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Old Posted Apr 22, 2019, 5:41 PM
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Baseball in Canada

It's been a while since we've had a dedicated place to discuss baseball, so I thought I'd fire off a thread. I did a search and there have been a couple MLB-focused threads in previous years, but I wanted to leave the topic open so that while most of the chatter will likely be Jays-related, there's also room for the speculation around a team returning to Montreal, discussion about minor league teams and prospects, the development of the sport in general, etc.

I was fairly dismissive of baseball growing up, but developed an interest in the game back in 2015 when I had some time on my hands recovering from an illness. Of course, that happened to coincide with the Jays' big bandwagon year and playoff run. I've been hooked ever since. Might even be able to make it to a game at Rogers Centre later this year.

The Jays seem to be finding their stride on the heels of this most recent road trip. Bad news concerning Shoemaker, however, who will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL. Hopefully the rotation can continue their good work in spite of this setback.

Will be strange to see Pillar in a Giants uniform Tuesday night.
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Old Posted Apr 22, 2019, 6:29 PM
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Sounds like Vlad might be up by the end of the week.
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Old Posted Apr 25, 2019, 11:39 PM
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Yup, turns out Vlad will make his debut tomorrow night. Will be interesting to see how he adjusts to the big leagues.

A couple disappointing games against the Giants - apart from the Tellez grand slam on Tuesday, they seemed to be slipping back into their early season offensive troubles. Hopefully they can get good results against the A's again, having just swept them last weekend.
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Old Posted Apr 25, 2019, 11:48 PM
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Going to the game on Saturday. This season is a write-off, I just want to watch Vladdy hit 40 bombs.
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Old Posted Apr 26, 2019, 3:40 PM
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Going to the game on Saturday. This season is a write-off, I just want to watch Vladdy hit 40 bombs.
I doubt the Jays go anywhere this year and Tampa is looking like the favourite to win the East. Having said that, if their pitching holds together (which it probably won't) they could keep themselves in the wildcard race, especially if Vladdy goes off for 40HR.

What gets me about MLB right now is this weird catch-22 when it comes to power hitters. They hit free agency and nobody wants them, ala Chris Carter after leading the NL in homeruns, because of high strikeout rates. But then we see across the majors that teams are focused on launch angle and bat speed and signing players with those 2 attributes hoping they will amount to power hitters (ie: Randal Grichuk) despite lacking the production of a guy like Chris Carter, all the while striking out just as much, rarely getting on base, and sporting awful batting lines that would have them cut in any other era, again, like Grichuk's .217 average.

Ahh, the era of analytics.
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Old Posted Apr 26, 2019, 9:34 PM
blueandgoldguy blueandgoldguy is offline
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I doubt the Jays go anywhere this year and Tampa is looking like the favourite to win the East. Having said that, if their pitching holds together (which it probably won't) they could keep themselves in the wildcard race, especially if Vladdy goes off for 40HR.

What gets me about MLB right now is this weird catch-22 when it comes to power hitters. They hit free agency and nobody wants them, ala Chris Carter after leading the NL in homeruns, because of high strikeout rates. But then we see across the majors that teams are focused on launch angle and bat speed and signing players with those 2 attributes hoping they will amount to power hitters (ie: Randal Grichuk) despite lacking the production of a guy like Chris Carter, all the while striking out just as much, rarely getting on base, and sporting awful batting lines that would have them cut in any other era, again, like Grichuk's .217 average.

Ahh, the era of analytics.
The previous eras had it wrong just focusing on average. It's far better to focus on on-base-percentage. Walks are just as valuable as hits - both get the batter on-base.

Chris Carter had 41 HRs in 2016, but his OBP was .321 while his slugging % was a respectable though not great .499 and OPS was .821. That's pretty mediocre for a first baseman/DH when compared to other players around the league playing the same position. Carter also had a whopping 0.9 WAR that season which shows he didn't carry much value. Teams were right not to sign him to a big contract as his following season was brutal and now he is nowhere to be found.

I don't agree with the Grichuk signing as he has produced mediocre numbers for most of this career (below .800 OPS, barely .300 OBP). I doubt he will put it altogether on a consistent basis. Meh signing by Shatkins but that seems to be par for the course for them based on their time in Cleveland - sign Grade B players to these types of "value contracts" who have put up mostly middling numbers throughout their careers with the hope they will breakout.
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Old Posted Apr 27, 2019, 2:18 AM
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Entertaining game for Vlad's debut. He might not have hit it out of the ballpark tonight but his first major league hit came at a clutch moment and I was glad to see it happened in his first game. Overall I thought his outing was good, making a couple defensive plays from third and making contact all of his at-bats. Looking forward to seeing many more great at-bats from Vladdy.

The Jays might not end up being a contender this year but I do find them fun to watch, and they have a lot of players worth following, both on the roster now and in their minor league system.
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Old Posted Apr 27, 2019, 2:40 AM
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In BP his first HR blasted some poor lady in the face while she was standing in 2nd deck center field. Wasn't paying attention.

I recall being at BP once as a kid sitting in the 5th deck and IIRC Kirby Puckett launched a ball that bounced off the seat about three away from me.

And in 2010 I was at the opener and waiting for my group of British friends on work visas who had never been to ball game. They would be sitting right behind us in LF 2nd deck. And I said it would be a cool story if you got a ball at BP. They were a few minutes late and just before they arrive one of the Red Sox players hits a line drive missile that makes a direct hit on the seat two over just behind me, which is where one of the girls would be sitting. It could have been horrific.

I was busy dealing with sunflower seeds and since I've caught two foul balls in my life, with the second one spraining my finger, I didn't feel the need to try and catch it.
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Old Posted Apr 27, 2019, 2:52 AM
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Jealous. Never came close to catching a ball. I only had one in reach two rows away. Alas, there were kids seated in front of me so I chose not to go for it.
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Old Posted Apr 27, 2019, 3:39 PM
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I grabbed seats in the second deck, middle of left field for optimal chance at grabbing Vlad Jr.'s first home run today.
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Old Posted Apr 29, 2019, 1:48 AM
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Quite the game this afternoon, the wheels really fell off in the top of the 11th but somehow they rallied in the bottom half for the win.

Unfortunately the Jays will be in Anaheim during my trip to a conference in the GTA this week - I would have definitely picked up a ticket if they'd been playing at home. However, their schedule lines up better for my next planned visit in September. Can't wait!
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Old Posted May 27, 2019, 1:13 AM
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Pretty inconsistent performances from the Jays lately. Blown out 19-4 yesterday and then a 10-1 win this afternoon. Impressive first HR for Biggio, into the 400 level. When the bats are alive this is a fun team to watch - when they're not, it can be excruciating.

In non-MLB news, I've decided to start following the baseball scene in my neck of the woods: the New Brunswick Senior Baseball League. Went to a Saint John Alpines game on a chilly Thursday night at Memorial Field on the West Side of Saint John for my first live game.



Memorial Field really isn't much more than a field. Bleachers to seat a few hundred, a clubhouse, canteen, hot dog cart, and electronic scoreboard/loudspeakers that look to be several decades old. Great atmosphere though, and I thought the quality of baseball on display was quite good. The Alpines were headlined by starting pitcher Andrew Case, a SJ native who has spent time in the Blue Jays' farm system, and he put on a great performance. The Alpines started things off with a 2-run HR in the bottom of the 1st and they held on to defeat the Fredericton Royals 4-2.

I'll definitely be attending more games, though the weather could stand to warm up a bit!
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  #13  
Old Posted Jun 20, 2019, 5:42 PM
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Woahhhh .....

https://mobile.twitter.com/JeffPassa...61834434871297

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BREAKING: The Tampa Bay Rays have received MLB's permission to explore becoming two-city team: the Tampa Bay area and Montreal, sources tell ESPN. The plan: Play early-season home games in the Tampa Bay area and finish the season in Montreal.
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Old Posted Jun 20, 2019, 6:12 PM
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Pffft....

The real money's in Vegas.

Just need the state of Nevada to build you an indoor ballpark and you're set.

Methinks this is a bargaining technique to get somewhere in the Tampa area to pony up for a new baseball stadium.
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Old Posted Jun 20, 2019, 6:35 PM
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What a dumb idea.

Two cities for the year.

I'm sure the players LOVE this idea too. Not.
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Old Posted Jun 20, 2019, 7:33 PM
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Apparently it can't be implemented until 2023.

Both cities would get new baseball stadiums.

So... it's easier to get a new stadium built for a part-time team that plays 40 games a year in your city than it is for a full time team that's completely yours and plays 80 games a year there?
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Old Posted Jun 20, 2019, 7:38 PM
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Going to the game on Saturday. This season is a write-off, I just want to watch Vladdy hit 40 bombs.


Still so much baseball to go. But I'm not holding my breath this season.
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Old Posted Jun 20, 2019, 8:03 PM
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Apparently it can't be implemented until 2023.

Both cities would get new baseball stadiums.

So... it's easier to get a new stadium built for a part-time team that plays 40 games a year in your city than it is for a full time team that's completely yours and plays 80 games a year there?
It is easier to get a new stadium when you're edging towards the door.

"Look, I'm leaving."
*dramatic flail*
"Look at me, I'm inching closer to the door to go away now"
*inches closer to the exit*
"Loooookkkkiiitt meeee!!"

I suspect the continued resistance to building a new stadium in the Tampa area (there have been several failed initiatives in the 2000s) is the drive for this.
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Old Posted Jun 20, 2019, 9:28 PM
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That sounds like a really lame idea that won't conceivably fly. So many issues with it.
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Old Posted Jun 20, 2019, 9:41 PM
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They might as well just add a few seats to the Yankees minor league stadium across the road from the Bucs football stadium. It already seats 11,000. Not sure how many more people they think they will draw if they are basically turning the Rays into an extended spring training team for the Montreal playoff drive.

I would love to see baseball back in Montreal, and the Rays are as a good a team as any (and an AL East rival for the Jays would be beneficial to both teams), but this idea is about the dumbest I have heard. Just move permanently. Tampa and their papered house 14,000 a game don't care.
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