Daily Duce: Friday, September 9th



If you had told me last week that it would only be a matter of days before somebody produced a bigger pile of flaming trash than that piece about why the Jays won’t win the World Series I would have called you a lying sack of shit! But damn it if you wouldn’t have been right, because ho-lee-fucking-shit this Jose Bautista hit piece at Jays Journal is somehow another level of dumpster fire. But it’s amusing, at least. Especially if you read it in a cockney accent! And I’m not just talking about the grammatical flourishes, clearly intended to establish some kind of rhetorical authority, that fall over and burst into a thousand sizzling curds of wasted jism by the weight of their misuse! Bautista’s season, we’re told, has been derailed “by two preventable injuries caused by a rare combination of irresponsible play and questionable conditioning.” LOL! And his actions on the base paths in New York this week — which “bordered on epic momentum slaying” — were “precisely what happens when a player decides to stop running out the ball and instead reverts to a willfully prescribed ego-oriented approach of genuinely terrible assumptions.” The author couldn’t be more desperate to have Jays fans tell him to go fuck himself if he was wearing Roy Halladay’s ballsack as a necklace.

Speaking of Bautista and his injuries, at Today’s Knuckleball, John Perrotto talks to a scout who thinks “that ship has sailed,” as far as Jose returning to the Jays is concerned, citing the Rogers Centre’s artificial turf, and the fact that he’s having leg troubles. Funny, I thought that was more about Jose’s poor conditioning! HEYO! (Seriously, though, a Baltimore heel turn for Jose would be fuckin’ delicious.)

Elsewhere at the Knuck (?), Jon Heyman mentions that the Jays were trying to add Fernando Abad heading into the trade deadline, but didn’t have the prospects to match the Red Sox’ offer of Pat Light — a flame-throwing 6’5 right-hander who is already in the big leagues (though struggling mightily with command). I’m sure the Jays could have beaten that with something, of course, but not anything you’d actually give up for Abad — who has been quite shitty for the dumb Red Sox.

Jeremy Filson of 985sports tweets that it looks like the Jays and Pirates will be playing exhibition games in Montreal. I joked on the Twitter machine that this will be a good chance for Pirates fans to see Andrew McCutchen on his new team, which… is unlikely. However! With the Blue Jays potentially being out two outfielders this winter, it’s not such a crazy idea.

Speaking of: at ESPN.com, Jim Bowden highlights some big names that could be on the trading block this winter — which are especially interesting given the weak free agent class. And yes, McCutchen is one of them, though Bowden doesn’t see him as a fit with the Jays as much as he does Votto (naturally) or Ryan Braun (hard pass — fuck that guy).

Over at the Toronto Star, Richard Griffin goes through a bunch of concerns about the Jays going forward, which… sigh. I mean, go ahead and be concerned! There are things that will have to work better for the Jays going forward than they have in the last six games, it’s just… this is silly. Also: small ball? Be serious.

Speaking of people prattling on about small ball, Mike Wilner’s callers! He gets a lot of bad ideas — like small ball! — thrown at him, so he’s provided a handy FAQ to help calm the masses over at Sportsnet.

Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Jeff Blair writes some things about Jose Bautista (which is about as clearly as I can explain what’s going on in that piece), while Ben Nicholson-Smith looks at how the key to the Blue Jays’ pitching this season has been all the innings the club has gotten out of its rotation.

More from Sportsnet, as Alex Anthopoulos tells the Jeff Blair show that he’s not real interested in leaving Los Angeles, despite rumours about interest from the Minnesota Twins. “If we thought L.A. was going to be a place-holder or be in a holding pattern, we would have stayed in Toronto and just waited around for other opportunities,” he says. Meanwhile, Mark Shapiro told Blair and Stephen Brunt that he expects that all the Blue Jays’ free agents will hit the open market, which at this point is pretty obvious — and certainly, as he makes clear, doesn’t mean they won’t necessarily be coming back.

Back at the Toronto Star, Bruce Arthur writes about meaningful September baseball, and how, as scary as it is, it’s exactly what we always asked for. Meanwhile, Brendan Kennedy talks to John Gibbons, who ended his club’s poor six-game run by trying to shake things up, and admits that the Jays have no other option but to play better.

Sticking with the Star, Brendan had four great features to check out this week: on Gavin Floyd’s rehab process, on the bond between Josh Thole and R.A. Dickey, on Dalton Pompey’s familial support, and on Marcus Stroman’s trying year and how he’s taking it as a learning experience.

Gregory Strong of the Canadian Press, via the Globe and Mail, gives us five things to watch as the Jays make their playoff push.

Alykhan Ravjiani of BlueJays.com looks at Dalton Pompey’s ability to make an impact on the Jays’ roster as a pinch runner — something he’s going all out to prepare himself to be.

Two from Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun, as he tells us how Justin Smoak is embracing his limited role (which, y’know, is probably not quite limited enough), and how Kevin Pillar has a message for fans about the struggles the club has going through over the last week.

Jays Prospects looks at the club’s top draft pick from back in June, T.J. Zeuch, who is already rising quickly through the system, making it all the way to Lansing in his first season as a pro.

Great stuff from the Blue Jay Hunter as he looks at the way that Roberto Osuna has begun to mess with opposing hitters’ timing — something he’s picked up from Jason Grilli.

At USA Today, our old friend Ted Berg writes that Mike Trout deserves his fifth MVP award, but probably won’t win his second.

I don’t personally think Josh Donaldson should win a second straight AL MVP — I’m team Trout, as I don’t think he should be punished for having shitty teammates (nor would I want to take Roy Halladay’s 2003 Cy Young away just because he didn’t pitch his team into the playoffs, for example) — but over at FanGraphs, August Fagerstrom makes the case (as writers have been doing all week over there for all the various candidates).

Mike Petriello tweets a graph showing how the spin rate on Marco Estrada’s fastball has changed over the course of the season, which… um… that’s a little scary.

Brett Smiley of Fox Sports writes about Manager of the Year candidates, and suggests that John Gibbons is the front-runner in the American League, which… is fine by me. I think, for all the shit Red Sox fans have given him, John Farrell would be a good candidate too — and a hilarious one. Not that manager of the year awards mean a damn thing anyway.

Lastly, 2080 Baseball gives us a couple notes about a Matt Dermody, who made his big league debut last week — including the fact that “among the off-season jobs Dermody has held, he was a bike messenger in New York City.” Amazing!