside The Majors.

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