Game Threat: Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On), Blue Jays (86-70) vs. Orioles (85-71)

Andrew Stoeten
September 27 2016 04:49PM

Manny Machado
Photo Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Here we go. The BIGGEST SERIES OF THE SEASON UNTIL THE NEXT ONE starts tonight, and... it's big. It's not quite on the level of a playoff series. It's not exactly win or go home. But you sure as hell can't get swept -- not if you're the visiting trash birds from fucking Baltimore, and not if you're the suddenly depleted collection of chirping Blue Jays.

You really don't want to lose this first game, either. The Jays have a one game lead on Baltimore and three game cushion over the Tigers and Astros in the Wild Card race, so it will be hard to fuck this up and end up watching the play-in game from home, but certainly not impossible. And they're hardly a slam dunk to maintain their lead and host that play-in game, either. Especially now without Devon Travis and Joaquin Benoit on the sidelines.

Sigh.

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Benoit has a torn left calf, Stroman should replace him, and more fallout from Monday's stupidity...

Andrew Stoeten
September 27 2016 02:45PM

Joaquin Benoit
Photo Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The dust has finally started to settle after last night's stupidity, and we're starting to get a clearer picture of how the events of Monday night will impact the Jays going forward, and what got the team so dumbly rattled by the Yankees.

The good news? Even though Mark Shapiro told reporters today that he expects there to be punishment handed out from the league for some of those involved in last night's fracas, with the season so close to its end and the appeals process needing time, any suspension that may be handed out almost certainly won't be served until next season. (And it's more likely they'll just see fines anyway.)

The bad news? Injuries aren't suspensions! Devon Travis isn't in the lineup for tonight's game (and Andy Burns has been called up), with little word yet on what his situation is except that he hurt his shoulder in the melee, aggravated it on a swing, and is now considered day-to-day. And also that initial tests haven't shown a major injury.

Meanwhile, Hazel May tweets that Joaquin Benoit has a torn left calf -- similar to the injury that Brett Cecil suffered last year in the playoffs -- and there is no timetable for his return.

Ugh.

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The Jays' plan for renovations in Dunedin now has a video!

Andrew Stoeten
September 27 2016 11:30AM

faes-video

On Monday the Blue Jays and the city of Dunedin unveiled more details about their planned upgrades to the club's facilities, including a first look at what the new Florida Auto Exchange Stadium will look like, should the plans go through.

That's an image of the new-look stadium above, which comes via the Tampa Bay Times -- who have done excellent reporting on this process throughout -- and is part of a video presentation shown yesterday in Florida. Those of you familiar with the current state of the F.A.E.S. -- essentially run-down prison chic -- will notice a world of difference.

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If the Jays’ season is in any way upended by Monday’s brawl, they have only themselves to blame

Andrew Stoeten
September 27 2016 09:06AM

Severino-Smoak brawl
Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

If it had been the Red Sox, if it had been the Royals, if it had been the Rangers or Orioles or any of the teams we despise that did what the Blue Jays did early in the game on Monday night against the Yankees, and suffered the fate that the Blue Jays did, we would laugh. Oh, we would laugh long and hard and richly from the pits of our stomachs. And we would be right for doing so.

Then for them to get humiliated with a comeback, tied up on a big ol’ Teixeira home run that he admired before returning to the dugout to yell “Blown save!” at a former relief godsend suddenly looking shaky when it matters most?

Holy shit would we laugh.

To have your seventh inning reliever walk away on crutches and your starting second baseman and lead-off hitter needing the shoulder that was operated on twice last year checked out, with a week left before the playoffs, because of a brawl that came as a result of a beanball war that your team pursued for absolutely no good goddamn reason? That shit would be hilarious if it wasn’t so unbelievably stupid, and it would look good on whichever collection of shitheels pulled it if they weren’t ours.

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Game Threat: Welcome to the Terrordome, Blue Jays (86-69) vs. Yankees (79-76)

Andrew Stoeten
September 26 2016 04:18PM

JA Happ
Awesome image via @JAHappster

This image again? Fuck yeah, this image again! Seems every time I use it Happ pitches a good game, which... at this point is just about every game he pitches. Which is, of course, amazing and weird and amazingly weird and weirdly amazing.

Speaking of Happ, he's taken the early lead in the new sidebar poll we have up, which asks you who the Jays should turn to when it comes time to pick a starter for the Wild Card play-in game. They may not have the luxury of choosing, of course, and they may not even make it, but they could certainly do worse than Happ -- who, as is noted in the string of tweets after Drew mentioned that this was the subject of his latest Birds All Day mini episode, would likely give the Orioles fits, given that they've been total dogshit against lefties this year.

But let's not get too ahead of ourselves! The Jays have a chance to make it a four game sweep of the Yankees tonight, which would serve the dual purpose of truly putting a nail in the Yankees' coffin and pushing the Orioles to two games back of the Jays. The Yankees thing is just kinda funny, of course. Putting Baltimore back two games, though, means that the Orioles would have to sweep the Jays in the series that begins here tomorrow night in order to pass them in the Wild Card race.

So... that's something?

I don't know. Just winning is really the big thing, I guess. The Jays control their own fate still, and will continue to do so as long as they keep winning, so... maybe just keep doing that? Sounds like a plan to me!

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