Rosie DiManno, I suspect, is normally a pretty good writer. Her baseball knowledge must be darn good to work for the Toronto Star. Her objectivity may be suspect in this case, but that is ok, in that she is supposed to whip up Blue Jays fervor. Her knowledge of geography, however, is more than suspect and rather embarrassing at best. So as usual, there is the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Let’s start with the good. The title of her article is: Blue Jay bats need to snap out of an offensive funk in order to get back into ALCS . This is about as accurate as it gets. The Jays with no runs, 3 hits, and just two hits against Kansas City Royals starter Edinson Volquez. None of those hits went for extra bases, and while they had five walks, they also struck out four times looking. Where was that Toronto aggression?
So is the conclusion the headline basically correct? Hitting .100 is usually not high enough to be the Ameican League Champs. Now this is just a small sample size. One game. And it would be unusual if the Jays don’t come crashing back with their bats. And with David Price on the bump today, the Royals could be scraping for runs themselves.
The next part by DiManno is also largely correct. She said that the Kansas City Royals manufactured runs. The Royals are well known for their industrial factories; Ned is the stern factory manager. Some rumors say it is a sweat shop. Athletics sometimes is that. But when Ned gets the train moving, it is an industrial sight to behold.
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One obvious problem in the above is Salvador Perez‘ home run. Normally a baseball writer would not say a home run is manufactured. The next quote we might expect from Joe Buck on a bad day: “It certainly wasn’t either clever or overpowering pitching from Volquez that kept the gaudy Jays lineup from doing its typical big-bop stuff.”
This type of line in a sportswriter’s class will get you a seriously bad grade, and if adopted by the Jays, this would lead to long-term problems. So when Volquez unexpectedly hits the mid-90s up to 97, this is serious heat from a starter. This is the type of pitching that left the Jays moping at the plate as the home plate umpire rang up four of them on called strike threes.
So, DiManno, how many hits the Jays get, how many runs, and how many extra base hits? Please take your assignment and redo.
Now for the uber-ugly statement of the day: Rose: “Under a midnight blue Kansas sky, however, the bats rolled over and slumbered, snoozing while the Royals knocked off a snappy 5-0 win in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.”
This appears to be a serious mistake at first. Kauffman Stadium, at last check, was not in Kansas, unless it moved overnight. Kauffman happens to be about 10 miles east of the Kansas line, in a state known as Missouri. Midwesterners will often understand the difference between the two states. There were some problems with this distinction in the early 1860s, but these were worked out in a fairly civil way–known as the Civil War.
Several other possibilities must be admitted. While the game was officially, according to Joe Buck, in Kansas City, Missouri. It is possible that the Jay batters were in Kansas. That would explain their sub-par performance.
Also it should be remembered that Dorothy (of the the Wizard of Oz) fame had a dog named Toto–apparently a shortened version of Toronto–just remove 3 of the inner letters. So when the Jays saw the KC pitching Friday night, the players barked from the dugout, “Run, Toto, run.”
Grade: A- (Sportswriters cut slack for out of town sportswriters)