The Mockingbird

Translation time

with 7 comments

    Now that the season has almost begun, it’s time to introduce a favorite pasttime of mine- sound bite translation!! Poor J.P. and Gibbering Gibbons can’t really say what they mean, so we have to give them a little helping hand. Here’s the first installment, focusing on the last minute decisions being made about the starting rotation:

“It’s almost like you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop with him,” Ricciardi said of Zambrano, who is 10 months removed from Tommy John tendon transplant surgery. “He’s defied the odds so far. We just need to keep riding him.”

Means: “His arm is going to fly off any inning now, but that would still be less gruesome than our other options.”

“In all fairness to [Towers], as bad as he was last year, he was as good the year before,” said Ricciardi, citing Towers’ 13 wins in 2005. “For us to forget that would be foolish on our part. But we also have to be realistic in that, if he is a starter, it’s probably not a long leash.”

Means: “For 2.6 million dollars, I really want to give him another shot- but my therapist says that might be the cause of my night terrors.”

(Speaking about John Thomson)
“It’ll just allow him to keep strengthening his arm,” said Ricciardi, referring to the DL stint. “A little more time will allow him to keep building up and getting where he was. So we’ll just have more time to watch him — more time to get him ready.”

Means: I JUST SAVED A MILLION BUCKS!!! WOOOOOOOO!!!!! *pop* *pop*

“I really think McGowan eventually will be here at some point. He’s pitching really well now,” Ricciardi said. “[Toronto roving pitching instructor] Dane Johnson did a really good thing with him that I noticed the other day. They’ve got him tucking almost like Nolan Ryan. When you watch him as he’s gathering, if you can envision Ryan, he’s got his back kind of turned to the hitter, but it allows him to gather more and stay in his delivery. He seems to be clicking on it. Hopefully that’ll get him going.”

Means: We’ve tried everything else; our current theory is maybe if we put him in the same sentence enough times along with Nolan Ryan, some of that mojo will rub off.

Written by halejon

March 30, 2007 at 3:22 am

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  1. Ya, I’ll say it again……”Baseball pre-season quotes are like listening to the US Press Secretary. A battle of wills only won if you can survive more then 20 seconds without puking in your mouth.”

    How these guys sleep at night – especially with the thought that Towers could very concievably (since he did it last year) implode with Russ Ortiz-like force as he did last season.

    I hope the big pile of money helps soften the blow.

    ***editors note: Russ is setting up to do it 3 seasons in a row with a decent spring and a run at the Giants rotation***

    Dan

    March 30, 2007 at 2:50 pm

  2. I really thought the Thomson signing would be pivotal to our success.

    I have this nagging feeling – an unexplainable, eerie feeling – that two months into the season, Halladay, Burnett, and Zambrano will be injured. Thus leaving a 5-man rotation consisting of Ohka (#1!!!), Chacin, Towers, Janssen, and MacGowan.

    I need some Tim Horton’s coffee to soothe these jangled nerves.

    hroman

    March 30, 2007 at 3:02 pm

  3. That keeps you up at night?!? This is the first year I finally have some hope that our rotation will remain healthy and we actually have some reasonable stopgap solutions if something does go wrong. What keeps me up at night is the thought we might again one day field a line-up like the one on Sunday, July 4, 2004 at Hiram Bithorn Stadium against the Expos:

    Menechino ss
    Hudson 2b
    Johnson cf
    Hinske 3b
    Gomez 1b
    Rios rf
    Berg lf
    Cash c
    Lilly p

    http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2004/B07040MON2004.htm

    I challenge someone else to find a worse Jays lineup this decade.

    Dan

    March 30, 2007 at 4:07 pm

  4. Auuuughhh…..antidote! Antidote! It’s hard to believe that was not that long ago. And that we were trying to convince ourselves the team was not a total joke back then. SO much better at every position now (OK, Rios doesn’t count…)

    I would hit the sauce if A.J. and Doc went down, but nothing scares me after having TWO freaking AA pitchers in the rotation for months last year…

    We should start a pool on how many games Ortiz can lose (or start) before he gets yanked. It takes some serious skill to convince professionals that you are a major league pitcher who deserves millions of dollars for that long after you’ve done anything to deserve it.

    halejon

    March 30, 2007 at 4:48 pm

  5. Oh and absolutely- of ALL the 3-5 pitchers we had fighting for the rotation this year, I thought that Thomson was the biggest steal, an absolute lock, and probably had the most upside. Ohka was highly questionable and he’s been terrific, Towers and Zambrano were bad jokes and they’ve both made the team.

    I hope he takes a minor league assignment…not convinced we won’t need him down the road and he could still be good.

    halejon

    March 30, 2007 at 4:52 pm

  6. It’s official.
    Josh Towers is our #5.

    That puts Zambrano in the bullpen.

    hroman

    April 1, 2007 at 1:30 am

  7. Interesting…J.P. seemed to say it was Zambrano’s if he pitched well in his last start- but they gave the job to Towers BEFORE his final 6 inning shutout.

    I think this is less of a case of Towers being the better starter as Zambrano being MUCH the better reliever.

    halejon

    April 1, 2007 at 8:28 pm


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