Quick update before I go to work..
*The Sun has a recap on the season and it's dissapointment What could have been
*Reed Johnson has been shut down for the season with an injury that's not too serious
*Pedro will not pitch in the playoffs and Randy Johnson may not, all of a sudden an all New York World Series may not be as romantic an idea as once thought.
*We're again tied with Boston with two games left..
*Races to watch today...
Detroit(vs. KC) and Minnesota(vs. CWS) are tied for the division and Wild Card
Houston(vs.ATL) stays 1.5 games behind St. Louis (vs. MIL)
The Dodgers(vs. SF) and Padres (vs.ARI) are also tied for the division and Wild Card
Philadelphia(vs. FLA) could tie it up if they win both their remaining games and either LA or SD lose both their remanining games
Saturday, September 30, 2006
Quick update before I go to work..
Friday, September 29, 2006
Three games left...1 game up, we get the Yanks and the Sox get the Orioles. It's a pretty fun feeling, it sucks to be settling for a second place position but at the same time, it will be a step in the right direction!
The matchups go:
Chacin vs. Mussina
Marcum vs. Karstens
McGowan vs. Wright
There's still lots of races left in the National League, can STL hold on? Will the Phillies somehow sneak in? It's a grea time to have Mlb.tv or Extra Innings. What a weekend this should be!
I'm working on something I've entitled the Ricciardi project which should make its debut on this page shortly. I think everyone will enjoy it! Aside from that, if you have the time go over to Batter's Box. They have an excellent interview with Dick Scott, the Blue Jays Director of Minor League Operations.
Posted by Dan Julien at 11:58 AM
Thursday, September 28, 2006
Heading to work shortly...
*Lilly gets his career high 15th win and it's obvious that J.P. would like him back and that Lilly may want to come back. He's turned it up to a new level since his spat on the mound with Gibbons and one has to wonder if something somehow finally got through to him.
*Two guys had 4 hits yesterday: Greg Zaun(making his case to be the starting catcher next season) and young Skywalker Aaron Hill, who is maybe making his case to move up to 2nd in the batting order next year.
*The races in the NL heated up as both the Phillies and Astros won in extra innings and the Cards got a giant home run by Mr. Pujols to win in the 8th. Combine that with a Dodgers win and we're back to even steven in all those races!
*Last but not least, Jays won/Sox lost so the Jays have re-taken second place! Boston has an off night while the Jays send Burnett to the hill to take on the Gambler in Detroit
Posted by Dan Julien at 8:44 AM
It was officially announced yesterday that our last Canadian AAA team, the Ottawa Lynx have switched affiliation to the Philadelphia Phillies. This comes after Baltimore had cut ties with the franchise. The Phillies signed a two year deal and are probably anxious for the Lynx to move to Pennsylvania after next season. Too bad it couldn't be one year earlier so the Ottawa crowd could have watched Cole Hamels. But the Phillies should have some good prospects in the system for the Lynx.
Posted by Dan Julien at 8:42 AM
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
*Both the Sun and Star have good articls on McGowan and his decision to become a starter along with the Jays plans for next year for him
*It looks like the Jays are using this time to audition McGowan to see if he has anything for next season.
*An interesting tidbit is that they are trying to get another year of options for him to be able to send him down next year. If not, the Jays could lose him to the roster crunch.
*Dayn Perry has John Gibbons amongst his losers for this year for fighting with his players on two occasions
Winners and Loser
*If you've been following the National League, you'll see that the Cards have lost 7 games in a row while the Astros have won 7 in a row. The lead for the NL Central is now done to 1 and a half! So there are two races left to be decided with this one and the Padres/Phillies/Dodgers Wild Card race!
*The Diamondbacks new colour scheme has been leaked...I kind of like it, but you can decide on your own.
the db sleeve logo looks hideous but the black and red "A" logo looks awesome, the script for the team name looks awesome too I find.
Posted by Dan Julien at 9:32 AM
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Well it's that time of day again folks :). A quick parusal through statistics for your reading pleasure:
-Rios is back ladies and gentleman: he's hitting .359 with an OPS over 1.000 over his 39 abs in September after an awful return from his infection July and August
-Alex Rios currently ranks 4th in the American League with a Clutch Rating of 9.2, he's batting .355 with runners in scoring position
*On a side note, the leader is Vernon Wells' friend Michael Young. Already the rumor out of Texas is that Young will be on the block because of issues with management. With the Jays hole in the middle infield, could J.P. move to make a trade?
-Halladay leads the Jays with 14.8 expected wins(he has 16), Lilly ranks second with 11.2 (he has 14), and Burnett is at 8.3 (real number is 9). Chacin's success in the win category(9) can be defined by luck or run support as his expected number is at 5.2
-B.J. Ryan is 7th in the Majors with an expected win added of 5.516
-The Jays rank fifth in team defensive efficiency. Not surprising with the above average defensive players on this team.
-Interesting stats. Jays records by runs allowed
When allowing 0 runs: 6-0
When allowing 1 runs: 15-0
When allowing 2 runs: 14-2
When allowing 3 runs: 22-4
When allowing 4 runs: 11-8
When allowing 5 runs: 6-13
When allowing 6 runs: 6-13
So lots of statistics for people to digest...discuss :)
Posted by Dan Julien at 8:29 PM
Monday, September 25, 2006
Wow! The rookie comes in and shuts out the Red Sox to give the Jays second place with one week left to go! Let us hope that they can stay that way and it would be a big step for this team. The stat package has been updated for this momentous occasion. I should update this page with different articles tomorrow. Obviously one of the big stories tomorrow will be that Vernon Wells came out after the game and said that he wants to stay with this team!
Posted by Dan Julien at 10:56 PM
Well I had a crazy weekend at work so sorry about the lack of updates...my insight into all the games I didn't get to watch would probably not be measurable since I did not see them. Big game tonight however, if the Jays win they take over 2nd place in the AL East. The stat package was updated on Friday and I will attempt to update it after the game tonight if I can stay up that late :) .
Posted by Dan Julien at 7:04 PM
Monday, September 18, 2006
-I've updated the stats finally. Thanks To Mike Green again for his contribution! The Jays had a great weekend and are continuing tonight with a 3-0 lead over the Yanks.
-Ryan Howard is at 57 home runs and counting so keep your eyes on the ticker for any news on him
More news will come tomorrow, I've read a few articles which are must reads for baseball fans so I'll give you guys some tidbits and links. Johnny Damon just got thrown out fo the game for arguing strikes from the on deck circle...
Posted by Dan Julien at 8:33 PM
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Well I ended up being busier than imagined this weekend...my sister gave birth to her second child, Laura. So I'm on a little trek to the Toronto area and have not been able to update the stats nor this blog. I hear that I missed two great games in the last two nights and already today I'm catching the end of what is a tight game. Chacin is looking good again...giving hope for next year! Reports today too that Lilly would love to come back next year, don't know how I feel about that unless he gives us a discount. Anyways, stats will hopefully be updated tonight before the big Yankees series. Enjoy the end of this game everyone!
Posted by Dan Julien at 3:29 PM
Friday, September 15, 2006
Just finished a long day at work and I'm on my way to a hockey game..
-Pick up the National Post if you can as they have an article about the Blue Jays lack of great prospects. If not, I'll have a rundown of the article here sometime soon
-The Jays have dropped Pulaski from their minor league affiliates and will probably only field 5 minor league teams next year. Not exactly the way to build prospects...
-The Halladay watch is on tonight to see if there was any lingering effects from the injury the other day
-Thanks to Mike Green for pointing out a mistake in the statistics, I will fix it soon and add statistics...
-I noticed that the site does not look good in IE so look for some changes to the site very soon!
Enjoy the game!
Posted by Dan Julien at 5:51 PM
Thursday, September 14, 2006
The Jays dissapointing farm system is under fire again as they were the only team not to have a prospect ranked in the top 50 on the MInor League News FAB50 2006 prospects. The MLN has a different way of ranking prospects that you can read about here..
I find their presentation excellent and if you're a minor league junkie, it makes for a great read.
Posted by Dan Julien at 1:39 PM
Interesting article about the Tampa Bay's franchise re-branding efforts...
Apparently the thought of going by the Florida name instead of Tampa Bay if Florida changes their moniker to Miami as part of a stadium deal. There is a possiblity mentioned in this article that the Rays cold go through a full re-packaging even changing the name...hopefully it happens, there's nothing but a tradition of losing under the Devil Rays/Rays name!
Posted by Dan Julien at 1:24 PM
What a game yesterday afternoon for the boys. A career day for Zaun, who should be handed the starting catcher duties for next season and a beautifully thrown shutout by A.J. Burnett! Burnett’s really come on strong lately…in the last 30 days he’s 4-2 with a 3.02 ERA. As I stated in a previous post, there is hope for next year if he can stay healthy and can keep pitching the way he has lately. Was he worth $11 million this year? Obviously not, but luckily the insurance company paid a chunk of that salary. However, in the last few games he is showing potential of what he could become for this team and that is a reliable second starter to compliment Mr. Halladay. Burnett’s VORP is actually 4th amongst pitchers with a 22.1 (good enough to rank him eight on the team). He also has 7 win shares which is a pretty impressive statistic when he’s pitched in only 18 games, some of them very short outings.
The Jays enjoy an off day today before hosting the pesky Devil Rays, a team that has been embarassed by the Yankees the last few nights...
Posted by Dan Julien at 11:20 AM
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
Anyone knows me knows the respect for the job Billy Beane has done in Oakland. Beane is part of a group of 3 that can be considered the best general managers of our generation along with Brian Cashman and John Schuerholz. Beane's run of success seemed to be over the past two seasons as his A's team missed two straight playoffs, however the A's have come back with a vengeance and should easily take the American League West pennant. This off-season, the A's did their best to continue adding players whom they valued more than other teams, something they are known for ever since the publication of Moneyball. They signed oft-injured Frank Thomas to an incentive-laden deal, traded for troubled Milton Bradley and even signed...gulp...Esteban Loaiza to a fat contract. All the critics were out in full force saying that Bradley and Thomas would destroy the clubhouse atmosphere(if Thomas played enough for it to matter) and that Beane had overpaid for Loaiza. But here we are again and the A's have a 5.5 game lead in their division with a payroll that ranks 21st in the league.
None of this is news to anyone...but this may be. The A's had 22 wins in August against only 5 losses!! 22-5! They won 81% of their games in that month! And this is nothing new for this franchise, over the last six years Oakland has a winning percentage of .734 in the month of August. I don't even know how to explain this...is it because their teams are often young and therefore they have more energy at the end of the year? Or that there skills better themselves as the year goes on? Is it a killer instinct that the team has? Is it part of the coaching strategy to peak around August-October? Or does Billy Beane target players that play their best late in the season? Looking at Thomas and Bradley's stats quickly doesn't suggest that these athletes play at their best late in the season. So the question remains, why is August so hot in Oakland? Any thoughts?
Posted by Dan Julien at 7:10 PM
Monday, September 11, 2006
Those who know me know that my favorite position player is Albert Pujols. There’s just something about his consistency and his approach to the game that I love. The risk he took playing with what could have been a career-ending arm injury a couple years ago just shows the commitment he has to the game. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, pick up 3 Nights in August, a great read all around that has an explanation on the Pujols injury situation. That being said Pujols is having another Pujols season: 5th in the NL in batting average, 2nd in Home Runs, third in OBP and 2nd in SLG. He has almost single handedly brought the Cardinals to another post-season appearance as has become expected of him.
Ryan Howard looks like he could be better than him. The kid has wowed the league by hitting .316, hitting 56 home runs and slugging .682 to lead the National League in the latter two categories. He’s making an assault on Roger Maris’ record of 61 home runs and he does it all with a grin on his face. I can’t imagine what the media hype about this kid would be had McGwire, Sosa and Bonds not come before him, a thought made even sadder because of their alleged use of performance enhancing supplements. If
A final thought…with the depth at first base in the National League (Pujols, Berkman and Berkman all in the top five in VORP), can Pujols or Howard be considered a first pick in any fantasy draft? Or would you go with a Joe Mauer, ARod or Santana?
Posted by Dan Julien at 6:48 PM
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Defense is hard to measure in Major League Baseball but the boys at the baseball Think Factory (www.baseballthinkfactory.org) do a pretty good job with their runs saved above an average fielder stat. In it I found a lot of interesting tidbits…For the 9 players listed for the team, the Jays have the third best defense in the league as their defense has saved them 20 runs
-Bengie Molina has of yet cost the team 6 defensive runs, Glaus is right behind as he has cost the team 5 defensive runs
-Aaron Hill is the best second baseman in the American League! As of yet he’s saved the team 16 runs more than an average player would have. Even more interesting, Gold Glover Orlando Hudson has actually cost his Diamondbacks 2 runs above an average player with his defense. So the debate rages on…
-McDonald’s great glove has only saved one run this season
-The LF platoon works on defense too, Reed has gained the team 4 defensive runs while Cat has cost the team 3 defensive runs
-Rios is a superb defensive outfielder and is ranked second amongst Right Fielders by having saved 6 runs above an average player
Posted by Dan Julien at 10:46 PM
Chacin's start last night is another great sign for this team next year. IF the top three can stay healthy and if a quality starter can be added to replace Lilly, this is a formidable rotation. In the last thirty days, Lilly has been horrible(does he even know this is a free agent year?) and Marcum has been fine...But the other three starters...that's a different story
Halladay 2-2, 3.16 ERA, 27 K/9 BB, 1 complete game
Burnett 4-2, 3.30 ERA, 26 K/16 BB, 1 complete game
Chacin 2-1 3.20 ERA, 9 K/ 10 BB
These stats give hope for next year. An era under 3.5 for three of your starters is darn good news when your offense is scoring almost 5 runs a game. With a capable closer and one strong addition to the starting staff this could be quite a formidable team no?
BTW this Adam Lind kid looks for real..he just smacked his first Major League homerun and is now hitting over .400 since being called up. Will he be part of the opening day roster? Or maybe a mid-season call up if injuries happen? More and more reason not to bring back Catalanatto. And the off-season battle plan that I have been designing is coming quickly, I'm done my second draft but am just checking through things, making sure it all makes sense.
Posted by Dan Julien at 4:18 PM
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
It must be difficult to step on the mound having to be the stopper all the time. It must be even more difficult when in two consecutive games the team blows the game for you, one on a horrible defensive play by Rios that turns a fly out into a game winning home run and one complete meltdown by a reliever. Luckily, throughout these difficult seasons, we have not heard a public complaint from the Doctor. I hope that he is not getting tired of wasting his best years on a non-playoff team. It must be difficult to look at his Cy Young Rival Johan Santana and the success the Twins are having with a small payroll or to look at Barry Zito and the A's and even Dontrelle Willis and the Marlins who all have small payrolls but are competing for playoff spots. So here's to Roy, hopefully the Jays will give him his first taste of the post-season soon.
*On a side note, after the announcement of the payroll increase, Vernon Wells was quoted as saying that he would sit down with Ricciardi to see about an extension after the season. This is good news(as long as we don't overpay) as it didn't seem that he would be open to an extension earlier this season.
Posted by Dan Julien at 12:29 PM
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
So I get done doing the offensive part of my off-season plan when I read across the scroller that Rogers has announced that the Jays payroll will increase next season! This is tremendous news honestly(aside from the revisions to the "plan"). It all depends how the money is spent, will it be utilized to re-sign our All-Star centrefielder? Will we bring in another top starting pitcher to replace Lilly? Will we maybe utilize it to acquire some more depth? Personally with the dissapointments in the Minor Leagues(mostly in AAA) lately, I hope some of the money is earmarked to improve coaching, facilities and what not for the youngster. However, I would not mind buying a Zito jersey with black and blue writing...stay tuned fans!
Posted by Dan Julien at 8:41 PM
As a Canadian baseball fan, I am of course a Toronto Blue Jays fan. It takes a lot to keep being a fan when your division includes the Yankees and the Red Sox. It takes even more when a fan knows that the Jays record would be good enough to be the Wild Card Leaders in the other league. This season began with so MUCH hope with the acquisitions of Overbay, Glaus, Ryan, Burnett and Molina. Opening day brought even more hope with a 6-3 beating of the Minnesota Twins that included a home run by Bengie 'Big Boy' Molina and the first appearance of BJ Ryan out of the bullpen. The roar of the crowd when Ryan came running out to the mound was something that can't even be explained in words but had to be felt.
So it's September and the Jays are out of the race again and the Old Yankees have predictably gone through injury after injury. Unfortunately, the Yanks used their resources to acquire Bobby Abreu, Cory Lidle, Craig Wilson and had surprise contributions from youngster Melky Cabrera and old man Bernie Williams. The Jays meanwhile have had the same problem they've had since the glory years, only one/two starting pitcher that can be relied upon to consistently win games. This year was suppose to be the year where the rotation would not be a problem with a 5-pack of Halladay, Burnett, Lilly, Chacin and Towers. Worse case scenario...Burnett has arm problems, Lilly is his inconsistent self, Chacin has sophomore yips and we get consistent greatness from Halladay and consistent consistency from Towers.
Unfortunately, the worse case scenario happens plus more...Burnett misses almost half the season with arm problems, Chacin misses half the season with injuries, Lilly keeps being the terrible tease and unforeseen...Josh Towers completely loses it. Which leaves Halladay and...Halladay as our consistent starters. This team was never able to put up a decent win streak, those streaks that allow teams to move into a playoff position. The offense was fantastic but again we shall wait till next year. What will JP do this offseason to attempt to make that final jump? Will Vernon Wells be traded and if so what will the return be like? How many of the impending free agents will be let go in exchange for draft picks? Will AJ Burnett still wear the Blue Jay black by the time the next season comes along? So many questions to be answered...personally I can't wait until they are answered. In the next weeks, I will attempt to draw up what I would like to call the battle plan of sorts, a plan for the off-season which could determine the future of this great franchise
Posted by Dan Julien at 12:15 PM
Well first thing you all should know about me, I read A LOT. Mostly about baseball because quite frankly, I would like to make a living doing something I love and something I love is baseball. That being said I've read some great books and I've read some bad ones. Fantasyland sits somewhere in between these two polars but it's an entertaining read. It's incredible the lengths the author went to in an attempt to win a fantasy league. I have two views about this, in one hand it makes me think about how our society(myself definitely included) is so obsessed with athletes playing a game that we allow it to consume our lives, often in a negative fashion. On the other hand, I think it's so cool how much access the author was given and how players reacted to being on his fantasy team or even when he discussed with them the possiblity that he may trade them off his fantasy team.
I have aspirations to someday work in baseball operations for a Major League Baseball team, a dream that is easier said than done. Reading this, I find it humorous that some of the people who may have more skills than me and could very well help a team make personnel decisions are wasting their time playing a game that is just a game. Some fans cheer against their own teams because the opposing starting pitcher is on their team and they desperately need a win...weird what the sports world has come to.
All this being said, pick up the book if you want a quick, easy, entertaining read, at the end of the reading, please just reflect if your own fantasy baseball habits are simply a habit or if they are affecting your personal or professional life in a negative way.
Posted by Dan Julien at 11:41 AM
The first day after Labour Day for the last four years has been my first day of University. For over 18 years, I've been going to school and suddenly I find myself sitting on the couch watching the View and thinking about baseball. An Honours Sport Management degree hasn't brought me the job that I covet but it doesn't make me quit. Working as an assistant manager at a certain sports store allows me to utilize my brain to think about baseball some more and I'm hoping that the internet world will be the benefit for that. So here it is, my blog, enjoy it, hate it, just read it and allow yourself to think.
Posted by Dan Julien at 11:36 AM