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Blue Jays 5  Rays 6

Ho hum.  Yet another close loss and with their playoff hopes fading away faster than an Osuna speedball, the Blue Jays just couldn't convert for the tying run thanks, to Tampa's closer Alex Colome who earned his major league-leading 37th save.

Jays starter Chris Rowley allowed four runs after three+ innings. 
Josh Donaldson with his eleventh in twenty games and Norichika Aoki homered for the Jays.

Game recap:

Non-Hockey Chatter / Jerry Lewis 1926-2017
« on: Yesterday at 08:15:34 AM »
Jerry Lewis, comedy icon, humanitarian, philanthropist, actor, producer, director, singer, etc., passed away Sunday Aug. 20 at the age of 91.

Jerry Lewis was the half of the comedic duo of Martin and Lewis -- that is Dean Martin & Lewis himself -- who starred together in various skits and nightclub acrs in the 1940's and also appearing together in various movies right up to until the mid-'50's.  Martin and Lewis were not only the opposite of each other as the comedic duo but also offstage away from the cameras, where the two were hardly complimentary of each other.

After the breakup of the Martin & Lewis team, Jerry went to star in his own comedy movies in the mid-'50's onward, movies beloved the world over such as "The Nutty Professor", "Whose Minding the Store?",  "The Disorderly Orderly", and too many to name.  He performed in other non-comedy films and a slew of tv shows, etc.  He of course was also regular in Las Vegas.

Lewis founded the Jerry Lewis Labour Day Muscular Dystrophy Telethon, a cause dear to his heart, that raised to it's final broadcast, a staggering $2.5B for MDA research.  Who can forget the one particular year of this telethon, 1976 to be exact, where Lewis as the host was treated to a surprise set up by fellow celebrity and friend Frank Sinatra -- an unexpected appearance by Dean Martin.  The two men embraced and shed a tear, and hit it where they left off, never skipping a beat.  It had been nearly twenty years to that day that Jerry and Dean actually got together.  Heartwarming moment for Martin & Lewis fans no doubt.

Lewis was beset by a slew health problems that plagued him all his life.  In 2002, he claims to have contemplated suicide due to "excruciating pain" he was suffering from to treat his Pulmonary Fibrosis.   He then sought different treatment and a few years later, on CNN's "Larry King", he revealed  more about himself.

Rest In Peace, and thank you Mr.Lewis, for giving the world all those wonderful laughs, something we need more than ever.

The Toronto Blue Jays now go to Tampa to face the Tampa Bay Rays.

While the Jays (59-65) have had some trouble getting wins at Tropicana Field, Toronto's most recent road trip in a three-game interleague series against the World Champion Chicago Cubs proved disastrous.

Their visit to Wrigley Field didn't provide the Jays with an iota of success in snatching a victory there, not even  with a throng of Jays faithful in the seats and  good ol' Don Cherry singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame".  Yes, the Jays did manage to hold their own against the Cubs and were even on their way to a win in the third game, when everything fell apart...

...much the same way this segment of their season is proving for the Tampa Bay Rays (61-65).  The Rays have been duds at home, going 5-13, and fighting for the second WC spot.  The are currently 4 GB in that category, while their oponents, the Blue Jays are 5 GB.

This trip represents opportunity, (hey, didn't we say that against the Cubs), for the Jays to make some inroads in the A.L. WC standings, at least whatever hope there is left of hoping for that.  Er, right.




Place:    Tropicana Field   Tampa Bay, FL

Tues. Aug.22
Starting Pitchers:   Chris Rowley         RH (Jays)  1-0   2.61 ERA
                             Chris Archer          RH (Rays)  6-7  3.84 ERA
Time:                     7PM
TV/Radio:               Sportsnet,  The FAN 590

Wed. Aug. 23
Starting Pitchers:     Marcus Stroman  RH (Jays)  11-6  2.99 ERA
                               Austin Pruitt        RH (Rays)  6-4   5.37 ERA
Time:                       7PM
TV/Radio:                 Sportsnet,  The FAN 590

Thurs. Aug. 24
Starting Pitchers:     J.A.Happ              LH (Jays)   6-8  3.90 ERA
                               Alex Cobb            RH (Rays)  9-8  3.80 ERA
Time:                      1PM
TV/Radio:                 Sportsnet,  The FAN 590


Main Leafs Hockey Talk / Re: Is it Preseason yet...
« on: August 21, 2017, 02:33:12 AM »
Those masked (fighting & stick-swinging) madmen...

Thought I'd put this here because it does contain some Maple Leaf footage (Potvin vs Hextall; Cujo; McDonald vs Smith).  The further back in years one goes, the crazier it all was.

Blue Jays 3  Cubs 4

With a throng of Blue Jay faithful, and Don Cherry belting out "take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh inning stretch, on a bright sunny afternoon here in hitter-friendly Wrigley Field, the Jays just couldn't get ahead of the Cubs on the scoreboard.

Jays starter Nick Tepesch pitched just a little over three innings having allowed one run, relived by Danny Barnes, while Cubs starter (and ex-Chicago White Sox) Jose Quintana continued his mastery over Toronto's hitters, who interestingly, have yet to showcase any homeruns in this series.
As anyone can tell, the Jays are quite effective when slugging long balls over the outfield fences.  Not so, not yet in these losses against the Cubs.

“This ball park, you’ve got to hit home runs,” Jays manager John Gibbons said after falling 0-2 in the series following a rallying 7-3 homestand. “We haven’t hit one yet. You’ve got to score like that.”

The Jays also need to improve their road record if they are even remotely serious about challenging for that last WC spot.

The fact that the Jays could hold their own against these World Series Champion Cubs shows that there was potential for a victory if not for some evaporated long ball offence.

Game recap:

Blue Jays 4  Cubs 7

Oh well, call it a lesson from the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs.  Chicago scored five runs on nine hits on Jays starter J.A.Happ and sustained that lead well into the eighth inning.

Meanwhile, Cubs starter ace Jake Arrieta limited the Jays' bats to just one run on six hits inside of six plus innings.

The Jays scored three runs in the eighth to narrow Chicago's lead to one run - now 5-4 from 5-1 earlier, thanks to Ryan Goins' two-run RBI single and Kevin Pillar's RBI double.  Goins hit his 47th RBI this year.

Alas, Chicago's Javier Baez had other plans as his two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth proved the winning runs for the Cubs.

Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: The Donald
« on: August 18, 2017, 04:48:59 PM »
Former white supremacist & neo-nazi tells his story of his years with these groups, how his second marriage to a half Jewish woman changed him, how he sought to change by becoming more religious/embracing core Christian values/Bible reading, and eschewing his wrongful beliefs, etc.,  and joining Life After Hate which further helped him make him more complete as a person.

He describes why people join these extreme radical groups and how the Trump election campaign gave renewed credence and legitimacy to this type of extremism.

"The message [Trump] was putting out during the election cycle absolutely parroted in a lot ways the message that we were putting out when we were Nazi skinheads trying to recruit people to that cause,” he said.

Leek’s old talking points included blaming immigrants for the problems of native-born Americans, pushing for the construction of a border wall and singling out Muslims.

“It was a thinly veiled appeal to that white nationalist sentiment. It’s something that I felt until recently was on the decline,” Leek said.

"It seemed to me that until the last 12 to 18 months that the movement had basically died,” he continued. “At the most basic level, I think they’re being encouraged by what they’re seeing at the highest level of our government right now — the president. He isn’t discouraging that type of behavior."

It’s been validated a lot through this whole campaign, but especially since the inauguration: our president’s inability to really come right out and say that it's wrong."

...he started seeing another woman from another country who had no connections to the skinhead scene. About a year into dating she met some of his biker skinhead friends. At that point, she told him that she was half Jewish and gave him an ultimatum: “It’s me or them."

They got married five years later, and stayed together for another eight. During that time, Leek started to read the Bible and worked on improving himself. During his white supremacist years, he believed in the anti-Semitic theology of “Christian Identity,” which had a tremendous influence on the racist right in the 1980s, but now he believes in the mainstream Christian values of love and compassion.

They eventually divorced. It was traumatic and painful...Leek reached out to former white supremacist Frank Meeink on Facebook after reading his book, “Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead.” Meeink introduced him to a group called Life After Hate that fights racism and works to de-radicalize people in the violent far-right extremist movement. Through Life After Hate, he connected with other former racists who helped him see how he could embrace a new life and work to “reverse the harm” he did in the past.

In Leek’s experience, these men have often gone through some kind of trauma and latch onto hateful movements to show the rest of the world that they have “some kind of belonging and power.”

“These are frustrated young men, and they’re not being provided proper guidance to deal with their frustration,” Leek said. “I think that when the administration is pointing its fingers at people outside the country and saying, ‘Your problems are their fault’ and targeting those people, it provides people [with] an example of how to act toward them. Rather than having it be stigmatized, they embrace it and run with it.”


Non-Hockey Chatter / Re: The Donald
« on: August 18, 2017, 04:15:34 AM »
Right to the point...

The Toronto Blue Jays take on the N.L.'s Chicago Cubs in Interleague play, in only their second visit since 2005 to iconic Wrigley Field.

The Chicago Cubs (63-57) are atop their N.L. Central division though just 1.0 games ahead of second-place Milwaukee Brewers.  The Cubs, who started the first half of the season slightly below .500, have since roared to life and clinging to their division lead in the process.  They are tied for second in MLB with 52 home runs.

The Blue Jays (59-62) just came off their most recent ten-game homestand with a 7-3 record.  The Jays, the Rays, and the Orioles all share one thing in common -- they are all 10.5 GBL Boston Red Sox in their A.L. East division.  But for these teams nowadays, the lead is a foregone conclusion.  There is something else they're all vying for and that is the WC spot.  The second WC spot and they are all tied at 3.0 GB for that one.

Thus, with the Blue Jays success in this August month so far, in particular, their successful homestand, their work is cut out for them as the battle for that WC spot begins in earnest.  With every department clicking -- pitchers, reliever, hitters, etc. -- the Jays are certainly in the hunt, even though most pundits believe it is too late for them to gain the necessary steps to do so, mainly because the Jays haven't been consistent all season long until this August month when it seems to have come together.

That sounds like a tired old tune, and hopefully that tired old tune has now been put to the back burner.  Onward the Jays march and (keep your fingers crossed) upward!




Place:    Wrigley Field   Chicago, IL

Fri. Aug. 18
Starting Pitchers:[/u]     J.A.Happ     LH (Jays)    6-8   3.63  ERA
                                   Jake Arrieta  RH (Cubs)  12-8  3.73 ERA
Time:                           2:30PM
TV/Radio:                     Sportsnet,  The FAN 590

Sat. Aug. 19
Starting Pitchers:         Nick Tepesch  RH (Jays)   1-2  5.25  ERA
                                  Jose Quintana LH (Cubs)  3-2  3.86  ERA
Time:                          2:30PM
TV/Radio:                    Sportsnet,  The FAN 590

Sun. Aug. 20
Starting Pitchers:         Marco Estrada  RH (Jays)  5-8  5.08 ERA
                                  Kyle Hendricks RH (Cubs)  4-4  3.45 ERA
Time:                          2:30PM
TVRadio:                     Sportsnet,  The FAN 590


Rays 3  Blue Jays 5

The Bringer of Rain and the Big Smoak were too much to handle for the Rays as the Blue Jays took the series from Tampa Bay 3 out of 4.

Donaldson homered in each inning,  the first and the third, while Smoak blasted a two-run shot in the eighth that proved to be the go-ahead runs for the Jays.

Jays starter Chris Rowley pitched five innings and was relieved by a combination of Loup, Barnes, Mayza, and Leone (the winner).   Osuna got the save.

Back to J.D.  That's Josh Donaldson and he's had a scorching August batting .400 and homering nine times in seventeen games.  He's also had 21 RBIs in the process.  Looks like a coming of age for Donaldson, considering that his first half of the season was literally in limbo -- on the DL.  Even the last two months haven't shown much light on his season (Donaldson had missed the entire training camp).  But now, August, and J.D.'s bats are comin' alive!

Nothing could be more uplifting for the Blue Jays who remain 3.0 GB for the WC spot.

Blue Jay fans are keeping their fingers crossed. 

Game recap:

Rays 2  Blue Jays 3

A strong pitching performance by Jays starter Marcus Stroman along with stellar relief from Dominic Leone, (who had earlier been reinstated into the lineup from the Bereavement list), plus Osuna's save #31, held back the Tampa Bay Rays and earned the victory for Toronto.

Stroman got the win in allowing the two runs in a little over six innings but otherwise was Mr. Shutdown for most of the game.  Leone and Loup were instrumental in continuing the pitching mastery.

Offensive contributions came from Steve Pearce (solo homer), Donaldson, Bautista and Goins.  Speaking of Ryan Goins, upon sliding into second base, he was accidentally "stepped" on his arm.  No major damage found only an abrasion/bruise though Goins left the game at that point.

"It's all good, just a bruise. I'm day to day," said Goins, who didn't have a bandage on the sizeable abrasion on his arm post-game.

Game recap:

In comparing Stroman performance (in Wednesday's victory)  to Marco Estrada's in Tuesday's 5-4 loss, the difference was nearly like night and day.  Whereas Stroman was steady, consistent, and focused, Estrada's performance took a step backward as he allowed six runs in four innings of work.  What is disturbing about his performance is the fact that his previous three starts he seemed to have regained his sense of self, the Marco Estrada that everyone has come to expect -- in his last three outings, Estrada has had a 1.81 ERA name delimited opponent's slugging average to a measly. 184.  Then, this game Tuesday night and all goes...splat!  Go figure.

Of Marco Estrada and the rumours mills...

Ok Blue Jays Talk / Re: 2017 MLB Thread News & Notes
« on: August 17, 2017, 04:43:33 AM »
Top 10 minor league prospects: as of July 2017  -- Midseason report

1   Yoan Moncada                  2B        White Sox
2   Vladimir Guerrero Jr.   3B        Blue Jays
3   Gleyber Torres                 SS         Yankees
4   Amed Rosario                  SS         Mets
5   Eloy Jimenez                   OF         White Sox
6   Rafael Devers                  3B         Red Sox
7   Brendan Rodgers             SS         Rockies
8   Victor Robles                   OF         Nationals
9   Nick Senzel                     3B         Reds

10   Ronald Acuna                OF         Braves

Ok Blue Jays Talk / Re: Jays Roster Discussion
« on: August 17, 2017, 04:31:45 AM »
Down on the farm...

Blue Jays top 10 prospects: as of July 2017 -- Midseason minor league report

1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B
2. Bo Bichette, SS
3. Anthony Alford, OF
4. Lourdes Gurriel, SS
5. Max Pentecost, C/1B
6. Conner Greene, RHP
7. Justin Maese, RHP
8. Sean Reid-Foley, RHP
9. T.J. Zeuch, RHP
10. Logan Warmoth, SS

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