Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Let The Excuses Begin In Jays Land

Hey Peeps and anyone else checking in. A special "Hey" goes out to Hazel Mae.

It is cold, dark and rainy - so we are all about bitterness today.

To be totally honest, we didn't expect it to happen this early, but the Toronto Blue Jays can now be taken off the list of AL East contenders. Toronto placed OF Reed Johnson on the disabled list after he underwent back surgery, and closer BJ Ryan who is off to the great state of Alabama to have his sore elbow examined by James Andrews. The talk is that Johnson will be out until at least July; and whispers that Ryan's injury is much more serious that the Jays have let on..."Tommy John surgery" is what people in Toronto are talking about. If the latter is indeed true, and Toronto is forced to go with Jason Frasor, or Shaun Marcum as their closer, they are in big trouble. Last year's set-up man Brandon League hasn't been talked about since the season opened - so he is nowhere near ready to assume the role. If the whispers are true and Toronto has lost their lead-off man and closer for an extended period of time - Blue Jays fans can kiss the season goodbye...they don't have the depth to get through it. I mean, let's face it, they aren't the Los Angeles Dodgers - a team that has actually built up a farm system.

Speaking of kissing things goodbye - Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi should be kissing his job goodbye (unfortunately for Jays fans, he's going to be around a lot longer) if the Jays aren't competitive this year - and by competitive, I don't mean a distant third place. Ricciardi has been around long enough to stock and build a farm system that should be able to step up and keep a team competitive in times of injury - the Jays' farm system is by all accounts, average to below average; meaning they likely won't be able to come close to replacing Ryan. We won't even get into the inevitable - an injury to A.J. Burnett (you know its coming). When Ricciardi signed Ryan to big money, I thought it was a huge mistake - signing a closer with one good season to big dollars when the team had other more pressing holes to fill. I know Ricciardi signed Ryan because they didn't have a bonafide closer - but that is the Chickenhawk's fault for not drafting and devloping one in his first five years with the team. Ricciardi has blown $30 M - Ryan, Burnett, and yes Frank Thomas (an over the hill DH who had a career year when he was playing for a contract)...if for nothing else, he should be fired for those three acquisitions...especially when the Jays finish a very distant third. The silver lining for J.P. is that he can blame this year's failure on injuries - instead of the usual "you can't compete with the Yankees and Red Sox with an inferior payroll."

Its too early to say it, and I certainly don't want to jinx anything, but how nice would it be to see the Tampa Bay Lightning bounce the Devils out of the playoffs? Vincent Lecavalier led the way last night and Johan Holmqvist was solid between the pipes in Tampa's 3-2 victory over Lou Lamoriello's Devils. I wonder how big Claude Julien's smile is this morning?


Red Sox West P Brad Penny won again last night against the first place Arizona Diamondbacks, pushing his record to 3-0 to start the season. Penny pitched seven strong innings giving up one earned run on five hits and three walks in leading the Dodgers to a 5-1 win.

Detroit Tigers C Ivan Rodriguez went 2 for 5, with a home run and six RBIs to lead the Tigers to a 12-5 win over the Kansas City Royals.

Tampa Bay Lightning C Vincent Lecavalier scored one and set up the winner in a 3-2 victory over the Devils...love it.

We started the week off well going 2-1 and finishing the night at + $150. Tonight's suggestions are:

Boston over Toronto - Matsuzaka makes his first appearance in Toronto, and we think he'll make a big splash. We don't expect Chacin to be able to silence Boston's bats. Lay $100 on the Red Sox - $150.

St. Louis over Pittsburgh - Cards dropped one yesterday to the Pirates, so expect them to get it done today; we like Adam Wainwright on the mound. Lay $100 on the Cards - $155.

Dallas over Vancouver - this one looks to be a back and forth series; with Vancouver having won game 3 in OT, look for Dallas to even it up in regulation tonight. Lay $50 on the Stars - $170.

That's about it for this morning - we may be back before 6 pm to add a game or two. Have a great one peeps.

Take a load off your mind by asking the questions you need to ask. Don't be shy -- just be honest and you can't go wrong. You can make headway if you set your sights on something that means a lot to you. 3 stars

Hazel, I hope things are groovy in your world.

Song of the Day on Hazelspeeps - hey, its Borje Salming's birthday today...the former Leaf great is 56 today. Just thought I'd mention it. Wake up song this morning...with thoughts of Crosby vs the Tards tonight.

Jesus of Suburbia - Green Day

Peesth Out...Buh Bye!


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