Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Blue Jays Miscellany

Frank Thomas Gives Me That Feeling

There are times in baseball when a certain player gives you a certain feeling – that sense that, for whatever reason - be it an elusive celestial alignment or generous tribute paid to the proper pagan god – that player is in a rarified place that allows him to change a game’s complexion at any given moment. Right now, Frank Thomas is giving off those vibes.

Hurt’s season started a bit slow, but something clicked over the weekend (he credits a new batting helmet, apparently) and now he’s mashing. He’s got that killer eye, and every at-bat inspires hope in Jays fans and fear in pitchers. It hit its zenith on Sunday when Thomas was waiting on a Manny Delcarmen fastball, and grand slammed it.

It happened again tonight (though it went for naught). In the eighth, Hurt watched three Alan Embree duds float by before bothering to swing the bat. He had that cockysmock look in his eyes, though his face was blank. He pushed the fourth pitch over the wall to tie the game.

He can’t single-handedly win every game, but he’s a nice tool to wield right now, no?

Rolen Pulls the Pin

They yanked the surgically implanted rod from Scott Rolen’s busted digit today, clearing him to do baseball stuff with both hands. The team says he might be ready to go in a week. Saying that this is good news is in no way meant to slight Marco Scutaro’s contribution in Rolen’s absence. Scutaro’s a nice tool to have coming off the bench, no?

Hill in the 2-Hole

Though I have publicly stated that I believe Aaron Hill belongs higher in the order, specifically in the number two slot, I haven’t yet mentioned here that Hill did hit second on Sunday. The reason? I’m pretty sure that’s an aberration, just the result of Eckstein getting an off day and Gibbons’ desire to have his replacement (Johnny Mac) hit lower. If I thought it was something that was likely to be repeated more than a couple of times a month, I’d have freaked out over it. As it is, whatev. But seriously, Gibby, what an amazing tool Hill would be batting second!

Oh Snap!

Reed Johnson playing the role of jilted ex-lover? Subtext doesn’t get more shallow than Reed’s comments about the fans at Wrigley. What he said: “The fans [in Chicago] definitely know the game.” What he meant: “The hockey-addled canuckleheads in Toronto don’t have a clue what a real contribution is.” What a tool, no?

The Ballad of Billy Buckner

I have to believe that even the most hardened of Red Sox-hating Jays fans were moved by Bill Buckner’s return to Fenway today. The man choked back tears as he spoke of having to learn to forgive the Boston media for vilifying him over The Grounder. That kind of drama and pathos supersedes team allegiances, doesn’t it?


Seriously, what the hell’s wrong with Detroit?

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