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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Offense? Not So Much: Blue Jays 4, Angels 3

Kind of a crummy game for Ervin Santana, who took the loss, but if he'd had it last year we'd be immensely grateful. The Angels couldn't figure out A.J. Burnett or really any of the subsequent relievers Toronto sent to the mound, and that was that.

From here, the Angels head back to the AL Central, and Chicago in particular; you might be surprised to learn that the Chisox are standing atop that division now (26-20, 3.5 games over the Twinks), and Joe Sheehan coincidentally took a look at the reasons behind their success earlier in the day:

Mostly, with these Sox, what you see is what you get. They won’t hit for average, won’t knock balls into the gaps, and they won’t impress you with their defense. They hit home runs and draw walks, and keep the bad guys from doing the same. Probably the biggest reason to like them is simply the inability of the Indians and Tigers to play .500 baseball so far. The buy-in for winning the AL Central eight weeks ago was 93 wins. It’s lower than that now, and if the Sox weren’t likely to reach that first number, it’s much more likely that they can get to 88 or 89, and that may be all they need.
With a scuffling Angels offense on a plane right now, that should be enough for a pretty tight series.

Footnote: Joe Saunders, scratched because of flu-like symptoms, spent the whole game in his hotel room, and groused about the relative importance Canadians attach to baseball:

"I went back to my room, and the game wasn't even televised locally," Saunders said. "All they had on were soccer replays."
Saunders lost ten pounds as a result of his illness.

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Saunders forgot to mention the at-times absurd obsession with hockey up here in Canadia that comes at the expense of coverage and analysis of almost anything else much of the time.

If you think Saunders has problems, let's contemplate for a moment the irritation experienced by MLB.tv's Canadian subscribers.

ALL Blue Jays games are blacked out for ALL Canadian MLB.tv subscribers, because clearly ALL Canadian subscribers are Jays fans and ALL Jays games are televised and MLB.tv mustn't compete with Canadian broadcasts... right?

Except... EXCEPT that many people like me have never given a rat's ass about the Jays. (I used to live in OC so I'm an Angels fan.)

Making matters worse, I was prohibited from watching any of the recent Angels-Jays games on MLB.tv, even though not one--NOT ONE!!-- of the games was on any Canadian sports channel in my time zone. I live in Western Canada but was unsurprised to hear of the games going untelevised even in Toronto itself.

What exactly are MLB or Jays officials afraid of? That if I can watch the game on MLB.tv I'll be a little less inclined to casually hop on a cross-continent flight to catch a Jays game IN PERSON??

- Chris

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