Actually watching the games shows you so much not captured in boxscores. One of the things it’s shown me this year is that Jose Molina is a much under-rated, under-appreciated Jay. He does the little things right behind the plate day after day, knows his pitchers , their strengths and weaknesses well (hence fewer bad pitches called than we see when young Arencibia is back there), has a way of being able to read the pitcher and go out to the mound to calm things down when one of the young crew is getting rattled. Plus he seems to have a great, diplomatic demeanour which goes a ways with umpires. How many times have we seen a bad call against a Jays pitcher be answered by Molina quietly flipping up the mask, turning around and quietly talking to the umpire when alledgedly asking for a new ball. After a few seconds both are smiling, Molina takes his position again and quite often, the next close call goes Toronto’s way. You can catch more flies with honey than oil, as they say. Molina is a keeper. The jays should be looking at locking him up for another couple of years to back up and tutor either arencibia or Travis d’Arnaud should that prospect replace him next year.
Speaking of catching flies, one thing I’d like to see in the “second half” for the jays is Jose Bautista back in his preferred right field where, as the whole continent saw in the All Star game, he truly shines. I reckon he’d take away about a hit and a half per game being out there compared to young Eric thames… and at the same time minimize risk of futher injuries. The listless offence generated by the team on the weekend against New York after Jose had twisted his ankle on Thursday showcased how important he is as a sparkplug for the entire team’s hitting.
Some other things I’d like to see: Brett lawrie make it up here for at least 30 or so games so we can assess if he “looks” like a big league third bagger; Brandon Morrow to continue to be teamed up with the aforementioned Molina in his future starts; and perhaps a handful of not so stellar pitching arms and deep-buried prospects (in the former category, think Frank Francisco, possibly Shawn Camp, Jesse Litsch) be traded away to either pitching-poor teams needing to make a run for the playoffs, or packaged up in 3 for 1 type deals for a reliable closer or a veteran starting pitcher to anchor the rotation. Most years , one pitcher who might come to mind would be Paul Maholm, but this year isn’t an ordinary one… Pittsburgh is in contention! Strange days indeed.
Anyone catch highlights of this afternoon’s Minnesota-Cleveland game? The thing that caught my attention wasn’t the score, or that Grady Sizemore is on the disabled list yet again for the Indians, but their uniforms… the Indians were donning forest green caps! What gives?! Cleveland seem to be on a quest to wear a different cap every day now. In the recent series against Toronto they showed off a new logo, a block capital “C” of the sort that you’d see in a low-budget TV commercial featuring beer league softball players advertising a muscle-pain rub, first in their traditional navy with red lettering, then in a red cap with dark blue or black lettering. As well they wore one of their regular “Chief Wahoo” caps in another game.
I know some people rail against the chief Wahoo design as stereotypical, but I like it… it’s fun, and it has history in Cleveland. And I know marketers like new designs from time to time to spur on sales. But I can hardly think that rolling out amateurish caps with a grade school logo in colours which have nothing to do with the team can really help out sales much. Instead, here’s an idea to spur sales… oh, let’s say, pay attention to putting a winning team on the field !! (And yes, I realize that Cleveland are still above .500 and in contention to our surprise). It’s one of the reason a lot of people like the Yankees… they honour their tradition. Derek jeter at the plate doesn’t look that different than say Mickey mantle generations back. Sure the fit of the clothes is different, but the uniform and emblem remains the same. I don’t think we’ll see them out their in yellow caps with a pink Empire State Building straddled by King Kong any time soon. Yet no one sells more merchandise than them.
One thing the jays could take from it however, is that they should feel free to ‘tweak” their caps and uniforms again. Isn’t it time the BLUE jays started to have some blue caps again, even if they keep their current design? Black and silver says nothing about Toronto and is soo 2006.