Posts Tagged ‘BJ Ryan’

And the hits just keep on coming for the Blue Jays

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

It shouldn’t come as a big surprise to those of you who visit this space regularly that the Blue Jays are off to a 6-2 start this season and sit in first place in the AL East Standings.

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Jays’ kids shine in comeback victory
The most obvious difference in the surprising Blue Jays and their league-leading offence this April comes down to two guys that weren’t even on the roster last April. Travis Snider, 21, began the year at Dunedin, while Adam Lind, 25, had been exiled to Triple-A Syracuse.

Last night Snider, the rookie left fielder, smashed a pair of tape-measure home runs to right field, and Lind, who has 12 RBIs in the first eight games, chipped in with a pair of doubles, leading the way to an 8-6 win at the Metrodome in front of 16,410 fans, moving the Jays’ division-leading record to 6-2.

Snider capped off a late-inning rally, rebounding from a four-run deficit, by crushing a two-run homer through an open exit in the upper deck in right field. It was his second homer of the game and his third of the season. The first was a line drive off the concrete façade in the same area of the upper deck that got out in a hurry.

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After pounding out 19 hits, including 3 doubles [Lind/2 & Barajas] and 3 more home runs [Snider/2 & Overbay], the Jays now lead the major leagues in Batting Average, Hits, Doubles [tied], Runs Scored and Overall W’s … despite having just 1 reliable Starting Pitcher on their active roster, at the moment, and a wonky Bullpen, anchored by their still struggling Closer.

If the team can somehow get a second consecutive solid start today out of rookie pitcher, Ricky Romero [LH], and then maintain their live bats on Wednesday, with almost-rookie pitcher Scott Richmond [RH] on the mound, there is every possibility that Toronto might just get to Thursday with their ace on the hill against the Twins’ top dog, Francisco Liriano [RH] – who is off to a slow start himself thi season - and have the chance to establish themselves early-on as a legitimate contender for at least a Wild Card spot this year in AL.

Considering the list of injuries which the Jays have sustained to their staff of young quality starting pitchers during the past 12 months alone … i.e. Casey Janssen, Dustin McGowan, Shawn Marcum and yesterday Jesse Litsch … it would simply be a remarkable achievement if they could somehome manage to contend this year for a spot in the AL Playoff race, on the strength of their coaching, hitting prowess and the singular arm of their pitching ace.

Have stranger things happened at different times over the course of MLB history?

e.g. Like the refreshing initial appearance of this once young man on the mound for the Detroit Tigers in the glorius summer of 1976.

You bet they have.

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R.I.P. Mark “The Bird” Fidrych … you were one of a kind. :-)

Tale of the Third Little Pig

Monday, February 9th, 2009

A-Rod allegations: This is baseball’s worst nightmare
[Part I: On telling fibs to Agents of the US Federal Gov't]
It’s not surprising the game’s highest-paid player would try to skirt the system in 2003. What was more surprising out of the SI report was the suggestion that Gene Orza, the players unions No. 2 man, may have tipped off Rodriguez about tests. If it was done once, why not twice? The Major League Baseball Players Association should never be in the position to play sheriff, but it damned straight ought not to be an abettor, either.

The allegations surrounding Rodriguez won’t kill baseball. In the end, it will be part of the price fans pay, like overpriced watered-down beer and lousy hot dogs. But make no mistake: This is the single most devastating development for the game since this whole process of self-analysis and self-flagellation started …

[Part II: Garbage Time]
Much ado last week about Stephen A. Smith’s shot across the Toronto Raptors bow. Three things stand out: One, despite never having met Smith but having had the misfortune to hear his overwrought, self-important spittle, he is not exactly someone whose information I’d take to the bank. Two, Chris Bosh is way too smart to discuss his plans with anybody who’d leak it to a dolt. Three, having said all that, why the hell would you want to stay with the Raptors if you were Bosh?

[Part III: Monday 2 Monday ... or, The need for Higher, Stronger, Faster]
Truth is, [Lyndon] Rush has a dream: to keep up with the Minins, as in Latvian Janis Minins, the gold medalist in Saturday’s four-man sled.

“That’s the kind I’d like to buy,” Rush said. “It’s way, way fast. I tested it in Germany and it’s automatically five-tenths of a second faster. What I have is a standard sled. There’s a company in Germany called Dresden and they cookie-cut sleds. You’ll see guys buy those, and then start doing things to them. They know how to do little tricks and stuff. Me? I’m clueless. After four years I know how to do little things to make the sled how I like it, but I don’t know how to make it fast. There’s after-market companies that take your sled and supe it up. But that custom kind of work is expensive. What I have is a stock sled. I want a suped up sled.”

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The need to be suped up in some way is one of the problems plaguing our society today … whether it be in Major League Baseball, the NHL, the NBA, the NFL, Formula One, NASCAR, Bobsled Racing, or just everyday life … rather than having earned one’s own way to the top of the podium, gradually, over time, with authentic blood, sweat & tears.

This corner, on the other hand, much prefers a different course of action … which builds [a home, or business, or otherwise] brick by brick, board by board.

The 3rd Little Pig's house made of bricks