Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Phil-Proof


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When they needed to most, the Tampa Bay Rays couldn't even touch Brad Lidge. But that's okay, because neither could any other team this year. Lidge completed the perfect season, going an unprecidented 48 for 48 in save opportunities in 2008, including the regular and post season. I would definitely say that's more impressive than racking up 62 saves in one regular season.

Congratulations to the 2008 World Series Champions, the Philadelphia Phillies. I have to say, that was probably the most exciting 3 innings of post season baseball I've seen in a long time. Give the Rays credit though for battling back each time, and even Ghostrunner's favourite boner-inducing player Rocco Baldelli got in the action. It was fitting that Eric Hinske that has the stain on his career of being the final out in the 2008 World Series.

So Matt Stairs gets his World Series Ring, Pat Gillick wins another title, and Philadelphia ends their 28 year long professional sports title drought. Sounds like everyone wins ... except for the Rays. Better luck next year I guess!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Blue Jays Halloween Costume Ideas


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Next to St. Patrick's Day, Halloween is one of the funnest holidays for adults. It's an excuse for women to dress slutty and get away with it, and an excuse for men to drink to excess, be belligerent, and also dress slutty and get away with it. So instead of the boring witch, pirate, or vampire costumes for Halloween, why not try out these creative costume ideas inspired by the Toronto Blue Jays?

Tom Henke

The key to this costume is the coke bottle glasses - you’ll basically look like Bubbles from the Trailer Park Boys in the Toronto Blue Jays jersey. Add a leather jacket for effect to look more like The Terminator and the costume is complete.




Dustin McGowan

Basically just grow out those sideburns. I know, I can't believe there's actually a video telling you how to grow sideburns. Be careful to not get too carried away, you don’t want to sport a chin strap. We're going for the mutton-chops look here.


Paul Beeston

Since Beeston is back, you can gallivant this Halloween as the Toronto Blue Jays President. Get those old-school aviators with the rose-tinted lenses, strap on a suit, but don't wear socks. Then walk into the offices at the Rogers Centre and see if anyone notices the difference.



Eric Hinske

This one is very easy; sit on the bench all night and watch as other members of your team are far more successful than you.







Shea Hillenbrand

After his claims that the Jays were a sinking ship, it’s fitting that this costume should involve the Titanic. Get in your Jays getup, and attach a cardboard boat to yourself.





Matt Stairs

Bring a bat and hockey stick, drape a Canadian flag over your back and become the Canadian version of Casey Jones from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Men with a receding hairline have an advantage here.



Take a quick moment and vote on which Blue Jays costume idea is your favourite over on the side, or feel free to comment and add any other suggestions you might have. Happy Halloween to all!

Rain Ruins Everything


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For a while there, it looked like the Philadelphia Phillies were going to win the World Series tonight. Then when the rain started, it looked like the Phillies might win the World Series on a technicality. Thankfully, it didn't come to that - but tonight's Game 5 of the World Series was a wash ... in more ways than one.

Although I don't fully understand the official rules for rain delays in the MLB, it was clear that a lot of things went wrong tonight. I don't think it was wrong to start the game tonight with rain in the forecast, but I do think it was wrong to continue the game into the 6th inning of a torrential downpour. It wasn't really fair to the Phillies, as the Rays tied the game in the 6th on a weather-induced Jimmy Rollins error.

So now we wait for the completion of Game 5, which at this point is yet to be scheduled. I guess depending on the forecast, things should resume tomorrow night at 8pm (weather permitting of course). But can you imagine if the Phillies were still in the lead when the game was called, and they would celebrate their World Series win after only 5 innings? Although I'm sure the city of Philadelphia would take it, they would probably prefer to win the World Series in the proper fashion.

This is just another hole in Bud Selig's "revised rules" that changed just a few years ago. I sometimes wonder if they even consider the actual scenarios that could happen when they write these things up. Ultimately, he's the commissioner and if he wants to suspend a baseball game, he should do so at the proper time instead of looking for a way to get around it.

Oh, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but apparently the weather forecast in Philly is even worse for tomorrow. So maybe we'll see this turn into November Baseball.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Weekend Roundup


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Now the Phillies are just one win away from winning the World Series, and so begins my countdown to the winter baseball drought. Damn, I don't want this season to end!

Last week, the Jays bid adieu to one half of Mencherson, designating Kevin Mench for assignment to make room for Brian Bullington - a former number one draft pick in the 2002 draft (yes, the same 2002 draft where the Blue Jays drafted Russ Adams). Also the same draft that the New York Mets took Scott Kazmir, but traded him for Victor Zambrano and Bartolomé Fortunato. But of course, we don't need to remind Mets fans about that bone-headed move.

After letting go of Matt Stairs, the Blue Jays upped their Canadian Content and added Adam Loewen to the team. He's a former pitcher looking to pull a Rick Ankiel and switch to either first base or the outfield. The Drunk Jays Fans actually picked up a great story about how a blogger from Baltimore listing all the things he would do if Loewen was actually traded. Well, aren't we feeling a little regretful? I couldn't help but notice that in the photo to the left, Loewen looks very B.J. Ryan-esque.

Apparently Paul Beeston, J.P. Ricciardi, A.J. Burnett and his agent had a good old-fashioned round table discussion about A.J.'s future with the team. It sounds like one of those instances where your boss calls you into the office, and you're expecting to get a raise only to find out your ass is being thrown out the door. All parties are being fairly tight lipped right now, but it seems like there's possibly an offer with around 14-15 million a year for A.J. but for no longer than 3 years. The more and more I think about it, I don't think the Jays should resign A.J. Right now things seem pretty desperate for the starting pitching, and Burnett's agent probably senses that - which is why they will no doubt reject any offer that Beeston/Ricciardi offer them.

Back to the World Series, unfortunately my quote was not featured in the Wall Street Journal article I mentioned earlier this week, but I urge you to check it out nonetheless. WSJ reporter Ashby Jones even got a chance to talk to former Jay Matt Stairs about his thoughts on the Happy Heckler.

I just realized that the baseball drought this winter might not be so bad. I remembered that there's the World Baseball Classic in March to keep us occupied. The Tourney begins on March 5th in Toyko, with games scheduled at the Rogers Centre for March 5th-12th. I guess the only Canadian representative on the team will probably be Scott Richmond. Or will people complain about him missing a chance to represent his country to play in the big leagues AGAIN? If so, maybe Matty Stairs can inspire some greatness in the Canadian team by showing off his soon-to-be World Series ring!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy 15th Anniversary !


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To many Philadelphia Phillies fans it’s the blown save that still haunts them to this day; but to Toronto Blue Jays fans it’s heralded as one of the greatest moments in franchise history.

As noted by Rogers Sportsnet, today is the 15th Anniversary of Joe Carter’s momentous World Series-winning homerun on October 23rd, 1993. That was arguably the peak of Toronto Blue Jays’ success, and after that moment every bandwagon fan jumped on board.

Every time a “casual baseball fan” talks to me about the Blue Jays, they always say “I loved them back in ’92 and ’93 when they won the back to back World Series”. Well of course everybody loved them back then - that’s because they were the best team in baseball! But true fans have stuck with the team through thick and thinmoustaches.

Going back to “Wild Thing” Mitch Williams, surprisingly he hasn’t jumped off a bridge since serving that meatball to Joe Carter - in fact, if you’re wondering what he’s up to these days, you can check out the feature post I did earlier this season.

Nonetheless, let’s celebrate this day and relive the memories of that sweet, sweet October night. In fact I just might pull out the 1993 World Series VHS I have, and re-watch it and weep with tears of joy. Or if you prefer, click on the link below and listen to Tom Cheek's famous play-by-play call.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Happy Heckler - Revisited


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Starting tonight, the baseball world will be front and centre in St. Petersburg, Florida. But unlike last season, the cries of the Happy Heckler will probably go silent. That's because instead of the usual 15,000 fans at Tropicana Field, there will be over 40,000 Rays fans to go along with the Happy Heckler.

Last September, I did a post about Rob Szasz - better know at Tropicana Field as The Happy Heckler. I'm sure you've either seen or probably heard him during a Tampa Bay Rays game. He sits behind home plate at most Rays games, and heckles opposing players to no end.

Obviously with the Rays in the World Series this season, much more attention is being paid to the Tampa Bay Rays - and that also includes their famous fans like Rob Szasz. So much in fact, that I was very pleasantly surprised to be interviewed by the Wall Street Journal as a Jays Fan about my thoughts on the Happy Heckler. Hopefully my interview will be published in this Friday's publication - I'll keep you posted.

So after doing a little bit of digging, apparently The Happy Heckler is a native of Toronto and actually went to many Blue Jays games as a young boy. So in a weird way, we can thank the Toronto Blue Jays for the birth of one of baseball's most infamous hecklers.
Although the cowbells might drown out the taunts of the Happy Heckler, Rob Szasz will continue his heckling at Tropicana Field. But I'm thinking that maybe we should invite him up to Toronto for a Jays/Rays game at the Rogers Centre next season. I'm sure he'd have a grand old time after we have a couple of $9.50 tallboys.

Monday, October 20, 2008

It’s Always Sunny in St. Petersburg


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Although the Philadelphia Phillies already punched their ticket to the World Series, for now the spotlight is shifting to the Tampa Bay Rays. After disposing of the Big Bad Red Sox, everyone in St. Petersburg Florida is beaming from ear to ear.

Nay-sayers, doubters, skeptics and odds-makers are all eating their words that the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays could not make it to the World Series. I myself am included.

Matt Garza was at his best last night; and much like he stifled the Blue Jays bats all season long, Garza held the Red Sox to just 1 run all night. Although he was a little inconsistent throughout the season, when Matt Garza is on, he fires on all cylinders. It just so happens that Game 7 of the ALCS was his night to kick it into overdrive.

But I have to give credit to the Boston Red Sox for coming back to push the series to a Game 7. Tampa Bay had the champagne on ice and the clubhouse covered in dropsheets before the Red Sox came back. But I just find it an absolute joke that Red Sox Captain Jason Varitek is still wearing his “C” after batting .053 in the ALCS. Their precious “leader” had one single hit in the whole series; talk about over-rated. Maybe that “C” on his jersey stands for “Can’t even hit a beachball in the postseason”.

So congratulations to all the members of the Tampa Bay Rays, except for one - Eric Hinske. Can you believe this guy might possibly win back-to-back World Series rings as a benchwarmer? Unlike postseason hero Matt Stairs, Shitske does absolutely nothing to better the Rays. He just floats from team to team picking up as much hardware as he possibly can, making himself appear as a better player than he actually is.

The World Series starts Wednesday, and it should be one for the ages - go Rays/Stairsy!


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Game 7 Showdown


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Give the Boston Red Sox one inch, and they will take a mile. Now, they're going the distance to the World Series.

The turning point came in the 7th inning of Game 5 of the ALCS. Once Terry Francona put Jonathan Papelbon in the game early, that was the signal that he was going to stop the bleeding and that the Boston Red Sox would turn things around. And they did.

Now it's the Red Sox that have all the momentum going into Game 7. If anything, these 2008 MLB playoffs have lacked a little excitement. But thanks to this ALCS, things are no longer so lopsided.

If recent history plays true, the long ball will play a big part in tonight's game. B.J. Upton already has a record-tying 7 homeruns in this series - that's just 2 less than he hit all season long. Jason Varitek contributed an extremely rare clutch at bat in game 6 with a game-tying HR in the 6th. Can you believe this is the same guy that hit .220 all year long? He might as well enjoy it, because guys like Varitek and Matt Stairs don't usually get much attention for their offensive contributions.

There is almost no doubt that the Red Sox will come back and complete the upset. In fact, they've done it twice in the past 5 years - with their backs up against the walls, the Sawks have fought off elimination time and time again. So who's to say it won't happen again tonight?

Friday, October 17, 2008

TGIF Notes


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Thank god it's f*cking Friday! Wow that week in baseball went by very slowly, but luckily there is still some ball left to play, and we won't be in limbo for a week as we wait for the World Series.

Give credit to the Red Sox, they never give up. Last year they came back from being down 3-1 in the ALCS, and it looks like they're about to do it again. A team that can over come a 7-0 lead and win it in the bottom of the 9th definitely deserves to move onto the World Series.

In other notes, I've fixed the 2008 Year in Review post and now all the audio clips are working. Apparently there were some bandwidth issues, but for now things seem to be working. So have a listen below, and let me know what you think!

Also, check out what I picked up at Value Village for just a mere $3.00! A 1992 Toronto Blue Jays team picture:

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Manny = Success


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Although Manny Ramirez and the Los Angeles Dodgers were left standing in the dust as the Philadelphia Phillies celebrated their World Series berth, Manny can rest assured that he makes teams better.

I saw an interesting piece during the game tonight showing how success seems to follow Manny wherever he goes. In his years with the Cleveland Indians (1993-2000), they scored 5 consecutive division titles. In his years with the Boston Red Sox (2001-2008), Manny helped the Red Sox to 2 World Series titles. Now in his short tenure so far in Los Angeles, Manny has guided the Dodgers to the NLCS.

So the formula seems very simple: Manny = Success.

Paul Beeston, make sure you get on J.P.'s ass and tell him to get Scott Boras on the phone and start making this thing happen. We need to bring Manny Ramirez to Toronto for the 2009 season.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Beeston knocks our socks off


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The world through the eyes of the Toronto Blue Jays has become rose-coloured once again.

Did anyone else know that Paul Beeston doesn't like wearing socks? Apparently Beeston also isn't a fan of the word "interim". But for the meantime, Beeston will be the interim CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays as the club looks to find a successor to Paul Godfrey.

Much like the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Jays are looking to past presidents to bring some front-office stability back to the club. Beeston reassured the media that this is only a temporary solution, but Cliff Fletcher also did the same thing with the Maple Leafs - and to date he is still the General Manager.

I agree with the Tao of Stieb that there is a possible conspiracy to bring back every member of the Level of Excellence to have some involvement with the club. Can you imagine Joe Carter as the future hitting coach for the Toronto Blue Jays? I think they may be onto something here ...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

2008 Blue Jays Year in Review


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As promised, here is my 2008 Blue Jays Year in Review. It's broken up into 6 segments, so I hope you have a listen and enjoy reflecting on the season that was!


Segment 1: Review of April-May
Segment 2: Review of June-All Star Break

Segment 3: Interview with Tim Dierkes of MLBTradeRumors.com Segment 4: All Star Break-August Segment 5: Interview with Mike Wilner from FAN590 Segment 6: Review of September

Who wants a Red Sox/Dodgers World Series?


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There is almost as much demand for a Red Sox & Dodgers World Series as there was for the Olsen Twins to turn 18. While the story of the 2008 regular season may have been Tampa Bay Rays, the World Series that everyone now wants to see is Manny vs. The Massholes.

Out of all the potential World Series match ups that could happen, this is probably the most interesting. Manny Ramirez the “cancer in the locker room” comes back to haunt his old team - yes the media would certainly have a shitstorm with the prospect of that situation.

On Jeremy Accardo's latest blog, he also talks about how he hopes it will be a Sox/Dodgers World Series. I personally am still standing by my Red Sox/Phillies prediction, but also agree that the ratings for a Red Sox/Dodgers World Series would be through the roof. After some lackluster Division Series, let's hope the League Championship Series are a little less yawn-worthy.

And just in case you're wondering what a Red Sox/Dodgers World Series might sound like, have a listen to my attempt at what might be the worst Boston accent EVER.



Sunday, October 5, 2008

2008 Blue Jays Year in Review - Coming This Friday


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Although we may be living vicariously through other teams in the playoffs, Toronto Blue Jays fans are reliving the memories from this past season (myself included).

This Friday at 9am EST, yours truly hosts the 2008 Blue Jays Year in Review online at Country1039.com. For those interested you can stream the broadcast live, or I will be posting the show segments later this week on the blog.

I'll basically be recapping the season from start to finish with lots of highlights from 2008. There will also be interviews with Mike Wilner from the Fan590 and Tim Dierkes from MLBTradeRumors.com.
It would be great if you guys could have a listen - I hope you all enjoy it!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Everybody's Up 2-0


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Well, if you were looking for exciting playoff series, maybe you should check out a thrilling rock-paper-sciccsors tournament. Because all of the division series are currently 2-0.

By no means are any of the series OVER, but digging yourself out of an 0-2 hole is no easy feat. At least for the White Sox and Brewers they are returning home for games 3 and 4 of their series, but for the Cubbies and Angels they going on the road after losing 2 straight at home.

Things are pretty much going down how I expected. The only shocker is that the Cubbies are down 0-2, but after talking to Tim Dierkes of MLBTradeRumors.com on Monday, he knew that the Dodgers would be a big hurdle for the Cubs. In the history of 5 game series in the MLB, there have been 7 teams that have overcome an 0-2 deficit to win the series.

Speaking of MLB Trade Rumors, Tim just recently did a really great article on the off season outlook for the Jays. It shows where money is tied up and suggests a few players that the team can afford to look at for 2009.

In Blue Jays news, B.J. Ryan has been nominated for DHL Delivery Man of the Year Award. He is up against the likes of Mariano Rivera, Francisco Rodriguez, Brad Lidge, and Joe Nathan. There is some pretty heavy competition, so make sure you vote for the fist pump and give B.J. a chance to win the Delivery Man of the Year Award!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Toronto Wants to get in on the Manny Show


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Who doesn't watch Manny Ramirez light it up in Los Angeles, and wonder what he could do the same for Toronto? Arguably, he was the best offensive player in the NL in the second half, and now it looks like his team will be on their way to the NLCS unless the Chicago Cubs can pull a rabbit out of their hat and win the next three.

Your votes on the Blue Jay Hunter poll basically solidified what everyone already knew: the Toronto Blue Jays need Manny Ramirez in their lineup next year. Manny took 57 % percent of the vote for "Which free agent would you like to see in a Blue Jays uniform in '09". Coming in second was Jim Thome with 23 percent of the vote. After talking to Tim Dierkes of MLBTradeRumors.com, he notified me that Thome apparently met his atbat requirement for 2009 or something, so he will not be a free agent next year. So that leaves us with Derek Lowe at 15 percent of the vote, and Jason Giambi at 3 percent.

Obviously it would be a wet dream come true if Manny were to come to Toronto next year, but the further the Dodgers go in the playoffs, the more money Manny will likely make next year. Which means Toronto will likely be out of the running against team with higher payrolls. But I see this as a great opportunity to pick up Derek Lowe, who was absolutely stellar against the Cubbies.

Either way, the Jays need to pick up one of those Dodgers in the offseason - especially if Burnett walks. Besides, the Manny show would fight right here in Toronto. Season premiere next April anyone?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I'm Accidentally a White Sox Fan


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As a Blue Jays fan, I hate to say this ... but only by accident, I am a Chicago White Sox Fan. So how the hell do you "accidentally" become a White Sox Fan? Let me explain ...

For the past few years, my father has gone to these annual courses in Chicago. He knows I'm a baseball fan, so he always asks what kind of hat I would like. 2 years ago, I asked for a Cubbies hat, and he returned with a White Sox hat. I'm sure it's very easy to confuse the north side with the south side of Chicago, but at the time I was hoping for a Chicago Cubs hat. At the time it was probably cooler to be a White Sox fan, since they had just won the World Series the previous season.

So the next year, my father came back with a Chicago White Sox sign, and I added it to my collection of White Sox merchandise.

The kicker of it all, is that he just recently returned from a trip in Seattle, and I specifically said "Do not bring me back a Seattle Mariners hat because the team sucks". He must have thought I was kidding, because here's what I just brought back home tonight.

Oh well, at least all I have to do is collect 26 more team caps and I'll have them all. So I guess ... go White Sox?

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