Weekly Round Up: June 21 - 27

Consider this your required reading for the week.  It's more like required viewing and a bit of reading but what you gonna do?

Courtesy of You Don't Know Dick @ The Star:

Thanks to the humanity shown by the Jays, McDonald was home for the final 11 days of his father’s life, alternately laughing and crying but always celebrating a life well lived. McDonald recalled for the fans one of the highlight conversations from that final week.
“One year I struck out only once in high school,” he said. “We had a game where no umpires showed. They knew my dad was an ump so they pulled him out of the crowd. On a two-strike pitch, he punched me out on a curveball. We were talking in the hospital with a bunch of his umpire friends. I said, ‘Dad, was that really a strike?’ He said, ‘Son, it was a strike then and it’s a strike now.’”

This is a touchy subject for me.  I lost my Dad when I was younger and debated on whether or not to add this wonderful story.  In the end, this may end up being the story of the year and I am happy John had an opportunity to spend some time with his father before he passed away.  To hit a homerun in his first at bat back in the line up after his death, considering he had 13 in 1911 plate appearances over his 12 season in the Major Leagues, well that is something very special.      

Courtesy of MLB.com:

Hours prior to the Blue Jays' contest against the Cardinals on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre, an earthquake reading 5.5 on the Richter Scale sent shock waves throughout the city of Toronto, spanning as far as Boston, Chicago, and New York. While an earthquake in Toronto is practically unheard of -- the last one of this magnitude coming nearly 20 years ago -- this is the second time this month the Blue Jays have experienced a series of tremors.

Earthquake in Ontario?  Last year we had a bunch of tornadoes touch down and now this?  Yikes. 

Courtesy of Buck Martinez @ Sportsnet.ca:

BOB OWSNETT ASKS: I've always wondered what's involved in a pitcher's SIMULATED game? Does it take place under the stands with a strike zone target OR out on the diamond with a catcher? Are certain situations set up? Do they pitch a full game or just a few innings? Do they actually face batters, OR is it like throwing in the bullpen? Please enlighten me on this subject.
BUCK: Good question Bob. We always talk about a pitcher throwing a "simulated" game without much explanation. Generally this involves a pitcher coming back from injury. As he builds up his arm strength and stamina getting closer to major league action, the team will set up one of these sim sessions. The idea is to simulate the action of pitching an inning. He will face some of his own hitters, the catcher will call pitches and the pitching coach will serve as the umpire. The inning will consist of a regular sequence of pitches to a batter that has an at-bat. If he gets a base hit he doesn't run the bases but the pitcher will work out of the stretch. When three outs are recorded, the inning is over, the pitcher takes his normal break between innings and resumes the process. This simulated game is the last practice a pitcher has before he makes a "rehab assignment" in the minors as a final tune up before activation onto the major league roster. Of course I would always prefer they simulate no-hitters!

Buck does his weekly Q & A.  Usually pretty basic stuff but this was somewhat enlightening. 

Courtesy of MLBTR:

The Padres have acquired Kyle Phillips from the Blue Jays in exchange for a player to be named later, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com (via Twitter). The move represents a homecoming for Phillips, who was born in San Diego.
The 26-year-old broke into the major leagues for the first time last year, compiling five hits in 18 late-season plate appearances for Toronto. Over the course of nine minor league seasons with three different organizations, Phillips has a slash line of .265/.333/.381. Though he came through the minors as a catcher, he has spent most of his time this year at third base, hitting .258/.310/.333 in 71 plate appearances for the Jays' Triple-A affiliate in Las Vegas.
Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star points out (via Twitter) that Phillips was stuck behind a slew of players on the Jays' catcher and corner infield depth charts.

Phillips was not going to see anytime behind the plate because of the following guys:
Things look good with respect to depth at the catching position here in Toronto.  Should we shop John Buck and see what we can get in return? 

Courtesy of Bob Elliott @ Toronto Sun: 

Paul Beeston’s November presidential visit to Halladay in Oldsmar, Fla. in was the date when there was no turning back.
“I didn’t tell Paul I didn’t want to come back,” Halladay said. “I said I didn’t want to sign long-term, keep my options open. I wanted a chance to win ...”
Halladay catches himself and adds: “basically I guess by me saying that, I was saying the same thing.”

A lot of interesting stuff came out about the Roy Halladay trade this week.  I'm glad this ordeal is over with and wish him well on the rest of his season.    

Courtesy of You Don't Know Dick @ The Star:

“When (former GM) J.P. (Ricciardi) was still with them, he had come to us and said what about this extension, blah, blah, blah,” Brandy explained. “They offered us a lot of money. Like we said, it’s not about the money, it’s about putting ourselves in the position to attain the goals we set for ourselves. We said at this time we can’t sign that extension because we don’t know where the team’s going.”
The Jays sent an entourage to Tampa to meet with the Halladays at their home in December of ’08 prior to the winter meetings. The option for the best pitcher in baseball at the time was to sign an extension or else the Jays would explore trade opportunities.
“At that point we had been asked for a list of teams,” she said. “At spring training we said, ‘Look, if you’re going to (trade), do it now. Don’t do it during the year because it’s a media frenzy for the team, it’s a media frenzy for us. Either get it done or let us do our job. When they didn’t, we thought we would be here all year. We never went and said we want a trade. They came to us every time.”
This interview with Roy's wife Brandy was particularly insightful.   

Courtesy of Bob Elliott @ Toronto Sun: 

Isn’t it nicer, now that the Blue Jays clubhouse is so loose?
That real serious guy, who never smiled or laughed, has left.
In the spring, Shaun Marcum said with Roy Halladay gone the Jays clubhouse would be looser, the Jays would “have fun,” and Marcum would “talk to young guys.”
It was a shot at the departed Halladay’s intensity. People within the Jays organization have said the clubhouse was more relaxed once Halladay left with his all-too-serious attitude.

This story got a few of my fellow Jays bloggers pretty pissed.  What do you guys think?  


  1. What do I think? I'm beginning to think that you have the worlds largest collection of cowgirl pinup photos in the world.

    Regarding the Halladay stuff-I definitely think there is some substance to it. Take away an intimidating presence and the younger guys are going to have an easier time being themselves. Obviously they all learned a lot from him too so it goes both ways.

  2. Mattt,
    Heyo! Yeah you know when I started the round up I actually thought about it for a while.....I needed a way to post all the stories from the week that I didn't get to AND I was told by a buddy that I needed more "hot chicks". So I combined the two and voila the round up was born!
    But the real genius was picking a theme where I wasn't going to run out of material.....ever googled hot/sexy/smoking chick & cowboy hat?

    With respect to Halladay, every interview I have ever seen on him has said he led by example. On a team, that generally means he would be the guy who goes out on the playing surface and preforms day in and day out. But in our sport, there are 4 days in which Roy did not pitch. What was the harm in approaching him on his off days and picking his brain a little? Marcum seemed to learn a few things about setting guys up.

    I don't really know but this in fact an old team when compared with the others in MLB:
    Thanks, as always, for the comments