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  #1  
Old Posted May 31, 2012, 10:12 AM
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The Blue Jays thread!

I've actually wondered for a while, there's a 2011-2012 NHL thread, a 2012 CFL thread, even a 2012 MLS thread, but no 2012 MLB or Blue Jays thread?

I know those other leagues have more than one Canadian team, but I've always been under the impression that the Blue Jays have a pretty big country-wide following, even in former Expos territory. I was tempted to make a thread on the main Canada forum but didn't know if it would get many people posting in it, if it would get a lot of non-Toronto forumers just coming in to say "why isn't this in the Toronto section?", or if it would just be filled with a lot of anti-Toronto posts.

They seem to be a much better team than we've seen in the past decade, despite their division being so strong (10/10 "East" teams in both the AL and NL are +.500), and I figured there would be a lot of talk about them this season, even if interest wouldn't have been that big in previous seasons.

So tl;dr, what gives? Should there be a 2012 MLB/Blue Jays thread?
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  #2  
Old Posted May 31, 2012, 12:05 PM
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There's something about baseball. Ever since I've moved to Canada it has become my favorite sport.
In Montreal the top baseball team is the Red Sox. I don't know why there's so much support for Boston teams there. Even the Bruins have a strong following in Montreal.
From what I've seen and heard the Jays are pretty popular in the west (BC & Alberta) and the maritimes.

They're playing great this season considering they have the youngest starting rotation and i believe the third youngest team in all of baseball. However, the bats need to pick it up. They need to put more runners on base. It seems they're a bit too patient at the plate. This puts the pressure on the umps and sometimes they won't get that call they want on a full count. They need to swing the bats. I think it's a lack of confidence from the fact they are a young team.
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  #3  
Old Posted May 31, 2012, 1:02 PM
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Last night's game showed a too often dependence on home runs to win games. Something the Blue Jays have been strong in hitting over the past few seasons, and currently fourth overall in the major leagues for home runs scored this season. Which as a fan at the game I love to watch.

However, I do like watching them craft out runs through consistent play at bat. The previous game against Baltimore showed just how good that can do this, scoring 8 runs, none of which were through home runs. I can see a lot of potential in these bats, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a complete mauling of some team in the not too distant future, a bit like Seattle did yesterday to Texas.
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  #4  
Old Posted May 31, 2012, 1:34 PM
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I've actually found this season they rely a lot less on solo home runs as they did in previous seasons. If you look at Bautista's season when he hit 54 home runs, the vast majority were solo home runs, as many of the players just couldn't get on base before he was up. Conversely, in the times when they would get players on base, more often than not they'd leave them stranded. This has happened a few times this season, but I don't see it as a pandemic on the team like it had been in the past.

Also in past seasons they were definitely a "score more runs than the other team to win games" team, whereas this season their pitching (specifically their rotation) is a LOT better, and their closers are better too (despite how many blown saves Cordero has).

It really sucks that Morrow was nailed in the middle of a ridiculously good game, but at least it's not more serious than a shin contusion. I remember when Halladay was nailed and he was out for 6 weeks.

But, as much as I see their improvement this year, games like the series in Texas shows me how far away they are from a World Series.

Small steps.
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  #5  
Old Posted May 31, 2012, 5:26 PM
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World Series way off but I can see us sneaking into a wild card spot if they can get some consistency going. The Blue Jays are getting great TV numbers nation wide so its very much a national team.

Encarnacion has been saving their rears. His bat is on fire I don't think anybody saw him putting up these numbers so early. I can't wait to get back to TO tho I already have my tickets scooped up for the last series in September with the Yanks!
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  #6  
Old Posted May 31, 2012, 8:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by telyou View Post
There's something about baseball. Ever since I've moved to Canada it has become my favorite sport.
In Montreal the top baseball team is the Red Sox. I don't know why there's so much support for Boston teams there. Even the Bruins have a strong following in Montreal.
From what I've seen and heard the Jays are pretty popular in the west (BC & Alberta) and the maritimes.
You rarely hear about the Jays in Quebec (and I live on the border with Ontario), in spite of the fact that one of our sports networks (can't remember which) has a TV contract with them. Baseball is just baseball here - there isn't really a "home" team that is covered by the media now that the Expos are gone. Telyou is probably right about the Red Sox being the closest thing to a "popular" team, and they are probably more popular than the Jays even.

As for Atlantic Canada, the Jays are popular but the Red Sox are big there as well. Not sure if the Sox or the Jays are more popular at the moment. When the Expos were around the region was almost 1/3 Jays, 1/3 Red Sox, 1/3 Expos, and the Expos' support was not limited to Acadian areas - although they were by far the dominant team there.

In the West, I know that in BC the Seattle Mariners are quite popular. The Jays are also popular in BC but not sure if they or the Mariners are on top.
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  #7  
Old Posted May 31, 2012, 11:59 PM
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It's hard to pinpoint numbers but you're probably right that it's 50/50 in BC with the Mariners and in the Maritimes with the Red Sox. Though i think the Jays might get some more support in Montreal thanks to Vladdy.

What about Manitoba and Saskatchewan? Does babseball even make the 6 o'clock news there? What is the perception by the public?

The good news is the attendance figures. At about 24.5k/game they're 20th in the league. If they can stay competitive in September i think they can crack the top half.

But that AL East is tough. What are the chances that Lind will ever wear a Jays uniform again?
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  #8  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2012, 3:43 AM
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I'm extremely excited by what I have seen from the Jays this season, they have really demonstrated that they are on the right track. That is not only in terms of the players on the field but management as well. In seasons past Lind would still be playing first and if there was a change made it wouldn't be until the end of the season. This year they feel the urgency to try and make improvements now.

However that said there are some concerns. For one I think the rotation has highly overachieved. Romero hit a rough spot but should be ok and Morrow looks like he is finally going to live up to the hype, however Alverez is not missing enough bats and Drabek is walking way too many hitters for sustained success. Hutchison has looked great in the 5th spot but he is still a huge question mark with such a small sample size. So that is concerning.

Having said that about the pitching I feel on the offensive side guys like Bautista, Lawrie, Escobar, Rasmus, and obviously Lind have underperformed. The team has already made a move regarding Lind and recent play suggests that Bautista and Rasmus might be turning it around. Lawrie hasn't been bad he just hasn't slugged much which could easily turn around. So all in all even if the pitching does regress the offense might pick up the slack and the Jays could end the year looking like a strong contender heading into 2013.
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  #9  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2012, 3:14 AM
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Like a lot of other people, I'm excited by what I see with the BJs this year: lots of young talent, a good attitude and hustle. However, they can't beat their division rivals so there's absolutely no chance they'll make the playoffs. It's so frustrating to watch them play well and then get swept by the Red Sox, Yankees or Rays as they invariably do. It's a real shame too, because of all the years to make the postseason I think this is the one. Nobody's running away with it yet...
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  #10  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2012, 10:53 AM
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The only time they've played the Yankees they swept them, they just swept Baltimore and this is the first series where Boston beat them.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2012, 11:27 AM
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They're still 11-14 against the East. Which is tied with Boston for the worst record against the east.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2012, 5:13 PM
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Saying they can't beat their division rivals is one of those blanket statements you here casual fans use. They certainly cannot beat the Rays, they owned Baltimore until this season, and when it comes to the Yanks and Sox it is kind of a toss up. From the start of 2010 to today they 16-28 against the Rays, 19-19 against the Yanks, 17-25 against the Sox, and 31-14 against the Orioles for a total mark against the east of 83-86
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  #13  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2012, 6:16 PM
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Not sure what your trying to imply highinthesky.
Those numbers clearly indicate that they can't win against their division.
Nobody is implying that they are horrible against the AL East. However, playing sub 500 ball against them clearly indicates that they do struggle against those teams.
They have to play better then that against the east if they have any hope of making the playoffs.
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  #14  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2012, 6:37 PM
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People should just stop talking in Hyperbole! Is 500 against your own division good enough to make the playoffs? Probably not. Is playing 500 the same as not being able to win against your own division? No because by saying 500 means they win half the time.
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  #15  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2012, 6:39 PM
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Do we just ignore their 19-19 mark against the Yanks and 31-14 mark against the Orioles because it won't fit into our nice blanket statement?
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  #16  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2012, 6:59 PM
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Originally Posted by telyou View Post
What about Manitoba and Saskatchewan? Does babseball even make the 6 o'clock news there? What is the perception by the public?
The Blue Jays were huge back when I was in high school in MB (late 80's early 90's). Having the two World Series titles probably helped! I still have an old book from 1991 with the whole roster somewhere in a closet back home. I haven't seen the news from back home for a while, but in the past they would always include Jays updates..

The Winnipeg Goldeyes are one of the top draws in the Northern League.. they get plenty of coverage, too.
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  #17  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2012, 8:49 PM
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May i remind you that the previous 2 season (2008-09) the Yanks were 21-15 against the Jays.
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  #18  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2012, 2:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Highinthesky View Post
Saying they can't beat their division rivals is one of those blanket statements you here casual fans use. They certainly cannot beat the Rays, they owned Baltimore until this season, and when it comes to the Yanks and Sox it is kind of a toss up. From the start of 2010 to today they 16-28 against the Rays, 19-19 against the Yanks, 17-25 against the Sox, and 31-14 against the Orioles for a total mark against the east of 83-86
So, what you're saying is the Jays are 52-72 against teams they MUST beat in order to make the playoffs? (TB, NYY, BOS)

That's a big problem.

Yes, they've been successful against the Os but that's irrelevant as they fall off the pace. I'm not sure anyone expects Baltimore to be near the top of the division come September. Stranger things have happened though.
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  #19  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2012, 2:39 AM
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At least that statement is accurate and really its only against Boston and Tampa where they really need to see significant improvement. Otherwise it just sounds like a generic statement from a casual fan as I said above.

2008 and 2009? You mean when almost no one in the current Jays lineup was a starter or on the team? Why not pull numbers from 2006 and 2007 or 2004 and 2005, the numbers might be even worse.

New lineup looked good tonight. Rasmus has looked good each time he has hit in the 2 hole.
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  #20  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2012, 3:59 AM
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I didn't see them game tonight but judging by the production of Lawrie and Rasmus and the lack of walks given up by Romero, it was a good night. Three more errors though which is an ongoing concern.

Here is the Jays' record against their division rivals from 2009 to present:

v. NYY (25-31)
v. Bos (24-36)
v. TB (20-42)

That's a combined record of 69-109 / .388 win percentage.

This year they're 7-9. Given their 40-23 record against Baltimore since 2009, they really need to be .500 or ideally a little better against the big teams if they want a sniff at the postseason. The wins should continue against the Os despite of their on-field improvement.

I think that's entirely possible, though far from easy. Nobody in baseball wants to trade places with the Jays, that's for sure.
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