Category Archives: Blue Jays Jerseys 2020

Jerry Garvin Jersey

Choose best cheap Jerry Garvin Toronto Blue Jays jersey online, womens youth youth Jerry Garvin gear sale, buy Jerry Garvin jersey including ash/black/camo/gray/green/grey/Blue/pink/white/ colour.The more you buy, the more gifts you give, the best quality, and the fastest logistics.

After two balls opened the battle, the 21-year-old leadoff hitter fouled off seven consecutive pitches — a mix of four-seamers and sliders — before Pruitt issued ball three. Then came another pair of foul balls before Bichette crushed lucky No. 13, a Statcast-projected 393 feet away to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead.

Bichette’s leadoff HR on 13 pitch
Bichette’s leadoff HR on 13 pitch
Sep. 5th, 2019
It marked Bichette’s ninth home run and second career leadoff homer. His first came on Aug. 20 against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw.

Bichette finished 2-for-5 on the night, and has hit safely in 10 of his past 11 games — he has a .329 average with 17 RBIs in 34 career games.

“I keep waiting for him to struggle a little bit because he’s only human, and he keeps doing what he’s doing,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “It’s been fun to watch. I’ve been in the front row watching this kid break record after record. … It’s amazing what he’s doing.”

The second inning nearly brought more of the same. Bichette stepped into the box with two on and two out and forced Pruitt to throw another eight pitches — including one ball and four that were fouled off — before grounding into a fielder’s choice to end the inning. Just facing Bichette alone caused Pruitt to throw 21 pitches in his first two innings.

The right-hander needed 50 pitches just to get through two frames.

In contrast, Toronto righty Trent Thornton held the Rays to one earned run (three total) on four hits over his 4 2/3 innings. The 25-year-old also fanned four to move to 127 on the season, which tied him with Jerry Garvin (1977) for third-most strikeouts by a rookie in Blue Jays history.

“I felt really good,” Thornton said. “I felt like I was able to execute the majority of my pitches tonight, and that’s the best my changeup’s felt all year. Just when baserunners get on, I have to do a better job of limiting damage and getting out of the inning quicker, instead of elevating my pitch count.”

By the time the fifth inning rolled around, the Rays had moved ahead, 2-1, and Pruitt’s pitch count was in the high 70s. Still, the third time indeed was the charm for Tampa Bay’s starter, as Bichette jumped on a first-pitch slider and grounded out to short.

While Pruitt won that battle, Bichette also marked the last hitter he’d face for the night, freeing up the Blue Jays to work on the Rays’ bullpen.

“I threw an entire inning to [Bichette],” Pruitt said. “Then the third time, he swung on the first pitch and I said, ‘Why couldn’t you do that the first two times, man?’”

Once Pruitt was out, Bichette was rewarded for his efforts. He pounced on reliever Oliver Drake in the seventh inning, clubbing a two-run homer that tied the game at 4 — Bichette’s second career multihomer game (the first one was Aug. 20).

Bichette’s game-tying 2-run homer
Bichette’s game-tying 2-run homer
Sep. 5th, 2019
Bichette also became the fifth Toronto rookie to hit double-digit homers and 12th on the team.

The sixth inning brought with it another rookie boost, as Cavan Biggio was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame and later stole second base. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. drove him home on a line-drive single to deep centre field to bring the Blue Jays to within one run, 3-2, for his 60th RBI.

Jacob Waguespack Jersey

Choose best cheap Jacob Waguespack Toronto Blue Jays jersey online, womens youth youth Jacob Waguespack gear sale, buy Jacob Waguespack jersey including ash/black/camo/gray/green/grey/Blue/pink/white/ colour.The more you buy, the more gifts you give, the best quality, and the fastest logistics.

The Blue Jays have met with the representatives for free-agent catcher Yasmani Grandal, reports ESPN’s Marly Rivera (via Twitter).

It’s perhaps a curious fit upon first glance, given the Jays’ stated focus on adding rotation help, but interest in Grandal reflects both the Jays’ bulk of payroll flexibility and the uniqueness he brings to the free-agent market. One of the best-hitting catchers in the game (if not the best), Grandal also rates as an elite pitch framer, a quality pitch blocker and an average or better thrower. The switch-hitter, who turned 31 last week, has been an above-average hitter from both sides of the plate in four of the past five years and has clubbed 22 or more home runs each season from 2016-19.

Beyond his offensive acumen, bringing on a catcher with Grandal’s experience and framing abilities could be viewed as an important aspect of the Jays’ development of young pitchers. The Toronto rotation is teeming with uncertainty, but young arms like Anthony Kay, Trent Thornton, Sean Reid-Foley, Jacob Waguespack, Nate Pearson and T.J. Zeuch will all likely log some MLB innings in 2020, and the Jays have several intriguing arms on the horizon beyond that bunch. Newly acquired righty Chase Anderson is surely comfortable with throwing to Grandal as well.

Toronto already has Danny Jansen, Reese McGuire and Luke Maile on the 40-man roster, though the Jays have reportedly been receiving trade interest in some of their backstops. Jansen, in particular, rates out as a brilliant defender and was ranked among the game’s top 100 prospects as recently as last offseason. This year’s .207/.279/.360 batting line wasn’t much to look at, but Jansen is only is still just 24 and has another five seasons of club control remaining.

The Jays shouldn’t be considered any kind of favorite to win the Grandal bidding based on one early meeting, of course. GM Ross Atkins and his staff are surely casting a wide net in free agency and doing their best to gauge interest in a variety of free agents. Knowing Grandal’s asking price could also be important when discussing the Jays’ in-house catchers in trades with other teams and, more broadly, when trying to get a sense for how the rest of the league plans to approach the winter. But the meeting between the two sides is reminder both of the fact that Toronto could be more aggressive than some would expect from a 71-win team and that Grandal will draw interest from unexpected teams between now and his eventual signing.

Cavan Biggio Jersey

Choose best cheap Cavan Biggio Toronto Blue Jays jersey online, womens youth youth Cavan Biggio gear sale, buy Cavan Biggio jersey including ash/black/camo/gray/green/grey/Blue/pink/white/ colour.The more you buy, the more gifts you give, the best quality, and the fastest logistics.

Toronto Blue Jays prospects Cavan Biggio and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. both received votes for the American League Rookie of the Year Award, with Biggio garnering more votes than his third base counterpart.
The Toronto Blue Jays had quite a few prospects on their active roster this season due to the rebuild, such as Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Rowdy Tellez, Danny Jansen, Cavan Biggio,and Bo Bichette.

At the end of the season (before postseason begins), two eligible journalists of the Baseball Writer’s of America Association from each MLB city submit their top three picks for who they believe should win the A.L. Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award. It is a point based system where a first place vote receives five points, second place receives three points, and third place receives one. The Houston Astros prospect Yordan Alvarez took home top honours this season, receiving a unanimous 30 votes for 1st place.

Brewers: Should the Crew re-sign Jordan Lyles for

Cavan Biggio was the highest ranking Blue Jays prospect, receiving two 2nd place votes and one 3rd place vote for a total of seven points.

Cavan Biggio finishes 5th in AL Rookie of the Year voting, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 7th.

— Yahoo Sports Canada (@YahooCASports) November 12, 2019

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. would be next and the last Blue Jays prospect on the list, receiving one 2nd place vote and two 3rd place votes for a total of five points.

This comes as a bit of surprise, as the highly-touted Vladito was a betting favourite at the beginning of the season to bring home the ROY award. The former #1 ranked prospect did have his struggles early on this season, but ultimately finished with a respected slash line of .272/.339/.433, as well as 15 home runs, 69 RBI’s, and 26 doubles. While he did not crank out a bajillion home runs like Blue Jays fans were hoping for, he did produce at the plate for a young prospect still learning the ropes in the big leagues.

The one caveat on Guerrero Jr’s rookie season resume was his defence. While he did make some outstanding plays on the hot corner, as well as some powerful throws across the diamond, he did create some errors on ground balls that should have been routine for a major league third baseman. He would finish the season with a .936% fielding percentage, and would tie for second place for the most errors for third baseman in the MLB with 17.

This area will need to be worked upon this off-season and moving forward, unless the organization decides to move him to a 1B/DH role like some writers and fans (including myself) are predicting in the future.

Cavan Biggio was an interesting story for the rebuilding Toronto Blue Jays this season. Son of former MLB player Craig Biggio, Cavan was called up to the team in mid-May and would slot right in at second base, taking over for the injured Devon Travis and the ‘struggling at second base’ Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Biggio would have a pretty successful rookie season, his eye at the plate being the key focal points showcasing how talented he truly is.

The Notre Dame product would spend the majority of his time at second base, but also played some games at 1st base, as well as in the outfield in right field. While he didn’t look super confident as an outfielder, it was his play at second base that truly stood out. He was able to make consistent plays and turn double plays with ease that made fans feel better when the ball was hit out his way.

He would finish the season with a .989 fielding percentage at second base (.988 for all positions over the season), and would commit only five errors in just 101 games. His defence was rated at -2.7 by Fangraphs for the 2019 season, but with some more time spent on the field moving forward, he seems like a legitimate option to keep turning double plays with Bichette moving forward, turning into an above-average fielder at the MLB level.

Cavan Biggio would finish the season with a .234/.364/.429 slash line to go along with 16 home runs, 48 RBI, and an impressive 71 walks. His eye at the plate was his most impressive quality, which is why he had would finish the season leading all rookies in walks and would hit for the cycle as a rookie.

While the batting average could stand to be improved upon, as well as the number of times he struck out (123), Biggio’s rookie season was quite impressive considering the hype behind prospects like Guerrero Jr. and Bichette heading into the 2019 season.

Blue Jays: Which Teams Will Bid On This Offseason’s Top FAs?
Blue Jays: Opportunity for Jays if Padres Look to Package Top Prospects?
Blue Jays: Will the Don Cherry firing affect baseball viewership?
Blue Jays should make an offer on an ace, even if it’s a long shot
Blue Jays’ outfield isn’t the surplus to trade from right now
In the long run, will anyone remember who came in second place or third place in the 2019 ROY Award? Not really, mostly because not every ROY winner turns out to be a sure fire Hall of Famer. A player isn’t defined by their rookie season alone and the potential behind many of the Blue Jays prospects has yet to be fully defined.

There is tons of upside for players like Guerrero Jr. and Biggio, who performed quite well in their rookie seasons for a fanbase that didn’t really have a lot to cheer for. There are obvious areas where these players, as well as the other Blue Jays prospects, will need to improve upon heading into their sophomore seasons, but the base core is starting to take shape during the rebuild, which is exactly what management set out to accomplish during this process.

Follow this with a supporting cast of other talented prospects with a dash of veteran presence in Randal Grichuk and Ken Giles (before he most likely gets traded), and the Toronto Blue Jays look to be setting themselves up nicely for the future.

NEXT: Blue Jays: Why they could afford to trade one of their catchers
The rocky waves of the rebuild will most likely hurt for the next few seasons while the Blue Jays prospects continue to find their groove, but the end goal of reaching the postseason seems to be drawing closer and closer when looking towards the end of the rebuilding horizon.

Willie Upshaw Jersey

Choose best cheap Willie Upshaw Toronto Blue Jays jersey online, womens youth youth Willie Upshaw gear sale, buy Willie Upshaw jersey including ash/black/camo/gray/green/grey/Blue/pink/white/ colour.The more you buy, the more gifts you give, the best quality, and the fastest logistics.

TORONTO – To put some context on where the Toronto Blue Jays stand as they prepare to open spring training with Thursday’s first workout for pitchers and catchers, look all the way back to the early 1980s, when the franchise was just emerging from its expansion beginnings.

Back then, former general manager Pat Gillick had already amassed a horde of young talent that was just starting to percolate up to the big-leagues, providing what became the framework for the most successful period in team history.

The likes of Dave Stieb, George Bell, Tony Fernandez, Lloyd Moseby, Jesse Barfield, Willie Upshaw and Jimmy Key capitalized on the impermanence of the roster to break through, and in 1985 helped land the team’s first American League East title.

Now, president and CEO Mark Shapiro and general manager Ross Atkins are looking to leverage a new generation of young talent, led by potential superstar Vladimir Guerrero Jr., along with other top prospects such as Bo Bichette, Anthony Alford, Cavan Biggio, Nate Pearson and Eric Pardinho. They’ll need to support the charge already started by youngsters such as Ryan Borucki, Danny Jansen, Reese McGuire, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and Brandon Drury.

At the Letters
Ben Nicholson-Smith is Sportsnet’s baseball editor. Arden Zwelling is a senior writer. Together, they bring you the most in-depth Blue Jays podcast in the league, covering off all the latest news with opinion and analysis, as well as interviews with other insiders and team members.
Listen and Subscribe for free | Ben on Twitter | Arden on Twitter
If the well of talent is deep enough, and the Blue Jays smartly augment the base through more trades and free agency, perhaps they can rebound quickly into another window of opportunity. If not, well, this could mark the beginning of another era out in the playoff-less wilderness.

So, yeah, no big deal.

One interesting difference between now and then is Blue Jays fans haven’t been through this type of teardown before, one that’s happened stunningly fast after the highs of the 2015-16 post-season runs.

Following the back-to-back World Series championships of 1992-93, the Blue Jays didn’t rebuild, they simply hit a wall, and their subsequent attempt to rebuild around Carlos Delgado, Shawn Green, Alex Gonzalez, Roy Halladay, Chris Carpenter and Kelvim Escobar never came to fruition.

J.P. Ricciardi aggressively turned over the roster after the 2001 season but had to keep Delgado, who had a no-trade clause, and held on to Halladay, never going down to the studs and getting the Blue Jays into the top of the draft.

After a subsequent window built around Halladay, Vernon Wells, Alex Rios, A.J. Burnett, Aaron Hill and Lyle Overbay never made it over the hump, Alex Anthopolous again transitioned the club after the 2009 season, but never bottomed it out, instead pushing forward his timeline when Jose Bautista unexpectedly developed into a superstar.

That led to the period that brought the Blue Jays to where they are now, essentially in “soft-tank” mode, having already collected assets for a rebuild, looking to add more on the way back up. They’re not actively trying to lose 90 games, but they haven’t totally built a roster to ensure that doesn’t happen, either.

As a result, the 2019 season is going to be a different kind of experience for the fan base, which conceptually has seen rebuilds play out for other teams – with the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros serving as the models to emulate. On the flip side, there’s the risk of landing in rebuild purgatory like the San Diego Padres, who have the game’s deepest farm system but haven’t had a winning season since 2010, or the Cincinnati Reds, who have suffered through four straight 90-loss years with more tunnel before the light.

Ryan Borucki Jersey

Choose best cheap Ryan Borucki Toronto Blue Jays jersey online, womens youth youth Ryan Borucki gear sale, buy Ryan Borucki jersey including ash/black/camo/gray/green/grey/Blue/pink/white/ colour.The more you buy, the more gifts you give, the best quality, and the fastest logistics.

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Ryan Borucki throws during first inning American League MLB baseball action against the Cleveland Indians, in Toronto, Monday, July 22, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Thornhill

TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays did some off-season housekeeping on Monday night, moving players between their Major League Baseball roster and triple A.

Pitchers Ryan Borucki, Tim Mayza and Matt Shoemaker as well as outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr., were reinstated from the 60-day injured list.

Pitchers Buddy Boshers, Brock Stewart and Ryan Dull as well as second baseman Devon Travis were outrighted to the triple-A Buffalo Bisons. Boshers elected to go into free agency.

Blue Jays acquire pitcher Chase Anderson from Brewers
Toronto Blue Jays execs Atkins and Shapiro weigh in on 95-loss regular season
Right-handed pitcher Ryan Tepera was designated for assignment.

Borucki began the 2019 season on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation and was transferred to the 60-day injured list on April 15, retroactive to March 25. He made four rehab starts across three levels before being reinstated on July 21.

The lefty recorded two starts with Toronto before returning to the injured list on July 31, retroactive to July 28, with left elbow inflammation for the remainder of the season. He underwent surgery to remove a spur in his left elbow on Aug. 8.

Gurriel hit .277 with 19 doubles, two triples, 20 home runs and 50 RBIs in 84 games last season. The right-handed hitter was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left quad strain from Aug. 10 to Sept. 13. He then missed the final four games of the season after undergoing an appendectomy and was placed on the 60-day injured list on Sept. 25.

Mayza held a 1-3 record with a 4.91 earned-run average across a team-leading 68 relief appearances with Toronto last season. He was placed on the 60-day injured list after undergoing Tommy John surgery on the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow on Sept. 18.

Shoemaker made five starts before landing on the 10-day injured list with left knee sprain on April 21. He missed the remainder of the season after undergoing ACL reconstruction and medial meniscus repair on April 30, and was placed on the 60-day injured list on May 15.

Travis missed the entire 2019 season after undergoing surgery on his left knee and was placed on the 60-day injured list on March 25.

Boshers held a 0-3 record with a 4.05 ERA across 27 relief appearances with Toronto last season. The left-handed pitcher was signed by the Blue Jays as a free agent on May 22 and was assigned to triple-A Buffalo.

Dull was claimed off waivers by Toronto on Sept. 18 and made his only appearance as a Blue Jay on Sept. 27.

Stewart recorded a 4-0 record with a 8.31 ERA across 10 relief appearances as a Blue Jay, striking out 16 batters in 21.2 innings pitched.

Tepera put together a 0-2 record with a 4.98 ERA across 22 relief appearances and one start last season. He started the season on the 10-day injured list with right elbow inflammation and made his season debut on April 18. The righty made 12 appearances before returning to the injured list on May 21 with a right elbow impingement.

Chris Carpenter Jersey

Choose best cheap Chris Carpenter Toronto Blue Jays jersey online, womens youth youth Chris Carpenter gear sale, buy Chris Carpenter jersey including ash/black/camo/gray/green/grey/Blue/pink/white/ colour.The more you buy, the more gifts you give, the best quality, and the fastest logistics.

The diminutive Giants right-hander with the big fastball burst onto the Major League scene in 2007, making his debut in May of that season. It didn’t take long for him to become the most dominant pitcher in the NL, leading the Majors with a 2.62 FIP (2.62 ERA), a 168 ERA+ and 265 strikeouts to claim the NL Cy Young Award in his first full season. He received 137 points, with runner-up Brandon Webb receiving 73.

Lincecum made it two straight with another stellar season in ‘09, when he narrowly defeated Chris Carpenter for the Cy Young Award, 100 points to 94. Carpenter’s teammate, Wainwright, was right behind him at 90 points. Lincecum was actually better in ‘09, posting a 2.48 ERA (171 ERA+) while leading the NL in strikeouts for the second straight year, fanning 261. He also led the league with a 2.34 FIP and led the Majors with 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings.

Randy Johnson, D-backs (1999-2002)
With an AL Cy Young Award on his trophy shelf from his time with the Mariners, Johnson wasted no time in dominating the NL when he joined the D-backs in 1999, to the tune of four consecutive Cy Young Awards. The Big Unit led the Majors in strikeouts in each of those years, with 364 in ‘99, 347 in 2000, 372 in ‘01 and 334 in ‘02. He also led the league in ERA+ in each of those seasons, at 184, 181, 188 (MLB-best) and 195, respectively.

In ‘99, Johnson narrowly defeated Mike Hampton by 24 points. In 2000, he won handily, 133-64 over Tom Glavine. He won by a 58-point margin over teammate Curt Schilling in ‘01, the season the pair were co-MVPs of the World Series in a seven-game victory over the Yankees. And in ‘02, Johnson won by 70 points, again over Schilling.

Big Unit gets 250th K of 2001
Big Unit gets 250th K of 2001
Jul. 29th, 2001
Pedro Martinez, Red Sox (1999-2000)
In the high run-scoring environment that was the late 1990s into the early 2000s, Martinez was nearly unhittable. After winning his first Cy Young Award in the NL with the Expos in 1997, the right-hander won back-to-back awards in the AL with the Red Sox. In 1999, he led baseball with a 2.07 ERA, 243 ERA+, 1.39 FIP, 0.92 WHIP, 13.2 strikeouts per nine innings and 8.5 strikeouts per walk.

He was even better in 2000, setting a Major League record with a 291 ERA+ (1.74 ERA). He also led MLB in FIP (2.17), WHIP (0.74) and strikeouts per walk (8.9). Martinez’s historic performance those two years resulted in him winning the AL Cy Young Award easily each time, by a margin of 86 points over Mike Mussina in ‘99, and the exact same margin over Tim Hudson in 2000.

Roger Clemens, Red Sox/Blue Jays (1986-87, ‘97-98)
Clemens’ career was one of several peaks, the first one coming in 1986 when he went 24-4, struck out 20 Mariners in late April and paced the AL with a 2.48 ERA to earn both a unanimous AL Cy Young Award and the AL MVP. The Boston right-hander followed up with another 20 wins, 256 strikeouts and a Major League-most seven shutouts in ‘87, helping him top Toronto’s Jimmy Key by 60 points.

Clemens’ double dip with the Red Sox was the progression of a young ace, but his second repeat was far less expected. He appeared to be winding down after going 10-13 in his age-33 season with the Red Sox, but signed a four-year, $40 million contract with Boston’s division rival and took off once again. Clemens’ 1997 Blue Jays debut (21-7, 2.05 ERA, 292 strikeouts) remains one of the most valuable pitching seasons ever by both Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs’ WAR valuations, and it was plenty to best then-Mariner Randy Johnson for the AL Cy Young. Clemens followed up with the fifth of his seven career Cy Young Awards in ‘98, leading the Junior Circuit again with 20 wins and a 2.65 ERA to make him a unanimous selection.

Alex Gonzalez Jersey

Choose best cheap Alex Gonzalez Toronto Blue Jays jersey online, womens youth youth Alex Gonzalez gear sale, buy Alex Gonzalez jersey including ash/black/camo/gray/green/grey/Blue/pink/white/ colour.The more you buy, the more gifts you give, the best quality, and the fastest logistics.

lex Gonzalez turns 46 today.

We’ve had two shortstops named Alex Gonzalez, this is the first.

This Alex was a member of the Blue Jay from 1994 to 2001.

Gonzalez was drafted in the 14th round of the 1991 amateur draft. He turned out to, very easily, have the best career of any player taken in that round of that draft. He rose quickly thru the Jays minor league system and started the 1994 season as the Jay’s starting SS at the age of 21 but after 15 games he had a .151 batting average and the Jays gave the job to Dick Schofield. It would have been good if the team had a bit more patience with him, Schofield was nearing the end of a ok career, but, by then, he wasn’t a guy you’d want to play short for you.

Alex Gonzalez Toronto Blue Jays Jersey

Alex was on Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects list 4 straight years moving to as high as 4th in 1994. To give you some idea Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez were 6th an 7th on the list that year. I doubt that Baseball America brags about that. He did have power and speed potential with a terrific glove. The bat just didn’t come around like they figured. He just never learned not to chase bad pitches. He struck out too much. And, to show they weren’t alone in over-estimating him, in the 1995 Bill James Player Rating book Bill said ‘My guess is he’ll be an All-Star’.

In the strike shortened 1995 season he took the SS role and held it for 7 seasons. He was never great with the bat, but he should have had two or three gold gloves in his career. In 1995 he played in 111 games of the 144 games the Jays got in, hitting .243/.322/.398 with 10 homers. But 114 strikeouts in 367 at bats was a bit much. He would have fit in well with today’s Jays.

Alex Gonzalez Authentic Jersey

In 1996 Alex got into 147 games and hit 14 home runs, but hit just .235/.300/.391 with 16 steals. But his defense is what made him a useful player, Alex did make 21 errors but he led AL shortstops in total chances with 765 and double plays with 122 double plays.

In 1997 he missed some games with a fractured finger but still led AL shortstops in fielding average at .986. He hit .239/.302.,387 in 126 games with 12 home runs. Then in 1998 he set career highs in games played with 158 and stolen bases 21 but hit even worse than normal with a OPS+ of just 66.

Most people may be surprised to learn that Tony Fernandez is actually Toronto’s career leader in WAR at 37.5. Looking at his offensive numbers, Fernandez didn’t do much with the bat and lacked a huge presence in the Blue Jays lineup. However, he did hit for a good average and was a steals threat which makes him an ideal candidate for the leadoff spot. Fernandez’s best trait was his defense where he won four straight Gold Gloves and rated as the best defender in franchise history.

Honorable Mentions: Marco Scutaro, Alex Gonzalez

Third Baseman
Josh Donaldson
2015-18: 331 Runs, 116 HR, 316 RBI, 17 SB, .281 BA/.383 OBP/.548 SLG

Alex Gonzalez Womens Jersey

Staring at third base is the only player still currently playing in the bigs, Josh Donaldson. The Blue Jays essentially stole Donaldson from the Athletics as he went from an All Star caliber player to a superstar. He starred in the heart of the order and provided Toronto with a contact hitting power threat that did a bit of everything. He was an All Star the first two seasons with the club and won MVP honors in 2015. With them out of contention and Donaldson heading towards free agency, he would be traded during the 2018 season.

Honorable Mentions: Kelly Gruber, Rance Mulliniks, Brett Lawrie

Left Fielder
George Bell
1981-90: 641 Runs, 202 HR, 740 RBI, 59 SB, .286 BA/.325 OBP/.486 SLG

Alex Gonzalez Youth Jersey

George Bell will bring another power threat to a lineup that already features a bunch of other power righties. He was a star for the Blue Jays during the mid to late 80s and was able to capture three straight Silver Sluggers beginning in 1985. However, his most impressive accomplishment was winning MVP in 1987. There wasn’t much love when it came to the Hall of Fame voting for Bell but he will forever remain a Toronto great.

The 1999 season for Alex started great, hitting .292/.379/.416 in 38 games before he suffered a torn Labrum in his right shoulder and missing the rest of the season. In 2000 he played in 141 games and hit .252 with 15 homers and 69 RBI. He also led the AL with 16 sacrifice bunts. Leading the AL in sac bunts isn’t exactly a sign that your manager likes your bat. Alex is number 2 on our all-time line in sac bunts, and I don’t think anyone will catch him.

2001 Alex got into 154 games and hit 17 home runs to set career highs in runs (79) and RBI (76). He hit a big .253/.313/.404, his highest batting average, for the Jays, in a full season. He also stole 18 bases but was caught 11 times. He also led the AL in chances, assists and double plays at short. For some reason he batted mostly in the 2nd spot in the order. Boy that Buck Martinez was a heck of a manager.

After the 2001 season, JP Ricciardi became the Blue Jay GM and wanted to cut salary and Gonzalez was traded to the Cubs for Felix Heredia and James Deschaine. He spent 2.5 seasons with the Cubs getting into the playoffs with them in 2003 losing out in the NLCS to the Florida Marlins. Gonzalez had a great NLCS hitting 3 home runs driving in 7 runs in their 7 game loss. But he also made the big error in the 8th inning of game 6 that allowed the Marlins to score 8 runs.

In 2004 he was traded to the Expos as part of the 8 player, four team trade that sent Nomar Garciaparra to the Cubs and Orlando Cabrera to Boston. He also played for San Diego, Tampa Bay and Philadelphia before retiring in 2006.

Cheap Nike Alex Gonzalez Jersey

With the Blue Jays he played 890 games (putting him 20th all-time among Blue Jays position players, and number 3 among shortstops behind Tony Fernandez and Alfredo Griffin), hit .245/.304/.386 with 83 home runs and 85 steals. Career he played in 1396 games, hitting .243/.302/.391 with 137 home runs and 07 steals.

Omar Vizquel won the Gold Glove 9 years in a row from 1993 to 2001 but some of those seasons Alex was the best defensive shortstop in the AL, but getting Gold Glove voters to look at statistics isn’t easy and if they did they wouldn’t understand them. For a player that didn’t hit well Alex had a long career in the majors, playing 13 seasons. Gonzalez was a favorite of female fans, “Marry Me Alex’ signs often appeared at Skydome.

Alex is married , I’m guessing it wasn’t to someone who held up a sign, and he has two children. He does charity work for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Happy Birthday Alex. I hope it is a good one.

It is also pitching coach Pete Walker’s birthday. Pete turns 50 today. With the off-day, I hope he celebrates.

Pete also pitched for us. In parts of 4 seasons, from 2002 for 2006, with a season pitching with the Yokohama Bay Stars mixed in (10 starts, in 2004, putting up a 6.80 ERA). He the Jays he pitched in 124 games, making 31 starts. He was 19-14 with a 4.32 ERA and he had 4 saves.

He also pitched a for the Mets, Padres and Rockies. In total he pitched in 144 games, 31 starts, 4.48 ERA. In 339.1 innings, he allowed 362 hits, 48 home runs, 133 walks with 191 k. Batters hit .275/.342/.453 against him.

The Jays hired him to be pitching coach of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats in 2011, then moved him up to bullpen coach for the major league team in 2012. In 2013 he took over as pitching coach.

I think he is underrated as a pitching coach. He seems to have a great relationship with all the pitchers. J.A. Happ, back in 2016, said that one of the reasons he signed with the Jays was to work with Walker.

Happy Birthday Pete. Enjoy it.

Tim Johnson Jersey

Choose best cheap Tim Johnson Toronto Blue Jays jersey online, womens youth youth Tim Johnson gear sale, buy Tim Johnson jersey including ash/black/camo/gray/green/grey/Blue/pink/white/ colour.The more you buy, the more gifts you give, the best quality, and the fastest logistics.

Today it was announced that former Toronto Blue Jays manager Tim Johnson has signed on to manage the Algodoneros de San Luis of the Northern League of Mexico. The Algodoneros (Cottonmen) are based in San Luis Rio Colorado in the baseball hotbed province of Sonora, Mexico.

Tim Johnson Toronto Blue Jays Jersey

The Northern League of Mexico is, technically speaking, one level below the MiLB-affiliated Mexican League. While the Mexican League is rated as triple-A level baseball, the Northern League is considerably less than that. The Algodoneros are a farm club that develops prospects for two Mexican League teams: the Acereros de Monclova and Pericos de Puebla. Both teams are owned by the same corporate entity, the Baseball Grupo Industrial Monclova.

algonderos de san luis

A native of North Dakota, Tim Johnson made his Major League debut as an infielder for the Milwaukee Brewers in 1973. His six-year Major League career ended with a 43-game stint with Toronto in 1979. The 67-year old Johnson last managed at the Major League level in 1998, when he guided the Toronto Blue Jays to a 88-74-1 record. At the conclusion of the season, Johnson was fired for pretending to be a veteran of the Vietnam War. This was a lie he had told his players as a member of the Boston Red Sox coaching staff in 1995:

Tim Johnson Authentic Jersey

Former Red Sox star Mike Greenwell remembers Johnson doing anything he could to pump up the players. He’d tell them that life was tough in the trenches and he ought to know, because he’d been to ‘Nam. It fired the players up. In the beginning, there were no specifics.

“I’ve heard the stories,” Greenwell says. “To me, he was telling me you can survive, you’ve got to be tougher. It’s so easy to go a little bit too far.”

With Cito gone and the legendary (at least in his own mind) Tim Johnson in as manager for the 1998 season Shawn (as well as Delgado and Stewart) was given a full time role. And boy did he show he deserved it, he hit .278/.334/.510 with 100 RBI, 106 runs, 35 homers and 35 steals, becoming the Blue Jays first ever 30/30 man. As well as hitting amazingly, Green played great outfield, including 31 games in center. He came in 4th in the AL with 14 outfield assists.

Tim Johnson Womens Jersey

In 1999 Green had one of the best seasons ever by a Blue Jay, hitting .309/.384/.588, with 45 doubles, 42 homers, 134 runs, 123 RBI and 20 steals. He was 9th in the AL MVP voting, won a Silver Slugger award and a Gold Glove. He finished 2nd in the AL in runs, 1st in doubles and total bases, 5th in home runs and 6th in RBI. He set Jay franchise records in extra base hits and runs scored and set a team record with a 28 game hitting streak. His season would have been even better had he not been hit by an Andy Pettitte pitch that fractured a bone in his wrist. That cost him a handful of starts and after returning from the injury it took a few games to get hitting with power again.

After the season the Jays announced that Cito Gaston would be coming back as a hitting coach for the 2000 season. Green wasn’t thrilled, as they hadn’t gotten along before, and he decided to ask to be traded closer to his home in California. Our brilliant GM, Gord Ash traded him with Jorge Nunez to the Dodgers for Raul Mondesi and Pedro Borbon. Mondesi wasn’t a bad player but he didn’t have the work ethic to become the star we hoped he would. He had two decent seasons for us, and then in the middle of his third season, when he was batting a big .224, we got incredibly lucky when the Yankees took him off our hands for us, without us having to pay the rest of his salary.

Tim Johnson Youth Jersey

When Johnson was hired by the Blue Jays in 1998, he kept up the Vietnam veteran ruse. In an attempt to motivate pitcher Pat Hentgen during a road trip to Boston, Johnson told a story about killing two children because they were in the line of fire. With pitching coach Mel Queen within earshot, Johnson drove home his point that there were harder things in life than pitching. Months later, his story would unravel. A confluence of events led to Johnson’s downfall:

There was already animosity in the clubhouse; Queen and Johnson had a very public feud. That was the scene as Johnson’s birthday approached.

Johnson’s wife bought him a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Roger Clemens, a good friend of Johnson’s and a former Blue Jays pitcher, wanted to get his buddy a meaningful present. Clemens’ brother was a Vietnam vet and owned a motorcycle helmet with the logo of his combat unit on it.

Clemens wanted to do the same for his friend.

So he started doing some checking. He didn’t have much luck. Then he called Johnson’s wife and asked her. According to friends in Clay Center, she told Clemens that Timmy didn’t go to Vietnam. It wasn’t intentional; she just didn’t know; the lie was that quiet in the Johnson home.

Cheap Nike Tim Johnson Jersey

Enemies of Johnson found out, and the wheels came off.

“It was a thing to try to motivate,” he says, “and it didn’t work.”

Johnson denied it at first, finally coming clean and apologizing. But it wasn’t that easy. He hung on for the rest of the year, but friends of Johnson say the situation was handled poorly by the team. Johnson was finally fired two weeks into spring training in 1999.

“I resisted that because I was hopeful that people would give him a second chance, and he was remorseful,” then-GM Gord Ash says. “It didn’t seem like anybody wanted to give it to him. The players weren’t accepting. The media weren’t accepting. It wasn’t going to work.”

Ed Sprague, the Blue Jays’ third baseman, was quoted as calling Johnson a ”liar” and a ”back stabber.”

Tim Johnson Roger Clemens
Photo credit: unknown

The Toronto Star’s Richard Grifin makes a compelling case for forgiveness in this article from 2007. Griffin references a book called Stolen Valor, which details a large social problem in which many soldiers lied about service in Vietnam. Tim Johnson’s case is far from unique. Humans are complex creatures; only Johnson can know for sure why he lied about his tour in Vietnam, though guilt likely played a leading role.

“I got to Milwaukee at the end of spring training (in ’73),” Johnson recalled of his rookie ML season with the Brewers. “I had the phone number of one of my guys. I called and a woman answered. When I asked for him there was a long pause and she said, `Is this a joke? He died in Vietnam.’”

In this context, where exactly in the big picture of sporting scandals should Johnson’s Vietnam lie rank, remembering that he used the stories mostly in ill-advisedly trying to motivate players and not as a part of day-to-day existence?

Personally, I doubt that Tim Johnson will ever manage a Major League-affiliated ball club ever again. Managers and coaches at baseball’s highest level need to have the trust of their players in order to have an effective working relationship. As Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” But in Mexico, focused on player development, Johnson is equipped with all the tools to succeed. The Spanish-speaking Johnson already has prior experience managing in Mexico; following his dismissal from the Blue Jays, Johnson managed the storied Mexico City Red Devils team (Mexico’s version of the New York Yankees) in the triple-A Mexican League. In addition, he’s managed four different teams in the Mexican Pacific League, an off-season winter league situated on Mexico’s west coast. He last managed in Mexico in 2005 as a member of the Mexicali Aguilas. Among Mexican baseball fans, he’s beloved.

Johnson’s role will be to develop San Luis’s players into Mexican League players, and eventually Major League players. The Algodoneros of San Luis Rio Colorado are looking to improve on 2016’s second-place finish. Under the tutelage of Tim Johnson, I hope that they do.

Dave Stieb Jersey

Choose best cheap Dave Stieb Toronto Blue Jays jersey online, womens youth youth Dave Stieb gear sale, buy Dave Stieb jersey including ash/black/camo/gray/green/grey/Blue/pink/white/ colour.The more you buy, the more gifts you give, the best quality, and the fastest logistics.

Blue Jays starter Dave Stieb had taken no-hitters into the 9th inning 3 times, so I would imagine that when Stieb walked to the mound in the ninth, on September 2, 1990, in Cleveland, he was wondering ‘what will happen this time’. The first three times:

On September 24, 1988, in Cleveland, Julio Franco hit a grounder that took a surprisingly high hope and went over second baseman Manny Lee’s head.

Dave Stieb Toronto Blue Jays Jersey

In Stieb’s next start, in Toronto against the Orioles, Jim Traber hit a 2-out soft fly that landed between the infielders and outfielders.
On August 4, 1989, in the first season of SkyDome, with 2-outs in the ninth innin,g of could have been a perfect game, Roberto Kelly lines a double up the gap.
But the fourth time was the charm.

In the ninth, Stieb:

Dave Stieb Authentic Jersey

Got pinch-hitter Chris James to fly out (a pretty deep fly out).
Pinch-hitter Candy Maldonada to strikeout.
Walked Alex Cole (Stieb walked 4, unusual for him).
And got Jerry Browne to fly/line out to right fielder Junior Felix.
Here is the final out:

1999 AL MVP Award (full results)

Dave Stieb Womens Jersey

Winner: Iván Rodríguez, TEX
Better choice: Pedro Martinez, BOS (second)

Martinez got more first-place votes than Pudge in what wasn’t just Martinez’s best season, but maybe one of the best pitching seasons in baseball history. But enough voters thought a pitcher should never win an MVP that he fell just short. Martinez was so good that year that he accrued 3.5 more bWAR than Rodríguez, despite appearing in 113 fewer games.

1998 NL MVP Award (full results)

Winner: Sammy Sosa, CHC
Better choice: Mark McGwire, STL (second)

Yes, yes, the Cubs made the playoffs and the Cardinals didn’t. But seriously: Mark McGwire didn’t win the MVP the year he hit 70 homers? Putting the dingers aside, “Big Mac” finished with nearly 100 more points of OBP and more than 50 points more slugging than “Slammin’ Sammy.”

1998 NL Cy Young Award (full results)

Winner: Tom Glavine, ATL
Better choice: Kevin Brown, SD (third)

Dave Stieb Youth Jersey

Brown was, by a rather large margin, the best pitcher in baseball in 1998, topping the Majors in both FanGraphs (9.6) and Baseball-Reference (8.6) WAR. You wonder if he would have gotten some more Hall of Fame support had he ever won a Cy Young.

1996 AL MVP Award (full results)

Winner: Juan Gonzalez, TEX
Better choice: Ken Griffey Jr., SEA (fourth)

Griffey only won one MVP, the year after this one. But he deserved this one even more. This was the best fWAR that Griffey put up his whole career, and he outpaced Gonzalez by more than 6 fWAR, 24 points of OBP, 14 steals and even two homers.

Belle hits No. 50
Belle hits No. 50
Sep. 30th, 1995
1995 AL MVP Award (full results)

Winner: Mo Vaughn, BOS
Better choice: Albert Belle, CLE (second)

Belle had 11 more homers, 23 more runs scored and a slugging percentage that was 115 points higher than Vaughn. But occasionally he was rude to reporters!

1987 AL MVP Award (full results)

Cheap Nike Dave Stieb Jersey

Winner: George Bell, TOR
Better choice: Alan Trammell, DET (second) or Wade Boggs, BOS (ninth)

Bell is also mocked a bit for his MVP, particularly when everyone would debate Trammell’s Hall of Fame credentials and point out that he never won an MVP but should have. Trammell got on base much more than Bell (.402 to .352 in OBP), stole more bags and played better defense at a more premium position. But Boggs also hit .363 this year and led the Majors in fWAR (followed by Trammell right behind him), not that anyone was counting that back then.

1987 NL MVP Award (full results)

Winner: Andre Dawson, MON
Better choice: Ozzie Smith, STL (second)

Dawson’s MVP is one of the most derided in baseball history — oof, that .328 OBP — but it is worth noting that while there were a lot of strong candidates, there was not an obvious No. 1. Smith had one of his best offensive seasons that year (.303 average, .392 OBP, 75 RBIs, 43 steals) and was of course his usual genius self in the field, and he finished second in the voting, so we’ll go with him.

Gooden makes history in 1985
Gooden makes history in 1985
Aug. 19th, 2015
1985 NL MVP Award (full results)

Winner: Willie McGee, STL
Better choice: Dwight Gooden, NYM (fourth)

McGee was wonderful for that 1985 team, one that had been predicted to finish last in the NL East and was one Don Denkinger call away from a title. But Gooden’s 1985 season (8.9 fWAR, 1.53 ERA, 2.13 FIP, 268/69 K/BB ratio) is one of the best pitching seasons of all time. We’ve since gotten over aversion to giving the MVP to starting pitchers, with Justin Verlander (2011) and Clayton Kershaw (’14) both recently winning, but Clemens (’86) was the only starter who claimed the award from 1972-2010.

1982 AL Cy Young Award (full results)

Winner: Pete Vuckovich, MIL
Better choice: Dave Stieb, TOR (fourth)

Bill James says Vuckovich might be the worst Cy Young selection of all time, and that 1.502 WHIP suggests as much. Whether that’s true or not, Stieb deserved a Cy Young. He threw 66 more innings than Vuckovich with a lower ERA (3.25 to 3.34). Stieb deserved so much more than he got.

Cleveland didn’t exactly had a ‘murderer’s row’ back in 1990. Their clean up hitter was Ken Phelps (likely more famous for a mention in Seinfeld than his baseball career) was hitting .155/.288/.198 at the time. 5 of their starters had OPS numbers lower than .700.

Stieb didn’t feel he was at his best that day. From the Toronto Star game story:

I didn’t have great control. I couldn’t find my release point in the early innings. I hung pitches but got away with them. They helped me out a few times by swinging at bad pitches. They hit balls right at people.

The win was Stieb’s 17th of the season, against 5 losses. He finished the game with a 2.91 ERA. He would finish the season 18-6 with a 2.93 ERA, his most wins in a season, which set a new team high.

I was a huge fan of Stieb. He was competitive. He would have been a good match for Jose Bautista, but, unlike Jose, he would stare down teammates that make mistakes. It is too bad that we didn’t have a better team when he was at the top of his game. I’m not sure if he was a bad teammate in other ways but I’d imagine that behavior wouldn’t endear himself to the others on his team.

But I wasn’t on the team and I just saw him as the best player on my team and the best pitcher in baseball at the time. I admired his drive to win. And, for most of his career, there weren’t many other Jays worth cheering.

John Mayberry Jersey

Choose best cheap John Mayberry Toronto Blue Jays jersey online, womens youth youth John Mayberry gear sale, buy John Mayberry jersey including ash/black/camo/gray/green/grey/Blue/pink/white/ colour.The more you buy, the more gifts you give, the best quality, and the fastest logistics.

John Claiborn Mayberry, born February 18, 1949 in Detroit, was a slugging first baseman with a soft glove and a dignified name. John attended Northwestern High School in Detroit, which also produced sluggers Willie Horton and Alex Johnson. That’s 61 WAR from one high school, impressive. While at Northwestern High, John was a three-sport standout, starring in football, basketball and baseball. Twice he was named an All-State basketball player in Michigan, but baseball was his true love, and stories of his prodigious home runs drew dozens of scouts to his high school games.

John Mayberry Toronto Blue Jays Jersey

The Astros drafted John with the sixth-overall pick in the first round of the 1967 amateur draft. The 1967 draft was loaded, producing Jon Matlack, Ted Simmons, Bobby Grich, Vida Blue, Dave Kingman, Don Baylor, Ralph Garr, Richie Zisk, Davy Lopes and Dusty Baker, among others. The Royals were not in existence yet, but the Kansas City Athletics did draft Blue and Darrell Evans, two players who combined for 104 WAR in their career. Not a bad draft for Charlie Finley.

Mayberry had some early success in the minors and the Astros, desperate for wins, rushed him through their system. He made his Major League debut on September 10, 1968 as a 19-year-old and he appeared in four games that fall. He played in five more games for the Astros in 1969 but didn’t collect a hit. John finally collected his first big league hit on April 9, 1970, a fifth inning single against the Giants Frank Reberger. In hindsight, the Astros mishandled Mayberry badly, bringing him up too soon then shuttling him between the big-league club and AAA several times.

Mayberry had a terrific 1969 season at AAA Oklahoma City, slashing .303/.393/.522 with 21 home runs, 78 RBI, 95 runs and 62 walks in 123 games. You could see that the talent was there, but the Astros were stacked with first basemen, having Bob Watson, Curt Blefary and the underappreciated Rusty Staub on the roster, blocking Mayberry. Staub, known as LeGrand Orange, was a very good player with Houston and despite that, the Astros unbelievably traded Staub to the Expos (in one of many horrible trades the Astros made) prior to the 1969 season. Staub ended his 23-year career as a 46 WAR player, slashing .279/.362/.431, collecting 2,716 hits with 292 home runs and 1,466 RBI while appearing in six All-Star games. With stats like that, a case could be made that Staub is a borderline case for the Hall of Fame.

John Mayberry Authentic Jersey

The Astros, disappointed that Big John had yet to develop the power they thought he should, for a short time tried turning Mayberry into a slap hitter, which frustrated Mayberry to no end. On November 29th of 1971, the Astros made a doozy of a trade, sending Joe Morgan, Cesar Geronimo and Jack Billings to the Cincinnati Reds for slugging first baseman (and future Royal) Lee May, in a trade that many rank as the worst in Astros history, which is saying something. The trade made Mayberry expendable and Royals General Manager Cedric Tallis jumped on a deal to pry him away from the Astros for pitchers Lance Clemons and Jim York.

Mayberry put up 21 WAR in his Kansas City career while York and Clemons accumulated a negative 1.7 WAR. Clemons was out of baseball after the 1974 season, having only appeared in nine games after the trade. York hung on through the 1976 season, appearing in 117 games with Houston and the Yankees. Making two trades of this magnitude, in less than a week, calls into question the competency of the Astros front office. On the other hand, the trade, which ranks as one of the best in Kansas City history brings us to the long running mystery: why is Cedric Tallis not in the Royals Hall of Fame?

John Mayberry Womens Jersey

Thus began the John Mayberry Era in Kansas City. Manager Bob Lemon made the 23-year-old Mayberry his starting first baseman and John didn’t let him down. Mayberry hit in 11 of his first 12 games as a Royal. In the month of June 1972, Mayberry stroked 32 hits with 6 home runs, 7 doubles and 30 RBI good for a .471 average. From August 25th to the 27th, Mayberry homered in four consecutive games in Yankee Stadium. With the season winding down, on September 29th, Big John cranked a three-run home run off Vida Blue, lifting his RBI total to 100, becoming the first Royal to hit that mark.

In the early to mid-1970’s, Vida Blue was a terror on the mound and one of the most difficult pitchers to hit, especially for lefties. Mayberry also led American League first basemen in five of seven defensive categories. The big change for Mayberry at the plate was batting coach Charlie Lau convincing him to move further from the plate. The results were spectacular: .298/.394/.507 with 25 home runs, 100 RBI and 78 walks. 1972 was the last year that the Royals played in Municipal Stadium, and Mayberry hit the last Royal home run in the old park in a September 29th game against the hated Athletics (he would also become the first player to ever homer in new Royals Stadium). In his first season with the Royals, Big John had become a star.

“I’ve never seen anybody as good as he is at his age for knowing the strike zone. Most big swingers have no idea what a strike is at that age.”

John Mayberry Youth Jersey

-Royals Manager Bob Lemon

The 1972 season began a run of five consecutive years of terrific production from Mayberry.

To prove that 1972 wasn’t a fluke, Mayberry collected 80 RBI in his first 87 games of the 1973 season, on his way to a .278/.417/.478 year with 26 home runs, 100 RBI, and a then club record 122 walks.

Mayberry got off to another great start in 1974 before Injuries started to pile up, limiting him to 126 games. The first was a pulled muscle in his right leg which sidelined him from June 24th to July 29th. The second was a broken right hand, courtesy of a Frank Tanana pitch, which shelved Mayberry from August 6th to August 28th. Early in his career, Tanana was one of the hardest throwers in baseball. Next time Mayberry saw Tanana, prior to a game, he grabbed the lefty and slammed him against the outfield wall, telling Tanana something along the lines that if he ever hit him with another pitch, that violence would be done. Mayberry still managed to hit 22 home runs in the 1974 season. Mayberry faced Tanana 36 more times in his career and hit .387 against him. Tanana never hit him with another pitch.

Cheap John Mayberry Jersey

In 1975, Big John had a season for the ages, slashing .291/.416/.547 with a then club record 34 home runs, 106 RBI, 95 runs and a league-leading 119 walks. He collected 303 total bases, which was good for second in the league and put up 7.2 WAR. This production earned John a 2nd place finish in the league MVP race.

Mayberry was also known as a clubhouse jester. He could also be relentless with the needle. Prior to the 1973 season, the Royals acquired Hal McRae from the Cincinnati Reds. In those days, there was still a lot of rivalry between the American and National League. Players in the National League had an air about them that they were better and that was resented by players in the Junior Circuit. McRae was determined to change the culture of the Royals – run everything out, break up double plays, never back down. And thankfully, over time, he did change the culture. Successful teams must have someone like Hal McRae to make them accountable. But when McRae got off to a slow start in 1973, Mayberry was relentless with his needling.

This post is a rewrite of my post from last year, “How bad is the 2018 Tigers offense, a historical perspective,” and a reminder that things can always get worse.

Last year, around this time, I compared the dreadful 2018 Tigers offense to the 2003 Tigers (always my touchstone for dreadful baseball). I discovered, to my shock, that the 2018 offense was actually worse than 2003. Hard to believe. I then decided to find out if the team has ever been worse.

As for next year, I would point out that the 2004 Tigers actually were well above average offensively (108 OPS+), thanks to development by young players (Infante, Inge, Monroe, Thames, Munson) and the acquisition of Pudge Rodriguez, Carlos Guillen and Rondell White. This could be a whole separate article, but to sum it up, that is why the Tigers won 29 more games in 2004 than 2003.

Back to the historical perspective: If the Tigers finish the season with their present 79 OPS+, it would be tied for the worst result for an American League team since the 1981 Toronto Blue Jays (4 other teams have had 79 OPS+ — the ’83 Mariners, the ’92 Angels, the ’99 Twins and the 2010 Seattle Mariners). The ’81 Blue Jays had a bunch of very young players who would get much better fast, including Lloyd Moseby, Jesse Barfield, and George Bell.

The ’81 Jays’ worst regular was future NBA player and “who me” poster-boy Danny Ainge (pause for booing), whose 38 OPS+ sent him scrambling to the NBA, which was probably a good choice. Former Royal John Mayberry had a 128 OPS+, and DH Otto Velez had a .213 batting average, but a 116 OPS+. Perhaps only a young Bill James knew that Velez was an above-average hitter at the time.

Anyway, those Blue Jays were probably the team happiest about the mid-year strike that reduced their 1981 season to 106 games.

From a Tigers perspective, the 2019 offense is the worst since… the WWII era Tigers of 1942. With Hank Greenberg off at war, the 1942 Tigers had a team OPS+ of 79 despite good efforts from Rudy York, Pinky Higgins, Barney McCosky and some guys named Ned Harris and Don Ross. The issues were really at catcher, center field, second base and especially shortstop. The Tigers finished 73-81, in 5th place in an eight-team league (like the 2010 Mariners, they had great pitching). The 1942 Tigers featured two Hall of Famers, Charlie Gehringer and Hal Newhouser.

You might be asking — since the pitchers hit, were the 1942 Tigers really worse than our 2018 swingers. The answer is “no.” The non-pitcher OPS+ for the 1942 Tigers was a relatively respectable 87. So, apples to apples, the 2019 Tigers are worse. I would note that Dizzy Trout (pitcher) actually out-hit shortstop Billy Hitchcock.

Only one other Tigers team was indisputably worse than this year’s hitting-challenged team — the 1902 Tigers, who managed a whopping 72 OPS+ (non-pitcher OPS+ 76), making them probably the worst-hitting Tiger team of all time — if you are willing to count a team from 117 years ago. That team finished 52-83, 7th in the American League (which was in its second season). Featuring a lineup composed of players nicknamed Deacon, Pop, Kid, Kid, Doc, Ducky, Dick (possibly his real name) and Jimmy, and bench players Sport, Fritz and Erve, the Tigers were clearly a colorful team — possibly the only double play combination ever where both players were nicknamed Kid.

It must have been exciting when they twisted one — Kid to Kid to Pop at first base. By the way, Pop was 28, and Kid Gleason, the second baseman was 35, so there must have been an accident with a contraceptive and a time machine.

Anyway, they couldn’t hit worth a damn — Kid Gleason had started as a star pitcher in the 1890s, but wasn’t much of a hitter.. Things were so bad that utility man Joe Yeagar also started at pitcher 15 times, and pitcher George Mullin had the highest batting average and second highest OPS+ on the team.

Honorable mention to the 1931 Tigers who had a 82 OPS+ despite Hall of Famer Charlie Gehringer and a pretty good starting offense (the bench was terrible).

To answer the fundamental question, has it ever been this bad before? It has… way back in 1902. Maybe.

“Tell us a little more about National League baseball, Hal.”

“Awful lot of talk for a .230 hitter, Hal.”

Finally, one day on the team bus, McRae couldn’t take it any longer. Even though Mayberry was taller and outweighed him, McRae said, “I’ll probably get killed, but here I come.” And with that Hal McRae went after John Mayberry. The fight was broken up, but the message had been delivered. Those Royal teams played hard. They broke up double plays. The ran out grounders and fly balls and if they didn’t, Hal McRae or George Brett would be waiting in the dugout for the scofflaw.

All athletes eventually start to decline. Sometimes it’s caused by injury or drug or alcohol abuse. Sometimes players sign a big contract, get comfortable and lose their fire. Occasionally, they think they’re fashion models or recording artists and forget that they are ballplayers. Most often it’s caused by Father Time. Father Time is undefeated. Mayberry’s decline started in the 1976 season at the age of 27. He still managed to put up a reasonable line of .232/.322/.342 but only hit 13 home runs. He did manage to collect 95 RBI and 82 walks.

Mayberry’s 1977 season was decent at .230/.336/.401. On August 5, 1977, he hit for the cycle against the Chicago White Sox. The power numbers came back to 23 home runs. He chipped in with 82 RBI and another 83 walks, but the Royals brass believed his better days were past him. The end came when John showed up late for Game Four of the ALCS against the Yankees. The rumor was that Mayberry had spent the previous night partying, stayed out way too late and showed up hungover, enraging manager Whitey Herzog. Mayberry started the game, struck out twice, bungled a relay throw and dropped an easy pop foul, which extended a New York inning, until Herzog had seen enough and yanked him for John Wathan after the fourth inning.

Herzog started Wathan in Game five, despite protests from several Royal players, who believed their best chance to beat the Yankees was a lineup with Mayberry in it. After winning a club record 102 games and having a 2-1 lead in the series, the Royals collapsed, losing Games Four and Five, in Kansas City no less, and Herzog laid the blame at Mayberry’s feet.

There were rumors of alcohol and drug use and Herzog had seen enough, demanding that the Royals part ways with their slugger. It helps to understand the times. The mid-to-late 1970s were the disco era and recreational drug use was fairly rampant and somewhat accepted by society. Cocaine was the drug of choice for many in all walks of life. The poor snorted their coke through a straw or a rolled-up dollar bill. The rich and the famous used custom-made spoons and straws for their indulgences. I don’t know if Mayberry was using coke and I’m not suggesting he was, though the drug did rear its ugly head a few years later (1983) resulting in the suspension of several Royals. Over the years, the NFL had their share of cokeheads. The NBA was awash in coke in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I’m sure there was some coke floating around MLB during those years.

Regardless, Kansas City sold Mayberry to Toronto in April of 1978. Just a straight cash sale. No players to Kansas City. No draft choices. A pitiful return for a player who had helped the franchise become a winner. The sale was especially difficult for Ewing Kauffman, who loved Mayberry. Mayberry played for five seasons in Toronto and put up respectable numbers: .256/.352/.450 with 93 home runs and 272 RBI. The Jays traded Mayberry to the Yankees in May of 1982 and John played 69 games in the Bronx before calling it quits at the age of 33.

For his career, Mayberry clubbed 252 home runs and drove home 879 while picking up 25 WAR, most of that in his prime with KC. He was a two-time All Star and received MVP votes in four seasons. He hit one of the longest home runs in Royals/Kauffman stadium history, a shot that bounced off the top of the circular concession stand in the right field plaza.

At 6’3 and 215 lbs., Mayberry was considered a big man in his era. Times have changed. Today a player that size is common place. New Yankee second baseman D.J. LeMahieu stands 6’4 and goes 215 lbs., nearly identical to Mayberry, but despite being a fine player, LeMahieu doesn’t provoke the fear in pitchers that Big John once did.

After retirement, Mayberry worked as a coach in the Blue Jays system for five years. He was inducted into the Royals Hall of Fame in 1996 and Bill James ranks him as the 49th best first baseman in baseball history. His son, John Jr., played for several major league teams, most notably the Phillies. So Big John, here’s looking at you on your 70th birthday.