For Fans, By Fans

Echoes From 527: The Jays Of Our Lives

Some watch Soap Operas or reality TV shows about wedding dresses and cake shops to get their daily dose of drama. Others watch sports.

With that said, the Toronto Blue Jays 2013 season has been nothing short of dramatic for a fan base that’s endured a number of long summers in search of that elusive thing we like to cal meaningful baseball.

Wednesday nights game between the Tigers and Blue Jays was just the latest installment in the Jays Of Our Lives.

It began with a series of Errors that handed the Detroit Tigers an early 5-0 lead by the 4th. In total, 3 miscues were turned by the Blue Jays defense although a 4th could have easily been added by a Price Fielder chopper back to the mound that eluded Johnson’s glove leading to a rare infield hit for the Tigers 1st baseman.

Note: If said play was ruled an Error on the pitcher, Johnson would have ited Juan Guzman’s franchise record for the most Errors allowed by a pitcher in 1 game.

The dramatics nearly came to a climax in the bottom of the FOURTH INNING following a Colby Rasmus takeout slide into 2nd base which resulted in an injury to the Tigers 2nd Baseman, Omar Infante.

Yes, the Blue Jays were trailing 5-0 at the time of the play. Yes, Rajai Davis beats out anybody’s return throw in that situation. Yes Rasmus, like anyone else on that team is likely frustrated with the way the game had gone up until that point and yes, the slide was late on Infante. These are all facts that are nearly inarguable.

Regardless of the tangibles, this is the way you play the game of baseball. What happens in the NHL when a guy is caught skating head down with the puck in front of an opposing player?

He gets drilled…

Omar Infante did not get spiked, he had his legs taken out from beneath him after he was unable to clear the bag following the out. This injury is on him for not realizing exactly who the runner was at the plate and conceding the single out at 2nd base.

Blaming Rasmus for a dirty play is simply uncalled for. Like mentioned, the slide was late and at the point in which he began his decent to the bag, his spikes were up however he had lowered his foot at the point of contact with the Infante resulting in a hard, spike-less collision at the bag. See photo attached to this post.

Looking back prior to Wednesday’s game, the Blue Jays have been a club that shows no reservations when it comes to breaking up a twin killing. In fact, remember those shirts the team has been wearing around since the mid way point of last season? the ones with the Barbell’s on them???

Well rumor has it that those shirts were given out by someone in the clubhouse following a broken up a Double Play.

This isn’t new, it’s as old as the game.

Ty Cobb used to sit outside opponents clubhouses and sharpen his spikes in clear view just to intimidate his opposition. Like any sport, intimidation plays a big role in baseball and there’s no doubt that while attempting to break up a potential Double Play, Rasmus was also attempting to intimidate and or prove to the Tigers that his team wasn’t intimidated by them.

Later on in the game, freshly recalled Todd Redmond was put in to relieve Johnson and after allowing a leadoff single to Austin Jackson, Redmond hit Torri Hunter on a 0-2 pitch putting runners on 1st and 2nd with no out.

Did Redmond intended to hit Hunter? Not a chance.

No pitcher in any level of baseball will sacrifice a base runner by intentionally drilling a hitter after going ahead 0-2 in the count. I guarantee that Redmond was simply trying to bust him inside prior to setting up a pitch on the outer half of the plate. Everybody does it… Sometimes, a pitcher can let the ball get away from him and that’s exactly what happened in this situation.

Heated from the earlier play at 2nd Base, Hunter had some choice words for Redmond and before things could cool off, the benches had cleared resulting in a delay of game but nothing more.

I’m fine with Hunter defending his teammate’s in that situation and standing up to the Blue Jays. Again, intimidation. What I’m not fine with is Hunters backhanded comments regarding Redmond after the game.

Twice, the 37 year old Hunter referred to Redmond as “The young man Redmond” in a post game scrum with the media perhaps hinting at the fact that an intentional beaning was in his mind, childish or immature in that situation.

Redmond, of course, is 28 years old and in his 9th season of professional Baseball which is why the term “young man” can be taken as an insult given the situation.  Was this Hunter’s intentions? Who knows but the fact that he was sure to mention the young man part twice in the span of 3 minutes is certainly enough to beg the question.

Moving forward, I don’t expect the Tigers to seek further retaliation following Wednesdays events. Manager, Jim Leyland, is about as old school as it gets in this game and I’m certain he understands the value of a properly timed takeout slide. Also aiding to the idea of this being a dead issue with the Tigers is the current status of Rick Porcello who was handed a 6 game ban after throwing at the Rays, Ben Zobrist last weekend.

If Wednesday’s drama wasn’t enough for you, perhaps you should dive head first into the J.P. Arencibia vs the media “scandal” that blew up earlier this morning.

There’s always something to peak the interest of baseball fans, isn’t there?





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