Inching towards mediocrity.


The Red Sox are very sore losers. (Now with 62% more bitchin’ about Boston!)

(Edit – Sweet gravy Jesus! Halladay nailed David Ortiz in the second inning! I did NOT think the Doc had it in him! Way to go, Roy!)

Well.

Excellent game last night. The Jays offense was on fire (as it has been for most of September – I like to pretend it’s June!) and they continued to take their newfound role of Wild Card spoiler very seriously. Unfortunately, thanks to the Texas Rangers losing to the Angels last night, it was all for not.

Still, it was nice to see the Jays finally beat the Sox at Fenway this year (twice in a row, no less!), and they did it in impeccable style. (Stylish up until the bullpen almost blew the game in the eighth, allowing the Sox to rally to a 8-7 deficit.) Toronto now leads the American League in home runs this month, and they made sure to add to that tally tonight. The Jays knocked it out of the park six times – Jose Bautista, Kevin Millar and Aaron Hill all went yard, with the ever reliable Adam Lind adding three (count them! Three!) of his own, a career best for him.

Lind’s incredible achievement was short lived though, when in the ninth inning the Red Sox once again proved to be one of the dirtiest and cheapest teams in the MLB – sore losers who act out and throw temper tantrums when things don’t go their way, and when they find out that they ain’t all that. After retiring Bautista and Hill, Boston’s closer Jon Papelbon apparently decided that Adam Lind didn’t deserve his shot at a fourth home run, and proceeded to – on the FIRST PITCH, mind you – launch an inside fastball at Lind, painfully drilling him on his right elbow. Lind dropped to all fours, grimacing in pain, but managed to stay in the game, trotting over to first. Better luck next time, Papelbon!

Vernon Wells hit next, and I wanted nothing more than to see V-Dub drop one over the Green Monster, or better yet, knock a line drive into the front of Papelbon’s skull. Alas, it was not to be, and Vernon predictably popped out. Jason Frasor was closing for the Jays, and managed to not only clean up reliever Shawn Camp’s mess from the eighth inning, but shut down the Sox for good in the bottom of the ninth – ending the game with a strike-out on Red Sox meathead Kevin Youkilis. This allowed rookie Ricky Romero, our starter this evening, to finally pick up his first career win against Boston.

I gotta say though, it’s frustrating to see our guys get hit so much this season. The Red Sox and the Yankees have been particularly nasty with this. It’s dirty, pathetic, and just not good baseball.

Now to be a hippocrite for a second, if I may.

The worst part is, we don’t retaliate! They keep doing it because they keep getting away with it! Papelbon attacks Lind tonight, and we barely even get a hissy fit from our manager, Cito Gaston! Show some passion, Cito! Don’t have a kindly discussion with the umpire…get all up in his face, yo! Sure, maybe you’ll get kicked out, but you’ll rally your team and at least look like you give a damn!

Unfortunately though, like all bullies, the Sox and the Yankees can dish it out but they can’t take it. When we finally did retaliate, as we did in New York a few weeks ago, they throw temper tantrums. And Jesse Carlson didn’t even bean Jorge Posada; he just threw AROUND him, as a warning. And still, the Yankees act as though they’re the ones being mistreated.

Again, I do not condone hitting batters in baseball. Nor do I condone fighting in baseball. But I don’t condone bullying, either, and sometimes you just have to stand up for yourself to get that message through that THIS HAS TO STOP. And this is the perfect time, too. The season is over for us…we have like, what? Four games left? Let the benches clearing brawls begin! Suspensions? Injuries? We’ve got nothing to lose!

But the Red Sox sure do.

Now, while I think it’s totally beneath him and not even remotely in his character, nor his game plan, I gotta say this. You wanna send a message? Tonight, have Roy Halladay knock out one of the Sox (preferably Dustin Pedroia or Youkilis), and then have him just stare them down with that scary laser beam he’s-not-thinking-about-anything-other-than-baseball-at-this-moment-and-that-includes-his-family-or-even-his-own-survival-at-this-or-any-point-within-the-next-nine-innings stare to REALLY drive home the message. Why would a hit from Halladay especially be effective? Because Halladay DOESN’T MISS. If you get beaned by him, you damn well know he meant to do it. And it’s completely unexpected, too, as Halladay has too much respect for the game and the other players to ever lower himself to that level. Which, sadly, is exactly why I DON’T want him to go that route.

But man, would it ever be sweet if he did.

(Or hell…let Roy have his seven innings or whatever, and then get League to drill Veritek or something.)



We coulda been a contender…!

Well.

For a team that’s officially out of contention for any spot in this years playoffs, the Toronto Blue Jays (59-70) certainly looked like contenders last night. The perpetually slumping offense, which has more or less crippled the Jays in the past few months, came alive last night in Arlington – and in a big way. Unfortunately, there always seems to be something amiss with the team, and last night was no exception.

For much of the season, the Jays would enter games with only one thing working for them. On some nights, the pitching would be on fire, the bats quiet. On others, the opposite would take effect, and the offense would be ripping it up, while the pitching staff would be struggling. The outcome, however, remained the same: a big ol’ loss.

Recently, this formula has changed, but not for the better. In the past month or so, both sides of the equation have faltered; the bats have been seemingly silenced for good, and even the ever reliable Roy Halladay (13-8) has struggled on the mound.

Now, the pitching thing I can understand. A series of injuries, ranging from the mundane to the truly bizarre (big toe, Scott Downs? Really?) has crippled the Jays usual starting lineup. If I didn’t know any better, I would assume some form of Gypsy curse was responsible. Whatever the case, the bullpen has had to rely on a lineup of mostly rookie pitchers, who have never thrown in a Major League game. Surprisingly, most have fared pretty well. Not so surprisingly, as we leave August and now enter September, most of them are beginning to falter. And, to add insult to injury, these Young Guns (obligatory Emilio Estevez reference) have forced the more experienced members of the bullpen (and especially Roy Halladay) to shoulder more of the weight. Halladay has thrown a number of complete games this season, and that, combined with the July trade talk head games, have taken it’s toll on the Doc.

I have just noticed, by the way, that I have some how gotten way off track from where I began this post. REEL IT IN, GALASSO.

Who knew you could babble in text?

Anywho, as I was saying:

Last nights game started off swimmingly for Toronto, with the offense leading them to a splendid 11-0 lead against the Texas Rangers. The Rangers, unlike the Jays, ARE a contending team this year for the hallowed halls of October baseball. For whatever reason, though, the Jays have been playing really well against the Rangers all season. And last night was no exception.

Adam Lind, the hero of the game, managed his first ever career grand slam – and managed to bat in four more RBIs in the ninth inning – leading off the inning with a solo shot, and then returning to close the inning with a bases-loaded clearing double. Those eight RBIs were just one short of the team record of nine, a record that’s stood since 1977. Not to shabby, that.

And, not to be outdone, catcher Rod Barajas added two homers of his own – a three run shot in the first inning, and another solo jack in the fifth.

Rookie Brett Cecil (6-3) kept the Rangers at bay for four solid innings of pitching, before seemingly collapsing in the bottom of the 5th, allowing seven runs to cut the Jays lead down to 11-7.

What followed was an epic slugfest between two teams – one who was desperately vying for the AL wild card spot, and another who was desperately trying to finish the season (hopefully) above .500.

The Jays stormed back in the ninth inning, with Lind’s aforementioned homerun and bases clearing double, as well as RBIs from John McDonald and Vernon Wells (who’s triple early in the game, and possible game-saving catch in the seventh inning brought back glorious memories of just what he’s capable of.)

All in all, an 18-10 win was a big boost for the Blue Jays morale, as well as the morale of their disillusioned fanbase. It was also a helluva way to start a four game series agains the Rangers in Arlington. If the Jays can keep their bats hot for the rest of the series, and (fingers crossed!) again against the Yankees later this week in Toronto, they may be able to at least finish an otherwise disappointing season reasonably strong.

The ship may be sinking, but with players like Lind, Barajas, Marco Scutaro and Aaron Hill, at least we’re slowly getting a little bit closer to shore. We’re gonna get wet, but at least we won’t drown.

GalassOUT.