Sports Illustrated pulls a bait and switch on Blue Jays fans

Thursday, May 14th, 2009   (7 years, 11 months ago)

The surprise AL East leading Blue Jays are the real deal. …the real deal at sucking! Boo-yaa! You totally fell for it Jays fans!

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Cliff Corcoran over at Sports Illustrated has an article up that is being teased with the title: “The surprise AL East leading Blue Jays are the real deal. Here’s why.” - check out the screen cap of the page over to the left.

Awesome! Finally someone saying something positive about the Blue Jays! Let’s have a read through this article - I’m excited…

The Jays won 86 games in 2008, but in part because their rotation was so stingy, posting a major league-best 3.72 ERA, they had the run differential of a 93-win team. That would seemingly suggest that this year’s Jays just might be for real …

Nice. This is true - the 2008 Blue Jays had a stellar starting rotation and bullpen last year. Best in all of baseball at both actually. I assume he’s about to talk about how the depth of the organization allowed…

…were it not for the fact that just one of the team’s top-five starters from a year ago remains in the rotation.

Uh… ok. That was a weird direction to go in a piece that is apparently about how the Jays are for real. I think I’ll skim ahead here and see what he has to say in the next few paragraphs…

how are the Jays 10 games over .500? …luck has played a role…
…unsustainable BABIP… Richmond’s luck has already begun to wear out…

Hmmm… not sure I like the direction this seems to be going…

…luck has also played a part in the Jays’ leading the majors in runs scored.
…uncharacteristically healthy…
injury sure to strike offense at some point.

batting averages sure to regress…

Hey! What the fuck Cliff? I clicked on this article expecting to finally read something positive about the Blue Jays instead of the usual “the division’s gonna get ‘em”, “Boston, Tampa, New York”, “The Jays can’t compete”, “they’re gonna fold soon” crap.

In an article ostensibly about how the Toronto Blue Jays are the “real deal” do you think you could’ve maybe dredged up some positive things to talk about? Maybe some stats about how the Blue Jays lead the American League in opponents batting average. The fact that opposing teams are hitting a lousy .246 off Toronto pitchers is worth mentioning isn’t it? From there perhaps some observations about how holding opponents to a MLB best .314 OBP is a sign of a team playing great defense and getting great pitching.

How about a mention of how Toronto has a better team WHIP than anyone in the AL including Kansas City? And how the Jays are only .01 behind the Dodgers for the best team WHIP in the majors (1.26 to 1.27)? Perhaps mention that the Jays have the second best strikes to walks ratio in baseball and are also second in the majors in total strikeouts. Maybe mention that teams are being held to a pretty low .727 OPS when playing Toronto? It is the third best mark in the American League…

Still, there are reasons to believe that some of the performance spikes that the Jays have enjoyed in the early going might be sustainable.

What? Oh… ok. Cool. You seemed to be going into a negative thing for a while there, but apparently you were just giving some context to the inevitable positive assessment promised by the teaser for this article.

The continued excellence of the bullpen has to be partially attributed to the stellar defense, too.
…the Jays are again among the major league leaders in relief ERA

True, true. According to Baseball Prospectus the Blue Jays are the second best defensive team in the American League - just a tick below the Texas Rangers and huge amounts better than ham-fisted, bumbling teams like the Red Sox and Yankees (the third and fifth worst defensive teams in the AL).

Unsustainably low BABIP’s abound in the pen as well

…Cliff…

…but the strength of the defense could keep the inevitable correction from being as harsh as it might otherwise be.”

Better.

The Blue Jays are clearly overachieving right now…

Hey!

…but it’s worth noting that Alex Rios and talented rookie slugger Travis Snider haven’t started hitting yet, and that Ryan, Romero and Litsch are all due back from the disabled list in short order.

Yes. Which means the Jays might get even better, right?

The potential improvements from those players could help offset the expected regression elsewhere.

…so having two great offensive players start hitting and getting three great pitchers back from the DL would mean… that the Jays would still go in the toilet, but a little less than without those guys. Nice.

Cliff - you only have two more paragraphs to explain why the Jays are the “real deal”! Where are you going to go from here?

…the only AL East opponent the Jays had faced was Baltimore, whom they swept in a three-game series to open May. Otherwise the Jays have been fattening up on the AL West (7-4) and Central (12-8). They’ve also been winning more than their share of one-run games, going 7-2 in such contests, a mark that is as likely to regress to .500 as their pitchers’ BABIPs trend toward the typical league average of .300. Thus far the Jays have split their first two games against the struggling Yankees. Their one win came behind Halladay, but their loss on Wednesday night saw Richmond and Murphy get their BABIP comeuppance, Hill leave the game after fouling a ball of his shin and the offense manage just two runs despite receiving four free passes from Andy Pettitte.

WHAT?! That paragraph is completely negative about the Jays! It even sounds like you’re happy that Richmond and Murphy got knocked around in a rough outing.

I’m just going to skip ahead to the conclusion and see how this thing wraps up. This is an article about how the 2009 Blue Jays are the “real deal” after all so it must wrap up with something about the Jays being able to compete…

…while the Jays probably are a better team than many thought, they won’t have one of the best records in baseball by the time July rolls around.

You are a huge dick Cliff Corcoran.

 

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Comments on “Sports Illustrated pulls a bait and switch on Blue Jays fans”

  1. Cliff Corcoran

    Two things:

    1) The tease was an error. It was corrected very soon after you wrote this, at my urging, to say, roughly, “Are the Jays the real deal?” (not “The Jays are the real deal.”)

    2) So here we are in July and the Jays are two games below .500 and in fourth place in the East. What’s your opinion of my analysis now?

    Hey, but at least you were classy enough to not attack me personally in this anonymous screed.

  2. admin

    Thanks Cliff - I try to keep it classy. Two things:

    1) The tease was there when I wrote the article, and I don’t generally check back in on articles I’ve already read.

    2) You may want to re-read my article - the entire thing was written to humorously contrast the expectation created by the headline with the basically 100% negative content the article actually contained. I don’t really have much to say about your actual analysis other than the fact that you steadfastly ignore every positive indicator in favor of negative ones.

    You should keep in mind that the whole review of your article is intended as humor. I know that writers don’t generally create the headlines or teasers for their own articles. It’s just funnier to imagine you deliberately did that to piss off Jays fans.

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