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Pull up a chair while we talk about all things Blue Jays-related.
Healthy discussion is always encouraged!
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Friday, June 13, 2014

Mulliniks’ Moustache #19 – Anthony Gose

Anthony Gose - Blue Jays centrefielder of the future?
If Winston Churchill was a baseball fan* – and alive in 2014 – surely his famous quote: “a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma” would have been used to describe Anthony Gose. *My five seconds of Wikipedia research tells me he wasn’t. THEREFORE IT IS FACT!

Much has been made about Gose, the young speedster and he of the tantalizing baseball skills. On July 29, 2010, he was one of then-new-wunderkind-GM Alex Anthopoulos’ first acquisitions, swapping slugging first baseman Brett Wallace to the Houston Astros for a then 19-year-old Gose (as a maybe-only-interesting-to-me aside, Gose was actually traded with his current Blue Jay teammate J.A. Happ from the Phillies to the Astros before immediately being sent to the Blue Jays for Wallace).

Monday, June 9, 2014

Mulliniks’ Moustache #18 – Pitch: Talks on Baseball #3

As I mentioned in my previous entry, Pitch: Talks on Baseball #3 was held last Monday night. My Rain Man-like math skills tell me that I’m almost a week late with this recap. Oh well.

This most-recent edition, the third in a series of baseball speaker events, was jam-packed with presenters, featuring Richard Griffin and Brendan Kennedy from the Toronto Star, Cathal Kelly from the Globe & Mail, Scott MacArthur from TSN Radio 1050, Alexis Brudnicki from the Canadian Baseball Network and Cashew Mirman Videos.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Mulliniks’ Moustache #17 – Monday Musings (PitchTalks, Stroman, Gose & MORE)

Just some random food for thought on this sunny Monday, with the Blue Jays sitting in first place, enjoying a 3.5 game lead over the New York Yankees. Just let that sink in for a minute. First place on June 2nd. Okay, onto the musings:

  1. How much fun is it watching the Blue Jays play right now? As I mentioned in my last entry, they’re firing on all cylinders – the line-up top to bottom, no matter who is in the starting line-up, both starting and relief pitching, the defence. Jeez, it even seems like their TWEETS are improving recently. I, for one, can’t really remember a time they’ve played so well. Sure, there was that magical 11-game win streak last year, but that always seemed like a mirage (and the 151 games that book-ended those 11 games prove that it was). John Gibbons mentioned that he was the manager when they went 20-10 in May of 2009 (after which he was fired three weeks later). The 2003 team was pretty solid and stacked with offensive juggernauts (Carlos Delgado in what should have been his MVP season, a still-productive, on-the-rise Vernon Wells, plus Eric Hinske, Shannon Stewart et al and the team ace was, of course, Roy Halladay). There had to have been some solid play during “Vietnam Vet” Tim Johnson’s lone year of 1998, which is still the Blue Jays high-water mark for wins in a season in the past 20 years with 88. I can’t really explain it, but this year’s version of the Blue Jays just seems…different. More real? More dominant? Who knows? I’m open to theories as to why I feel that way; assuming others have the same (warm, fuzzy) feelings as I do. My happy-go-lucky, unicorns and rainbows and fluffy kitten feelings may be a little bit too much sentimentality and grasping for straws because there’s still four months left in the season and it could all go south really quickly, but I’m enjoying the hell out of watching these guys play. 

Monday, May 26, 2014

Mulliniks’ Moustache #16 – Firing on all Cylinders

Is this finally the Blue Jays team we all hoped, and thought, we would see last year? It’s Monday, May 26th, 2014, and our Toronto Blue Jays are sitting atop the American League East, with a two game cushion over the venerable New York Yankees. This a position the Blue Jays, and many of us long-suffering fans, haven’t enjoyed in many moons.

Over the past two weeks or so, the Blue Jays have won six in a row, nine of ten and have climbed from the basement of the AL East all the way, via express elevator, to the penthouse, compete with mirrored ceilings, a 360 degree view of the city and multiple heart-shaped bathtubs (yes, I’ve spend far too much time thinking about what it would be like in a MLB penthouse). Incredibly, the Blue Jays are still only 13-11 at home, so there’s lots of room for improvement in that regard. Just to be a naysayer for a quick second, there are as always many “buts” involved that have to be considered, such as:
  • It’s still insanely early to be getting too excited
  • Everyone else in the AL East is playing terribly. Horribly, awfully, terrible. Like, on par with the Houston Astros. Yes, that bad.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mulliniks’ Moustache #15 – Dustin McGowan & the Catch-22

It appears as though the Blue Jays have created an awkward situation for themselves: Dustin McGowan was a key, stabilizing force in their bullpen last year – one of the few bright spots in a disaster of a season. And now in 2014 they’re in desperate need of him to move from the starting rotation back to the bullpen to solidify their current, far-more-shaky version. However, with Brandon Morrow possibly out for the year with an injured finger, they’re even leaner at starting pitching than originally thought. Further complicating the issue is that McGowan, complete with his new fatigue-busting in-game insulin pump, has strung together a couple of really solid starts. The sad reality is that no matter where McGowan pitches, the other side will be left lacking. Dustin McGowan: 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Team Lynchpin, who would have thought that?

If McGowan was struggling and still only able to throw 65 effective pitches at a time then the decision would be easier, but it doesn’t make sense to move an effective starter to the bullpen and in the process weaken an already weak rotation. It would be a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. It’s simply not the right time to play around with rotation/bullpen members.