Johnny Mac and the Clutch Hit Pack

I’m so happy with my Jays.  Last night, if you didn’t happen to see it, the game was an exciting one.  In previous months, when we were tied at the bottom of the ninth and going into extra innings, we all probably would have assumed we would lose.  We just had such a bad reputation for leaving runners in scoring position, especially in crucial situations.  Finally, it’s gotten to the point where I feel it could go either way.  Last night, though, it was all Jays.

A.J. Burnett pitched just over 6 innings, and did a pretty decent job, though not spectacular like we sometimes get from him.  Rod Barajas deserves a lot of credit for keeping several wild pitches in front of him and preventing runners from moving up.  Downs, Carlson, League, and B.J. also made appearances.  Carlson is pretty much my favourite out of those, because I feel him to be the most reliable….. normally Downs and B.J. would’ve also been on that list, but lately, I just don’t know.  I’ve never liked League, sorry League if you’re reading this (haha).  I just feel that just because someone can throw hard doesn’t mean they will get guys out, and if you’re in the Majors, the first priority is to get guys out.  THEN, and only then, if you can wow them and intimidate them, that’s great.  If you’re just throwing wacky pitches really hard all over the place, they’ll figure that out pretttttty darn quick, and will just wait you out for a walk.  Pitching is not a show-off position; most of the time, if you’re a great pitcher, it’s because you make the game boring (no one hits).  Look at Doc.  That’s the way to do it.  He actually, coincidentally, has a high number of strikeouts….. but ask anyone and they’ll tell you that’s not why he’s a great pitcher.  He’s smart, he’s logical, he’s a workhorse, and he throws consistently.  Downs has been having some trouble with control lately, and I’m just hoping this is a temporary thing.

I’m worried about Lyle.  He’s mentioned his hand is still bothering him, and today on the Blue Jays’ website, it’s a featured article.  That doesn’t sound good at all.  Luckily, it’s the end of the season soon.

I’m very very very very VERY happy for Johnny Mac.  For all the talk that goes on about his poor offense, he sure knows when to pick a good time to hit   🙂   (For those not aware, he got a walkoff hit last night in the bottom of the 11th inning, which you can also see on the main site replay video today.)  So congrats Johnny!!  😀

And what to say about Travis Snider….. well, welcome!!  Four times on base, and a couple crucial clutch hits….. I’m just hoping this isn’t beginners’ luck, and that it means he can handle the pressure.  It sure seems that way right now.

I’m just very content about last night’s performance, considering there were a couple times we almost gave it away, but managed to come back and eventually win it.  That shows persistence and a confidence that I’m almost positive is inspired by Cito Gaston.  When the Twins made mistakes, we capitalized, and that ended up being the difference.  So, yay!

I just wanted to write that little note, since I think that game was definitely worth commenting on…..

Go Jays!

Ahhhhh…….

Ahhhh….. that was nice.  Birthday massage today was lovely.  I fought off snoozing as much as I could, but drifted off a couple times anyway.  So nice.  Thanks to my wonderful friends for that gift!  😀

So my Jays have been playing quite well of late, and I’d just like to point out they’ve been putting my Johnny Mac in the games consistently.  He’s been working on his swing and it seems to be improving, which is really great for me to see because heck, that’s really the only thing (oh, and those pesky Yankee fans who just vote for their own) keeping him from winning a Gold Glove.  I mean, really folks, this guy deserves it.  His defensive stats are impeccable.  Just because he’s had trouble hitting doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be ignored for the honour, since the Gold Glove is supposed to reward defense.  Okay, enough out of me.  It’s been said a million times by others, anyway.

Today a lady came up to me in the grocery store, with her daughter shyly clinging to her leg.  She told me, “I just wanted to let you know, my daughter told me your hair is exactly how she’d like hers to be when she grows up, but she’s too shy to tell you herself.”  I thought it was so sweet.  I thanked her daughter, and thanked her for telling me.  As she walked away, I heard her say, “See?  People like it when you give them compliments.”  A life lesson learned.  🙂

I love it when people compliment my hair.  If you don’t know me, it’s very long, strawberry blonde, and very straight.  I get asked a lot about when I last cut it, and I always reply, “when I was in grade 3.”  I don’t even know for sure that’s exactly when it was, but that’s close enough.  I remember walking out of the salon in Niagara Square, with a bit of a bob hairdo — just below my ears, and slightly curled under….. very bouncy, which is of course very fun for a little girl.  Anyway, I always get a kick out of the different responses people have to it.  There are several, and I’ll detail them here, including what I’m thinking, and what I actually say:

  • “Wow!  You have such long hair!”

What I’m thinking:

“Really?  Oh, so that explains the hairy thing that’s been following me around lately.”

What I actually say:

“Yup!  It’s pretty long, eh?”

  • “How long did it take you to grow your hair?”/ “When was the last time you cut your hair?”

What I’m thinking:

“An eternity/An eternity ago.  Probably before I was even born.”

What I actually say:

“Well, the last time I cut it was in grade 3.”

  • “It must take a long time to wash, eh?”

What I’m thinking:

“…..because things take a long time to get wet?”

What I actually say:

“Actually, not really.  But it takes forever to dry.”

  • “How long does it take to dry?  You must need a blow dryer, huh?”

What I’m thinking:

“Not unless my palm frond-fanning servants are taking the day off.”

What I actually say:

“Yes.  Without one, it takes hours to dry.”

  • “How do you keep it so nice and shiny?”

What I’m thinking:

“I don’t ever shower.  It’s just greasy.”

What I actually say:

“Thanks, I just make sure to use conditioner.”

  • “Have you ever thought about cutting it?”

What I’m thinking:

“Every time I have this conversation with someone.”  (just kidding)

What I actually say:

“Yes, fairly often.  I just never seem to get around to doing it, so I guess I just like it.”

  • “You should donate it to Cuts For Cancer”

What I’m thinking:

Okay, this one really gets to me.  Clearly, I’m attached (quite literally) to my hair.  Telling me I *should* donate it kind of offends me, even if it’s well-meaning.  If someone has spent a lot of time working on something, you don’t just suggest they give it away, so why is this any different?  For one, it’s like saying “You have a good feature; get rid of it.”  On top of that, donating hair to this cause is SO prominent in today’s society, it’s like asking if I’ve been living in a cave, to have never thought of donating it.  If you want to know the truth, I have spent a lot of money and effort over the years on it, to just donate it like all the people who never really take good care of their hair but donate it anyway (and the wig-makers still make great wigs out of that hair).  That’s not to say it’s not a good cause or anything, but I would rather sell my hair for money, and donate some of the money to finding a cure for cancer.  Or, I would like to have my hair made into a wig that I could give someone I know who has cancer.  For me, that would be more meaningful.  Besides, it’s like seeding, growing, and harvesting a crop and then being expected to donate it to the Food Bank.  I have heard there are companies that pay a substantial amount of money for hair in good condition, and honestly, I wouldn’t mind making a little money from it if I could.  After all, I have looked after it all these years; I feel pressured and a bit annoyed when people act as if I don’t deserve my own hair.  I hope I don’t sound like a mean old witch, and I hope I’ve explained myself alright.

What’s even more frustrating is that often people will have this “epiphany” that I should donate my hair, and then they get more and more excited about it, saying I should do this, or that, and they get so happy about it, it’s like they won’t be satisfied until I say I’ll agree to do it.

“Guhh.  This again.”

What I actually say:

“Yeah, I have thought about it.  Maybe sometime.”

  • “It must be pretty heavy, eh?”

What I’m thinking:

“Imagine it soaking wet!”

What I actually say:

“Haha I don’t even notice it.  It grows slowly, and my muscles have just adapted to it now.”

  • “Nice hair!”

What I’m thinking:

“Thanks!”

What I actually say:

“Thanks!”  😉

 

Alright, enough of that for now.  If I remember more later, I’ll post them, too.  Time for bed!

Tonight’s (almost complete) Game Review

Hey, I’m back.

I thought since I’m waiting on the rain delay in the Jays/Orioles game tonight, I can comment about the game last night.

Well, first of all, can I just remind my readers about my suggestion at the end of my post two days ago?

Oh, and one last thing: put Johnny Mac back in!

I’m glad Cito was thinking the same thing, because yesterday he was fantastic as per usual.  Johnny Mac is probably my favourite, or at the very least tied for my favourite Blue Jay, and if you watch Jays games, you already know why.  Johnny Mac does not make the highlight reel, no no.  He IS the highlight reel.  I wish I had the videos of all the games last year that he played, to compile all his incredible defensive plays….. but I fear that compilation video would be over 10 minutes long.  Someone made a YouTube video last year of some of his plays, but frankly when I watched it I thought, “oh, but there were so many even BETTER plays not included in this!”  The video has since been taken off YouTube (aww, spoiling our fun), but I hope one day someone will put up another.  Like I said though, it might take a while to make.

So last night, he did a few things typical of him, and another not so typical.  First, the typical, an excellent grab, preventing a possible double.  Next, the not-so-typical, hitting a 3 RBI clutch double….. 2 outs, bases loaded has been a situation my boys have been struggling with all season, and heck, even last season.  As a reward, Cito put him in to start at short today as well.  I like this attitude; reward for good performance.  Had this been the case last year, he would have started every game.  Some think we need offense more and that’s why he gets taken out of games…… however, I think the team really feels more confident knowing that he’s out there.  I’d like to see the stats on how everyone else on the team hits with him on the field.  I mean, Ecksy is good, but still.  I’d love to see Johnny get more playing time; he’s like a secret weapon out there.  Everyone in the Majors knows and respects Eckstein, but who really knows Johnny Mac — save us Jays fans and maybe a few out there who have done their research?

Another thing: LIND.  Yes, I liked him when he came up to the Majors last year, and was sad to see him sent down when Reed came back — even though I liked Reed too.  I just always had a feeling he’d play a major part in the team’s future.  Now that Cito’s giving him the confidence he needed (knowing that he’s going to play every day), he’s made a stellar performance at the plate.  I know a few games ago they mentioned, since the managerial switch, he’d already racked up 22 RBIs.  Now, that’s a pretty good number for a guy who was just dealing with being up and down constantly, depending on the altered lineups Gibby was juggling.  I’m not saying it’s Gibby’s fault that he wasn’t being played as much as he should’ve been — I do think, though, as I’ve said before, that Cito gives the team reason to play their best.  He inspires them.  They know what he can do.  Some of them haven’t played in World Series games (like Ecksy and Zaun have, for example), so that experience really can have an impact.  This was just what the team needed: a reason to fight.  Why were they having such trouble coming back when they were losing after the 7th inning?  Easy answer would be that they were giving up, which, in turn, means they felt they had nothing to fight with, nothing to fight for.  No confidence and no cause?  Well, no wonder there were no comebacks.

So anyway, go Lind!  I like this guy.  Another under-the-radar guy I’m a fan of: Inglett.  He’s just racking up the numbers.

Apparently the game’s gonna continue at noon-oh-five tomorrow (actually, now today — my birthday 🙂 ), right before the next game at 12:35.  Does that work?  Let’s hope so.  I could really enjoy a birthday having two wins in a day from my boys.

Tonight’s Jays game comments and some thoughts

Disheartening.

Another Jays loss on the books, bringing us to 48-51 on the season.  This particular loss comes after a sweet win yesterday where Rios and Scutaro helped the team come back from being down 3-4 in the third inning to eventually win it 9-4, even with sucky pitching from Parrish.  The game tonight was another example of sucky pitching, this time from Litsch.  Now, I like Litsch, but I seriously am rethinking that position after he’s gone 1-6 in his last nine starts, with an ERA over 6.  I know everyone goes through slumps, but this is a little bad.  As in, rotten eggs bad.

Then again, I wouldn’t be complaining so much had we won.  Well, maybe I would, but still.  With Vernon Wells out of the games, you’d think we’d be winning more (hey — even he said as much).  And I’m sorry if I blame Alex Rios entirely for this offensive slump.  Even though he’s a big part of it.  But guys, we did well with the small-ball, why are you now going back to working the count?  It’s the Ingletts and the Linds and the Scutaros and the Ecksteins that have the right idea.  Yes, home runs are nice.  But when we don’t have small-ball working for us, and the homers go slumping, runners will get stranded.  And since none of us really expect certain players to be able to hit us the big ones (*cough* Ecksy *cough*), why not go for quantity?

I don’t think I’m being very clear here.  Okay.  We have a lineup of 9 dudes who can at least hit singles.  Not all of them can hit homers.  Therefore, if one or more of the few guys able to hit homers goes into a slump, and we’re counting on those for all our runs, then we’re in a sucky position.  BUT, if one or a few of the dudes who are able to hit singles goes into a slump, it makes less of a difference, since all the rest are capable of picking up the pieces.  The one thing I actually really admire about Rios is his ability and willingness to steal bases.  THAT’S a good small-ball attitude.  Quick.  Aggressive.  So more singles, more base-stealing.  Oh, and this hitting into double-plays business has got to stop.  The fact there are so many of them hints at bruised confidence.  Which is understandable, but not excusable of course.  I hope Cito will be able to help with that, as he has the experience Gibby didn’t have.  Hopefully, we’ll get things straightened out again and get winning again soon.

Oh, and one last thing: put Johnny Mac back in!

Get well Aaron Hill, Jeremy Accardo, Vernon Wells, Dustin McGowan, Shaun Marcum, Shannon Stewart, and Casey Janssen.  We miss you all dearly.

GO JAYS!