PLAYOFFS!!!1! Threat: High Tension Wire, Blue Jays (0-0) @ Clevelands (0-0)

Cleveland fan
An embarrassment. Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Here we go! ALCS time! And if Cleveland’s baseball club proves to be even a fraction as embarrassing as its racist logo or some of its fans, the Toronto Blue Jays will be in real good shape. That picture was taken last week, by the way. Last week!

Of course, the Blue Jays are already in pretty good shape as it is. Cleveland may have an advantage on the base paths, and that might extend to the outfield, and the Jays’ rotation may be the result of a not-insignificant amount of luck, but… uh… dingers. And rotation health. And a rejuvenated Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista. And Edwin. And dingers. And Tulo. And rotation health.

So, y’know, good luck to you Cleveland! Except… well… maybe not until you change your mascot.

NOW LET’S DO THIS! And, holy shit, if you’re somehow not already jacked for this series — or even if you are — do yourself a favour and read today’s piece “authored” by Jason Grilli at the Players’ Tribune.

Scuttlebutt

Hey, so not only is Marcus Stroman available out of the bullpen tonight, John Gibbons told reporters (such as our friend Benny Fresh) that “One inning wouldn’t hurt him. It’d probably do him some good.” Hmm…

Devon Travis is being eased back into the lineup, and may see Ryan Goins come on as a defensive replacement for him at points in this series, due to his balky knee. Or maybe John Gibbons is just a true believer in Zeke’s Thunder.

At Sportsnet, Shi Davidi writes about the Jays’ roster decisions today, including leaving “Smoakie” off of it. “It’s not easy, but he gets it,” John Gibbons said.

Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Arden Zwelling talks to Russell Martin, who has seen the talk about Cleveland’s ability on the bases, and welcomes it. 

Great stuff from Brendan Kennedy for the Toronto Star, as he looks at the increased importance of advance scouts at this time of year.

Elsewhere in the Star, Alicja Siekierska profiles the great Ed Chee, aka @cheechoo98, a storyboard artist who has sketched a highlight from every single Jays game this season. Don’t all rush to give him a book deal at once (but someone totally do that).

Doug Harrison of CBC Sports gets us set for the matchup with Cleveland by having us relive the epic Canada Day battle between the two teams. Spoiler alert: it didn’t end well for the good guys.

Interesting stuff from Max Cohen of the Wall Street Journal, as he gives us the background on Trevor Bauer’s drone infatuation — which, ICYMI, caused the Cleveland starter to have his Game Two start pushed back to Game Three, because he cut his finger repairing one.

Lastly, speaking of Cleveland logo stuff, Mark Shapiro says that he was personally bothered by the “Chief Wahoo” logo, but Hardball Talk’s Craig Calcaterra rightly calls bullshit on that, noting that while he may not have liked the logo, and tried to minimize it with the introduction of the “block C” logo Cleveland often uses, given that, y’know, he had a chance to actually eliminate it and didn’t.

TV: Sportsnet
Next Game: Tomorrow @ Cleveland, 4:08 PM ET
And now, the lineups…

Toronto Blue Jays

Ezequiel Carrera(L) LF
Josh Donaldson(R) 3B
Edwin Encarnacion(R) 1B
Jose Bautista(R) RF
Russell Martin(R) C
Troy Tulowitzki(R) SS
Michael Saunders(L) DH
Kevin Pillar(R) CF
Devon Travis(R) 2B
Marco Estrada RHP

The Clevelands

Carlos Santana(S) DH
Jason Kipnis(L) 2B
Francisco Lindor(S) SS
Mike Napoli(R) 1B
Jose Ramirez(S) 3B
Lonnie Chisenhall(L) RF
Coco Crisp(S) LF
Tyler Naquin(L) CF
Roberto Perez(R) C
Corey Kluber RHP