ALCS Preview

ALCS Preview

If you are wondering exactly who the Cleveland Indians are I will explain.  They are a well-managed scrappy bunch of hitters that have a fantastic bullpen, and suspect starting pitching.  Sounds oddly familiar to the team that the Jays lost to last year.  What seems to be different about this Jays team is that they are able to answer when the opposition puts up some runs.  Even though I was secretly rooting to play the Indians instead of the Red Sox; this will be no cake-walk to the World Series.

Let’s start with where the Jays have the biggest advantage – starting pitching.  The Jays have 4 starters that they could throw out there for game 1 without any question.  Estrada, Happ, Sanchez, and Stroman.  If I were in Gibby’s shoes I would throw out the exact same rotation to the Indians that they threw at the Rangers.  The Indians have Cory Kluber.  He’s a former Cy Young winner that has had a very good season, but the Jays have some decent numbers against him.  They have two very good pitchers that are both injured currently in Salazar and Carrasco.  The Jays are definitely dodging a bullet with this.  Josh Tomlin and Trevor Bauer are the other two starters that the Jays will most certainly see.  This is a heavy edge for the Jays and they will need to jump out to leads early in games to capitalize on this.  Salazar has a chance to be back for this series, but this is still a big question mark for the Indians.

Bullpen – The difference in the bullpen will be Andrew Miller.  He’s an absolute nightmare for lefties and righties.  The lumbering lefty came to the Indians in a deadline deal with the Yanks, and has been lights out since his arrival.  Cody Allen is a solid closer and Bryan Shaw is a very good 7th inning arm.  The Jays will need to play ahead to stay away from the back end of the Indians bullpen.  Roberto Osuna is the key for the Jays.  He has been dynamite.  Gibby has relied quite heavily on his 21 year old closer, and will probably continue to do so at least until Benoit is back from injury.  The one area that the Jays are really hurting is situational lefty spots.  Cecil has been inconsistent, Liriano is a starter by nature and might still not be ready to go, and Loup – well is Loup.  This is the one area that the Indians can expose the Jays.

Lineup – This will be more evenly matched then people assume.  The Indians are excellent at getting on base.  They walk a pile, and don’t strike out nearly as much as the Jays do.  Where the Jays can excel is once again by hitting with power.  Other than Napoli the Indians don’t have a true power hitter.  They will walk, single, and double you to death.  This lineup is good from top to bottom.  Not an easy out in there. On the other side we have seen murderer’s row heat up (minus Bautista’s game 3).  If we continue to see Donaldson, Encarnacion, Bautista, and Tulo hitting the way that they currently are the Indians will have a tough time dealing with this Jays lineup.  This is the Jays that I was expecting from opening day.  A quick strike offence that could erase 2 and 3 run leads with one swing of a bat.  The Indians current set of starters other than Kluber are not strike out heavy pitchers.  They are finesse pitchers that will try to pick corners constantly, and make you get yourselves out.

In the end I don’t think the Indians have the depth at starting pitching to make it out of this series.  With a healthy Salazar and Corrasco I think they would have the edge against the Jays.  The Jays will continue to hit the ball well, and the Indians will have a tough time keeping up against the best staff in the AL.

Jays in 6

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John Gibbons: The Encino Man

I am not really sure when I got off of the South Park train, but I am sure glad that I am back on.  Weekly story lines that portray to the exact things that are going on in the world at that exact time. Using characters from the show to portray the stupidity of the human race.  It doesn’t get any more genius than that.

Are the Hydro one people still calling people to give them job interviews without knowing anything about the person – then not telling the person what they are applying for or if they applied at all?

“We would like to bring you in for an interview.”

“Who is this?”

“Doesn’t matter.  We would like to hire you.”

Businesses that use sign twirlers must have zero respect for the dignity of a human being.  We would like you to stand at this corner with a sign and twirl.”  You are one step above a hydro pole and one step below the flailing arms man.

There is an exception to the rule though.  I did see a dance off once between the Little Caesars man and a dude in a pita suit.  That made my day.  I sat across the road on a patio with wings sauce all over my face laughing hysterically for 37 minutes.  Polishing off pitcher after pitcher of Bud Lite and elbowing guys next to me to ask if they are seeing this.  It was a great day.

While at Playdium last week I pondered why I didn’t enjoy myself quite as much as in the past while shooting baskets into a net that was 3 feet away.  It wasn’t the fact that my arm could almost touch the rim, and it seemed to a bit too easy.  It was the fact that they don’t give out paper tickets anymore, and put the tickets on the card instead.  There was nothing better than seeing that machine spit out 50 tickets.  You would stomp up to that desk, and demand the pencil with Snoopy on it like a mutha-fu**in’ boss.  Then go back and waste another $20.00 trying to get the Charlie Brown pencil sharpener; because by golly you haven’t owned a pencil sharpener in 16 years.

To work at a record shop you need to have an attitude.  That’s one of the requirements.  If somebody comes in asking for a particular record that you don’t carry; they must feel shame for even liking that band.

I wouldn’t even hire John Gibbons to run my slo-pitch team.  I would rather have a blind dog that barks only because he can’t see what’s going on making the decisions.  I would hold up signs and ask the dog to bark at which lineup card that he would prefer to go with.  Sorry Johnny boy, unless you make it past the first round this year you will no longer be there to eat your hay and have naps in the dugout.

The Hunt for the Wilder People – 9.6/10

Oktoberfest – the only part that is good is that you are celebrating drinking.  Food’s terrible, polka’s terrible, and they are serving the extremely authentic German classics Budweiser and Coors Lite.

The lowest form of human interaction is the ‘share if you remember this pictures’ that are circulating Facebook.  Yes, I remember 8 track players.  Why do you want me to share this?  You want me to share this for no other reason than they existed at some point and I listened to music on them?   This goes to the same part of the brain that secretly enjoyed Encino Man.

For those that don’t remember Encino Man.  It was a film that starred Pauly Shore and Brendan Fraser.  They were put to the test of their acting ability in this absolute gem.  Finger waving jocks and car driving Neanderthals.  It doesn’t get any better.

Going Back in Time with Will Ferrell

Even as the words came out of my mouth I knew that they didn’t make any sense.  “I thought Sausage Party would be a little bit wittier and smarter.”  It’s called Sausage Party.  Why would I think that?

The golf clubs might be hung up for another year.  They went out with a high, and it’s very unlikely that they will strike the ball that well for the rest of the year.  It’s called the George Castanza. You go out on top, and don’t look back.  The high for me is shooting an 84.

If you uttered or thought the comment “was that on 9”; you have no shot in the stand-up comedy scene.  Any laugh that you receive on that joke is called a pity laugh, and most people hope that you go away after saying it.

I was notified today by Sara that there are people drilling holes in new iPhone 7 thinking that there headphones would work after this was done.  These people should be put down.

Trump and Hillary have a debate coming up this weekend.  The person on the news believes that Trump is more likely to say something that will hurt his chances than Hillary.  On the contrary.  He could state that blowing up the moon with laser cats is a good idea, and he wouldn’t lose one supporter.

Sausage Party – 5.6/10

Where has the smart humor gone?  There hasn’t been a solid comedy that has come out in a few years.  They actually usually coincide with the good of Will Ferrell and every time Wes Anderson releases a flick.

There is new music to talk about as well.  Have you been missing the sounds of Echo and the Bunnymen?  No, or never heard of them?  Well, move on.  If your answer was yes.  Then have a listen to the self-titled album by the Preoccupations.  It’s one of the first solid albums of 2016.

Our Lady Peace and I Mother Earth are playing Halloween night at Centre in the Square.  Rumors are that when the clock strikes 10pm on Halloween night with these two bands and their original line up together that every fan will be transported to a half-price flannel sale in 1995.

Sunday morning is excellent for banana pancakes and the largest coffee that you can possibly find.  You will have a weird sugar and caffeine high clutching your pro-line tickets watching the clock with anticipation until 1pm when football starts. You will then hit a wall at 1pm after you come down from the high, and probably have a nap at 1:47pm watching a scoreless Bills/Cardinals game.

I am debating buying goaltending equipment to begin to play hockey again.  Then I remember how much damn equipment that you need to be a goalie.  I also remember how much getting hit in the groin by a puck hurts.  You always have that guy that’s on your team in warmups that wants to show how hard his slap-shot is from the hash marks.  He never knows where it’s going, and his laugh is similar to a stoned Seth Rogen.  Even after saying all of this I have opened 3 Kijiji ads for hockey equipment.

As we watch the Blue Jays march towards that Wild Card Playoff game remember that getting to the playoffs is a fu**ing difficult thing to do as a mid-market team in the AL East.  Enjoy every moment of it.

Eating Dirt in Ireland with Fred Durst

There is a job for people to eat dog food to see how much they like it.  I am not sure if we as humans are a good judge for dog food taste.  I think you find the 5 most sophisticated dogs in the world and fly them all over the world for taste testing.  These dogs would be known as the Persian Pups.

Well that day has come.  I have actually uttered the words that I am watching my carbs.  In unison, my last Korn CD fell from the shelf of my hometown’s residence and smashed into 3 pieces that looked oddly similar to potato chips.

Is Fred Durst still doing it all for the Nookie?

To say that I am concerned about the Jays would be an understatement.  The starters have been great.  Donaldson and Bautista do what they do, but they are striking out a bunch, and are not taking a thinking approach to any at bats.

There should be more lemonade stands.  Those days of walking past a .25 cent stand are long gone.  Those were the days that you learnt about capitalism, and a Nintendo game was your 3 story house.  Now people just think that there will be a roofie pill in a lemonade given out on Victoria St in Kitchener.  Well, this might be a bad example, but you know what I mean.

I was never a child that ate dirt.  It didn’t smell, taste, or look appetizing.  I never judged Steven for it, but I always thought it was the incorrect move to eat it.

Sara, Sarah, and I leave for Ireland in June.  Sarah is a friend that Sara met on the AT.  We are hiking a couple of trails.  Should I say Sara 1 or just say Wife when attempting to get my significant others attention?  I find that most women don’t like to be called Wife.  They always believe that we are going to say something extremely sexist right after.

I have found a new massage therapist.  I knew that she was the one when she spoke of wanting to have a jackhammer to loosen up my shoulder, and then made the noises of a jackhammer.

Everybody Wants Some – 9.0/10

The Invitation – 8.7/10

It’s very strange when people just seem to fall off the face of the earth.  Then you think about them years later, and say.  “I forgot that they even existed.”  Then I go back to enjoying my drinking box and apple slices.

Descendants in Kitchener finally opened up.  It’s been many months of this beautiful sign outside that on Victoria St that says coming soon.  Daryl and a few family members walked through the door with glee – trying one of everything, to our dismay it was the no name pizza pops of craft brewers in the area.

The movie Keanu looks like a great movie.  It’s done by Key and Peele.  Watch the trailer and if you are able to go through the whole trailer without saying “aaaahhhh” you are a terminator, and are probably sent here to kill 4 humans over the next 7 years.

Cheers to those awkward times where your foot slides on something, it sounds like you farted.  You look around nervously.  But nobody has seemed to notice.

My proudest moment as a human being is after driving 14 consecutive hours trying to get to Florida, a friend of mine asked me if I my ears just popped after going down a massive decline on a road.  I stated to him that I didn’t have any ears.  That was the point of my life where I knew that I was hilarious.

John Scott feeling manly in Morocco

I went to see Black Sabbath 17 or 18 years ago when I was in college. I remember thinking then that this is going to be the last time that I see them, and Ozzy is surely going to die within the next 5-10 years. They are still going. They performed brilliantly in Hamilton recently. 8.3/10

Sara and I were in Morocco. If you ever want to see somebody stick out as a tourist, just watch me in my bright blue Jays cap attempt to weave through the streets of Marakeesh trying to go unnoticed. “What me a tourist. Oh I would love some tea in your carpet shop. What a nice guy.”

The Oscars are tomorrow. Leo will finally win his best actor award. And some bloggers will lose exactly 16% of their blogging material.

Why do people clap after the plane lands? The other option is crashing and dying. Denzel can fly one of these things wasted. Can’t be that difficult.

I went searching on the internet for what ISIS actually wants. Don’t bother, it’s just as crazy as you think it is.

Watched an episode of Fuller House. Uncomfortable grown up jokes, and one of the creepiest scenes of the whole gang recreating a scene of singing “Meet the Flinstones” to cheer up a cranky child. If you decide to delve into this madness you will never forget it and it will haunt your subconscious for days to come.

Dave Coulier is awful. Kanye and Dave should have a wrestling match. Winner gets to relocate with the Kardashian’s to the Arctic. Loser has to relocate with Alanis Morrisette to Antarctica. Either way Dave Coulier is screwed.

Have you ever been to a hotel before that is too hip for you? This happened to me in Paris. Everything was controlled by a tablet, and the check in was a self-check in. If the IKEA store turned into a person and created a hotel this is what it would create.

When you are in an airport for an extremely long time you begin to have arch-nemesis’ while there. Two ladies felt the wrath of my imagination after sneaking their way to the front of the line with their extremely excessive back packs.

How do we genetically make rabbits that enjoy cuddling? Is there a pill that we can give them? Maybe it’s a mix of MDMA and Heroin? Who is on this experiment? Sounds like money well spent.

John Scott is a man. He has all of the appearances of a full grown man. If you were to put him side by side beside me there is no way that people would think that I was older. I am 10 years older than this man. If we each got one punch. I am pretty sure that I would break my hand. I would also be concerned that I would be in the hospital for multiple days after receiving his punch.

Sometimes I hate alga-rhythms. After searching for Buffalo hotels to stay in after seeing Kurt Vile, I am then reminded multiple times that I am going to Buffalo.

Camels are not comfortable. Straddling a giant creature that is constantly itchy is slightly terrifying.

Top 3 ways to make people uncomfortable while they are throwing a house party.

3 – Start rummaging through their cupboards. Finding odd things and putting them on the counter. Premium Plus crackers check, Tylenol check, chocolate chip cookie mix check. Then just leave them on the counter and leave the room.

2 – Suggest doing shots at two in the afternoon.

1 – Start doing chores around their house for no reason. People get really upset if they think you think that their house is dirty.

Blue Jays playing small ball to win

Bottom of the ninth, runners on 1st and 2nd with one out. 0-2 count, Colabello has looked lost at the plate, and in the field the whole day. The runners take off, the pitch is in the dirt, blocked by Conger. No play at either base. This isn’t the Jays that I am use to. The well-executed double steal on a 0-2 pitch that you know Gregerson was going to bury to try to get Colabello to strike out. What happens after this? What does this create? Sacrifice fly or wild pitch ties the game, and a single or better wins it. Knowing that Gregerson isn’t a dominating closer by any means, Gibbons played the odds, and won. If I was watching this game a month ago it would have gone like this. Colabello strikes out on a pitch in the dirt. Reyes and Bautista are still at first and second.

This isn’t the John Gibbons that I am usually writing about. The guy that I am usually watching is the laid-back manager that is waiting for the long ball to get the win. In the Astros series I witnessed a change in these Jays. Sacrifice bunts, steals, and hit and runs were key to a lot of the victories over the weekend. Sweeping a first place Houston club out of Toronto. It was exciting baseball to watch. The fans were engaged, and so were the players.

Toronto was able to overcome a key error by Donaldson, and multiple walks in key situations by the pitching staff yesterday. This is rare to say about the Jays, but they are learning how to win. Sometimes you need to go after runs. You need to press the defense of the opposing team. Keep on manufacturing runs, and do not stop until the game is over. It’s complacency that has gotten the Jays into trouble before. They know they have a great offense with an abundance of power. It was the record that was just being put on over and over again by Gibbons. Things will turn around. These players will get hot. This weekend showed that they are not going to wait around anymore. Bautista is red-hot. Other than him we have players doing what they have always done. What’s the difference than? Timely hitting, decent pitching, and smart managing. During the games over the last two days there have been multiple times that I have said to myself. “Smart move or gutsy call.” All of Gibbons moves have produced, catching teams off-guard.

It’s nice to see the Jays playing this way. At the start of last year you were seeing a team that couldn’t maintain what they were doing. They were hitting home-runs at an outrageous pace, and Beurhle was looking like a Cy Young candidate. Everybody was playing at the top of their game. You just knew that the bottom was going to fall out once a few players cooled down, and injuries would happen to key pieces. This team is still a few games under .500, but you can see the tide turning.

It’s easy to go back to bad habits. If they get thrown out a couple of times in key areas, or hit into outs while trying to start a hit and run. They could just go back to what we are accustomed to watching. Big swings in key areas, when all they need is a single. Hopefully they realize that this isn’t a fluke. This is an exciting team when things are in motion. I have to give credit to Gibbons. He has made all the right moves recently. Maybe we are seeing an enlightened man that is managing to the style that is required to win? Or maybe we are seeing a man managing for his job? Either way, it looks like this team has been woken out of its slumber. Let’s see if they can continue this streak against a couple of very beatable teams in the Marlins and Mets. Is this a new Jays team? Doing whatever it takes to get the win. Let’s hope so. If this is the new brand of baseball in Toronto, I am completely on-board.