A message of congratulations to the Toronto Blue Jays

Wow, you almost can’t tell that Sergio Santos just turned in the worst relief appearance in Blue Jays history. Almost.

Dear Toronto Blue Jays front office, management and players:

You played a fantastic pair of games yesterday. You have nothing to be ashamed about. Honest! Most teams would tremble at the thought of facing the mighty Minnesota Twins. Never mind that Joe Mauer schmuck. Most anybody would be damn near terrified to face the wrath of such perennial all-stars such as Chris Herrmann and Kurt Suzuki. No wonder you all  pitched around Josmil Pinto the way that you guy did. I would have too. Sure, he’s barely hitting .200, but it’s still early and a superstar like him is bound to break out at any time.

Seen Here: Josmil “The Destroyer of Worlds” Pinto.

It’s a wonder that you made it to the seventh inning with a lead, frankly. Even with the marvelous four innings that Dustin McGowan threw, giving up only three runs, six hits and four walks, you still held on to a pitiful 5-3 lead. Don’t get me wrong though, you should all count yourselves very lucky to hold a lead against a team that smart money has picked to finish second-last only to the Astros in the American League.

John Gibbons doesn’t need to blame himself for this. It’s not his fault that his brilliant strategy of “taking good, solid pitchers like Neil Wagner and Brett Cecil out of the game way before they’re out of gas” didn’t work out. All revolutionary actions are bound to hit a rough spot at some point,mainly due to the fact that they’re highly illogical,  but they’re also eventually recognized for the sheer brilliance that they are, no matter how much of a toll they take on your bullpen.

Or, in some cases, your life expectancy.

And could you really blame Sergio Santos for his implosion of Ricky Romero-like proportions? I’m not even gonna joke about this anymore, because there is no positive way to spin this. Three wild pitches in an inning? Are you fucking serious? I’ve seen Little Leaguers pitch better innings than that.

I’m sorry that this post is so irrelevant to my usual topics and filled with pretty mean-spirited sarcasm, but I really needed to vent about this and it was either using this creative outlet or screaming wordless cries of pain.

MLB’s Japanese Dream Team (Part 2: The Starting Rotation)

(This is a continuation of this post)

1. Yu Darvish

 Japanese team: Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters (2005-2011)

  MLB team: Texas Rangers (2012-Present)

   Scouted by the Angels and the Braves as early as high school, this Japanese-Iranian righty decided instead to sign with the hilariously named Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. Darvish spent the next seven seasons putting up some of the best numbers that Nippon Professional Baseball had ever seen, going 93-38, with a 1.99 ERA, a couple MVP awards, an Eiji Sawamura Award (The Japanese equivalent of the Cy Young Award), two Gold Glove Awards, and five All-Star nods. That and his performance in the 2009 World Baseball Classic (In which he got the last out of the tournament in the championship game against South Korea) started making fans and big league teams in North America salivate.

After a long bidding war, the Texas Rangers beat out the Toronto Blue Jays (Goddammit!) for Darvish’s services. He signed a six-year, $60 million dollar contract. I believe Clayton Kershaw referred to that sum as: “adorable.”

Anyway, his first season in America wasn’t quite Clayton Kershaw-like, but he was still very good, posting a 3.90 Earned Run Average and striking out 221 hitters. He finished in the top 10 of both the Rookie of the Year race (Behind Mike Trout and Yoenis Cespedes) and the Cy Young  race (In which David Price won). In 2013, however, he really pitched at or near his full potential, nearly throwing a perfect game on Opening Day (Granted, it was against the Astros, but still…) and finishing second in the Cy Young Award Race, ahead of countryman Hisashi Iwakuma, but behind the Tigers ace, Max Scherzer.

2. Hiroki Kuroda

  Japanese Team: Hiroshima Toyo Carp (1997-2007)

  MLB Teams: Los Angeles Dodgers (2008-2011) New York Yankees (2012-2013)

  The relentlessly good 38-year old from Osaka, Hiroki Kuroda has, over the last five years, become not only one of the best pitchers to ever cross the Pacific, but one of the most consistent players in baseball today.

  Kuroda was a mediocre-to-bad pitcher for his first few years with the Hiroshima Carp (Carps?), posting 6.00+ ERA’s in ’98 and ’99. He righted the ship at the turn of the century, however, and went on to post a 3.69 ERA in the NPB. Signing with the Dodgers in 2007, he pitched four rather under-the-radar seasons with the Dodgers that were nonetheless very good, even contributing a 2011 season that could have been a top-ten Cy Young Award contender if his 13-16 record didn’t look so bad in the eyes of people who still think that wins and losses are worth a damn. Leaving the Dodgers after the 2011 season, Kuroda signed with the Yankees, and has been re-signed two more times to one-year deals. He might’ve been in the mix for the AL Cy Young Award in 2013 if he hadn’t faded in August and September, as the Yankees missed the playoffs.

  3. Hisashi Iwakuma 

  Japanese Teams: Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes (2000-04) Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles (2005-11)

  MLB Team: Seattle Mariners (2012-Present)

  Poor Hisashi Iwakuma. Not only is he not the first player that leaps to mind when you think of Japanese aces (That’d be Yu Darvish, obviously), he isn’t even the most well-known pitcher on the Mariners!

That said, maybe living under Felix Hernandez’s shadow has helped Iwakuma excel, performing exceptionally well in both his seasons with the Mariners so far.

An elite pitcher in Japan and the 2009 World Baseball Classic along with future big leaguer Yu Darvish and future train wreck Daisuke Matsuzaka, Iwakuma was posted by the Golden Eagles, with the Oakland Athletics winning the bidding. However the two sides did not agree to a deal, and Iwakuma  played in Japan for one more year before signing with the Seattle Mariners.

(Fact: The A’s are 1 for 6 when it comes to Japanese players.  Their only success was the short stint that Hideki Okajima had at the end of 2013. Relief pitcher Keiichi Yabu pitched poorly for them in 2005, Akinori Iwamura hit .129 in 10 games with them in 2010, Hideki Matsui was very bad for them in 2011, they failed to sign Iwakuma, and, most recently, they signed charismatic star shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima to a two-year deal prior to the 2013 season only to have him display poor form in Spring Training (During which he lost the starting job to Jed Lowrie), started the season in AAA, hit for a .698 OPS (Bad) for the Sacramento River Cats, and get outrighted to the minors)

  4. Hideo “The Tornado” Nomo 

  Japanese Team: Kintetsu Buffaloes

  MLB Teams: Los Angeles Dodgers (1995-98, 2002-04) New York Mets (1998) Milwaukee Brewers (1999) Detroit Tigers (2000) B0ston Red Sox (2001) Tampa Bay Devil Rays (2005) Kansas City Royals (2008)

  This is him, folks. The man who really got the ball rolling  when it comes to Asian baseball players. Nicknamed “The Tornado” because of his bizarre mechanics, Nomo pitched great for the Kintetsu Buffaloes, but got into a contract dispute with them. To get off the team and break into a career in America, he exploited a loophole in his contract with the Buffaloes and was signed by the Dodgers in February of 1995.

After a month spent pitching in the minors thanks to the strike, Nomo made his debut and took the nation by storm, becoming a minor celebrity in the States, and a hero in Japan. His best season was his first one, when he posted a 2.54 ERA (Which is excellent) and won the Rookie of the Year Award. He had a couple more fine seasons (In 1996, he became the last Dodger to throw a no-hitter) with the Dodgers before imploding and bouncing from team to team over the next few years. In 2001, he finally put together an OK season with the Boston Red Sox (In which he threw a no-hitter on his first start of the season), which convinced the Dodgers to re-sign him. He had two great years with the Dodgers before imploding once again. Nomo may have been nowhere near a Hall of Famer, but every Japanese big league star owes at least part of their success to the Tornado.

 5. Tomo Ohka

Japanese Teams: Yokohama BayStars (1994-98, 2010-11) Toyama Thunderbirds (Independent) (2013)

 MLB Teams: Boston Red Sox (1999-2001) Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals (2001-2005) Milwaukee Brewers (2005-06) Toronto Blue Jays (2007) Cleveland Indians (2009)

 “Who?” is right.

  Tomo Ohka wasn’t well known or good in Japan either, but his ability to control pitches drew interest from the Boston Red Sox, who signed him in 1999. After pitching well in AAA, he was called up in July, and pitched poorly for the Red Sox. He righted the ship the next year, however, and pitched solidly before being traded to the Expos. He actually pitched very well for the Expos and Nationals in his years with the team, but pitched poorly once again after being traded to the Brewers. After short stints with the Jays and the Indians, he returned to Japan, where he was pretty much awful. In 2013, he reinvented himself as a knuckeball pitcher with the indie league Toyama Thunderbirds, and, after the season, signed a minor league contract with the Blue Jays.

To be continued…

Toronto! (Plus: How to recognize a Canadian!)

On the eight, I will be flying out to Toronto for a week in order to, among other things, visit family, see the zoo and watch the Jays. I will try to update my blog while on vacation, but I think it unlikely that I will be able to. If my blog goes un-updated for more than a week though, it means that I have either been murdered for drug money by Toronto’s crackhead mayor, or have watched Josh Johnson pitch and suffered a coronary as a result.

Fret not faithful viewers! Before I venture off into a pleasant getaway/impending doom, I will leave you with a healthy tip on how to recognize a Canadian!

How an American/Brit will pronounce “Toronto”:


How an American/Brit trying to sound Canadian will pronounce “Toronto”:


How a Canadian will pronounce “Toronto”


“Aha” You may think to yourself, “Those last two sound exactly the same! You’re a fraud, random blogger I found on the internet while searching for pictures of Emma Watson in revealing clothing!”

Well, if you weren’t thinking about it before…

But you see, there is a difference. When a non-Canadian says “Toronto”, nothing happens afterwords.

When a Canadian says it, however, “O Canada” starts blaring triumphantly in the background as water turn into maple syrup while Mounties arrive to serve ice-cold Molson’s as ice-skating beavers play an impromptu hockey game.

“O Canada! (Fuck Yeah!)”

See ya next week (At the latest)!

@ The All-Star Break! (American League)

So, what have we learned during the All-Star Break?

  1. The Home Run Derby is still tons of fun.
  2. Yoennis Cespedes rules.
  3. Wherever there is a ballplayer living in the United States who speaks poor English and needs a translator, lowlife rednecks will call him out for “ruining Americas pastime”.

Seen Here: America’s pastime.

4. Prince Fielder is capable of hitting triples. However, in doing so, the resulting tremors usually result in the complete destruction of a small Asian country. Nice knowing you, Singapore.

God forbid he slide.

5. Mariano Rivera is awesome and his last All-Star Game was quite heartwarming. However, if he pulls an un-retirement (Andy Petitte style) let’s all agree not to do that again, okay?

However, the All-Star Break is also a fantastic moment to take stock of the season do far. It’s not the halfway point that everyone keeps calling it for some reason, but who’s got time to calculate half of 162?

“Fuck math! From now on, dealing crack is the life for me!”

So, here are the current standings and my predictions for the major award winners and division/league/World Series champions.


My Pre-Season Prediction:

  1.  Toronto Blue Jays
  2. Tampa Bay Rays (Wild Card)
  3. Baltimore Orioles
  4. New York Yankees
  5. Boston Red Sox

Current Standings:

  1. Boston Red Sox (58-39)
  2. Tampa Bay Rays (55-41, Wild Card)
  3. Baltimore Orioles (53-43)
  4. New York Yankees (51-44)
  5. Toronto Blue Jays (45-49)

Well, this division is stacked.

Biggest Surprise: That would be the Red Sox who, in the wake of the tragic Boston Bombings, have been exceptionally good even after injuries to Clay Bucholz and Joel Hanrahan, putting together a great (Likeable!) team. While it’s kinda tough to determine what exactly made this team click, I’m pretty sure it was getting Alfredo Aceves to fuck right on off to AAA that relaxed the mood.

And to think it took the Canadian national team to kick his ass before…

Biggest Disappointment: Well fuck, I don’t really need to say it, do I?

Alright, fine. The biggest disappointments are my beloved Toronto Blue Jays. As it turns out, assembling a whole shitload of talent and throwing them onto a baseball field isn’t always the way to go.

On the positive side, we didn’t take the Marlins logo along with Emilio Bonifacio.

MVP: Dustin Pedroia, 2B, Red Sox

I will probably get brutalized for not picking Chris Davis (Or not, considering how much people read my blog) and for picking a Red Sox when I am a Certifies Red Sox Nation Hater, but goddammit, I LIKE Dustin Pedroia! A .316 Batting Average and excellent fielding don’t hurt, either.

Cy Young: Clay Bucholz, Red Sox

Even with his recent DL stint, Bucholz was leaps and bounds over any other AL East pitcher in the first half.

Rookie of the Year: Jose Iglesias, Red Sox

After a (Very) unimpressive cup of coffee in 2012, Iglesias got himself a starting job this year, with both Will Middlebrooks and Stephen Drew on the DL, and has run with it so far, hitting .367 in 180 At-Bats while playing excellent defense.

My All-Star Break Prediction:

  1. Boston Red Sox (98-64)
  2. Tampa Bay Rays (95-67, Wild Card)
  3. Baltimore Orioles (93-69, Wild Card)
  4. New York Yankees (81-81)
  5. Toronto Blue Jays (79-83)


My Pre-Season Prediction:

  1. Detroit Tigers
  2. Kansas City Royals
  3. Chicago White Sox
  4. Cleveland Indians
  5. Minnesota Twins

Current Standings:

  1. Detroit Tigers (52-42)
  2. Cleveland Indians (51-44)
  3. Kansas City Royals (43-49)
  4. Minnesota Twins (39-53)
  5. Chicago White Sox (37-55)

Biggest Surprise: Cleveland Indians

The Indians have beat the odds by proving that you can stay over .500 despite having an aged, 250 pound Jason Giambi on your team.

Biggest Disappointment:

Fuck, I dunno. The White Sox, I guess? Truth be told, I just really wanna get to the AL West.

MVP: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers

Well duh.

Cy Young: Max Scherzer

I don’t take too much stock in wins and losses, mainly because they’re bullshit, but thirteen straight wins is nothing to thumb your nose at.

Rookie of the Year: David Lough

Who? David Lough? Really? Fuck it, okay, let’s roll with it.

My All-Star Predictions:

  1. Detroit Tigers (93-69)
  2. Cleveland Indians (87-75)
  3. Kansas City Royals (69-93)
  4. Minnesota Twins (69-93)
  5. Chicago White Sox (61-101)

Lessons Learned: 1. The Detroit Tigers don’t have to do too much to win this division and 2. The White Sox suck pretty bad.


My Pre-Season Predictions:

  1. Los Angeles Angels
  2. Oakland Athletics
  3. Texas Rangers
  4. Seattle Mariners
  5. Houston Astros

Current Standings:

  1. Oakland Athletics (56-39)
  2. Texas Rangers (54-41, Wild Card)
  3. Los Angeles Angels (44-49)
  4. Seattle Mariners (43-52)
  5. Houston Astros (33-61)

Biggest Surprise: N/A

There haven’t been many positive surprises in this division. The A’s and Rangers have been as good as expected, and the Mariners and Astros have both been bad and terrible, respectively.

Biggest Dissapointment: Los Angeles Angels

It just wasn’t a very good offseason to spend big, huh?

MVP: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels

He probably should have won MVP last year, but Superfish (A nickname that I really want to have catch on) hasn’t ;et his lack of a trophy slow him down. He may be the best all-around player in the game at the age of 22.

Cy Young: Hisashi Iwakuma, Seattle Mariners

His fellow countryman Yu Darvish gets most of the credit (And he is really, really good) so it’s easy to forget that Iwakuma has been just as or almost as good in his Big League Career. It was almost a tie, but I went with Iwakuma for the reason that he has played more games than Darvish.

Rookie of the Year: Nick Franklin, Seattle Mariners

With all due respect to Nick Franklin… I think the AL West might have blown their prospect wad last year with Trout and Cespedes.

Damn you, Superfish, you ruin everything!!!

My All-Star Predictions:

  1. Oakland Athletics (99-63)
  2. Texas Rangers (91-71)
  3. Seattle Mariners (77-85)
  4. Los Angeles Angels (73-89)
  5. Houston Astros (53-109)

Yeah, I’m feeling the A’s. The Angels, not so much.


Manager of the Year: John Farrell, Red Sox

I hate this motherfucker. He openly stabbed the Jays in the back and half-assed it in 2012 after not getting his dream job that year instead of when his contract was up. Not that he did a great job managing the team anyways, but still.

That said, raise your hand if you thought the Sox would be a great team this year.

No you didn’t, you fucking liar.

Rookie of the Year: Jose Iglesias, Red Sox

Cy Young Award: Max Scherzer, Tigers

I may reconsider if Clay Bucholz stays excellent when he comes back from his injury.

MVP: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers

Mike Trout may have deserved it last year, but this year, it’s all Miggy.

Tune back in soon for the National League and my playoff picks.

The Story So Far- The 2013 Toronto Blue Jays


The 2013 Major League Baseball season has so far been pretty damn good. There have been pleasant surprises, such as Chris Davis of the Orioles and Matt Harvey of the Mets, as well as a good amount of more of the same. (Check out who`s leading the AL East right now. Makes you weep, huh?)

Seen Here: A powerful snapshot of the power of optimism.

However, for some fans, 2013 has been a lost season that has not really been worth following. The Astros suck of course, but in addition to them, the Brewers are in dead last in their division as of this writing, while the ever hapless Cubbies are just a few games ahead of them. The mighty Southern California teams (The Angels and Dodgers. No, not the Padres.) have both looked completely lost throughout the first two months. (Although they are slowly but surely clawing their ways back.) As for the Miami Marlins, it`s so hard to believe that they won a World Series ten years ago, before Jeffrey Loria ushered in the revolutionary new “50 years of darkness” rebuilding technique.

” We finished in last place, figure it out.”

That`s true Jeffrey, but you know who else finished in last place? Every team ever. Including the goddamn Yankees.

The year: 1966. It was a better time.

However, I don`t really have any right to criticize the awfulness of the above-mentioned teams. Why, you ask? Well, myself being Canadian and a baseball fan, I chose many years ago to follow Canada`s team..a team that thus far has been one of the biggest busts in MLB history.

These guys, of course.

On an unrelated note, does anyone know a good Jays blog?

Yes, I am very sad to admit that I have had the misfortune to be a Toronto Blue Jays fan during the 2013 season. From November to April, I had my hopes at a realistically low level, rapidly elevate, elevate just a little bit more, and come to a fever pitch, nearly giving myself and all Canadian baseball fans heart attacks from the anticipation. As soon as April 1st rolled around though, these hopes plummeted like Manny Ramirez`s career, and are currently at a level of meagerness usually reserved for junkies and elementary school teachers.

So how did we get here exactly? How did the Bluebirds go from being Canada`s golden boys to being a laughingstock of epic proportions?

It`s not like Canada has produced any other laughingstocks…

Well, I`ll get to that, but first of all, here`s a timeline of the Jays from November til now.

  • October 21, 2012: The Jays let John Farrell go to the Red Sox in return for Mike Aviles. Indifferent shrugs abound.
  • November 8, 2012: Maicer Izturis is signed to a three year contract.
  • On the same day, the Jays acquired pothead and part-time relief pitcher Jeremy Jeffress from the KC Royals. Afterwords, they trade away Aviles and catcher Yan Gomes to the Cleveland Racist Logos in return for Esmil Rogers, one of the few survivors of the massive Coors Field Pitching Massacres.

Every night, Esmil is haunted by the knowledge that while he got out of Denver, Christian Friedrich, Alex White, and Carlos Torres would never see the light of another day…

  •   On November 14, 2012, the Blue Jays shock the baseball world by staging a daring daylight robbery of the Miami Marlins. The team infiltrated Marlins Park and made away with Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Emilio Bonifacio, and John Buck, for some reason. However, the daring attack came at a cost… Pitchers Henderson Alvarez, Justin Nicolino, and Anthony Desclafani as well as position players Adeiny Hechavarria, Jake Marisnick, and Jeff Mathis were captured and imprisoned in the abyss known as the Miami Marlins organisation.

They let the Marlins have Yunel Escobar though, because fuck him.

  • November 16, 2012: The Jays sign Melky Cabrera to a two year, 16 million dollar contract. Jays fans respond by whistling, pretending not to notice.
  • November 20, 2012: John Gibbons is awoken from his four year slumber when Alex Anthopoulos offers him the position of manager. He only accepts when he sees that Ted Lilly is with the Dodgers, and that Frank Thomas and Shea Hillenbrand are out of baseball.
  • December 17, 2012: The Blue Jays, in a trade that didn`t seem self-destructive at the time, trade top prospects Travis D`Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard as well as John Buck to the Mets in exchange for folk hero/knuckle-baller/Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey  and catcher Josh Thole. Some people questioned whether or no the dome in Toronto may have a negative effect on R.A`s knuckle-ball. We called these people pompous shitheads.
  • March 14, 2013: Mariners burnout/official Japanese person Munenori Kawasaki is invited to Spring Training.
  • The Blue Jays send the following players to the excellent 2013 World Baseball Classic: Jose Reyes, Edwin Encarnacion, Moises Sierra (All playing for the champions, Dominican Republic)  Brett Lawrie, Adam Loewen (Both for Canada) R.A. Dickey, and J.P. Arencibia. (Poor, poor Team USA) J.P. cannot Handle R.A`s knuckle-ball throughout the tournament. This was apparently not seen as a sign of concern.
  • April 2, 2013: The Jays lose to the Indians 4-1 on Opening Day. Lesson learned: Don`t let J.P. Arencibia catch a knuckle-ball.
  • April 3, 2013: The first Jays home run is hit by Maicer Izturis. Jays fans scratch their head in puzzlement. Later,Jose Bautista hits a home run to negate this. The Jays still lose.
  • April 12, 2013: A poor start is made worse when Jose Reyes is injured, which sucks, considering he was the only Jay doing anything well at the time.
  • April 13, 2013: Time stops and the world watches in equal parts amusement and confusion as Munenori Kawasaki makes his Blue Jays debut.
  • April 16, 2013: Brett Lawrie makes his season debut.
  • May 7, 2013: The baseball world looks on in horror as J.A. Happ is struck in the head by a liner. While not a Brandon McCarthy situation, he is still placed on the 60-Day DL.
  • May 9, 2013: Said baseball world watches in even more sickening horror as Ricky Romero takes the mound.
  • May 22, 2013: Jose Bautista goes 4-for-4 with two home runs and a walk-off single against the Orioles.
  • May 25, 2013: Lawrie flips his batting gloves at umpires, gets ejected.
  • May 26, 2013: Lawrie yells at Adam Lind for not scoring on a not very deep pop fly to Nick Markakis. Jays fans begin to suspect that Brett is a little bit of a douche.

This guy? Naaaah.

  • Same Day: Munenori Kawasaki hits a walk-off base hit against the Orioles and reassures the world that he is, in fact, Japanese.

  • May 29, 2013: Brett Lawrie is injured sliding into second base.
  • June 1, 2013: After a 17th inning loss to the Padres, I write this article and contemplate suicide the whole time.

Despite most of what I said, it hasn’t been all bad for the Blue Jays.  Believe it or not, some things have gone right for the BJ`s. For instance:

  1. No matter how bad Munenori Kawasaki sucks at hitting, he will always be my hero.
  2. Despite his struggles, doesn`t R.A. Dickey seem like a terrific dude?
  3. Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion are both hitting like tanks.
  4. Casey Janssen is lights-out as the closer
  5. Our minor league system, though depleted, is not that bad.
  6. Our bullpen is pretty good. Aaron Loup, Esmil Rogers, Steve Delabar, Brett Cecil and Juan Perez have all impressed me to varying degrees.
  7. Adam Lind is back!
  8. Melky Cabrera actually hasn`t been that bad. Not particularly good, either, but not AWFUL.
  9. Chad Jenkins!…
  10. Alex Anthopoulos has shown the ability to pull off some pretty good deals.

On the other hand:

  1. It`s a well known fact that high expectations + failure= fan depression. Fan depression= alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption + Canadians = unruly, retarded fans. 
  2. While R.A. Dickey may be a terrific dude, a 5.18 ERA isn`t exactly what we expected.
  3. While Joey Bats and Eddy E crush home runs, so do Colby Rasmus and J.P. Arencibia….about once every five strikeouts.
  4. While we used to have Aaron Sanchez, Justin Nicolino, and Noah Syndergaard in our minor league system, we now have just Sanchez, and not much to show for the departures of Nicolino and Syndergaard.
  5. Chad Jenkins!…Just got demoted to AAA in favour of Ramon Ortiz! This is why we can’t have nice things!
  6. The good deals don`t mean shit if the players don`t deliver.
  7. AA also seems to have the tendency to panic and jump the gun on bringing people up. How else do you explain poor Sean Nolin?
  8. Can  someone please get Mr. Sergio Santos a new elbow? This one keeps shorting out on him.

While all the above reasons are enough to guarantee a losing record, the Blue Jays biggest problem is the complete and utter lack of starting pitching. The following is a list of starting pitchers the Jays have used, from most to least innings pitched.

  1. R.A. Dickey has under performed since the WBC,  going 4-8, with a 5.18 ERA in 14 games started for the Jays and Team USA. His knuckle-ball is non-existent at home, and he has been battling neck and back problems.
  2. Mark Buehrle has crashed hard at age 34, with a 5.51 ERA in 67 Innings pitched. He only allowed three runs in his last thirteen innings though, so this might be a turning point. Then again, I’ve said that many times before.
  3. Brandon Morrow is injured, once again. Just a few hours ago, he was placed on the D.L, but it`s not like he was wowing anybody with a 5.63 ERA. His strikeout rate is way down too (9.4 K/9 Career, 7.0 K/9 in 2013.)
  4. J.A. Happ actually had the best start of any Jays pitcher, with a comparatively low ERA of 4.91, before he got hit in the head with a line drive . He is currently on the 60-day Disabled List.
  5. Esmil Rogers is doing okay as a relief pitcher, and went three scoreless innings in a spot start (His first since 2011).
  6. Ramon Ortiz made two appearances as a long reliever before surprising everyone with two starts in which he had a     1.50 ERA in 13 innings. He then came crashing back down to earth, contracting a 5.01 ERA and being demoted, though he has been called back up at the expense of Chad Jenkins.
  7. Josh Johnson has been plagued by injuries and poor performances, with a 6.86 ERA in 19.2 innings and a lengthy stint on the D.L. that just ended.
  8. Chad Jenkins has been a really pleasant surprise, eh? with a 3.60 ERA in 15 innings, I think it`s safe to say that we may finally have a good, consistent in out rota- ah, shit, he was demoted to make room for Ortiz.
  9. Poor, poor Ricky Romero. Formerly a top prospect and subsequently an All-Star, Ricky`s struggles with everything about pitching have gotten him demoted to Class A Dunedin, promoted to the bigs after only one start, and subsequently demoted to AAA Buffalo after posting a 12.46 ERA in 4.1 innings. Things aren`t looking likely to get any better either, with a 9.45 ERA with the Bisons.
  10. Yes, Aaron Laffey had a spot start with us, allowing 2 runs in 2.2 innings. He was promptly released.
  11. How about poor Sean Nolin?  called up from AA New Hampshire WAY to early, he was massacred in his debut, allowing six earned runs in only 1.1 innings.

So, this brings us to the big question: With all these injuries and bad performances, is there any chance that the Jays make the playoffs? Well, let me think. Assuming that Jose Reyes comes back healthy, Joey Bats, Adam Lind and Eddy E keep raking, J.P. and Colby Rasmus cut down on strikeouts, Brett Lawrie comes back healthy and wises up, Dickey, Johnson, Buehrle and Morrow remain healthy and perform better, and Casey Janssen keeps doing what he does so well, then yes, but I think that`s a very long shot. It can be done, but I`m not counting on it.

So, panic time now, right? Time to renounce the Jays for the bums they are and become a Tigers fan?   No. Absolutely not. Yes, there is no light at the end of the tunnel this year, but as the cliche goes, there`s always next year. AA will learn from  his mistakes, we will likely still have Reyes, Bautista, Encarnacion and Janssen next year, and Aaron Sanchez is getting closer and closer to the bigs with every start. So peace be with you, long suffering Jays fans. We’ve endured terrible years before, we can (hopefully) do it again. Then, in three years or so, when we’ve won the World Series for the third time, we can chalk up 2013 as a learning experience.

So be patient. Remember that it`s always darkest before the dawn. If these are the Jays’ darkest hours, then prosperity must be coming soon.

Until then, please enjoy Munenori Kawasaki and pray we give him another contract.